Tecumseh was a very significant Native American who gave his life for what he believed. He knew that the Americans were a tremendous threat to all Indian tribes, and realized that the Indians would be destroyed one by one if not united. Tecumseh created a confederation of thirty-two tribes in hopes that the Americans would recognize their borders and thus put a halt to westward expansion. His confederation may have succeeded if it were not for the mistakes made by his brother, Laulewasika, the Americans violent actions towards the Indian tribes, and the unwillingness of the different tribes to cooperate.
Tecumseh was born in March of 1768. His real name was Tecumtha, which meant "panther lying in wait," but to the white men he was called Tecumseh which stood for "shooting star." His father was a Shawnee war chief named Puckeshinwa who was an intelligent man that saw the advantage of keeping friendly relations with the Americans (Patriot 137). When Tecumseh was a young boy, his father was shot by a group of settlers that were in the Shawnee's land. When his father did not come home, Tecumseh went out in search of him. When he found his father dying from the wound and learned what had happened he was filled with rage and animosity towards the white people (Patriot 140).
Tecumseh was very young at the time of his father's death, so he was raised by his Mother and his brothers and sisters. His mother taught him to hate the Americans and never let him forget that they had killed his father. His oldest brother Chiksika taught him to be a warrior, and his sister told him to have respect for his elders and to respect all people. A Shawnee chief by the name of Blackfish also adopted Tecumseh into his family, and acted as a father figure. Blackfish saw the Americans as a threat and urged that they had to be stopped. Each of these peoples instilled in him different characteristics which played a large role in the rest of his life (Blodgett). When he was still young he wanted to stop the settlers from further moving into the Indians land, so himself and a group of Shawnee's made the Ohio River so hazardous that the traffic on the river almost completely stopped (Patriot 142).
When he was visiting his sister in Ohio he met a young American girl named Rebecca Galloway. She taught Tecumseh to speak some English and helped him to learn to read. She was a very kind, understanding woman and taught Tecumseh to be humane and have respect for all men (Patriot 146). Tecumseh fell in love Rebecca and soon asked her to marry him. She told him she would if he would give up his Indian heritage and come live with her as an American (Blodgett). Tecumseh took a month to make up his mind and finally decided that he could not abandon his people. It broke his heart, but he told her that he could not marry her and they went their separate ways (Patriot 147).
Tecumseh's childhood greatly influenced how he acted as an adult. He knew that the...