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Portrait that the Shawnee military and also political leader Tecumseh, ca. 1800-1813. He functioned with his brother Tenskwatawa, known as "The Prophet," to unite American Indian tribes in the Northwest are to safeguard themselves versus white settlers.

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During the early 1800s, Tecumseh, a leader that the Shawnee, attempted to hold together American Indian people west the the Appalachian Mountains into a confederation. Tecumseh thought that the floor did no belong to a single tribe. In reality, nobody owned the land except for the understand of Life, the Shawnees" principal god. Tecumseh thought that the only way that American Indians could transfer land to the Americans was if every people agreed to it. Tecumseh want to pressure the americans to address all of the people in unison. Separately, the individual tribes did not have much power. Together, Tecumseh hoped, they would certainly be a major deterrent come white expansion.

Tecumseh described his see in a letter to wilhelm Henry Harrison in 1810:

. . .the only method to stop this evil , is for every the red men to unite in claiming a common and also equal appropriate in the land as it to be at first, and also should be now - because that it never was divided, yet belongs come all. . . .Sell a country! Why not offer the air, the clouds and also the an excellent sea, and the earth? Did not the an excellent Spirit make them all for the use of his children?

In his quest, Tecumseh received help from his younger brother Tenskwatawa. Recognized as the Prophet, Tenskwatawa thought that the American Indians had actually to finish their reliance on American goods, such as alcohol, steel cookware, and also guns. The Indians had actually angered the master of Life by ending up being dependent on this items. If the American ind forsook them, the understand of Life would reward his followers by driving the american from their land. Many Indians discovered the Prophet"s message appealing and also began come congregate at his village, Prophetstown, in the Indiana Territory.

Tecumseh supplied his brother"s influence to convince the American ind to placed aside their classic differences and also unite together against the whites. He additionally visited numerous tribes west that the Appalachian Mountains and also east that the Mississippi river seeking additional support because that his confederation. Tecumseh to be a firm believer that more people interpreted into an ext power. While most tribes listened to Tecumseh"s proposal, countless rejected his ideas. This was specifically true of indians in contemporary Tennessee, Georgia, and also Mississippi. Many of the Prophet"s followers adopted white products and also customs. They did not desire to lose accessibility to these goods. Tecumseh had more success in Ohio, Kentucky, and also the Indiana Territory, areas that whites had been attempting come settle since before the French and Indian War.

Unfortunately for the American ind in the region, Tecumseh"s Confederacy failed. Many American indians refused to relinquish their white ways and end your friendships through the Americans. The Anglo-American settlers additionally greatly surcharge the American Indians and also had greater access to firearms and also ammunition. Together Tecumseh"s followers started to converge in ~ Prophetstown, he additionally could not provide them with sufficient food and shelter. To gain white goods, American Indians involved in the hair trade with the Americans. This trade greatly decreased the animal population in Ohio, Kentucky, and also the Indiana Territory, leaving the indians with less to eat.

In 1811, wilhelm Henry Harrison led one American army against Prophetstown. Tecumseh to be seeking allies in the southern component of the joined States. Although Tecumseh had asked his brother no to strike the americans in his absence, the Prophet did attack. Once Tecumseh returned, Prophetstown no longer existed. The natives had actually abandoned it, and also Harrison had then destroyed it. Many of his followers, hungry and defeated, went back to their previous villages. They to be unwilling to help Tecumseh in developing his confederation. Tecumseh did shot to recreate his confederacy, however he had only restricted success. Tecumseh"s pursuit formally ended in 1813, v his fatality at the fight of the Thames in the war of 1812.

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See Also


Hurt, R. Douglas. The Ohio Frontier: Crucible the the Old Northwest, 1720-1830. Bloomington, IN: Indiana university Press, 1996.
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