Monday, December 18, 2017
So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart.
Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and
demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify
all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service
of your people.
Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.
Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even
a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and grovel to none.
When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living.
If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself. Abuse
no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the
spirit of its vision.
When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose
hearts are filled with the 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.
Friday, December 15, 2017
Organizer of Indian confederation - Tecumseh
In 1811, while Tecumseh was in the South, William Henry Harrison, governor of the Indiana Territory, marched up the Wabash River and camped near the brothers’ settlement. The Prophet unwisely attacked Harrison’s camp and was so decisively defeated in the ensuing Battle of Tippecanoe that his followers dispersed, and he, having lost his prestige, fled to Canada and ceased to be a factor in Tecumseh’s plans.
Seeing the approach of war (the War of 1812) between the Americans and British, Tecumseh assembled his followers and joined the British forces at Fort Malden on the Canadian side of the Detroit River. There he brought together perhaps the most formidable force ever commanded by a North American Indian, an accomplishment that was a decisive factor in the capture of Detroit and of 2,500 U.S. soldiers (1812).
Thursday, December 14, 2017
NCAI Urges Senate Leadership to Reauthorize CHIP and SDPI
On December 11th, 2017, NCAI sent the attached letters to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) urging them to promptly reauthorize the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI).
Both programs were reauthorized until September 30th, 2017 by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA, Public Law 114-10). While CHIP is currently expired, SDPI was extended until December 31st, 2017 through the Disaster Tax Relief and Airport and Airway Extension Act. CHIP and SDPI have had positive impacts in Indian Country and failure to reauthorize these programs jeopardizes the great strides that have been made in ensuring American Indian and Alaska Native children are insured and decreasing the rate of diabetes and diabetes-related complications in Indian Country.
Read the CHIP Letter>
Read the SDPI Letter:
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
NCAI Tax Reform UpdateDecember 8, 2017
Tax Reform Update
On December 2, the Senate passed its tax reform bill, which means the House and Senate must now resolve the differences between their bills. The Senate bill does not include any tribal provisions while the House bill has one tribal provision that would treat the loan repayment benefits offered by the Indian Health Service the same as loan repayment benefits offered by other public sector health services providers for purposes of income taxes.
Last week, both the House and Senate voted to go to conference and named their conferees. Once the conferees negotiate the final package, each chamber will hold a vote. We expect the House vote to occur early next week, and the Senate vote to occur after the House vote and before the end of the week.
On December 6, NCAI and NAFOA sent a joint letter to the conferees expressing the need to include tribes. Additionally, because changes made during conference must be related to the bills being conferenced, NCAI prepared a memorandum analyzing how tribal tax priorities are related to provisions currently being considered in the House and Senate bills.
Tribes, NCAI, and other organizations continue to urge Congress to include Indian Country in the final tax reform package.
A chart of House and Senate conferees is available: here
The NCAI-NAFOA letter is available: here
The NCAI memorandum is available: here
NCAI Contact Info: Jacob Schellinger, Staff Attorney & Legislative Counsel, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Little is known about him, since he only appears in written historical records during the last three years of his life, primarily because of his interactions with the famous American frontiersmen Daniel Boone and Simon Kenton.
When the Shawnees were defeated by Virginia in Dunmore's War in 1774 , the resulting peace treaty made the Ohio River the boundary between western Virginia (what is now Kentucky and West Virginia) and American Indian lands in the Ohio Country. Although this treaty was agreed to by Shawnee leaders such as Cornstalk, Blackfish and a number of other leaders refused to acknowledge the loss of their traditional hunting grounds in Kentucky.
Violence along the border escalated with the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War in 1775. As a result, the Chillicothe Shawnees moved their town on the Scioto River further west to the Little Miami River, near what is now Xenia, Ohio. Encouraged and supplied by British officials in Detroit, Blackfish and others launched raids against American settlers in Kentucky, hoping to drive them out of the region. In revenge for the murder of Cornstalk by American militiamen in November 1777, Blackfish set out on an unexpected winter raid in Kentucky, capturing American frontiersman Daniel Boone and a number of others on the Licking River on February 7, 1778. Boone, respected by the Shawnees for his extraordinary hunting skills, was taken back to Chillicothe and adopted into the tribe. The traditional tale is that Boone was adopted by Blackfish himself, although historian John Sugden suggests that Boone was probably adopted by another family.
Boone escaped in June 1778 when he learned that Blackfish was launching a siege of the Kentucky settlement of Boonesborough, which commenced in September of that year. The siege of Boonesborough was unsuccessful, and the Kentuckians, led by Colonel John Bowman, counterattacked Chillicothe the following spring. This raid was also unsuccessful, but Blackfish was shot in the leg, a wound which became infected and was eventually fatal.
- Faragher, John Mack. Daniel Boone: The Life and Legend of an American Pioneer. New York: Holt, 1992.
- Lofaro, Michael. Daniel Boone: An American Life. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 2003.
- Sugden, John. "Blackfish" in American National Biography. Oxford University Press, 1999.
