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ing up enhances your TCE experience with the ability to save items to your personal reading list, and access the interactive map. Tecumseh, Shawnee chief, leader of a First Nations confederacy, military leader in the War of born circa Tecumseh south-central Ohio; died 5 October near Moraviantown [Thamesville, ON ].

Tecumseh was leader of the First Nations confederacy that Tecumseh formed to resist American encroachment on Aboriginal land in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. When the War of broke out between the United States and Britain, Tecumseh and the confederacy allied with the British. He was killed at the Battle of the Thames in Tecumseh's parents were Shawnees who lived among the Creek in what is now Alabama and Georgia.

The Shawnee were a fragmented wandering people who spoke Algonquian. They had been dislodged from Ohio in the late 17th century by the Iroquois. In Tecumseh's parents moved north as part of an attempt to reunite the tribe on the Ohio River. The Shawnee believed that they were the Great Spirit's special people, that He had given them a portion of His heart. Tecumseh's father Pukeshinwau was a Shawnee chief.

Tecumseh was likely born on the Scioto River at either Chillicothe or Kispoko, in around His name Tecumseh generally understood to mean Shooting Star and is associated with a celestial panther, the spiritual patron of the family's Kispoko clan.

During Tecumseh's childhood, the Shawnee were savaged by war.


Five times from to invading armies occupied tribal territory. In the Treaty Tecumseh Fort Stanwix, the Iroquois, who claimed to have conquered the Ohio country, sold the land to the Americans, and surveyors and American militia were a constant sight. With a population of only 1, the Shawnee had little hope of resisting the onslaught of land-hungry settlers and the United States military. From his childhood Tecumseh naturally regarded the Americans, the "Long Knives," as his enemies.

They had seized Shawnee land, killed his father and destroyed his towns.


Tecumseh's Kispoko clan lacked the standing of the other clans but had a reputation for fighting second to none among First Nations. After the Treaty of Paris following the American RevolutionCongress moved speedily to annex land north of the Ohio.

Organizing First Nations resistance was difficult. The tribes were deeply divided by language and outlook. There had been several attempts to form alliances. From this Tecumseh came the idea that the land belonged to all Aboriginal people and that negotiations with individual tribes were invalid.


But groups succumbed one by one. In the Shawnee were summoned to meet on the Great Miami at Fort Finney and were intimidated into Tecumseh a treaty surrendering their homeland. The negotiators were reprimanded by the rest of the nation. In the battles that followed, Tecumseh saw Tecumseh first action as a warrior. He first proved himself in an attack on a flatboat on the Ohio River in Tecumseh soon gained a reputation as a bold warrior.

Nevertheless, he missed participating in the single greatest victory by Aboriginals against the armed forces of the United States: on 4 November on the banks of the Wabash River, Major General Arthur St. Clair with a force of 1, regulars and militia was routed by 2, warriors led by Blue Jacket and the Miami under chief Little Turtle.


At Buchanan Station, south of Nashville, Tecumseh's highly regarded brother Cheeseekau was killed in an attack on a small fortification. Tecumseh subsequently fought a of skirmishes with the Long Knives, proving himself a worthy successor to his brother. The confederacy's dream of independence was shattered in when a well-trained American army under Major General Anthony Wayne defeated a of First Tecumseh attacks.

At the Battle of Fallen Timbers 20 August the Americans attacked with 3, men; though outed, the First Nations fought tenaciously. Tecumseh distinguished himself when he charged a group of Americans who had a field piece, cutting loose the horses, and riding off. The Treaty Tecumseh Greenville ended this phase of the conflict; though Tecumseh did not approve of the treaty, he was still only a minor chief.

Tecumseh led a band ofincluding some 40—50 warriors, and created an independent village on Buck Creek. With the inexorable advance of the Americans and the destruction of the hunting grounds the band moved again in the spring of to the west fork of the White River Indiana.


At the turn of the century, there were fears for their livelihood, for land, for culture and, most terrifying, for their survival in the face of epidemic diseases to which the people had no immunity. He began to preach with great emotion and became known as the Prophet. He spoke against the evils of alcohol, dishonesty, slander and particularly against loss of the old traditions. He predicted that divine intervention would deliver the people if they would purge themselves of White influence.

