Born 1768; Died October 5, 1813
One of Tecumseh's speeches:
"Father, Listen! The Americans Have Not Yet Defeated Us by Land"
Father; listen to your children! You have them now all before you. The war before this,
our British father gave the hatchet to his red children, when our old chiefs were alive.
They are now dead. In the war, our father was thrown on his back by the Americans and our
father took them by the hand without our knowledge and we are afraid that our father will
do so again this time.
Summer before last, when I came forward with my red brethren,
and was ready to take up the hatchet in favor of our British father, we were told not to
be in a hurry, that he had not yet determined to fight the Americans.
Listen! When war was declared, our father stood up and gave us the tomahawk and told us
that he was then ready to strike the Americans; that he wanted our assistance; and that he
would certainly get our lands back, which the Americans had taken from us.
Listen! You told us, at that time, to bring forward our families to this place; and we
did so; and you promised to take care of them, and they should want for nothing, while the
men would go out and fight the enemy; that we need not trouble ourselves about the enemy's
garrisons; that we knew nothing about them, and that our father would attend to that part
of the business. You also told your red children that you would take good care of your
garrison here, which made our hearts glad.
Listen! When we were last at the Rapids it is true we gave you little assistance. It is
hard to fight people who live like groundhogs. Father, listen! Our fleet has gone
out. We know they have fought. We have heard the great guns, but we know nothing of what
has happened to our father with that arm. Our ships have gone one way, and we are much
astonished to see our father tying up everything and preparing to runaway the other,
without 1etting his red children know what his intentions are. You always told us to
remain here and take care of our lands. It made our hearts glad to hear that was your
wish. Our great father, the king, is the head, and you represent him. You always told us
that you would never draw your foot off British ground but now, father, we see you are
drawing back, and we are sorry to see our father doing so without seeing the enemy. We
must compare our father's conduct to a fat dog, that carries its tail upon its back, but
when frightened, it drops it between its legs and runs off.
Father, listen! The Americans have not yet defeated us by land. Neither are we sure
that they have done so by water. We therefore wish to remain here and fight our enemy,
should they make their appearance. If they defeat us, we will then retreat with our
At the battle of the Rapids, last war, the Americans certainly defeated us, and when we
retreated to our father's fort at that place the gates were shut against us. We were
afraid that it would now be the case; but instead of that, we now see our British father
preparing to march out of his garrison.
Father! You have got the arms and ammunition, which our great father sent for his red
children. If you have an idea of going away, give them to us, and you may go and welcome
for us our lives are in the hands of the Great Spirit. We are determined to defend our
lands, and if it be his will, we wish to leave our bones upon them.
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