Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Shawnee: Arkansas

Shawnee

 
Among the immigrant Native Americans who lived in territorial Arkansas were several Shawnee communities. They came from Indiana and Missouri at the invitation of the Cherokee after the Treaty of 1817 created the Cherokee Nation on land in the Ozarks between the White and Arkansas rivers. The Shawnee, who built settlements on Crooked Creek and White River, departed after more than a decade of life in Arkansas.

The Shawnee were a large Algonkian-speaking tribe, widely scattered across the eastern woodlands. By the middle of the eighteenth century, the majority of them were living in the area both north and south of the Ohio River. Euro-American settlers from the east brought on years of violence. In a peace treaty in 1774, the Shawnee were forced to cede Kentucky, and the continuing hostilities led some Shawnee in 1779 to move west across the Mississippi River to a large grant south of Ste. Genevieve that had been given by the Spanish government. From that new location, they became familiar with the Ozarks and the western prairies.

After the death of Tecumseh and the collapse of his fight against the United States in 1813, one faction of the Shawnee sought ways to coexist with the Americans, and some saw the migration of the whole tribe to the west as a good strategy. When the Western Cherokee, living in the Ozarks after 1817, became embroiled in skirmishes with the Osage, they invited eastern tribes, including the Shawnee, to move to their land west of the White River. One group, led by Quatawapea, also known as Captain or Colonel Lewis, settled on the White River, with their major town at Shawneetown, a location that later became Yellville (Marion County).

As guests of the Cherokee, the Shawnee were part of a larger group of immigrants into the White River Valley, a group that included the Delaware, Piankashaw, Miami, and other Indian groups. If they ever participated with the Cherokee in military campaigns against the Osage, the documents do not record it. No recorded instances exist of hostilities between the Shawnee and the American settlers, although the latter petitioned Washington for a military garrison for protection. In later years, several of the early settlers wrote their memoirs of that time, and they included several accounts of unpleasant encounters between the two groups, as well as visits to the Shawnee Green Corn ceremonies, hunting together, and a Shawnee-American marriage.

In 1828, the Western Cherokee entered a new treaty arrangement with the United States in which their Ozark holdings were traded for land in Indian Territory, present-day Oklahoma. They soon moved west and established Tahlequah, where the Cherokee tribal government remains today. Their Indian guests, left as squatters on government land, also moved away from Arkansas during the next few years. By 1833, the Shawnee had gone to Texas and Indian Territory, and the Ozark land was again open to American settlers. Modern Shawnee have few records of the Arkansas period in their complex history.

For additional information:Edmunds, R. David. The Shawnee Prophet. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1983.

Foreman, Grant. Indians and Pioneers: The Story of the American Southwest before 1830. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1930.

Ingenthron, Elmo. Indians of the Ozark Plateau. Point Lookout, MO: School of the Ozarks Press, 1970.

Jeffery, A. C. Historical and Biographical Sketches of the Early Settlement of the Valley of White River Together with a History of Izard County. Edited by Dale Hanks. Richmond, VA: The Jeffery Historical Society, 1973.

Johnston, James J. “Searcy County Indians in Tradition and History.” Mid-America Folklore 12 (Spring 1984): 24–31.

Lankford, George E. “Shawnee Convergence: Immigrant Indians in the Ozarks.” Arkansas Historical Quarterly 58 (Winter 1999): 390–413.

Sugden, John. Tecumseh: A Life. New York: Henry Holt and Co., 1997.

Turnbo, Silas C. Turnbo’s Tales of the Ozarks: Schools, Indians, Hard Times and More Stories. Edited by Desmond Walls Allen. Conway, AR: Arkansas Research, 1987.

George E. Lankford
Batesville, Arkansas
Last Updated 6/21/2010
"Piqua Shawnee"
Piqua Shawnee
Piqua Shawnee Tribe

Monday, September 17, 2018

History of The Shawnee: Part 3

PART 3:
As published in the Official Newsletter of the Piqua Shawnee (Fall 2018)
By Barbara Lehmann, Piqua Shawnee Tribal Historic Preservation Officer
 
Barbara’s History Corner:
 
Bezallion informed the governor that the Shaonois of Carolina he was told had killed several Christians; whereupon the government of that province raised the said flat headed Indians, and joined some Christians to them, besieged and have taken, as it is thought, the said Shaonois town.” Those who escaped probably fled to the north and joined their kindred in Pennsylvania. In 1708 Gov. Johnson, of South Carolina, reported the “Savannahs” on Savannah River as occupying 3 villages and numbering about 150 men 6. In 1715 the “Savanos” still in Carolina were reported to live 150 miles northwest of Charleston, and still to occupy 3 villages, but with only 233 inhabitants in all.

A part of those who had come from the south in 1694 had joined the Mahican and become a part of that tribe. Those who had settled on the Delaware, after remaining there some years, removed to the Wyoming valley on the Susquehanna and established themselves in a village on the west bank near the present Wyoming, Pennsylvania. It is probable that they were joined here by that part of the tribe which had settled at Pequea, which was abandoned about 1730. When the Delawares and Munsee were forced to leave the Delaware River in 1742 they also moved over to the Wyoming valley, then in possession of the Shawnee, and built a village on the east bank of the river opposite that occupied by the latter tribe. In 1740 the Quakers began work among the Shawnee at Wyoming and were followed two years later by the Moravian Zinzendorf. As a result of this missionary labor the Shawnee on the Susquehanna remained neutral for some time during the French and Indian war, which began in 1754, while their brethren on the Ohio were active allies of the French. About the year 1755 or 1756, in consequence of a quarrel with the Delawares, said to have been caused by a childish dispute over a grasshopper, the Shawnee abandoned the Susquehanna and joined the rest of their tribe on the upper waters of the Ohio, where they soon became allies of the French. Some of the eastern Shawnee had already joined those on the Ohio, probably in small parties and at different times, for in the report of the Albany congress of 1754 it is found that some of that tribe had removed from Pennsylvania to the Ohio about 30 years previously, and in 1735 a Shawnee band known as Shaweygria (Hathawekela), consisting of about 40 families, described as living with the other Shawnee on Allegheny river, refused to return to the Susquehanna at the solicitation of the Delawares and Iroquois. The only clue in regard to the number of these eastern Shawnee is Drake’s statement that in 1732 there were 700 Indian warriors in Pennsylvania, of whom half were Shawnee from the south. This would give them a total population of about 1,200, which is probably too high, unless those on the Ohio are included in the estimate.

Having shown the identity of the Savannah with the Shawnee, and followed their wanderings from Savannah river to the Ohio during a period of about 80 years, it remains to trace the history of the other, and apparently more numerous, division upon the Cumberland, who preceded the Carolina band in the region of the upper Ohio river, and seem never to have crossed the Alleghanies to the eastward.
Moll-Map-of-1720-small
Moll’s map of 1720 has “Savannah Old Settlement” at the mouth of the Cumberland, showing that the term Savannah was sometimes applied to the Western as well as to the eastern band
These western Shawnee may possibly be the people mentioned in the Jesuit Relation of 1648, under the name of “Ouchaouanag,” in connection with the Mascoutens, who lived in northern Illinois. In the Relation of 1670 we find the “Chaouanon” mentioned as having visited the Illinois the preceding year, and they are described as living some distance to the south east of the latter. From this period until their removal to the north they are frequently mentioned by the French writers, sometimes under some form of the collective Iroquois name Toagenha, but generally under their Algonquian name Chaouanon. La Harpe, about 1715, called them Tongarois, another form of Toagenha. All these writers concur in the statement that they lived upon a large southern branch of the Ohio, at no great distance east of the Mississippi. This was the Cumberland River of Tennessee and Kentucky, which is called the River of the Shawnee on all the old maps down to about the year 1770.
 
