TecumsehTecumseh (1768 - October 5, 1813), also known as Tecumtha, was a Native American leader of the Shawnee people.
Together with his brother, Elskwatawa or Tenskwatawa, called the Prophet, in the late 1780s Tecumseh attempted to form an alliance of the Native inhabitants of the upper Midwest and Ohio River valley and Great Lakes area against the expansion of White settlers of the United States of America. The alliance had a number of membership changes, but at one time or another it included representatives from the Shawnee, Canadian Iroquois, Wyandot, Mingo, Ottawa, Chickamauga, Miami, Kickapoo, Lenni Lenape, Ottawa, Ojibway, Potawatomi, Fox, Sauk, and Mascouten nations.
Tecumseh's alliance had its capital at Tippecanoe, just a few miles north of Lafayette, Indiana. In 1811, Tecumseh left Tippecanoe leaving his brother in charge, while he journeyed south to meet with representatives of the Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Cherokee nations to enlist them in his anti-U.S. alliance. On November 7, 1811, a U.S. force under the command of future President William Henry Harrison attacked Elskwatawa at the Battle of Tippecanoe, wiping out the Native camp and putting an end to Tecumseh's hope of a broad Native alliance.
Tension was mounting between the United States and Great Britain, and the War of 1812 broke out early the following year. Tecumseh took a force of Natives north, where they enlisted as British allies. Harrison pursued the Indians north, and Tecumseh was killed at the Battle of the Thames near London, Ontario. Tradition helds that he had cursed his victors and Tecumseh's curse has been a recurring legend seeking to explain the death of a number of Presidents, including Harrison, while in office.
Tecumseh, Michigan is named after him.