The Great Native American Chiefs

Tecumseh (1768?-1813)


As a young man the Shawnee chief Tecumseh was taught to read and write in English, and from his subsequent reading he came to believe that the whites had no moral right to invade the land which had historically been free to all men, nor any right to erect fences and drive the Indians off the land. He became a preacher and a leader in the cause of unifying all of the tribes into one great confederacy that would oppose settlement by whites. When this came to the attention of the government, William Henry Harrison, then governor of the Indiana Territory, attacked the Shawnee at Tippecanoe, throwing the Indian union fatally off balance. The War of 1812 further disintegrated the confederacy, as members of the alliance took opposing sides in the conflict. Tecumseh sided with the British and died at the Battle of the Thames River in 1813; with him died the dream of a great Indian union.

Source: Famous Native American Leaders - Dover Press


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