Tecumseh's War
Tecumseh's War or Tecumseh's Rebellion are terms sometimes used to describe a conflict in the Old Northwest between the United States
History of the United States
The history of the United States traditionally starts with the Declaration of Independence in the year 1776, although its territory was inhabited by Native Americans since prehistoric times and then by European colonists who followed the voyages of Christopher Columbus starting in 1492. The...

 and an American Indian confederacy led by the Shawnee leader Tecumseh
Tecumseh was a Native American leader of the Shawnee and a large tribal confederacy which opposed the United States during Tecumseh's War and the War of 1812...

. Although the war is often considered to have climaxed with William Henry Harrison
William Henry Harrison
William Henry Harrison was the ninth President of the United States , an American military officer and politician, and the first president to die in office. He was 68 years, 23 days old when elected, the oldest president elected until Ronald Reagan in 1980, and last President to be born before the...

's victory at the Battle of Tippecanoe
Battle of Tippecanoe
The Battle of Tippecanoe was fought on November 7, 1811, between United States forces led by Governor William Henry Harrison of the Indiana Territory and Native American warriors associated with the Shawnee leader Tecumseh. Tecumseh and his brother Tenskwatawa were leaders of a confederacy of...

 in 1811, Tecumseh's War essentially continued into the War of 1812
War of 1812
The War of 1812 was a military conflict fought between the forces of the United States of America and those of the British Empire. The Americans declared war in 1812 for several reasons, including trade restrictions because of Britain's ongoing war with France, impressment of American merchant...

 and is frequently considered a part of that larger struggle. Tecumseh was killed by Americans at the Battle of the Thames
Battle of the Thames
The Battle of the Thames, also known as the Battle of Moraviantown, was a decisive American victory in the War of 1812. It took place on October 5, 1813, near present-day Chatham, Ontario in Upper Canada...

 in Canada in 1813 and his confederacy disintegrated. The tribes remaining in the U.S. signed treaties and sold their lands and moved west by the 1830s. In long-term context, historians place Tecumseh's War as the final conflict of the Sixty Years' War
Sixty Years' War
The Sixty Years' War was a military struggle for control of the Great Lakes region in North America, encompassing a number of wars over several generations. The term Sixty Years' War is not widely known, and is used primarily by academic historians who specialize in various aspects of the conflict...

 resulting in the European conquest of the Great Lakes region.


The two principal adversaries in the conflict, Tecumseh
Tecumseh was a Native American leader of the Shawnee and a large tribal confederacy which opposed the United States during Tecumseh's War and the War of 1812...

 and William Henry Harrison
William Henry Harrison
William Henry Harrison was the ninth President of the United States , an American military officer and politician, and the first president to die in office. He was 68 years, 23 days old when elected, the oldest president elected until Ronald Reagan in 1980, and last President to be born before the...

, had both been junior participants in the Battle of Fallen Timbers
Battle of Fallen Timbers
The Battle of Fallen Timbers was the final battle of the Northwest Indian War, a struggle between American Indian tribes affiliated with the Western Confederacy and the United States for control of the Northwest Territory...

 at the close of the Northwest Indian War
Northwest Indian War
The Northwest Indian War , also known as Little Turtle's War and by various other names, was a war fought between the United States and a confederation of numerous American Indian tribes for control of the Northwest Territory...

 in 1794. Tecumseh was not among the signers of the Treaty of Greenville
Treaty of Greenville
The Treaty of Greenville was signed at Fort Greenville , on August 3, 1795, between a coalition of Native Americans & Frontiers men, known as the Western Confederacy, and the United States following the Native American loss at the Battle of Fallen Timbers. It put an end to the Northwest Indian War...

 that had ended the war and ceded much of present-day Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

, long inhabited by the Shawnees and other Native Americans, to the United States. However, many Indian leaders in the region accepted the Greenville terms, and for the next ten years pan-tribal resistance to American hegemony
Hegemony is an indirect form of imperial dominance in which the hegemon rules sub-ordinate states by the implied means of power rather than direct military force. In Ancient Greece , hegemony denoted the politico–military dominance of a city-state over other city-states...


