(Kindly contributed by William C. Bell)
JOHN ROSS.--Born in the Cherokee
Nation, in North Georgia, October 3, 1790; died in Washington,
D. C., August 1, 1866. He began his career in 1809 when sent by his
Georgia to the Mission in Arkansas. He served as Adjutant of the Cherokee troops who fought with Gen. John Coffee against the Creeks at the Battle of Horse Shoe Bend, March 27, 1814. He was made a member of the National Committee of the Cherokee Council in 1817; was President of the Committee 1819 to 1826. He was Associate Chief of the Cherokees in 1827 and principal chief from 1828 to 1839 when his people were removed West. On arrival in the West he was made Chief of the united nation and held that office until his death.
A Cherokee Chief who eventually consented for the removal to the West.
Bib.: Mooney, Myths of the Cherokees, l9th Report, B.A.E., 1900, pps. 122-225.
TECUMSEH properly Tikamthi or Tecumtha 'One who passes across intervening space from one point to another,' i.e. springs (Jones); the name indicates that the owner belongs to the gens of the Great Medicine Panther, or Meteor, hence the interpretations 'Crouching Panther' and Shooting Star') . A celebrated Shawnee chief, born in 1768 at the Shawnee village of Piqua on Mad r., about 6 m. s. w. of the present to retreat farther, he compelled Proctor to make a stand on Thames r., near the present Chatam, Ont. In the bloody battle which ensued the allied British and Indians were completely defeated by Harrison, Tecumseh himself falling in the front of his warriors, Oct. 5, 1813, being then in his 45th year. With presentiment of death he had discarded his general's uniform before the battle and dressed himself in his Indian deerskin. He left one son, the father of Wapameepto, alias Big Jim. From all that is said of Tecumseh in contemporary record, there is no reason to doubt the verdict of Trumbull that he was the most extraordinary Indian character in United States. There is no true portrait of him in existence, the one commonly given as such; is Lossings War of 1812 (1875) and reproduced in Appleton's 'Handbook of American Indians, Vol. 2, p. 714.
Cyclopedia of American Biography (1894), and Mooney's Ghost Dance (1896), being a composite result based on a sketch made about 1812, on which were mounted his cap, medal, and uniform.
Consult Appleton Cycl. Am. Biog., VI, 1894, Drake Life of Tecumseh, 1841; Eggleston, Tecumseh and the Shawnee Prophet, 1878; Law; Colonial Hist. Vincennes, 1858; Lossing, War of 1812, 1875; McKenney and Hall, Ind. Tribes, I, 18S4; Mooney, Ghost Dance Religion, in 14th Rep. B. A. E., pt. II, 1896; Randall, Tecumseh, in Ohio Archaeol. and Hist. Quar., Oct. 1906;
Trumbull, Indian Wars, 1851.
TENSKWATAWA (Ten-skaa-ta-wa-skwate 'door', thenui 'to be open') The Open Door; called also Elskwatawa.--Gatchet). The famous 'Shawnee Prophet," twin brother of Tecumseh prominent in Indian and American history immediately before the War of 1812. His original name was Lalawethika, referring to a rattle or similar instrument. According to one account he was noted in his earlier years for stupidity and intoxication; but one day, while lighting his pipe in his cabin, he fell back apparently lifeless and remained in that condition until his friends had assembled for the funeral, when he revived from his trance, quieted their alarm, and announced that he had been conducted to the spirit world.
In Nov. 1805, when hardly more than 30 years of age, he called around him his tribesmen and their allies at the ancient capital of Wapakoneta, within the present limits of Ohio, and announce himself as the bearer of a new revelation from the Master of Life. "He declared that he had been taken up to the spirit world and had been permitted to lift the veil of the past and the future----and had seen the misery of evil doers and learned the happiness that awaited those who fol lowed the precepts of the Indian god. He then began an earnest exhortation, denouncing the witchcraft practices and medicine juggleries of the tribe, and solemnly warning his hearers that none who had part in such things would ever taste of the future happiness. The firewater of the whites was poison and accursed; and those who continued its use would be tormented after death with all the pains of fire, while flames would continually issue from their mouths. This idea may have been derived from some white man's teaching or from the Indian practice of torture by fire. The young must cherish and respect the aged and infirm. All property must be in common, according to the ancient law of their ancestors. Indian women must cease to intermarry with white men; the two races were distinct and must remain so. The white man's dress, with his flint and steel, must be dis/// every tool and every custom derived from the whites must be put away, and the Indians must return to the methods the Master of life had taught them. When they should do all this, he promised that they would again be taken into the divine favor, and find the happiness which their fathers had known before the coming of the whites.
Finally, in proof of his divine mission, he announced
that he had received power to cure all diseases and to arrest the hand of
death in sickness or on the battlefield" (Drake, Life of Tecumseh).
The movement was therefore a conservative reaction against the breakdown
of old customs and modes of life due to white contact, but it had at first
no military object, offensive or defensive.
Intense excitement followed the prophet's announcement of his mission, and a crusade commenced against all suspected of dealing in witchcraft. The prophet very cleverly turned the crusade against any who opposed his supernatural claims, but in this he sometimes overreached himself, and lost much of his prestige in consequence.
