The War of 1812 and Kentucky’s Role

https://www.ket.org/history/the-war-of-1812-and-kentuckys-role/

By Joyce West | 6/07/17 9:30 AM

Often called the United States’ “forgotten war,” the War of 1812 left an indelible mark on our nation’s history. Kentuckians played a vital role and paid dearly for it: 64 percent of Americans killed in the war were Kentuckians.

Kentucky Life followed the trail of Kentucky’s soldiers who fought in the war, from Michigan to New Orleans.

What prompted so many Kentuckians to join the fight?

Watch the Video https://ket.org/episode/KKYLI+002103

 

“The big thing here was…the history between the Indian nations and the British and the citizens of the commonwealth of Kentucky,” explained John Trowbridge, command historian of the Kentucky National Guard. Kentucky was the site of continuing warfare between settlers and the Native Americans, who were backed by the British.

Kentuckians were eager to fight, and Lexington’s Henry Clay was a leader of the War Hawks in Congress.

Six congressmen from Kentucky fought in the war. “People who voted for the war actually followed up their votes and fought in the war, and some of them died in the war,” said James C. Klotter, Ph.D., state historian of Kentucky.

Leading men into battle were William Henry Harrison, governor of Indiana territory, as well as Isaac Shelby, who was serving his second term as governor of Kentucky.

Another faction in the conflict was a confederation of numerous Native American tribes formed to block American expansion. Leading this alliance was the Shawnee leader Tecumseh. “Tecumseh is quite an incredible figure,” said John Bowes, Ph.D., associate professor history at Eastern Kentucky University. “Tecumseh is seen as the leader of this movement, this unique movement seeking to develop this pan-Indian confederacy that is bringing all these different tribes together.”

The First Nations confederacy had as its spiritual leader Tecumseh’s half-brother, known as the Prophet. “What is so often marginalized and put to the side is the very spiritual foundation for that confederacy,” Bowes said.

The Militia and the Long Rifle

When it came time to go to war, men of the commonwealth brought with them their Kentucky long rifles. Harold Edwards, historian and gunsmith at the William Whitley House in Crab Orchard, said the rifle was used every day by the settlers for hunting and protecting the family as well as for sport.

“It was their pastime, and they became very proficient with it. You know, the average range was probably a hundred yards,” Edwards said.

The British were still fighting in Napoleonic style, marching en masse with muskets, which had a range of 50-60 yards, Edwards said. “It was an old style of warfare dying fast, and unfortunately they learned it a little too late,” said Edwards.

What kind of soldiers were these Kentuckians? There is debate about that, Klotter said.

“Were they good soldiers or bad soldiers? They were a little of both,” said Klotter. “They were really good fighters, when they fought. But the militiamen of Kentucky were not trained. They wanted a quick fight, and then go home. They weren’t particularly good in following orders sometimes.”

This reputation led the British to compare the Native Americans with the undisciplined Kentucky fighters, said Trowbridge.

“The warfare in the West was viewed as a bit more savage,” said Bowes. “For the Americans it’s because of the presence of all these Indian allies. And for the British, it’s in part because of the Kentuckians.”

Remember the Raisin

On Aug. 12, 1812, more than a thousand Kentuckians headed north toward Michigan in summer clothing for what they expected to be a short war.

“After fighting their way up here…they arrived here in the winter of 1813, January, when Michigan was experiencing a very cold winter,” said Dan Downing, chief of interpretation at the River Raisin Battlefield National Park in Michigan.

Historians believe about 100 men died from starvation and exposure to the elements. Even so, the Americans won a victory at Frenchtown over the British. Then they set up for the next battle in haste.

“They don’t fortify the position,” said Klotter. “They know the British are on their way, but they put people in open fields, without any trenches or any kind of earthworks to protect them.”

The British and their Native American allies attacked at 6 in the morning on Jan. 22, 1813. One wing of the American forces was massacred, Klotter said. The other wing fought well but ran out of ammunition and was surrounded. The Americans surrendered, with 500 captured, 400 dead, and 100 who got away, Klotter said.

The captured, wounded men who could not travel stayed behind in cabins. “The great controversy is whether or not the British did all they could to protect those who were unable to travel back to Fort Malden in Canada,” said Downing.

The Native Americans, remembering the Kentuckians’ previous attacks on their villages, sought vengeance. “When an opportunity came to exact revenge, they took the opportunity,” said Downing.

