He has also voted against the balanced budget amendment. Wyden supports lower corporate taxes and was generally supportive of the draft proposal for deficit reduction that was released by the chairmen of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform in November Wyden has been praised by Len Burman of the Tax Policy Center as a legislator who "has worked tirelessly to try to advance the cause of tax reform, [despite having] few allies in this quest.
In MayWyden introduced the Presidential Tax Transparency Act, legislation requiring sitting presidents and presidential nominees to release their tax returns publicly. Wyden reintroduced the legislation in Januarysaying in a statement, "Trump blew off a year, bipartisan, pro-transparency tradition by refusing to release his tax returns — a tradition that dates all the way back to Watergate. Rettig questioning the possible "increased risk of taxpayer ID theft" in the event the lRS attempted to "maintain normal operations" during the shutdown and related concerns of his constituents "that there may be no resolution in sight".
In FebruaryWyden, Roy Bluntand Tammy Baldwin led nine other senators in sponsoring the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act, legislation imposing a reduction in excise taxes, compliance burdens, and regulations for brewers, cider makers, vintners, and distillers as part of an attempt to ensure the continued growth of the craft beverage industry.
In NovemberWyden was one of eleven senators to sign a letter to United States Secretary of Defense James Mattis concerning "the overt politicization of the military" with the Trump administration's deployment of 5, troops to the U. Northern Command for troop deployment while urging Mattis to "curb the unprecedented escalation of DOD involvement in immigration enforcement. In the past, Wyden voted to continue federal funds for declared "sanctuary cities" and to declare English as the official language of the US government.
If it were enacted, it would allow the Attorney General the authority to order internet providers in the US to block access to websites that were deemed to contain copyright infringement. This effectively requires the law to be resubmitted next year rather than be rushed through the system at the end of the congress. He stated:.
It seems to me that online copyright infringement is a legitimate problem, but it seems to me that COICA as written is the wrong medicine.
Deploying this statute to combat online copyright infringement seems almost like using a bunker-busting cluster bomb when what you really need is a precision-guided missile. The collateral damage of this statute could be American innovation, American jobs, and a secure Internet. The bill, which is still under House consideration, would establish a legal framework for the sharing and access of private tracking data by corporations, individuals, and federal agencies.
Ezra Klein wrote: "Perhaps no single member of Congress deserves as much credit for slowing the advance" of the bills than Wyden, who for much of "fought a one-man battle to keep the Senate version of the legislation from moving through on a unanimous vote.
When Senate leadership announced it was indefinitely postponing the bill following "massive protests" in JanuaryWyden called it a "grassroots victory for the history books. Federal Trade Commission FTC in addition to forcing companies to study whether race, gender or other biases influence their technology. In MarchWyden was one of eleven senators to sign a letter to congressional leaders urging them to "bring legislation providing disaster supplemental appropriations to your respective floors for consideration immediately" after noting that the previous year had seen federal disaster declarations approved for states, territories, and tribal nations across the US.
In DecemberWyden was one of twenty-one senators to sign a letter to Commissioner of Food and Drugs Scott Gottlieb stating their approval of the actions of the Food and Drugs Administration to hinder youth access to e-cigarettes and urging the FDA "to take additional, stronger steps to prevent and reduce e-cigarette use among youth.
In FebruaryWyden introduced Senate Bill which would delist marijuana as a Schedule I drug and tax it similarly to alcohol. In Junealong with Elizabeth WarrenMike Leeand Tim ScottWyden introduced legislation allowing graduate students to allocate money from stipends and fellowships into tax-deferred individual retirement accounts IRAs. Wyden's home is in Portland, Oregonand he has an apartment in Washington, D. The couple have three children: twins born in and a daughter born in On December 16,Wyden announced that the previous month he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer in its very early stage from a routine screening.
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Murkowski R. Sullivan R. Sinema D. McSally R. Boozman R. Cotton R. Feinstein D. Harris D. Bennet D. Gardner R. Blumenthal D. Murphy D. Carper D. Coons D. Rubio R. Disease continued to thin the Wampanoag. His trusted ally, Edward Winslow, had died. The new leadership in Plymouth had little memory of the time they had needed Massasoit's help. Jill Lepore, Historian: When do the English lose their sense of openness?
Well when they become more independent. When they realize that they no longer need the Indians. And right around that same time, in the s, they make one attempt to convert the Indians to Christianity.
Which is to say, in effect, "Well if you're gonna live among us, you need to basically become us, because we can't live with people who are different from ourselves. In Natick, as in the dozen praying towns that followed, Indians who converted to Christianity were assured physical security and the promise of eternal life You had all these rules that were alien in concept, and native people had to do everything in the English way; and everything Indian, of course, all the traditions that were sacred to your fathers and your father's father since time immemorial, you had to reject all of that in favor of following the English way.
So you had to look down on your own people, essentially is what it boiled down to. Jessie Little Doe, Mashpee Wampanoag Linguist: Wampanoag people here got the idea that somehow if we are to survive at all, we've got to at least say that we're assimilated; we've got to say that we're Christian. Whatever that means, or we're going to be wiped out completely.
That you believe yourself to be saved. Praying Indian 1: I heard that Word, that it is a shame for a man to wear long hair, and that there was no such custom in the Churches; at first I thought I loved not long hair, but I did, and found it very hard to cut it off; and then I prayed to God to pardon that sin also. I loved to pray to many Gods. Then going to your house, I more desired to hear of God Praying Indian Mind Your Own Business - Various - Tripple Threat (CD) I see God is still angry with me for all my sins and He hath afflicted me by the death of three of my children, and I fear God is still angry, because great are my sins, and I fear lest my children be not gone to Heaven.
