Sunday, April 22, 2012

Arter Dale

  • Background on Mingo warriors and Dale's adoption


    " Chief John Logan (Tay-Gah-Jute) "

    Logan was born in 1725, to a Cayuga Indian maiden. His Father was a French Canadian trapper who later became Chief of the Oneidas. He assumed the name
    of the Secretary of the Colony of Pennsylvania, a good friend of his Father who represented the Indians to the Governor of Penn. Later Logan married a Shawnee maiden. He is described as a Mingo which was not a tribe but a loose confederation of the fragments of several tribes from the North East.
    Initially Logan and his Father were good friends of the white people in their area and provided them with important advice and assistance. At the end of the French & Indian War, the Shawnees refused to accept the treaty by which the Iroquois surrendered the Ohio Territory, on which they lived, to the British. The Shawnee began to raid the settlements all along the frontier and the settlers retaliated. On April 20, 1774, several Indians, including Logan's family, crossed Yellow Creek near Pittsburg to visit a trading post run by Simon Greathouse. While there he got them drunk on rum and murdered them all. Logan mistakenly held Capt. Cressap responsible and began a murderous, vengeful assault on the Clinch and Holston Settlements.
    After ravaging the territory, he withdrew by way of a tributary of the Big Sandy River (in Dickenson County). He was pursued by settlers led by a man named McClure. Logan ambushed and defeated his pursuers on what is now McClure's Creek, and withdrew through The Breaks.
    In July of 1774, Logan captured William Robinson on the Monongahela River. When his braves wanted to burn him at the stake, he made a passionate speech on his behalf and defiantly cut him free. Three days later, he came to Robinson and asked him to record a
    message to Capt. Cressap explaining his actions and inquiring why he had killed his family. " What did you kill my people on Yellow Creek for? The white people killed my kin at Conestoga a great while ago, and I thought nothing of that. But you killed my kin again on Yellow Creek and took my cousin prisoner. Then I thought I must kill too, and I have been 3 times to war since; but the Indians are not angry, only myself." (July 21, 1774 Capt. John Logan) He left the message attached to a war club at the murder scene of John Roberts at King's Mill.
    After the Shawnees were defeated at Pt. Pleasant, Logan indicated his vengence was spent, but that he would never sign another treaty with the white man. Afterwards, he approached Patrick Porter about taking a young Indian boy (Dale) as his son. Although
    Initially fearful, Porter eventually gave in to the persistent Logan. Dale, who he renamed
    Arter Dale, was raised as his child, learned to read, and became a frontier Preacher for many years in the Scott and Wise County area.

    Logan was described by one of the settlers as, "the finest human specimen, red or white, that I have ever met." He made a great friend - and a terrible enemy.

    • Other Source material on Arter's background

    • >From a dissertation by Dr. Richard Carlson "Who's Your People"

      >From page 194

      " From the Indian Dale family, who according to oral history, descended from
      a Shawnee boy who was captured by Saponi warriors during the French and
      Indian war, and was raised amongst the Christian Saponi back in "Old


      Some facts:

      Arter Dale was not 'captured' during the French and Indian war, but was
      given to Patrick Porter ( a white man) by Chief John Logan (Mingo ) after
      Lord Dunmore’s War. Arter Dale was a Mingo Indian, not Shawnee. He was not
      raised amongst the ‘Christian Saponi’, but in fact by the 'white' Porter

      > From the Draper Manuscripts:
      Thomas W. Carter to Lyman C. Draper Esq.
      Pages 493
      I was in twenty feet of you with as good a gun as was ever fiard.” Logan
      replied the great spirit did not let one friend kill another; the day before
      they before they commenced there march for there homes Logan brought an
      Indian boy about 15 years old to Patrick Porter & requested him to take the
      boy home with him & educate him; he was an orphan without father and mother,
      & wanted to live with the white people & learn their books & wear clothes as
      they did. P. Porter refused to carrying the boy with him for fear it might
      insult the Indians. The third day after they had started at night the Indian
      boy came to P. Porter’s tent with a letter in his hand from Logan, stating
      that the Indians thought the boy was drowned in the river while they were
      crossing & that here would never be any fuss about it. The name of the
      Indian boy was Dale – to which they added Arter henc[e] he was known as
      Arter Dale he grew to manhood, married a white woman, raised a large family
      of respectable children; his descendants are yet living in VA. Arter Dale at
      an early age professed religion attaching him self to Methodist church & an
      able preacher in that church. My health has been very bad for some time.
      Yours Fraternally,
      TW Carter
      Post marked “Rye Cove Va. Feb 6, 1884” --