When the French traders first came into the region the Shawnee had their principal village on that river near the present Nashville, Tennessee. They seem also to have ranged northeastward to Kentucky River and southward to the Tennessee. It will thus be seen that they were not isolated from the great body of the Algonquian tribes, as has frequently been represented to have been the case, but simply occupied an interior position, adjoining the kindred Illinois and Miami, with whom they kept up constant communication. As previously mentioned, the early maps plainly distinguish these Shawnee on the Cumberland from the other division of the tribe on Savannah River.

These western Shawnee are mentioned about the year 1672 as being harassed by the Iroquois, and also as allies and neighbors of the Andaste, or Conestoga, who were themselves at war with the Iroquois. As the Andaste were then incorrectly supposed to live on the upper waters of the Ohio River, the Shawnee would naturally be considered their neighbors. The two tribes were probably in alliance against the Iroquois, as we find that when the first body of Shawnee removed from South Carolina to Pennsylvania, about 1678, they settled adjoining the Conestoga, and when another part of the same tribe desired to remove to the Delaware in 1694 permission was granted on condition that they make peace with the Iroquois. Again, in 1684, the Iroquois justified their attacks on the Miami by asserting that the latter had invited the Satanas (Shawnee) into their country to make war upon the Iroquois. This is the first historic mention of the Shawnee evidently the western division in the country north of the Ohio River. As the Cumberland region was out of the usual course of exploration and settlement, but few notices of the western Shawnee are found until 1714, when the French trader Charleville established himself among them near the present Nashville. They were then gradually leaving the country in small bodies in consequence of a war with the Cherokee, their former allies, who were assisted by the Chickasaw. From the statement of Iberville in 1702 8 it seems that this was due to the latter’s efforts to bring them more closely under French influence. It is impossible now to learn the cause of the war between the Shawnee and the Cherokee. It probably did not begin until after 1707, the year of the final expulsion of the Shawnee from South Carolina by the Catawba, as there is no evidence to show that the Cherokee took part in that struggle.

From Shawnee tradition the quarrel with the Chickasaw would seem to be of older date. After the reunion of the Shawnee in the north they secured the alliance of the Delawares, and the two tribes turned against the Cherokee until the latter were compelled to ask peace, when the old friendship was renewed. Soon after the coming of Charleville, in 1714, the Shawnee finally abandoned the Cumberland valley, being pursued to the last moment by the Chickasaw. In a council held at Philadelphia in 1715 with the Shawnee and Delawares, the former, “who live at a great distance,” asked the friendship of the Pennsylvania government. These are evidently the same who about this time were driven from their home on Cumberland river.

To Be Continued Winter 2018
 
Piqua Shawnee Tribe
"Piqua Shawnee"
 
 

Friday, September 14, 2018

History Of The Shawnee: Part 2

PART 2:

As published in the Official Newsletter of the Piqua Shawnee (Fall 2018)

By Barbara Lehmann, Piqua Shawnee Tribal Historic Preservation Officer

 

Barbara’s History Corner:
 
On De l’Isle’s map, also, we find the Savannah River called “R.des Chouanons,” with the “Chaouanons” located upon bothbanks in its middle course. As to Gallatin’s statement that the name of the Savannahs is dropped after Lawson’s mention in 1701, we learn from numerous references, from old records, in Logan’s Upper South Carolina, published after Gallatin’s time, that all through the period of the French and Indian war, 50 years after Lawson wrote, the “Savannahs” were constantly making inroads on the Carolina frontier, even to the vicinity of Charleston. They are described as “northern savages” and friends of the Cherokee, and are undoubtedly the Shawnee. In
1749 Adair, while crossing the middle of Georgia, fell in with a strong party of “the French Shawano,” who were on their way, under Cherokee guidance, to attack the English traders near Augusta. After committing some depredations they escaped to the Cherokee. In another place he speaks of a party of “Shawano Indians,” who, at the instigation of the French, had attacked a frontier settlement of Carolina, but had been taken and imprisoned. Through a reference by Logan it is found that these prisoners are called Savannahs in the records of that period. In 1791 Swan mentions the “Savannas” town among the Creeks, occupied by “Shawanese refugees.” Having shown that the Savannah and the Shawnee are the same tribe, it remains to be seen why and when they removed from South Carolina to the north. The removal was probably owing to dissatisfaction with the English setters, who seem to have favored the Catawba at the expense of the Shawnee. Adair, speaking of the latter tribe, says they had formerly lived on the Savannah River, “till by our foolish measures they were forced to withdraw northward in defense of their, freedom.” In another place he says, “by our own misconduct we twice lost the Shawano Indians, who have since proved very hurtful to our colonies in general.” The first loss referred to is probably the withdrawal of
the Shawnee to the north, and the second is evidently their alliance with the French in consequence of the encroachments of the English in Pennsylvania.
 
Their removal from South Carolina was gradual, beginning about 1677 and continuing at intervals through a period of more than 30 years. The ancient Shawnee villages formerly on the sites of Winchester, Virginia, and Oldtown, near Cumberland, Maryland, were built and occupied probably during this migration. It was due mainly to their losses at the hands of the Catawba, the allies of the English, that they were forced to abandon their country on the Savannah; but after the reunion of the tribe in the north they pursued their old enemies with unrelenting vengeance until the Catawba were almost exterminated. The hatred cherished by the Shawnee toward the English is shown
by their boast in the Revolution that they had killed more of that nation than had any other tribe.
 
The first Shawnee seem to have removed from South Carolina in 1677 or 1678, when, according to Drake, about 70 families established themselves on the Susquehanna adjoining the Conestoga in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, at the mouth of Pequea creek. Their village was called Pequea, a form of Piqua. The Assiwikales (Hathawekela) were a part of the later migration. This, together with the absence of the Shawnee names Chillicothe and Mequachake east of the Alleghanies, would seem to show that the Carolina portion of the tribe belonged to the first named divisions. The chief of Pequea was Wapatha, or Opessah, who made a treaty with Penn at Philadelphia in 1701, and more than 50 years afterward the Shawnee, then in Ohio, still preserved a copy of this treaty. There is no proof that they had a part in Penn’s first treaty in 1682.
 