Calloway, Historian: The English missionaries demanded from Indian people much more than an expressed belief in their God. It was part of an English cultural assault, which Massasoit must have seen was tearing apart many native communities, and I think that's why he wants to try and curb the missionaries, try and stop this kind of assault taking place. Narrator: As Massasoit's days drew down, he made a point of stipulating in land deeds that Christian missionaries stay out of what remained of Wampanoag territory.
Having watched the English erode his tribe's landholdings and his father's authority, Philip determined to make a marriage of power. He wed a woman who was a leader in her own right. Calloway, Historian: Massasoit must have wondered what kind of world he was handing on to his sons, to his children.
I think there's a certain resignation in some of his actions toward the end of his life — an attempt to stem the tide of English assault on Indian land, on Indian culture, on Indian sovereignty, and a lingering hope that maybe things will still work out okay. Maybe there can still be peace, because I think that was his vision of what New England would be, was a vision of peace.
Narrator: Massasoit died in the early s, forty years after his first alliance with the Pilgrims. His passing came just as a new hard-edged generation of English leaders was rising to power. Men like Josiah Winslow, Edward's son, who was intent on hastening the final reckoning between the Wampanoag and the English. Philip — just 24 years old — took his father's place as the Wampanoag chief. Jonathan Perry, Aquinnah Wampanoag: And suddenly it's all on him. He was leading in a very difficult and very dangerous time, where essentially every part of our society, was being stripped away.
Richter, Historian: The wampum trade was declining. The fur trade was declining. The demand for the English to acquire more and more Algonquian land was increasing. More and more Native People, for whatever reason, were choosing to move to praying towns.
The world that had created Philip was collapsing around him. Narrator: Philip hoped to strike a delicate balance: maintaining his alliances among the English while also maintaining what remained of Wampanoag sovereignty. He continued to abide by the terms of his father's treaty. But like his father, he rejected repeated efforts by Puritan missionaries to convert him.
English authorities had little interest in humoring the young Wampanoag chief. One that is often overlooked is that the English would get Indians indebted. These English guardians used this as a way to get their hands on Indian land.
So that once the debts have been accumulated they go to the Indian estate for the land for payment. And this becomes a massive mechanism of Indian dispossession. Jessie Little Doe, Mashpee Wampanoag Linguist: What people felt for millennia,'This is my land, and my land is me, and I am it,' obviously because we come from it, and we eat from it…and things die, they go into the land, and we eat from what grows from there. So when we say land it's just "ahh-key" — land.
But if you say 'my land,' you have to say "na-tahh-keem". This means that 'I am physically the land, and the land is physically me. David Edmunds, Historian: There is a continual erosion of tribal people's ability to maintain control over their own lives. And I think by the s, Philip finds himself up against the wall. In other words, unless one makes a stand, the-the Wampanoag or the tribal people are going to be completely overrun.
Narrator: Inrumors spread that Philip was growing angry Authorities in Plymouth — Josiah Winslow chief among them — summoned Philip to account for himself. Jill Lepore, Historian: Josiah Winslow has no curiosity whatsoever about these people with whom he's grown up. He's known them all his life. He considers them an obstacle. He considers them untrustworthy.
He wants nothing more than to find a means of provoking a war that could lead to their extermination. Josiah Winslow: You have, have you not, in recent times, procured a great and unusual supply of both ammunition and provisions, planning an attack on us both here in Taunton and in other places.
Josiah Winslow: If you have no such designs, have your men hand over their weapons. Either give all the weapons up or acknowledge to the English that he was preparing for war, as they were accusing him of. So he had to choose the lesser of the two evils. Narrator: Before taking his leave, Philip was made to sign a confession in which he admitted disloyalty to the English, and promised to turn over any weapons the Wampanoag had amassed. Richter, Historian: This is a real turning point for Philip in that it's quite clear that the aims of the English are not just to gain more and more land, not just to undercut native people economically and spiritually, but clearly to make native people their subjects.
David Edmunds, Historian: They no longer are being treated as equals; they're no longer being treated as allies; they're being treated essentially as second-class citizens in their own country. Narrator: Philip was not eager to make a fight with the English; a war would shred his father's historic alliance.
And put his entire tribe in peril. There were only a thousand Wampanoag remaining, and nearly half were living in the Praying Towns. Philip had few warriors. But the Wampanoag chief did prepare — seeking allies among nearby tribes, and quietly buying up firearms. At home in Mount Hope, with his English friends nearby, Philip wrestled with the enormity of a war against Josiah Winslow and Plymouth colony.
Calloway, Historian: He was clearly a person caught in historical forces that gave him very difficult choices, and like many Indian leaders in those situations across the continent, he must have been weighing the options of peace and war, he must have been trying to balance conflicting pressures.
Narrator: Betrayal forced Philip's hand. In JanuaryPhilip's personal secretary traveled to Plymouth to warn Governor Winslow that Philip was arming for war. Three weeks later, the secretary was dead. English authorities arrested three of Philip's men, tried them for the murder, and executed them.
Calloway, Historian: For Indian people, of course, a killing of an Indian by an Indian in Indian country was something that should have been settled by Indian people.
After that blatant assault of Indian sovereignty, Philip must have been under incredible pressure from his warriors to step up and do something about this. Narrator: As whispers of a coming war spread among the English colonists that following summer, the deputy governor of Rhode Island invited Philip to a meeting to offer some friendly advice. We thank you for coming over to speak with us.
Our business is to try to prevent you from doing wrong. Nookau: in Nipmuc We have been first to do good to the English. They have never been good to us.
Easton: If you start a war against the English, much blood will be spilt. A war will bring in all Englishmen for we're all under one king. I urge you to lay down your arms Philip because the English are too strong for you. Philip: Then the English should treat us as we treated the English when we were too strong for the English. Narrator: Philip's angry young warriors refused to heed Easton's warning that war with Plymouth would bring every colony in New England down on their heads.
