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

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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

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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

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Tecumseh (U.S. National Park Service)

Portrait of Shawnee chief Tecumseh
Portrait of Shawnee chief Tecumseh based on sketch by Benson John Lossing

Attributed to Owen Staples

Quick Facts

Significance:Shawnee leader
Place of Birth:Scioto River, Ohio
Date of Birth:March 9, 1768
Place of Death:Chatham-Kent, Canada
Date of Death:October 5, 1813

Tecumseh began life in the Shawnee village of Piqua, Ohio on March 9, 1768 as a great meteor flashed and burned its way across the heavens. This event accounts for his name: The Shooting Star, or Celestial Panther Lying in Wait. Tecumseh grew to be a famous warrior and dynamic orator. These skills, paired with his belief that the white man would never rest until all American Indians were dispossessed, made him a powerful and influential force.

Tecumseh conceived of an alliance of all remaining native people, from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, from the prairies of the Midwest to the swamplands of Florida. All Indian people would set aside their ancestral rivalries and unite into a single movement to defend their culture, their homelands, and their very lives.

Providing spiritual impetus for Tecumseh’s movement was the teaching of his younger brother, known as Tenskwatawa, The Open Door, or The Prophet. In 1808, the Shawnee brothers established a new capital on the banks of the Wabash and Tippecanoe rivers, while Tecumseh traveled extensively in an effort to build his alliance. 

In the summer of 1811 Tecumseh traveled south to meet with the Creek, Chickasaw, and Choctaw people. The Shawnee leader had promised a sign of his power, and as he arrived in Alabama a huge comet appeared, brightening the skies and fading after his departure. Then, shortly after he left for Prophetstown, a series of violent earthquakes arched out of their epicenter in southeastern Missouri to destroy lives and property throughout the midwest and south. In the minds of the Creek and many others, Tecumseh had made good on his promises.
Meanwhile, growing tensions between the U.S. and Great Britain exploded into war. Tecumseh saw the War of 1812 as his final opportunity to construct an independent Indian nation. He journeyed to Canada in July of 1812 and forged an alliance with the British. General Isaac Brock placed Tecumseh in command of all Native American forces with the understanding that, should the British and Indians be victorious, the Old Northwest would comprise an independent Indian nation under British protection.

Despite a number of victories, this partnership turned fatal on October 5, 1813, at the Battle of the Thames River. Outnumbered three-to-one by General William Henry Harrison‘s army, the Indian and British forces were overwhelmed, without fortifications, and ultimately doomed.

Tecumseh’s vision of a unified American Indian homeland was never fully realized. Within 35 years of Tecumseh’s death at Moraviantown, many Native nations east of the Mississippi River were forcibly relocated. But today the great Tecumseh is still revered for his intelligence, leadership, and military skills, and he is honored throughout North America.

Read more about Tecumseh:

https://www.nps.gov/people/tecumseh.htm

www.piquashawnee.com

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The Shawnees and the War for America by Colin Calloway (Author)

With the courage and resilience embodied by their legendary leader Tecumseh, the Shawnees waged a war of territorial and cultural resistance for half a century. Noted historian Colin G. Calloway details the political and legal battles and the bloody fighting on both sides for possession of the Shawnees? land, while imbuing historical figures such as warrior chief Tecumseh, Daniel Boone, and Andrew Jackson with all their ambiguity and complexity. More than defending their territory, the Shawnees went to war to preserve a way of life and their own deeply held vision of what their nation should be.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In placing the Shawnee center stage, Calloway (editor of the Penguin Library of American Indian History and Dartmouth Native American studies chair) achieves a remarkably accessible distillation of Shawnee history. He guides the reader through a thicket of wandering as the Shawnees’ forced movement scatters them from the Ohio Valley during the late 17th century, before they reassembled in Ohio in the mid-18th century, and then gathered again in Oklahoma in the 19th century. The Shawnees stand out as hard liners when it came to defending Native lands, Native rights, and Native ways of life, says Calloway. Indeed, their history is a cycle of killings and revenge killings, battles and massacres by both sides, swallowing up those who made accommodations (Black Hoof and the model farm at Wapakoneta) as well as those who resisted (the legendary brothers, Tenskwatawa and Tecumseh). Daniel Boone, who played a key role in destroying the Shawnees’ world in Kentucky, is part of that history, as is General Amherst, who advocated using germ warfare. The treks and treaties are not always easy reading, but Calloway’s text is enlivened with judicious first-person excerpts and his passion for his subject. His heart is with the Shawnees, but he writes with balance of the fateful meeting of the cultures on the frontiers. (July)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (June 24, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143113917
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143113911

