Benjamin Logan (c.1742 – December 11, 1802) was an American pioneer, soldier, and politician from Shelby County, Kentucky. As colonel of the Kentucky County, Virginia militia during the American Revolutionary War, he was second-in-command of all the militia in Kentucky. He was also a leader in Kentucky's efforts to become a state. His brother, John Logan, was the first state treasurer of Kentucky.
Benjamin Logan was born in Augusta County, Virginia, the eldest son of David and Jane (McKinley) Logan. His father died when Benjamin Logan was 15, and he inherited the family's 860 acre (3.5 km²) farm. He married Ann Montgomery in 1772; they had eight children.
Logan served in the Virginia militia during Henry Bouquet's 1764 campaign against the Shawnee Indians. Ten years later, he served as a lieutenant in Lord Dunmore's War against the same Indian nation. In 1776 Logan moved to Kentucky, then the westernmost portion of Virginia. He built a stockade known as Logan's Fort, which eventually would grow into the town of St. Asaph's, near Stanford.
In 1776, Logan was appointed sheriff of the county and a justice of the peace. During the American Revolution, he was the second ranking officer in the Virginia militia for Kentucky County, taking part in the defense of the settlements against attacks made by British-led Indians. He also joined in campaigns against hostile Indians north of the Ohio River, serving under George Rogers Clark. However, Logan and Clark frequently disagreed over strategy.
After American independence, Logan became active in the campaign to establish Kentucky as a separate state. He served as the Kentucky's representative in the Virginia House of Delegates from 1781 until 1787, when he began arguing for statehood.
In late 1786, Logan led a force of United States Army regulars and Kentucky mounted militiamen against the Shawnee towns in the Ohio Country along the Mad River. These were lightly defended, since the warriors were away attacking the settlements in Kentucky. Logan seized and burned the Indian villages, destroying the food supplies, and killing or capturing many, including Chief Moluntha. Unfortunately, Moluntha was subsequently murdered by one of Logan's men. Logan's Raid and the death of their chief angered the Shawnee, who retaliated by escalating their attacks, leading to the Northwest Indian War.
Logan was one of those calling for the Danville Convention, and was a delegate when it wrote the first Kentucky constitution in 1791 and 1792. Following statehood, he served in the Kentucky House of Representatives from 1792 to 1795. He ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1796 and 1800. In 1802, Benjamin Logan died of a stroke at age 60 his home 6 miles southwest of Shelbyville, Kentucky. He was buried in the family cemetery.
Both Logan County, Kentucky and Logan County, Ohio were named for him, as is the Benjamin Logan Local School District in Ohio.
- Talbert, Charles G. Benjamin Logan, Kentucky Frontiersman. University of Kentucky Press, 1962, ISBN 0-935680-22-5.
- Allen, William B. (1872). A History of Kentucky: Embracing Gleanings, Reminiscences, Antiquities, Natural Curiosities, Statistics, and Biographical Sketches of Pioneers, Soldiers, Jurists, Lawyers, Statesmen, Divines, Mechanics, Farmers, Merchants, and Other Leading Men, of All Occupations and Pursuits. Bradley & Gilbert. pp. 43–46. http://books.google.com/books?id=s_wTAAAAYAAJ. Retrieved 2008-11-10.
- "Benjamin Logan". Appleton's cyclopædia of American biography. 4. 1887. p. 2. http://books.google.com/books?id=q54LAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA2. Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography
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