Appointed governor of Indiana in 1803, William Henry Harrison embarked upon a vigorous programme of land acquisition from the native American inhabitants. By 1809, he had concluded eleven purchase treaties, but the last, the Treaty of Fort Wayne, proved highly contentious. A growing resistance movement emerged, whose spiritual leader was a Shawnee, Tenskwatawa, known as the ‘Prophet’. He preached the wholesale rejection of Europeanized lifestyle, goods and values. His elder brother, Tecumseh, who was a veteran of previous conflicts with the settlers dating back to the Revolutionary War, became the political leader of this movement, attracting support from a confederation of regional tribes. In 1811, Tecumseh headed south to seek additional alliances with the ‘Five Civilized Tribes’. In his absence, Harrison attacked and defeated the rebellious tribes at Tippecanoe, destroying their base at Prophetstown. Tecumseh continued his resistance by allying with the British in the War of 1812.
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