"Among the tribe of the Shawanees inhabiting the country about
hundred miles to the south of Lake Michigan, there were two broth-
ers, who, a few years before our last war with the United States, had
gained great influence over their fellow-warriors by qualities usu-
ally most valued in savage life. The one, who had persuaded the



tribe that he possessed what in Scotland would have been termed second-sight, was known among them by the name of the Prophet, and seems at first to have been the favourite of the two; the other, Tecumthe, had, without the aid of such inspiration, raised himself to the situation of a chief by his tried hardihood, and that natural supe-  



riority of genius which sometimes in civilized communities, and
almost always in a rude state of society, will challenge deference
from common minds. The tribe, under direction of the Prophet, ven-
tured upon hostilities with their old enemy, the back settlers of the States; and for some time carried on a most harrassing contest
against them, after the Indian mode of warfare. At length, however, lulled into security by confidence in the supernatural powers of their Prophet, and neglecting that caution which is generally so marked a trait in the Indian character, they were surprised by an American corps in the dead of night, on the banks of the Wabash, and almost 20
annihilated. It is probable that the survivors were too few to preserve the separate existence of a tribe, for Tecumthe, with a small number of warriors, having escaped the massacre, joined the Hurons, a friendly people, and came down with them as their chief to the Brit-
ish troops when the war in Canada broke out. If it be recollected that
the Indian chiefs are almost always old men, and that the spirit of clanship is as strong among them as ever it could have been in the Highlands of Scotland, it will appear no small testimony to the supe-
rior qualities of Tecumthe, that before he could have been forty 
years of age, he should have appeared as the recognised head of the
Hurons, a tribe in which he was a stranger, and which is one of the finest bodies of the Indian people.
     "The first operation of the Americans on the commencement of 
the war, was to collect a corps of between three and four thousand men for the invasion of Canada, from the frontier at the head of Lake
Erie. Some of the Indian tribes were already at war with the States, and others hastened to join them, when they found a prospect of suc-
cess from the co-operation of the British. They began to collect in numbers in the country behind Detroit, from whence Hull, the American general, had already advanced in prosecution of the
intended invasion; and the news of their motions seems at once to have paralyzed him. He fell back into Detroit, and not daring to attempt a retreat through the line on which they had assembled, he remained passive until his surrender to a few hundred British and Canadian militia. This event, and the occupation of the Michigan 45
country, opened a direct communication with the settlements of the various tribes, rapidly promoted the alliance with them, and in the winter of 1812-13, sometime after the surprise and entire destruc-
tion of General Winchester’s corps, to which the Indians had eagerly contributed, Tecumthe and his Hurons joined General Procter, to
take up the hatchet with their British Father against the "Long Knives," as they denominated the Americans. It was astonishing
how soon it became evident that Tecumthe was the chief among chiefs of his countrymen; and that this man in some way possessed the secret of swaying them all to his purpose, though without any
formal authority, beyond the warriors of his adopted tribe. The num-
ber of Indian fighting-men who had united with the British com-
mander at Detroit in the spring of 1813, was near three thousand;— a larger body of them than had been seen together in the memory of any of those assembled; and Tecumthe was still the engine by which
they could be moved. His intelligent mind caught at once the advan-
tage to be derived from fixing them with their families in the newly acquired Michigan territory; and it was no sooner proposed to him, than the whole were settled in the district, which, by its position, 
gave strength to their confederacy with the British. As soon as the
season permitted, a small force of regulars and militia, and the
