A more militant message was expounded by two Shawnee brothers— Tecumseh, a chief who had refused to sign the Treaty of Greenville in 1795, and Tenskwatawa, a religious prophet who called for complete separation from whites, the revival of traditional Indian culture, and resistance to federal policies. White people, Tenskwatawa preached, were the source of all evil in the world, and Indians should abandon American alcohol, clothing, food, and manufactured goods. His followers gathered at Prophetstown, located on the Wabash River in Indiana.

Tecumseh meanwhile traversed the Mississippi Valley, seeking to revive Neolin’s pan-Indian alliance of the 1760s (discussed in Chapter 4). The alternative to resistance was extermination. “Where today are the Pequot?” he asked. “Where are the Narragansett, the Mohican, the Pocanet, and other powerful tribes of our people? They have vanished before the avarice [greed] and oppression of the white man, as snow before the summer sun.” Indians, he proclaimed, must recognize that they were a single people and unite in claiming “a common and equal right in the land.” He repudiated chiefs who had sold land to the federal government: “Sell a country! Why not sell the air, the great sea, as well as the earth? Did not the Great Spirit make them all for the use of his children?” In 1810, Tecumseh called for attacks on American frontier settlements. In November 1811, while he was absent, American forces under William Henry Harrison destroyed Prophetstown in the Battle of Tippecanoe.

If you find an error or have any questions, please email us at admin@erenow.net. Thank you!