Slike strani

have foreboded and deprecated as the catastro- | ambition and turbulent arrogance will seek new phe of our political drama? We have conquer- gratifications, interfere with the concerns of ed Louisiana by our money; we aspire to the other nations, meditate further conquests, and possession of Canada; we intend to occupy the the fatal result will be, that this fortunate and Floridas—we have relinquished our system of homogeneous composition of pure and simple philanthropy towards the Indians--we are ex- republics, will be a vast empire made up of vatinguishing Indian claims in Indian blood. The rious foreign states, with discordant institutions, Indian tribes are no longer our fellow-citizens and the conflicting prejudices and passions of and red brethren, but wretches to be hated, irreconcilable interests, which can only be conbarbarians to be exterminated. All external strained into union, and subdued into tranquillity pressure binding us into union is to be removed. by the energy and power of a single despot—the All cause of external alarm and apprehension is chief of a mighty army, the oppressor of a once to be put at rest. A careless and indolent se- free and virtuous people. curity will ensue, or what is worso, a restless

VOL. II.-23


TECUMSEN, one of the most remarkable warriors and orators of the aboriginal tribes of America, was born on the Scioto river, in Ohio, about the year 1770. He was the son of : Shawanee warrior. At an early period of his life he seems to have commenced his savage operations against the whites. His first exploit of which there is any record, was performed near Hacker's creek, in the month of May, 1792, when, with a small band of warriors, he surprised the family of John Waggoner, and carried them into captivity. After this he was engaged in various incursions upon the settlements of the whites, and often intercepted the boats as they passed and repassed on the Ohio river. It is said that, in 1806, he and his brother the Prophet formed a plan of uniting all the western tribes of Indians, in opposition to the Americans, and previous to the war of 1812, he visited all the southern tribes, for the same purpose. Wherever he went he called councils of their tribes, and, with a bold and commanding eloquence, exhausted every topic calculated to operate on their minds, and alienate their affections. His speeches had a powerful influence amongst all those nations, with the Creeks particularly, although the more considerate rejected his interference. In the course of his harangues, he was accustomed to reproach them with their civilization; and, in the keenest and most sarcastic manner, contrasted their degenerate effeminacy with every thing that was great and noble in the estimation of the Indians. Against the Ucited States he pronounced the most furious abuse, and by erery method endeavored to establish in the minds of his hearers a belief that the humane system for their improvement, which had been established by the Americans, was but a plan to deprive them of " the homes of their fathers."

Among the many strange, and some strongly characteristic events in his life, the council which General Harrison held with the Indians at Vincennes, in 1811, affords an admirable instance of the sublimity which sometimes distinguished his eloquence. The chiefs of some tribes had come to complain of a purchase of lands which had been made from the Shawanees and other tribes. (This council effected nothing, but broke up in confusion, in consequence of Tecumseh having called General Harrison “a liar.") It was in the progress of the long talks that took place in the conference, that Tecumseh, having finished one of his speeches, looked round, and seeing every one seated, while no seat was prepared for him, a momentary frown passed over his countenance. Instantly, General Harrison ordered that a chair should be given him. Some person presented one, and bowing, said to him, “Warrior, your father, General Harrison, offers you a seat." Tecumseh's dark eye flashed: “My father!” he exclaimed, indignantly extending his arm towards the heavens; “ the sun is my father, and the earth is my mother; she gives me nourishment, and I repose upon her bosom.” As he ended, he sat down suddenly on the ground.

In the late war between the United States and Great Britain, Tecumseh was an ally of the British, and held the rank of brigadier-general. He distinguished himself at the battle of Brownstown, on the fifth of August, 1812, and a few days after led his Indians with great bravery in the conflict between the English forces and the Americans under General Miller. He was killed at the battle of the Thames, on the fifth of October, after making a most desperate stand, in conjunction with the British under General Proctor, against the American troops under the command of General Harrison.

" Tecumseh received the stamp of greatness from the hand of nature, and had his lot been

cast in a different state of society, he would have shone as one of the most distinguished of men. He was endowed with a powerful mind, with the soul of a hero. There was an uncommon dignity in his countenance and manners; by the former he was easily discovered after death, among the rest of the slain, for he wore no insignia of distinction. When girded with a silk sash, and told by General Proctor that he was made a brigadier in the British service, for his conduct at Brownstown and Magagua, he returned the present with respectful contempt. Born with no title to command but his native greatness, every tribe yielded submission to him at once, and no one ever disputed his precedence. Subtle and firm in war, he was possessed of uncommon eloquence; his speeches might bear a comparison with those of the most celebrated orators of Greece or Rome. His invective was terrible, as may be seen in the reproaches which he applied to General Proctor, a few days previous to his death. His form was uncommonly elegant; his stature about six feet, and his limbs were perfectly proportioned. He was honorably interred by the Americans, who respected him, as an inveterate, but a magnanimous enemy. Ile left a son, who, when his father fell, was about seventeen years of age, and who fought by his side. To this son, the King of England, in 1814, sent a present of a handsome sword, as a mark of respect for the memory of his father.*


In 1809 Governor Harrison purchased of the ways encroaching. The way, and the only way Delawares and other tribes of Indians, a large to check and to stop this evil, is for all the red tract of country on both sides of the Wabash, right in the land, as it was at first, and should

men to unite in claiming a common and equal and extending up the river sixty miles above be yet; for it never was divided, but belongs to Vincennes. Tecumseh was absent during the all for the use of each. That no part has a time of the negotiation, and at his return ex- right to sell, even to each other, much less to pressed great dissatisfaction with the sale. On strangers; those who want all, and will not do

with less. the twelfth of August of the next year (1810)

The white people have no right to take the he met the governor in council at Vincennes, land from the Indians, because they had it first; when he addressed him as follows:t

it is theirs. They may sell, but all must join.