Days after the conference with Easton, Philip sent warning from Mount Hope to an old English friend in nearby Swansea: it might be best to leave the area. When Wampanoag warriors began their rampage, Philip stood with them, convincing other aggrieved tribes in the area — including the Wampanoag's old rival, the Narragansett — to join their fight against New England: a fight the English would come to call King Philip's War.
It has a big impact on the societies in New England, both Native American and white. By the winter of or so, to get outside of Boston for Europeans was a very dangerous prospect.
Richter, Historian: Native American forces had devastating victories over the English in the early months of that war, destroyed large numbers of towns and people and property, and were very much winning that war and putting the English on a defensive. David Edmunds, Historian: The war spread to Connecticut. The war spread into Rhode Island. The war spread into eastern New York. Tribe after tribe after tribe became involved in this. Narrator: English colonists from the outlying villages fled to bigger towns; some simply boarded ships and headed back to Europe.
Alarmists among the English feared they would all be driven into the sea. Calloway, Historian: The English look now very differently at Indian people, even those Indian people who have lived among them, even those Indian people who have committed to living a Christian life and are living in the praying towns.
These Indians now come to be regarded as, at the very least, a potential fifth column — as people who cannot be trusted, as people who are liable to turn on you at any time.
Narrator: As winter approached, the colonists banished hundreds of Christian Indians living in praying towns Tall Oak, Absentee Mashantucket Pequot, Wampanoag: They took them on a forced march to the Charles River, put them in canoes, and put them on Deer Island in the middle of Boston Harbor, which at that time of year is a cold, blustery place.
Over three or four hundred perished from lack of food and exposure, because they gave them no blankets or food, or anything, and just dumped them there. Narrator: The war ground on — month after month — exacting a terrible price. Twenty-five English towns were destroyed; more than two thousand English colonists died. But the shared danger did unite the colonies In early Philip could feel the tide turning; and then the powerful Mohawks — longtime allies of the English — made a surprise attack, killing almost of Philip's men and dooming his confederacy.
A year into the war, scores of Indian villages had been burned to ash. Five thousand native people had died; hundreds of men, women and children who did survive — "heathen malefactors" Josiah Winslow called them — were loaded onto boats, shipped to the West Indies and Europe, and sold into slavery. Native tribes in southern New England had been crushed, and would never again control their destiny in their homeland. Narrator: In the summer ofPhilip retreated home to Mount Hope with his wife and children; his cause all but lost.
Let me choose my actions wisely for the well being of my People. Jenny Hale Pulsipher, Historian: It does seem a little unusual that he would come back to Mount Hope, because there are so many troops around there looking for him. It's like consciously walking into a trap. Jill Lepore, Historian: When he returns to Mount Hope, he certainly has given up, he's going there to die.
Rather than a grand, heroic military figure, he's a more poignant, sad figure, a person filled with sorrow at the end of his life. Narrator: On August 12,an English militia unit — along with a Praying Indian named John Alderman — surprised Philip and his dwindling band of followers.
The scarred right hand of Philip was given to Alderman as a trophy of the war. His parts were strewn about the colonies, spread to the four corners. Calloway, Historian: This is a warning to other people, to other Indian people. This is what the English will…this is how the Enlish will deal with rebellion, deal with treason.
And remember that in English eyes Philip was a traitor — and this was the punishment meted out by 17th century Englishman to traitors. Narrator: Massasoit's son was dead and scattered, but the colonists were taking no chances; they captured Philip's son and heir — a nine-year-old boy — and locked him in a jail in Plymouth.
While English authorities deliberated on whether to sell the boy into slavery, or simply murder him, the Puritans gave thanks to their God. Jill Lepore, Historian: And the final day of thanksgiving, of the war, is the day Philip's head is marched into Plymouth. This decapitated head on a pole, its erected in the center, in the center of town and is cause for a great celebration. Narrator: They wouldn't take it down, Philip's head. For two decades — while Philip's son lived in slavery in the West Indies — the head was displayed in Plymouth, a reminder to the Indians about who was in charge; a reminder to the English that God continued to smile on their endeavor.
Calloway, Historian: It's hard to see how conflict could have been avoided and how the outcome of that war could have been different. Looking at the generation before this war, there is at least a moment, where things were different.
Narrator: No pictures were ever made of him during his lifetime. No account in his own words was left behind.
Looking back the movement he led would seem to some to have been doomed to failure from the start. Kevin Williams, Absentee Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma: I mean, to be Shawnee, and to have Tecumseh be a member of that tribe is to be honored — to be honored to be in that tribe. He and his brother were trying to get the Shawnee people back to their roots and try to keep their lands from being taken.
And he was a visionary. And I think today — what would have happened if he had succeeded in his plan? It would have changed history. Stephen Warren, Historian: One way one might think of Tecumseh is as a man who led a revolution of young men — young men who were tired of the accommodationist stance of their elders — young men who thought that the leadership structure of the Shawnee tribe needed to be reordered and reimagined, in order for the Shawnees and all native people to survive.
David Edmunds, Historian: What Tecumseh is fighting for is the ability of Indian people east of the Mississippi to hold onto their homelands. Their lands are under siege in the period after the American Revolution. His genius was in inspiring people. And he was a very inspirational man that was able to bring out the very best in those people who supported him.
And to see beyond any particular tribal affiliation, and to realize that this was a struggle that was of greater magnitude. I also think that there was a spiritual component to this — that he believed that he was appointed by the powers in the universe And to retain what was left of the Indian homeland. This was his life. This was what he had been born to do. Tecumseh: These lands are ours. No one has a right to remove us.
The Master of Life knows no boundaries, nor will his red people acknowledge any. The Master of Life has appointed this place for us to light our fires, and here we shall remain. So that's what his name meant: Teh-cum-theh. David Edmunds, Historian: Ohio was a very special place for the Shawnees. It was an area where one could come down from Ohio, cross the Ohio River and hunt into the bluegrass region of Kentucky — where at this time there were small herds of buffalo, there were elk, there were deer there.