The Native Americans went from cabin to cabin, killing 65 men, in what became known as the massacre of the River Raisin.

The Battle of the River Thames

More defeats that year lowered morale among the Americans, but the tide turned in the fall of 1813 when Americans won control of Lake Erie.

The British and their allies were retreating from Detroit into Canada. “From that moment forward, Tecumseh’s angry,” said Bowes. “Tecumseh cannot believe that the British are essentially surrendering that territory.”

On Oct. 5, 1813, the Kentuckians met the British and their allies again, this time in Ontario, at the Battle of the River Thames.

Twenty mounted Kentuckians, commanded by 64-year-old William Whitley of Kentucky, charged the Native American lines in what was called “Forlorn Hope.” The strategy was to draw fire, then send on the American infantry before the Native Americans could reload. “Only a couple of guys actually survived that charge,” said Trowbridge.

The British pulled back, and Tecumseh was killed. Whitley also was killed, and is buried on the battlefield in an unmarked grave.

The End of the War

After the victories in the West, the flashpoint of the war shifted eastward, to Washington, D.C. and Baltimore. The United States was pushed to the brink of bankruptcy because of the British naval blockade. Britain was war weary with its battles in North America and in Europe with Napoleon.

Negotiations to end the war began, and both sides tried to secure as much territory as possible.

All eyes turned to the port of New Orleans. The British sent a fleet of 8,000 men to take the city. Kentuckians were called to defend the port.

“The people of Kentucky were warmly welcomed here to New Orleans in anticipation of the battle,” said April Antonellis, the War of 1812 Bicentennial Coordinator for the National Park Service.

Andrew Jackson assembled a force of 5,000 to defend the city against the British. On Jan. 8, 1815, the Battle of New Orleans was waged on an old sugar plantation just outside the city limits.

The British, again relying on tactics used in the Napoleonic wars, were slaughtered by the Americans firing long rifles from behind earthworks. In a little more than 25 minutes, the British lost 2,600 men. The Americans lost 71.

“There were errors on the part of the British, leaving some supplies behind, most notably scaling ladders that they were supposed to use to come up over this rampart that the Americans had created,” Antonellis said.

The War of 1812 is often called the Second American Revolution.

“If the British had won this battle, New Orleans certainly would have become a British colony or a British territory,” she said. “I think it’s easy to say that much of the United States could have easily fallen to the British as well. Anywhere west of the Appalachian Mountains that had to trade on the Mississippi River, they would have to pass through the port of New Orleans. If that’s a British city, then it would be very difficult to maintain American control in that area.”

Who won the war? Strategists say it was a draw. In the end, Native Americans paid the ultimate price.

The treaty ending the War of 1812 was negotiated without their participation, and the Native American alliance lost territory it had hoped to hold. In the years after the war’s end, Indiana, Alabama, Illinois, and Mississippi became states.

“The floodgates opened in the aftermath of the war of 1812,” said Bowes.

Piqua Shawnee

“Piqua Shawnee”

Piqua Shawnee Tribe

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Shawnee: Arkansas

Shawnee

Among the immigrant Native Americans who lived in territorial Arkansas were several Shawnee communities. They came from Indiana and Missouri at the invitation of the Cherokee after the Treaty of 1817 created the Cherokee Nation on land in the Ozarks between the White and Arkansas rivers. The Shawnee, who built settlements on Crooked Creek and White River, departed after more than a decade of life in Arkansas.

The Shawnee were a large Algonkian-speaking tribe, widely scattered across the eastern woodlands. By the middle of the eighteenth century, the majority of them were living in the area both north and south of the Ohio River. Euro-American settlers from the east brought on years of violence. In a peace treaty in 1774, the Shawnee were forced to cede Kentucky, and the continuing hostilities led some Shawnee in 1779 to move west across the Mississippi River to a large grant south of Ste. Genevieve that had been given by the Spanish government. From that new location, they became familiar with the Ozarks and the western prairies.

After the death of Tecumseh and the collapse of his fight against the United States in 1813, one faction of the Shawnee sought ways to coexist with the Americans, and some saw the migration of the whole tribe to the west as a good strategy. When the Western Cherokee, living in the Ozarks after 1817, became embroiled in skirmishes with the Osage, they invited eastern tribes, including the Shawnee, to move to their land west of the White River. One group, led by Quatawapea, also known as Captain or Colonel Lewis, settled on the White River, with their major town at Shawneetown, a location that later became Yellville (Marion County).