After the Treaty of Greenville, most of the Ohio Shawnees settled at the Shawnee village of Wapakoneta
Wapakoneta, Ohio
Wapakoneta is a city in and the county seat of Auglaize County, Ohio, United States with a population of 9,474 as of the 2000 U.S. census. It is the principal city of and is included in the Wapakoneta, Ohio Micropolitan S A, which is included in the Lima-Van Wert-Wapakoneta, Ohio CSA...

 on the Auglaize River
Auglaize River
The Auglaize River is a tributary of the Maumee River in northwestern Ohio in the United States. It drains a primarily rural farming area in the watershed of Lake Erie. The name of the river either comes from a Shawnee phrase meaning "fallen timbers" or a French term for "frozen water."It rises in...

, where they were led by Black Hoof
Black Hoof
Catecahassa or Black Hoof was the head civil chief of the Shawnee Indians in the Ohio Country of what became the United States. A member of the Mekoche division of the Shawnees, Black Hoof became known as a fierce warrior during the early wars between the Shawnee and Anglo-American colonists...

, a senior chief who had signed the treaty. Little Turtle, a war chief of the Miamis, who had also participated in the earlier war and signed the Greenville Treaty
A treaty is an express agreement under international law entered into by actors in international law, namely sovereign states and international organizations. A treaty may also be known as an agreement, protocol, covenant, convention or exchange of letters, among other terms...

, lived in his village on the Eel River. Both Black Hoof and Little Turtle urged cultural adaptation and accommodation with the United States.

The tribes of the region participated in several treaties including the Treaty of Grouseland
Treaty of Grouseland
The Treaty of Grouseland was an agreement negotiated by Governor William Henry Harrison of the Indiana Territory on behalf of the government of the United States of America with Native American leaders, including Little Turtle and Buckongahelas, for lands in Southern Indiana, northeast Indiana, and...

 and the Treaty of Vincennes
Treaty of Vincennes
The Treaty of Vincennes is the name of two separate treaties. One was an 1803 agreement between the United States of America and the Miami and their allies, the Wea tribes and the Shawnee...

 that gave and recognized American possession of most of southern Indiana. The treaties resulted in an easing of tensions by allowing settlers into Indiana and appeasing the Indians with reimbursement for the lands the settlers were inhabiting via squatting
Squatting consists of occupying an abandoned or unoccupied space or building, usually residential, that the squatter does not own, rent or otherwise have permission to use....


Religious revival

In May 1805 Lenape
The Lenape are an Algonquian group of Native Americans of the Northeastern Woodlands. They are also called Delaware Indians. As a result of the American Revolutionary War and later Indian removals from the eastern United States, today the main groups live in Canada, where they are enrolled in the...

 Chief Buckongahelas
Buckongahelas was a regionally and nationally renowned Lenape chief, councilor and warrior. He was active from the days of the French and Indian War through the Northwest Indian Wars, after the United States achieved independence and settlers encroached on territory beyond the Appalachian...

, one of the most important native leaders in the region, died of either smallpox or influenza. The surrounding tribes believed his death was caused by a form of witchcraft and a witch hunt ensued leading to the death of several suspected Lenape witches. The witch hunts inspired a nativist religious revival led by Tecumseh's brother Tenskwatawa
Tenskwatawa, was a Native American religious and political leader of the Shawnee tribe, known as The Prophet or the Shawnee Prophet. He was the brother of Tecumseh, leader of the Shawnee...

 ("The Prophet") who emerged in 1805 as a leader among the witch hunters. He quickly posed a threat to the influence of the accommodationist chiefs, to whom Buckongahelas had belonged.

As part of his religious teachings, Tenskwatawa urged Indians to reject the ways of the whites
White American
White Americans are people of the United States who are considered or consider themselves White. The United States Census Bureau defines White people as those "having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa...

, like liquor, Europeans style clothing, and firearms. He also called for the tribes to refrain from ceding any more lands to the United States. Numerous Indians—who were inclined to cooperate with the United States—were accused of witchcraft
Witchcraft, in historical, anthropological, religious, and mythological contexts, is the alleged use of supernatural or magical powers. A witch is a practitioner of witchcraft...