So it was a very special place, and it was a place which was very dear to Shawnee hearts. Shawnees had lived in the Ohio Valley off and on for a great period of time. Colin Calloway, Historian: Tecumseh was born around Much of that territory is Shawnee hunting territory.
David Edmunds, Historian: Tecumseh and his younger brother grew up in the midst of the American Revolution. It was a time when Shawnee warriors went south across the river to strike at the frontier forts in Kentucky, and it was a time when the Shawnee villages north of the Ohio were attacked periodically by expeditions of Kentuckians into the region.
Narrator: Named for the Kispokothe war clan into which he was born — whose spiritual patron was a celestial panther leaping across the heavens — he showed promise from the start — quick to learn, graceful and athletic, and touched with a striking natural charisma.
He was very unsuccessful as a little child. As a child of about ten or twelve years old he shoots his own eye out while fooling around with a bow and arrow Narrator: In the end, no Shawnee family would be left untouched by the rising tide of violence in the Ohio River Valley.
Their mother left for Missouri in after horrifying warfare between the Long Knives and the Shawnees. So that by the time Lalawethika was thirteen, roughly half of their immediate family members had either been killed or had voluntarily removed from Ohio.
Narrator: For the Shawnees as a whole, the outcome of the American Revolution would prove even more cataclysmic. All through the war they had fought valiantly on the British side in defense of their homelands, without losing a battle — only to discover — following the British surrender — that their one time allies had ceded all lands west of the Appalachians to the new American republic.
The terms of the treaty do not even mention Indian people — a nd, yet, this is a treaty that has huge That is Indian country. And within a few years, Indian people begin to recoil from that, and to recognize the degree to which the United States represents a major threat to their existence. Indian nations begin to unite in a confederation, to resist that expansion. Narrator: In the alliance of tribes that now rose up to stop the white invasion, the Shawnees would take the lead, and Tecumseh himself first make a name for himself on the field of battle — in what would prove to be the beginning of an epic thirty-year long struggle, that would permanently shape the physical and moral geography of the new nation.
David Edmunds, Historian: The area they called the Old Northwest — the area north of the Ohio River — was sort of up for grabs in the period after the American Revolution. The British still had forts at Detroit, and they still had a lot of influence among the tribes because they were operating out of Canada.
And they feel that if the United States goes under, they want to be able to move back into this region in force. Narrator: For six long years, the Shawnees and their allies kept U. David Edmunds, Historian: Tecumseh fights in the battle, and eventually has to withdraw, with part of his warriors, towards the British fort. Colin Calloway, Historian: The British slam the gates of the fort in their faces — fearful of a renewed war with the United States To the Indians — to Tecumseh — this is another act of British betrayal.
And it is following this battle that the tribes are forced to sign the Treaty of Greenville — giving up about the southeastern two-thirds of Ohio. Tecumseh refuses to sign the treaty. He even refuses to participate in the proceedings. Tecumseh is incensed that they are now forced to give up much of his former homeland. But this is the death knell, in many ways, for the tribes in the Old Northwest. Donald L. Fixico, Historian: The natural world that the Shawnees knew The eastern tribes are being pushed farther into their lands.
There are observations of deer being less — bear being less, the receding of wild game. And so Tecumseh knows he has to construct some type of plan. And it has to be a large plan, in order to confront this huge westward expansion that begins to pulsate into different areas — into the Great Lakes area — and into the southeast part of the United States.
But how do you stop this huge westward expansion? Narrator: The Treaty of Greenville marked a crucial turning point in the battle for the eastern half of the continent — opening the Ohio River Valley to a flood of white settlers — hemming the Shawnees and their allies onto dwindling tracts of land too small to sustain the old ways of life.
Even in the newly created Territory of Indiana — into which Tecumseh and his followers now retreated, hoping to find refuge — a systematic policy of land loss and dispossession was soon put into place by American politicians — eager to effect the transfer of land any way they could — and convinced the Indian way of life was dying. Some tribes are advancing, and on these English seductions will have no effect.
But the backward will yield, and be thrown further back into barbarism and misery And it became a way of making native people into debtors of the United States. And they will only be able to pay those back through a cession of lands. There is no place at that time you could really — if you were a Shawnee — have called home. Because it was constantly being taken off you. Stephen Warren, Historian: So that bynative people find themselves confined to a small corridor of land — really a spit of land — in northwestern Ohio and northeastern Indiana.
And it is not enough to continue a hunting tradition. What was happening to them was a tragedy of epic proportions. Men could no longer hunt; they could no longer operate as life-sustaining killers; they could not feed their families via hunting; they were on a constant war footing. So that there are probably double the number of women as men in any native village inbecause of this war of attrition. And so these are not only broken homes, but broken communities.
David Edmunds, Historian: It is a time in which disease flourishes and spreads across many of the tribes of the Ohio Valley. It is a time when alcoholism begins to spread among the tribe. The very fabric of tribal society — the kinship systems — seem to be under stress. Why has the Master of Life turned his face from us? What has happened to us? What have we done to cause this?
Narrator: By the spring ofthe misery and suffering in northern Indiana had reached the breaking point. Stephen Warren, Historian: I think that Lalawethika fell victim to all of the worst unintended consequences of colonialism: you know he was an alcoholic; and many viewed him as lazy; prone to violence; he abused his wife.
And so every opportunity that Lalawethika had to distinguish himself resulted in failure. And, by most accounts, he could not support his family. So that he was dependent upon Tecumseh, and others like him, to literally feed his family. He was so caught up in the sadness and the despair of dependency upon the United State in the form of alcohol; and the fur trade; of land loss.
