Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Shawnee Seal


The Shawnees are an Eastern Woodlands tribe pushed west by white encroachment. In 1793, some of the Shawnee Tribe's ancestors received a Spanish land grant at Cape Girardeau, Missouri. After the 1803 Louisiana Purchase brought this area under American control, some Cape Girardeau Shawnees went west to Texas and Old Mexico and later moved to the Canadian River in southern Oklahoma, becoming the Absentee Shawnee Tribe.
The 1817 Treaty of Fort Meigs granted the Shawnees still in northwest Ohio three reservations: Wapakoneta, Hog Creek, and Lewistown. By 1824, about 800 Shawnees lived in Ohio and 1,383 lived in Missouri. In 1825, Congress ratified a treaty with the Cape Girardeau Shawnees ceding their Missouri lands for a 1.6 million-acre reservation in eastern Kansas. After the Indian Removal Act of 1830, the Ohio Shawnees on the Wapakoneta and Hog Creek reservations signed a treaty with the US giving them lands on the Kansas Reservation.
The Lewistown Reservation Shawnees, together with their Seneca allies and neighbors, signed a separate treaty with the federal government in 1831 and moved directly to Indian Territory (Oklahoma). The Lewistown Shawnees became the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, while their Seneca allies became the Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma.
In 1854, the US government decimated the Kansas Reservation to 160,000 acres. This, coupled with the brutal abuses perpetrated against them by white settlers during and after the Civil War, forced the Kansas Shawnees to relocate to Cherokee Nation in northeastern Oklahoma. The 1854 Shawnee Reservation in Kansas was never formally extinguished and some Shawnee families retain their Kansas allotments today.

The federal government caused the former Kansas Shawnees and the Cherokees to enter into a formal agreement in 1869, whereby the Shawnees received allotments and citizenship in Cherokee Nation.
The Shawnees settled in and around White Oak, Bird Creek (Sperry), and Hudson Creek (Fairland), maintaining separate communities and separate cultural identities. Known as the Cherokee Shawnees, they would also later be called the Loyal Shawnees.

Initial efforts begun in the 1980s to separate the Shawnee Tribe from Cherokee Nation culminated when Congress enacted Public Law 106-568, the Shawnee Tribe Status Act of 2000, which restored the Shawnee Tribe to its position as a sovereign Indian nation.


Chief Cornstalk


Chief Cornstalk (aka Keigh-tugh-guawas, Hokolesqua, Wynepuechsika, Peter Cornstalk and Peter Fry) born in 1720, in Mason County, Virginia (now West Virginia). He became chief of the Shawnee Native Americans and led them to battle against the Americans (particularly the Virginians).  He later became the chief of many tribes.

The Battle of Point Pleasant

The greatest battle in which Chief Cornstalk led his forces was the Battle of Point Pleasant on 10 October 1774.  While the numbers of fighters were fairly even on both sides, the Native Americans were no match for the muskets of the white soldiers. The battle ended with about 140 colonials killed and more than twice that number of Indians.


As time passed, the Shawnee leader, Cornstalk, made peace with the white men.  In his efforts to negotiate for peace, he went to a fort commanded by a Captain Arbuckle.  Instead, Captain Arbuckle took Chief Cornstalk as a hostage where Chief Cornstalk was eventually shot by a group of enraged soldiers.


Chief Cornstalk died October 10, 1777.

Read more about Chief Cornstalk here.

Chief Tecumseh


Tecumseh was born in March of 1768.  He was also known as Tecumtha and Tekamthi. His brother was Tenskwatawa (aka Teleskwataw and Lowawluwaysica) who was a great religious leader known as the prophet.

Life Sketch

His brother Tenskwatawa was a religious leader who advocated a return to the ancestral lifestyle of the tribes. A large following and a confederacy grew around his prophetic teachings. The religious doctrine led to strife with settlers on the frontier, causing the group to move farther into the northwest and settle Prophetstown, Indiana in 1808.

There Tecumseh confronted Indiana Governor William Henry Harrison to demand that land purchase treaties be rescinded. He tried to unite Native American tribes in a confederacy to expand into the southern United States.[1] While he was away traveling, Tenskwatawa was defeated in the 1811 Battle of Tippecanoe.

During the War of 1812, Tecumseh and his confederacy allied with the British in Canada and helped in the capture of Fort Detroit. The Americans, led by Harrison, launched a counter assault and invaded Canada. They killed Tecumseh in the Battle of the Thames, in which they were also victorious over the British.
Read more about Tecumseh here.