American Legends: The Life of Tecumseh

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9781492714248: American Legends: The Life of Tecumseh
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*Explains the origins of Tecumseh's name.
*Includes some of Tecumseh's quotes and his speeches to William Henry Harrison, the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations, and the Osages.
*Includes pictures of Tecumseh and important people in his life.

“The Great Spirit made all things. He gave the white people a home beyond the great waters. He supplied these grounds with game, and gave them to his red children; and he gave them strength and courage to defend them.” – Tecumseh
A lot of ink has been spilled covering the lives of history’s most influential figures, but how much of the forest is lost for the trees? In Charles River Editors’ American Legends series, readers can get caught up to speed on the lives of America’s most important men and women in the time it takes to finish a commute, while learning interesting facts long forgotten or never known.
Throughout the 19th century, American settlers pushing across the Western frontier came into contact with diverse American tribes, producing a series of conflicts ranging from the Great Plains to the Southwest, from the Trail of Tears to the Pacific Northwest. Indian leaders like Geronimo became feared and dreaded men in America, and Sitting Bull’s victory over George Custer’s 7th Cavalry at Little Bighorn was one of the nation’s most traumatic military endeavors.
Given this history, Tecumseh’s reputation among Americans has been both the most unique and anomalous. As the leader of the Shawnee, Tecumseh was the most famous Native American of the early 19th century, and he attempted to peacefully establish a Native American nation east of the Mississippi River in the wake of the American Revolution. While Native Americans, especially in the “old Northwest” (present-day land west of the Appalachian Mountains and east of the Mississippi River), understood and recognized their own, long established territories and those of other tribes, these boundaries and territories were ignored and unappreciated by the incoming settlers. 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 and essentially establish a “nation” of Native Americans that would be recognized and accepted by the advancing European-American settlers. Throughout his life, Tecumseh had experienced the effects of encroachment by white settlers as his family and his people were forced from their ancestral homelands and wandered westward several times, finally settling in Missouri.
As settlers continued to encroach further west, however, Tecumseh stood firm and ready to fight them. Before America fought Britain in the War of 1812, they were engaged in Tecumseh’s War around the Great Lakes. The fighting made the Indian leader famous and made a military hero (and eventually a president) out of William Henry Harrison, whose victory at Tippecanoe is considered the end of that war. Undeterred, Tecumseh allied with the British during the War of 1812 against the Americans, and he continued to fight on until he was killed at the Battle of the Thames. Without their leader, Tecumseh’s Confederacy began to rapidly disintegrate.
Despite being one of their most tenacious opponents, Tecumseh almost immediately became a celebrated folk hero and respected leader in American history, all while continuing to be one of the most poignant symbols of resistance among Native Americans. The pan-Indian icon continues to be a household name across the United States today, nearly 200 years after his death.
American Legends: The Life of Tecumseh chronicles the amazing life of the Native American leader, examines his leadership of the Shawnee Confederacy, and analyzes his enduring legacy. Along with pictures, you will learn about Tecumseh like you never have before, in no time at all.

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