, and some were executed by followers of Tenskwatawa. Black Hoof was accused in the witch-hunt but was not harmed. From his village at Greenville
Greenville, Ohio
Greenville is a city in Darke County, Ohio, United States. The population was 13,227 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Darke County.-History:Greenville is the historic location of Fort Greene Ville,Greenville is a city in Darke County, Ohio, United States. The population was 13,227 at...

, Tenskwatawa compromised Black Hoof's friendly relationship with the United States, leading to rising tensions with settlers in the region. Black Hoof and other tribal leaders began to put pressure on Tenskwatawa and his followers to leave the area to prevent the situation from escalating.

By 1808, tensions with whites and the Wapakoneta Shawnees compelled Tenskwatawa and Tecumseh to retreat further northwest and establish the village of Prophetstown
Prophetstown State Park
Prophetstown State Park, named after Tenskwatawa , a religious leader and younger brother of Shawnee leader Tecumseh, is located near the town of Battle Ground, Indiana, about a mile east of the site of the Battle of Tippecanoe. Established in 2004, it is Indiana’s newest state park...

 near the confluence of the Wabash
Wabash River
The Wabash River is a river in the Midwestern United States that flows southwest from northwest Ohio near Fort Recovery across northern Indiana to southern Illinois, where it forms the Illinois-Indiana border before draining into the Ohio River, of which it is the largest northern tributary...

 and Tippecanoe River
Tippecanoe River
The Tippecanoe River is a gentle, river in northern Indiana that flows from Big Lake in Noble County to the Wabash River near Battle Ground, about northeast of Lafayette. The name "Tippecanoe" comes from a Miami-Illinois word for buffalo fish, reconstructed as */kiteepihkwana/.The Tippecanoe...

s, land claimed by the Miami. Little Turtle told the Shawnee that they were unwelcome there, but the warnings were ignored. Tenskwatawa's religious teachings became more widely known as they became more militant, and he attracted Native American followers from many different nations, including Shawnee, Canadian Iroquois
The Iroquois , also known as the Haudenosaunee or the "People of the Longhouse", are an association of several tribes of indigenous people of North America...

, Chickamauga, Fox, Miami
Miami tribe
The Miami are a Native American nation originally found in what is now Indiana, southwest Michigan, and western Ohio. The Miami Tribe of Oklahoma is the only federally recognized tribe of Miami Indians in the United States...

, Mingo
The Mingo are an Iroquoian group of Native Americans made up of peoples who migrated west to the Ohio Country in the mid-eighteenth century. Anglo-Americans called these migrants mingos, a corruption of mingwe, an Eastern Algonquian name for Iroquoian-language groups in general. Mingos have also...

, Ojibway, Ottawa
Ottawa (tribe)
The Odawa or Ottawa, said to mean "traders," are a Native American and First Nations people. They are one of the Anishinaabeg, related to but distinct from the Ojibwe nation. Their original homelands are located on Manitoulin Island, near the northern shores of Lake Huron, on the Bruce Peninsula in...

, Kickapoo, Delaware (Lenape)
The Lenape are an Algonquian group of Native Americans of the Northeastern Woodlands. They are also called Delaware Indians. As a result of the American Revolutionary War and later Indian removals from the eastern United States, today the main groups live in Canada, where they are enrolled in the...

, Mascouten
The Mascouten were a tribe of Algonquian-speaking native Americans who are believed to have dwelt on both sides of the Mississippi River adjacent to the present-day Wisconsin-Illinois border....

, Potawatomi
The Potawatomi are a Native American people of the upper Mississippi River region. They traditionally speak the Potawatomi language, a member of the Algonquian family. In the Potawatomi language, they generally call themselves Bodéwadmi, a name that means "keepers of the fire" and that was applied...

, Sauk, and Wyandot.

In 1808 Tecumseh began to be seen as a leader by his community. In 1808 the British in Canada approached him to form an alliance, but he refused. It was not until 1810 that the Americans first took notice of him. Tecumseh eventually emerged as the leader of the confederation, but it was built upon a foundation established by the religious appeal of his younger brother.

Willig (1997) states that Tippecanoe was the largest Native American community in the Great Lakes region and served as important cultural and religious center. It was an intertribal, religious stronghold along the Wabash River in Indiana for three thousand Native Americans, Tippecanoe, known as Prophetstown to whites. Led by Tenskwatawa initially, and later jointly with Tecumseh, thousands of Algonquin-speaking Indians gathered at Tippecanoe to gain spiritual strength.

