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Tecumseh


Tecumseh’s
Tecumseh’s

Indiana’s settler population grew to more than 24,000 in the first decade of the 19th century, even though the territory was greatly reduced in size; Michigan Territory was split off in 1805 and Illinois Territory in 1809. Indiana’s present boundaries were established in 1816 when it became a state. During these years, Governor Harrison concluded a number of land cession agreements with various Native American groups for lands east of the Mississippi, including all of southern Indiana. Many of these peoples eventually regretted the agreements, in which they received extremely little for their lands.

Hoping to regain their former territories, numerous Native American groups banded together under the leadership of Shawnee chief Tecumseh and his brother Tenskwatawa, who was known as the Shawnee Prophet. Some in Indiana joined Tecumseh’s confederacy, although Little Turtle honored his peace treaty and kept the Miami neutral. In 1810 settlements in Indiana began to come under attack. Peace talks between Tecumseh and Harrison failed. Finally, on September 26, 1811, Harrison and a force of about 900 men set out from Vincennes toward the Shawnee chief’s headquarters at Prophetstown, a few miles south of the junction of the Tippecanoe and Wabash rivers, near present-day Lafayette. On November 7, Harrison’s army defeated an almost equal force of Shawnee and their allies near Prophetstown, and the next morning they destroyed Tecumseh’s headquarters. Tecumseh himself was away in the south at the time.

Tecumseh’s confederacy was broken by the defeat at the Battle of Tippecanoe, as the battle near Prophetstown came to be called. However, there was still considerable hostility among the Native Americans, and most of the peoples north of the Ohio followed Tecumseh’s example in siding with the British against the United States in the War of 1812. In the first months of the war the Shawnee massacred settlers at Pigeon Roost in southeastern Indiana. They also attacked and partly burned Fort Harrison at Terre Haute, and together with British troops attempted unsuccessfully to capture Fort Wayne. Little Turtle died that summer, and without his leadership the Miami joined the war. The last battle of the war in Indiana was fought in December 1812 between Miami and United States troops in Grant County, along the Mississinewa River. The battle, which the Miami lost, marked the end of Native American warfare in Indiana. "Indiana" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia

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