Monday, December 11, 2017
|Portrait of the Shawnee military and political leader Tecumseh, ca. 1800-1813. He worked with his brother Tenskwatawa, known as 'The Prophet,' to unite American Indian tribes in the Northwest Territory to defend themselves against white settlers.|
Tecumseh’s brother Tenskwatawa joined him at Prophetstown, also known as Tippecanoe in Indiana Territory and in 1808 the two men began recruiting a large multi-tribal community of followers under a message of resistance to settlers, the American government, and assimilation. Tecumseh traveled north to Canada and south to Alabama in an effort to recruit men to his cause. Meanwhile, William Henry Harrison, governor of Indiana Territory was negotiating treaties and utilizing American forces to put pressure on those tribes still in Indiana and especially those allied with Prophetstown. In 1809 Harrison, signed the Treaty of Fort Wayne which allotted him a massive amount of American Indian territory thus increasing Tecumseh’s efforts and amplifying his message. Tecumseh was away from Prophetstown on a recruitment journey when Harrison launched a sneak attack now known as the Battle of Tippecanoe. The American forces cleared the encampment and then burned it to the ground. It was a severe blow to the confederacy and a harbinger of war to come.
On June 1, 1812 under the advisement of President Madison, Congress declared war on Great Britain. In the Northwest Territory, American Indian tribes found themselves pulled in two separate directions – side with the British or with the Americans. Tecumseh and his confederacy sided with the British. He and his men were assigned to overtake the city of Detroit with Major General Isaac Brock. The siege of Detroit was a success due in no small part to Tecumseh’s military strategy. He continued to support British efforts under Major-General Procter at the Siege of Fort Meigs. The siege failed and morale waned as a result.
In the fall of 1813 as conditions around Detroit worsened, Procter began a retreat east toward Niagara. Tecumseh requested arms so that his men could stay in the Northwest Territory and continue to defend their lands. Procter agreed to make a stand at the forks of the Thames River. However, when forces reached the site communication broke down and some men deserted while others continued east. When the Americans attacked, large sections of forces broke leaving about 500 hundred American Indians to hold back 3,000 Americans. Tecumseh was fatally wounded in the battle. It is unknown who killed him or what happened to his remains. His death began a rapid decline in American Indian resistance and the War of 1812 is marked as the beginning of removal in the upper Midwest.
Friday, December 8, 2017
Ruled ca. A.D. 1789-1813
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
No record exists of the exact location of Tecumseh’s grave. But Ken Tankersley, a University of Cincinnati archaeologist who is an enrolled member of the Piqua Shawnee and sits on the tribe’s Council of Elders, says that isn’t important. “For indigenous people, and the Shawnee in particular, what’s important is for the dead to ‘make the journey,’ or allowing the body to decompose, creating nutrients in the soil, and thus allow the cycle of life to continue.” Tankersley notes that Shawnee will occasionally visit the battlefield and leave a tobacco offering. “We know where the battle was, and the whole battlefield is considered a sacred site, and that is close enough.” He predicts that protests would erupt if an archaeologist or anyone else ever tried to find Tecumseh’s remains. Even using noninvasive remote-sensing technology to locate the burial would be considered unacceptable, says Tankersley. “No one should ever go looking for Tecumseh.”
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
In 1825, the Shawnee living near Cape Girardeau, Missouri, were removed from their homes by the United States government and given a tract of land south of the Kansas River and west of the Missouri River. Relocation began in 1826. The 1.6 million acre reservation extended west for many miles, but the Shawnee chose to occupy only a small portion. Few lived west of Lawrence, and the majority remained in Wyandotte and Johnson counties. Their numbers grew when Shawnee from Ohio began arriving later that year.
|Item Number: 208379
Call Number: E99 S35.I Pro *2
Holding Institution: Tenskwatawa, The original painting is housed in the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
The spiritual leader Tensquatawa, the Shawnee Prophet, was among the Ohio Shawnee, arriving in 1828. In the early 1800s, Tensquatawa, the younger brother of Shawnee leader Tecumseh, had encouraged an alliance of all Indians against the American encroachment and preached that tribal leaders did not have the right to sign away tribal lands. His message caught on with young members of the tribe, and he developed a substantial following. In 1808 he established a village in Indiana called Prophetstown, and it thrived for three years. When Tensquatawa moved to Kansas, he established a new Prophetstown near the present South 26th Street and Woodend Avenue in Kansas City. His high regard with the Shawnee, however, had waned, and Tensquatawa never regained his status; the new town did not prosper. In the early 1830s he moved to a small cabin near a spring in the present Argentine area of Kansas City, where he died in 1837.
In 1854 the U.S. government reduced the Kansas reservation to 160,000 acres and parceled out the rest of the land in 200 acre allotments. Susan White Feather purchased the property near the spring that was formerly occupied by Tensquatawa, and the site became known as White Feather Spring, the final resting place of the Shawnee Prophet.
During and after the Civil War, white settlers antagonized the Shawnee and a great many were ready to move on by the late 1860s. Some remained on the Kansas reservation, but most of the Shawnee relocated to a Cherokee reservation in Oklahoma.
Learn More by Visiting http://www.kshs.org/kansapedia/shawnee-indians/19230
Entry: Shawnee Indians
Author: Kansas Historical Society
Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.
Date Created: July 2015
Date Modified: December 2015
Monday, November 27, 2017
- Significance:Shawnee leader
- Place of Birth:Scioto River, Ohio
- Date of Birth:March 9, 1768
- Place of Death:Chatham-Kent, Canada
- Date of Death:October 5, 1813
Tecumseh conceived of an alliance of all remaining native people, from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, from the prairies of the Midwest to the swamplands of Florida. All Indian people would set aside their ancestral rivalries and unite into a single movement to defend their culture, their homelands, and their very lives.
