The story traces the settling of the Illinois region from 1763 to
1816 and focuses on the Chicago Portage, a vital link between the
East and the untapped riches of the West.
When Pontiac, Chief of the Ottawas, was murdered in 1769, his tribe,
and others, swept into the territory of the Illinois Confederacy,
virtually eradicated its members, and claimed the land for themselves.
These Indians in turn faced encroachment, first from the British,
then even more forcibly from the Americans. In exchange for relative
peace, liquor, and trade goods, more and more Indian chiefs signed
away their land.
But one Indian looked ahead and saw that his people would have no
land at all unless they banded together to stop the white man. Tecumseh,
a Shawnee of unparalleled wisdom and gift for prophecy, began to
build his dream of a united Indian nation. A devastating treachery
would undermine the plan at the last moment, and the Indians would
have no choice but to fight alongside the British against the Americans
in the War of 1812.
paperback. 688 pp., $19.00.