Tuesday, November 07, 2017

This Day in History: Battle of Tippecanoe

Native American Heritage Month Map:  Tecumseh Was Here

On November 6, 1811, Governor William Henry Harrison of the Indiana Territory led American forces to the Native American village of Prophetstown, near what is now Battle Ground, Indiana.  On November 7, Shawnee warriors attacked Harrison’s army.  This “Battle of Tippecanoe” was won by the American forces after the warriors ran out of ammunition.  And Harrison’s men destroyed the abandoned village the next day.

Tenskwatawa, “the Prophet,” was the spiritual leader of the Shawnee.  His brother, Tecumseh, emerged as the military and political leader.  Tecumseh was recruiting warriors from other tribes to form a confederacy at the time of the battle.  He had urged his brother to wait for any military action. 

But when the U.S. declared war on Great Britain in the War of 1812, Tecumseh’s confederacy had finally been organized with the help of British allies.  Tecumseh’s warriors composed nearly half of the forces that captured Detroit from the U.S. during the war.  But when Tecumseh was killed at the Battle of the Thames in Canada, his confederacy weakened and finally disintegrated.

The Ball State University Libraries GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) is commemorating Native American Heritage Month by featuring a map about the life of Tecumseh as the “Map of the Month.”  The map, Tecumseh Was Here, includes important places in the life of the Shawnee leader, including his probable birthplace in Ohio.  Tetepachsit and Utenink were Native American villages near modern-day Muncie where Tecumseh was known to live (above, click to enlarge).

The map will be displayed in the front windows of the GRMC through the month of November.  The GRMC also provides a guide to other notable Native American cartographic resources for research and learning.

For more information, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.

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