Tecumseh (Dictionary of World Biography: The 19th Century)
Article abstract: Leading Indians of the Old Northwest in a united defense against the intrusion of white settlers, Tecumseh contributed significantly to the development of pan-Indianism in American history.
In the Shawnee village of Old Piqua on the Mad River of what is modern western Ohio, Tecumseh was born to Methoataske, a Creek Indian woman. Her Shawnee husband, Puckeshinwa, had met her earlier, while staying with Creek Indians in Alabama. When Tecumseh was still a very young boy, Virginians began pushing into Kentucky onto lands used extensively for hunting by the Shawnee. The Indians resisted, and in 1774, Virginia Governor Lord John Dunmore led troops into the area. Puckeshinwa died in one of the subsequent battles, leaving support of his family in the hands of relatives and in those of a war chief named Blackfish from a nearby village.
During the American Revolution, the Shawnee again went to war against whites. In 1779, local Kentuckians wrongly accused several Shawnee, including a popular leader known as Cornstalk, of some recent killings and senselessly killed them. The intense fighting that followed eventually led about a thousand members of the tribe to move for a time to southeastern Missouri. Methoataske was one of the migrants, but Tecumseh and his seven brothers and sisters did not accompany their mother. Instead, other family members took the children. Tecumseh moved in with his...
(The entire section is 2110 words.)
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Tecumseh (American Indians Ready Reference)
Article abstract: Tecumseh was one of the first Indian leaders to attempt (and, to a degree, succeed in) the forging of an alliance among all Indians to resist the westward expansion of white settlements in North America.
Tecumseh was the fifth child of a Creek woman named Methoataske (Turtle Laying Eggs), who lived in a Shawnee village in western Ohio near modern Chillicothe. His name, Tecumseh, means “shooting star” in the Shawnee language. His father, Puckeshinwa, a Shawnee war chief, had married Methoataske during the French and Indian War (1756-1763). The couple later had four more children.
Puckeshinwa died in battle during Pontiac's Rebellion in 1774. Tecumseh's oldest brother, Chiksika, attempted to provide for the family, but Methoataske often had to rely on the charity of her husband's kinsmen to survive. When the American Revolution began in 1776, Shawnee warriors participated in raids on U.S. settlements in Kentucky, provoking a war between U.S. citizens and the Shawnee. Many Shawnee subsequently moved west to avoid the horrors of war. Methoataske and her youngest children joined an exodus of more than one thousand Shawnee to southeastern Missouri. Tecumseh and his older siblings remained in Ohio, where they were cared for by their...
(The entire section is 1096 words.)
Tecumseh (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: Military significance: Tecumseh’s alliance was defeated at the Battle of Tippecanoe, opening much of the Ohio River Valley for European-American settlement.
Tecumseh, a Shawnee, was said to have been a muscular man of great physical endurance. He was a skilled hunter who often provided for several families other than his own with a legendary generosity. He had a full, high forehead, a slightly aquiline nose, and penetrating black eyes nestled under prominent eyebrows. Tecumseh was a studious man who could read English, and had something of a passion for books. He surprised some British and American observers with his knowledge of Shakespeare and the Scriptures, as well as other aspects of European history and culture.
At the beginning of the nineteenth century, Tecumseh began to assemble the Shawnee, Delaware, Ottawa, Ojibwa, Kickapoo, and Wyandot into a confederation with the aim of establishing a permanent Native American state that would act as a buffer zone between the United States to the east and English Canada to the north. He traveled widely, especially to the south and east among the Choctaw, Chickasaw, and other native nations who were facing waves of immigration and sought a broad alliance in which no individual native nation would cede its lands without the...
(The entire section is 629 words.)