All through and people came to hear the Prophet, who preached racial separation and animosity to Americans, "who grew from the Scum of the great Water when it was troubled by the Evil Spirit. On 22 June Tecumseh distant event cast a shadow on Tecumseh's attempts to protect his land. The British in Canada still traded with the First Nations south of the Great Lakesand distributed presents to them.

The redcoats wanted to secure favour among the First Nations but did not want to be seen by the Americans as inciting them. These fraternizations aroused deep suspicion in the United States, and American officials "eagerly embraced a convenient paranoia," as Tecumseh's biographer Tecumseh Sugden put it.

With the threat of war, Tecumseh moved his band to the headwaters of the Mississinewa, five kilometres from Tippecanoe. The move was resented by the local Miamis and Delawares. The impressive new Shawnee village, with houses, was called Prophetstown by the Whites for Tecumseh's brother, who continued preaching and who changed his name to Tenskwatawameaning Open Door. In an unknown Tecumseh made his first visit to Canada at Fort Amherstburg later Fort MaldenUpper Tecumsehin the place of his better-known brother who had been invited by William Claus.

He arrived 8 June. Tecumseh was not enthusiastic to take the king by the hand. He was deeply distrustful of the British. Tecumseh, the two sides met and Tecumseh Tecumseh himself with the redcoats and raised his standing among the First Nations. He had developed into a fiery orator with a clear message: Tecumseh First Nations must stand together to save their land and cultures. This treaty vindicated Tecumseh and roused him to a Tecumseh. When he Tecumseh to talk to the British at Fort Amherstburg in he had changed his attitude. He was ready for war and to throw in his lot with the British.

Tecumseh's task of building an Aboriginal confederacy was enormous given the forbidding geographical distances, the sense of powerlessness of many of the tribes, the jealousy of the older chiefs, tribal rivalries, and communication in different languages. Even the different Algonquian groups could not understand one another without interpreters. In summer Tecumseh undertook a strenuous journey west to the upper Mississippi, down the Illinois River to Peoria, to present-day Wisconsin, then to Missouri.

In October he set out for Fort Amherstburgarriving about 12 November. By now he was certain there would be war and asked for supplies. Tecumseh's efforts did not go unnoticed. William Henry Harrison wrote a tribute in "The implicit obedience and respect which the followers of Tecumseh pay to him is really astonishing, and more than any other circumstance bespeaks him one of those uncommon geniuses which spring up occasionally to produce revolutions and overturn the established order of things.

Harrison met Tecumseh at Vincennes in July Tecumseh erred by telling Harrison that he would be absent until spring. In Tecumseh's absence, Harrison moved a force near Prophetstown at the confluence of the Tippecanoe and Wabash Rivers. The Prophet was unable to restrain his warriors and sniping between sentries escalated into a full-scale battle. The warriors held their own but were forced to withdraw when they ran out of ammunition. Harrison followed the retreat and entered Prophetstown, finding it deserted. His men burned the town and destroyed the food supplies.

Tecumseh's absence took him some 5, kilometres and when he returned Tecumseh Prophetstown he saw the grim reality of the destruction: as he told the British later, "the bodies of my friends laying in the dust, and our villages burnt to the ground, and all our kettles carried off. It was a devastating blow to the confederacy.

On 18 June the United States declared war on Britain. Tecumseh went north to find the British strengthening the defences of Fort Amherstburg and saw an impressive of soldiers there. Tecumseh brought about warriors from numerous tribes. General William Hull 's American forces occupied Sandwich on 12 July, but the general was fraught with doubt.

On 17 July, far to the north, Captain Charles Roberts forced the surrender of Michilimackinacwhich further unnerved Hull. Tecumseh organized an ambush, routing them and inflicting the first casualties suffered by Americans in the War of On 5 August, Tecumseh confronted a far more numerous force south of Brownstown, killing In another attack he surprised Van Horne, killing 20 and wounding The ambushes at Brownstown were remarkable victories and weighed heavily on Hull's fragile frame of mind.


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The Dying Tecumseh and the Birth of a Legend