Providing spiritual impetus for Tecumseh's movement was the teaching of his younger brother, known as Tenskwatawa, The Open Door, or The Prophet. In 1808, the Shawnee brothers established a new capital on the banks of the Wabash and Tippecanoe rivers, while Tecumseh traveled extensively in an effort to build his alliance.
In the summer of 1811 Tecumseh traveled south to meet with the Creek, Chickasaw, and Choctaw people. The Shawnee leader had promised a sign of his power, and as he arrived in Alabama a huge comet appeared, brightening the skies and fading after his departure. Then, shortly after he left for Prophetstown, a series of violent earthquakes arched out of their epicenter in southeastern Missouri to destroy lives and property throughout the midwest and south. In the minds of the Creek and many others, Tecumseh had made good on his promises.
Meanwhile, growing tensions between the U.S. and Great Britain exploded into war. Tecumseh saw the War of 1812 as his final opportunity to construct an independent Indian nation. He journeyed to Canada in July of 1812 and forged an alliance with the British. General Isaac Brock placed Tecumseh in command of all Native American forces with the understanding that, should the British and Indians be victorious, the Old Northwest would comprise an independent Indian nation under British protection.
Despite a number of victories, this partnership turned fatal on October 5, 1813, at the Battle of the Thames River. Outnumbered three-to-one by General William Henry Harrison's army, the Indian and British forces were overwhelmed, without fortifications, and ultimately doomed.
Tecumseh's vision of a unified American Indian homeland was never fully realized. Within 35 years of Tecumseh's death at Moraviantown, many Native nations east of the Mississippi River were forcibly relocated. But today the great Tecumseh is still revered for his intelligence, leadership, and military skills, and he is honored throughout North America.
Read more about Tecumseh:
Wednesday, November 22, 2017
|Kansas State Historical Society 1908|
|Title||The Shawnee Indians: Their Customs, Traditions, and Folk-Lore|
Tradition; Moved; Bands; Customs; Folk-Lore; Shawnees; Shawnee; Clan; Delawares; Kickapoos; Treaty; Treaties; Migrate; Confederated tribes; Emigrants
|Time Period||1800's - 1900's||1800s
|Place||Oklahoma; Kansas; Ohio; Paxtang (Pennsylvania); Missouri; Indian Territory; Kentucky; Georgia; Florida|
|Names||Gore; William Connelley; Richard Edwards; Thomas Johnson; William Johnson; Lenexa; McCoy|
|Description||This excerpt was published in 1908 by Joab Spencer for the Kansas State Historical Society, regarding the Shawnee Indians' culture. Joab also mentions that the Shawnees were first known living in western Kentucky.|
|Date of Original||1908|
|Source||Kansas State Historical Society|
||Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma Digital Collection|
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
by Colin Calloway (Author)
With the courage and resilience embodied by their legendary leader Tecumseh, the Shawnees waged a war of territorial and cultural resistance for half a century. Noted historian Colin G. Calloway details the political and legal battles and the bloody fighting on both sides for possession of the Shawnees? land, while imbuing historical figures such as warrior chief Tecumseh, Daniel Boone, and Andrew Jackson with all their ambiguity and complexity. More than defending their territory, the Shawnees went to war to preserve a way of life and their own deeply held vision of what their nation should be.
From Publishers Weekly
In placing the Shawnee center stage, Calloway (editor of the Penguin Library of American Indian History and Dartmouth Native American studies chair) achieves a remarkably accessible distillation of Shawnee history. He guides the reader through a thicket of wandering as the Shawnees' forced movement scatters them from the Ohio Valley during the late 17th century, before they reassembled in Ohio in the mid-18th century, and then gathered again in Oklahoma in the 19th century. The Shawnees stand out as hard liners when it came to defending Native lands, Native rights, and Native ways of life, says Calloway. Indeed, their history is a cycle of killings and revenge killings, battles and massacres by both sides, swallowing up those who made accommodations (Black Hoof and the model farm at Wapakoneta) as well as those who resisted (the legendary brothers, Tenskwatawa and Tecumseh). Daniel Boone, who played a key role in destroying the Shawnees' world in Kentucky, is part of that history, as is General Amherst, who advocated using germ warfare. The treks and treaties are not always easy reading, but Calloway's text is enlivened with judicious first-person excerpts and his passion for his subject. His heart is with the Shawnees, but he writes with balance of the fateful meeting of the cultures on the frontiers. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Visit Piqua Shawnee at www.piquashawnee.com
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (June 24, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0143113917
- ISBN-13: 978-0143113911
Visit Piqua Shawnee at www.piquashawnee.com
Friday, November 17, 2017
George Blanchard's Shawnee Language Revitalization
Absentee-Shawnee Elder George Blanchard's Shawnee language classes were profiled on the PBS show "The American Experience" in 2009.
George Blanchard describes the importance of the Shawnee language to the identity of the tribe.
Colonial Williamsburg's Center for Teaching, Learning, and Leadership provides American history and civics materials nationwide. For more great videos, lesson plans, interactive games and more, create a free account on the Colonial Williamsburg Education Resource Library: resourcelibrary.history.org.