In 1694, by invitation of the Delawares and their allies, another large party came from the south probably from Carolina and settled with the Munsee on the Delaware, the main body fixing themselves at the mouth of Lehigh river, near the present Easton, Pennsylvania, while some went as far down as the Schuylkill. This party is said to have numbered about 700, and they were several months on the journey. Permission to settle on the Delaware was granted by the Colonial government on condition of their making peace with the Iroquois, who then received them as “brothers,” while the Delawares acknowledged them as their “second sons,” i. e. grandsons. The Shawnee today refer to the Delawares as their grandfathers. From this it is evident that the Shawnee were never conquered by the Iroquois, and, in fact, we find the western band a few years previously assisting the Miami against the latter. As the Iroquois, however, had conquered the lands of the Conestoga and Delawares, on which the Shawnee settled, the former still claimed the prior right of domain. Another large part of the Shawnee probably left South Carolina about 1707, as appears from a statement made by Evans in that year 5, which shows that they were then hard pressed in the south. He says: “During our abode at Pequehan [Pequea] several of the Shaonois Indians from ye southward came to settle here, and were admitted so to do by Opessah, with the governor’s consent, at the same time an Indian, from a Shaonois town near Carolina came in and gave an account that four hundred and fifty of the flat headed Indians [Catawba] had besieged them, and that in all probability the same was taken.
 
To Be Continued
 
Piqua Shawnee Tribe
"Piqua Shawnee"
 
 

Thursday, September 13, 2018

History Of The Shawnee: Part 1

PART 1
As published in the Official Newsletter of the Piqua Shawnee (Summer 2018)
By Barbara Lehmann, Piqua Shawnee Tribal Historic Preservation Officer
Barbara’s History Corner:
The history of the Shawnee begins in 1669-70. They were then living in two bodies at a
considerable distance apart, and these two divisions were not fully united until nearly a century later, when the tribe settled in Ohio. The attempt to reconcile conflicting statements without a knowledge of this fact has occasioned much of the confusion in regard to the Shawnee. The apparent anomaly of a tribe living in two divisions at such a distance from each other is explained when we remember that the intervening territory was occupied by the Cherokee, who were at that time the friends of the Shawnee. The evidence afforded by the mounds shows that the two tribes lived together for a considerable period, both in South Carolina and in Tennessee, and it is a matter of history that the Cherokee claimed the country vacated by the Shawnee in both states after the removal of the latter to the north. It is quite possible that the Cherokee invited the Shawnee to settle upon their eastern frontier in order to serve as a barrier against the attacks of the Catawba and other enemies in that direction. No such necessity existed for protection on their northwestern frontier.
The earliest notices of the Carolina Shawnee represent them as a warlike tribe, the enemies of the Catawba and others, who were also the enemies of the Cherokee. In Ramsey’s Annals of Tennessee is the statement, made by a Cherokee chief in 1772, that 100 years previously the Shawnee, by permission of the Cherokee, removed from Savannah River to the Cumberland, but were afterward driven out by the Cherokee, aided by the Chickasaw, in consequence of a quarrel with the former tribe. While this tradition does not agree with the chronological order of Shawnee occupancy in the two regions, as borne out by historical evidence, it furnishes additional proof that the Shawnee occupied territory upon both rivers, and that this occupancy was by permission of the Cherokee.
De-lIsle-Map-Detail-1700
De l’Isle’s map of 1700

De l’Isle’s map of 1700 places the “Ontouagannha.” which here means the Shawnee, on the headwaters of the Santee and Pedee rivers in South Carolina, while the “Chiouonons” are located on the lower Tennessee River. Senex’s map of 1710 locates a part of the “Chaouenons” on the headwaters of a stream in South Carolina, but seems to place the main body on the Tennessee. Moll’s map of 1720 has “Savannah Old Settlement” at the mouth of the Cumberland, showing that the term Savannah was sometimes applied to the Western as well as to the eastern band.
The Shawnee of South Carolina, who included the Piqua and Hathawekela divisions of the tribe, were known to the early settlers of that state as Savannahs, that being nearly the form of the name in use among the neighboring Muskhogean tribes. A good deal of confusion has arisen from the fact that the Yuchi and Yamasee, in the same neighborhood, were sometimes also spoken of as Savannah Indians. Bartram and Gallatin particularly are confused upon this point, although, as is hardly necessary to state, the tribes are entirely distinct. Their principal village, known as Savannah Town, was on Savannah River, nearly opposite the present Augusta, Ga. According to a writer of 1740 it was at New Windsor, on the north bank of Savannah River, 7 miles below Augusta. It was an important trading point, and Ft Moore was afterward built upon the site. The Savannah river takes its name from this tribe, as appears from the statement of Adair, who mentions the “Savannah river, so termed on account of the Shawano Indians having formerly lived there,” plainly showing that the two names are synonyms for the same tribe. Gallatin says that the name of the river is of Spanish origin, by which he probably means that it refers to “savanas,” or prairies, but as almost all the large rivers of the Atlantic slope bore the Indian names of the tribes upon their banks, it is not likely that this river is an exception, or that a Spanish name would have been retained in an English colony. In 1670, when South Carolina was first settled, the Savannah were one of the principal tribes southward from Ashley River. About 10 years later they drove back the Westo, identified by Swanton as the Yuchi, who had just previously nearly destroyed the infant settlements in a short but bloody war. The Savannah seem to have remained at peace with the whites, and in 1695, according to Gov. Archdale, were “good friends and useful neighbors of the English.” By a comparison of Gallatin’s paragraph with Lawson’s statements from which he quotes, it will be seen that he has misinterpreted the earlier author, as well as misquoted the tribal forms.
Lawson traveled through Carolina in 1701, and in 1709 published his account, which has passed through several reprints, the last being in 1860. He mentions the “Savannas” twice, and it is to be noted that in each place he calls them by the same name, which, however, is not the same as any one of the three forms used by Gallatin in referring to the same passages. Lawson first mentions them in connection with the Congaree as the “Savannas, a famous, warlike, friendly nation of Indians, living to the south end of Ashley River.” In another place he speaks of “the Savanna Indians, who formerly lived on the banks of the Messiasippi, and removed thence to the head of one of the rivers of South Carolina, since which, for some dislike, most of them are removed to live in the quarters of the Iroquois or Sinnagars [Seneca], which are on the heads of the rivers that disgorge themselves into the bay of Chesapeak.” This is a definite statement, plainly referring to one and the same tribe, and agrees with what is known of the Shawnee.
(to be continued)
Piqua Shawnee Tribe

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Smithsonian: Museum of The American Indian

Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations

Exhibit: September 21, 2014–2021
Washington, DC

Muscogee (Creek) bandolier bag, ca. 1814. Alabama. Wool fabric and tassels, silk fabric, dye, glass beads, cotton thread. Photo by Ernest Amoroso, NMAI. (24/4150)

From a young age, most Americans learn about the Founding Fathers, but are told very little about equally important and influential Native diplomats and leaders of Indian Nations. Treaties lie at the heart of the relationship between Indian Nations and the United States, and Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations is the story of that relationship, including the history and legacy of U.S.–American Indian diplomacy from the colonial period through the present.
Generous support for the exhibition is provided by:
Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community - Bank of America - San Manuel Band of Mission Indians - Interface Media Group
http://www.nmai.si.edu/explore/exhibitions/item/?id=934
Piqua Shawnee
Piqua Shawnee Tribe

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Bluejacket Carved Walking Stick


Walking stick

Walking Stick

Shawnee tribal leader Charles Bluejacket carved this walking stick for his friend Charles Boles, a Methodist missionary, in the mid- to late-19th century. The two met in Kansas in the early 1850s, when the church assigned Boles to preach to the Shawnee tribe.

