The North American Review for April contains an article of some length entitled 'Indian Biography.' It is principally taken in recounting the history and exploits of the celebrated Indian chief, Tecumseh. He was born on the banks of the Scioto River near Chillicothe, Ohio.
N. Y. Journal of Commerce
His father who was a noted Shawnee warrior, fell at the battle of Kenawa, while Tecumseh was yet a mere boy. His mother is said by some to have been a Shawnee, and others a Creek; but he is understood himself to have told a gentleman at Vincennes, in 1810, that she was a Cherokee, who had been taken prisoner in a war between that nation and the Shawnees, and adopted, according to Indian custom, into a family of the latter nation, which resided near the Miami of the Lake.- This account is confirmed by the circumstance of this woman having migrated into the Cherokee territory in advanced age, and died there. The totem of her tribe is said to have been the turtle, and of the father's a tiger.
From all the information which can now be gathered respecting the early years of Tecumseh, it appears that he gave a striking evidence in his boyhood of the singular spirit, which characterized him through life. He was distinguished for a steady adherence to principle, and generally that of the best kind. He prided himself upon his temperance, and his truth, maintaining an uncommon reputation for integrity, and, what is still rarer among his countrymen, he never indulged in the excessive use of food or liquor. He would not marry until long after the customary period; and then, as a matter of necessity, in consequence of the solicitations of his friends, he seems to have connected himself to an old woman who was perhaps not the handsomest or most agreeable lady in the world, but who nevertheless bore him one child, his only offspring. With this exception, he adopted in his material life certain practices of the Shakers, whose principles as is well known, were afterwards so strenuously, promulgated by his brother, The Prophet, that a certain prime functionary in that denomination gave him the credit of being as good a disciple as himself. Whether there was an express concert or actual cooperation between the two, at this early period respecting this or any other project or policy in which they subsequently engaged together, does not appear to be positively ascertained.
It is not to be supposed, that any remarkable achievements of the young warrior in his first battles, should be preserved on record. The Shawnees relate, that he made his debut in an engagement with the Kentucky troops, which took place on the banks of Mad River. In the heat of the skirmish, he most ungallantly turned right about face, and made the best of his way from the field, with all possible diligence, and that too while one of his brothers stood his ground with the other Indians and fought till he was wounded and carried off. It must be admitted, that this is not so creditable a proceeding as may be conceived; but the extreme youth of the party goes some way to explain, as his subsequent conduct did to excuse it. But from this time, whatever might be his animal courage, he was never known to shrink. Indeed previously to the Treaty of Greenville, (in 1795) when he was probably about twenty-five years of age, he is said to have signalized himself so much, as to have been reputed one of the boldest of the Indian warriors. No individual was more regularly engaged in those terrible incursions, by which the first settlers of Kentucky were so much harassed; and few could boast of having intercepted so many boats on the Ohio River, or plundered so many houses on the civilized shore. He was sometimes pursued, but never overtaken. If the enemy advances into his own country, he retreated to the banks of the Wabash, until the storm had passed by; and then, just as they were laying aside the sword for the axe and ploughshare, swooped down upon them again in their own settlements. It goes to show the disinterested generosity always ascribed to him, that, although the booty collected in the course of these adventures must have been very considerable in quantity and value, he rarely retained any portion of it for his own use. His ruling passion was the love of glory, as that of his followers was the love of gain; and of course a compromise could always be effected between them, to the perfect satisfaction of both parties.--He was feudal baron among boors. It remained for subsequent occasions, then little dreamed of, to show that his temperament, like his talent, was even better adopted to the management of a large engagement, than to the melee of a small one.
We have now arrived at an epoch in his life, when it is no longer possible to give his own history too much advantage, but by connecting with it that of his celebrated brother, the Prophet already mentioned. The name of this personage was Etskwatawa*. He and Tecumseh, and still another, Kumshaka, were the offspring of the same mother at the same birth. Probably there was an understanding between them, at an early date, respecting the great plans which The Prophet and the orator afterwards carried into execution; but as we hear little or nothing of the subsequent cooperation of Kumshaka it may be presumed that he did not live--employment would certainly have been found for him,if he had. It has been said that it was about the year 1806 when his two brothers first conceived their design of uniting all the Western Indians in a war against the Americas. But it appears to us probable, that the main project was older than this, although the minutiae of it never were nor could be agreed upon at any one time. Whether it was Tecumseh's alone, or The Prophet's alone, in the first instance,-or the result of the joint deliberations of the two, cannot now be determined. The better opinion perhaps, favors first theory; with the qualification however, that The Prophet was for many years the only and intimate confident,and probably on many occasions the counsellor of his brother. He contented himself, at all events with being a subordinate actor in the play, from first to last, though he was by no means an insignificant one.