Indiana Territory

Meanwhile, in 1800, William Henry Harrison had become the governor of the newly formed Indiana Territory
Indiana Territory
The Territory of Indiana was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from July 4, 1800, until November 7, 1816, when the southern portion of the territory was admitted to the Union as the state of Indiana....

, with the capital at Vincennes
Vincennes, Indiana
Vincennes is a city in and the county seat of Knox County, Indiana, United States. It is located on the Wabash River in the southwestern part of the state. The population was 18,701 at the 2000 census...

. Harrison sought to secure title to Indian lands in order to allow for American expansion; in particular he hoped that the Indiana Territory would attract enough white settlers so as to qualify for statehood. Harrison negotiated numerous land cession treaties with American Indians.

In 1809 Harrison began to push for the need of another treaty to open more land for settlement. The Miami, Wea, and Kickapoo were "vehemently" opposed to selling any more land around the Wabash River
Wabash River
The Wabash River is a river in the Midwestern United States that flows southwest from northwest Ohio near Fort Recovery across northern Indiana to southern Illinois, where it forms the Illinois-Indiana border before draining into the Ohio River, of which it is the largest northern tributary...

. In order to influence those groups to sell the land, Harrison decided, against the wishes of President James Madison
James Madison
James Madison, Jr. was an American statesman and political theorist. He was the fourth President of the United States and is hailed as the “Father of the Constitution” for being the primary author of the United States Constitution and at first an opponent of, and then a key author of the United...

, to first conclude a treaty with the tribes willing to sell and use them to help influence those who held out. In September 1809 he invited the Pottawatomie, Lenape, Eel Rivers, and the Miami to a meeting in Fort Wayne
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Fort Wayne is a city in the US state of Indiana and the county seat of Allen County. The population was 253,691 at the 2010 Census making it the 74th largest city in the United States and the second largest in Indiana...

. In the negotiations Harrison promised large subsidies and payments to the tribes if they would cede the lands he was asking for.

Only the Miami opposed the treaty, they presented their copy of the Treaty of Greenville and read the section that guaranteed their possession of the lands around the Wabash River. They then explained the history of the region and how they had invited other tribes to settle in their territory as friends. The Miami were concerned that the Wea leaders were not present, although they were the primary inhabitants of the land being sold. The Miami also wanted any new land sales to be paid for by the acre, and not by the tract. Harrison agreed to make the treaty's acceptance contingent on approval by the Wea and other tribes in the territory being purchased, but he refused to purchase land by the acre. He countered that it was better for the tribes to sell the land in tracts so as to prevent the Americans from only purchasing their best lands by the acre and leaving them only poor land to live on.

After two weeks of negotiating, the Pottawatomie leaders convinced the Miami to accept the treaty as reciprocity to the Pottawatomie who had earlier accepted treaties less advantageous to them at the request of the Miami. Finally the Treaty of Fort Wayne was signed on September 30, 1809, selling the United States over 3,000,000 acres (approximately 12,000 km²), chiefly along the Wabash River north of Vincennes. During the winter months, Harrison was able to obtain the acceptance of the Wea by offering them a large subsidy. The Kickapoo were closely allied with the Shawnee at Prophetstown and Harrison feared they would be difficult to sway. He offered the Wea an increased subsidy if the Kickapoo would also accept the treaty, causing the Wea to pressure the Kickapoo leaders to accept. By the spring of 1810 Harrison had completed negotiations and the treaty was finalized.


Tecumseh was outraged by the Treaty of Fort Wayne, and thereafter he emerged as a prominent political leader. Tecumseh revived an idea advocated in previous years by the Shawnee leader Blue Jacket
Blue Jacket
Blue Jacket or Weyapiersenwah was a war chief of the Shawnee people, known for his militant defense of Shawnee lands in the Ohio Country...

 and the Mohawk
Mohawk nation
Mohawk are the most easterly tribe of the Iroquois confederation. They call themselves Kanien'gehaga, people of the place of the flint...

 leader Joseph Brant
Joseph Brant
Thayendanegea or Joseph Brant was a Mohawk military and political leader, based in present-day New York, who was closely associated with Great Britain during and after the American Revolution. He was perhaps the most well-known American Indian of his generation...

