Prophet, The

orig. Tenskwatawa

born с March 1768, Old Chillicothe, Ohio
died 1834, Argentine, Kan., U.S.

North American Indian leader.

The brother of Tecumseh, he maintained a strong following among the Shawnee on the strength of his 1805 declaration that he had received a message from the "Master of Life" and had contact with the supernatural. Advocating a return to traditional ways of life, he rejected the white man's introduction of alcohol, textile clothing, and individual ownership of property, and he worked with Tecumseh for an Indian confederacy to resist U.S. encroachment on Indian land. In Tecumseh's absence he allowed the Shawnee to be drawn into and defeated at the Battle of Tippecanoe (1811).

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▪ Shawnee leader
byname of  Tenskwatawa  
born c. March 1768, , Old Chillicothe, Ohio
died 1834, Argentine, Kan., U.S.

      North American Indian religious revivalist of the Shawnee people, who worked with his brother Tecumseh to create a pan-tribal confederacy to resist U.S. encroachment in the Northwest Territory.

      The Prophet's declaration in 1805 that he had a message from the “Master of Life,” followed by his accurate prediction of a solar eclipse in 1806, caused a great stir among the tribes. He advocated a return to distinctively indigenous ways of life and rejected colonial customs such as the use of alcohol, clothing made of textiles rather than animal skins and furs, the concept of individual ownership of property, and intermarriage with those of European descent. The Prophet engaged his followers by describing the supernatural contacts he instigated through incantations and dreams; witch burning was a feature of his program. In November 1811, while Tecumseh was away, The Prophet allowed the Shawnees to be drawn into military action with Gen. William Henry Harrison (Harrison, William Henry); their ensuing defeat on the Tippecanoe River thoroughly discredited The Prophet and destroyed the pan-tribal confederacy.

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Universalium. 2010.

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