Re: war without a loser?
- Ahnii my friends:
Thank you Jim.
*"Tecumseh's" coalition of warriors and tribes was not a cohesive entity, per se, for *
In September 1809, William Henry Harrison, governor of the newly formed Indiana Territory, negotiated the Treaty of Fort Wayne in which a delegation of Indians ceded 3 million acres of Native American lands to the United States. The treaty negotiations were questionable as they were unauthorized by the President and thus the United States government, and involved what some historians compared to as bribery, offering large subsidies to the tribes and their chiefs, and the liberal distribution of liquor before the negotiations
Tecumseh's opposition to the treaty marked his emergence as a prominent leader. Tecumseh revived an idea advocated in previous years by the Shawnee leader Blue Jacket and the Mohawk leader Joseph Brant, which stated that Indian land was owned in common by all natives and couldn't be ceded by a few.
Tecumseh's dream was the confederacy of all Indian tribes or nations as the only means to stop the American invasion of Indian lands. He journeyed all the way south from August 1811, returning January 1812, three months after the disastrous Battle of Prophetstown or Tippecanoe (depending on who is naming the event).
The independence and rivalry of Native Nations from time immemorial could not be overcome. Each nation felt that they could handle their own problem in their own way and didn't want outside interference. Even within each nation factions were split between feeding the bear (the US) or fight the bear. Tecumseh knew that feeding the bear wasn't going to work. Every try to tell a bear that the honey you have been feeding it is all gone? Does the word mauling sound appropriate? In hind sight, history has upheld this foregone conclusion.
*Ultimately, one has the Red Stick Creeks, who fought their own war virtually on their own.*
Tecumseh worked hard on the southern nations. While he advocated the Creek or "Red Stick" wars to begin immediately, they refused and then in 1813 they saw that outright war was the only answer to unrelenting "land invasion". By this time, the US was ready for them. The Seminole paid better attention and with the Free Negroes of Florida, sending the "Patriots land invasion" from Georgia packing in the Patriot War that started in March 1812 after France overran Spain and the Spanish in Florida were left without direction. While not sanctioned by the US government, the "unofficial" land grab of Florida had begun.
*nor was Tecumseh its undisputed "commander", although it is fair to say he was its dominant leader.*
To truly understand this statement, some cultural understanding is necessary. Native culture is based on true FREEDOM OF CHOICE. A village chief or a war chief had no true control over anyone under his or her jurisdiction. No matter what was said, or who said it, each and every individual warrior had the right to make his or her own decision to participate or not participate and no judgment of his or her decision would be made. Even on a day to day basis, that decision could change. As a war chief, you might start out in August with 200 warriors and in September have only 50, because the rest had decided to go home and hunt for the winter, only to have a large or small portion of them return when they were finished.
Tecumseh's War began with words with Harrison in September of 1809 and soon escalated and finally merged with the War of 1812. Tecumseh brought about 400 assembled warriors to the Siege of Detroit. Many accounts estimate that at its peak, over 5,000 came to rally with Tecumseh on Boblo Island off Amherstburg. What are these numbers compared to the number of Uniformed British troops and the organized Militias? Off the top of my head, I believe there were 39 different Native Nations represented in the followers of Tecumseh, from the Cherokee of the south to the Sioux in the West and the Anishnawbe or Ojibwa (pronounced in Algonquin O jib wah and that word the French couldn't say correctly and said chippewa instead) who made up bulk of Tecumseh's followers from the North.
Great respect must be given also to the war chief, John Norton and his influence over the Six Nation warriors. The Six Nations were walking a very fine line. Six Nations participation was not a foregone conclusion. Controversy raged at the Six Nations. If the Americans won, would the Americans eject them from the granted land as they did in the Mohawk valley? If the Six Nations do nothing are they helping the Americans? If the Six Nations fight are they creating greater post war retribution? The Six Nations deserve more than *"some of the credit"* for the success of the defense of Upper Canada.
Being corralled in Indian Territory, Oklahoma and then in smaller reserves in the state of Oklahoma is "they lost". Canadian "third world reserves" and residential schools is "they lost".
--- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com, "James Yaworsky" <yawors1@...> wrote:
> So the U.S., the U.K., and Canada all think they "won" the War of 1812. And they are all right, to some extent, as each of their definition of what the war was all about differs.
> This leaves the "first nations" to consider. (snip)