I believ (strongly) that it is an old wives and old husbands tale but the geneisi of it is almost certainly the famous exchange of sashes, which does seem to have happened. I think that others extrapolated that and Tecumseh's obvious influence and power among the Native allies and gave him a rank.
There is only one known picture of tecumseh which is probably from life, done by a French trader whose name escapes me. All the others you see are copies or variations on it or pure supposition. The legend persists because one of the earlier copies, I think,the one in Lossings "Fieldbook of the War of 1812" shows him in a Br uniform coat. Lossing was widely copied by later authors as his is one of few early sources with illustrations of people and places from the war.
I have this info. more or less at my fingertips, BTW, because I'm working with our local museum on a display for the 185th anniversary of the formation of Tecumseth Township, County of Simcoe, Ontario, Upper Canada.
Peter Monahan, Sgt Major, CFNA
From: "lalozon" <lalozon@...
Date: 2006/02/01 Wed PM 03:23:13 EST
Subject: [WarOf1812] TECUMSEH'S Bones
From: "Peter Monahan" <petemonahan@...
I know'knew Tecumseh was not a chief, any more than he was a British
brigadier general, many paintings to the contrary.
I knew you knew (did I say that correctly) and I also knew that you
were at Wolf's speech ...
I just thot I would cement the fact that Tecumseh was not a Chief.
I hear that the a British Brigadier General thingie was due to an incident
at Fort Ameherstburg (Malden).
"Tecumseh had given Brock a woven sash so Brock gave him a scarlet officer's
On leaving the building Tecumseh was seen talking to a warrior who was
wearing a higher rank scarlet coat then Tecumseh so Brock hearing of this he
gave him a British Brigadier General's coat so he would not be out ranked"
.... (ole wife's tale?!? ... you be the judge.)
Also Tecumseh was reported to be a Freemason ... for a man who hated whites
as much as he did ... I doubt he would enter an organisation such as the
He was a great man and that is when the stories start .....
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