As guests of the Cherokee, the Shawnee were part of a larger group of immigrants into the White River Valley, a group that included the Delaware, Piankashaw, Miami, and other Indian groups. If they ever participated with the Cherokee in military campaigns against the Osage, the documents do not record it. No recorded instances exist of hostilities between the Shawnee and the American settlers, although the latter petitioned Washington for a military garrison for protection. In later years, several of the early settlers wrote their memoirs of that time, and they included several accounts of unpleasant encounters between the two groups, as well as visits to the Shawnee Green Corn ceremonies, hunting together, and a Shawnee-American marriage.

In 1828, the Western Cherokee entered a new treaty arrangement with the United States in which their Ozark holdings were traded for land in Indian Territory, present-day Oklahoma. They soon moved west and established Tahlequah, where the Cherokee tribal government remains today. Their Indian guests, left as squatters on government land, also moved away from Arkansas during the next few years. By 1833, the Shawnee had gone to Texas and Indian Territory, and the Ozark land was again open to American settlers. Modern Shawnee have few records of the Arkansas period in their complex history.

For additional information:
Edmunds, R. David. The Shawnee Prophet. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1983.

Foreman, Grant. Indians and Pioneers: The Story of the American Southwest before 1830. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1930.

Ingenthron, Elmo. Indians of the Ozark Plateau. Point Lookout, MO: School of the Ozarks Press, 1970.

Jeffery, A. C. Historical and Biographical Sketches of the Early Settlement of the Valley of White River Together with a History of Izard County. Edited by Dale Hanks. Richmond, VA: The Jeffery Historical Society, 1973.

Johnston, James J. “Searcy County Indians in Tradition and History.” Mid-America Folklore 12 (Spring 1984): 24–31.

Lankford, George E. “Shawnee Convergence: Immigrant Indians in the Ozarks.” Arkansas Historical Quarterly 58 (Winter 1999): 390–413.

Sugden, John. Tecumseh: A Life. New York: Henry Holt and Co., 1997.

Turnbo, Silas C. Turnbo’s Tales of the Ozarks: Schools, Indians, Hard Times and More Stories. Edited by Desmond Walls Allen. Conway, AR: Arkansas Research, 1987.

George E. Lankford
Batesville, Arkansas

Last Updated 6/21/2010

“Piqua Shawnee”
Piqua Shawnee
Piqua Shawnee Tribe

Traveling Through Time – Shawnee Indians

Shawnee Indians
A monument commemorates their departure in Hardin

The Shawnee Indians, also of Algonquian stock, lived in the east and Midwest. Their first contact with white men came in the 1600s. Early estimates of their population range from 3,000 to 50,000, although 10,000 appears to be the most probable estimate. Shawnee comes from the Algonquian word ‘Shawun’ (shawunogi) meaning ‘southerner.’ The application of southerner is indicative of their location vis-a-vis the other Algonquian tribes who lived to the Shawnee’s north, around the Great Lakes. A symbol of the Shawnee authority is the eagle feather headdress.

During the 1600s, they were forced to leave their traditional lands, including the Ohio Valley, by the marauding Iroquois during the Beaver Wars. In the 1700s, they once again began to call the Ohio Valley their home, settling initially along the Ohio River where conflict with white settlers became a routine occurrence. Allying themselves with the British during the Revolutionary War, combined with being absolutely against white expansion beyond the Appalachian Mountains, did not endear them to the Americans. Led into battle by Chief Cornstalk, they were severely defeated by colonial troops in 1774 in the area of Point Pleasant, West Virginia.

The loss resulted in a split in the Shawnee tribe that caused many of them to move west beyond the Mississippi River. Those that stayed behind in Ohio rallied behind Tecumseh until the 1811 Tippecanoe defeat and the death of Tecumseh in Canada during the War of 1812.

The Shawnee village of Piqua (Piquea), located four miles southwest of Springfield, Ohio, was attacked by American soldiers under the command of General George Rogers Clark on August 8, 1780. It was a ferocious battle that ended with the total destruction of the Shawnee village, and their agricultural crops.