Piqua Shawnee at www.piquashawnee.com
Thursday, November 16, 2017
2010 U.S. Census Report American Indian PopulationsUNITED STATES TRIBES & PEOPLE
There are 562 federally recognized tribes in the United States. Of these 229 are located in Alaska and the remainder are spread across 33 other states.
The 2010 U.S. Census reported 2.9 million people with pure American Indian and Alaska Native ancestry. Native Americans of mixed race totaled 2.3 million.
The combined U.S. population in 2010 was 5.2 million American Indians and Alaska Natives. The 5 states with the most population are these:
|For all state populations and more census information, visit the census report titled "The American Indian and Alaska Native Population: 2010".|
Visit the Complete Census Report
Look up Tribes by State:
Tuesday, November 14, 2017
There is a gap in the archaeological record between the most recent Fort Ancient sites and the oldest sites of the Shawnee. The latter were recorded by European (French and English) explorers as occupying this area at the time of encounter. Scholars generally accept that similarities in material culture, art, mythology, and Shawnee oral history linking them to the Fort Ancient peoples can be used to support the connection from Fort Ancient society and development as the historical Shawnee society.
The Shawnee traditionally considered the Lenape (or Delaware) of the East Coast mid-Atlantic region, who were also Algonquian speaking, as their "grandfathers." The Algonquian nations of present-day Canada regarded the US Shawnee as their southernmost branch. Along the East Coast, the Algonquian-speaking tribes were mostly located in coastal areas, from Quebec to the Carolinas.
Algonquian languages have words similar to the archaic shawano (now: shaawanwa) meaning "south". However, the stem šawa- does not mean "south" in Shawnee, but "moderate, warm (of weather)": See Voegelin "šawa (plus -ni, -te) MODERATE, WARM. Cp. šawani 'it is moderating...". In one Shawnee tale, "Sawage" (šaawaki) is the deity of the south wind. Curtin translates Sawage as 'it thaws', referring to the warm weather of the south. šaawaki is attested as the spirit of the South, or the South Wind, in this account, in one of Voegelin's tales, and in a song collected by Voegelin.
Monday, November 13, 2017
Shawnee TribeUpdated: January 13, 2015 | Alabama, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Native American, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia
Shawnee Indians (from shawŭn, ‘south’; shawŭnogi, ‘southerners.’ ). Formerly a leading tribe of South Carolina, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. By reason of the indefinite character of their name, their wandering habits, their connection with other tribes, and because of their interior position away from the traveled routes of early days, the Shawnee were long a stumbling block in the way of investigators. Attempts have been made to identify them with the Massawomec of Smith, the Erie of the early Jesuits, and the Andaste of a somewhat later period, while it has also been claimed that they originally formed one tribe with the Sauk and Foxes. None of these theories, however, rests upon sound evidence, and all have been abandoned. Linguistically the Shawnee belongs to the group of Central Algonquian dialects, and is very closely related to Sauk–Fox. The name “Savanoos,” applied by the early Dutch writers to the Indians living upon the north bank of Delaware river, in New Jersey, did not refer to the Shawnee, and was evidently not a proper tribal designation, but merely the collective term, “southerners,” for those tribes southward from Manhattan island, just as Wappanoos, “easterners,” was the collective term for those living toward the east. Evelin, who wrote about 1646, gives the names of the different small bands in the south part of New Jersey, while Ruttenber names those in the north, but neither mentions the Shawnee.
Shawnee HistoryThe tradition of the Delawares, as embodied in the Walam Olum, makes themselves, the Shawnee, and the Nanticoke, originally one people, the separation having taken place after the traditional expulsion of the Talligewi (Cherokee) from the north, it being stated that the Shawnee went south. Beyond this it is useless to theorize on the origin of the Shawnee or to strive to assign them any earlier location than that in which they were first known and where their oldest traditions place them in the Cumberland basin in Tennessee, with an outlying colony on the middle Savannah in South Carolina. In this position, as their name may imply, they were the southern advance guard of the Algonquian stock.
Their real history begins in 1669-70. They were then living in two bodies at a considerable distance apart, and these two divisions were not fully united until nearly a century later, when the tribe settled in Ohio. The attempt to reconcile conflicting statements without a knowledge of this fact has occasioned much of the confusion in regard to the Shawnee. The apparent anomaly of a tribe living in two divisions at such a distance from each other is explained when we remember that the intervening territory was occupied by the Cherokee, who were at that time the friends of the Shawnee. The evidence afforded by the mounds shows that the two tribes lived together for a considerable period, both in South Carolina and in Tennessee, and it is a matter of history that the Cherokee claimed the country vacated by the Shawnee in both states after the removal of the latter to the north. It is quite possible that the Cherokee invited the Shawnee to settle upon their eastern frontier in order to serve as a barrier against the attacks of the Catawba and other enemies in that direction. No such necessity existed for protection on their northwestern frontier. The earliest notices of the Carolina Shawnee represent them as a warlike tribe, the enemies of the Catawba and others, who were also the enemies of the Cherokee. In Ramsey’s Annals of Tennessee is the statement, made by a Cherokee chief in 1772, that 100 years previously the Shawnee, by permission of the Cherokee, removed from Savannah river to the Cumberland, but were afterward driven out by the Cherokee, aided by the Chickasaw, in consequence of a quarrel with the former tribe. While this tradition does not agree with the chronological order of Shawnee occupancy in the two regions, as borne out by historical evidence, it furnishes additional proof that the Shawnee occupied territory upon both rivers, and that this occupancy was by permission of the Cherokee.
