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achievements of the young warrior in his first battles, should be preserved on record. Some Shawanees have said that he made his debut in an engagement with the Kentucky troops, which took place on the banks of Mad River; that in the heat of the skirmish he most ungallantly turned right-about-face, and made the best of his way from the field, with all possible diligence,and that too while one of his brothers stood his ground with the other Indians, and fought till he was wounded and carried off. Ít must be admitted, this was not so creditable a proceeding as may be conceived; but the extreme youth of the party goes some way to explain, as his subsequent conduct did to excuse it.
But from this time, whatever might be his animal courage, he was never known to shrink. Indeed, previously to the treaty of Greenville, (in 1795) when he was probably about twenty-five years of age, he is said to have signalized himself so much, as to have been reputed one of the boldest of the Indian warri
No individual was more regularly engaged in those terrible incursions by which the first settlers of Kentucky were so much barassed; and few could boast of having intercepted so many boats on the Ohio river, or plundered so many houses on the civilized shore. He was sometimes pursued, but never overtaken. If the enemy advanced into his own country, he retreated to the banks of the Wabash, until the storm had passed by; and then, just as they were laying aside the sword for the axe and plough share, swooped down upon them again in their own settlements. It goes to show the disinterested generosity always ascribed to him, that, although the booty collected in the course of these adventures must have been very considerable in quantity and value, he rarely retained any portion of it for his own use. His ruling passion was the love of glory, as that of His followers was the love of gain; and, of course, a compromise could always be effected' between them, to the perfect satisfaction of both par. ties. He was a feudal baron among boors. It remained for subsequent occasions, then little dreamed of, to show that his temperament, like his talent, was even better adapted to the management of a large engagement, than to the melée of a small one.
We have now arrived at an epoch in his life, when it is no longer possible to give his own history to much advantage, but by connecting it with that of his celebrated brother, the Prophet already mentioned. The name of this personage was ELSKWATAWA.* He .and Tecumseh, and still another, KUMSHAKA, were the offspring of the same mother at the same birth. Probably there was an understanding between the three, at an early date, respecting the great plans which the prophet and the orator afterwards carried into execution ; but as we hear little or nothing of the subsequent co-operation of Kumshaka, it may be presumed that he did not live,-employment would certainly have been found for him, if he had.
It is said to have been about the year 1804, when the two brothers, who afterwards acted so prominently together, first conceived the project of uniting all the western Indians in a defensive and perhaps belligerent combination against the Americans. The probable inducements in their minds to the adoption of that policy, being rather a matter of speculation than history, will be left for subsequent comment. The course actually taken to effect the proposed object admits of little controversy. Elskátawa summarily undertook to personate a religious character, and began preaching in the summer of 1804.
He inculcated, in the first place, that a radical reform was necessary in the inanners of the red people. This was proved, by enlarging upon the evils which
Meaning, says Mr. Schoolcraft, a fire that is moved from place to place. Elsewhere we find him called Olliwayshila, on good authority. A compromise may be effected, by suggesting that he assumed various names at var ous periods.
had ensued from the neighborhood of the whites, the imitation of their dress and manners, the introduction of ardent spirits, diseases, contentions, and wars; by the vast diminution of the means of subsistence, and the narrowed limits of territory to which they were now hemmed in ; and by other considerations of the most irritating, as well as plausible kind, the force of which was not at all lessened by occasional comment on particular transactions, and glowing references to the long, peaceful, and happy lives of their forefathers. That point being gained, and a favorable excitement produced, the next thing in order was his own commission from the Great Spirit. This was authenticated by the astonishing miracles he was able to perform, and still more by the great benefits he proposed to confer on his followers.
The budget of reform was then brought forward. There was to be no more fighting between the tribes, —they were brethren. They were to abandon the use of ardent spirits, and to wear skins, as their ancestors had done, instead of blankets. Stealing, quarrelling, and other immoral modern habits were denounced. Injunctions of minor importance seem to have been enforced merely with a view to test the pliability of savage superstition, to embarrass the jealous scrutiny of those who opposed or doubted, and to establish a superficial uniformity whereby the true believers should be readily distinguished. The policy of the more prominent tenets cannot be mistaken. Just in proportion to their observance, they must inevitably promote the independence of the Indian nations, first, by diminishing their dependence upon the whites, and, secondly, by increasing their intercourse and harmony with each other.
In addressing himself to such subjects, with such a system, Elskwatawa could hardly fail of success. For some years, indeed, his converts were few; for, great as the influence is which a man of his pretentions exercises over his ignorant countrymen, when his reputation is once fairly acquired, it is by no means so easy an undertaking to establish it in the
The means used by Elskwatawa, or by him and Te. cumseh in concert, to effect the object in his own case, are more indicative of the talent of both, than the conception of the policy itself, which was comparatively common-place. A prophet is a familiar character among the Indians, and always has been. “ The American iinpostors," said Charlevoix, “are not behind-hand with any in this point; and as by chance (if we will not allow the devil any share in it) they sometimes happen to divine or guess pretty right, they acquire by this a great reputation, and are reckoned geniî of the first order.” Mr. Tanner, who bas recently published a narrative of his thirty years' residence among the Indians, gives incidental accounts of as many as three or four pretenders, who, indeed, judging from the time of their appearance, may fairly be considered as emissaries of Elskwatawa and Tecumseh. The former had an immediate predecessor among the Delawares, a notorious preacher named WANGOMEND,* who began his career in 1766. This man wholly failed, as did most of the others; and the result is so common in sirnilar cases, that it becomes the more interesting to ascertain how the inspired candidate now under consideration succeed ed.
Tecumseh was, of course, his first convert and most devoted disciple, but some of their relatives or particular friends soon followed in his train. The wary intriguant then most wisely commenced operations upon the residue of his own tribe. Previous to any violent promulgation of the doctrines already stated, he gained their attention and flattered their pride, by reviving a favorite tradition which made them the most ancient and respectable people on the globe. The
* Or WINGEMUND; the same man mentioned in the life of White-Eyes, as having protected Mr. Hockewelder on his journey through the woods
particulars cannot bc better understood than from the representation of an old Shawanee Chief, who, in 1803, harangued a council at Fort Wayne upon the subject.
"The Master of Life,” said he, very proudly,“ who was himself an Indian, made the Shawaneese before any others of the human race, and they sprang from his brain.” He added, that the Master of Life“ gave them all the knowledge which he himself possessed ; that he placed them upon the great island ; and that all the other red people were descended from the Shawaneese :--that after he had made the Shawaneese, he made the French and English out of his breast, and the Dutch out of his feet; and for your Long-Knives kind,” said he, addressing himself to the Governor, “ he made them out of his hands. All these inferior races of men he made white, and placed them beyond the great lake,"—meaning the Atlantic Ocean.
“The Shawaneese for many ages continued to be masters of the continent, using the knowledge which they had received from the Great Spirit, in such a manner as to be pleasing to him, and to secure their own happiness. "In a great length of time, however, they became corrupt, and the Master of Life told them he would take away from them the knowledge they possessed, and give it to the white people, to be restored when, by a return to good principles, they would deserve it. Many years after that, they saw something white approaching their shores ; at first they took it for a great bird, but they soon found it to be a monstrous canoe, filled with the very people who had got the knowledge which belonged to the Shawaneese. After these white people landed, they were not content with having the knowledge which belonged to the Shawaneese, but they usurped their lands also. They pretended, indeed, to have purchased these lands; but the very goods which they gave for them was more the property of the Indians than the white perple, because the knowledge which