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Tippecanoe, Battle of

TIPPECANOE, BATTLE OF

TIPPECANOE, BATTLE OF (7 November 1811). In response to pressure from white settlers, the Shawnee leader Tecumseh organized a confederacy of Native American tribes in the Indiana and Michigan territories. The crisis came in the summer of 1811, when Tecumseh, after renewing his demands on Gen. William Henry Harrison, governor of the Indiana Territory, at Vincennes, departed to rally the tribes of the Southwest to the confederacy. Urged on by the frantic settlers, Harrison decided to strike first.

On 26 September Harrison advanced with 1,000 soldiers on the Indian settlement of Prophetstown, along Tippecanoe Creek, 150 miles north of Vincennes. He spent most of October constructing Fort Harrison at Terre Haute, resuming his march on 28 October. With the town in sight, Harrison yielded to belated appeals for a conference. Turning aside, he encamped on an elevated site a mile from the village. Meanwhile the Native American warriors, a mile away, were stirred to a frenzy by the appeals of Tecumseh's brother Tenskwatawa ("the Prophet"). Shortly before dawn (7 November), they drove in Harrison's pickets and furiously stormed the still-sleeping camp. Harrison's soldiers deflected the attack with a series of charges, attacked and razed the Indian town on 8 November, and began the retreat to distant Fort Harrison.

Although Tippecanoe was popularly regarded as a great victory and helped Harrison's political fortunes, the army had struck an indecisive blow. With almost one-fourth of his followers dead or wounded he retreated to Vincennes, where the army was disbanded or scattered. During the War of 1812, federal troops would again do battle with Tecumseh, who had formed an alliance with the British.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Bird, Harrison. War for the West, 1790–1813. New York: Oxford University Press, 1971.

Edmunds, R. David. The Shawnee Prophet. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1983.

———. Tecumseh and the Quest for Indian Leadership. Boston: Little, Brown, 1984.

Peterson, Norma L. The Presidencies of William Henry Harrison and John Tyler. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1989.

M. M.Quaife/a. r.

See alsoIndian Policy, U.S., 1775–1830 ; Indiana ; Shawnee ; Tecumseh, Crusade of ; Thames, Battle of the ; "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too!" ; War Hawks ; War of 1812 .

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"Tippecanoe, Battle of." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Tippecanoe

Tippecanoe (tĬp´əkənōō´), river, c.170 mi (270 km) long, rising in the lake district of NE Ind. and flowing SW to the Wabash River, near Lafayette. U.S. Gen. William Henry Harrison fought the Shawnees in the battle of Tippecanoe, Nov. 7, 1811, on the site of Battle Ground, Ind. The Native Americans, encouraged by their chief, Tecumseh, and by the British, became threatened by the continued U.S. advance into their territory. At the time of Harrison's expedition, Tecumseh was away and his brother, the Shawnee Prophet, led the group. They attacked U.S. forces at dawn but were repelled; their village was subsequently razed by Harrison's forces. Claimed as a U.S. victory, the battle was at best indecisive; the power of the Shawnees was broken, however, despite the subsequent American retreat.

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"Tippecanoe." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved October 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/tippecanoe