A deep friendship took root between two men in the wilds of Kansas. Their bond spanned the differences of culture and race, and lasted a lifetime. Today we often think of encounters between whites and American Indians on the frontier as tense, even violent. This was not always the case. The likelihood that individuals would get along depended on their personalities and as well as the circumstances under which they interacted. In this regard, Bluejacket and Boles may have been predisposed to friendship. Both men were deeply religious. They fathered large families, and lived respectable lives by European-American standards.

Charles Bluejacket came to Kansas as a youth after a treaty with the United States government removed the Shawnees from Ohio and Missouri. His grandfather was the famous chief Bluejacket, and his grandmother probably was white. Charles was familiar with Indian missions, having attended a Quaker school in Ohio. In Kansas, he completed his education at another mission school. He married, became a successful farmer and interpreter for the federal government, and began leading a prayer group.

Charles Boles converted to Methodism as a young man in Missouri and was ordained an elder in 1851. The following year he was assigned to the Shawnee Indian Mission School in present-day Kansas City. It was during his six-year ministry to the tribe that he became friendly with Bluejacket.

Shawnee Methodist Mission

Conditions were primitive at many frontier missions, but not at Shawnee Indian Mission. The Methodist church considered it an exemplary site, as did the federal government (a major funding source). At its height, the mission occupied almost 2,000 acres, much of it farmland. Its grounds had brick schoolhouses and dormitories, workshops, and farm buildings. Because the Methodists used "circuit riders" (traveling ministers) to spread the gospel, Shawnee Mission was Boles' headquarters, although he spent most days in the field ministering to his flock.

Charles BluejacketCharles BolesDetails on the friendship between Boles and Bluejacket are spotty, but the two men obviously saw each other frequently and perhaps even rode the circuit together. One early visitor to the area noted that he met Bluejacket and Boles at another missionary's home in 1857. The Methodist conference minutes for this time period record that Boles was "assisted" by Bluejacket and others in building the church rolls to about 100 Shawnees.

The six years Boles preached to the Shawnee tribe coincided with the Bleeding Kansas era, when violence exploded along the Kansas-Missouri border. It became extremely difficult to accomplish any missionary work. The Methodist conference minutes for this period note, "There was comparatively little done from 1855 to 1865. During these perilous years Bro. Boles stood almost alone." Almost alone, but not quite. His friend Bluejacket had become an ordained minister in 1859. When war made it impossible for whites to preach at Shawnee Mission, Bluejacket became missionary in charge.

A number of mission schools closed during the Civil War, including Shawnee Mission. Methodists continued to preach to the tribes remaining in Kansas, but most American Indians were removed to Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma) shortly after the war. Boles began preaching to non-Indian Methodists in eastern Kansas. Bluejacket became a prosperous farmer, despite the fact that many of his fellow tribesmen had moved south. An 1874 county atlas describes his "beautiful farm" and house "furnished in a style that would do credit to many of our wealthy people."

Bluejacket eventually joined his tribesmen in Indian Territory, but before he left he made this elaborate walking stick for Boles. Its carved figures include at least two motifs from the pillars of an early Shawnee council-house in Kansas--a rattlesnake and a turtle, the latter being prominent in Shawnee creation mythology. View a close-up of the turtle carving. The walking stick was passed down in the Boles family until the Kansas State Historical Society acquired it in 2009. It is in the collections of the Society's Kansas Museum of History.

https://www.kshs.org/kansapedia/walking-stick/10388

Entry: Walking Stick
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 2009
Date Modified: December 2014

Piqua Shawnee
Piqua Shawnee Tribe

Monday, September 10, 2018

Traveling Through Time - Shawnee Indians

Shawnee Indians
A monument commemorates their departure in Hardin

The Shawnee Indians, also of Algonquian stock, lived in the east and Midwest. Their first contact with white men came in the 1600s. Early estimates of their population range from 3,000 to 50,000, although 10,000 appears to be the most probable estimate. Shawnee comes from the Algonquian word ‘Shawun’ (shawunogi) meaning ‘southerner.’ The application of southerner is indicative of their location vis-a-vis the other Algonquian tribes who lived to the Shawnee’s north, around the Great Lakes. A symbol of the Shawnee authority is the eagle feather headdress.

During the 1600s, they were forced to leave their traditional lands, including the Ohio Valley, by the marauding Iroquois during the Beaver Wars. In the 1700s, they once again began to call the Ohio Valley their home, settling initially along the Ohio River where conflict with white settlers became a routine occurrence. Allying themselves with the British during the Revolutionary War, combined with being absolutely against white expansion beyond the Appalachian Mountains, did not endear them to the Americans. Led into battle by Chief Cornstalk, they were severely defeated by colonial troops in 1774 in the area of Point Pleasant, West Virginia.

The loss resulted in a split in the Shawnee tribe that caused many of them to move west beyond the Mississippi River. Those that stayed behind in Ohio rallied behind Tecumseh until the 1811 Tippecanoe defeat and the death of Tecumseh in Canada during the War of 1812.

The Shawnee village of Piqua (Piquea), located four miles southwest of Springfield, Ohio, was attacked by American soldiers under the command of General George Rogers Clark on August 8, 1780. It was a ferocious battle that ended with the total destruction of the Shawnee village, and their agricultural crops.

Seeking a new area in which to build a village, the Indians traveled northwest until they reached the Great Miami River where they chose a location on the west side of the river, just north of where the Johnston Indian Agency would eventually be constructed. They named this new village, upper Piqua. The Miami Indians village of Pickawillany, along with Fort Pickawillany, was at this same site until it was abandoned in 1763 after an earlier unsuccessful attack by the Shawnee.

At the same time, they established another village in the area, on the east side of the river, on a site that is now occupied by the city of Piqua. The Shawnee named this second village lower Piqua. They had lived in the Piqua area for two years when, in 1782, General Clark and 1,000 Kentuckians moved north into Ohio. The Shawnee decided to abandon their Piqua villages without a fight and moved to a location on the Auglaize River. After the Greene Ville Treaty was signed, they moved back to the area, locating villages in Wapakoneta, north of the new treaty line, Hog Creek (southwest part of Lima) and Lewistown.

In 1832, they ceded the last of their Ohio lands to the government, and in a sorrowful procession through Hardin, Piqua, Greenville and Richmond, the last of the mighty Shawnee rode their horses to a new home in eastern Kansas.

Today, most of the Shawnee live in Oklahoma or have merged into this region’s population. A monument can bshawneemarkerhardin.gif (79750 bytes)e seen today in the small park area in Hardin, six miles west of Sidney, at the intersection of State Route 47 and Hardin-Wapak Road. It is located on the southeast corner of the park. This monument commemorates not only the killing of Colonel Hardin by the Indians, but also marks the spot where the Shawnee camped in October, 1832, on their last trek from Ohio.

