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Chief Cornstalk

Born: c.1720, Western Pennsylvania
Died: November 10, 1777 (age 57), Point Pleasant, West Virginia

Hokoleskwa or Cornstalk was a prominent leader of the Shawnee people. He was born about 1720 probably in Pennsylvania. He and the rest of the Shawnee people, were pushed into Ohio in the 1730's.

His name in his own language meant "blade of corn", and was rendered in innumerable variations by contemporary chroniclers, including Colesqua and Keigh-tugh-qua.

Cornstalk and his tribesmen were a part of many battles with the English settlers of Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio. But, it is his death, at a time when he had been at peace with the White man, and was actually trying to warn the fort of impending plans of massacre by militant American Indians, that perhaps defines Chief Cornstalk.

What do you know about Chief Cornsalk (Hokoleskwa)? Try the Folks Quick Quiz.

1. Cornstalk and his people lived near what present day Ohio city?

  • Chillicothe
  • Athens
  • Akron

2. During the French and Indian War, who was Cornstalk and the Shawnee allies with?

  • France
  • Spain
  • Great Britain

3. In June 1863, he lead his forces against settlers in Virginia (now West Virginia). He hoped to drive the English away from Shawnee territory. Where were these settlements?

  • Greenbrier County
  • Harrison County
  • Kanawha County

4. He defeated the Shawnee in 1764. To assure that the natives would sign a peace treaty ending the rebellion, he seized several hostages, including Cornstalk. The Shawnee agreed not to take up arms against the English again. Who lead the English forces?

  • Colonel Henry Bouquet
  • Colonel George Washington
  • Colonel Aaron Burr

5. On May 3, 1774, a group of English colonists killed eleven Mingo Indians. At least two of them were relatives of a leader of the Mingos. Who was the leader?

  • Parker
  • Logan
  • Bowie

6. In August 1774, Pennsylvania militia entered the Ohio Country and quickly destroyed seven Mingo villages, which the Indians had abandoned as the soldiers approached. At the same time, Lord Dunmore sent one thousand men to the Little Kanawha River in modern-day West Virginia to build a fort and attack the Shawnees.

  • Fact or Myth?

7. Cornstalk, who had experienced a change of heart about the white colonists as the soldiers invaded the Ohio Country, dispatched nearly one thousand Shawnee warriors to drive Dunmore's force from the region. The forces met on October 10, 1774. What has the fight become known as?

  • Battle of Point Pleasant
  • Battle of Muddy Creek
  • Battle of Mount Orange

8. Under this new treaty, the Shawnee Indians agreed to the terms of the Treaty of Fort Stanwix (1768). They had to give up ownership to all lands east and south of the Ohio River. This was the first time that natives that actually lived in the Ohio Country agreed to relinquish some of their land. In addition, the Shawnees promised to return all white captives and to no longer attack English colonists traveling down the Ohio River.

  • Fact or Myth?

9. Cornstalk abided by this treaty for the rest of his life. Most Shawnees did not. By 1777, the Shawnee Indians again planned to drive the white settlers from the region. This time they did so at the urging of British soldiers who sought assistance in defeating the colonists in the American Revolution. Cornstalk went to the fort to tell about the upcoming attacks. When news spread through the garrison of the chief�s incarceration, a group of militiamen led by John Hall stormed the jail. Cornstalk and his two men, including his son, Elinipsico, were summarily shot to death. Who demanded Cornstalk�s killers be brought to trial?

  • George Washington
  • Patrick Henry
  • Thomas Jefferson

10. Where is Chief Cornstalk buried?

  • Chief Cornstalk Monument, Tu-Endie-Wei State Park, Point Pleasant, West Virginia
  • Fort Randolph National Cemetery, Point Pleasant, West Virginia
  • Muddy Creek Cemetery, Muddy Creek , West Virginia

Chief Cornstalk Answers

  1. Chillicothe
  2. France
  3. Greenbrier County
  4. Colonel Henry Bouquet
  5. Logan
  6. Fact
  7. Battle of Point Pleasant
  8. Fact
  9. Patrick Henry
  10. Angels on your pillowChief Cornstalk Monument, Tu-Endie-Wei State Park, Point Pleasant, West Virginia

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