Thursday, October 11, 2012
Who Was Tecumseh?
Tecumseh was a brilliant Shawnee chief, politician and warrior. The Shawnee, like other tribes, were driven off their traditional territory in what is now Ohio by the American military who brutally cleared the way for advancing American settlement. From childhood onwards, Tecumseh steadily engaged in warfare, violence and conflict with the United States.
Tecumseh spent his life trying to forge an Indian Confederacy strong enough to withstand white takeover of continental America. But the tribes were in crisis and in flux, traumatized and divided, inclined to fight among themselves rather than to unite against the larger enemy. Tecumseh did not succeed in creating a unified Confederacy. But he did lead a significant alliance of warriors drawn from various tribes. In the War of 1812, Tecumseh led his warriors north of the Great Lakes and teamed up with the British, who made big (but ultimately empty) promises of granting territory for an independent aboriginal nation.
Tomorrow: What Was the Upper Canada Militia?