Cherokee Phoenix


Published August, 4, 1832

Page 4 Column 3a


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 suspectable, 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. But other orators have appeared among his countrymen, as eloquent and as imminent as Tecumseh, wherever the same moving causes and occasions could give birth and scope to the same emulous effort. And the mere oratory, in all cases, was not so much an absolute vindication,as a naked and meager index of mighty intellect and noble spirit within. Happily for the fame of Tecumseh, other evidences exist in his favor, such as were felt as well as heard in his own day--such as will live on the pages of civilized history, long after barbarous tradition has forgotten them. He will be named with Philip and Pontiac, the 'agitators' of the two centuries which preceded his own. The schemes of these men were, fortunately for the interest which they lived and labored to resist, alike unsuccessful in their issue; but none of the less credit should, for that reason, be allowed to their motives or their efforts. They were still statesmen, though the communities over which their influence was exerted were composed of red men instead of white. They were still patriots, though they fought only for wild lands and for wild liberty. Indeed, it is these very circumstances that make these very efforts, and especially the extraordinary degree of success which attend them, the more honorable and the more signal; while they clearly show the necessity of their ultimate failure, which existed in the nature of things. They are the best proofs at once of genius and of principle.

N. A. Review.