It was so destructive, and such a sad time. Narrator: It would be all the more surprising then in the dark spring of — as the universe continued to come unhinged for the Shawnees — that a message of terrifying beauty and hope would be brought to the beleaguered people — coming in their very darkest hour, and in the end, from the least likely of sources. Stephen Warren, Historian: Inhis family recalls an event in which Lalawethika falls into a fire, he just — he collapses.
But he miraculously comes back to life. He wakes up to report a vision of extraordinary breadth and power. Lalawethika: I died, and was carried in a dream by the Master of Life down into the spirit world To the right lay the road to paradise open only to the virtuous few To the left, I saw an army of forsaken souls stumbling on towards three dark houses — fearful dwellings of punishment and pain I saw unrepentant drunkards forced to swallow molten lead.
And when they drank it their bowels were seized with an exquisite burning. At the last house their torment was inexpressible. I heard them scream, crying pitifully — r oaring like the falls of a great river.
Colin Calloway, Historian: When Lalawethika recovers from his vision, he says that he has come with a message. He is a reformed individual. It gives people who may have lost hope a new hope. It gives them a direction. It gives them an opportunity to remake themselves — to restore themselves — by reviving their Indian culture and identity.
John Sugden, Biographer: Well, the impact is he reforms instantly You have to have a personal revolution in your way of life. Tenskwatawa: My Children! The Great Spirit bids me say to you thus. You must not dress like the Whites You must not get drunk.
It displeases the Great Spirit And he formulated a message that appealed to a great many Shawnee, Delaware, Wyandotte, Kickapoo, Pottawatomie — because that was their experience at the time. You know, this is a world totally out of balance. And so his vision is a vision for all native people, in a broad way.
And as a recovered alcoholic, you know, he could speak to people who had not had that conversion experience — who were still caught up in that cycle of despair. Tenskwatawa: Now My Children, I charge you not to speak of this talk to the whites The world is not as it was at first, but it is broken, and leans down; and those that are on the slope, from the Chippewas, and further, will all die, if the earth should fall; therefore, if they would live, every Indian village must send to me two persons to be instructed, so as to prevent it.
John Sugden, Biographer: And very quickly, you see as early as you see a political plan coming into it. Eager to establish a center for the new movement — and to re-assert the Shawnee claim to homelands already ceded by treaty — they moved their village to a new site in western Ohio — on the American side of the line established by the Treaty of Greenville ten years earlier, in open defiance of the American government — then sent out messengers to villages across the region, often led by Tecumseh himself.
Tecumseh: The Shawnees have heretofore been scattered about in parties, which we have found has been attended with bad consequences.
We are now going to collect them all together to one town that one chief may keep them in good order, and prevent sickness, despair and disorder from coming among them.
Narrator: From the start, the new movement sent shock waves surging through Indian country — unsettling native communities already rocked by decades of change — and deeply dividing the Shawnees themselves — along with other worn down tribes, like the Delawares and the Wyandots. Narrator: In April — eager to win more recruits from among the troubled tribes in Ohio and Indiana — Tenskwatawa issued a direct challenge to any leaders who opposed him — accusing them of witchcraft, and of being in league with the U.
Stephen Warren, Historian: He essentially engaged in a series of high-profile confrontations with their leaders to the point where he enters into a Wyandotte village and engages in a ritualized killing of a Wyandotte leader. He essentially accused him, and others like him, of being a witch — of attempting to undermine them, by acting as a kind of wedge for Americans to enter their communities and harm their people.
And his message spreads like wildfire as a result. Narrator: In late April — as a wave of fear and unease rippled through white communities in southern Indiana — the territorial governor, William Henry Harrison, fired off a letter to the Delawares — denouncing the Shawnee Prophet as an impostor — and urging them to put his supposed powers to the test. Harrison: My children. Who is this pretended prophet who dares to speak in the name of the great Creator? Examine him.
If he is really a prophet, ask him to cause the sun to stand still, or the moon to alter Mind Your Own Business - Various - Tripple Threat (CD) courses, the river to cease to flow or the dead to rise from their graves. If he does these things you may believe that he is sent from God. Otherwise drive him from your town and let peace and harmony prevail amongst you.
Tenskwatawa: Did I not speak the truth? See now, the sun is dark! David Edmunds, Historian: And the eclipse was so complete that the farm animals, for example, went into the sheds; the birds roosted; etcetera. William Henry Harrison could not have done anything that helps the Prophet, and propels the Prophet and Tecumseh to a position of prominence, more than issuing this challenge. Narrator: As news of the miracle spread, the trickle of pilgrims coming into Greenville swelled to a flood.
By July, Ojibwa villages on the shores of Lake Superior stood empty and deserted. To the south, Potawatomis left corn crops standing in the fields, and came to hear the Shawnee holy man — whose words now, with each passing month, seemed to grow in stridency and power.
Have very little to do with the Americans They are unjust; they have taken away your lands which were not made for them. The Whites I have placed on the other side of the Great Water, to be another people, separate from you Stephen Warren, Historian: And the U. And the fear really proliferates. Because by certainly, I think most Americans just assumed an orderly process of dispossession and conquest, in which Native Americans would gradually recede from the picture, or assimilate into American society.
Narrator: Now events began to accelerate. That June — convinced that English agents operating out of Canada were egging the Indians on to war — William Henry Harrison fired off a letter to the Secretary of War. The new village, called Prophetstown, would soon rise to become one of the greatest centers of Indian resistance on the North American continent. It would also become a major obstacle to the dreams of statehood nurtured by William Henry Harrison — who in redoubled his efforts to drive the Indians from Indiana — bribing local chiefs into signing away lands over which they had no authority — and pressing one land cession after another through the Territorial Legislature — culminating in the notorious Treaty of Fort Wayne in the autumn of And suddenly there Mind Your Own Business - Various - Tripple Threat (CD) a need for very urgent political action.
