David Edmunds wrote a comprehensive biography of Tecumseh . His early life and the quest to salvage Indian society from ···
David Edmunds wrote a comprehensive biography of Tecumseh . His early life and the quest to salvage Indian society from the bondage of the White oppression and atrocities (Edmunds). Tecumseh was a Shawnee legend . And a leader who played a pivotal role in defending the Aborigine Americans way of life. He is known for his contribution in the creation of pan-tribal native confederacy in the bid to oppose westward expansion . By the United States (Sturgis).
In him lived the spirit of resistance which was inherited from the great chiefs who lived before him like Pontiac of Ottawa . And Joseph Brant of Mohawk. He also learned a lot from his fellow Shawnee leaders like Blue Jacket and Captain Johnny. His brother assisted Tecumseh after converting his spiritual following into political movement. Both of them worked to preserve the cultural values as well as religious dignity of the Indian people . Beside fighting for the injustices done to the people.
Tecumseh was a charismatic, politically a depth . And savvy military leader who forged alliances of the Aborigine people of America to at the unprecedented levels (Burns, and Eyre 2 min.). Therefore, this paper will focus on the leadership of Tecumseh .
And how he was successful in establishing a united Indian society in the fight against the loss of their lands, corruption, invasions . And other atrocities which were directed to intimidate the Aborigine Americans to abandon their land and their culture. In essence, the paper will explain how Tecumseh was an established leader bold enough to fight for the right of the Indians.
Much of the life of Tecumseh
As well as his contribution to the Indian people . Have been gathered in various manuscripts, but all of these collections agree that Tecumseh was a legend. He was born in March 1768 in Chillicothe, Ohio. His father was Puckshinwa and mother Methotaske. Much of his life, Tecumseh was under the care and adoration of his sister after their mother abandoned them (Biography).
He learned how to hunt and fight like a warrior through his brother-in-law. He knew how to hunt at a tender age and was always at the hunting expeditions. Tremendously, he was groomed to be a warrior by taking part in battlefields which taught him what a warrior meant being. Through the family support, Tecumseh learned what it takes to become a tribal leader a defender of the people’s rights and freedom. Everything came naturally to him through the guidance of his sister and the family.
Beside him developing good leadership, Tecumseh also became an excellent orator through which he was able to enter into treaties with the whites for the benefit of his society (Zinn 116). His oratory prowess was evident during his speech at Chillicothe in trying to convince the whites that the Indians did not commit the murders which saw the killing of the white farmers. Also, through his oration, he depicted the evolving nature of the Indian movement in his time.
Tecumseh played a crucial role in the modeling of the other warriors in Indian society until he died.
His death shocked the other warriors because there no one to replace him, therefore, they thought it is useless to fight against the white without such a warrior like Tecumseh. This led to them accepting the inevitable eviction from their ancestral land.
Tecumseh lived when the Indians were secluded for the collective rights like voting and legal system. The Indians were not expected to hold any traditional gather, and the powers of the community leaders were abolished. Also, the Indians were supposed to pay taxes like any other American citizens.
As a result, Tecumseh was very concerned and aggrieved about the U.S policy and treaties which continued to alienate the Indians from their culture, religion, and other rights by imposing punitive and biased policies. Logically, Tecumseh asked why his people were not allowed to access and enjoy the same freedom as the white people. The whites were free to cross over every treaty made which made the chaos and pressure to build between the Indians and whites.
Further, Tecumseh was concerned that the United States government was aware of the atrocities and unfair treatment of the Indian society, but it was not ready to defend them but took part in aggravating the matter. The U.S government dealt with issues unfairly by applying the policies and treaties in favor of the white people. For instance, when the government promise them security in exchange for a piece of land, it was only a way to grab the ground and to further push them away to the margins of their territory (Zinn, 9).
Tecumseh fought the equality in America (Sullivan, and Jipe). The U.S government did not treat both the white and Indians equally. Before the law, for instance, the Indians had no right to sue anyone for anything whereas the white was well served by the judicial system which was mainly made for them.
Tecumseh was a committed leader who identified the corruption in the U.S government and devised a way to bring it down. The fraud was the one driving the Indian people from their ancestral lands. The administration had realized that one way of winning over the Indians is to destabilize them through “civilization.” To do that, there was a need to campaign against their religion and culture.
The white introduced corruption in the Indian society in the bid to weaken and frustrate their commitment fighting to their land as well as their rights. To counter the forces from the white, Tecumseh discouraged the people from signing treaties which were only seeing them lose their land bits by bits. He taught the people on the need to look at the content of the agreement before they sign for its effect.
Being a great leader, he was, he also faced frustrations in his quest for justice for his people which was hard to achieve. To make matters even worse, the tribal leaders were not listening to him as he called out for equality. This presented a window for the white to exploit and continued blindfolding the Indian people get more of their land. That notwithstanding, Tecumseh was always humane to the whites in his fight for a pan-Indian confederacy. The confederacy aimed to create a farsighted approach to the Indian Land tenure.
Profit vision aimed at getting back his people to the ways of their forefathers.
He envisioned his people going back to the Indian way of dressing which was native and cultural but not the white man dressing. He wanted the trade between the white Americans to end except for the British and French which he did not consider them evil. Further, he asked his people to stop using metal farming tools from the white Americans and go back to using the tools their forefathers were using.
Tecumseh was giving the message of those things that Indians needed to follow to become a convert, which also included not to drink the white man’s whiskey. Profit opposed to Americans because they came through the same water the great serpent came from. Moreover, he detested how white people were treating them and stealing what was rightfully theirs. The whites were closing the treaty lines without them facing the consequences, but when an Indian does the same, he was punished or killed.
Tecumseh was a legend and a man who deserved praise for what he accomplished in his life. He was being helped by his brother who was trying to save the people spiritually. Tecumseh’s work was physical. When their work complemented each other, they become successful in redeeming their people from the white man oppression and also getting them back to their ways of life and culture. He wanted what was best for the Shawnees as well as the whole tribes of Indians.
Burns, Ric, and Chris Eyre. Tecumseh’s Vision – We Shall Remain. 1988.
Biography. “Tecumseh”. Biography, https://www.biography.com/people/tecumseh-9503607. Accessed 11 Dec 2018.
Edmunds, Russell David. Tecumseh and the quest for Indian leadership. Boston: Little, Brown, 1984.
Sullivan, Christina, and Ilda Jupe. “Indigenous Leaders – Tecumseh – Leadership Qualities”. Indigenousleaders.Wikispaces.Umb.Edu, http://indigenousleaders.wikispaces.umb.edu/Tecumseh+-+Leadership+Qualities. Accessed 11 Dec 2018.
Sturgis, Amy. “The Once And Future Chief: Tecumseh In (Science) Fiction.” Apex Magazine, 2017, https://www.apex-magazine.com/the-once-and-future-chief-tecumseh-in-science-fiction/. Accessed 11 Dec 2018.
Zinn, Howard. A people’s history of the United States: 1492-present. Routledge, 2015.