Seeking a new area in which to build a village, the Indians traveled northwest until they reached the Great Miami River where they chose a location on the west side of the river, just north of where the Johnston Indian Agency would eventually be constructed. They named this new village, upper Piqua. The Miami Indians village of Pickawillany, along with Fort Pickawillany, was at this same site until it was abandoned in 1763 after an earlier unsuccessful attack by the Shawnee.

At the same time, they established another village in the area, on the east side of the river, on a site that is now occupied by the city of Piqua. The Shawnee named this second village lower Piqua. They had lived in the Piqua area for two years when, in 1782, General Clark and 1,000 Kentuckians moved north into Ohio. The Shawnee decided to abandon their Piqua villages without a fight and moved to a location on the Auglaize River. After the Greene Ville Treaty was signed, they moved back to the area, locating villages in Wapakoneta, north of the new treaty line, Hog Creek (southwest part of Lima) and Lewistown.

In 1832, they ceded the last of their Ohio lands to the government, and in a sorrowful procession through Hardin, Piqua, Greenville and Richmond, the last of the mighty Shawnee rode their horses to a new home in eastern Kansas.

Today, most of the Shawnee live in Oklahoma or have merged into this region’s population. A monument can bshawneemarkerhardin.gif (79750 bytes)e seen today in the small park area in Hardin, six miles west of Sidney, at the intersection of State Route 47 and Hardin-Wapak Road. It is located on the southeast corner of the park. This monument commemorates not only the killing of Colonel Hardin by the Indians, but also marks the spot where the Shawnee camped in October, 1832, on their last trek from Ohio.

https://www.shelbycountyhistory.org/schs/indians/shawnee.htm

‘Indian’ segment written in December, 1997 by David Lodge

Piqua Shawnee

Piqua Shawnee Tribe

The War of 1812 in Alabama and the Creek War, 1813-1814

The War of 1812 took place while Alabama was part of the Mississippi Territory. Alabama was involved primarily because of a civil war between the Creek Indians.

 

Causes:

The Federal Road divided the traditional Upper Creeks from more assimilated Lower Creeks.

  • Creek ownership of traditional lands was endangered as land-hungry whites moved across it or settled illegally on it.
  • The British sent Tecumseh, a Shawnee chief, from the Great Lakes to unite all Indians against white Americans and form an alliance with England and Spain.
  • England and Spain incited the Creeks against American settlers and supplied Creeks with guns and ammunition.

Battles raged on the frontier between Creek “Red Sticks” and American militia led by General Andrew Jackson. The last and most famous battle, the Battle of Horseshoe Bend (now a National Military Park) destroyed the strength of the Creek Nation. General Jackson forced the Creeks to sign the Treaty of Fort Jackson, ceding some forty thousand square miles of land to the United States.

Consequences:

  • Foreign influence among Indians was destroyed.
  • United States took Mobile from Spain, the only additional land acquired in War of 1812.
  • The Fort Jackson Treaty, acquiring Creek lands, began a series of forced land-cession treaties by the United States with other southern tribes until all were removed west.
  • General Andrew Jackson became a national hero for defeating the Creeks, a victory that helped pave his way to become President of the United States.

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Halbert, Henry S. and Timothy H. Ball. The Creek War of 1813-1814. 1895. Reprints, edited, with introductions and notes, by Frank L. Owsley Jr., Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama, 1969 and 1995.

In vivid detail, Halbert and Ball recount everything they could find about this conflict. The names of participants (their ancestors and children), locations of battles with full descriptions of gory scenes, and comments on accounts of informants and other writers make this a wonderful source. Students will find textbook accounts of the Fort Mims massacre pale compared to this one. The question of what caused the Creek conflict, whether it was a civil war brought on by factionalism between Lower Creeks and Upper Creeks, is debated.

Holland, James W. Andrew Jackson and the Creek: Victory at the Horseshoe. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1968. Reprint, 1990.

This fifty-page booklet, published to promote Horseshoe Bend National Military Park, offers a concise story of the events that brought an end to the Creek Nation in the South. Students will enjoy this well-illustrated, lively account.

Martin, Joel W. Sacred Revolt: The Muskogees’ Struggle for a New World. Boston: Beacon Press, 1991.