'Indian' segment written in December, 1997 by David Lodge

Piqua Shawnee
Piqua Shawnee Tribe

Friday, September 7, 2018

The War of 1812 in Alabama and the Creek War, 1813-1814


Causes:
The Federal Road divided the traditional Upper Creeks from more assimilated Lower Creeks.
  • Creek ownership of traditional lands was endangered as land-hungry whites moved across it or settled illegally on it.
  • The British sent Tecumseh, a Shawnee chief, from the Great Lakes to unite all Indians against white Americans and form an alliance with England and Spain.
  • England and Spain incited the Creeks against American settlers and supplied Creeks with guns and ammunition.
Battles raged on the frontier between Creek "Red Sticks" and American militia led by General Andrew Jackson. The last and most famous battle, the Battle of Horseshoe Bend (now a National Military Park) destroyed the strength of the Creek Nation. General Jackson forced the Creeks to sign the Treaty of Fort Jackson, ceding some forty thousand square miles of land to the United States.
Consequences:
  • Foreign influence among Indians was destroyed.
  • United States took Mobile from Spain, the only additional land acquired in War of 1812.
  • The Fort Jackson Treaty, acquiring Creek lands, began a series of forced land-cession treaties by the United States with other southern tribes until all were removed west.
  • General Andrew Jackson became a national hero for defeating the Creeks, a victory that helped pave his way to become President of the United States.

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Halbert, Henry S. and Timothy H. Ball. The Creek War of 1813-1814. 1895. Reprints, edited, with introductions and notes, by Frank L. Owsley Jr., Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama, 1969 and 1995.
In vivid detail, Halbert and Ball recount everything they could find about this conflict. The names of participants (their ancestors and children), locations of battles with full descriptions of gory scenes, and comments on accounts of informants and other writers make this a wonderful source. Students will find textbook accounts of the Fort Mims massacre pale compared to this one. The question of what caused the Creek conflict, whether it was a civil war brought on by factionalism between Lower Creeks and Upper Creeks, is debated.

Holland, James W. Andrew Jackson and the Creek: Victory at the Horseshoe. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1968. Reprint, 1990.
This fifty-page booklet, published to promote Horseshoe Bend National Military Park, offers a concise story of the events that brought an end to the Creek Nation in the South. Students will enjoy this well-illustrated, lively account.

Martin, Joel W. Sacred Revolt: The Muskogees' Struggle for a New World. Boston: Beacon Press, 1991.Martin approaches the history of the Muskogees (Creeks) from a religious point-of-view. According to his theory, their "culture of the sacred" determined how they interacted with and reacted to Europeans and, later, Americans. To support his theory, he discusses their spiritual, economic, and social background. He compares their revolt against the Americans in the Creek War with struggles of other native Americans to retain their traditions. It is an interesting theory that can provide an introduction to the religious beliefs of the Creeks.

Wright, J. Leitch Jr. Creeks and Seminoles: The Destruction and Regeneration of the Muscogulge People. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1986.

The names Creek and Seminole were attached to the Muscogulge people for the convenience of European and U.S. governments who wanted to address nations. The Muscogulge lived in Georgia, Alabama, and Florida—geographically close, but not unified under one leader. Although some had ancient common origins, many spoke different languages and often could not understand each other. Wright explains the background of the Muscogulges and describes their culture in language readily understood. He defines words that he believes might be unfamiliar to the general reader. He elaborates on familiar topics such as trade, relations with European powers and the U.S. government, the Creek Wars with Andrew Jackson and his pursuit of the survivors into Florida, and finally removal, dispersal, and survival. This book is an enlightening inside view of the Muscogulges' heroic struggle for survival; it is also an indictment of the U.S. Government.

Piqua Shawnee
Piqua Shawnee Tribe

http://www.archives.alabama.gov/results.html?q=shawnee

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Native Heritage Commission: Piqua Shawnee Exhibit - October 6, 2018 Opening Reception

Piqua Shawnee Exhibition_Book Oct 2018

Exhibition Dates October 6 - 31, 2018

Opening Reception October 6, 2018 3p-3p

Berea College - Hutchins Library

There will be about 30 – 35 framed images with accompanying text. Images are either 20 @20X30” and 12-15 @ 24X36” The topic is the Piqua Shawnee, many of whom live here in KY though the tribe is recognized in Alabama.
Piqua Shawnee
Piqua Shawnee Tribe

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Fort Mims: Tensaw Alabama

Alabama Historical Commission
NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES
ahc-ftmims
The Fort Mims site commemorates the battle that led to the Creek War of 1813-14.
On August 30, 1813 over 700 Creek Indians destroyed Fort Mims. American settlers, U.S. allied Creeks, and enslaved African Americans had sought refuge in the stockade. The Creek warriors who carried out the attack were members of the Red Stick faction named for the red wooden war clubs they carried. Their assault on Fort Mims is considered one of the greatest successes of Indian warfare.
The Alabama Historical Commission owns this historic site. The Fort Mims Restoration Association is the support group in charge of operating the site.
Visit
https://ahc.alabama.gov/properties/ftmims/ftmims.aspx

Piqua Shawnee
Piqua Shawnee Tribe

ahc-header-logo2

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Cornstalk's Death


Many Shawnee hoped to remain neutral during the American Revolution, but violence perpetrated by American settlers pushed the Shawnee to the British side. One of the loudest advocates for peace and neutrality was the Maquachake chief, Cornstalk, who corresponded regularly with Congressional Indian agent George Morgan. Cornstalk and other Maquachake leaders were so committed to neutrality that they announced plans to separate their peace faction and found a new town. In October 1777, Cornstalk led a peace delegation to Fort Randolph on the Kanawha River. There he was captured and detained by the fort commander, Captain Matthew Arbuckle. Captain Arbuckle then imprisoned Cornstalk's son, Elinipsico, who had come to Fort Randolph to inquire about his father's condition. The Shawnees remained imprisoned through early November 1777, when a party of local militia, seeking retaliation for the death of a white settler, broke into the fort and killed all of the Shawnee under guard, including Cornstalk.

While Cornstalk's death was officially denounced by Congress, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, Shawnee outrage at the chief's killing fueled a wave of retaliation and pushed most Shawnee away from the American side, at least during the Revolutionary war. One noted battle that occurred in the wake of Cornstalk's death was a raid by a Chillicothe war chief, Black Fish, in which he captured Kentucky settler Daniel Boone. Interestingly, Cornstalk's Maquachakes continued to pursue a policy of peace and neutrality with the Americans and the British. Most of the other Shawnee towns relocated closer to Sandusky and Detroit after the winter of 1777–1778. Beyond a faction of the Maquachakes, led by Chief Moluntha, most Shawnee sided with the British.

After the Peace of Paris, most Shawnee kept the United States at arm's length. The Shawnee did not join in the Treaty of Fort McIntosh (1785) and resoundingly rejected the "conquest theory" formulation of sovereignty that the Confederation Congress put forward in 1784 and after. While some Shawnee leaders (mostly Maquachake, Cornstalk's heir as the advocate for peace and coexistence) signed the subsequent Treaty of Fort Finney (1786), the majority still did want a treaty with the Americans. Their forbearance was understandable. As later in 1786, Kentucky militiamen attacked the Maquachake towns and killed chief Moluntha. During the 1790s, the Shawnee formed a large part of the pan-Indian resistance to the federal government led by the Miami chief, Little Turtle. In 1795, the Shawnee signed the Treaty of Greenville, terminating the resistance. However, a minority of the Shawnee, driven primarily by the Kispoki leader, Tecumseh, and his brother Tenskwatawa, would continue the resistance against the Americans until Tecumseh's death in Ontario at the battle of the Thames River (1813) during the War of 1812. After the War of 1812, the Shawnee were removed west of the Mississippi by the United States government, with most ending up in Oklahoma.