      The 'Legend of Arter Dale'

      PUBLICATION No. 3 - 1967


      By Luther F. Addington

      It seems very strange indeed that an Indian boy would want to
      become a missionary among the white people. But there was such a boy. His
      name was Dale, and he belonged to the Mingo tribe which lived on the Ohio

      Patrick Porter, who had a fort near Falling Branch on Clinch
      River, went with the Clinch Valley troops to fight Cornstalk at Point
      Pleasant in 1774. One night after the troops were told they could go home,
      there came to Patrick Porter's campfire the notorious Chief Logan. Chief
      Logan, tall and reddish-brown, clad in a hunting coat, moccasins and
      leggins, tapped Patrick Porter on the shoulder and said,

      "You are Patrick Porter. You live on Clinch River. I have been to your
      fort. Many times I could have killed you, but I would not. You good man. You
      good father to children who lived near your fort."

      Patrick Porter reached out a hand. The Indian chief shook it.

      "What can I do for you, Chief Logan?" Patrick Porter asked.

      "Much," said the chief. "Not for me but for a friend of mine."

      "What is it, Chief Logan?"

      Patrick Porter held to his long rifle. A coon tail hanging from his cap
      flapped in the wind. The air was chill. Leaves rustled as they swept along
      over the woodland floor. It was autumn. Out of the dark came an Indian boy.
      He was naked, save moccasins on his feet and a piece of deer skin about his
      loins. "This is Dale," the Indian chief said. Patrick Porter shook hands
      with the boy. "Glad to know you, Dale," he said. The boy merely grunted.

      The campfire crackled. A flame leaped up, lighting Dale's tired
      face. Away in the woods an owl hooted. Chief Logan put a hand on Patrick
      Porter's shoulder again.

      "White people kill all of Dale's family. Kill all his kin. Now he
      wants to go with white men and learn to read from their books. He wants to
      preach the word of God."

      Patrick Porter was amazed. He said, "The white people kill your
      relatives, yet you want to go and live with them?"

      Dale nodded.

      "He want to go with good white people, like you, Captain Porter.
      And I know you are good. I pick you to take him."

      Patrick Porter stooped and threw a fresh stick of wood onto the
      fire. Sparks flew. Smoke twisted up in a spiral and was snatched by the

      " Chief Logan," Patrick Porter said, "we white people need to do
      some kind deed for your people because the whites have been cruel.
      Especially have they been cruel to your people, Chief Logan."

      "Uh! Very cruel," Chief Logan grunted. He folded his arms across
      his big chest.

      "Then Patrick Porter will take Dale?"

      "I should like very much to take him" Patrick Porter replied. He
      paused and leaned heavily on his gun. Then he added, "But I am afraid to
      take him. The Mingoes are still angry with the white people. They will

      follow me to my home and kill me for taking the boy."

      "No, no!" said Chief Logan, shaking his head. "We will fix that

      " I'm afraid we can't," Patrick Porter said. "Now you take him
      away before your tribesmen come. The war is over. Let's spill no more

      Chief Logan and the Indian boy went away into the woods. The
      trees seemed to cry. Patrick Porter felt bad. He lay down by the fire, but
      he could not sleep. He wondered whether Chief Logan would bring Indian
      braves and attack his camp.

      Early next morning Patrick Porter, lying near the campfire, heard
      the leaves rustle. He leaped up, gun in hand, ready to shoot. But after one
      close look he let the gun barrel drop. There before him stood the boy Dale,
      alone. In his hand was a scrap of paper. He reached it toward Patrick Porter
      who took it, turned to the firelight, and read in English

      which he knew a white man had written. But to the note was Chief Logan's
      name. The note read:

      "Mr. Porter, I ask you again to take Dale. I have fixed it so
      Mingoes won't follow. I told them that Dale had been drowned in the river
      while crossing."