Martin approaches the history of the Muskogees (Creeks) from a religious point-of-view. According to his theory, their “culture of the sacred” determined how they interacted with and reacted to Europeans and, later, Americans. To support his theory, he discusses their spiritual, economic, and social background. He compares their revolt against the Americans in the Creek War with struggles of other native Americans to retain their traditions. It is an interesting theory that can provide an introduction to the religious beliefs of the Creeks.

Wright, J. Leitch Jr. Creeks and Seminoles: The Destruction and Regeneration of the Muscogulge People. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1986.

The names Creek and Seminole were attached to the Muscogulge people for the convenience of European and U.S. governments who wanted to address nations. The Muscogulge lived in Georgia, Alabama, and Florida—geographically close, but not unified under one leader. Although some had ancient common origins, many spoke different languages and often could not understand each other. Wright explains the background of the Muscogulges and describes their culture in language readily understood. He defines words that he believes might be unfamiliar to the general reader. He elaborates on familiar topics such as trade, relations with European powers and the U.S. government, the Creek Wars with Andrew Jackson and his pursuit of the survivors into Florida, and finally removal, dispersal, and survival. This book is an enlightening inside view of the Muscogulges’ heroic struggle for survival; it is also an indictment of the U.S. Government.

Piqua Shawnee

Piqua Shawnee Tribe

6 Things You May Not Know About Tecumseh

History.com

By Jesse Greenspan

Tecumseh lost three close family members to frontier violence.

Born in 1768 in present-day Ohio, Tecumseh lived during an era of near-constant conflict between his Shawnee tribe and white frontiersmen. At age 6, Lord Dunmore’s War broke out after a series of violent incidents, including one in which about a dozen Native Americans were plied with whiskey and challenged to a target shooting match before being slaughtered. Tecumseh’s father, Puckeshinwa, participated in the war, losing his life during a retreat across the Ohio River in the October 1774 Battle of Point Pleasant. As he lay dying, he supposedly told his son, Chiksika, to never make peace with the Virginians and to supervise the warrior training of his other male children. In 1788, a year after the U.S. Congress precipitated the settlement of Shawnee lands by passing the Northwest Ordinance, Chiksika was fatally wounded while attacking a stockade in present-day Tennessee. And in 1794, another of Tecumseh’s brothers, Sauwauseekau, was shot and killed at the Battle of Fallen Timbers.

Tecumseh took part in the worst defeat ever inflicted by Native Americans on U.S. forces.

In fall 1790, the Shawnee and Miami tribes repelled an assault on their villages near modern Fort Wayne, Indiana, killing 183 U.S. troops in the process. President George Washington authorized a new campaign the following year, in which he put Governor Arthur St. Clair of the Northwest Territory in charge of some 2,300 men. On the march north from modern Cincinnati, hundreds of them deserted as the weather worsened and food supplies ran low. For nearly two months, the remaining troops had little contact with native tribes. On November 3, the soldiers set up camp along the Wabash River in western Ohio. Washington had advised St. Clair to “beware of surprise,” but he posted few guards and built no barricades. The next morning, as the soldiers prepared breakfast, a force of Native Americans attacked and immediately overran them. Poorly trained militiamen fled, whereas the regulars who kept their position were decimated. When the dust cleared a few hours later, at least 623 American soldiers and dozens of camp followers were dead, and hundreds more were wounded. In comparison, fewer than 300 U.S. troops died during the much-more-famous Battle of the Little Bighorn. Tecumseh did not play a major role in the clash with St. Clair, but he scouted the U.S. soldiers during their advance north. Throughout the battle itself, in which only 21 Native Americans were reportedly killed, he watched the rear trail to make sure no reinforcements arrived.

Tecumseh tried to unite all tribes against white expansion.

The victory over St. Clair proved to be short lived, as the 1794 Battle of Fallen Timbers forced the Native Americans to give up most of present-day Ohio and part of Indiana. Tecumseh did not abide by such agreements, believing that every tribal leader who signed them “should have his thumb cut off.” He began envisioning a confederacy that would bring all of the tribes together—even longtime enemies—to resist the whites’ insatiable desire for land. Tecumseh and his brother Tenskwatawa, best known as “the Prophet,” also started preaching against cultural assimilation. In 1808 the brothers founded Prophetstown in northwestern Indiana, which they envisioned as the capital of their confederacy. That same year, Tecumseh met with British officials in Canada. He then traveled widely in the Midwest, gaining followers among such tribes as the Seneca, Wyandot, Sac, Fox, Winnebago, Potawatomi, Kickapoo, Chippewa, Ottawa, Delaware, Miami and, of course, Shawnee. Tecumseh even made it as far south as present-day Alabama and Mississippi, where he preached with limited success to Chickasaws, Choctaws and Creeks. “I have heard many great orators, but I never saw one with the vocal powers of Tecumseh, or the same command of the muscles in his face,” recalled a white soldier who saw one of his speeches.