Available on Amazon.com 

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Panther in The Sky, February 13, 1990 By James Alexander Thom

Tecumseh, Treaty of Fort Wayne and the Comet of 1811

Tecumseh, Treaty of Fort Wayne and the Comet of 1811

In September 1809 William Henry Harrison, then governor of the Indiana Territory, invited the Potawatomi, Lenape, Eel River people, and the Miami to a meeting in Fort Wayne, Indiana. In the negotiations, Harrison promised large subsidies and payments to the tribes if they would cede the lands he was asking for.[29] After two weeks of negotiating, the Potawatomi leaders convinced the Miami to accept the treaty as reciprocity, because the Potawatomi had earlier accepted treaties less advantageous to them at the request of the Miami. Finally the tribes signed the Treaty of Fort Wayne on September 30, 1809, thereby selling the United States over 3,000,000 acres (approximately 12,000 km²), chiefly along the Wabash River north of Vincennes, Indiana.[29]

Tecumseh was outraged by the Treaty of Fort Wayne, believing that American Indian land was owned in common by all tribes, an idea advocated in previous years by the Shawnee leader Blue Jacket and the Mohawk leader Joseph Brant.[30] In response, Tecumseh began to expand on the teachings of his brother, known as The Prophet, who called for the tribes to return to their ancestral ways. He began to associate the teachings with the idea of a pan-tribal alliance. Tecumseh traveled widely, urging warriors to abandon the accommodationist chiefs and to join the resistance at Prophetstown.[30]

In August 1810, Tecumseh led 400 armed warriors to confront Governor Harrison in Vincennes. Tecumseh demanded that Harrison nullify the Fort Wayne treaty, threatening to kill the chiefs who had signed it.[31] Harrison refused, stating that the Miami were the owners of the land and could sell it if they so chose.[32] Tecumseh left peacefully, but warned Harrison that he would seek an alliance with the British unless the treaty was nullified.[33]

 Comet_of_1811
The Great Comet of 1811, as drawn by William Henry Smyth

In March the Great Comet of 1811 appeared. During the next year, tensions between American colonists and Native Americans rose quickly. Four settlers were murdered on the Missouri River and, in another incident, natives seized a boatload of supplies from a group of traders. Harrison summoned Tecumseh to Vincennes to explain the actions of his allies.[33] In August 1811, the two leaders met, with Tecumseh assuring Harrison that the Shawnee intended to remain at peace with the United States.

Afterward Tecumseh traveled to the Southeast on a mission to recruit allies against the United States among the “Five Civilized Tribes.” His name Tekoomsē meant “Shooting Star” or “Panther Across The Sky.”[34] He told the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Muscogee, and many others that the comet of March 1811 had signaled his coming. He also said that the people would see a sign proving that the Great Spirit had sent him.

While Tecumseh was traveling, both sides readied for the Battle of Tippecanoe. Harrison assembled a small force of army regulars and militia in preparation to combat the Native forces.[35] On November 6, 1811, Harrison led this army of about 1,000 men to Prophetstown, Indiana, hoping to disperse Tecumseh’s confederacy.[36] Early next morning, forces under The Prophet prematurely attacked Harrison’s army at the Tippecanoe River near the Wabash. Though outnumbered, Harrison repulsed the attack, forcing the Natives to retreat and abandon Prophetstown. Harrison’s men burned the village and returned home.[37] This was the end of Tecumseh’s dream of a united native alliance against the whites.

On December 11, 1811, the New Madrid earthquake shook the Muscogee lands and the Midwest. While the interpretation of this event varied from tribe to tribe, they agreed that the powerful earthquake had to have meant something. The earthquake and its aftershocks helped the Tecumseh resistance movement as the Muscogee and other Native American tribes believed it was a sign that the Shawnee must be supported and that this was the sign Tecumseh had prophesied.

 New_Madrid_Erdbeben
The New Madrid earthquake was interpreted by the Muscogee as a reason to support the Shawnee resistance.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shawnee

Piqua Shawnee

www.piquashawnee.com

 

One Hundred Stories from Our Own History by Lawton B. Evans (Milton Bradley Co., Springfield Mass. 1920.)