whole Indian body, were moved forward to attack the enemy, who were assembling a strong corps at Fort Meigs, near the coast of Lake Erie; and, in the investment of that station which followed, the Indi-
ans were eminently useful, by the strictness with which they
watched every motion of the garrison. The enemy attempted to relieve the place by an attack from without, aided by a sortie of the besieged, and were repulsed with dreadful slaughter, in which the Indians greatly assisted. The garrison were, however, relieved in a manner which they could not have anticipated; for the Indians, 75
loaded with plunder, and enriched by the prisoners they had taken, could not be induced to continue the siege, even by the influence of their chief; and the British General, with his handful of troops, was obliged to retire to his frontier, after he had been weakened by their return to their families. To secure the lives of prisoners, it was cus- 80
tomary with the British to pay head-money for every American delivered up in safety by the Indians; and this measure was generally successful, though the Indians could not help remarking, that to take men and let them live to fight another time, seemed a piece of egre-
gious folly! The British and Indians moved forward a second time
in the same manner, and again invested Fort Meigs, and afterwards Sandusky, another fort near Lake Erie; but the force of troops and artillery was insufficient, and the Indians found it "hard to fight
against people who lived like ground hogs," or, in other words, were strongly intrenched. At Sandusky, in particular, they showed no
inclination to join in an assault upon the works, for their mode of warfare is in bush-fighting alone; and the whole force returned once more to the frontier. In the short period of inaction which followed, during the equipment of the flotilla on Lake Erie, there were many opportunities of observing the intelligence of Tecumthe, whose sup- 95
port was so necessary to gain the consent of the Indians to any mea-
sure of expediency, that he was frequently, accompanied by Colonel Elliot, the Indian superintendant, or one of the officers of that department, brought to the General’s table. His habits and deport-
ment were perfectly free from whatever could give offence to the
most delicate female; he readily and cheerfully accommodated him-
self to all the novelties of his situation, and seemed amused, without being at all embarrassed by them. He could never be induced to
drink spirituous liquor of any sort, though in other respects he fed
like every one else at the table. He said that in his early youth he had
been greatly addicted to drunkenness—the common vice of the Indian—but that he had found it was bad for him, and had resolved never again to taste any liquid but water. That an uneducated being could deny himself an indulgence of which he was passionately
fond, and to which no disgrace was attached in the opinion of his
associates, proves, we think, that he had views and feelings to raise him above the level of an unenlightened savage. He had probably anticipated the period when he was to appear as the first man of his nation, and knew that intemperance would disqualify him from
holding such a station. He evinced little respect for the arts by which
the Prophet had governed his unfortunate tribe, and always spoke of him as "his foolish brother." He had a son, a youth of about fourteen or fifteen; but shortly before his fall, when he seemed to have a pre-
sentiment of what was to occur, he strongly enjoined his Hurons not to elect that young man for their chief; "he is too fair and like a white
man," was his reason. Tecumthe was not deficient in affection for 
his son, but he had some prejudice of his nation against a resem-
blance to the European, the author of all their woes; and he sacri-
ficed his parental attachment to what he considered the advantage of his people. In battle, Tecumthe was painted and equipped like the
rest of his brethren; but otherwise his common dress was a leathern frock descending to his knees, and confined at the waist by a belt; leggins and moccassins for the feet, of the same material, completed his cloathing. He was rather above the middle stature, the general expression of his features pleasing, and his eye full of fire and intel- 130
ligence. Our fair readers will not think that it detracted from Tecumthe’s virtues, that upon one occasion, before several persons, he openly and keenly reproved an European of the Indian depart-
ment, for ill usage of his wife.
