NCAI and its co-sponsors will be hosting Tribal Unity Impact Days on September 12-13, 2018. This event will allow tribal leaders to engage with key members of Congress. On the morning of September 12, senators and representatives will brief tribal leaders on the current and critical legislative issues affecting American Indians and Alaska Natives. The rest of the two days will be for tribal advocacy meetings with congressional members and their staff.
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Piqua Shawnee, Piqua Shawnee Tribe, NCAI, Congress
Organizer of Indian confederation – Tecumseh
With inexhaustible energy, Tecumseh began to form an Indian confederation to resist white pressure. He made long journeys in a vast territory, from the Ozarks to New York and from Iowa to Florida, gaining recruits (particularly among the tribes of the Creek Confederacy, to which his mother’s tribe belonged). The tide of settlers had pushed game from the Indians’ hunting grounds, and, as a result, the Indian economy had broken down.
In 1811, while Tecumseh was in the South, William Henry Harrison, governor of the Indiana Territory, marched up the Wabash River and camped near the brothers’ settlement. The Prophet unwisely attacked Harrison’s camp and was so decisively defeated in the ensuing Battle of Tippecanoe that his followers dispersed, and he, having lost his prestige, fled to Canada and ceased to be a factor in Tecumseh’s plans.
Seeing the approach of war (the War of 1812) between the Americans and British, Tecumseh assembled his followers and joined the British forces at Fort Malden on the Canadian side of the Detroit River. There he brought together perhaps the most formidable force ever commanded by a North American Indian, an accomplishment that was a decisive factor in the capture of Detroit and of 2,500 U.S. soldiers (1812).
Fired with the promise of triumph after the fall of Detroit, Tecumseh departed on another long journey to arouse the tribes, which resulted in the uprising of the Alabama Creeks in response to his oratory, though the Chickasaws, Choctaws, and Cherokees rebuffed him. He returned north and joined the British general Henry A. Procter in his invasion of Ohio. Together they besieged Fort Meigs, held by William Henry Harrison, on the Maumee River above Toledo, where by a stratagem Tecumseh intercepted and destroyed a brigade of Kentuckians under Colonel William Dudley that had been coming to Harrison’s relief. He and Procter failed to capture the fort, however, and were put on the defensive by Oliver Hazard Perry’s decisive victory over the British fleet on Lake Erie (September 10, 1813). Harrison thereupon invaded Canada. Tecumseh with his Indians reluctantly accompanied the retiring British, whom Harrison pursued to the Thames River, in present-day southern Ontario. There, on October 5, 1813, the British and Indians were routed, and Harrison won control of the Northwest. Tecumseh, directing most of the fighting, was killed. His body was carried from the field and buried secretly in a grave that has never been discovered. Nor has it ever been determined who killed Tecumseh. Tecumseh’s death marked the end of Indian resistance in the Ohio River valley and in most of the lower Midwest and South, and soon thereafter the depleted tribes were transported beyond the Mississippi River.
NCAI Urges Senate Leadership to Reauthorize CHIP and SDPI
On December 11th, 2017, NCAI sent the attached letters to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) urging them to promptly reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI).
Both programs were reauthorized until September 30th, 2017 by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA, Public Law 114-10). While CHIP is currently expired, SDPI was extended until December 31st, 2017 through the Disaster Tax Relief and Airport and Airway Extension Act. CHIP and SDPI have had positive impacts in Indian Country and failure to reauthorize these programs jeopardizes the great strides that have been made in ensuring American Indian and Alaska Native children are insured and decreasing the rate of diabetes and diabetes-related complications in Indian Country.
NCAI Contact Info: Josh Pitre, Senior Policy Analyst, email@example.com
Read the CHIP Letter>
Read the SDPI Letter:
Little is known about him, since he only appears in written historical records during the last three years of his life, primarily because of his interactions with the famous American frontiersmen Daniel Boone and Simon Kenton.
When the Shawnees were defeated by Virginia in Dunmore’s War in 1774 , the resulting peace treaty made the Ohio River the boundary between western Virginia (what is now Kentucky and West Virginia) and American Indian lands in the Ohio Country. Although this treaty was agreed to by Shawnee leaders such as Cornstalk, Blackfish and a number of other leaders refused to acknowledge the loss of their traditional hunting grounds in Kentucky.
Violence along the border escalated with the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War in 1775. As a result, the Chillicothe Shawnees moved their town on the Scioto River further west to the Little Miami River, near what is now Xenia, Ohio. Encouraged and supplied by British officials in Detroit, Blackfish and others launched raids against American settlers in Kentucky, hoping to drive them out of the region. In revenge for the murder of Cornstalk by American militiamen in November 1777, Blackfish set out on an unexpected winter raid in Kentucky, capturing American frontiersman Daniel Boone and a number of others on the Licking River on February 7, 1778. Boone, respected by the Shawnees for his extraordinary hunting skills, was taken back to Chillicothe and adopted into the tribe. The traditional tale is that Boone was adopted by Blackfish himself, although historian John Sugden suggests that Boone was probably adopted by another family.
Boone escaped in June 1778 when he learned that Blackfish was launching a siege of the Kentucky settlement of Boonesborough, which commenced in September of that year. The siege of Boonesborough was unsuccessful, and the Kentuckians, led by Colonel John Bowman, counterattacked Chillicothe the following spring. This raid was also unsuccessful, but Blackfish was shot in the leg, a wound which became infected and was eventually fatal.
- Faragher, John Mack. Daniel Boone: The Life and Legend of an American Pioneer. New York: Holt, 1992.
- Lofaro, Michael. Daniel Boone: An American Life. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 2003.
- Sugden, John. “Blackfish” in American National Biography. Oxford University Press, 1999.
