: This color illustration depicts a Shawnee Indian holding a spear. He is walking in a stream or a lake, and appears to be spear-fishing. He is carrying pack slung over one shoulder.
The Shawnee Indians were living in the Ohio Valley as early as the late 1600s. The Iroquois natives were unwilling to share these rich hunting grounds and drove the Shawnee away. Some went to Illinois; others went to Pennsylvania, Maryland or Georgia. As the power of the Iroquois weakened, the Shawnee moved back into Ohio from the south and the east. They settled in the lower Scioto River Valley.
Fierce warriors, the Shawnee were allies of the French until British traders moved into the Ohio Country around 1740. The French pushed the British out of Ohio, and the Shawnee allied with the French again until the British victory in the French and Indian War. Ohio natives, including the Shawnee, fought the British and their colonists. During the American Revolution, the Shawnee fought alongside the British against the Americans, believing that Britain would prevent the colonists from encroaching further upon the natives' land. After the war the American Indians continued to fight the Americans. General Anthony Wayne defeated the Shawnee and other Ohio natives at the Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794. The Shawnee were forced to surrender most of their lands in Ohio with the signing of the Treaty of Greeneville.
Many of the Shawnee moved into the Indiana Territory. Some of these people, however, hoped to reclaim their Ohio lands. Chief among them was Tecumseh, who hoped to unite together all native tribes west of the Appalachian Mountains against the United States. Due to the advanced technology of the whites and the American Indians' failure to put aside their traditional differences, Tecumseh's efforts at confederation failed. General William Henry Harrison defeated the Shawnee and their allies at the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811. Other Shawnee leaders, like Black Hoof, adopted white customs, in the hope that the whites would allow the natives to continue to live on the land if the American Indians adopted white customs. Between 1831 and 1833, the United States government forced the Shawnee to give up their land claims in Ohio, and forcibly removed the tribe to reservations in Oklahoma and Kansas.
The Shawnee divided themselves into different clans. The principal leader of the Shawnee could only come from one clan. The name of this clan was “Chillicothe.” When a village was called Chillicothe, it meant that it was home to the principal chief, the “capital city” of the Shawnees. Chillicothe was also the name of Ohio's first state capital.
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: AL07000 Subjects
: Shawnee Tribe; American Indian history and society; Shawnee Indians--Government relations; Tecumseh, Shawnee Chief, 1768-1813; Greenville, Treaty of, 1795 Places
: Shawnee Tribe illustration