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

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Piqua Shawnee

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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 

Visit Piqua Shawnee at www.piquashawnee.com 

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/

Piqua Shawnee

www.piquashawnee.com

The Treaty of Fort Wayne (1809)

The Treaty of Fort Wayne (1809)

Tecumseh’s War

The two principal adversaries in the conflict, chief Tecumseh and American politician William Henry Harrison, had both been junior participants in the Battle of Fallen Timbers at the close of the Northwest Indian Wars in 1794. Tecumseh was not among the Native American signers of the Treaty of Greenville, which had ended the war, when the Shawnee and other Native Americans ceded much of their historic territory in present-day Ohio to the United States. However, many Indian leaders in the region accepted the Greenville terms, and for the next ten years pan-tribal resistance to American hegemony faded.

The Treaty of Fort Wayne, sometimes called the Ten O’clock Line Treaty or the Twelve Mile Line Treaty, is an 1809 treaty that obtained 3,000,000 acres (approximately 12,000 km²) of American Indian land for the white settlers of Illinois and Indiana. The tribes involved were the Delaware, Eel River, Miami tribe, and Potawatomi in the initial negotiations; later Kickapoo and the Wea, who were the primary inhabitants of the region being sold. The negotiations did not include the Shawnee who were minor inhabitants of the area purchased and had been asked to leave the area previously by Miami War Chief Little Turtle. Territorial Governor William Henry Harrison negotiated the treaty with the tribes. The treaty led to a war with the United States began by Shawnee leader Tecumseh and other dissenting tribesmen in what came to be called “Tecumseh’s War“.

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]

Negotiations

The treaty also has two nicknames, the “Ten O’clock Line Treaty of 1809” and the “Twelve Mile Line Treaty”. The first nickname comes from tradition that says the Native Americans did not trust the surveyors’ equipment, so a spear was thrown down at ten o’clock and the shadow became the treaty line. There are other myths that say it was either a tree or a fence that was used. The Twelve Mile Line was a reference to the Greenville Treaty and the establishment of a new ‘line’ parallel to it but twelve miles further west.

In 1809 Harrison began to push for a treaty to open more land for settlement. The Miami, Wea, and Kickapoo were “vehemently” opposed to selling any more land around the Wabash River.[1] In order to influence those groups to sell the land, Harrison decided, against the wishes of President James Madison, to first conclude a treaty with the tribes willing to sell and use them to help influence those who held out. In September 1809 he invited the Pottawatomie, Lenape, Eel Rivers, and the Miami to a meeting in Fort Wayne. In the negotiations Harrison promised large subsidies and payments to the tribes if they would cede the lands he was asking for.[2]

 

Only the Miami opposed the treaty. They presented their copy of the Treaty of Greenville and read the section that guaranteed their possession of the lands around the Wabash River. They then explained the history of the region and how they had invited the Wea and other tribes to settle in their territory as friends. The Miami were concerned the Wea leaders were not present, although they were the primary inhabitants of the land being sold. The Miami also wanted any new land sales to be paid for by the acre, and not by the tract. Harrison agreed to make the treaty’s acceptance contingent on approval by the Wea and other tribes in the territory being purchased, but he refused to purchase land by the acre. He countered that it was better for the tribes to sell the land in tracts so as to prevent the Americans from only purchasing their best lands by the acre and leaving them only poor land to live on.[2]

After two weeks of negotiating, the Pottawatomie leaders convinced the Miami to accept the treaty as reciprocity to the Pottawatomie who had earlier accepted treaties less advantageous to them at the request of the Miami. Finally the Treaty of Fort Wayne was signed on September 29, 1809, selling United States over 3,000,000 acres (approximately 12,000 km²), chiefly along the Wabash River north of Vincennes.[2] During the winter months, Harrison was able to obtain the acceptance of the Wea by offering them a large subsidy and the help of Miami Chief Pacanne who helped to influence the Wea leaders. The Kickapoo were closely allied with the Shawnee at Prophetstown and Harrison feared they would be difficult to sway. He offered the Wea an increased subsidy if the Kickapoo would also accept the treaty, causing the Wea to pressure the Kickapoo leaders to accept. By the spring of 1810 Harrison had completed negotiations and the treaty was finalized.[3]

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Shawnee Indian Chief Blue Jacket

Shawnee Chief Blue Jacket

chief-blue-jacket

Chief Blue Jacket

Who was Blue Jacket and why was this Native Indian chief famous? Summary: Blue Jacket (c1743 – c1810) was a famous war chief of the Shawnee Native Indian tribe.  Prior to the War of Independence he led victorious battles against General Josiah Harmar and General Arthur St. Clair. He fought against the American colonists on the side of the British but was then forced to cede Ohio lands to the United States He joined the Western Confederacy in an attempt to regain Shawnee lands. He died in 1810.

Fast Facts about Blue Jacket

  • Tribe: Shawnee

  • Lifespan of Blue Jacket: c1743 – c1810

  • Alternate Name: Weyapiersenwah

  • Place of Birth: Deer Creek (present Ross County, Ohio)

  • Language: Algonquian

  • Date of Birth: c1743

  • Role War Chief of the Shawnee tribe

  • Date of Death: c1810

  • Native Indian Allies: Little Turtle

  • European Allies and Wars: Fought with the British in the 1774 Lord Dunmore’s War and in the War of Independence (1775 – 1783). Northwest Indian War (1785–1795) in Indiana and Ohio, also known as Little Turtle’s war.

