ABOUT THIS BOOK
A Comprehensive History of the Most Important Native American Resistance Movement
The Shawnee leader Tecumseh came to prominence in a war against the United States waged from 1811 to 1815. In 1805, Tecumseh’s younger brother Lalawethika (soon to be known as “the Prophet”) had a vision for an Indian revitalization movement that would restore Native culture and resist American expansion. Tecumseh organized the growing support for this movement, which came from Indigenous peoples across the Old Northwest and parts of the Great Plains, into a loose but powerful military alliance.
In late 1811, while Tecumseh was away on a recruiting mission in the South, General William Henry Harrison led an army to the center of Native resistance at Prophetstown in present-day Indiana. In the early morning hours of November 7, in what came to be known as the Battle of Tippecanoe, Harrison’s men fought off an Indian attack, which marked the beginning of Tecumseh’s War. Seven months later, when the United States declared war on Britain, thus initiating the War of 1812, the British and Tecumseh forged an alliance against the United States. Initially, the Anglo-Indian alliance enjoyed considerable success at Detroit, Chicago, Mackinac, and elsewhere, exposing much of the Old Northwest to border warfare, but the tide turned in 1813 when Harrison invaded Canada. On October 5 the American army defeated a much smaller Anglo-Indian force in the climactic Battle of the Thames. Tecumseh was killed in this battle, and although his confederacy disintegrated, British support ensured that the Indian war would continue for another two years with the Sauk chief Black Hawk now providing the inspiration and leadership. Tecumseh’s War ended only in late 1815 after the British made peace with the United States and abandoned their native allies.
Tecumseh’s War: The Epic Conflict for the Heart of America is the first complete story of this major conflict. Distinguished historian Donald R. Hickey detaches it from the War of 1812, moving Tecumseh’s confederation to center stage to tell the sweeping and engrossing story of this last great Indian War—the last time that Indigenous Peoples had a powerful European ally to oppose United States expansion and thus the lastchance they had of shaping the future of the continent.