Two Shawnee Brothers Hold Their Ground

November 7, 1811. William Henry Harrison and his troops are camped near the Wabash river. They’ve been told to keep the peace—but Harrison wants land, and he’s come here to try and take it. Less than a mile away is a flourishing Native American settlement called Prophetstown. It’s led by Tecumseh, a skilled diplomat and warrior, and his brother Tenskwatawa, whose religious teachings have attracted indigenous people from across the newly-formed United States. Before dawn, these two sides will be in a battle that ends with one of their settlements burned to the ground. How did a future president exploit this conflict to catapult himself all the way to the White House? And how did Prophetstown become the most powerful alliance of Native American military, spiritual, and social forces to ever take on the US government?

Thanks to our guests, Chief Ben Barnes; Peter Cozzens, author of Tecumseh and the Prophet: The Heroic Struggle for America’s Heartland; and Stephen Warren, author of The Shawnees and Their Neighbors, 1795-1870. Chief Barnes and Stephen Warren are co-editors of the book, Replanting Cultures: Community-Engaged Scholarship in Indian Country. Look out for Cozzens’ forthcoming book, A Brutal Reckoning: Andrew Jackson, The Creek Indians, and the Epic War for the American South. 

Thanks also to Douglas Winiarski, author of Darkness Falls on the Land of Light: Experiencing Religious Awakenings in Eighteenth-Century New England; and to Adam Jortner, author of The Gods of Prophetstown: The Battle of Tippecanoe and the Holy War for the American Frontier.

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