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war-clothes, and, having refreshed himself with a hasty meal of venison, knelt down on the brink of the grave. His executioner knelt with him, and offered up a prayer to the Great Spirit in his behalf. This was the last ceremony. The Indians withdrew a few paces, and seated themselves around him on the ground. “The old Chief,” says the original describer of this horrid scene,* " inclined forward, resting his face upon his hand, his hand upon his knees. While thus seated, one of the young Indians came up, and struck him twice with the tomahawk. For some time, he lay senseless on the ground, the only remaining evidence of life being a faint respiration. The Indians all stood around in solemn silence. Finding him to breathe longer than they expected, they called upon the whites (one or two of whom were spectators,) to take notice how hard he died ; pronounced him a wizard,-no good,—then struck him again, and terminated his existence. The office of burial was soon performed.” We have given these particulars, disagreeable as they are, to illustrate more clearly the astonishing influence of the Prophet, as well as the means by which he obtained it. The executioners in this case were apparently sincere and conscientious men; and one of the party was a brother of the victim.
It is not to be presumed, that the Prophet was, in all these instances, without the assistance of his brother, though the latter was for the present acting his part chiefly behind the curtain. But Tecumseh seems rather to have favored a different system, if he did not oppose this; and accordingly we find that about the time when most of the Kickapoos joined the Indian Confederation, one of their leading men, a chieftain, opposed to the new-fangled doctrine and policy, was quietly disabled by being reduced to a private capacity. Again, an Indian scout, sent to the
* A correspondent cited in the History of the Indian Nations.
Prophet's encampment, in 1810, by an American authority, to gain information of his designs, reported that the same course had been taken among that proverbially warlike tribe, the Winnebagoes; and that one of their old chiefs had told him, with tears in his eyes, that the other village sachems were divested of their power, and that every thing was managed by the warriors. A more audacious proposal, to murder all the principal chiefs of several tribes, was covertly circulated at one time. These were the men, it was said, who had bartered the Indian territory away for a song, and had traitorously connived at the inroads and trespasses of the settlers.
This suggestion bears marks of the energy and courage of Tecumseh, as decidedly as the witchcraft policy does of the cunning and ingenuity of the Prophet. There is an anecdote recorded of the former, which would lead us to the same inference respecting his character.
Two or three years after the bloody transactions just detailed, which happened chiefly in 1807, Tecumseh had a conference, (to be noticed more fully hereafter) with Governor Harrison of Indiana, at Vin
On that occasion, being charged with hostile designs against the Americans, he disclaimed them. I Potawatamie, called the DEAD CHIEF, from being deaf, was present, but did not learn what passed until the next day. He then came to the Governor, and asked him why he had not been called upon to confront Tecumseh, in relation to those charges. He said he should have been very willing to assert the truth in the presence of the brothers and their followers. This declaration being made in the presence of several Indians, soon came to the knowledge of Tecumseh, who gave directions to his brother, to have the Potawatamie killed on his return home. A friend of the latter informed him of his danger, but, no way alarmed, the intrepid Chief returned to his family, who were encamped on the bank of the Wabash, opposite Vincennes, and having put on his war-dress, and painted himself in the best style of a warrior, he seized his rifle, his tomahawk, war-club, and scalping-knife, and thus equipped, paddled over in his canoe to the camp of Tecumseh. The Governor's interpreter, Mr. Baron, was at that time in the tent of the latter. As soon as the Potawatamie came near it, he upbraided Tecumseh for having given the order to assassinate him, as cowardly, and unworthy of a warrior; “but here I am now," said he, “come and kill me. Tecumseh made no answer. “ You and your men," he added, “ can kill the white people's hogs, and call them bears, but you dare not face a warrior." Tecumseh still remaining silent, he heaped upon him every insult that could provoke him to fight. He reproached him with being the slave of the red-coats,' (the British,) and finally applied to him a term of reproach which can never be forgotten by an Indian. During the whole time, Tecumseh seemed not in the least to regard him, but continued to converse with Mr. Baron. Wearied, at length, with his useless efforts to draw out his adversary, he gave
the war-whoop of defiance, and paddled off in his canoe. There is reason, adds our authority, to believe that the order of Tecumseh was obeyed. The Dead Chief was no more seen at Vincennes.*
* Dawson's Memoirs of Harrison.
History of Tecumseh and the Prophet continued—The
latter encamps at Tippecanoe-Sends a message to Governor Harrison, Visits him at Vincennes-Increase of his forces-Attention of the General Government aroused-Tecumseh visits the GovernorHis speech, and journey southward-Battle of Tippecanoe, November, 1811-Consequences of it-Indian Council at Mississiniway-Council at Malden Speeches and Anecdotes of the CRANE, WALK-IN-THE Water, ROUND-Head, and other Chiefs—Sequel of the history of the two brothers—Final exertions of Tecumseh-His death—The death of the Prophet.
To resume our narrative ;-such reports came to the ears of Governor Harrison, during the year 1807, respecting the movements of the Indians, and especially those of the Prophet in pursuit of his victims, that he thought proper to send a 'speech' to the Shawanese chiefs, couched in very severe terms. Most of those addressed being absent, the necessity of replying devolved on the Prophet, and he requested the messenger to indite for him the following address: “Father!
“I am very sorry that you listen to the advice of bad birds. You have impeached me with having correspondence with the British ; and with calling and sending for the Indians from the most distant parts of the country, "to listen to a fool that speaks not the words of the Great Spirit, but the words of the devil.” Father! these impeachments I deny, and say they are not true. I never had a word with the British, and I never sent for any Indians. They came here themselves, to listen and hear the words of the Great Spirit.
“ Father! I wish you would not listen any more to the voice of bad birds; and you may rest assured that it is the least of our idea to make disturbance, and we will rather try to stop such proceedings than encour
The year 1808 opened with immense numbers of Indians from the lakes crowding round the neighborhood of Fort Wayne. Their attendance on the Prophet, the year previous, had induced them to neglect raising corn, and they now found themselves in a state of starvation. It was considered necessary by the Governor, to supply them with food, lest hunger might drive them to extremities, and to marauding upon the frontier settlers of the United States; and he therefore sent orders to the Agent at , Fort Wayne to allow them provisions from the public
In May or June of the season just mentioned, the Prophet selected, for his future and permanent residence, a spot on the upper part of the Wabash, which was called Tippecanoe. He removed thither, and his motley forces moved after him. These now consisted of some thirty or forty Shawanees, with about one hundred Potawatamies, Chippewas, Ottawas and Winnebagoes. The manœuvre met with no little opposition. Some of the Miamies, and Delawares in particular, had been determined to prevent it, and they sent a deputation of chiefs to effect that purpose; but the Prophet would not even see them, and Tecumseh, who encountered them on the way, gave them such a reception as at once altered their disposition to advance any farther in the business.
In July the Prophet sent a pacific message to Governor Harrison, complaining bitterly of the manner in which he had been misrepresented, and proposing to visit the Governor in person. He fulfilled this promise during the next month, and spent a fortnight at Vincennes. Long conferences and conversations ensued, but it could not be ascertained that his politics