Tecumseh and the Prophet: The Shawnee Brothers Who Defied a Nation
The expansion of settlements in the early United States came at the expense of the Native American tribes. Inequitable deals were cut by enterprising Colonials with tribal chiefs, pushing tribes further westward. Tecumseh, the soon to be legendary Shawnee warrior leader was born in 1768. The Shawnee tribe resided primarily in Ohio, part of the Northwest Territory. Five years after the French-Indian War, the landscape of the young United States was evolving with more territorial exploration. The consequences of the colonists’ land grabs were often bloody warfare. Tecumseh’s father would die in a clash with the “long knives” of the Colonists in 1774.
Tecumseh and his brother Tenskwatawa matured in a world of war. Tecumseh learned English while also becoming adept at hunting, his skills admired by his tribesmen. As time elapsed, the Colonial exploration spread further, a compromise was initially sought by the nascent Americans, yet seizing by force was always a possibility. Tecumseh would defend his tribe against aggression, cool under pressure, while his Brother’s spiritual awakening led him to counsel his peers in ways the tribe could survive and thrive.
Tecumseh and the Prophet is a thorough profile of the notable Tecumseh and his Brother. Author Peter Cozzens sculpts his narrative deftly and compellingly. In relating the barbarity of the frontier wars, the author remains objective yet empathetic. Tecumseh and Tenskwatawa are fascinating figures, capable of greatness and leadership, yet destined for tragedy. A+ work.
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