, which stated that American Indian land was owned in common by all tribes, and thus no land could be sold without agreement by all. Tecumseh knew that such "broad consensus was impossible", but that is why he supported the position. Not yet ready to confront the United States directly, Tecumseh's primary adversaries were initially the Native American leaders who had signed the treaty, and he threatened to kill them all.

Tecumseh began to expand on his brother's teachings that called for the tribes to return to their ancestral ways, and began to connect the teachings with idea of a pan-tribal alliance. Tecumseh began to travel widely, urging warriors to abandon the accommodationist chiefs and to join the resistance at Prophetstown.

Harrison was impressed by Tecumseh and even referred to him in one letter as "one of those uncommon geniuses." Harrison thought that Tecumseh had the potential to create a strong empire if he went unchecked. Harrison suspected that he was behind attempts to start an uprising, and feared that if he was able to achieve a larger tribal federation, the British would take advantage of the situation to press their claims to the Northwest.

Confrontation at Grouseland

In August 1810 Tecumseh and 400 armed warriors traveled down the Wabash River to meet with Harrison in Vincennes. The warriors were all wearing war paint, and their sudden appearance at first frightened the soldiers at Vincennes. The leaders of the group were escorted to Grouseland
Grouseland, the William Henry Harrison Mansion and Museum, is a National Historic Landmark in architectural and historical fields. Grouseland is a large, two-story red brick home built for William Henry Harrison in Vincennes, Indiana, during his term as Governor of the Indiana Territory...

 where they met Harrison. Tecumseh insisted that the Fort Wayne treaty was illegitimate; he asked Harrison to nullify it and warned that Americans should not attempt to settle the lands sold in the treaty. Tecumseh acknowledged to Harrison that he had threatened to kill the chiefs who signed the treaty if they carried out its terms, and that his confederation was rapidly growing. Harrison responded to Tecumseh that the Miami were the owners of the land and could sell it if they so choose. He also rejected Tecumseh's claim that all the Indians formed one nation, and each nation could have separate relations with the United States. As proof Harrison told Tecumseh that the Great Spirit would have made all the tribes to speak one language if they were to be one nation.

Tecumseh launched an "impassioned rebuttal", but Harrison was unable to understand his language. A Shawnee who was friendly to Harrison cocked his pistol from the side lines to alert Harrison that Tecumseh's speech was leading to trouble. Finally an army lieutenant who could speak Tecumseh's language warned Harrison that he was encouraging the warriors with him to kill Harrison. Many of the warriors began to pull their weapons and Harrison pulled his sword. The entire town's population was only 1,000 and Tecumseh's men could have easily massacred the town, but once the few officers pulled their guns to defend Harrison the warriors backed down. Chief Winnemac, who was friendly to Harrison, countered Tecumseh's arguments to the warriors and instructed them that because they had come in peace, they should return in peace and fight another day. Before leaving, Tecumseh informed Harrison that unless the treaty was nullified, he would seek an alliance with the British.

Rising tensions

During the next year tensions began to rise quickly. Four settlers were murdered on the Missouri River
Missouri River
The Missouri River flows through the central United States, and is a tributary of the Mississippi River. It is the longest river in North America and drains the third largest area, though only the thirteenth largest by discharge. The Missouri's watershed encompasses most of the American Great...

 and in another incident a boatload of supplies was seized by natives from a group of traders. Harrison summoned Tecumseh to Vincennes to explain the actions of his allies. In August 1811, Tecumseh met with Harrison at Vincennes, assuring him that the Shawnee brothers meant to remain at peace with the United States. Tecumseh then traveled to the south on a mission to recruit allies among the "Five Civilized Tribes
Five Civilized Tribes
The Five Civilized Tribes were the five Native American nations—the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole—that were considered civilized by Anglo-European settlers during the colonial and early federal period because they adopted many of the colonists' customs and had generally good...

." Most of the southern nations rejected his appeals, but a faction among the Creeks
Creek people
The Muscogee , also known as the Creek or Creeks, are a Native American people traditionally from the southeastern United States. Mvskoke is their name in traditional spelling. The modern Muscogee live primarily in Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida...

