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Notes for Cornstalk Shawnee-45

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: 21 Feb 2021 [unknown]
Location: Virginia and West Virginiamap
Surname/tag: Shawnee
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Duplicate Alert: Shawnee-56 and Shawnee-45

This profile of Shawnee-56 is an unfortunate accidental duplicate of Shawnee-45.

CAUTION: This Profile Includes Legends of Cornstalk and Utilizes Unworthy Sources

Thus, approach everything on this profile with skepticism and curiosity as this profile utilizes sources such as Wikipedia:

Legend plays an an important role in biography.

Much of the information about Cornstalk is legend and folk belief. The sources of the information are clearly documented below. The legend below is all within the realm of believability, could be true, and could have happened.


... was Shawnee.

Cornstalk "The Indian King" and his son were killed by soldiers on 10 Nov 1777.

"Prior to 1754, the Shawnee had a headquarters at Shawnee Springs at modern-day Cross Junction, Virginia near Winchester. The father of the later chief Cornstalk held his council there. Several other Shawnee villages were located in the northern Shenandoah Valley: at Moorefield, West Virginia, on the North River; and on the Potomac at Cumberland, Maryland."

Cornstalk's Three Wives

Cornstalk married three times, to: 1) Helizikinopo (1715-1756, m. c.1739); 2) Ounaconoa Moytoy (1715-1755, m. c.1740); and, 3) Catherine Vanderpool (1725-c.1807, m. 1763-1777).

Hokoleskwa married Helizikinopo Ounaconoa about 1739. (Helizikinopo Ounaconoa was born in 1715 in Pennsylvania, and died in 1796 in Ohio, USA.)

Cornstalk's sister is Nonhelema Shawnee-35

2021-02-14 WikiTree will not allow me to attach Nonhelema Shawnee-35 as a sibling, so I am recording the information below. (Richard J. Profile Manager.)

"Cornstalk's known surviving relatives included his sister Nonhelema, also known as the Grenadier Squaw, and a son named Cutemwha, or the Wolf. Cornstalk was buried near Fort Randolph. After builders accidentally unearthed his presumed grave in 1840, the remains were moved to the grounds of the Mason County courthouse, and in 1954 they were moved again to Tu-Endie-Wei State Park on the site of the Battle of Point Pleasant."

  • Laura T. Keenan,"Cornstalk (d. 1777)," Dictionary of Virginia Biography, Library of Virginia (1998– ), published 2006 ({url}, accessed [today's date]).


Note: This is a historical record. This is a testimonial and application for pension given by HARRISON, JAMES, in a Court in Amherst Co. Va., Sept. 3 1832.


“HARRISON, JAMES, -Amherst Co. Va., Sept. 3 1832: b. Sept. 4, 1755, Culpepper Co., Va, “The Year of Braddock’s defeat”, enlisted in Rockbridge [Va], 1774, private under Capt. John Paxton; marched to Point Pleasant against the Shawnee Indians. “Whilst there witnessed the death of Cornstalk, the Shawnee Indian King, and his son, Ellenepsico, and two of his warriors, Red Hawk and Petello. Applicant can not recollect the length of time he served in this tour, he can only say he went early in the fall, having slept comfortably in open barns when he started, and returned a short time before Christmas. . .” pg. 135.

Associated Profiles

Pvt. James Harrison

Red Hawk Shawnee

Ellenepsice Shawnee

Cornstalk "The Indian King" Shawnee

Petello Shawnee

Captain Matthew Arbuckle, in command at the murder of Cornstalk.

Colonel John Harvie Jr. In 1774 John named as a commissioner to the Shawnee tribe to negotiate a peace treaty after the Battle of Point Pleasant.

Note: Colonel John Harvie Jr., signer of the Articles of Confederation and the Bill of Rights, and was a guardian of Thomas Jefferson. Colonel John Harvie Jr.'s son, Jacquelin Burwell Harvie married Mary Marshall, daughter of Chief Justice John Marshall.

Dictionary of Virginia

Cornstalk (d. 10 November 1777), Shawnee leader, whose Indian name was variously rendered in colonial records as Comblade, Coolesqua, Hokoleskwa, Keightughque, Semachquaan, and Tawnamebuck, may have been a son or grandson of the Shawnee leader Paxinosa, a man known to be friendly to the British. During the first half of the eighteenth century Paxinosa's band lived at various locales in present-day Pennsylvania, and it is possible that Cornstalk was born in that colony. Some members of this band moved to the Scioto plains north of the Ohio River during the 1740s, and Paxinosa followed in 1760. Little is known of Cornstalk's life, in part because of a general confusion about the historical antecedents of the Shawnee before the mid-eighteenth century, by which time most Shawnee dwelt on the banks of the Scioto River in what became the state of Ohio.

