Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tippecanoe and the Prophet, Too

Tippecanoe and the Prophet, Too

I)                   The Treaty of Greenville

A)    Battle of Fallen Timbers

1)      Defeat of Indian Confederacy – Gen. Anthony Wayne decisively defeated combined Indian Forces, who were again abandoned by their British allies, in the late summer of 1794.

B)     Terms

1)      Shawnees big loser – the Shawnee people were perhaps most effected by the treaty, since the terms made Indians cede “title” to 2/3rds of Ohio; a line stretching from the Cuyahoga River in the east southwest to the site of Fort Recovery, near the present Indiana border, as well as the sites of Fort Defiance and Fort Wayne

C)     Area of white settlement

1)      South of Greenville Treaty Line

2)      Chillecothe – a Shawnee name (and one they chose to use frequenly)

D)    Areas of Indian Settlement

II)                 Indian Settlements

A)    Wapakoneta

1)      Black Hoof—followers of Black Hoof agreed to live on farms, raise crops in fenced plots as well as farm animals like cows and sheep.

2)      Gnadenhutten massacre (1782) – a group of Delaware Indians were massacred by white settlers in retaliation for Indian atrocities—which none of the Gnadenhutten Delawares had been a part of, but for which they were made to suffer.

B)     Au Glaize

1)      Trading area – the Glaize was located near the confluence of the Au Glaize River and the Maumee River, near present-day Defiance, Ohio

2)      Multi-ethnic – the Glaize was home to several white traders, their Indian wives, mestizo children—as well as several villages of Indian peoples, including the Miami and Shawnee

C)     White River (near present-day Anderson)

1)      Delawares and Shawnees—after the Treaty of Greenville, Shawnee Indians split into several factions. Some followed Black Hoof to Wapakoneta; other followed Blue Jacket to near Little Turtles settlement near Fort Wayne; still other (including Tecumseh and Lillawetheka) followed Captain Johnny, who set up a village by 1804 on Swan Creek, near a blockhouse built for them by the British, which was eventually taken over by American forces and named Fort Industry, forcing the group to move once again; many followed Tecumseh at this point to settle near a group of Delaware on the White River.

III)              Indians and Prophecy

A)    Delaware Prophets

1)      Prophetess Beata – Beata was a Delaware women, who had lived among the Moravians. During the winter of 1806, many Delaware were dying of some sickness (flu?); Beata began preaching that this sickness was in fact inflicted upon them by the Great Spirit because of their wickedness as a people—those who contined to live in this manner would suffer the same fate.

(a)    Malevolent witches – Beata also preached, and many Delaware believed, that this sickness was also the work of witches. In Indian belief, witches tended to be older people in the village, whose longevity could often be attributed being particularly conversant with the spirit world.

2)      Neolin – and earlier Delaware prophet, who also preached a Christian-influenced doctrine. What is particularly important in noting this, I believe, is that we now are talking about doctrines and Indians—something that was not present before.

B)     Return to the “true religion” – in the period from the 1780s forward, native religions begin to adopt more Christian aspects: messages from a Supreme Being, a moral code including monogamy, prohibitions against drinking, and so forth. Before this time period, morality is not really much of an issue. Strictures are also issued against the adoption of white mores—the eating of domesticated animals, the consumption of alcohol, selling goods for money (especially game and pelts)

IV)              Tenskwatawa—The Shawnee Prophet

A)    Tenskwatawa and Tecumseh

1)      Sources of knowledge about the brothers

(a)    Draper Collection – collected years after the fact

(b)   Indian sources – from the Prophet, years after the fact, and from metis named Anthony Shane, who hated the Prophet

(c)    White sources – tended to favor Tecumseh, because he fit the white image of the “noble savage”—he was tall, good-looking, fierce warrior; Tenskwatawa, on the other hand, fit the devious image of the Indian—short, missing an eye, a shaman (religious figure—but not Christian).

2)      The Shawnee Prophet

(a)    Tenskwatawa’s vision

(b)   Religion of the Prophet

(i)                 Abandon white ways, including all animals except the horse

(ii)               Take up monogamy

(iii)             Forsake the sale of goods

(iv)             Sever all contact with whites as far as possible; Indian women who had white husbands were to leave those families, including any children fathered by whites.

(v)               Tenskwatawa also called for the end of fighting between Indian people, especially the abuse of spouses and children; but he also attempted to undercut the influence of women in tribal politics (again, an European influence)

(c)    Not all Indians completely followed all strictures, but the power of Tenskwatawa’s preaching was extremely attractive to many

(d)   Move to Greenville (1807)

(i)                 Initially, government officials allowed the Prophet and Tecumseh to establish their village at Greenville; however, the number of Indians traveling to Greenville to hear Tenskwatawa, and carry his message to other Indians, prompted many whites to suspect that an uprising was being planned.

(e)    Removal to Prophet’s Town – in order to diminish white hostility toward their band, Tenskwatawa and Tecumseh remove their band to a location near the mouth of the Tippecanoe River in what is now northwestern Indiana. Here the followers of the Prophet built a substantial village, consisting of about two hundred dwellings.

(i)                 Treaty of Fort Wayne (1809) – this treaty, negotiated by William Henry Harrison at the encouragement of former president Thomas Jefferson, upset great number of Indians living near the Great Lakes, and caused them to be even more receptive to Tenskwatawa’s message.

(f)     Harrison’s attack on Prophetstown – negotiations with the Shawnee leaders deteriorated in the intervening years, in part because Harrison was unable to stop the growing influence of the Prophet. In November of 1811, while Tecumseh was away, Harrison led a contingent of Kentucky Riflemen and Indiana militia volunteers north from Valparaso to near Prophetstown; Indian forces attacked, but were defeated, and the force under Harrison’s command scattered the remaining Indians, and burned the village and the cache of corn.

(g)    This is generally seen as a great victory, and thirty years later became the successful campaign slogan for Harrison; at the time, however, this “victory” was much less clear-cut, since the scattered Indian forces attacked a number of isolated white settlements, and by the spring of 1812, Tenskwatawa has been able to re-establish his village.
B)     War of 1812

1)      Death of Tecumseh – Tecumseh was killed during the War of 1812 at the Battle of the Thames, near Amherstburg. Tenskwatawa, never very good as a warrior (his role was more of a religious leader/civil chief) remained in Canada, until a decade later or so, when he sought a pardon and the be allowed to live with his fellow Shawnee in the land that they had been granted in Kansas, which he was allowed to do.

V)                Conclusion—how are we then to judge the influence of Tenskwatawa and Tecumseh?

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