De l’Isle’s map of 1700 places the “Ontouagannha.” which here means the Shawnee, on the headwaters of the Santee and Pedee rivers in South Carolina, while the “Chiouonons” are located on the lower Tennessee river. Senex’s map of 1710 locates a part of the “Chaouenons” on the headwaters of a stream in South Carolina, but seems to place the main body on the Tennessee. Moll’s map of 1720 has “Savannah Old Settlement” at the mouth of the Cumberland 1, showing that the term Savannah was sometimes applied to the Western as well as to the eastern band.
The Shawnee of South Carolina, who included the Piqua and Hathawekela divisions of the tribe, were known to the early settlers of that state as Savannahs, that being nearly the form of the name in use among the neighboring Muskhogean tribes. A good deal of confusion has arisen from the fact that the Yuchi and Yamasee, in the same neighborhood, were sometimes also spoken of as Savannah Indians. Bartram and Gallatin particularly are confused upon this point, although, as is hardly necessary to state, the tribes are entirely distinct. Their principal village, known as Savannah Town, was on Savannah river, nearly opposite the present Augusta, Ga. According to a writer of 1740 2 it was at New Windsor, on the north bank of Savannah river, 7 miles below Augusta. It was an important trading point, and Ft Moore was afterward built upon the site. The Savannah river takes its name from this tribe, as appears from the statement of Adair, who mentions the “Savannah river, so termed on account of the Shawano Indians having formerly lived there,” plainly showing that the two names are synonyms for the same tribe. Gallatin says that the name of the river is of Spanish origin, by which he probably means that it refers to “savanas,” or prairies, but as almost all the large rivers of the Atlantic slope bore the Indian names of the tribes upon their banks, it is not likely that this river is an exception, or that a Spanish name would have been retained in an English colony. In 1670, when South Carolina was first settled, the Savannah were one of the principal tribes southward from Ashley river. About 10 years later they drove hack the Westo, identified by Swanton as the Yuchi, who had just previously nearly destroyed the infant settlements in a short but bloody war. The Savannah seem to have remained at peace with the whites, and in 1695, according to Gov. Archdale, were “good friends and useful neighbors of the English.” By a comparison of Gallatin’s paragraph 3 with Lawson’s statements 4 from which he quotes, it will be seen that he has misinterpreted the earlier author, as well as misquoted the tribal forms.
Lawson traveled through Carolina in 1701, and in 1709 published his account, which has passed through several reprints, the last being in 1860. He mentions the “Savannas” twice, and it is to be noted that in each place he calls them by the same name, which, however, is not the same as any one of the three forms used by Gallatin in referring to the same passages. Lawson first mentions them in connection with the Congaree as the “Savannas, a famous, warlike, friendly nation of Indians, living to the south end of Ashley river.” In another place he speaks of “the Savanna Indians, who formerly lived on the banks of the Messiasippi, and removed thence to the head of one of the rivers of South Carolina, since which, for some dislike, most of them are removed to live in the quarters of the Iroquois or Sinnagars [Seneca], which are on the heads of the rivers that disgorge themselves into the bay of Chesapeak.” This is a definite statement, plainly referring to one and the same tribe, and agrees with what is known of the Shawnee.
On De l’Isle’s map, also, we find the Savannah river called “R. des Chouanons,” with the “Chaouanons” located upon both banks in its middle course. As to Gallatin’s statement that the name of the Savannahs is dropped after Lawson’s mention in 1701, we learn from numerous references, from old records, in Logan’s Upper South Carolina, published after Gallatin’s time, that all through the period of the French and Indian war, 50 years after Lawson wrote, the “Savannahs” were constantly making inroads on the Carolina frontier, even to the vicinity of Charleston. They are described as “northern savages” and friends of the Cherokee, and are undoubtedly the Shawnee. In 1749 Adair, while crossing the middle of Georgia, fell in with a strong party of “the French Shawano,” who were on their way, under Cherokee guidance, to attack the English traders near Augusta. After committing some depredations they escaped to the Cherokee. In another place he speaks of a party of “Shawano Indians,” who, at the instigation of the French, had attacked a frontier settlement of Carolina, but had been taken and imprisoned. Through a reference by Logan it is found that these prisoners are called Savannahs in the records of that period. In 1791 Swan mentions the “Savannas” town among the Creeks, occupied by “Shawanese refugees.”
Having shown that the Savannah and the Shawnee are the same tribe, it remains to be seen why and when they removed from South Carolina to the north. The removal was probably owing to dissatisfaction with the English setters, who seem to have favored the Catawba at the expense of the Shawnee. Adair, speaking of the latter tribe, says they had formerly lived on the Savannah river, “till by our foolish measures they were forced to withdraw northward in defense of their, freedom.” In another place he says, “by our own misconduct we twice lost the Shawano Indians, who have since proved very hurtful to our colonies in general.” The first loss referred to is probably the withdrawal of the Shawnee to the north, and the second is evidently their alliance with the French in consequence of the encroachments of the English in Pennsylvania.