"Shawnee." Encyclopedia of the American Revolution: Library of Military History. . Encyclopedia.com. 3 Sep. 2018 http://www.encyclopedia.com.

www.piquashawnee.com
Piqua Shawnee
Piqua Shawnee Tribe

Friday, August 31, 2018

Nonhelema Hokolesqua (Cornstalk's Sister) c. 1718–1786


Nonhelema Hokolesqua (Cornstalk's Sister)[1] (c. 1718–1786) Born in 1718 into the Chalakatha (Chilliothe) division of the Shawnee nation, spent her early youth in Pennsylvania. Her brother Cornstalk, and her metis mother Katee accompanied her father Okowellos to the Alabama country in 1725. Their family returned to Pennsylvania with in five years. In 1734 she married her first husband, a Chalakatha chief. By 1750 Nonhelema was a Shawnee chieftess[1] during the 18th century and the sister of Cornstalk, with whom she migrated to Ohio and founded neighboring villages.
Nonhelema, known as a warrior, stood nearly six feet, six inches(198 cm).[2] Some called her "The Grenadier" or "The Grenadier Squaw", due to the large height of 18th-century grenadiers.
Nonhelema had three husbands. The first was a Shawnee man.[3] The third was Shawnee Chief Moluntha.[2] She had a son, Thomas McKee, through her relationship with Indian agent Colonel Alexander McKee and another son, Captain Butler/Tamanatha, through her relationship with Colonel Richard Butler.
Nonhelema was present at the Battle of Bushy Run in 1764. She and her brother, Cornstalk, supported neutrality when their land became the Western theater of the American Revolutionary War. In Summer 1777, Nonhelema warned Americans that parts of the Shawnee nation had traveled to Fort Detroit to join the British.[4] Following Cornstalk's 1777 murder at Fort Randolph, Nonhelema continued to support the Americans, warning both Fort Randolph and Fort Donnally of impending attacks. She dressed Philip Hammond and John Pryor as Indians so they could go the 160 miles to Fort Donnally to give warning. In retribution, her herds of cattle were destroyed. Nonhelema led her followers to the Coshocton area, near Lenape Chief White Eyes.[4] In 1780, Nonhelema served as a guide and translator for Augustin de La Balme in his campaign to the Illinois country.[2]
In 1785, Nonhelema petitioned Congress for a 1,000-acre grant in Ohio, as compensation for her services during the American Revolutionary War. Congress instead granted her a pension of daily rations, and an annual allotment of blankets and clothing.[2]
Nonhelema and Moluntha were captured by General Benjamin Logan in 1786. Moluntha was killed by an American soldier, and Nonhelema was detained at Fort Pitt. While there, she helped compile a dictionary of Shawnee words.[2] She was later released, but died in December 1786.[2]

References


Foster, Ann (November 22, 2016). "With death on the line, Timeless forges new ground". ScreenerTV.com. Retrieved November 29, 2016.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nonhelema
Piqua Shawnee
Piqua Shawnee Tribe

Thursday, August 30, 2018

The Treaty of Greenville

The Treaty of Greenville was signed on August 3, 1795, at Fort Greenville, now Greenville, Ohio; it followed negotiations after the Native American loss at the Battle of Fallen Timbers a year earlier. It ended the Northwest Indian War in the Ohio Country and limited strategic parcels of land to the north and west. The parties to the treaty were a coalition of Native American tribes, known as the Western Confederacy, and United States government represented by General Anthony Wayne for local frontiersmen. The treaty is considered "the beginning of modern Ohio history."[1]
The treaty established what became known as the Greenville Treaty Line, which was for several years a boundary between Native American territory and lands open to European-American settlers. The latter frequently disregarded the treaty line as they continued to encroach on Native American lands.

1805 map showing western "Indian Boundary" between Port William and Fort Recovery, as well as the northern "Gen Wayne Treaty 1793" boundary between Fort Recovery and the Muskingum River near Salem. Much of the land east and south of these boundaries was open to settlement after the Treaty of Greenville.[/caption]


The treaty line began at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River in present-day Cleveland and ran south along the river to the portage between the Cuyahoga and Tuscarawas rivers, in what is now known as the Portage Lakes area between Akron and Canton. The line continued down the Tuscarawas to Fort Laurens near present-day Bolivar.

From there, the line ran west-southwest to near present-day Fort Loramie on a branch of the Great Miami River. From there, the line ran west-northwest to Fort Recovery, on the Wabash River near the present-day boundary between Ohio and Indiana. From Fort Recovery, the line ran south-southwest to the Ohio River at a point opposite the mouth of the Kentucky River in present-day Carrollton, Kentucky.

The treaty also established the "annuity" system of payment in return for Native American cessions of land east of the treaty line: yearly grants of federal money and supplies of calico cloth to Native American tribes. This institutionalized continuing government influence in tribal affairs, giving outsiders considerable control over Native American life.[2]

In exchange for goods to the value of $20,000 (such as blankets, utensils, and domestic animals), the Native American tribes ceded to the United States large parts of modern-day Ohio, the future site of downtown Chicago,[nb 1][4] the Fort Detroit area, the Maumee, Ohio Area,[5] and the Lower Sandusky, Ohio Area.[6]

The United States was represented by General "Mad Anthony" Wayne, who led the victory at Fallen Timbers. Other Americans at the treaty include William Wells, William Henry Harrison, William Clark, Caleb Swan, and Meriwether Lewis.[7]

Native American leaders who signed the treaty included leaders of these bands and tribes: Wyandot chiefs Tarhe, Leatherlips, and Roundhead (Wyandot), Delaware (Lenape; several bands). Shawnee, Chief Blue Jacket, Ottawa (several bands), Chippewa, Potawatomi (several bands), Miami (several bands), Chief Little Turtle, Wea, Kickapoo, and Kaskaskia.[8]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Greenville
Piqua Shawnee
Piqua Shawnee Tribe

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Weyapiersenwah (ca. 1743-1810) / Blue Jacket


 From Ohio History Central

Chief Blue Jacket
 
Weyapiersenwah (ca. 1743-1810), also spelled Wehyehpiherhsehnwah and commonly referred to by his English name Blue Jacket, was a prominent military leader of the Shawnee. During the Northwest Indian Wars (1785-1795), Blue Jacket and Miami Chief Little Turtle led an American Indian alliance against United States military forces in the Ohio Country, which included members of many tribes with villages in Ohio, including the Shawnee, Miami (Myaamia), Wyandotte, Delaware (Lenape), Ottawa, Potawatomis, Ojibwes, and small numbers of Cherokee and Seneca-Cayuga Tribes.
The first sources mentioning Blue Jacket date to his being a prominent war chief, leaving his early life up to speculation. However, Blue Jacket was born during a time marked by regular, bloody skirmishes between the American Indians and Anglo-American settlers. During the 1740s, Ohio tribes previously forced to flee the Ohio Country during the Beaver Wars, a campaign during which the Iroquois fought other American Indian groups, including those in the Ohio Country, for their lands and territories in order to gain access to new beaver populations, were returning to what we refer to today as Ohio. The most notable of these tribes was the Shawnee, and by the time Blue Jacket was a young boy, the Shawnee’s re-settlement in the Ohio Country was fully underway. The British and French desired the Shawnee’s homeland, and it became disputed “unsettled” territory.

