Throughout the 19th century, American settlers pushing across the Western frontier came into contact with diverse American tribes, producing a series of conflicts. Indian leaders like Geronimo became feared and dreaded men in America, and Sitting Bull's victory over George Custer's Seventh Cavalry at Little Bighorn was one of the nation's most traumatic military endeavors.
Given this history, it's no surprise that the Shawnee continue to be closely associated with their most famous leader, Tecumseh, the most famous Native American of the early 19th century. While leading the Shawnee, he attempted to peacefully establish a Native American nation east of the Mississippi River in the wake of the American Revolution. Together with his brother Tenskwatawa, Tecumseh was in the process of forming a wide-ranging, Native American confederacy that they hoped would stem the westward flow of Anglo-American settlers. They wanted to essentially establish a "nation" of Native Americans that would be recognized and accepted by the advancing European-American settlers.
Even as he continues to keep the Shawnee's name in textbooks, Tecumseh actually overshadows the long and even ancient history of the Shawnee. With their cultural origins dating back nearly 3,000 years, the Shawnee had ties to the Ancient Moundbuilders tradition and lived in the same region for thousands of years, developing both a rich history and unique set of customs and beliefs. At the same time, the Shawnee themselves were never a truly unified group, even as their most famous leader set about making a Native American confederacy, so different bands of Shawnee have had different historical narratives as well.
©2012 Charles River Editors (P)2015 Charles River Editors
This isn’t bad; it just isn’t as in depth as the others in the series. The most interesting part was about the migration.
Shawnee nation, Chief Tecumseh, historical research, historical places/events, historical figures, history and culture
The extensive publisher's blurb covers much of the info in this piece. The most outspoken and respected leader of his people, Chief Tecumseh, is rightly a major portion, with many quotations including this excerpt from a 1811 speech: "Where are (several neighboring tribes), they have vanished before the oppression and avarice of the white man. Sleep no longer. Will not the bones of our dead be plowed up and their graves turned into plowed fields." The people themselves later suffered under the 1830 Indian Removal Act. This is not a study of religion and cultural practices, yet an overview of these things is included. I learned a lot.
I got this in audio format, and Stacy Hinkle did a pretty good job of pronouncing the Indian names that I am familiar with as well as maintaining voice neutrality.
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