Their removal from South Carolina was gradual, beginning about 1677 and continuing at intervals through a period of more than 30 years. The ancient Shawnee villages formerly on the sites of Winchester, Virginia, and Oldtown, near Cumberland, Maryland, were built and occupied probably during this migration. It was due mainly to their losses at the hands of the Catawba, the allies of the English, that they were forced to abandon their country on the Savannah; but after the reunion of the tribe in the north they pursued their old enemies with unrelenting vengeance until the Catawba were almost exterminated. The hatred cherished by the Shawnee toward the English is shown by their boast in the Revolution that they had killed more of that nation than had any other tribe.
The first Shawnee seem to have removed from South Carolina in 1677 or 1678, when, according to Drake, about 70 families established themselves on the Susquehanna adjoining the Conestoga in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, at the mouth of Pequea creek. Their village was called Pequea, a form of Piqua. The Assiwikales (Hathawekela) were a part of the later migration. This, together with the absence of the Shawnee names Chillicothe and Mequachake east of the Alleghanies, would seem to show that the Carolina portion of the tribe belonged to the first named divisions. The chief of Pequea was Wapatha, or Opessah, who made a treaty with Penn at Philadelphia in 1701, and more than 50 years afterward the Shawnee, then in Ohio, still preserved a copy of this treaty. There is no proof that they had a part in Penn’s first treaty in 1682.
In 1694, by invitation of the Delawares and their allies, another large party came from the south probably from Carolina and settled with the Munsee on the Delaware, the main body fixing themselves at the mouth of Lehigh river, near the present Easton, Pennsylvania, while some went as far down as the Schuylkill. This party is said to have numbered about 700, and they were several months on the journey. Permission to settle on the Delaware was granted by the Colonial government on condition of their making peace with the Iroquois, who then received them as “brothers,” while the Delawares acknowledged them as their “second sons,” i. e. grandsons. The Shawnee to-day refer to the Delawares as their grandfathers. From this it is evident that the Shawnee were never conquered by the Iroquois, and, in fact, we find the western band a few years previously assisting the Miami against the latter. As the Iroquois, however, had conquered the lands of the Conestoga and Delawares, on which the Shawnee settled, the former still claimed the prior right of domain. Another large part of the Shawnee probably left South Carolina about 1707, as appears from a statement made by Evans in that year 5, which shows that they were then hard pressed in the south. He says: “During our abode at Pequehan [Pequea] several of the Shaonois Indians from ye southward came to settle here, and were admitted so to do by Opessah, with the governor’s consent, at the same time an Indian, from a Shaonois town near Carolina came in and gave an account that four hundred and fifty of the flat-headed Indians [Catawba] had besieged them, and that in all probability the same was taken. Bezallion informed the governor that the Shaonois of Carolina he was told had killed several Christians; whereupon the government of that province raised the said flat-headed Indians, and joined some Christians to them, besieged and have taken, as it is thought, the said Shaonois town.” Those who escaped probably fled to the north and joined their kindred in Pennsylvania. In 1708 Gov. Johnson, of South Carolina, reported the “Savannahs” on Savannah river as occupying 3 villages and numbering about 150 men 6. In 1715 the “Savanos” still in Carolina were reported to live 150 miles northwest of Charleston, and still to occupy 3 villages, but with only 233 inhabitants in all.
The Yuchi and Yamasee were also then in the same neighborhood 7.
A part of those who had come from the south in 1694 had joined the Mahican and become a part of that tribe. Those who had settled on the Delaware, after remaining there some years, removed to the Wyoming valley on the Susquehanna and established themselves in a village on the west bank near the present Wyoming, Pennsylvania. It is probable that they were joined here by that part of the tribe which had settled at Pequea, which was abandoned about 1730. When the Delawares and Munsee were forced to leave the Delaware river in 1742 they also moved over to the Wyoming valley, then in possession of the Shawnee, and built a village on the east bank of the river opposite that occupied by the latter tribe. In 1740 the Quakers began work among the Shawnee at Wyoming and were followed two years later by the Moravian Zinzendorf. As a result of this missionary labor the Shawnee on the Susquehanna remained neutral for some time during the French and Indian war, which began in 1754, while their brethren on the Ohio were active allies of the French. About the year 1755 or 1756, in consequence of a quarrel with the Delawares, said to have been caused by a childish dispute over a grasshopper, the Shawnee abandoned the Susquehanna and joined the rest of their tribe on the upper waters of the Ohio, where they soon became allies of the French. Some of the eastern Shawnee had already joined those on the Ohio, probably in small parties and at different times, for in the report of the Albany congress of 1754 it is found that some of that tribe had removed from Pennsylvania to the Ohio about 30 years previously, and in 1735 a Shawnee band known as Shaweygria (Hathawekela), consisting of about 40 families, described as living with the other Shawnee on Allegheny river, refused to return to the Susquehanna at the solicitation of the Delawares and Iroquois. The only clue in regard to the number of these eastern Shawnee is Drake’s statement that in 1732 there were 700 Indian warriors in Pennsylvania, of whom half were Shawnee from the south. This would give them a total population of about 1,200, which is probably too high, unless those on the Ohio are included in the estimate.