During the early 1760s, Ohio tribes, including the Shawnee, ran out of ammunition and other supplies with which to defend their villages and lands, and began to conduct a series of raids to replenish supplies. It is during this period that Blue Jacket probably gained recognition as a talented warrior. Blue Jacket and the Shawnee allied with the British during the American Revolution (1765-1783) and he led the Shawnee in Lord Dunmore’s War (1774), when the Shawnee and Seneca-Cayuga Tribes unsuccessfully fought to ward off Anglo-American squatters on American Indian lands south of the Ohio River in Virginia. As a result, American Indians there lost their rights to hunt on lands south of the Ohio River. The Shawnee continued to lead the resistance and Blue Jacket rose to prominence.

During the 1790s, Blue Jacket and Little Turtle together led warriors of their American Indian alliance in victory over United States’ forces under the command of Josiah Harmar in 1790, and again in 1791 against Arthur St. Clair. As ordered by President George Washington, St. Clair’s forces fought to force American Indian groups in the Ohio Country off their land. The two leaders led the alliance in an offensive attack on St. Clair’s troops at daybreak and swarmed the camp on the banks of the Wabash. Although Blue Jacket and Little Turtle led the alliance against United States forces, the American Indians suffered a decisive defeat at the Battle of Fallen Timbers against General Anthony Wayne in 1794. The American Indian’s defeat at Fallen Timbers resulted in leaders of many tribes, after months of deliberation, signing the Treaty of Greenville in 1795, a document which ceded two-thirds of the State of Ohio to the United States—all of southern Ohio and parts of the central and eastern regions.

After the signing of the Treaty of Greenville, although Blue Jacket remained active in public relations efforts, he retired to Wapakoneta, Ohio, where he supplemented his farming and hunting with trade. Blue Jacket’s later successor Tecumseh became a notable warrior during the Northwest Indian Wars and after Blue Jacket’s passing, grew to prominence and continued to lead the alliance during the War of 1812.

It is interesting to note that a story in an 1877 issue of the Ohio State Journal written by journalist Thomas Jefferson Larsh propagated the idea that Blue Jacket was in fact a young, Anglo-American man named Marmaduke van Sweringen who was captured by the Shawnee, probably during the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783). In the late 1960s, author Allan W. Eckert popularized the theory in his novels. However, chronological disconnects and other inconsistencies in the documented lives of both Blue Jacket and van Sweringen, along with conclusive DNA tests, prove this theory to be false. The results of the DNA tests were published in the September 2006 issue of the Ohio Journal of Science.

http://www.ohiohistorycentral.org/w/Weyapiersenwah
Piqua Shawnee
Read More on Wikipedia

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Battle of Fallen Timbers

HISTORY.COM
The Battle of Timbers, on August 20, 1794, was the last major conflict of the Northwest Territory Indian War between Native Americans and the United States. At the battle, near present-day Toledo, Ohio, General Anthony Wayne (1745-96) led U.S. troops to victory over a confederation of Indian warriors whose leaders included Chief Blue Jacket of the Shawnees and Chief Little Turtle of the Miamis. The Treaty of Greenville, signed the following year, opened up much of present-day Ohio to white settlers.
Although the 1783 Treaty of Paris, which ended the American Revolutionary War (1775-83), ceded control of the Northwest Territory (the land northwest of the Ohio River) to the United States, the British failed to abandon their forts in the region and continued to support their Indian allies in skirmishes with American settlers.
Prior to the Battle of Timbers, two earlier American military expeditions into the Northwest Territory by generals Josiah Harmar and Arthur St. Clair in 1790 and 1791, respectively, failed to end the unrest. In fact, St. Clair’s effort at the Battle of the Wabash concluded with an Indian victory and heavy U.S. troop losses. In 1792, President George Washington (1732-99) appointed General Anthony Wayne commander of the Legion of the United States, a new professional army.
During the Revolutionary War, Wayne, a Pennsylvania native, had earned the moniker “Mad Anthony” for his bold and successful storming of a British fort at the Battle of Stony Point, New York, in 1779. Much of Wayne’s subsequent career involved divesting Native Americans of their land. After helping lead the Americans to victory at the 1781 Battle of Yorktown, Virginia, the last major conflict of the Revolutionary War, Wayne traveled to Georgia, where he negotiated treaties with the Creeks and Cherokees. They paid dearly in land for their decision to side with the British during the Revolutionary War, and Georgia officials paid Wayne in land, giving him a large plantation, for his efforts on their behalf.
At the Battle of Fallen Timbers, on August 20, 1794, Wayne led American troops to a decisive victory against a confederation of Native Americans whose leaders included Chief Little Turtle (Miami), Chief Blue Jacket (Shawnee) and Chief Buckongahelas (Lenape). The fighting took place on the Maumee River, near present-day Toledo.
With the Treaty of Greenville, signed in present-day Greenville, Ohio, in August 1795, the Indians ceded much of present-day Ohio, which, in 1803, became America’s 17th state. By the terms of the treaty, the Indians also ceded parts of Indiana, Illinois and Michigan.

Article Details:

Battle of Fallen Timbers

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Piqua Shawnee Tribe

Monday, August 27, 2018

NCAI Honors Senator John McCain

NCAI Press Release August 25, 2018


NCAI Honors Senator John McCain


WASHINGTON, D.C. | The National Congress of American Indians gives honor to the life of Senator John McCain and celebrates the time we had with him as a tireless champion for Indian Country and tribal sovereignty. The Senator dedicated many years to Indian Country. Serving as longtime member and former Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, he met frequently with tribal leaders on the Hill, in their community, and at our gatherings. In his last speech at NCAI Senator McCain said, “We must listen more to you, and get out of the way of tribal authority.” As we close out the day, we extend our sincere condolences with the family of Senator John McCain.


NCAI Website
About The National Congress of American Indians: Founded in 1944, the National Congress of American Indians is the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization in the country. NCAI advocates on behalf of tribal governments and communities, promoting strong tribal-federal government-to-government policies, and promoting a better understanding among the general public regarding American Indian and Alaska Native governments, people and rights. For more information, visit www.ncai.org.


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Friday, August 24, 2018

6 Things You May Not Know About Tecumseh

History.com
By Jesse Greenspan

Tecumseh lost three close family members to frontier violence.

Born in 1768 in present-day Ohio, Tecumseh lived during an era of near-constant conflict between his Shawnee tribe and white frontiersmen. At age 6, Lord Dunmore’s War broke out after a series of violent incidents, including one in which about a dozen Native Americans were plied with whiskey and challenged to a target shooting match before being slaughtered. Tecumseh’s father, Puckeshinwa, participated in the war, losing his life during a retreat across the Ohio River in the October 1774 Battle of Point Pleasant. As he lay dying, he supposedly told his son, Chiksika, to never make peace with the Virginians and to supervise the warrior training of his other male children. In 1788, a year after the U.S. Congress precipitated the settlement of Shawnee lands by passing the Northwest Ordinance, Chiksika was fatally wounded while attacking a stockade in present-day Tennessee. And in 1794, another of Tecumseh’s brothers, Sauwauseekau, was shot and killed at the Battle of Fallen Timbers.