Any sale not made by all is not valid. The late It is true I am a Shawanee.' My forefathers sale is bad. It was made by a part only. Part were warriors. Their son is a warrior. From do not know how to sell. It requires all to them I only take my existence; from my tribe make a bargain for all. All red men have equal I take nothing. I am the maker of my own rights to the unoccupied land. The right of ocfortune; and oh! that I could make that of my cupancy is as good in one place as in another. red people, and of my country, as great as the There cannot be two occupations in the same conceptions of my mind, when I think of the place. The first excludes all others. It is not Spirit that rules the universe. I would not so in hunting or travelling; for there the same then come to Governor Harrison, to ask him to ground will serve many, as they may follow tear the treaty and to obliterate the landmark; each other all day; but the camp is stationary, but I would say to him, sir, you bave liberty and that is occupancy. It belongs to the first to return to your own country. The being who sits down on his blanket or skins which he within, communing with past ages, tells me has thrown upon the ground; and till he leaves that once, nor until lately, there was no white it no other has a right.* man on this continent. That it then all belonged to red men, children of the same parents,

Having thus explained his reasons against placed on it by the Great Spirit that made them, the validity of the purchase, Tecumseh took his to keep it, to traverse it, to enjoy its produc- seat amidst his warriors. tions, and to fill it with the same race.

Once a happy race. Since made miserable by the * Mr. Drake, the author from whom this speech is taken, white people, who are never contented, but al- expresses some doubts of the correctness of this version of

it; but adds: “nevertheless it may give the true meaning. * Biography and History of the Indians of North America, One important paragraph ought to be added, which was, by Samuel G. Drake: National Intelligencer, 1813: Memoirs that the Americans had driven them from the sea.coast, of Harrison; and the New York Gazette, 1818.

and that they would shortly push them into the lakes, and + Drake's Biography and History of the Indians of North that they were determined to make a stand where they America



The following speech, "in the name of the that you would take good care of your garrison Indian chiefs and warriors to Major General here, which made our hearts glad. Proctor, as the representative of their Great is true we gave you little assistance. It is hard

Listen! When we were last at the Rapids, it Father—the King,” is supposed to have been to fight people who live like ground-hogs. delivered a short time prior to the battle of the Father, listen! Our fleet has gone out; we Thames, on the fifth of October, 1813.* know they have fought: we have heard the

great guns: but know nothing of what has

happened to our father with one arm. Our Father, listen to your children! you have ships have gone one way, and we are much asthem now all before you. The war before this tonished to see our father tying up every thing our British father gave the hatchet to his red and preparing to run away the other, without children, when old chiefs were alive. They are letting his red children know what his intennow dead. In that war our father was thrown tions are. You always told us to remain here on his back by the Americans, and our father and take care of our lands. It made our hearts took them by the hand without our knowledge; glad to hear that was your wish. Our great and we are afraid that our father will do so father, the King, is the head, and you represent again at this time. Summer before last, when I came forward draw your foot off British ground; but now,

him. You always told us that you would never with my red brethren, and was ready to take father, we see you are drawing back, and we are up the hatchet, in favor of our British father, we were told not to be in a hurry, that he had sorry to see our father doing so without seeing the

enemy. We must compare our father's conduct not yet determined to fight the Americans.

to a fat animal that carries its tail upon its back, Listen! When war was declared, our father but when affrighted, it drops it between its legs stood up and gave us the tomahawk, and told and runs off. us that he was ready to strike the Americans ; Listen, Father! The Americans have not yet that he wanted our assistance, and that he would defeated us by land; neither are we sure that certainly get us our lands back, which the they have done so by water-we therefore wish Americans had taken from us.

to remain here and tight our enemy, should they Listen ! You told us, at that time, to bring make their appearance. If they defeat us, we forward our families to this place, and we did will then retreat with our father. 80 :-and you promised to take care of them, At the battle of the Rapids, last war, the and that they should want for nothing, while Americans certainly defeated us; and when we the men would go and fight the enemy. That retreated to our father's fort in that place, the we need not trouble ourselves about the enemy's gates were shut against us-We were atraid garrisons; that we knew nothing about them, that it would now be the case, but instead of and that our father would attend to that part of that, we now see our British father preparing to the business. You also told your red children, march out of his garrison.

Father! You have got the arms and ammuThis speech was published in the National Intelligencer nition which our great father sent for his red in 1813, with the subjoined introduction :

children. If you have an idea of going away, “The gentleman to whom we are indebted for the follow. give them to us, and you may go and welcome, ing speech, informs us it was found among General Proctor's for us. Our lives are in the hands of the Great papers after his flight. It is undoubtedly genuine. Its truth Spirit. We are determined to defend our lands, makes it severe; its language gives force and point to the and if it is his will, we wish to leave our bones truth."

upon them.

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