Having shown the identity of the Savannah with the Shawnee, and followed their wanderings from Savannah river to the Ohio during a period of about 80 years, it remains to trace the history of the other, and apparently more numerous, division upon the Cumberland, who preceded the Carolina band in the region of the upper Ohio river, and seem never to have crossed the Alleghanies to the eastward. These western Shawnee may possibly be the people mentioned in the Jesuit Relation of 1648, under the name of “Ouchaouanag,” in connection with the Mascoutens, who lived in northern Illinois. In the Relation of 1670 we find the “Chaouanon” mentioned as having visited the Illinois the preceding year, and they are described as living some distance to the south east of the latter. From this period until their removal to the north they are frequently mentioned by the French writers, sometimes under some form of the collective Iroquois name Toagenha, but generally under their Algonquian name Chaouanon. La Harpe, about 1715, called them Tongarois, another form of Toagenha. All these writers concur in the statement that they lived upon a large southern branch of the Ohio, at no great distance east of the Mississippi. This was the Cumberland river of Tennessee and Kentucky, which is called the River of the Shawnee on all the old maps down to about the year 1770.
When the French traders first came into the region the Shawnee had their principal village on that river near the present Nashville, Tennessee. They seem also to have ranged northeastward to Kentucky river and southward to the Tennessee. It will thus be seen that they were not isolated from the great body of the Algonquian tribes, as has frequently been represented to have been the case, but simply occupied an interior position, adjoining the kindred Illinois and Miami, with whom they kept up constant communication. As previously mentioned, the early maps plainly distinguish these Shawnee on the Cumberland from the other division of the tribe on Savannah river.
These western Shawnee are mentioned about the year 1672 as being harassed by the Iroquois, and also as allies and neighbors of the Andaste, or Conestoga, who were themselves at war with the Iroquois. As the Andaste were then incorrectly supposed to live on the upper waters of the Ohio river, the Shawnee would naturally be considered their neighbors. The two tribes were probably in alliance against the Iroquois, as we find that when the first body of Shawnee removed from South Carolina to Pennsylvania, about 1678, they settled adjoining the Conestoga, and when another part of the same tribe desired to remove to the Delaware in 1694 permission was granted on condition that they make peace with the Iroquois. Again, in 1684, the Iroquois justified their attacks on the Miami by asserting that the latter had invited the Satanas (Shawnee) into their country to make war upon the Iroquois. This is the first historic mention of the Shawnee evidently the western division in the country north of the Ohio river. As the Cumberland region was out of the usual course of exploration and settlement, but few notices of the western Shawnee are found until 1714, when the French trader Charleville established himself among them near the present Nashville. They were then gradually leaving the country in small bodies in consequence of a war with the Cherokee, their former allies, who were assisted by the Chickasaw. From the statement of Iberville in 1702 8 it seems that this was due to the latter’s efforts to bring them more closely under French influence. It is impossible now to learn the cause of the war between the Shawnee and the Cherokee. It probably did not begin until after 1707, the year of the final expulsion of the Shawnee from South Carolina by the Catawba, as there is no evidence to show that the Cherokee took part in that struggle. From Shawnee tradition the quarrel with the Chickasaw would seem to be of older date. After the reunion of the Shawnee in the north they secured the alliance of the Delawares, and the two tribes turned against the Cherokee until the latter were compelled to ask peace, when the old friendship was renewed. Soon after the coming of Charleville, in 1714, the Shawnee finally abandoned the Cumberland valley, being pursued to the last moment by the Chickasaw. In a council held at Philadelphia in 1715 with the Shawnee and Delawares, the former, “who live at a great distance,” asked the friendship of the Pennsylvania government. These are evidently the same who about this time were driven from their home on Cumberland river.
On Moll’s map of 1720 we find this region marked as occupied by the Cherokee, while “Savannah Old Settlement” is placed at the mouth of the Cumberland, indicating that the removal of the Shawnee had then been completed. They stopped for some time at various points in Kentucky, and perhaps also at Shawneetown, Ill., but finally, about the year 1730, collected along the north bank of the Ohio river, in Ohio and Pennsylvania, extending from the Allegheny down to the Scioto. Sawcunk, Logstown, and Lowertown were probably built about this time. The land thus occupied was claimed by the Wyandot, who granted permission to the Shawnee to settle upon it, and many years afterward threatened to dispossess them if they continued hostilities against the United States. They probably wandered for some time in Kentucky, which was practically a part of their own territory and not occupied by any other tribe. Blackhoof (Catahecassa), one of their most celebrated chiefs, was born during this sojourn in a village near the present Winchester, Kentucky. Down to the treaty of Greenville, in 1795, Kentucky was the favorite hunting ground of the tribe. In 1748 the Shawnee on the Ohio were estimated to number 162 warriors or about 600 souls. A few years later they were joined by their kindred from the Susquehanna, and the two bands were united for the first time in history. There is no evidence that the western band, as a body, ever crossed to the east side of the mountains. The nature of the country and the fear of the Catawba would seem to have forbidden such a movement, aside from the fact that their eastern brethren were already beginning to feel the pressure of advancing civilization. The most natural line of migration was the direct route to the upper Ohio, where they had the protection of the Wyandot and Miami, and were within easy reach of the French.
