In the drizzling predawn rain of Nov. 7, 1811, on high ground near modern-day Lafayette, Gen. William Henry Harrison squashed Tecumseh’s dream of an Indian confederacy that could resist the white man’s westward advances.
The Battle of Tippecanoe was a defining moment in U.S.-Native American relations. “It was on this spot the Native Americans lost their grip on the fertile Midwestern lands they had roamed for thousands of years,” according to interpreters at the Tippecanoe Battlefield national historic landmark.
Tecumseh and his brother, Tenskwatawa, are familiar figures in Indiana history — Shawnee brothers who tried to unite 50 tribes into a coalition to oppose the U.S. government. Their base of operation was Prophet’s Town along the Wabash River, so named in honor of the younger brother’s role as a prophet or spiritual leader of his people.