Narrator: For Tecumseh, it was the decisive moment. In the months and years to come — rallying warriors from half a continent to his cause — he would do everything he could to push back and redraw the still fluid boundaries of the new United States — and to create of a permanent Indian homeland in the very heartland of the country — bounded by the Ohio River to the south and east — by the Great Lakes to the north — and by the Mississippi River to the West — a United Indian States of America within the United States.
He understands that for Indian culture to survive and for Indian independence to survive there needs to be a land base, and that land base can only be preserved and protected by a united tribal resistance. This is no longer a fight that can be waged by just some Shawnees — just some Delawares, just some Wyandottes. Tecumseh: They have driven us from the sea to the lakes, and we can go no farther.
They have taken upon themselves to say this tract of land belongs to the Miamis, this to the Delawares and so on Our father tells us that we have no business on the Wabash — that the land belongs to other tribes But the Great Spirit intended it to be the common property of all the tribes, nor can it be sold without the consent of all He just tries to revive the confederacy he had known as a young man.
He even uses the same terminology — the idea that the land is held in common by the Indians. No one tribe can cede it without the permission of the others Now this was a job — [that was] much more difficult than the job of the American founding fathers — who at least had some tradition of common origin and a similar language and similar thought patterns and mind sets. Those chiefs might have almost no or little authority within their own communities.
But this lack of authority in Indian communities both played against him and for him, because And this is really one of his strategies. Tecumseh: Listen, people. The past speaks for itself. Where the Narragansetts, the Powatans, Pocanokets, and many other once powerful tribes of our race? Look abroad over their once beautiful country and what do you see now? Nothing but the ravages of the pale-face destroyers.
So it will be with you Creek, Chickasaws and Choctaws. The annihilation of our race is at hand unless we unite in one common cause against Mind Your Own Business - Various - Tripple Threat (CD) common foe. When you think about twenty different tribes — many in which the languages are so different and the politics are so different.
By May, nearly a thousand people had streamed into Prophetstown, and all spring and summer the numbers continued to build. Fearing imminent bloodshed, William Henry Harrison called for a contingent of federal troops to reinforce the territorial capital at Vincennes — then sent a messenger to Prophetstown itself — urging the Prophet to come to Vincennes to air grievances about the Treaty of Fort Wayne.
But it was Tecumseh himself who replied — telling the messenger that he personally would come to meet with Harrison — to discuss Indian outrage over the newly ceded lands. And here you have two representatives of entirely different philosophies and points of view And neither individual was afraid of the other. Harrison had no need to be; the resources were all behind him. But Tecumseh — there was no sense that being in a weak position should mitigate, or reduce his point of view or the worthiness of his cause.
Tecumseh: How my Brother can you blame me for placing little confidence in the promises of our fathers the Americans? You have endeavored to make distinctions. You have taken tribes aside. You wish to prevent the Indians from uniting, and from considering their land the common property of the whole. I do not see how we can remain at peace with you if you continue to do so.
This land that was sold, and the goods that were given for it, were done only by the few. If you continue to purchase land from those who have no right to sell it, I do not know what will be the consequence. I now wish you to listen to me, Brother. I tell you so because I am authorized by all the tribes to do so. I am at the head of them all. I am a Warrior, and all the Warriors will meet together in two or three moons from this. Then I will call for those chiefs that sold you the land and shall know what to do with them.
For Brother, we want to save this land; we do not wish you to take it. And if you take it you shall be the cause of trouble between us. Harrison: The United States has not treated the Indians dishonestly nor unjustly. Indians are not one nation, nor do they own the land in common.
Has not the Great Spirit given them separate tongues? Tecumseh: How dare you! Harrison: This council is over. John Sugden, Biographer: He stood up in a very remarkable and frank way and more or less admitted to Harrison that war would come.
We have no alternative. This is going to happen if you continue with this policy. But both men gave no ground. Narrator: For nearly a week the talks continued — Tecumseh insisting the lands be returned; Harrison, insisting they had been fairly acquired, refusing to return them. Tecumseh: As the Great Chief in Washington is to determine the matter, I hope the Great Spirit will put some sense into his head to induce him to direct you to give up this land.
It is true, he is so far off. He will not be injured by the war. He may still sit in his town, and drink his wine, whilst you and I will have to fight it out. Harrison: The implicit obedience and respect which the followers of Tecumseh pay to him is really astonishing and more than any other circumstance bespeaks him one of those uncommon geniuses, which spring up occasionally to produce revolutions and overturn the established order of things.
If it were not for the vicinity of the United States, he would perhaps be the founder of an Empire that would rival in glory that of Mexico or Peru.
John Sugden, Biographer: Now, Tecumseh did a remarkable thing. He said a remarkable thing inwhen he confronted Harrison at Vincennes. He stood up, defended Indian land, and said he represented every Indian on the continent.
Now, what a preposterous assertion, even for someone whose life had been so far-flung as his. But to make such a claim at that time — it was an absolutely preposterous thing to say. Yet what he was saying was that he understood that Native American peoples were in a particular historical predicament, and he was articulating that predicament — and he was doing it for all of them.
David Edmunds, Historian: Well, I think by Tecumseh can see that war is imminent between the Americans and the British, and I think he hopes to use this war to help defend Native American homelands in the Old Northwest.
The problem for Tecumseh is always gonna be one of logistics. Stephen Warren, Historian: My sense of Tecumseh is that he was keenly aware of moments of opportunity; and moments to strike; moments to act — and was not one of those moments. Narrator: The dog days of summer were just reaching their peak when Tecumseh embarked on one last grueling tour — heading South this time, to what the Shawnees called the Mid-Day — determined to bring the Chickasawas, Choctaws and Creeks of Mississippi and Alabama into the confederacy, and to shore up British support for the movement — as Britain itself edged closer and closer to a new war with the United States.
