, the great Shawnee statesman and military leader, is killed in battle with US Troops near Chatham
, Ontario, Canada. The legend that Richard Johnson
, later US Senator from Kentucky and Vice President of the United States, fired the killing shot is almost certainly apocryphal (1813).
Tecumseh was not the first to conceive of the idea of a pan-Indian alliance against white invaders; Obwandiyag (Pontiac)
had created a coalition of Great Lakes tribes in the 1760's. But Tecumseh's was more wide-spread, reaching from Canada to Florida, and was probably the last such alliance that had a reasonable chance of checking, if not halting, the American invasion of Indian Country. Indeed, one of the great, unappreciated turning points of America history occurred in 1810-1811, when Tecumseh journeyed south to recruit the Muskogee (Creek), Cherokee and other southeastern tribes. In the end, only one faction of the Creeks (the so-called Red Sticks) joined; The Ridge
warned Tecumseh that he would personally kill him if he set foot in Cherokee country. Had things gone otherwise, and the Cherokee and the majority of the Creeks thrown their lot in with Tecumseh, and had Tecumseh's brother Tenskwatawa
followed instructions, it is very likely the US would have decisively lost the War of 1812. America at the point simply did not have enough troops to fight a British invasion and defend the entirety of the Western Frontier from a general Indian uprising. In such a scenario, Tecumseh might have well achieved his goal of an Indian nation between the Appalachians and the Mississippi, though the long-term viability of such a state is open to question.
Labels: Alternate History, Today in History