A romanticized depiction of Tecumseh from c. 1915
On the Scioto River, near the present-day city of Chillicothe, Ohio (location uncertain, see Early life)
|Died||October 5, 1813
Moravian of the Thames
(in modern-day Chatham-Kent, Ontario)
|Resting place||Walpole Island, Ontario|
|Other names||Tecumtha, Tekamthi|
War of 1812
Siege of Detroit
I have made myself what I am. And I would that I could make the red people as great as the conceptions of my own mind, when I think of the Great Spirit that rules over us all.
Sell a country?! Why not sell the air, the great sea, as well as the earth? Did not the Great Spirit make them all for the use of his children?
Every year, our white intruders become more greedy, exacting, oppressive, and overbearing. Every year, contentions spring up between them and our people, and when blood is shed, we have to make atonement, whether right or wrong, at the cost of the lives of our greatest chiefs and the yielding up of large tracts of our lands.
Since my residence at Tippecanoe, we have endeavored to level all distinctions, to destroy village chiefs, by whom all mischiefs are done. It is they who sell the land to the Americans.
When your time comes to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home.
The white usurpation in our common country must be stopped, or we, its rightful owners, be forever destroyed and wiped out as a race of people. I am now at the head of many warriors backed by the strong arm of English soldiers. Choctaws and Chickasaws, you have too long borne with grievous usurpation inflicted by the arrogant Americans.
When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.
Always give a word or sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, or even a stranger, if in a lonely place.
Let us form one body, one heart, and defend to the last warrior our country, our homes, our liberty, and the graves of our fathers.
Before the palefaces came among us, we enjoyed the happiness of unbounded freedom and were acquainted with neither riches, wants, nor oppression.
You, too, will be driven away from your native land and ancient domains as leaves are driven before the wintry storms. Sleep not longer, O Choctaws and Chickasaws, in false security and delusive hopes. Our broad domains are fast escaping from our grasp.
I am a Shawnee. My forefathers were warriors. Their son is a warrior. From them, I take my only existence.