Hardin County, Illinois
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
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
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,
William Harrison became Governor of this territory
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
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
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
Dressed in Indian deerskin garments, he was killed
leading his warriors.
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