He now changed his name to Tenskwatawa, significant of the new mode of life which he had come to point out to his people, and fixed his headquarters at Greenville, Ohio, where representatives from the various scattered tribes of the N. W. gathered about him to learn the new doctrines. To establish his sacred character and to dispel the doubts of the unbelievers he continued to dream dreams and announce wonderful revelations from time to time. A miracle which finally silenced all objectives was the prediction of an eclipse of the sun which tool; place in the summer of 1806; this was followed by his enthusiastic acceptance as a true prophet and the messenger of the Master of Life.
The enthusiasm now spread rapidly, and emissaries traveled from tribe to tribe as far as the Seminole and the Siksika, inculcating the new doctrines. Although this movement took much the same form everywhere, there were local variations in rituals and beliefs. Prominent among these latter was a notion that some great catastrophe would take place within four years, from which only the adherents of the new prophet would escape. In most places the excitement subsided almost as rapidly as it had begun, but not before it had given birth among the Northern tribes to the idea of a confederacy for driving back the white people, one which added many recruits to the British forces in the War of 1812. Its influence among Southern tribes was manifested in the bloody Creek war of 1813.
The prophet's own influence, however, and the prestige of the new faith were destroyed by Harrison's victory in the vicinity of the town of Tippecanoe, where he had collected 1,000 to 1,200 converts, Nov. 7, 1811. After the War of 1812 Tenskwatawa received a pension from the British government and resided in Canada until 1826, when he rejoined his tribe in Ohio and the following year moved to the w. side of the Mississippi, near Cape Giradeau, Mo. About 1828 he went with his band to Wyandotte Co., Kans., where he was interviewed by 1832 by George Catlin, who painted his within the limits of the present Argentine. His grave is unmarked and the spot unknown. Although his personal appearance was marred by blindness in one eye, Tenskawatawa possessed a magnetic and powerful personality, and the religious fervor he created among the Indian tribes, unless we except that during the recent "ghose dance" disturbance, has been equaled at no time since the beginning of white contact.
(1) Handbook of American Indians, Vol. II, pp. 729-730. See Mooney in 14th Rep. B.A.E., 1896,
and authorities therein cited.
or YOUNG TWIN, born probably about 1740
and in Coweta, was the son of Malatchee, the Creek emperor,
who was the son of the great chief, Brim. There is no record of the
mother of Togulki. On the death of his father in 1755, Sampiaffi,
or Stumpee, the white perversion of the name, was appointed the guardian
of his nephew Togulki until he should arrive at years of maturity,
when he would assume his father's rank of office. The first public appearance
of Togulki in the affairs of his people was in the treaty made at
Savannah in November, 1757, with Sir Henry Ellis, Governor
of the province of Georgia. The council at which were representatives
of twenty-one towns of the Upper and the Lower Creeks, was in session
two days, October 29 and November 3. On the first day Wolf King of
the Upper Creeks acted as speaker for the whole Creek nation.
After his address Toguli made a short talk, expressive of his appreciation
of the Governor's reception of his people. It is here given in full:
"'Tis not many months (said he) since I was in Charles Town where I met with many marks of esteem and respect from the Governor and his beloved men----I am now received with even stronger tokens of love which as they are proofs of a sincere friendship cannot but rejoice my heart." After Togulki's talk the headmen were all invited to dine with the Governor. The marks of esteem and respect of which Togulki was the recipient from the Governor and other officials of Charlestown were no doubt prompted by their memory of his father, who had ever been popular with the people of Carolina. It must have been soon after the treaty of Savannah that Togulki was chosen as the Emperor of the Creeks, and was also commissioned as such by the Governor of Georgia.
In the summer of 1759, Edmund Atkin, the Superintendent of Indian affairs of the Southern district, came to the Lower Creek town of Cusseta. Soon after his arrival with his escort, it was agreed by the chiefs to go and shake hands with him and learn the object of his visit. But when they appeared before him, he abruptly asked them what they wanted, and told them to go about their business, and when he wanted he would send for them. The chiefs were mortified at this rude reception. Though greatly provoked. Togulki nevertheless resolved to make another attempt at a conversation with Atkin. He accordingly forcibly passed the sentinel and entered the house where the King's beloved man was and offered his hand, which Atkin scornfully refused to take. Exasperated at this affront, Togulki told the agent that he had shaken hands with the Governors of Carolina and Georgia, and he wished to know if he, Atkin, was greater than they. To this Atkin replied that there was a Governor of Carolina and a Governor of Georgia, but that he, Atkin, was greater than they, as he was the King's own mouth. He then accused Togulki of being a Frenchman, that, is, as in the French interest. Tokulki replied that he was no Frenchman, nor did he intend becoming one, but rather than stay in his own nation and be subject to such ill treatment by the agent, and to avoid all other uneasiness, he would go off on a ramble in the woods.