, who came to be known as the Red Sticks
Red Sticks
Red Sticks is the English term for a traditionalist faction of Creek Indians who led a resistance movement which culminated in the outbreak of the Creek War in 1813....

, answered his call to arms, leading to the Creek War
Creek War
The Creek War , also known as the Red Stick War and the Creek Civil War, began as a civil war within the Creek nation...

, which also became a part of the War of 1812
War of 1812
The War of 1812 was a military conflict fought between the forces of the United States of America and those of the British Empire. The Americans declared war in 1812 for several reasons, including trade restrictions because of Britain's ongoing war with France, impressment of American merchant...

 Tecumseh delivered many passionate speeches and convinced many to join his cause.
As tensions rose, Harrison openly denounced Tensketawa as a fraud and a fool, enraging him. Tecumseh ordered his brother to take no action, but his brother continued to call for the death of Harrison. Tensketawa lifted the ban on firearms and was able to quickly procure them in large quantities from the British in Canada. Tecumseh made a strategic error by leaving him alone to travel to the south. Tensketawa took his brother's absence as an opportunity to raise tensions even higher by further stirring up his followers.

Expedition to the Prophetstown

Harrison had left the territory to travel to Kentucky
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...

 while Tecumseh was still away leaving Secretary John Gibson
John Gibson (Indiana)
John Gibson was a veteran of the French and Indian War, Lord Dunmore's War, the American Revolutionary War, Tecumseh's War, and the War of 1812. A delegate to the first Pennsylvania constitutional convention in 1790, and a merchant, he earned a reputation as a frontier leader and had good...

. Gibson had lived among the Indians for several years and soon heard from his friends that Tecumseh had secured an alliance with the British and procured weapons. He called out the territorial militia to prepare for the defense of the region and sent riders to recall Harrison. Harrison soon returned accompanied by 250 army regulars and 100 Kentucky volunteers. He gathered the scattered Indiana militia units, totaling about 600 men, and the Indiana Rangers
Indiana Rangers
The Indiana Rangers were a mounted militia formed in 1807 and operated in the early part of the 19th century to defend settlers in Indiana Territory from attacks by Native Americans. The rangers were present at the Battle of Tippecanoe, and served as auxiliaries to the army during the War of 1812...

 together north of Vincennes.

While Tecumseh was still in the south, Governor Harrison marched his army north along the Wabash River from Vincennes with more than 1,000 men on an expedition to intimidate the Prophet and his followers. His stated goal was to force them to accept peace, but he acknowledged that he would launch a preemptive attack on the natives if they refused. His army stopped near present day Terre Haute to construct Fort Harrison
Fort Harrison
Fort Harrison was an important component of the Confederate defenses of Richmond during the American Civil War. Named after Lieutenant William Harrison, a Confederate engineer, it was the largest in the series of fortifications that extended from New Market Road to the James River that also...

 to guard an important position on the Wabash River. While at Fort Harrison, Harrison received orders from Secretary of War
United States Secretary of War
The Secretary of War was a member of the United States President's Cabinet, beginning with George Washington's administration. A similar position, called either "Secretary at War" or "Secretary of War," was appointed to serve the Congress of the Confederation under the Articles of Confederation...

 William Eustis
William Eustis
William Eustis was an early American statesman.He was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts and studied at the Boston Latin School before he entered Harvard College, from which he graduated in 1772. He studied medicine under Dr. Joseph Warren and helped care for the wounded at the Battle of Bunker...

 authorizing him to use force if necessary to disperse the Indians at Prophetstown.

On November 6, 1811, Harrison's army arrived outside Prophetstown, and Tenskwatawa agreed to meet Harrison in a conference to be held the next day. Tenskwatawa, perhaps suspecting that Harrison intended to attack the village, decided to risk a preemptive strike, sending out about 500 of his warriors against the American encampment. Before the dawn of the next day, the Indians attacked, but Harrison's men held their ground, and the Indians withdrew from the village after the battle. The victorious Americans burned Prophetstown the following day and returned to Vincennes.