Despite persistent bitterness on both sides after what later historians called Dunmore's War, Cornstalk evidently adhered to the treaty and continued to advocate nonviolence. He championed neutrality when the Revolutionary War began, even though other Native American leaders allied themselves with the British in hopes of dislodging American settlements from the western country. Cornstalk took part in conferences with Connolly at Fort Dunmore in July 1775 and with commissioners appointed by the House of Burgesses that autumn. In the spirit of neutrality, he and Red Hawk, a Delaware, approached Fort Randolph at Point Pleasant in October 1777. According to one account, Cornstalk warned the American officers that most Indians were inclined toward the British and that despite his own desire for peace he and his tribe would have to "run with the stream." In an attempt to ensure Shawnee neutrality, Captain Matthew Arbuckle detained Cornstalk and his companions as hostages. On 10 November 1777 while Cornstalk's son Elinipsico (Allanawissica) was visiting the fort, Indians shot and killed a soldier nearby. A vengeful mob quickly formed, and despite Arbuckle's orders, the enraged men stormed Cornstalk's cabin. They shot everyone inside and killed Cornstalk, his son, and two other Indians.

Governor Patrick Henry denounced the murders and offered a reward for apprehension of the killers. In the spring of 1778 James Hall and three other men were separately examined in the Rockbridge County Court, which then had jurisdiction over all that portion of western Virginia, on suspicion of being responsible. No witnesses appeared to testify against any of the men, however, and the court found them not guilty. One week after Hall's acquittal, he took the oath of office as a captain in the county militia.

Cornstalk's known surviving relatives included his sister Nonhelema, also known as the Grenadier Squaw, and a son named Cutemwha, or the Wolf. Cornstalk was buried near Fort Randolph. After builders accidentally unearthed his presumed grave in 1840, the remains were moved to the grounds of the Mason County courthouse, and in 1954 they were moved again to Tu-Endie-Wei State Park on the site of the Battle of Point Pleasant.

Sources Consulted: Influential early accounts include John Stuart, "Memoir of Indian Wars, and Other Occurrences; By the Late Colonel Stuart, of Greenbrier," ed. Charles A. Stuart, in Collections of the Virginia Historical and Philosophical Society 1 (1833): 37–66 (third quotation on 58), in Frederick Webb Hodge, ed., Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico, in Smithsonian Institution Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 30, pt. 1 (1907): 350 (with undocumented birth date of ca. 1720), and Lyman C. Draper, "Sketch of Cornstalk, 1759–1777," Ohio Archaeological and Historical Quarterly 21 (1912): 245–262; identified as 1764 hostage in Minutes of the Provincial Council of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Archives, 1st ser., 9 (1852): 229–232; Williamsburg Virginia Gazette (Pinkney), 13 Oct. 1774, supplement (first quotation); Virginia Historical Register, and Literary Advertiser 1 (1848): 30–33 (second quotation on 33); most of the essential documents relating to the 1770s and Cornstalk's death, many in Lyman C. Draper Papers, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wis., printed in Reuben Gold Thwaites and Louise Phelps Kellogg, eds., Documentary History of Dunmore's War, 1774 (1905), The Revolution on the Upper Ohio, 1775–1777 (1908), and Frontier Defense on the Upper Ohio, 1777–1778 (1912), and others in William J. Van Schreeven, Robert L. Scribner, and Brent Tarter, eds., Revolutionary Virginia, the Road to Independence: A Documentary Record (1973–1983), vols. 3–4, 7; Cornstalk's mark, 19 July 1775, on MS Treaty of Fort Dunmore, 44, George Chalmers Collection, New York Public Library; death date in Patrick Henry proclamation, 27 Mar. 1778, printed in Williamsburg Virginia Gazette (Purdie), 3 Apr. 1778; Rockbridge Co. Order Book (1778–1783), 8–9, 13, 17, 20.

Written for the Dictionary of Virginia Biography by Laura T. Keenan.

  • Laura T. Keenan,"Cornstalk (d. 1777)," Dictionary of Virginia Biography, Library of Virginia (1998– ), published 2006.

Fighting Chief Cornstalk's Remains Laid to Rest Again

West Virginia Archives and History

Charleston Gazette

September 21, 1954

The last page of a sad chapter of American history was written at this Ohio River community today.

Chief Cornstalk, the Shawnee Indian leader who was taken hostage and murdered by white men to whom he had come to talk peace, was given a final resting place in a small park near the field of his most famous battle.

His oft-moved grave now lies beside those of Colonial soldiers killed in that struggle—the battle of Pt. Pleasant, Oct. 10, 1774 and Frontier Heroine Ann Bailey.

