Genealogy Trails

Hardin County, Illinois

Tecumseh, Chief of the Shawnee

Tecumseh, (Teksem-thi) means "the one who springs",  was born in a small village named Old Piqua,
along the Ohio around 1768.  His father was also a Shawnee chief named Puckeshinwa,
also known as Chief Cornstalk, born about 1720.
The Shawnee Nation was the largest group of tribes in Ohio.  They hunted and earned their living the same as most.
They even traded furs with the French and English until there was a threat to their land.
Chief Puckeshinwa, was forced to battle at Pleasant Point, Oct. 10, 1774.
Tecumseh's father died fighting for their land and the Shawnee were forced to move further
south of the Ohio.  Tecumseh was possibly one of the greatest Indian organizers and speakers of his time.
He was also referred to as "Crouching Panther" or "Shooting Star".
Tecumseh also had a brother, Tenskwatawa, known as the Prophet.  He believed in the same principles as his
brother but seemed to have less control over his actions as you will see.

The Indiana territory was formed around 1800.  This territory included Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Michigan. 
William Harrison became Governor of this territory around 1801.
The Illinois Territory wasn't in existence until 1809.
Harrison began treaties with the Indians to cede their lands to the U.S.  Six treaties were made with
smaller groups of Indians between the years 1803-1809. Before that, Gen., Wayne had made treaties
 with 11 tribes in the Northwest territory. 
Tecumseh claimed that all Indians in Indiana and Illinois were federated , so any treaties made
didn't matter unless ALL  federated tribes agreed to the terms... and HE DID NOT AGREE. 
The Shawnee wanted to keep their land.  Of course,
their opinion had no bearing... and he began to organize and plan a war. 
While Tecumseh was down South, gathering some followers,  Gov. Harrison gathered a few of his
 soldiers as well to, "allegedly" go and seek peace from the Shawnee.
Tenskwatawa intervened with an attack on Harrisons' men, causing many lives to be lost nearly wiping out the
Shawnee existence.  This certainly broke up an resistance towards the treaties in affect.
Tecumseh never returned to Tippecanoe and went on to join the British in the American war of 1812.
There he was made a brigadier general, leading 2000 warriors into battler.
He fought in other battles such as , Frenchtown, Raisin River, Fort Meigs, and Fort Stephenson. 
His last battle was the Battle of the Thames at Chatham, Ontario.
Dressed in Indian deerskin garments, he was killed leading his warriors.    

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