Harrison—and many subsequent historians—claimed that the Battle of Tippecanoe was a deathblow to Tecumseh's confederacy. Harrison, thereafter nicknamed "Tippecanoe", eventually became the President of the United States
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 largely on the memory of this victory. The battle was a severe blow for Tenskwatawa, who lost prestige and the confidence of his brother. However, although it was a significant setback, Tecumseh began to secretly rebuild the alliance upon his return from the south.

By December, most of the major American papers began to carry stories on the battle. Public outrage quickly grew and many Americans blamed the British
Kingdom of Great Britain
The former Kingdom of Great Britain, sometimes described as the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain', That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, shall upon the 1st May next ensuing the date hereof, and forever after, be United into One Kingdom by the Name of GREAT BRITAIN. was a sovereign...

 for inciting the tribes to violence and supplying them with firearms. Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson was the seventh President of the United States . Based in frontier Tennessee, Jackson was a politician and army general who defeated the Creek Indians at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend , and the British at the Battle of New Orleans...

 was among the forefront of men calling for war, claiming that Indians were "excited by secret British agents." Other western governors called for action, William Blount
William Blount
William Blount, was a United States statesman. He was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention for North Carolina, the first and only governor of the Southwest Territory, and Democratic-Republican Senator from Tennessee . He played a major role in establishing the state of Tennessee. He was the...

 of Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

 called on the government to "purge the camps of Indians of every Englishmen to be found..." Acting on popular sentiment, Congress passed resolutions condemning the British for interfering in American domestic affairs. Tippecanoe fueled the worsening tension with Britain, culminating in a declaration of war only a few months later.

As the Americans went to war with the British, Tecumseh found British allies in Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

. Canadians would subsequently remember Tecumseh as a defender of Canada, but his actions in the War of 1812—which would cost him his life—were a continuation of his efforts to secure Native American independence from outside dominance. Tecumseh continued the struggle until his death in the 1813 Battle of Thames, ending the native uprising.

Further reading

  • Cave, Alfred A. "The Shawnee Prophet, Tecumseh, and Tippecanoe: A Case Study of Historical Myth-Making," Journal of the Early Republic, Winter 2002, Vol. 22 Issue 4, p637-74
  • Cleaves, Freeman. Old Tippecanoe: William Henry Harrison and His Time. New York: Scribner's, 1939.
  • Dowd, Gregory Evans. A Spirited Resistance: The North American Indian Struggle for Unity, 1745-1815. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press
    Johns Hopkins University Press
    The Johns Hopkins University Press is the publishing division of the Johns Hopkins University. It was founded in 1878 and holds the distinction of being the oldest continuously running university press in the United States. The Press publishes books, journals, and electronic databases...

    , 1992.
  • Edmunds, R. David. Tecumseh and the Quest for Indian Leadership. Boston: Little Brown, 1984.
  • Edmunds, R. David. "Forgotten Allies: The Loyal Shawnees and the War of 1812" in David Curtis Skaggs and Larry L. Nelson, eds., The Sixty Years' War for the Great Lakes, 1754-1814, pp. 337–51. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press
    Michigan State University Press
    Michigan State University Press, founded in 1947, is the scholarly publishing arm of Michigan State University. During the past six decades it has become a vital part of the institution's land-grant mission and is a catalyst for positive intellectual, social, and technological change through the...

    , 2001.
  • Edmunds, R. David. The Shawnee Prophet (1985) excerpt and text search
  • Willig, Timothy D. "Prophetstown on the Wabash: The Native Spiritual Defense of the Old Northwest," Michigan Historical Review, Mar 1997, Vol. 23 Issue 2, pp 115–158
  • Willig, Timothy D. Restoring the Chain of Friendship: British Policy and the Indians of the Great Lakes, 1783-1815 (2008) excerpt and a text search as read to the Filson Club.
  • Sugden, John. Tecumseh: A Life. New York: Holt, 1997.
  • ———. "Black Hoof" in American National Biography. Oxford University Press
    Oxford University Press
    Oxford University Press is the largest university press in the world. It is a department of the University of Oxford and is governed by a group of 15 academics appointed by the Vice-Chancellor known as the Delegates of the Press. They are headed by the Secretary to the Delegates, who serves as...

    , 1999.

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