The U.S. Army invaded while Tecumseh was away.

While Tecumseh was down south in fall 1811, William Henry Harrison, then governor of the Indiana Territory, decided to march on Prophetstown. Tecumseh had told his brother to avoid war with the Americans, but when soldiers advanced to within a mile of the town on November 6, the Prophet greenlighted a preemptive strike. He assured his followers that white bullets could not hurt them, and during the next morning’s fighting he purportedly sat on a rock singing incantations. In the end, though the Native Americans likely suffered fewer casualties than their opponents in the Battle of Tippecanoe, they were forced to retreat and abandon Prophetstown. Harrison then burned it to the ground. Upon returning home in January 1812, Tecumseh found his brother’s reputation destroyed and his confederacy badly weakened.

Tecumseh allied himself with the British during the War of 1812.

When the War of 1812 broke out in June of that year, Tecumseh and his supporters immediately joined with the British. During one of the first engagements of the conflict, U.S. General William Hull and about 2,000 men invaded Canada from Detroit. They were quickly repelled, however, in part due to Tecumseh’s interception of a supply train. British commander Isaac Brock, who became friends with Tecumseh, subsequently besieged Fort Detroit. In an act of psychological warfare, Brock informed Hull that his Native American allies “will be beyond my control the moment the contest commences.” A terrified Hull surrendered a day later. The following year, Tecumseh participated in failed sieges of two forts in Ohio. He then reluctantly retreated with the British back into Canada. U.S. troops under Harrison’s command caught up with the British and Native Americans along the Thames River, winning a battle there that cost Tecumseh his life. Afterwards, the surviving Shawnee divided into groups and dispersed in various directions. Most eventually ended up in Oklahoma.

Many myths sprang up around Tecumseh.

No one knows for sure who killed Tecumseh, but that didn’t stop a number of people from taking credit. Richard M. Johnson, for example, rode his reputation as Tecumseh’s killer to the vice presidency in 1836. Four years later Harrison used the slogan, “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too,” to take the White House. Meanwhile, since Tecumseh did no interviews and left behind no letters or journals, storytellers filled the gaps in his life with wild tales. One account held that he courted the blond, blue-eyed daughter of an Indian fighter, with whom he read the Bible and Shakespeare, and another held that his great-grandfather was South Carolina’s governor. Both accounts, and many others like them, are almost certainly untrue.

The Piqua Shawnee Tribe

Visit the State of Alabama Indian Affairs Commission website for more information

http://aiac.state.al.us/tribes_piquaShawnee.aspx

Early History

The state of Alabama has long been the home of many Shawnee people. In fact, some historians state that perhaps the Shawnee people have inhabited Alabama for a longer period of time than any other geographic region. Some archaeologists set the date of 1685 as the first evidence of Shawnee settlement in Alabama. However, oral tradition states that we have been here much longer than that. Ancient burial sites that use burial methods common to the Shawnee have been located in several sections of the state. Early accounts can be confusing since what is now called Alabama was once a part of Georgia territory. Several early maps show Shawnee settlements in what is now called Alabama.

Early French and English maps show several Shawnee towns in what would be considered Upper Creek territory in Alabama. Some of the most notable were near modern Alabama towns. One village was near present day Talladega and was known in English as Shawnee Town. Another town was near Sylacauga. In 1750 the French took a census mentioning the Shawnee at Sylacauga as well as enumerating another Shawnee town called Cayomulgi, (currently spelled Kyamulga town) that was located nearby. Kiamulgatown was also listed in an 1832 census. A 1761 English census names Tallapoosa Town. This town was also named in a 1792 census by Marbury. There are French military records that mention a Shawnee presence at Wetumpka near Fort Toulouse. In most cases the traders called Alabama Indians “Creeks” because they lived on the numerous creeks and waterways in the area. Many of these “Creeks” were not of the same tribe or nation. Rather they went by a large number of names. Each group maintained their own unique heritage while living side by side with their neighbors.