It has been very generally understood, that either this man's brain was affected by some accident, or that he had the good fortune to be naturally possessed of a certain species of mind, or rather want of mind, which most of the Indians hold in peculiar esteem. This may have been true, but we think the probabilities of the case are in favor of a different supposition,--to wit-- that his frenzy was feigned; and that his brother instigated and instructed him to make an important use of it in the promotion of the grand scheme, which was scarcely exercising the ingenuity and fostering the ambition of both. It goes against the former theory, that those who are best acquainted with Elskawata, and especially such as knew him personally, were the least suspicious of any deficiency in his intellect. Take the evidence of General Harrison, for example, who had repeated opportunities of closely scrutinizing his conduct and conversation. The author of the life of that Gentleman, published as Cincinnati in 1828, in speaking of a visit of a fortnight from The Prophet, in August, 1808, observes, that the Governor discovered him to be possessed of considerable talents. Again, 'his astonishment was excited, by the address and art with which he managed the Indians.' It could by no means be gathered from his language, whether he was under British influence. That point indeed, never was ascertained satisfactorily, by any American; and so far was General Harrison in particular in gaining it, that his biographer frankly admits him to have been 'completely deceived' by 'this fellow's' profound subtlety, notwithstanding both the special prejudice he had previously formed against him,and the general knowledge he possessed of Indian cunning and duplicity.
* * * * * * * He inculcated, in the first place, that a radical reform was necessary in the manners of the red people.- This was proved, by enlarging upon the evil which had ensued from the neighborhood of the whites,- the imitation of their dress and manners. The introduction of ardent spirits, diseases, contentions and wars: by the vast diminution of the means of subsistence, and the narrowed limits of territory, to which they were now hemmed in, and by other considerations of the most irritating, as well as plausible kind, the force of which was not at all lessened by occasional comment on particular transactions, and glowing references to the long, peaceful and happy lives of their forefathers. This point being gained, and a favorable excitement produced, the next thing in order was his own commission from the Great Spirit. This was authenticated by the astonishing miracles he was able to perform, and still more, by the great benefits he was able to confer on his followers.-- The budget of reform was then brought forward. There was to be no more fighting between the tribes,--they were brethren. They were to abandon the use of ardent spirits, and to wear skins, as their ancestors had done, instead of blankets. Stealing, quarrelling, and other immoral modern habits were denounced. Injunctions of minor importance seem to have been enforced merely with a view to test the pliability of savage superstition, to embarrass the jealous scrutiny of those who opposed or doubted, and to establish a superficial uniformity, whereby the true believers should be readily distinguished. The policy of more prominent tenets cannot be mistaken. Just in proportion to their observance, they must inevitably promote the dependence of the Indian nations, first; by diminishing their independence upon the whites, and secondly, by increasing their intercourse and harmony with each other.
In addressing himself to such subjects, with such a system, Elskawatawa could hardly fail of success.- For some years, indeed, his converts were few; for great as the influence is, which a man of his pretensions exercise over his ignorant countrymen, when his reputation is once fatally acquired, it is by no means so easy an undertaking, to acquire it in the outset. The extent and permanence of his success, in fact, are more conclusive as to his talent, than the mere conception and adoption of the policy. This was comparatively common place, and common-place personage might undertake it. Mr. Tanner, who published, a year or two since. a very interesting narrative of his residence of thirty years among the Indians, has given incidental sketches of as many as three or four pretenders. Some of them were laughed at for their pains. Others obtained a temporary credence; but we hear nothing of them beyond a year or two. Elskawatawa was at this very period extending his reputation from tribe to tribe over the whole West. Difficulties and discouragements were encountered by him; but he nevertheless persevered and prevailed. His first establishment consisted of about one hundred warriors of his own tribe, whom he had very artfully convinced, or at least conciliated, by preaching up the superiority of the Shawnees over every other people under Heaven. This doctrine, however, was not calculated for general use; and The Prophet had scarcely collected his partisans around him at Greenville, when his efforts to add to their number from other tribes,--and upon other grounds, of course,--compelled him to modify his theory so much that about half of his own countrymen deserted him. But their place was soon supplied by stragglers, who came in from various quarters. In June 1807, the United States' agent at Fort Wayne wrote to General Harrison, then governor of Indiana Territory, that no fewer than fifteen hundred