Tecumseh took part in the worst defeat ever inflicted by Native Americans on U.S. forces.

In fall 1790, the Shawnee and Miami tribes repelled an assault on their villages near modern Fort Wayne, Indiana, killing 183 U.S. troops in the process. President George Washington authorized a new campaign the following year, in which he put Governor Arthur St. Clair of the Northwest Territory in charge of some 2,300 men. On the march north from modern Cincinnati, hundreds of them deserted as the weather worsened and food supplies ran low. For nearly two months, the remaining troops had little contact with native tribes. On November 3, the soldiers set up camp along the Wabash River in western Ohio. Washington had advised St. Clair to “beware of surprise,” but he posted few guards and built no barricades. The next morning, as the soldiers prepared breakfast, a force of Native Americans attacked and immediately overran them. Poorly trained militiamen fled, whereas the regulars who kept their position were decimated. When the dust cleared a few hours later, at least 623 American soldiers and dozens of camp followers were dead, and hundreds more were wounded. In comparison, fewer than 300 U.S. troops died during the much-more-famous Battle of the Little Bighorn. Tecumseh did not play a major role in the clash with St. Clair, but he scouted the U.S. soldiers during their advance north. Throughout the battle itself, in which only 21 Native Americans were reportedly killed, he watched the rear trail to make sure no reinforcements arrived.

Tecumseh tried to unite all tribes against white expansion.

The victory over St. Clair proved to be short lived, as the 1794 Battle of Fallen Timbers forced the Native Americans to give up most of present-day Ohio and part of Indiana. Tecumseh did not abide by such agreements, believing that every tribal leader who signed them “should have his thumb cut off.” He began envisioning a confederacy that would bring all of the tribes together—even longtime enemies—to resist the whites’ insatiable desire for land. Tecumseh and his brother Tenskwatawa, best known as “the Prophet,” also started preaching against cultural assimilation. In 1808 the brothers founded Prophetstown in northwestern Indiana, which they envisioned as the capital of their confederacy. That same year, Tecumseh met with British officials in Canada. He then traveled widely in the Midwest, gaining followers among such tribes as the Seneca, Wyandot, Sac, Fox, Winnebago, Potawatomi, Kickapoo, Chippewa, Ottawa, Delaware, Miami and, of course, Shawnee. Tecumseh even made it as far south as present-day Alabama and Mississippi, where he preached with limited success to Chickasaws, Choctaws and Creeks. “I have heard many great orators, but I never saw one with the vocal powers of Tecumseh, or the same command of the muscles in his face,” recalled a white soldier who saw one of his speeches.
 

The U.S. Army invaded while Tecumseh was away.

While Tecumseh was down south in fall 1811, William Henry Harrison, then governor of the Indiana Territory, decided to march on Prophetstown. Tecumseh had told his brother to avoid war with the Americans, but when soldiers advanced to within a mile of the town on November 6, the Prophet greenlighted a preemptive strike. He assured his followers that white bullets could not hurt them, and during the next morning’s fighting he purportedly sat on a rock singing incantations. In the end, though the Native Americans likely suffered fewer casualties than their opponents in the Battle of Tippecanoe, they were forced to retreat and abandon Prophetstown. Harrison then burned it to the ground. Upon returning home in January 1812, Tecumseh found his brother’s reputation destroyed and his confederacy badly weakened.

Tecumseh allied himself with the British during the War of 1812.

When the War of 1812 broke out in June of that year, Tecumseh and his supporters immediately joined with the British. During one of the first engagements of the conflict, U.S. General William Hull and about 2,000 men invaded Canada from Detroit. They were quickly repelled, however, in part due to Tecumseh’s interception of a supply train. British commander Isaac Brock, who became friends with Tecumseh, subsequently besieged Fort Detroit. In an act of psychological warfare, Brock informed Hull that his Native American allies “will be beyond my control the moment the contest commences.” A terrified Hull surrendered a day later. The following year, Tecumseh participated in failed sieges of two forts in Ohio. He then reluctantly retreated with the British back into Canada. U.S. troops under Harrison’s command caught up with the British and Native Americans along the Thames River, winning a battle there that cost Tecumseh his life. Afterwards, the surviving Shawnee divided into groups and dispersed in various directions. Most eventually ended up in Oklahoma.
 

Many myths sprang up around Tecumseh.

No one knows for sure who killed Tecumseh, but that didn’t stop a number of people from taking credit. Richard M. Johnson, for example, rode his reputation as Tecumseh’s killer to the vice presidency in 1836. Four years later Harrison used the slogan, “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too,” to take the White House. Meanwhile, since Tecumseh did no interviews and left behind no letters or journals, storytellers filled the gaps in his life with wild tales. One account held that he courted the blond, blue-eyed daughter of an Indian fighter, with whom he read the Bible and Shakespeare, and another held that his great-grandfather was South Carolina’s governor. Both accounts, and many others like them, are almost certainly untrue.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

The Piqua Shawnee Tribe



Visit the State of Alabama Indian Affairs Commission website for more information

http://aiac.state.al.us/tribes_piquaShawnee.aspx

Early History
The state of Alabama has long been the home of many Shawnee people. In fact, some historians state that perhaps the Shawnee people have inhabited Alabama for a longer period of time than any other geographic region. Some archaeologists set the date of 1685 as the first evidence of Shawnee settlement in Alabama. However, oral tradition states that we have been here much longer than that. Ancient burial sites that use burial methods common to the Shawnee have been located in several sections of the state. Early accounts can be confusing since what is now called Alabama was once a part of Georgia territory. Several early maps show Shawnee settlements in what is now called Alabama.

Early French and English maps show several Shawnee towns in what would be considered Upper Creek territory in Alabama. Some of the most notable were near modern Alabama towns. One village was near present day Talladega and was known in English as Shawnee Town. Another town was near Sylacauga. In 1750 the French took a census mentioning the Shawnee at Sylacauga as well as enumerating another Shawnee town called Cayomulgi, (currently spelled Kyamulga town) that was located nearby. Kiamulgatown was also listed in an 1832 census. A 1761 English census names Tallapoosa Town. This town was also named in a 1792 census by Marbury. There are French military records that mention a Shawnee presence at Wetumpka near Fort Toulouse. In most cases the traders called Alabama Indians “Creeks” because they lived on the numerous creeks and waterways in the area. Many of these “Creeks” were not of the same tribe or nation. Rather they went by a large number of names. Each group maintained their own unique heritage while living side by side with their neighbors.

Piqua Shawnee

Piqua Shawnee Tribe

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

NCAI to Host Tribal Unity Impact Days September 12-13, 2018

NCAI to Host Tribal Unity Impact Days September 12-13, 2018


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.

Topics for this year's event will include opioids legislation, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, the Farm Bill, and more.

For more information and to register, click here.

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