Tecumseh: National Native American Heritage Month Biography

Written by: Emily Vargo

Since it is Native American Heritage Month, I wanted to talk about someone I grew up hearing about and someone I always found fascinating. This person is Tecumseh.

Tecumseh was born in 1768 in Ohio. Tecumseh was born in the Shawnee territory and into the Panther clan of the Kispoko division of the Shawnee tribe. Tecumseh was named after a shooting star that appeared during his birth. Tecumseh’s father was a war chief, and he was the fifth out of eight siblings.

Most of Tecumseh’s childhood consisted of fleeing for safety. First, there was a conflict with the British. The British were trying to take over territory but eventually quit and forced on the American Revolution. The Native Americans ended up pairing with the British to push back the Americans from their land, but they lost. This caused them to keep retreating more and more into Ohio to try to survive.

After the American Revolution, the Americans focused on one tribe at a time and getting the Native Americans to sign treaties to give up their land. In 1788 Tecumseh and his family moved westward to avoid conflict. Settlers ended up following them and kept pushing the Native Americans out. Tecumseh eventually returned to Ohio in 1791 and helped fight in the Northwest Indian War as a minor leader who was led by the Shawnee Blue Jacket.

Tecumseh fought in many battles, including the Battle of Fallen Timbers. After Blue Jacket agreed to make peace with the Americans, the Native confederacy fell apart. By 1796 Tecumseh was both the civil and war chief of the Kispoko band. Tecumseh was able to build another confederacy and fought many battles to gain and defend the land. On October 5, 1813, Tecumseh died in battle, and his remains are still lost to this day. After his death, the confederacy ended. Even though the confederacy ended, Tecumseh was known as a fighter who was fair and had honor.

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