last half of the 18th century was a time of decline and retreat
for the Native Americans of the Eastern Woodlands and Great Lakes
regions as white settlers violated treaty after treaty by pushing
relentlessly beyond the Ohio River, which had been established as
the permanent boundary between the red and white cultures by the
Fort Stanwix Treaty of 1768.
a Shawnee, born that year, knew by his early twenties that the Native
Americans could not survive the onslaught so long as each tribe
fought its own separate war; that the only hope for defeating the
white man lay in the unity of all red nations east of the Mississippi.
For the next 23 years Tecumseh would work tirelessly toward his
goal of a unified Native resistance, organizing 32 nations from
the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico. With the assistance of his
brother, Tenskwatawa, The Prophet, he would lead the largest native
resistance in American history. Tecumseh died at the Battle of Thames
in 1813. At the time of his death, red and white men alike considered
him to be one of America's greatest orators and military leaders.