Sovereign Nation Era Ends 1800-1827


Shawnee brothers Tecumseh and Tenskwatawa call for unified pan-tribal Native resistance movement

Shawnee Prophet, Tenskwatawa. Image: Charles Bird King
Shawnee Prophet, Tenskwatawa. Image: Charles Bird King

“With the Shawnee under siege, fragmented, and dispersed, Lalawithika has a spiritual revelation that begins an influential movement among many tribes. He changes his name to Tenskwatawa, the Open Door, and preaches that tribes should take care of each other, and work together against the pressure of U.S. expansion. His brother, Tecumseh, builds a political and military confederacy based on the idea that Native peoples must unify to resist U.S. expansion.” In 1808, they establish Prophetstown (near present-day Lafayette, Indiana). There, the brothers’ pan-tribal resistance movement grows to thousands of followers, and the mobilized Native peoples in the western U.S. resist American encroachment and assimilationist policies (Native Voices, "1805: Tenskwatawa and Tecumseh call for unity among tribes").

Native Resistance