The Great Chief of the Shawnee Nation
by Karen Meyer
The Shawnee nation produced many great leaders, but Tecumseh
was perhaps the greatest of them all. He was born in 1768 near the
Chillicothe village now called Oldtown, Ohio. His father, Chief
Pucksinwah, lost his life leading his tribe in the battle of Point
Pleasant. This early battle between the Indians and the settlers set
the pattern for the conflicts ahead.
In my novel, Conflict at Chillicothe, we meet a young Tecumseh just as he has returned from a long trip with his older brother Chiksica. This trip was the rite of passage for a twelve-year-old brave. Tecumseh is a thoughtful young man who seeks to honor his father's memory by becoming a Shawnee warrior.
In 1791 Tecumseh and other Indians in the Northwest Territory met and defeated the army of Arthur St. Clair. A few years later, however, the army of Anthony Wayne defeated the tribal confederation. The resulting peace treaty opened all of present-day Ohio land to settlement except the northwestern corner. Tecumseh refused to sign the Treaty of Greene Ville (1795). During the next eight years, Tecumseh visited nearly every Indian tribe west of the Appalachian Mountains. He traveled from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico to convince them that only by uniting against the white man's advance could they successfully keep their lands.
Tecumseh's family had an uncanny skill for predicting future events. One of Tecumseh's brothers, known as the Prophet, used this in helping to gather the tribes together.
PROPHETSTOWN was begun by the two brothers in the Indiana Territory in 1808, grew rapidly as tribes joined Tecumseh's confederation. But before this federation of tribes was complete, William Henry Harrison attacked and destroyed the town, fatally weakening Tecumseh's plan.
Tecumseh and his remaining warriors joined forces with the British in the War of 1812. During the Battle of the Thames, the British allies of the Indians ran from the American army, led by William Henry Harrison. Tecumseh had predicted his own death before this battle. This courageous chief died as his father had died, leading the Shawnees in battle to preserve their way of life.
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever. Hebrews 13:8
T E L L I N G T H E S T O R Y O F T H E O H I O F R O N T I E R
THE OHIO FRONTIER HISTORY LADY
Karen Ruth Meyer