The Native American Story of Tecumseh
America First—One Hundred Stories from Our Own History

by Lawton B. Evans

The Story of Tecumseh
Tecumseh was probably the greatest American Indian that race has ever produced. He was the most eloquent orator ever known among the Indian tribes. When he spoke, his voice was deep and full, like an organ, his face shone with emotion, and his words were remarkable for their poetic beauty.

His father was a Shawnee warrior, and was killed in battle with white settlers, when Tecumseh was a mere child. This impressed him with a great resolve to keep the white men out of the Indian lands, and to fight them whenever he could.

He possessed a sensitive dignity, as is shown by the following incident. Upon one occasion, when he came with his warriors to hold a conference with General Harrison, he looked around, after he had finished his address, to find a seat. Seeing that none had been reserved for him, he appeared offended.

A white man, seated near General Harrison, arose and offered him his seat, saying, “Your father wishes you to sit by his side.”

“The sun is my father, and the earth is my mother. I shall sit in his light and rest on her bosom,” said Tecumseh. Whereupon, he sat down on the ground, in the full light of the sun.

Tecumseh was a noble soldier, and never allowed any prisoners to be tortured. He promised General Harrison that, in case of war between the Indians and the whites, he would not permit his warriors to massacre women and children. He faithfully kept his word. At the siege of Fort Meigs, the Indians began murdering their prisoners. Tecumseh ran in, and, brandishing his tomahawk, bade them stop at once. Turning to General Procter, who stood looking on, he cried out,

“Why do you permit this outrage? Why did you not stop those men, and save those wretched prisoners?”

Procter replied that the Indians could not be restrained, and that he could not prevent the massacre.

Tecumseh was furious at this, and said, “Begone, you coward. You are not fit to command men. Go and put on a petticoat, and sit with the women, where you belong.”

Procter was not a brave soldier, and, at one time, burned his stores and abandoned his fort, even though he had a thousand men and three thousand Indian allies. Tecumseh was so disgusted with his cowardice, that he compared him to a fat dog, who barked and held his tail high, when there was no danger, but who howled, and dropped his tail between his legs and ran, whenever any one attacked him.

When Tecumseh went to Alabama to stir up the Creek Indians against the whites of that section, he found them unwilling to rise against their neighbors and friends. All his eloquence failed to move them, and, to all his appeals and threats, they merely shook their heads. Finally, in a burst of anger, he cried out,

“Your blood is white, and no longer runs red like the rising sun. You do not fight because you are cowards and are afraid to fight. You do not believe the Great Spirit has sent me, but you shall believe it. I am going back to Detroit. It will take me many days, but when I reach there, I shall tell the Great Spirit, and I shall stamp my foot on the ground, and shake every house in your village.”

So saying, he left, and journeyed northward. The Indians counted the days until he should reach home. Strangely enough, about the time he was due there, an earthquake shook the village. The Indians rushed wildly for their dwellings, crying out,

“Tecumseh has arrived in Detroit; he has told the Great Spirit; we feel the stamping of his foot!”

The last battle in which this warrior was engaged was that of the Thames. The Americans had been pursuing the British and their Indian allies for some time, until Tecumseh was tired of the disgraceful state of affairs, and told the British officer, Procter, that he would retreat no longer. “We will stand here and give battle,” said he. “I and my warriors were not made for running away from our enemies.”

The result was the battle of the Thames. At the opening of the conflict, Tecumseh turned to his friends, and said,

“Brother warriors, I shall never come out of this battle alive. I go there to die, but I go. My body will remain on the field, I know it will be so.

He unbuckled his sword, and handed it to one of his Chiefs, and said, “When my son becomes a great warrior, give him this sword, and tell him his father died like a brave Chief and a hero. Tell my people I died for their rights.” With that, he also took off the British uniform, which he had been wearing, and put on his own savage dress and war-paint.

The battle raged for a while with fury. Procter at last fled through the swamps and wilderness, escaping with a few followers. Tecumseh, however, brandishing his club, rushed upon his pursuers, and fell, pierced with many wounds.

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/america-first-lawton-b-evans/1115181691

https://www.warpaths2peacepipes.com/native-american-stories/tecumseh.htm

Reading List for learning American History, from youth to adult:

http://wildflowerramblings.com/american-history/living-books-american-history-classical-conversations-cycle-3/

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