      Patrick Porter shook his head.

      "I cannot take you," he said. "I tell you the Mingoes will find
      you. They will kill me and all my people."

      The Indian boy reached out his hands, pleading. He did not speak.

      Patrick Porter's heart was touched too deeply for him to keep on
      saying no.

      "Very well," he finally said. "I will let you go. I shall risk
      it. Now lie down here by the fire and rest."

      Dale traveled all the way to Clinch River with Patrick Porter and
      lived with him at the fort on Falling Branch near the river. He was a happy
      lad, and he really tried to learn. Little by little he came to understand
      English words. Then he begged to be taught to read and write. Patrick Porter
      saw to it that he had a tutor.

      Patrick Porter was himself a student of the Bible, and he
      interested the Indian boy in its stories. After a few years, Dale was able
      to read for himself.

      "You need more name than Dale," Patrick Porter told him one day.
      "And I am giving you the name Arter. From now on you are Arter Dale."

      "Good," said Dale, thumping his youthful chest. "I like the name
      Arter Dale."

      The boy grew to manhood, and there on Clinch River he married a
      white girl. Today, many are the people who pride themselves in having in
      their veins the blood of Arter Dale.

      Arter became a leader in his community. He became a convert to
      Christianity and later joined the Methodist Church. For many years he served
      the Church as a minister preaching to the white people along the river

      • Arter Dale

      • abt 1767-1865 , Ohio Valley area and Wise Co., Virginia
      •      Arter Dale's life has been a tale told from the 1780's until the present but I wish to add a few details which I believe to  be true.  I am a decendent from two of his children, Hardin and Martha.  My grandmother's father Noah B. Smith was the grandson of Martha Dale Smith and her mother, Sarah Caroline Dale,  was the granddaughter of Hardin Dale.  This past year I took 2 DNA heritage tests and both came back that my heritage was European and Native American.  As there has been a great deal of work done on my families geneaology, I feel certain that the only Native American I could have been related to was Arter Dale.  As I am 7 generations from Arter it was uncertain that the Native American heritage would show up but I felt that since I came from two of his children I may have a chance and it did show up.  Arter Dale would have come from the Mingoe tribe if the story is true that he was with Chief John Logan.  Why he came to live with the people in Dunganon, Va. is not known but he most likely would have had a bible to read from and that may have led him to become a minister.  Arter Dale is buried in the Hurricane area of Wise Virginia in Wise County. 
              Also buried there is Sarah Caroline Dale who died when my grandmother was very young.  She died giving birth to her third daughter who also died.  On Sarah Caroline Dale Smith's headstone is a very simple picture of a tree carved by hand into the stone.  This picture is used by people of the Iroquoise Nation as a symbol for the pine tree.  The people of the Mingoe first started in the 1600's by those from the Seneca and Cayuga of the Iroquoise Nation making trade routes with the Delaware.  Later part of them splintered off and came further down into the Ohio Valley area and were known as the Mingoe.  I have read that they also took Shawnee and Cherokee into their Nation. 
             Whatever Arter Dale's heritage was, it is my belief he was Native American.  Of this fact I am proud that I am of his ancestry and of all my Native American ancestors. 


  1. I am related to Arter Dale through his son Harden or Hardin. I believe the story about Chief Logan to be folklore and untrue. I have always been told Arter was Indian. I believe that to be true. My DNA will soon come back and tell me about my blood. -jack wright

    1. I grew up less than a half mile from Arter's grave and used to camp out at his grave when I was a boy. My grandmother Cynthia Ellen Gilliam's mother was Margaret Dale. Cynthia married Wright Stickley Barker in 1900.

  2. My DNA results do not show any native American, yet I descend from Martha Jane Smith, dau of Sarah Caroline Dale, dau of Samuel Wilson Dale, son of Hardin Dale, son of Arter Dale. Can’t figure on why Arter Dale’s influence isn’t showing up. Anybody else have this problem?

  3. I am the 7th great grand daughter of Arter Dale. I descend from his son, Reuben. My Ancestry DNA test didn't show any NA, however, 23 and me showed .10%. That's not much, but I am proud of my roots and would love to learn more about him $