Tu-Endie-Wei State Park: The Curse of Chief Cornstalk.
The haunted tales of Point Pleasant, West Virginia, and the creature that terrorized this small town known as the Mothman have been heard far and wide. But, did you know that many believe that all the tragedy and terror that plagued Point Pleasant over the last 200 years was due to a curse? The curse put upon the land by the betrayal and murder of Chief Cornstalk.
As British Colonials moved westward over the Appalachians, they came face to face with Tribal Indians. Many of these Native American Tribes did not take kindly to the Colonials coming into their native lands and hunting grounds. Many Indians and Colonials were killed until they reached an agreement with the Iroquois in 1768 that the White Man would not cross the Ohio River. The Indian Tribes could continue to hunt the lands but had to stop killing Whites on and along the river.
The Treaty of Fort Stanwix was a success in most of the region, except at the conflux of the Kanawha and Ohio River. There the Shawnee and Mingo Tribes were forming a party to attack the Virginia Militia, which was sent there to stop the Indians from attacking and killing British Settlers.
On October 10th of 1774, Chief Cornstalk attacked the Virginia Militia. There were over 75 Militiamen and 50 Indians killed. Knowing that he couldn’t win the fight, Chief Cornstalk retreated across to Ohio. Colonel Andrew Lewis followed Cornstalk into Ohio and convinced him and his Tribesmen to honor the Iroquois agreement, but to also support the Treaty of Camp Charlotte. The new treaty restricted the Indians from crossing the Ohio River but would keep the White Man from passing it as well.
Over the next few years, Cornstalk became friends with the White Man as they broke away from British Rule to start their own country. When the British Empire began recruiting Indians to fight alongside them, Cornstalk went to Fort Randolph to warn its citizens of what the British Empire was doing. Once there, Cornstalk was made prisoner and kept hostage. His son Ellinipisco soon came to see his father and, too, was taken prisoner. Outside the Fort, shots rang out. Indians killed a Militiaman and wounded another. Angry of the attack and against direct orders, Militiamen stormed the cell and shot Chief Cornstalk and his son to death.
As Cornstalk laid on the floor dying, he spoke these words, “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 people be paralyzed by the stain of our blood.”
Cornstalk’s body was laid to rest outside the Fort’s walls, until 1840 when it was dug up by street builders. His body was then reburied at the Mason County Courthouse. It was later removed on September 21st, 1954, when it was placed in Tu-Endie Wei State Park, the location of his battle with Colonel Andrew Lewis. He was buried in the same ground with the Colonials he fought so bravely against.
Ever since Cornstalk placed a curse on the land, many tragedies have happened. On April 21st, 1930, a fire ripped through a prison located less than 80 miles from where Cornstalk was murdered. Over 320 people were killed. Two days during June of 1944, tornadoes ravished the area killing 134 people. On November 12th, 1966, the Mothman was first spotted. Many believe that the creature is, Thunderbird servant of the Great Spirit. The Mothman terrorized Point Pleasant until December 15th, 1967, when the Silver Bridge collapsed, killing 46 people in the icy water below. March 2nd, 1976, a man walks into the Mason County Jail, detonating himself leveling the jail and killing five people. January of 1978, a train derails traveling through Point Pleasant, polluting the town’s water supply with toxic chemicals. April 27th, 1978, a cooling tower collapsed, killing 51 workers.
Nowadays, tragedy has seemed to have slowed around Point Pleasant, leading people to believe it was only a 200-year curse. Did Cornstalk finally get his revenge? Was the Curse fulfilled, and things have returned to normal? Does the Unresting Spirit of Chief Cornstalk still inhabit Tu-Endie-Wei, waiting or orchestrating the next tragic event?
Check out Tu-Endie-Wei and the Point Pleasant region. Maybe the powers that brought the reincarnate of Thunderbird back from the dead are present today. Whatever you do, don’t betray the Chief that still looks over his ancestral land. Many believe he is still not at rest.