Piqua Shawnee

Piqua Shawnee Tribe

Tecumseh Quote

Tecumseh –

Shawnee Quote

So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. 

Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and 

demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify 

all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service

of your people. 

Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide. 

Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even 

a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and grovel to none. 

When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. 

If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself. Abuse 

no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the 

spirit of its vision. 

When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose 

hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they 

weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. 

Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.

Piqua Shawnee

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

Tecumseh, Shawnee

Tecumseh was born in 1768 near Chillicothe, Ohio. His father, Puckshinwau was a minor Shawnee war chief. His mother Methotaske was also Shawnee. Tecumseh came of age during the height of the French and Indian War and in 1774 his father was killed at the Battle of Point Pleasant during Lord Dunmore’s War. This had a lasting effect on Tecumseh and he vowed to become a warrior like his father. As a teenager he joined the American Indian Confederacy under the leadership of Mohawk Chief Joseph Brant. Brant encouraged tribes to share ownership of their territory and pool their resources and manpower to defend that territory against encroaching settlers. Tecumseh led a group of raiders in these efforts, attacking American boats trying to make their way down the Ohio River. These raids were extremely successful, nearly cutting off river access to the territory for a time. In 1791 he further proved himself at the Battle of the Wabash as one of the warriors who defeated General Arthur St. Clair and his army. Tecumseh fought under Blue Jacket and Little Turtle and the American Indian Confederacy was victorious slaying 952 of the 1,000 American soldiers in St. Clair’s army. St. Clair was forced to resign. In 1794 Tecumseh also fought in the Battle of Fallen Timbers. This decisive conflict against General Anthony Wayne and his American forces ended in a brutal defeat for the American Indian Confederacy. A small contingency of about 250 stayed with Tecumseh after the battle, following him eventually to what would become Prophetstown and a new pan-Indian alliance.

Portrait of the Shawnee military and political leader Tecumseh, ca. 1800-1813. He worked with his brother Tenskwatawa, known as ‘The Prophet,’ to unite American Indian tribes in the Northwest Territory to defend themselves against white settlers.

Tecumseh’s brother Tenskwatawa joined him at Prophetstown, also known as Tippecanoe in Indiana Territory and in 1808 the two men began recruiting a large multi-tribal community of followers under a message of resistance to settlers, the American government, and assimilation. Tecumseh traveled north to Canada and south to Alabama in an effort to recruit men to his cause. Meanwhile, William Henry Harrison, governor of Indiana Territory was negotiating treaties and utilizing American forces to put pressure on those tribes still in Indiana and especially those allied with Prophetstown. In 1809 Harrison, signed the Treaty of Fort Wayne which allotted him a massive amount of American Indian territory thus increasing Tecumseh’s efforts and amplifying his message. Tecumseh was away from Prophetstown on a recruitment journey when Harrison launched a sneak attack now known as the Battle of Tippecanoe. The American forces cleared the encampment and then burned it to the ground. It was a severe blow to the confederacy and a harbinger of war to come.

On June 1, 1812 under the advisement of President Madison, Congress declared war on Great Britain. In the Northwest Territory, American Indian tribes found themselves pulled in two separate directions – side with the British or with the Americans. Tecumseh and his confederacy sided with the British. He and his men were assigned to overtake the city of Detroit with Major General Isaac Brock. The siege of Detroit was a success due in no small part to Tecumseh’s military strategy. He continued to support British efforts under Major-General Procter at the Siege of Fort Meigs. The siege failed and morale waned as a result.

In the fall of 1813 as conditions around Detroit worsened, Procter began a retreat east toward Niagara. Tecumseh requested arms so that his men could stay in the Northwest Territory and continue to defend their lands. Procter agreed to make a stand at the forks of the Thames River. However, when forces reached the site communication broke down and some men deserted while others continued east. When the Americans attacked, large sections of forces broke leaving about 500 hundred American Indians to hold back 3,000 Americans. Tecumseh was fatally wounded in the battle. It is unknown who killed him or what happened to his remains. His death began a rapid decline in American Indian resistance and the War of 1812 is marked as the beginning of removal in the upper Midwest.

Piqua Shawnee

Piquashawnee.com

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