Catalog # SKU1159
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.00 lbs
Author Name Benjamin Drake
ISBN 10: 0000000000
ISBN 13: 0000000000000



With a Historical Sketch
of the Shawanoe Indians


TGS Historical Reprints brings back this biography of one of the most famous Native American Indian Chiefs, Tecumseh, who was held in awe, fear, and respect by people and 'officials' in both the USA and Canada.

There is a tradition among the Shawanoes, in regard to their origin, which is said to be peculiar to that tribe. While most of the aborigines of this country believe that their respective races came out of holes in the earth at different places on this continent, the Shawanoes alone claim, that their ancestors once inhabited a foreign land; but having determined to leave it, they assembled their people and marched to the sea shore. Here, under the guidance of a leader of the Turtle tribe, one of their twelve original subdivisions, they walked into the sea, the waters of which immediately parted, and they passed in safety along the bottom of the ocean, until they reached this island.


From the period of his return, until August of the following year, 1791, Tecumseh spent his time in hunting. In the autumn of this year, when information reached the Indians, that general St. Clair and his army were preparing to march from fort Washington, into their country, this chief headed a small party of spies, who went out for the purpose of watching the movements of the invading force.

While lying on Nettle creek, a small stream which empties into the Great Miami, general St. Clair and his army passed out through Greenville to the head waters of the Wabash, where he was defeated. Tecumseh, of course, had no personal participation in this engagement, so creditable to the valor of the Indians, and so disastrous to the arms and renown of the United States.

In December, 1792, Tecumseh, with ten other warriors and a boy, were encamped near Big Rock, between Loramie's creek and Piqua, for the purpose of hunting. Early one morning, while the party were seated round the fire, engaged in smoking, they were fired upon by a company of whites near treble their number. Tecumseh raised the war-whoop, upon which the Indians sprang to their arms, and promptly returned the fire. He then directed the boy to run, and in turning round a moment afterwards, perceived that one of his men. Black Turkey, was running also.

He had already retreated to the distance of one hundred yards; yet such was his fear of Tecumseh, he instantly obeyed the order to return, indignantly given him, and joined in the battle. Two of the whites were killed--one of them by Tecumseh--before they retreated. While pursuing them Tecumseh broke the trigger of his rifle, which induced him to give up the chase, or probably more of the whites would have fallen. They were commanded by Robert M'Clelland. Tecumseh lost none of his men; two of them, however, were wounded, one of whom was Black Turkey.

In the month of March, 1792, some horses were stolen by the Indians, from the settlements in Mason county, Kentucky. A party of whites to the number of thirty-six, was immediately raised for the purpose of pursuing them. It embraced Kenton, Whiteman, M'Intire, Downing, Washburn, Calvin and several other experienced woodsmen. The first named, Simon Kenton, a distinguished Indian fighter, was placed in command. The trail of the Indians being taken, it was found they had crossed the Ohio just below the mouth of Lee's creek, which was reached by the pursuing party towards evening. Having prepared rafts, they crossed the Ohio that night, and encamped.

Early next morning the trail was again taken and pursued, on a north course, all day, the weather being bad and the ground wet. On the ensuing morning twelve of the men were unable to continue the pursuit, and were permitted to return. The remainder followed the trail until eleven o'clock, A.M., when a bell was heard, which they supposed indicated their approach to the Indian camp.

A halt was called, and all useless baggage and clothing laid aside. Whiteman and two others were sent ahead as spies, in different directions, each being followed by a detachment of the party. After moving forward some distance, it was found that the bell was approaching them. They halted and soon perceived a solitary Indian riding towards them. When within one hundred and fifty yards, he was fired at and killed. Kenton directed the spies to proceed, being now satisfied that the camp of the Indians was near at hand. They pushed on rapidly, and after going about four miles, found the Indians encamped, on the south-east side of the east fork of the Little Miami, a few miles above the place where the town of Williamsburg has since been built. The indications of a considerable body of Indians were so strong, that the expediency of an attack at that hour of the day was doubted by Kenton.

A hurried council was held, in which it was determined to retire, if it could be done without discovery, and lie concealed until night, and then assault the camp. This plan was carried into execution. Two of the spies were left to watch the Indians, and ascertain whether the pursuing party had been discovered. The others retreated for some distance and took a commanding position on a ridge. The spies watched until night, and then reported to their commander, that they had not been discovered by the enemy. The men being wet and cold, they were now marched down into a hollow, where they kindled fires, dried their clothes, and put their rifles in order.

The party was then divided into three detachments,--Kenton commanding the right, M'Intire the centre, and Downing the left. By agreement, the three divisions were to move towards the camp, simultaneously, and when they had approached as near as possible, without giving an alarm, were to be guided in the commencement of the attack, by the fire from Kenton's party. When Downing and his detachment had approached close to the camp, an Indian rose upon his feet, and began to stir up the fire, which was but dimly burning. Fearing a discovery, Downing's party instantly shot him down.

This was followed by a general fire from the three detachments, upon the Indians who were sleeping under some marquees and bark tents, close upon the margin of the stream. But unfortunately, as it proved in the sequel, Kenton's party had taken "Boone," as their watch-word. This name happening to be as familiar to the enemy as themselves, led to some confusion in the course of the engagement. When fired upon, the Indians instead of retreating across the stream as had been anticipated, boldly stood to their arms, returned the fire of the assailants and rushed upon them.

They were reinforced moreover from a camp on the opposite side of the river, which until then, had been unperceived by the whites. In a few minutes the Indians and the Kentuckians were blended with each other, and the cry of "Boone," and "Che Boone," arose simultaneously from each party.

Softbound, 5.5x8, 230+ pages


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