God Gave Us This Country: Tekamthi and the First American Civil War

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Atheneum, Jan 1, 1989 - History - 369 pages
In the mid-eighteenth century, red and white Americans commenced a struggle to determine which race would be sovereign in the "Old Northwest," as the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley was once known. The nearly fifty years of strife that ensued were filled with hundreds of hit-and-run raids by small partisan bands, occasional battles between armies of warriors and soldiers, and innumerable acts of treachery, terrorism, and torture. When the fighting was over, thousands of men, women, and children were dead, and the once-free Indian nations had been broken and their surviving people exiled. This long, bitter conflict was truly, as Bil Gilbert writes, "the first American civil war." In this book, the author provides a panoramic view of the events and the people who shaped this chaotic and critical period of North American history. In the forefront of this account is Tekamthi (often remembered as Tecumseh), the brilliant Shawnee warrior, orator, and political strategist, long renowned as the most astute and able of the red leaders. In the early 1800s be became convinced that his people could defend themselves against the United States only by forming a single racial federation. From a base at Tippecanoe in Indiana, he traveled between the Great Lakes and Gulf Coast, recruiting supporters. Though there were fewer than 100,000 free reds in these territories versus the 7 million whites of the United States, the westward advance of Manifest Destiny was slowed, in large part, by the formidable reputation and charismatic influence of Tekamthi. In a confidential report to the War Department, William Henry Harrison, then federal governor of the West, called his great adversary "one of those uncommon geniuses which spring up occasionally to produce revolutions and overturn the established order of things." Tekamthi's defense of his people's lands and liberties led him into the War of 1812, on the British side. In 1813, after the British surrender in the West, Tekamthi's forces were defeated on the Thames River in Southern Ontario. It was there that Tekamthi died- and the red resistance movement in the Northwest with him. Rich in character and drama, this book is a fascinating account of this little-studied period in the fight for the American frontier. -- from Book Jacket

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Prologue He Who Waits as a Celestial Panther
The Meeting of Aliens
To Be Shawnee

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About the author (1989)

Bil Gilbert " is an award-winning journalist whose articl

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