Indians has(sic) passed that station, on their way to hear the preaching of the Shawnees Prophet. In the course of this season, the effects of his exhortations became so palpable, as to excite some apprehensions among the white settlements on the frontiers. Suspicious movements were visible among the Kickapoos, and among portions of the Potawatamics, Chippewas, and Ottawas. In 1809, The Prophet removed from Greenville to Tippecanoe, on the upper part of the Wabash, and his disciples followed in his train. During the next year, rumors of war became prevalent, and though the preacher had a little before this been deserted, he was now reported to have more than one thousand individuals under his entire control. The Wyandots and many of the Winnebagoes had joined him; and the warlike Sacs and Foxes followed soon afterwards. Meanwhile murders and other outrages are said to have taken place in the vicinity of The Prophet's settlement. A general alarm existed among the whites, throughout Indiana and Illinois. Measures had already been taken, under the immediate charge of Governor Harrison, for the defense of the frontiers; and of Vincennes in particular, where the first onset of the enemy was expected. The attention of the General Government itself was about this time so much aroused, that the proposal from the President to make prisoners of both Tecumseh and his brother was suspended, only that a last effort might be more advantageously made, for a compromise with the disaffected tribes. Early in 1811, the Indian force mustered at Tippecanoe was larger than Governor Harrison himself could easily collect; and the bodyguard of Tecumseh, on the visit which he paid the former at Vincennes, in July of this season, consisted of more than three hundred men.
This meeting took place ostensibly in consequence of the speech which the Governor had sent to the brothers at their encampments on the Wabash, in June. He had taken that occasion to repeat his former complaints of the insults and injuries he supposed to have been offered to American citizens, by Indians under their influence, to inform them that he had heard of their recent attempt to hasten hostilities between the Union and various Indian tribes; and finally to remind them in strong terms, of the consequences of persisting in this conduct. 'Brothers!' 'I am, myself, of the Longknife fire.' As soon as they hear my voice, you will see them pouring forth their swarms of hunting ____men, as numerous as the mosquitoes on the shores of the Wabash. 'Brothers! take care of their slings.' Tecumseh promptly replied to his communication, by promising to visit the Governor in precisely eighteen days, for the purpose of 'washing away all these bad stories.' Some delay occurred; but upon Saturday the 27th of July,he made his appearance at Vincennes, with his three hundred followers. As neither the Governor nor the inhabitants generally were desirous of prolonging his entertainment, it was proposed to commence the negotiations on Monday; but this he declined doing, and it was late on Tuesday before he made his appearance at the arbor prepared for the occasion. Nor did he then come, without taking the precaution to ascertain previously, whether the Governor was to be attended by armed men at the council,--If so, he should adopt the same etiquette. Being left to his own option, and given to understand that his example would be imitated, he came with a guard of nearly two hundred men, some armed with bows and arrows,and others with knives, tomahawks, and war-clubs. The Governor, on the other hand, was attended by a full troop of dragoons, dismounted, and completely furnished with fire-arms; and he had taken care, on Tecumseh's first arrival to secure the town, by stationing two foot companies and a detachment of cavalry in the outskirts. He placed himself in front of his dragoons: Tecumseh stood at the head of his tawdry band, and the conference was commenced with a speech on the part of the Governor. This was briefly replied to, but a heavy rain coming on, matters remained in status quo, until the next day, when Tecumseh made a long and ingenious harangue, both exposing and justifying his own schemes, much more openly than he had ever done before. Respecting the demand which the Governor had made, that two Potawatamie murderers should be given up to punishment, who were stated to be resident at Tippecanoe, he, in the first place, denied that they were there, and went on very deliberately to show, that he could not deliver them up if they were there. It was not right, he said, to punish those people. They ought to be forgiven, as well as those who had recently murdered his people in the Illinois. The whites should follow his own example of forgiveness; he had forgive the Ottawas and the Osages. Finally he desired that the matters might remain in their present situation, and especially that no settlements should be attempted upon the lands recently purchased of certain tribes, until he should return from a visit among the Southern Indians. - Then, he would go to Washington, and settle all difficulties with the President; and mean while, as the neighboring tribes were wholly under his direction, he would despatch messengers in every quarter to prevent further mischief. He concluded with offering the Governor a quantity of wampum, as a full atonement for the murders before mentioned. The latter made an indignant rejoinder the meeting was broken up, and Tecumseh, attended by a few followers, soon afterwards commenced his journey down the Wabash for the southward.