Togulki was as good as his word. He accordingly went to his uncle Sampiaff, who was hunting on Broad River, thence with his uncle's son to the Cherokee Nation in search of some stray horses. In consequence of some misrepresentations in regard to his visit to the Cherokee Nation, in the following October, he, his uncle Sampiaffi and son, with some other Creeks visited Governor Ellis in Savannah in order to clear himself from these misrepresentations. They related to the Governor the story of Atkin's behavior in Cusseta, and closed their talk with the request that he be immediately recalled thence to prevent further mischief. Governor Ellis and the Indians had hardly finished their tall; when an express arrived with the news of the assault upon Atkin at Tuckabatchee. It was thought prudent for the present not to mention the matter to the Indians.
The Governor further stated to the Indians that he was glad to hear that the rumor relative to their visit to the Cherokee Nation was absolutely false; and that they saw their own interests so well as to persist in an inviolable friendship, and other attachments to the English. In closing he asked them if they had anything more to say. After much irrelevant talk the Indians finally came to a grievance which they had with the Virginia people who had settled high upon their hunting grounds and who were killing all the deer. They wished these people to be removed and a paper to be given to them to show that it must be done. The Governor postponed his reply to this grievance until the next day, when he again held a council with them.
After some general talk the Governor at last told the Indians of the outrage upon Atkin in Tuckabatchee. The Creeks were greatly perturbed at this news. After some comments on the affair, the Governor told the Indians that the Cherokees were on the point of declaring war and there was danger of the Creeks being involved i// resolve to keep the path to the white people clear by engaging to resent any injuries done to the people of Georgia by the Cherokees, and to signify the same to them immediately. And as, the people of Carolina would likely soon be in open war with the Cherokees, they must caution their people not to go into that province lest they be taken for enemies. As the matter was urgent, and concerned both the white people and the Creeks, the Governor requested the Indians to send runners immediately, some to their own nation, and some to the Cherokee, to inform them of their resolve. In this way the Creeks would have peace, a good trade, free communications with the whites and no interruption on their hunting grounds, for the white people should be removed from it.
The Creek auditors highly approved of the Governor's talk, and said that they would send runners immediately to their own people and to the Cherokees. This point settled, the Governor gave them some presents and dismissed them completely satisfied. After their departure he issued a proclamation ordering all persons illegally settled in the back part of the province near the Indian's hunting grounds to remove from those lands by the first of the coming January.
The Creeks, by following Governor Ellis'
counsel, doubtless saved themselves from being involved in the war which
very soon after broke out between the Cherokees and the Carolinans,
which continued until the Cherokees were subdued by the successive
campaigns of Colonels Montgomery and Grant in 1760 and 1761,
and there was again peace on the frontiers. There is no record of Togulki
until the great Indian congress in Augusta in November,
1763, which he attended with his uncle Sampiaffi. Here he resigned
his English commission as Emperor. His name does not appear one of
the signers of the treaty made at the Congress. Six weeks after the
Congress, on December 23, 1763, fourteen people----they being women
and children, were killed by a party of Creek Indians in the Long
Cane settlement above Ninety-six. When Togulki, he with
another Indian, at once went to see George Galphin to inform him
who were the guilty parties, and to request him to write out a talk from
him in relation thereto to governor Wright. Togulki's talk as recorded
by Galphin runs as follows: "As soon as I was acquainted in
the woods who the Persons were that had killed the White People, I came
immediately to acquaint my Friend Galphin of it, that he might write
down and acquaint both Governors and the beloved Man of it,
and I have left this Talk with him to send down.
"The Fellows that have done the Murder are seven that have been among the Cherokees these four or five years and helped them against the White People----The People are all going, by the time this Moon is gone they will be all at Home, and there we shall have a meeting of all the Heads of the Nation, and before the next moon is done you shall hear from us. We hope this will not make a general war if the murderers can be killed, there is two of my own Towns People concerned in it, all the Head Men are much concerned about it, and hope it will be Strait yet, and I desire that you will be up on your Guard on this River, for they have taken the .Cherokee Talk, and that they will kill all the White People where ever they find them. And in case any of your People come up with them we hope they will kill them. There were three of our People came up with them and were going to kill them, but they were an overmatch for them, and they went in search of Abraham and his Gang to help them. They dare not go to the Nation, for they say now they must be killed, and they will do all the Damage they can before they are killed: it is the Talk of the Head Men in the woods to forewarn any of the Young People to join them. They say it is the Young Warrior's Talk of Istatoe, and if he is not concerned he will order his People to kill them: and it is my Desire that you will write down and have them killed, as they harbor in his Nation and have Wives
"Tugulkey alias Young Twin.
P. S. The Fellows that have done the Murder are:
From the lack of records it cannot be stated whether the Creeks ever put to death the
murderers of the Long Canes people. The talk of Togulki shows that he personally was in
favor of inflicting this extreme penalty upon them. His talk is the last record we have of him
and hence we may well suppose that his after life was uneventful.
REFERENCES--The Colonial Records of Georgia, vol. vii, pp. 644-648, 655-667; Ibid, vol. 8, PP. 160-170; The State Records of North Carolina, vol. 11, 1777 and Supplement, 1730-1776;
The Colonial Records of Georgia, vol. 9, pp. 115, 116.
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