Clark County, Ohio

History and Genealogy



Tecumseh


From The History of Clark County, Ohio
Chicago: W.H. Beers & Co., 1881 - Page 374


The noted Indian Chief and Shawnee warrior, Tecumseh, was born on this spot and was twelve years old at the time of Gen. Clark's attack. The following biography of this remarkable man is given in the American Encyclopedia:

Tecumseh, or Tecumtha, a chief of the Shawnee Indians, was born near the present city of Springfield, Ohio, about 1768, and was killed at the battle of the Thames (Canada), October 5, 1813, being then forty-five years of age. His first prominent appearance was in the attack on Fort Recovery in 1794. About 1805, his brother, Elskwatawa, set up as a prophet, denouncing the use of liquors, and of all food and manners introduced by the whites. Tecumseh and the Prophet then attempted to unite all the Western tribes into one nation to resist the whites. They visited the Indians from the Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico, and soon had a village of 400 Indians gathered at Greenville. Gen. Harrison required them to remove, as it was beyond the Indian limit fixed by treaty. Tecumseh went to Vincennes with 400 warriors to over-awe Harrison, and the conference was broken up by his violence. Finding that he had gone too far, he attempted to explain. In 1811, while he was in the South exciting the Creeks and Seminoles to rise by promise of English aid, Harrison marched on the Prophet's town to demand that the Indians should return to their various tribes, murderers of whites to be surrendered, and plunder given up. the Prophet attacked him and was defeated at Tippecanoe, on the Wabash, November 7. This disconcerted Tecumseh's plans and broke the spell of the Prophet's power. When war was declared with England, Tecumseh appeared in Canada with a number of warriors and refused to meet the American commanders in council. He was in the action against Van Horne on the Raisin, and after being wounded at Maguaga was made a Brigadier General in the British forces. He was in command with Proctor at the siege of Fort Meigs, and saved American prisoners from massacre. After the battle of Lake Erie, he urged Proctor to engage Harrison when he landed, but accompanied him in his retreat. In the first engagement, he was wounded while holding the passage of the stream. With Proctor he selected the battle-ground at the Thames, in the southwest corner of Canada, and commanded the right wing. Laying his sword and uniform in the conviction that he must fall, he put on his hunting dress and fought desperately until he was killed. Col. R. M. Johnson was said to have shot him; but in reality his death was not for some days known to the Americans.