Such was the last appearance of Tecumseh, previously to the war. The popular excitement now became greater than ever. Meetings were held, and representations and resolutions forwarded to the Federal Executive. But before these documents could reach their destination, authority had been given to Governor Harrison, to commence offensive operations if necessary, and forces, in addition to those under his territorial jurisdiction, were placed at his disposal. The banditti under The Prophet, says the secretary, Mr. Eustis, -in communication of July 20th, 'are to be attacked and vanquished, provided such a measure be necessary.' It is not our purpose to detail the subsequent measures of Governor Harrison, which terminated in the celebrated Battle of Tippecanoe; and much less, to agitate the question heretofore so inveterately contested, respecting the general propriety of the offensive operations he commenced, or his particular system of success in conducting them. The battle took place on the seventh of November, 1811; the Governor having previously sent Indian messengers to demand of the various tribes in The Prophet's encampment, that they should all return to their respective territories; that the stolen horses in their and his possession should be given up; and that all murderers then sheltered at Tippecanoe, should be delivered over to justice. The first messengers, about the last of September, had the effect of bringing out a friendly deputation from The Prophet, full of professions of peace. But fresh outrages were committed by his followers about the same time; and, when sundry headmen of the Delaware tribe undertook, in October, to go upon a second mission, they are said to have been abruptly met by a counter deputation from The Prophet, requiring a categorical answer to the question, 'whether they would or would not join him against the United States?' The Delawares, nevertheless, went on and having visited The Prophets camp, returned to Governor Harrison, now on his march, with the report of having been ill treated, insulted, and finally dismissed with contemptuous remarks upon themselves and the Governor. Twenty-four Miamies next volunteered to go on this thankless business. They seem to have been better entertained, for the good reason, that they decided upon raising the tomahawk against their employer. At all events, these serviceable diplomatist spared themselves the pains of returning.
The particulars of the battle are well known. The Governor having entered into the heart of the territory occupied by The Prophet, but claimed by the United States, as being purchased of those tribe who had the least disputed claims to it, he encamped on the night of the 26th in the vicinity of The Prophet's force; and a suspension of hostilities was agreed upon between the two parties, until a conference could take place on the ensuing day. Whether, as The Prophet affirmed on this occasion by his messengers, he had sent a pacific proposal to the Governor, which accidentally failed to reach him; or whether he was now actually 'desirous of avoiding hostilities if possible,' but felt himself compelled to commence them, need not be discussed. His forces, supposed to number from five hundred to eight hundred warriors, made a violent attack on the American army, early in the morning of the 7th; and one of the most desperate struggles ensued, of which we have any record in the history of Indian warfare. The enemy was at length repulsed; leaving thirty eight warriors dead in the field. The Americans lost about fifty killed, and about twice that number wounded. The Prophet's town was rifled, and the army commenced its return to Vincennes.
The sequel of the mere history of the two brothers, familiar as this portion of it is to all readers, may be soon told. Tecumseh, who was absent, at the South, as is generally believed, when the battle took place, returned soon afterwards and without doubt was exceedingly surprised and mortified by the conduct of the Prophet. From this time, while the latter lost much of his influence, the former took a more independent and open part. When he had previously maintained a special understanding with the British, cannot be positively decided; but his subsequent course admits of little controversy. He proposed to Governor Harrison, to make the contemplated journey to Washington; but, as the Governor expressed a determination that he should not go in the capacity which he deemed suitable to his standing, the idea was abandoned. Thenceforth, whatever his intentions had been, he determined upon the necessity of fighting; and it naturally followed, whatever had been, his disposition towards the British authorities, theirs towards him admits of no question, that he should no longer hesitate to avail himself of every fair opportunity of cooperation. In July 1812, Captain Wells wrote to Governor Harrison, from Fort Wayne, that Tecumseh had called there recently, on his way to Malden, to receive from the British Government twelve horse loads of ammunition, for the use of his people at Tippecanoe. Immediately after this, he openly joined his new allies, became Brigadier-General Tecumseh, and unquestionably rendered the most essential services, especially in raising and retaining the Indian forces. During the first months of the war, his whole time was devoted to recruiting. He was present however at the siege of Fort Meigs; and upon the famous 5th day of May, 1812, commanded the cooperating savage force, on the south-east side of the river At the second assault on Fort Meigs, in July, he was also present. Again, while the siege of Sandusky was going on, we find him at the head of two thousand warriors, reconnoitering the position of General Harrison. In the decisive battle of the Moravian towns, he commanded the right wing of the allied army, and was himself posted in the only part of it, which was engaged with the American troops. Here was his last struggle. Disdaining