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Life of Chief Tecumseh

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Cindy Gardner

on 21 September 2013

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Transcript of Life of Chief Tecumseh

Tecumseh was born in 1768 near what we call today Springfield, Ohio. He was born on the Scioto River.
Tecumseh parents were of the Shawnee tribe. His father Puckeshinwa was a Shawnee Chief who was killed at the battle of Point Pleasant. His mother Methoataske moved with other Shawnees to Missouri. He was raised by his sister Tecumpease. In 1780 Tecumseh rode with his brother Chiksika on several raids of frontier settlements in Kentucky and Tennessee.
Tecumseh means shooting star or panther across the sky. He was also known as Tecumtha or Tekamthi.
In 1783 after the Treaty of Paris congress moved quickly to organize the land north of Ohio. Several tribes were against this because of the language and cultural barriers. Joseph Brant, Mohawk Chief believed that all negotiations were not valid and formed the pan-Indian movement. 1785 saw the Shawnees sign a treaty surrendering their land. By 1789 Tecumseh had already proved himself as a warrior.
Tecumseh's brother was killed at Buchanan Station. Tecumseh was not present for this battle but worked harder than ever to prove he was worthy as his brother's successor.
In 1794 the Americans outnumbered the First Nations and won at the Battle of Fallen Timbers. The Treaty of Greenville ended this round of fighting. Tecumseh was still a minor chief at this point. With the advance of the americans he moved his band of people in 1798 to the west fork of the white river in Indiana.
Tecumseh's other brother Lalawethica had a frightening dream that transformed his attitude and he started to preach. He became known as the prophet and many people came to see him. He preached about the evils of alcohol, dishonesty and the loss of old traditions. Tecumseh was not that religious. He maintained his belief in the Great Spirit. The beliefs of the Great Spirit were that the lands belonged to the tribes and therefore could not be sold, so all treaties signed were not valid.
1807 was a gray area for Tecumseh because the Chesapeake affair raised concerns or war between the U.S. and Britain. The redcoats still traded with the nations and presented gifts to them but did not want the U.S. to feel that they were inciting them. The U.S. was becoming paranoid of their friendship with each other.
Treaty of Greenville
With the looming possibility of war Tecumseh moved his band of people from Mississinewa to Tippecanoe this was 5 kilometres which today would be approximately 3 miles. This did not please the Miamis and the Delawares. His village was called Prophetstown by the whites because of his brother who at this point changed his name to Tenskwatawa meaning open door.
In 1808 Tecumseh made his first visit to Canada. He did not trust the redcoats but after this meeting he established himself with them and raised his standing with the First Nations. He became a great speaker maintaining that The Nations must stand together to protect their lands and cultures.
While Tecumseh was in Canada, the Governor of Indiana, William Henry Harrison presented and had signed the Treaty of Fort Wayne which took a huge chunk of land from the Nations. This move angered Tecumseh and in 1810 he changed his attitude about the British and was ready for war.
In the summer of 1810 Tecumseh traveled to build the native confederacy. He traveled from Mississippi, Illinois, Wisconsin and Missouri. he felt there would be a war and by November asked for supplies. Governor Harrison had this to say about Tecumseh;
“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.” ( War of 1812)
Tecumseh and Harrison met in Vincennes in July of 1811 and Tecumseh not thinking told harrison he would be gone until the spring. Harrison took advantage of this and attacked and destroyed Prophetstown. Tecumseh upon return was angered that his brother fell for this trap and threatened to kill him. All was lost at Prophetstown, their home and some of their people.
June 18, 1812, the U.S. declared war on Britain. Tecumseh went North with about 350 warriors from several tribes. On July 25, Major James Denny with 120 Ohio volunteers moved towards Tecumseh's camp. Tecumseh aware of this organized an ambush and caused the first casualties suffered by the Americans.
On August 2 and 3 Tecumseh and Captain Muir brought a force of warriors and red coats across the Detroit River and attacked the americans supplies below Brownstown. On Aug 5 Tecumseh encountered and killed 18 south of Brownstown. He also surprised Van Horne with an attack that killed 20 and wounded 12. His ambushes at Brownstown were considered remarkable victories.
Tecumseh fought many other smaller skirmishes and was even wounded in one. Tecumseh lost his life in the battle of the Thames. Even though he knew that they were outnumbered he did not back down and ultimately lost his life. His body was never found to be buried, although some say that he was scalped and americans tore parts of his skin off.
War of 1812.http://www.eighteentwelve.ca/?q=eng/Topic/6

Tecumseh. Biography.http://www.biography.com/people/tecumseh-9503607


1768 to 1812
In closing Tecumseh did not trust the whites. He fought several battles to save the land of his people. Only when his town had been invaded and burnt down did he join with the Canadian British to fight the whites. Tecumseh fought his way to being a much loved and trusted Chief of his people. Tecumseh's body was never found and some feel the spirits took his body.
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