The Logan Family

Logan family crest

(Crest No. 23. Plate 68.)

THE Logan family is of Norman origin and came to Ireland in the year 1640. The Logans acquired possessions in the present Counties of Antrim, Down, and Tipperary. Like many others of the Norman adventurers they soon became “more Irish than the Irish themselves,” and were generally in the front rank of the opposition to each successive wave of the English invasion.

Of this family was James Logan, the American statesman and secretary of William Penn. For the age in which he lived he was a most tolerant man—even more so than his friend and patron, Penn—who wrote to him from London in 1708: “There is a complaint against your government that you suffer public mass in a scandalous manner. Pray send the matter of fact, for ill use is made of it against us here.” He became one of the most noted men of the colony, which he governed for two years after the death of Penn, and on his death he bequeathed to Philadelphia the most considerable library it had until then possessed. He was chief justice of Pennsylvania, provincial secretary, and commissioner of property, and for nearly two years he was president of the council. He contended successfully with the jealousy of party, the religious intolerance of the period, the monetary difficulties which his position entailed, and the charges of unscrupulous enemies. Even the Indians regarded him as their best friend, as a man who never did them an injustice—a rare thing at that time, or at any time.

James Logan was a man of culture and fine literary taste, and wrote much on scientific subjects. He has also left an excellent translation of the works of Cicero. After his death some of his writings were printed by his friend, Benjamin Franklin. His son, William Logan, was for many years a member of the governor’s council, and his grandson, George Logan, was an eminent physician and philanthropist. Benjamin Logan, a distinguished American pioneer, was the leader of the third settlement in Kentucky, in 1775.

Major General John A. Logan


An illustrious scion of this family, General John A. Logan, was born in Illinois in 1828. His father was a native of the County of Monaghan, Ireland, and after coming to America settled in Illinois. He served several terms in the State Legislature. General Logan entered the army as a private soldier during the Mexican War, and was promoted to the grade of lieutenant and acting quartermaster of his regiment. From 1852 to 1856 he was a member of the Illinois Legislature and member of Congress from 1858 to 1860. A strong Democrat, he supported Lincoln after the latter’s election, and left his seat in Congress to join the troops marching to Bull Run, where he fought as a private in Colonel Richardson’s regiment. He then resigned his seat in Congress and raised a regiment, the Thirty-first Illinois Infantry, of which he was made colonel. He participated in the captures of Fort Henry and Fort Donnelson, and in 1862 was raised to the rank of brigadier-general.

He was solicited to return to Congress, but refused, replying that he entered the field to die or stay there until the object of the war was accomplished. As major-general he distinguished himself at the reduction of Vicksburg, his command being the first column to enter the city, of which he was appointed governor. In 1863 he was placed in command of the Fifteenth Army Corps. He accompanied Sherman in his March to the Sea, and while in command of the Army of Tennessee was instrumental in saving that General’s army at the battle of Resacka.

After the war General Logan served two terms in Congress and two terms in the United States Senate. Mr. James G. Blaine aptly characterized the capacity and qualities of General Logan in the words: “There have been more illustrious military leaders, and more illustrious leaders in legislative halls of this country, but no man combined the two careers in so eminent a degree as General Logan.”