The Curse of Chief Cornstalk

Murder of CornstalkCornstalk (1720 - November 10, 1777) was a prominent leader of the Shawnee nation just prior to the American Revolution. His name, Hokoleskwa, translates loosely into "stalk of corn" in English, and is spelled Colesqua in some accounts. He was also known as Keigh-tugh-qua and Wynepuechsika.
In the early 1770s, Chief Cornstalk became the leader of a confederacy of Indian tribes living in Ohio. On Oct. 10, 1774, he led a large war against troops from Virginia. The battle took place at Point Pleasant in West Virginia. Both sides suffered heavy losses, and Chief Cornstalk later signed a peace treaty.During the American Revolution the British tried to build a coalition of Indians to fight against the colonists. Chief Cornstalk alone refused to join, although many members of his tribe opposed him. Chief Cornstalk had come to believe that his people's survival depended on their friendly relations with the Virginians. In the spring of 1777, he visited the garrison at Point Pleasant with a small contingent of Indians, and he informed the colonials of the coalition that was forming. While the Virginians waited for reinforcements, the Indians were held as hostages. Following the killing of a white man outside the fort by other Indians, Chief Cornstalk and his men were murdered by the soldiers.

Cornstalk MonumentThe stories say that he looked upon his assassins and spoke to them: “I was the border man’s friend. Many times I have saved him and his people from harm. I never warred with you, but only to protect our wigwams and lands. I refused to join your paleface enemies with the red coats. I came to the fort as your friend and you murdered me. You have murdered by my side, my young son.... For this, may the curse of the Great Spirit rest upon this land. May it be blighted by nature. May it even be blighted in its hopes. May the strength of its peoples be paralyzed by the stain of our blood.”

Many tragedies and disasters were blamed on the curse:

  •  1907: The worst coal mine disaster in American history took place in Monongah, West Virginia on  December 6, when 310 miners were killed.
  •  1944: In June of this year, 150 people were killed when a tornado ripped through the tri-state  triangular area.
  •  1967: The devastating Silver Bridge disaster (detailed in our section about the Mothman) sent 46  people hurtling to their death in the Ohio River on December 15. Many have also connected this  tragedy to the eerie sightings of the Mothman, strange lights in the sky and odd paranormal  happenings.
  •  1968: A Piedmont Airlines plane crashed in August near the Kanawha Airport, killing 35 people on  board.
  •  1970: On November 14, a Southern Airways DC-10 crashed into a mountain near Huntington, West  Virginia, killing 75 people on board.
  •  1976: In March of that year, the town of Point Pleasant was rocked in the middle of the night be an  explosion at the Mason County Jail. Housed in the jail was a woman named Harriet Sisk, who had  been arrested for the murder of her infant daughter. On March 2, her husband came to the jail with a  suitcase full of explosives to kill himself and his wife and to destroy the building. Both of the Sisk’s  were killed, along with three law enforcement officers.

 

The Curse of Chief Cornstalk The Curse of Chief Cornstalk Reviewed by Elvis G. on 2:37:00 PM Rating: 5
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