Before leaving Prophetstown, Tecumseh urged his younger brother to do everything he could to keep from being drawn into a fight with Harrison prematurely — then made one last stop at Vincennes to see Harrison himself before continuing south — hoping to convince him not initiate hostilities. Stephen Warren, Historian: Well, I think it was crucial to hold off for several reasons. The first is that Tecumseh was the only person equipped to lead; the second being that British support was crucial — and, whatever they did, it had to be coordinated with the British — and third, I think Tecumseh was really confident that his Southeastern tour would result in a great many adherents.
Harrison: August 6 th The day before he set out, he paid me a visit, and labored hard to convince me that he had no other intention by his journey to the south than to prevail on all the tribes to unite in the bonds of peace.
August 7 th. He is now upon the last round to put a finishing stroke to his work. I hope, however, before his return that that part of the fabric which he had considered complete will be demolished, and even its foundations rooted up. Colin Calloway, Historian: As Tenskwatawa watches the American army advance, he is faced with the question of what to do. Do you sit and wait, to see if the American intentions are peaceful, or should you strike against it?
When Tenskwatawa hears of the American army advancing, he interprets this as an act of aggression. One mile to the east lay Prophetstown, stretching south along the Wabash from the mouth of the Tippecanoe.
Stephen Warren, Historian: Tippecanoe. He arrives with more than a thousand men. And Harrison and Tenskwatawa agree to meet the next day, to discuss how they might reach some kind of compromise. You know, we have to fight, we have to surprise them. You know, he caves to pressure. Narrator: Sometime in the night, a long column of warriors began to file silently out of the village — heading in a long arc for the northwest corner of the American encampment.
Fixico, Historian: It was a very wet morning. Sentries are posted and everything. And possibly, Winnebago warriors, but certainly warriors tried to penetrate the camp, crawling into the camp.
And they even make it past the sentries. Narrator: Around four in the morning, a picket stationed a few yards out beyond the left flank of the camp thought he saw something moving in the trees. Whipping his musket to his shoulder, he fired blindly into the gloom — mortally wounding a Kickapoo warrior as he attempted to steal into the camp. Harrison himself was in his tent, when the first shot rang out — followed by a series bloodcurdling war cries — and a tremendous crash of muskets — a s the war party rushed in.
The Battle of Tippecanoe had begun. John Sugden, Biographer: It was a classic Indian attack. And it was carried through at Tippecanoe with great determination — considering how few warriors there were. The Indians were a very mobile force. They didn't have to wait for orders from chiefs — they fought very much individually. So if they perceived a force getting out of its depth — moving forward and getting split up from the main force — they could easily rally round and start surrounding it, and cutting it to pieces.
I mean, if there had been more Indians on the ground, the Indians might have been capable of inflicting great damage. For a moment, it looks as if the Indians have infiltrated the lines; there's confusion.
But as the light increases, it becomes clear to the Americans that the Indians lack the numbers, and that they lack the ammunition to carry this assault home.
And, eventually, the Indians are driven from the field. In reality, the Americans suffered probably more casualties than the Indians. The American force was superior; the American force was better armed; the American force had more ammunition. But I do think that it represents a blow to the confederacy. Fixico, Historian: Following the defeat at Prophetstown one would think that all of this was over. And it was not — it was just the beginning in fact.
It was an impossible task of the largest scale for Tecumseh to rebuild his army — and yet he did it — making twice the effort, twice the stamina. David Edmunds, Historian: Tecumseh, we know, is very angry with his brother after this battle. And I think the Prophet spends the rest of his life trying to get back into a position of prominence. Fixico, Historian: So Tecumseh has a choice.
Do you discard the Prophet? Or do you reunite [with] him in this effort? And he realizes that he has to embrace him again. And he forgives his brother. And this time — make no [mistaken] doubt about it — Tecumseh is going to be there. Narrator: Though Harrison had destroyed the Indians food supplies and scattered the Indian warriors, he had not destroyed the confederacy itself, and he had not destroyed Tecumseh — and in the end, only succeeded in emboldening the great Shawnee warrior — who, on returning to the Wabash in Januaryimmediately set out to reassemble the scattered alliance — convinced — despite all appearances to the contrary — that the moment of opportunity for the Indian confederacy was rapidly approaching.
Stephen Warren, Historian: I think, in a way, Harrison creates a huge problem for all Americans living in the Northwest Territories — because he disperses those who are antagonistic to the United States everywhere across the Midwest.
They have not given up. Narrator: All through the winter and spring of — as long festering tensions between the United States and Great Britain spiraled upward — Tecumseh labored tirelessly to rebuild the confederacy and to shore up British support before a renewed offensive could be launched against Prophetstown.
By May, more than eight hundred warriors had streamed back into the village — while across the Northwest more than four thousand warriors were on the move — the largest Indian confederacy ever mustered on the North American continent. By the third week of June, Tecumseh himself was on his way north towards a British fort on the Canadian side of the Detroit River — hoping to secure supplies and ammunition — when a messenger arrived bearing news he had long been waiting for.
Three days earlier, on June 18 ththe United States had officially declared war on Britain — over the fate of the long-contested Northwestern frontier. The War of had begun — bringing with it the last best hope of a permanent Indian homeland east of the Mississippi. John Sugden, Biographer: And of course, the British were at a crisis point themselves; they needed American Indian allies. They were fighting a war in which the odds were against them. They wanted to defend the Canadian line, and of course they needed manpower — only the Indians could fill that void for them.
So it was an inevitable alliance at that point. Tecumseh needed them, and they needed him. And he sold that goal to the British. Narrator: Arriving at the undermanned British outpost of Ft. Malden in the waning days of June — where most were convinced that Canada would fall before the approaching American army — Tecumseh changed the military equation on the ground in less than three weeks — rallying wavering Indian allies to the cause and bolstering British resolve — and astonishing the British commander in charge, General Isaac Brock — with his extraordinary military skills, and sheer force of personality.
