Difference between revisions of "Tecumseh"

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<p>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.</p>
<p>Tecumseh, meaning Shooting Star, was born in 1768 near Chillicothe, Ohio to the Shawnee tribe; specifically he was the son of the reigning Chief, Pukeshinwau. Throughout his childhood Tecumseh experienced many malevolent, violent expansions by the United States which would later sustain his hatred towards the United States. Multiple times during his youth U.S militia would intersect whatever land the Shawnees were currently occupying. In many cases the Americans would set two tribes against one another through treaties with one party representing the land of the other. For example, during the Treaty of Fort Stanwix the Iroquois tribe claimed ownership to all of Ohio lands therefore they deemed it acceptable to sell the Shawnee territory to America in exchange for money. Americans were also very eager to claim any type of acreage so they plundered many Native American villages, including the Shawnee's various home lands a multitude of times. These imperialistic tendencies created many conflicts between the Shawnee and the United States, including a battle that led to the death of Tecumseh's father. After years of pillaging and murdering Shawnee natives the Americans, or "long knives" as they were known within the tribes, were the official enemy of Tecumseh.</p>
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<p>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.</p>
<p>Tecumseh's first chances to prove himself as a warrior came during the primary attempts of tribal alliance during the Pan-Indian Movement (1783-1795). Under the leadership of Mohawk Chief Joseph Brant, the Shawnee tribe was coerced to relinquish ownership of their lands in support of the ideal that all Native American land belonged to all tribes; there were no separate territories. With this agreement all signatory tribes also would allocate their manpower to struggles against the United States. Tecumseh proved himself able-bodied when, as a teenager, he contributed to a successful attack on a group of Americans sailing down the Ohio River. He would later be given charge of a mass amount of men to direct during clashes as well as a commander who would resume leadership if his superior was killed. The ending to the Pan-Indian Movement occurred in late 1794 with the Battle of Fallen Timbers where the First Nations tribal alliance was heavily outnumbered and outmaneuvered by the U.S military. During the battle Tecumseh led an offensive attack that led to a temporary U.S. retreat and the release of American battle animals, mainly horses. Due to his spirited determination during the battle over 250 men followed him after the dissipation of the alliance to a small territory where they would organize their own settlement with Tecumseh as their chief. However, the United States continued their onslaught of Native American villages forcing Tecumseh and his tribal people to relocate continuously thus threatening their maintenance of life.</p>  
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<p>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.</p>
<p>Tecumseh's brother, Lalawethica, renewed support for a tribal alliance based on the belief that all Native American territory was universal for every Native American community. Lalawethica, later known as the Prophet, experienced a dream that led him to preach this allied system which developed into a religious value. Tecumseh began to promote these ideas as well, continually fighting off U.S. explorers and gathering Native Americans of all tribes. Following another expulsion from their homeland Tecumseh and his tribe relocated near Tippecanoe and developed an impressive community nicknamed Prophetstown by Americans. With conflict developing between Great Britain and the United States the Shawnee who understood the importance of tribal alliance supported a coalition with the British to repel the United States away from Native American territory. Tecumseh took the initiative to travel up to Canada to organize an agreement between the two parties which raised his standing among the tribes of the First Nations. While he traveled preaching among different Native American societies the Indiana Governor, William Henry Harrison, signed the Treaty of Fort Wayne that allotted him a mass amount of Native American territory. This increased the anti-American tension held by Tecumseh amplifying his attempts at forming a universal tribal alliance. Whilst he was traveling Governor Harrison discovered that he was also requesting weapons and war supplies which motivated Harrison to pillage and destroy Prophetstown. </p>
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<p>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.</p>
<p>When the United States declared war on Great Britain on June 18, 1812 Tecumseh and the group of men he collected traveled to Canada to organize militant strategies. Tecumseh and his men were assigned to overtake the city of Detroit with Major General Isaac Brock. The taking of the city was a major success as the Americans surrendered due to fear of the unknown numbers of Native Americans there were attacking. Tecumseh, who led the First Nations into battle, was regarded as a hero among the tribes, Canada, and Britain. The First Nations were utilized in defending Detroit, blocking off American supply lines, and preserving areas in Northwest Canada. During the Battle of Thames the U.S. launched a surprise attack against the British and the First Nations which had them heavily outnumbered. While many soldiers felt that retreat was the only option Tecumseh pursued his attack forward, including an offensive on the "long knives" whilst alone. In a final stand against the  Americans Tecumseh was killed. Many of his tribal men refused to continue participating in the conflict because their allegiance was only held with Tecumseh. His life represented the Native American struggle against U.S. expansion and although he never personally experienced victory he influenced many tribes to continue their resistance.</p> <br />
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==See Also==
 
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Revision as of 09:58, 25 May 2014

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.

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.


See Also

References

  1. Hurt, R. Douglas. The Ohio Frontier: Crucible of the Old Northwest, 1720-1830. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1996.
  2. Sugden, John. Tecumseh: A Life. New York: Holt Paperback, 1999.