to fly, when all were flying around him but his own dearest followers, he himself pressed eagerly into the very heart of the contest, encouraging the savages by his voice, and playing the tomahawk with tremendous energy. He appeared to be advancing, it is said, directly upon Col. Johnson, who was pressing forward, on the other side, at the head of his mounted infantry. Suddenly, a wavering was perceived in the Indian ranks. There was no longer a voice of command among them. Tecumseh had fallen, and his bravest and best men, still remaining, were disheartened and defeated by the same blow which prostrated him. That they did their share of fighting in this engagement fully appears from the fact, that thirty-three of them were found dead on the battle ground,-chiefly near Tecumseh,--and that many were slain in the pursuit, while a number of British killed was but twelve. It is much disputed, to whom belongs the honor of shooting Tecumseh; upon which,-as every body admits that he was shot,-we shall spend but few words. In the language of a writer upon this question, 'there is possibility, that he fell by a pistol shot from the hand of Colonel Johnson. He was certainly killed in that part of the line, where the Colonel was himself wounded;' and this is nearly all, we suppose, which can or need be said on the subject. The British Government granted a pension to his widow and family, which probably continues to this very day. The Prophet was also supplied in the same manner, from the close of the war until his death, which took place a few years since.
* * * * * Those who know anything of the history of the last war, need not be informed that Tecumseh was substantially, as well as nominally, the head and life of the Anglo Indian Department, and that greater forces were collected by his influence, ' embodied under his command than in any other instance from the first settlement of the country. He bought in six hundred Wabash recruits in one body, early in 1813. In the attack made upon Fort Stephenson, in the summer of the same year, the enemy numbered but five hundred British regulars, for eight hundred Indians, (under Dickson) while Tecumseh was at the same time stationed on the road to Fort Meigs with a body of two thousand more; for the purpose of cutting off the American reinforcements on that route.
It should be observed, that on eighteen months before this, the disastrous retreat of the savages at Tippecanoe had restored 'the most profound tranquility' upon the whole line of the frontiers, where, previously 'scarcely a fortnight passed without some depredation having been committed;' and that all the information received by Governor Harrison;- who had better opportunities of receiving it than any other man,-agreed in the utter despondence of The Prophet's party.+ So, as lately as July, 1712(sic), we gather from the letter of Captain Wells to the Governor, already cited, that the Indians, who were under the British influence before that date, 'had all with the exception of Tecumseh and about one hundred, abandoned their alliance,' owing in a considerable degree, we suppose, to the apprehensions excited by the expedition of General Hall. On the very day when this letter was written, the brother of Tecumseh, our far-famed Prophet, left Fort Wayne,(the station of Captain Wells) for his old settlement at Tippecanoe. 'He will remain at his village' adds the writer 'until he knows the intentions of the Western Indians.' If they will not join him, he will then go and endeavor to save himself by pretensions of peace to the commissioners at Piquad. At this period, then, the intentions of the Indians was not ascertained. They might or might not join the Americans, but as yet they had only abandoned the British. And yet, in twelve month afterwards, Tecumseh was himself commanding a body of two thousand of them, and cooperating with eight hundred more under General Proctor!
* * * * *
As for British instigation,we need not suggest the distinction between a disposition upon their part, and a counter disposition upon his; or between himself and the motley multitude of fanatical and ferocious vagabonds, who unfortunately formed a large part of The Prophet's first congregation, and some of whom were as troublesome to each other and to him as they were to the white settlers. Outrages were committed, as we have seen, on both sides, and criminals refused to be given over to justice by both,- the Indians copying in this respect, the example of American authorities. But we need not pursue this subject. the best existing evidence with regard to Tecumseh's particular interest in it, seems to be his own, which has been given. Nor can it be doubted, that he perfectly understood the policy of the English. He told Governor Harrison, when he declared the necessity which might rise of an alliance with them, that he knew they were always urging the Indians to war for their own advantage, and not to benefit his countrymen. 'And here' we are informed++'he clapped his hand, and imitated a person hallooing at a dog, to set him fighting with another, thereby insinuating that the British thus endeavored to set the Indians on the Americans.' The truth is he was too proud for a subordinate part. His confederates might do as they chose, but for himself, he would maintain the dignity of a free and brave man, and a warrior. He abandoned his plan of visiting the President, because he could not be received as the head of the deputation. It is said, that, in the last conference at Vincennes, he found himself, at the end of a long and animated speech, unprovided with a seat. Observing the neglect, Governor Harrison directed a chair to be placed for him, and requested him to accept it.-'Your Father,' said the interpreter, 'requests you to take a chair.' 'My Father!' replied the chief, 'the sun is my father, and the earth is my mother; I will repose upon her bosom.' And he adjusted himself on the ground in the Indian manner.