In a lengthy ceremony at noon today, Cornstalk's last remains— three teeth and 15 bone fragments—were sealed in an aluminum box in the center of a four-ton stone monument bearing the simple inscription: "Cornstalk."

The monument and remains had been removed from the grounds of the old Mason County courthouse, which is being torn down to make way for a new court building.

It was at least the third time the chieftain's body had been interred.

After his death In 1777, he was buried near Fort Randolph the Colonial outpost at which he had been killed. Then in 1840, street- builders here unearthed his grave, and the remains were moved to the courthouse grounds,

This year, with the decision to raze Mason County's old courthouse and erect a new $700,000 structure in its place, it was decided to move the grave to historical Tu-Endie-Wei Park at the junction of Ohio and Kanawha Rivers.

Amateur archeologists began digging last Saturday morning, and after 10 hours of fruitless labor, it was feared that the chief's remains might not be found. But early Sunday, persistent diggers came upon rust stains from the metal box in which Cornstalk had been reburied. In loose earth, they found the teeth and bone fragments which were decided to be "undoubtedly those of Cornstalk."

The reburial today was directed by members of the Pt. Pleasant chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. The story of Cornstalk's seizure and murder is one of the dark spots in American history.

Born about 1735 in what is now Ohio, the future chieftain was named "Kei.gh-tugh-qua," meaning "maize plant"—hence the English name "Cornstalk."

Little is known of his early life, but by 1763 he had become a Shawnee tribal chieftain and led war parties against several white settlements.

In 1764, soldiers raided his tribal town and took him captive. He was carried to Fort Pitt as a hostage, but escaped the following year.

In the following years, he became Sachem of all Shawnee tribes and finally king of the northern confederacy of Indian tribes, composed of the Shawnees, Delawares, Mingoes, Wyandottes and Cayugas.

On Oct. 10, 1774, he led 1,100 of his braves against an equal number of Colonial troops at Pt. Pleasant and after a violent battle, was defeated.

Following his defeat, Cornstalk pursued a peace policy and forbade his braves to molest whites.

But in 1777, with the American Revolution at its height, he returned to Pt. Pleasant with two companions to warn settlers that the British were trying to incite his tribesmen to attack them.

Fearing an attack, Colonial soldiers seized Cornstalk and his companions and imprisoned them in Fort Randolph as hostages.

A month later, Cornstalk's son, Ellinipsico, came to the fort to see his father. During his visit, a soldier walking near the fort was killed by an Indian and other soldiers rushed to Cornstalk's quarters to kill him In revenge.

Cornstalk, who is described by historians as a handsome, intelligent, and highly honorable man, stood calmly in the doorway to his room and faced his slayers.

He was felled by nearly a dozen rifle shots. The soldiers then entered the room and killed Cornstalk's son and two companions.

The murder of their chieftain turned the Shawnees from a neutral people into the most implacable warriors, who raided Virginia settlements tor 20 years after the incident.

Captain Matthew Arbuckle was in Command at the Murder of Cornstalk

Who was this James Arbuckle, Sr? He came into Augusta County, Virginia around 1745. He had a wife and two sons, Matthew and Thomas Arbuckle. He was serving in the militia prior to April 21, 1759, with the two sons serving as their father's servants. After the death of his first wife, James Arbuckle, Sr., married the above mentioned wife, Rachael, on January 11, 1762, and by her had at least one son, the James Arbuckle, Jr., heretofore mentioned.

Matthew Arbuckle, son of James, Sr., by his first wife, was the famed Captain Matthew Arbuckle on James River who was in command at the murder of the Indian Chief Cornstalk.

Fort Randolph

Fort Randolph was an American Revolutionary War fort which stood at the confluence of the Ohio and Kanawha Rivers, on the site of present day Point Pleasant, West Virginia.

Built in 1776 on the site of an earlier fort from Dunmore's War, Fort Randolph is best remembered as the place where the famous Shawnee Chief Cornstalk was murdered in 1777.

George Mathews - Battle of Point Pleasant

George Mathews (August 30, 1739 – August 30, 1812) October 4, 1774, Battle of Point Pleasant George Mathews became the 20th and 24th Governor of Georgia.

Pleasant Point, Virginia, now West Virginia

Pleasant Point (Scotland, Virginia) is incorrect.


  • Sweeny, Lenora Higginbotham, Amherst County, Virginia in the Revolution Including Extracts from the "Lost Order Book" 1773-1782 [Bowie, Maryland: Heritage Books, Inc., 2002] pg. 135. This book is not copyrighted.
  • 2020-05-14 - Revolution - Lt Abraham Seay pg 135 ANNOTATED.jpg. No copyright.
  • Laura T. Keenan,"Cornstalk (d. 1777)," Dictionary of Virginia Biography, Library of Virginia (1998– ), published 2006.


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