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Tecumseh was a chief of the Shawnee tribe and a leader of the larger tribal confederacy called Tecumseh’s Confederacy (Garraty and Foner, para. 1). The Shawnee was a group of Native Americans who spoke Algonquian, who had been unsettled by the Iroquois in the late 17th century. Tecumseh was born in 1768 in Springfield, Ohio and was an intelligent and widely respected leader of the Shawnee Indians who had settled in America in the early 1800’s. His father was a war chief of the Shawnee people (Totallyhistory.com, para. 2). During Tecumseh’s childhood, their tribe was savaged by war five times from 1774 to 1782 by the invading white armies. In 1774, Tecumseh’s father was killed at the battle of Point Pleasant and his mother later moved away to Missouri in 1779 (Garraty and Foner, para. 3). After he had turned 15, Tecumseh joined the Shawnee army and fought to stop white invasion into their lands. He was a brave warrior who fought many battles between his people and the white Kentuckians who wanted to invade Ohio. His strategy in battle is known to have been so impressive that the river traffic almost stopped. After losing several battles against the white settlers, Tecumseh reluctantly relocated to the west but continued his fight against them. By 1800, he had emerged as prominent chief whose vision was to establish an independent Native American east of the Mississippi under the protection of the British (Garraty and Foner. para. 4). He was alarmed by the growing intrusion of white people on Native Indian lands and was also angry about the Indian communities who were selling land to the white settlers and hence urged the communities to come together and resist (Garraty and Foner, para. 4). He transformed his brother’s religious group into a political movement and led his followers into forming a political confederacy and placed himself as the leader (Garraty and Foner para. 6). Tecumseh worked to recruit additional tribes to the Confederacy from the old North West and South to unite and fight against the white invaders. Tecumseh’s political confederacy successfully deterred white settlement in their regions for a period of years (Totallyhistory.com, para. 6). The Confederacy had a dream of living independently from the white settlers. However, at the Battle of Fallen Timbers, the white settlers attacked the Confederacy and although they were outnumbered, they fought tenaciously and won. Tecumseh fight aimed to protect the piece of land between Ohio and the Mississippi valleys (Totallyhistory.com para. 6). Although he eventually failed, his tenacity against the American settlers and his principled rule earned him great respect amongst various cultures. In 1811, as Tecumseh was visiting the south in an attempt to recruit more Indians to the Confederacy, the American forces marched towards prophets’ town. In this battle of Tippecanoe, the American forces defeated the Confederate, burned their settlement and destroyed food supplies. On returning from the south, he endeavoured to rebuild his army and helped the British in the capture of Detroit and other battles. In 1813, at the Battle of Thames, Tecumseh was killed by the American army. He died with the rest of the member of his confederacy (Garraty and Foner, para. 7). Although he was unsuccessful in his dream of a free nation from the white settlers, his political leadership, eloquence, bravery and humanitarianism attracted the admiration of both his friends and foes (Totallyhistory.com, para. 3). In Tecumseh Park, in the city of Ontario, one of his most notable plaques was erected as a tribute to his long-lived friendship with the British. In Maryland, the U.S. Naval Academy has a court named after him and features a bust of Tecumseh (Totallyhistory.com, para. 5). Similarly, the Americans have four battleships named after him in commemoration of the vital role he played in their history (Totallyhistory.com, para.5).
Garraty, John A., and Eric Foner. “Tecumseh - Native American History”.
HISTORY.com, 2013. Web. 7 Mar. 2015.
“Tecumseh (1768-1813) Biography – Life Of A Native American Hero.” Totallyhistory.com.
2011. Web. 7 Mar. 2015.