A qualified remark has been made upon his courage; but the manner in which he conducted himself during the war, is sufficient to establish this point beyond a controversy. The same may be said of the fearlessness shown in his visits to Vincennes; and especially, in his exposure of himself on that occasion, though he must have perceived that he was feared, suspected, and even guarded by a large body of troops, drawn out for that express purpose. It is very illustrative of the apparent diversity in the character of Elskwatewa and his own in this respect, that when the Delawares sent a deputation of chiefs to break up The Prophet's settlement at Tippecanoe, the latter would not deing as Mr. Dawson expresses it, to give them an interview, but despatched his brother to them,'whose threats or persuasions were sufficient to drive back the chiefs, with strong indications of apprehensions and terror.' When General Proctor began to prepare for retreating from Maldon, Tecumseh, having learned his intention, demanded an interview, and, in the name of all the Indians, delivered an animated speech. If the spirit, which it manifests, could have had its intended effect in inducing the General to fight before he retreated, the result must at least have been more glorious, if not more favorable to his cause.
'Father!' he began, 'Listen to your children! You have them now all before you.+++ The war before this, our British Father, gave the hatchet to his red children, when our old chiefs were alive. They are now dead. In that war, our Father was thrown on his back by the Americans, and our Father took them by the hand without our knowledge. We are afraid he will do so again this time.'
'Listen! When war [the last war] was declared, our Father stood up and gave us the tomahawk, and told us that he was then ready to strike the American,-that he wanted our assistance,-that he would certainly get us our land back, which the Americans had taken from us.'
'Listen! When we were last at the Rapids, it is true, we gave you little assistance. It is hard to fight people who live like ground hogs.' [Alluding to the American fortifications,.]
'Fathers, listen! Our fleet has gone out. We know they have fought. We have heard the great guns,-[Perry's victory,]--but we know not what has become of our Father with one arm,[Commodore Barclay]. Our ships have gone one way, and we are astonished to see our Father tying up everything, and preparing to run away the other, without letting his red children know of his intentions. You always told us you would never draw your foot off British ground. But now, Father, we see you are drawing back, and we are sorry to see our Father doing so without seeing the enemy. We must compare our Father's conduct to that of a fat dog, that carries its tail upon its back; but when frightened, drops it between its leg and runs off.'
'Father, listen! The Americans have not yet defeated us by land,-we are not sure they have by water;--we wish, therefore, to remain here and fight. If they defeat us, we will then retreat with our Father.'
'Father! You have got the arms and ammunition, which our great Father sent for his red children. If you have an idea of going away, give them to us, and you may go and welcome for us. Our lives are in the hands of the Great Spirit,- we are determined to defend our lands-and if it be his will, we wish to leave our bonds upon them.'
This celebrated speech is probably as good a specimen as any on record, of the eloquence of Tecumseh. It was a natural eloquence, characteristic, as all natural eloquence must be, of the qualities of the man.
* * * * On the whole, the character of Tecumseh, in whatever light it may be viewed, must be regarded as remarkable in the highest degree.- That he proved himself worthy of his rank as a general officer in the army of his Britannic Majesty, or even of his reputation as a great warrior among all the Indians of the North and West, is indeed a small title to distinction. Bravery is a savage virtue; and the Shawnees are a brave people; too many of the American nation have ascertained this fact by experience. His oratory speaks more for his genius. It was the utterance of a great mind, roused by the strongest motives of which human nature is suspicious and developing a power and a labor of reason, which commanded the admiration of the civilized, as justly as the confidence and pride of the savage.
*Meaning, says Mr. Schoolcraft, a fire(?) that is moved from place to place. Elsewhere we find him called Olliwayshila on good authority. A compromise may be effected, by suggesting that he assume various names at various periods.
+ Dawson's Narrative, pp. 244, 251.
++ Dawson's Narrative, p. 159
+++ The phraseology generally adopted by Indian deputations, of express their representatives character.