For a long time an intimate connection existed between the Creeks and the Shawnee, and a body of the latter, under the name of Sawanogi, was permanently incorporated with the Creeks. These may have been the ones mentioned by Pénicaut as living in the vicinity of Mobile about 1720. Bartram 9, in 1773, mentioned this band among the Creeks and spoke of the resemblance of their language to that of the Shawnee, without knowing that they were a part of the same tribe. The war in the northwest after the close of the Revolution drove still more of the Shawnee to take refuge with the Creeks. In 1791 they had 4 villages in the Creek country, near the site of Montgomery, Alabama, the principal being Sawanogi. A great many also joined the hostile Cherokee about the same time. As these villages are not named in the list of Creek towns in 1832 it is possible that their inhabitants may have joined the rest of their tribe in the west before that period. There is no good evidence for the assertion by some writers that the Suwanee in Florida took its name from a band of Shawnee once settled upon its banks.
The history of the Shawnee after their reunion on the Ohio is well known as a part of the history of the Northwest territory, and may be dismissed with brief notice. For a period of 40 years from the beginning of the French and Indian war to the treaty of Greenville in 1795 they were almost constantly at war with the English or the Americans, and distinguished themselves as the most hostile tribe in that region. Most of the expeditions sent across the Ohio during the Revolutionary period were directed against the Shawnee, and most of the destruction on the Kentucky frontier was the work of the same tribe. When driven back from the Scioto they retreated to the head of the Miami river, from which the Miami had withdrawn some years before. After the Revolution, finding themselves left without the assistance of the British, large numbers joined the hostile Cherokee and Creeks in the south, while a considerable body accepted the invitation of the Spanish government in 1793 and settled, together with some Delawares, on a tract near Cape Girardeau, Missouri, between the Mississippi and the Whitewater rivers, in what was then Spanish territory. Wayne’s victory, followed by the treaty of Greenville in 1795, put an end to the long war in the Ohio valley. The Shawnee were obliged to give up their territory on the Miami in Ohio, and retired to the headwaters of the Auglaize. The more hostile part of the tribe crossed the Mississippi and joined those living at Cape Girardeau. In 1798 a part of those in Ohio settled on White River in Indiana, by invitation of the Delawares. A few years later a Shawnee medicine-man, Tenskwatawa, known as The Prophet, the brother of the celebrated Tecumseh, began to preach a new doctrine among the various tribes of that region. His followers rapidly increased and established themselves in a village at the mouth of the Tippecanoe River in Indiana. It soon became evident that his intentions were hostile, and a force was sent against him under Gen. Harrison in 1811, resulting in the destruction of the village and the total defeat of the Indians in the decisive battle of Tippecanoe. Tecumseh was among the Creeks at the time, endeavoring to secure their aid against the United States, and returned in time to take command of the northwest tribes in the British interest in the War of 1812. The Shawnee in Missouri, who formed about half of the tribe, are said to have had no part in this struggle. By the death of Tecumseh in this war the spirit of the Indian tribes was broken, and most of them accepted terms of peace soon after. The Shawnee in Missouri sold their lands in 1825 and removed to a reservation in Kansas. A large part of them had previously gone to Texas, where they settled on the headwaters of the Sabine river, and remained there until driven out about 1839 (see Cherokee). The Shawnee of Ohio sold their remaining lands at Wapakoneta and Hog Creek in 1831, and joined those in Kansas. The mixed band of Seneca and Shawnee at Lewistown, Ohio, also removed to Kansas about the same time.
A large part of the tribe left Kansas about 1845 and settled on Canadian river, Indian Territory (Oklahoma), where they are now known as Absentee Shawnee. In 1867 the Shawnee living with the Seneca removed also from Kansas to the Territory and are now known as Eastern Shawnee. In 1869, by inter-tribal agreement, the main body became incorporated with the Cherokee Nation in the present Oklahoma, where they are now residing. Those known as Black Bob’s band refused to remove from Kansas with the others, but have since joined them.
For Further StudyThe following articles and manuscripts will shed additional light on the Shawnee as both an ethnological study, and as a people.
- Shawnee Indians – Swanton
- Creek Confederacy – Swanton
- Shawnee Treaties
- Treaty of January 31, 1786
- Treaty of August 3, 1795
- Treaty of June 7, 1803
- Treaty of July 4, 1805
- Treaty of November 25, 1808
- Treaty of July 22, 1814
- Treaty of September 8, 1815
- Treaty of September 29, 1817
- Treaty of September 17, 1818
- Treaty of November 7, 1825
- Treaty of July 20, 1831
- Treaty of August 8, 1831
- Treaty of October 26, 1832
- Treaty of December 29, 1832
- Treaty of May 10, 1854
- Agreement of September 13, 1865
- Treaty of February 23, 1867
- Shawnee Tribal Locations
- Indian Missions of Middle Atlantic States
- Native American Land Patents
- Wyandot and Shawnee Indian Lands
- Free US Indian Census Schedules 1885-1940
|1.||Royce in Abstr. Trans. Anthr. Soc. Wash., 1881|
|2.||Ga. Hist. Soc. Coll., ii, 72, 1842|
|3.||Trans. Am. Antiq. Soc., ii, 66, 1836|
|4.||Lawson, Hist. Car., 75, 279-280, ed. 1860|
|5.||Day, Penn, 391,1843|
|6.||Johnson in Rivers, S. C., 236, 1856|
|7.||Barnwell, 1715, in Rivers, Hist. South Carolina, 94, 1874|
|8.||Margry, Déc., iv, 519, 1880|
|9.||Bartram, Travels, 464, 1792|
Collection:Hodge, Frederick Webb, Compiler. The Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Bureau of American Ethnology, Government Printing Office. 1906.