He spoke to Tecumseh for a very short time, a mere few weeks. In little more than three weeks, the small but highly mobile force under his command completely unnerved the American army led by William Hull — forcing him to retreat back across the Detroit River to the American side — and effectively bringing the invasion of Canada to an end.
On August 4 that the Battle of Brownstown south of Detroit — with only twenty-four warriors at his command — Tecumseh attacked and routed an American force six times as large — killing nineteen, wounding twelve, while himself losing only a single warrior. Tecumseh and Brock together mastermind the capture of Detroit. Narrator: On August 16 that the Battle of Detroit, Tecumseh convinced the American defenders inside the fort that they were facing an army many times greater than their own — parading his small host of warriors again and again through a clearing in the forest.
Before the British and Indian attack had even begun, a white flag appeared above the ramparts of the fort, and the American army marched out and surrendered their weapons. It was one of the most humiliating defeats ever suffered by an American army. David Edmunds, Historian: Fort Detroit falls. Fort Michillimackinaw falls. Tecumseh and Brock, who were very close, are able to take Fort Detroit.
Colin Calloway, Historian: And it seems as if the vision of an independent Indian confederacy — an independent Indian state, if you like, supported by British allies, but independent of the United States — is on the brink of becoming a reality.
David Edmunds, Historian: And then — unfortunately for Tecumseh — and unfortunately for tribal people — General Isaac Brock is killed fighting the Americans over by Niagara. And the new British commander is named Proctor. Tecumseh has to continually goad Proctor to march against the Americans. They do invade Ohio twice, attempting to take Fort Meigs — which was an American fort near modern Toledo — and are unsuccessful.
And Tecumseh makes them stand and fight. The outcome of the battle seems really to have been a foregone conclusion. By the time the British general [Proctor] actually stops to turn to fight, he has lost the confidence not only of his Indian allies, but of his own men. When the fighting breaks out, the British resistance is minimal. What resistance is mounted is mounted by Tecumseh and the Indian warriors. You have somewhere to go. But we are standing here, and we are fighting for our homeland.
And if you want to run, you run. But leave us the guns and ammunition, because we will stand and fight. Tecumseh: Listen! We are much astonished to see you tying up everything and preparing to run the other way. You always told us to remain here and take care of our lands.
It made our hearts glad to hear that was your wish. But now we see you are drawing back like a fat animal, running off with its tail between its legs The Americans have not yet defeated us by land. We, therefore, wish to remain here, and fight our enemy should they make their appearance. If you have an idea of going away, give us the arms and ammunition and you may go and welcome for it. Our lives are in the hands of the Great Spirit.
We are determined to defend our lands, and if it is his will, we wish to leave our bones upon them. John Sugden, Biographer: And then, finally, at the end, you often tell great leaders in the way they react in adversity, Mind Your Own Business - Various - Tripple Threat (CD), rather than victory. He knew that the British had given way before they engaged themselves. He has committed himself to this act. He dies in the final battle here for the control of the Great Lakes.
And he dies surrounded by his comrades, and his brother. He dies killed by the Americans. Colin Calloway, Historian: And with Tecumseh dies, of course, the person who has held together the Indian confederacy — the person who has represented the best hope for Indian independence in North America The death of Tecumseh puts, in a sense, finality on the American conquest of that area — that what we know now as an American heartland — is gonna be American — there will be no place in there for Indian people.
Stephen Warren, Historian: I think Tecumseh is, in a sense, saved by his death. John Sugden, Biographer: One of the things Tecumseh does is he never lets you down. He was there, articulating his position — uncompromisingly pro-Native American position — he never signs the treaties.
He never reneges on those basic as principles of the sacrosanct aboriginal holding of this territory. He bows out at the peak of this great movement he is leading. Colin Calloway, Historian: I think one of the things that is so important about Tecumseh is that he is person who by his vision and by his personality and the way he conducts himself gives us glimpses of humanity at its best.
That in the most difficult of situations — in the most hopeless of situations, perhaps — people can have the courage to stand up and fight for what they believe in. Courage in the face of adversity; Tecumseh personifies it. And his vision that he had — you know, the way he looked into the future and tried to stop progress for the red people. But I think, to a degree, he still has to be recognized as a hero, for what he attempted to do.
If he had, you know, a little more help, maybe he would of got a little farther down the line. If the British would have backed him up, like they were supposed to have, you know, maybe the United States is only half as big as it is today.
Few others invested more in the professed protections of the American legal system. Few set more stock in the promises of the American government and its constitution. Bythe Ridge had already struck a series of hard bargains with the United States. In return for the safety and security of the Cherokee people — and the right to remain on the land of their forefathers — the Ridge had taken pains to shed the life he had been raised to.
Narrator: He had been born ininto a Cherokee Nation that stretched through the Southern Appalachians The wings of the Great Buzzard had carved the mountains and. Major Ridge: We obtained these lands from the living God above. I would willingly die to preserve them.
As a young warrior, it was his duty to keep a wary eye on any encroachment by their near neighbors — the Shawnees, the Creeks, Choctaws and Chickasaws The Cherokees picked the wrong. The Ridge watched American riflemen burn out his own town — one of fifty they destroyed in Cherokee territory. He lashed out; took his first American scalp at age Russell G. Townsend, Historic Preservationist: For a generation of Cherokees that destruction was all they knew.
They had seen their world kind of evaporate around them. Narrator: The Cherokee Nation was still on its knees in Its population had dwindled to 12, and it had lost more than half its land. Even after the Cherokees and other tribes had signed peace treaties with the United States, the Ridge knew the safety of his people was not a given thing; he understood that the central conflict still pertained: The United States meant to have what was left of the Cherokee homeland.
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