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School History

Who was Tecumseh?

Tecumseh, Shawnee War Chief, (1768-1813)

Tecumseh was a Shawnee chief born in 1768. He was a Native American leader of the Shawnee and a large tribal confederacy that opposed the United States during the War of 1812. Tecumseh attempted to stop the advance of white settlement into the Old Northwest. Tecumseh believed that Aboriginal peoples must return to their traditional ways, forgetting intertribal rivalries and holding onto land that all Aboriginals held in common. Tecumseh joined the British against the Americans in the War of 1812. His support for Major-General Sir Isaac Brock at the capture of Detroit was decisive. Before the British approach, Tecumseh's warriors showed themselves in a never-ending line to the Americans. The warriors at the head of the line doubled back to join the end of the line and it appeared to the American General that he was besieged by a massive force of warriors. This manoeuvre convinced the American General to surrender to avoid a massacre after Brock allegedly warned that the large support from Tecumseh's warriors would be beyond his control once a conflict had begun.

Tecumseh (Shawnee War Chief who joined the British against the Americans in the War of 1812).Legend has it that Tecumseh rode beside Brock when he entered Detroit and that Brock gave him his sash as a mark of respect. Of Tecumseh Brock wrote: “a more sagacious or more gallant Warrior does not I believe exist. He was the admiration of everyone who conversed with him”. As a brigadier general, Tecumseh led over 2,000 warriors and fought at the sieges of Fort Meigs, and Fort Stephenson, and his last battle was the Battle of the Thames at Chatham Ontario. There, clothed in traditional Aboriginal deerskin garments, he was killed leading his warriors in a final stand against the invading Americans.


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