Tecumseh was born in 1768 near Chillicothe, Ohio. His father, Puckshinwau was a minor Shawnee war chief. His mother Methotaske was also Shawnee. Tecumseh came of age during the height of the French and Indian War and in 1774 his father was killed at the Battle of Point Pleasant during Lord Dunmore’s War. This had a lasting effect on Tecumseh and he vowed to become a warrior like his father. As a teenager he joined the American Indian Confederacy under the leadership of Mohawk Chief Joseph Brant. Brant encouraged tribes to share ownership of their territory and pool their resources and manpower to defend that territory against encroaching settlers. Tecumseh led a group of raiders in these efforts, attacking American boats trying to make their way down the Ohio River. These raids were extremely successful, nearly cutting off river access to the territory for a time. In 1791 he further proved himself at the Battle of the Wabash as one of the warriors who defeated General Arthur St. Clair and his army. Tecumseh fought under Blue Jacket and Little Turtle and the American Indian Confederacy was victorious slaying 952 of the 1,000 American soldiers in St. Clair’s army. St. Clair was forced to resign. In 1794 Tecumseh also fought in the Battle of Fallen Timbers. This decisive conflict against General Anthony Wayne and his American forces ended in a brutal defeat for the American Indian Confederacy. A small contingency of about 250 stayed with Tecumseh after the battle, following him eventually to what would become Prophetstown and a new pan-Indian alliance.
|Portrait of the Shawnee military and political leader Tecumseh, ca. 1800-1813. He worked with his brother Tenskwatawa, known as ‘The Prophet,’ to unite American Indian tribes in the Northwest Territory to defend themselves against white settlers.|
Tecumseh’s brother Tenskwatawa joined him at Prophetstown, also known as Tippecanoe in Indiana Territory and in 1808 the two men began recruiting a large multi-tribal community of followers under a message of resistance to settlers, the American government, and assimilation. Tecumseh traveled north to Canada and south to Alabama in an effort to recruit men to his cause. Meanwhile, William Henry Harrison, governor of Indiana Territory was negotiating treaties and utilizing American forces to put pressure on those tribes still in Indiana and especially those allied with Prophetstown. In 1809 Harrison, signed the Treaty of Fort Wayne which allotted him a massive amount of American Indian territory thus increasing Tecumseh’s efforts and amplifying his message. Tecumseh was away from Prophetstown on a recruitment journey when Harrison launched a sneak attack now known as the Battle of Tippecanoe. The American forces cleared the encampment and then burned it to the ground. It was a severe blow to the confederacy and a harbinger of war to come.
On June 1, 1812 under the advisement of President Madison, Congress declared war on Great Britain. In the Northwest Territory, American Indian tribes found themselves pulled in two separate directions – side with the British or with the Americans. Tecumseh and his confederacy sided with the British. He and his men were assigned to overtake the city of Detroit with Major General Isaac Brock. The siege of Detroit was a success due in no small part to Tecumseh’s military strategy. He continued to support British efforts under Major-General Procter at the Siege of Fort Meigs. The siege failed and morale waned as a result.
In the fall of 1813 as conditions around Detroit worsened, Procter began a retreat east toward Niagara. Tecumseh requested arms so that his men could stay in the Northwest Territory and continue to defend their lands. Procter agreed to make a stand at the forks of the Thames River. However, when forces reached the site communication broke down and some men deserted while others continued east. When the Americans attacked, large sections of forces broke leaving about 500 hundred American Indians to hold back 3,000 Americans. Tecumseh was fatally wounded in the battle. It is unknown who killed him or what happened to his remains. His death began a rapid decline in American Indian resistance and the War of 1812 is marked as the beginning of removal in the upper Midwest.
Originally from the southern states of Tennessee and South Carolina, the Shawnee Indians moved often before the first group arrived in the Wyandotte and Johnson County area.
In 1825, the Shawnee living near Cape Girardeau, Missouri, were removed from their homes by the United States government and given a tract of land south of the Kansas River and west of the Missouri River. Relocation began in 1826. The 1.6 million acre reservation extended west for many miles, but the Shawnee chose to occupy only a small portion. Few lived west of Lawrence, and the majority remained in Wyandotte and Johnson counties. Their numbers grew when Shawnee from Ohio began arriving later that year.
The spiritual leader Tensquatawa, the Shawnee Prophet, was among the Ohio Shawnee, arriving in 1828. In the early 1800s, Tensquatawa, the younger brother of Shawnee leader Tecumseh, had encouraged an alliance of all Indians against the American encroachment and preached that tribal leaders did not have the right to sign away tribal lands. His message caught on with young members of the tribe, and he developed a substantial following. In 1808 he established a village in Indiana called Prophetstown, and it thrived for three years. When Tensquatawa moved to Kansas, he established a new Prophetstown near the present South 26th Street and Woodend Avenue in Kansas City. His high regard with the Shawnee, however, had waned, and Tensquatawa never regained his status; the new town did not prosper. In the early 1830s he moved to a small cabin near a spring in the present Argentine area of Kansas City, where he died in 1837.
In 1854 the U.S. government reduced the Kansas reservation to 160,000 acres and parceled out the rest of the land in 200 acre allotments. Susan White Feather purchased the property near the spring that was formerly occupied by Tensquatawa, and the site became known as White Feather Spring, the final resting place of the Shawnee Prophet.
During and after the Civil War, white settlers antagonized the Shawnee and a great many were ready to move on by the late 1860s. Some remained on the Kansas reservation, but most of the Shawnee relocated to a Cherokee reservation in Oklahoma.
Learn More by Visiting http://www.kshs.org/kansapedia/shawnee-indians/19230
Entry: Shawnee Indians
Author: Kansas Historical Society
Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state’s history.
Date Created: July 2015
Date Modified: December 2015