     "The exploits of a handful of British troops had hitherto, in con-
junction with the Indians, protected the north-west frontier of Can-
ada against an enemy always numerically superior; but the period
was approaching when the naval efforts of the Americans on Lake Erie, were to turn the tide of success. The British naval officer who was at the head of the flotilla on that lake, was obliged to meet the
enemy under every disadvantage, notwithstanding the little assis-
tance which the exertions of General Proctor were able to afford
him; and the event that ensued was the capture of the whole of the English squadron, after an obstinate engagement. Upon this disaster, a retreat of the troops became unavoidable, to prevent the Ameri-
cans landing a superior force in their rear; and it was foreseen that 
to induce the Indians to retire with them, and to quit their old haunts, would be attended with much difficulty. An assembly of their chiefs was, however, held at Amherstburgh, where the General, by the mouth of his interpreter, opened the business to them, and proposed
their accompanying him in his retrograde movement. The Indians were somewhat prepared to expect such an intention of withdrawing from that frontier: but they received the proposal with the greatest indignation, and considered the measure as a desertion of them. Tecumthe rose to reply to the interpreter, and nothing could be more 155
striking than the scene which then presented itself. The rest of the assembly seemed to wait with the deepest attention for the delivery
of his answer, whilst, holding in his hands a belt of wampum—or beads, which, by their colours and arrangement, form the Indian record for past events, from the association of idea produced on see-
ing them—he proceeded to address the British General in a torrent 
of vehement and pathetic appeal, for which the wild oratory of sav-
age tribes is often so remarkable. His speech, of which a translation was preserved, is too long for insertion in this place. The chief began by recalling from his wampum the events of the war in which they
were engaged; and alluded, in a strain of violent invective, to a cir-
cumstance twenty years before, wherein the Indians conceived that the British, after encouraging them to hostility against the Ameri-
cans, had deserted them in the hour of need; and he inferred that
there was now a similar design. In the name of his nation he posi-
tively refused to consent to any retreat: and closed his denial with these words:—"The Great Spirit gave the lands which we possess to our fathers; if it be his will, our bones shall whiten on them; but we will never quit them." After Tecumthe’s harrangue was concluded, 
the council broke up; and the British commander found himself
placed, with the few troops which composed his force, in a most critical situation; for there was every reason to expect that the numerous Indians would not confine their indignation to a mere dis-
solution of the alliance. To convince Tecumthe, in a private inter-
view, of the reasonableness and necessity of retiring, seemed the
only mode of extricating the little army from their dilemma: and it 
was attempted with success. In a room with Colonel Elliot and Tecumthe, a map of the country was produced, the first thing of the kind that the chief had ever seen;—and he was in a very short time made to understand, that if they remained in their present position,
they must be infallibly surrounded by the enemy. It was only  neces-
sary to persuade the reason of Tecumthe to ensure his consent; and he undertook to prevail on the tribes to embrace the measure which he now saw to be unavoidable. It was one more example of his talent and influence, that in spite of all their prejudices and natural affec-
tion for the seat of their habitations, in less than seven days from the holding of the council, he had determined a large proportion of his nation to give their co-operation to the step, of all others, which they had most violently opposed. The close of Tecumthe’s mortal career was now at hand; and after some days of retreat before many thou- 195
sand Americans, the resolution was taken of giving them battle on advantageous ground on the river Thames. The spot chosen was a position crossing the road toward Lake Ontario, and resting on the river. The British were here drawn up in open files, in a straggling wood, which prevented any attack upon them in regular order: their 200
left secured by the river, a gun flanking the road, and their right extending toward the Indians, who were posted where the wood thickened, so as to form a retiring-angle with them, and to turn the enemy’s flank on their advance. This diposition was shown to Tecumthe, who expressed his satisfaction at it; and his last words to 205
the general were—"Father, tell your young men to be firm, and all
will be well." He then repaired to his people, and harangued them
before they were formed in their places. The small band of our reg-
ulars, discouraged by their retreat, and, by the privations to which they had been long exposed, gave way on the first advance of the
enemy; and no exertion of their commander could rally them. While they were thus quickly routed, Tecumthe and his warriors had
almost as rapidly repulsed the enemy, and the Indians continued to push their advantage against them, in ignorance of the disaster of
their allies, until their heroic chief fell by a rifle ball, and with him
the spirit of his followers, who were put to flight and pursued with unrelenting slaughter. Who, in contemplating the life and death of
this untutored savage, can forbear the reflection, that he only wanted a nobler sphere, and the light of education, to have left a name of brilliant renown in the annals of nations?"

This foregoing Argument was extracted from a Periodical Journal;—it has however, been re-published in the "Lucubrations of Humphrey Ravelin," under the head of "Indian Warfare,"—and of course was written by the Author of that work, although previously inserted in the Journal.