  • Famous Battles: 1794 Battle of Fallen Timbers

  • Peace Treaty: The Treaty of Greenville (1795) and the Treaty of Fort Industry (1805)

    Blue Jacket
    Blue Jacket was a famous Shawnee war chief who opposed white encroachment and resisted against white expansion. Little is known about Blue Jacket’s early life. He first appears in written historical records in 1773, when he was already a Shawnee war chief. Throughout Blue Jacket’s life with the Shawnee tribe, it is known that he fought under Little Turtle and they were at the forefront of the white resistance when colonists tried to expand their power as they started to settle in the Western part of Ohio.

    Blue Jacket Timeline
    The following Blue Jacket timeline charts the resistance of this great Shawnee war chief against the encroachment of lands in Ohio.

  • 1743: Blue Jacket was born c1743

  • 1774: Lord Dumore’s War. Americans defeated the Shawnee in the Battle of Point Pleasant, but Blue Jacket emerged as a strong Shawnee leader.

  • 1775: The American Revolutionary War (1775 – 1783). Blue Jacket fought with the British against the American forces

  • 1783: The 1783 Treaty of Paris ended the American Revolutionary War the British abandoned their native allies and ceded the land between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River to the United States (the Northwest Territory).

  • 1785: Native American Indians formed the Western Confederacy with the objective of keeping the Ohio River as a boundary between Indian lands and the United States.

  • 1785: The Northwest Indian War (1785–1795) aka as Little Turtle’s war erupted.

  • 1790: Conflict with General Josiah Harmar who attempted to subdue Native Indians in the Northwest Territory. General Harmar was defeated by a tribal coalition led by Little Turtle of the of the Miami tribe and Blue Jacket in an engagement known as “Harmar’s defeat”

  • 1791: Battle of the Wabash on November 4, 1791. American Indians were led by Little Turtle and Blue Jacket won a major Native Indian victory against Americans led by General Arthur St. Clair.

  • 1794: Battle of Fallen Timbers on August 20, 1794. The Legion of the United States, which was an extension of the United States Army, led by Major General Anthony Wayne defeated Blue Jacket and the Native Indians

  • 1795: The Treaty of Greenville was signed on August 3, 1795 following the Battle of Fallen Timbers in which the Native Indians were forced to cede much of present-day Ohio to the United States

  • 1795: The Treaty of Greenville was made on August 3, 1795 ended the Northwest Indian War

  • 1805: The Treaty of Fort Industry was signed on July 4, 1805 in which Blue Jacket relinquished even more of Ohio

  • 1810: The Death of Blue Jacket

  • 1811: Chief Tecumseh continued the Shawnee fight during Tecumseh’s War in a final attempt to reclaim Shawnee lands in the Ohio Country.

Piquashawnee.com

https://www.warpaths2peacepipes.com/famous-native-americans/blue-jacket.htm

Tecumseh: Vision of Glory By Glenn Tucker

Tecumseh: Vision of Glory

Pickle Partners Publishing, Nov 6, 2015Biography & Autobiography407 pages

Author: Glenn Tucker

In the years just preceding the War of 1812 one man, an Indian, dominated the American frontier—Tecumseh. He emerges here as a vivid, splendid character, a man of unusual talents and noble aims, whereas in much previous history and biography he has been depicted as a baffling, sinister, often bloody figure—a man of inscrutable motives whose scheming for a time actually threatened to delay the settlement of the Northwest.

Tecumseh’s great oratorical powers, his statesmanship, his military acumen, his personal magnetism won him the passionate loyalty of his Indians and the admiration of even his white enemies. In nobility of character, in leadership and in devotion to a lost cause he suggests points of comparison with Robert E. Lee.

The need for this book is indicated by the fact that until its publication the standard biography has continued to be Benjamin Drake’s book first published in 1841 and ranks as a collectors’ item.

Tecumseh’s great vision was a confederation of all the Indian tribes to check the encroachment of the whites on the Indian lands. His journeys took him from the Mohawk River in the east to the Arkansas in the west, from Lake Superior to the Gulf of Mexico.

Mr. Tucker offers proof that the British in Canada did not push Tecumseh on war with the United States—as historians have claimed—but on the contrary Tecumseh urged the British to declare war.

The high point of Tecumseh’s point probably came when with Major General Brook he captured Detroit and made a sizeable American army to surrender. Only a few months later his forces, outnumbered and almost unsupported by their brave and futile stand on the Thames River. Tecumseh was killed, and his dream of a red empire broken. So ended the mighty vision and the greatest of the great chiefs.

 

Piqua Shawnee

 

The Shawanese prophet and Tecumseh / Huyot. (Wood Engraving)

Library of Congress – Wood engravings–1810-1890.

Tecumseh,–Shawnee Chief,–1768-1813

Tenskwatawa,–Shawnee Prophet

 Created / Published [between 1814 and 1890]

The Shawanese prophet and Tecumseh / Huyot.

3a20703r
Print shows Tenskwatawa, the Shawnee Prophet, and Tecumseh, with other Natives and tipis in the background.

Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print

Digital Id

cph 3a20703 //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3a20703

Library of Congress Control Number

2012645311

Library of Congress Link:

https://www.loc.gov/item/2012645311/

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