Organizer of Indian Confederation – Tecumseh

Organizer of Indian confederation – Tecumseh

 

With inexhaustible energy, Tecumseh began to form an Indian confederation to resist white pressure. He made long journeys in a vast territory, from the Ozarks to New York and from Iowa to Florida, gaining recruits (particularly among the tribes of the Creek Confederacy, to which his mother’s tribe belonged). The tide of settlers had pushed game from the Indians’ hunting grounds, and, as a result, the Indian economy had broken down.
In 1811, while Tecumseh was in the South, William Henry Harrison, governor of the Indiana Territory, marched up the Wabash River and camped near the brothers’ settlement. The Prophet unwisely attacked Harrison’s camp and was so decisively defeated in the ensuing Battle of Tippecanoe that his followers dispersed, and he, having lost his prestige, fled to Canada and ceased to be a factor in Tecumseh’s plans.
Seeing the approach of war (the War of 1812) between the Americans and British, Tecumseh assembled his followers and joined the British forces at Fort Malden on the Canadian side of the Detroit River. There he brought together perhaps the most formidable force ever commanded by a North American Indian, an accomplishment that was a decisive factor in the capture of Detroit and of 2,500 U.S. soldiers (1812).

Fired with the promise of triumph after the fall of Detroit, Tecumseh departed on another long journey to arouse the tribes, which resulted in the uprising of the Alabama Creeks in response to his oratory, though the Chickasaws, Choctaws, and Cherokees rebuffed him. He returned north and joined the British general Henry A. Procter in his invasion of Ohio. Together they besieged Fort Meigs, held by William Henry Harrison, on the Maumee River above Toledo, where by a stratagem Tecumseh intercepted and destroyed a brigade of Kentuckians under Colonel William Dudley that had been coming to Harrison’s relief. He and Procter failed to capture the fort, however, and were put on the defensive by Oliver Hazard Perry’s decisive victory over the British fleet on Lake Erie (September 10, 1813). Harrison thereupon invaded Canada. Tecumseh with his Indians reluctantly accompanied the retiring British, whom Harrison pursued to the Thames River, in present-day southern Ontario. There, on October 5, 1813, the British and Indians were routed, and Harrison won control of the Northwest. Tecumseh, directing most of the fighting, was killed. His body was carried from the field and buried secretly in a grave that has never been discovered. Nor has it ever been determined who killed Tecumseh. Tecumseh’s death marked the end of Indian resistance in the Ohio River valley and in most of the lower Midwest and South, and soon thereafter the depleted tribes were transported beyond the Mississippi River.

Glenn Tucker

 
www.Britannica.com
https://www.britannica.com/biography/Tecumseh-Shawnee-chief#ref252112
 
Piqua Shawnee
www.Piquashawnee.com
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Tecumseh, Shawnee Leader

Tecumseh, Shawnee Leader 

Archaeology

Ruled ca. A.D. 1789-1813

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

tecumseh-shawnee

(The Bridgeman Art Library, The Art Archive at Art Resource, NY)

Tecumseh in an 1881 engraving

 

Throughout history in many cultures, preserving the physical remains of great figures has been considered vital for religious, cultural, or political reasons. Many Native Americans don’t share that outlook. The burial of Shawnee leader Tecumseh is a case in point. Tecumseh, whose name means “shooting star” or “panther in the sky,” led the Shawnee and a coalition of other native groups in resisting American settlement of the Ohio and Indiana territories in the early nineteenth century. He allied his forces with the English during the War of 1812 but was abandoned by them in 1813, at the Battle of the Thames in what is now Ontario. Refusing to retreat, Tecumseh died leading his outnumbered forces against American troops led by future president William Henry Harrison. According to eyewitnesses, Tecumseh’s slain body was taken up by his warriors, who buried him close to the battlefield.

No record exists of the exact location of Tecumseh’s grave. But Ken Tankersley, a University of Cincinnati archaeologist who is an enrolled member of the Piqua Shawnee and sits on the tribe’s Council of Elders, says that isn’t important. “For indigenous people, and the Shawnee in particular, what’s important is for the dead to ‘make the journey,’ or allowing the body to decompose, creating nutrients in the soil, and thus allow the cycle of life to continue.” Tankersley notes that Shawnee will occasionally visit the battlefield and leave a tobacco offering. “We know where the battle was, and the whole battlefield is considered a sacred site, and that is close enough.” He predicts that protests would erupt if an archaeologist or anyone else ever tried to find Tecumseh’s remains. Even using noninvasive remote-sensing technology to locate the burial would be considered unacceptable, says Tankersley. “No one should ever go looking for Tecumseh.”

 

https://www.archaeology.org/issues/100-features/lost-tombs/1095-tecumseh-shawnee-battle-thames-ontario

Piqua Shawnee

Piquashawnee.com