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Custaloga or Packanke was a member of the Wolf Clan of the Delaware (Lenape) tribe. Captain Pipe was his nephew.

Life[edit | edit source]

Little is known of the early life of Custaloga. He arrived in western Pennsylvania in the mid 18th century and built a sizeable village at the confluence of French Creek and North Deer Creek in Mercer County, PA. This town, known as "Custaloga's Town" became his principal seat. He also started another village known as Cussewago, along French Creek, at the present site of Meadville in Crawford County, PA.

Custaloga's name first appeared in western Pennsylvania's history in "George Washington's Journal of 1753". When the 21 year-old Washington arrived at Fort Machault in the village of Venango (present Franklin, PA), Custaloga was in charge of the wampum of his nation under Chief Shingas.

Since Custaloga had aided Pontiac in his rebellion, the white settlers were wary of his actions and asked Guyasuta of the Seneca to live among his people at Custaloga's Town to maintain a watchful eye on Custaloga's actions.

On November 29, 1778, Colonel James Smith led an expedition from Fort Pitt to Custaloga's Town, but found the Indian town evacuated. After this date very little is recorded about Custaloga. It appears that Custaloga removed to Ohio, then perhaps to the Kuskuskies Indian Town, on the Shenango River (near New Castle, Pennsylvania). In January 1774, during a conference of the Six Indian Nations at Johnson Hall near present-day Albany, New York, George Croghan announced the deposition of Custaloga in which he would be succeeded by his nephew and famous war leader Captain Pipe. This would be the same chieftain who defeated the Crawford expedition in 1782 and had the expedition's commander, Colonel William Crawford, burned at the stake.

A Boy Scout camp, Custaloga Town Scout Reservation, is located at the former site of Custaloga's village along French Creek in French Creek Township Pennsylvania.

Custaloga was a name given to a railroad station at the junction of the Lorain, Ashland & Southern Railroad and Pennsylvania Railroad in Wayne County, Ohio 1897-1925 (See The Rattlesnake and The Ramsey: The History of the Lorain, Ashland, & Southern Railroad by William S. Snyder)

References[edit | edit source]

  • Zeisberger, David; Hermann Wellenreuther and Carola Wessel, ed. The Moravian Mission Diaries of David Zeisberger. University Park, Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2005. ISBN 0-271-02522-0
Preceded by
Chiefs of the Lenape - Wolf Clan
Succeeded by
Captain Pipe

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