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The Place@The Woodward
111 South Main St
Mount Vernon, OH 43050

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  • Thursday, March 10, 2011 - 7:00 PM
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MOUNT VERNON — First appearing in the inaugural season of the Elixir Chautauqua series, Tecumseh, portrayed by Ken Hammontree, will return to the chautauqua.

He will discuss his trials and leadership in trying to stem the tide of white invasion from the east into his people’s territory and his opposition to the Treaty of Greenville that included parts of present day Knox County.

“Tecumseh (Shooting Star) was born in 1768, probably at Old Piqua, along the Mad River in Ohio. He was a Shawnee Indian and eventually became one of their greatest leaders. Tecumseh’s father died at the Battle of Point Pleasant during Lord Dunmore’s War in 1774,” according to Ohio History Central.

Fearing the encroaching white settlers, many Shawnees, moved westward first to Indiana, then Illinois, and finally to Missouri. Tecumseh, only 11 years old at the time, remained in the Ohio Country and was raised by his eldest brother, Chiksika, and his sister, Tecumpease.

Tecumseh’s first military encounter occurred against an army led by George Rogers Clark into the Ohio Country in 1782. Tecumseh, panic-stricken, fled from the battlefield. Humiliated, he determined to never run again. He fought against the army of Arthur St. Clair in 1791. The Indians in the Northwest Territory emerged victorious. Tecumseh soon became one of the most trusted leaders of the Shawnees. Younger braves especially admired him, because of his call for violent resistance against further white settlement of native land. The Indians were not so successful against the army of Anthony Wayne in 1794. At the Battle of Fallen Timbers, Wayne’s men defeated the Native Americans and many Indians believed relinquishing much of their land was the only way to appease the whites, leading to the signing of the Treaty of Greeneville in 1795. Under this agreement the Natives gave up all of their land except the northwestern corner of present-day Ohio.

Opening the program will be Bob Ford, folk artist and teacher, who weaves the different styles of music listened to by Americans of the time as well as the Native Americans and explores the musical traditions of both peoples.

Elixir and the Ohio Humanities Council invite the public to join Bob Ford and Tecumseh, Thursday at ThePlace@TheWoodward, 111 S. Main St., Mount Vernon at 7 p.m. The doors open at 6. The facility is handicap accessible. The program is presented on a donation basis. For more information concerning this program and the entire series call 392-6102 or 392-3018.

tains. Tecumseh’s younger brother, Tenskwatawa, the Prophet, helped Tecumseh to unite the Indians . The Prophet had a vision where the Master of Life, the Shawnee Indians’ primary god, told him to have the Indians to give up all white customs and products. These things included religious beliefs and agricultural practices, as well as guns, iron cookware, and alcohol. The Indians, by turning their backs on their traditional ways, had offended the Master of Life. If they returned to native customs, the Master of Life would reward them by driving the whites from the land. Many natives embraced the Prophet’s message and joined the two brothers at Prophetstown, a village the two had established in 1808.

The governor of the Indiana Territory, William Henry Harrison, noted the growing number of Indians congregating at Prophetstown. In 1811, Harrison led an army towards the village. Tecumseh was recruiting Indian allies in the southern part of the United States. He left his brother with orders not to attack the Americans. The Prophet claimed to have received another vision from the Master of Life, telling him to send his warriors against the Americans, saying that the soldiers’ bullets would not harm the Indians. The resulting battle was known as the Battle of Tippecanoe. The Americans defeated the Prophet and his followers, and they destroyed Prophetstown.

This defeat tremendously weakened Tecumseh’s Confederation. Tecumseh had already experienced difficulties in convincing tribes to put aside their traditional differences to unite as one against the Americans. Other Indians, including some Shawnees led by Black Hoof, had actually adopted white customs and had no desire to relinquish them. During the War of 1812, Tecumseh and his remaining followers allied themselves with the British. Tecumseh hoped that, if the English won, that they would return the Indians’ homeland to them. Tecumseh died at one of the most important battles of the conflict, the Battle of the Thames, in 1813. A combined English-Indian force met an American army led by William Henry Harrison. The British soldiers ran from the battlefield, leaving Tecumseh and his Indian followers to continue on their own. The Americans drove the natives from the field, and an American’s bullet killed Tecumseh. Tecumseh’s death signified the end of united Indian resistance against the Americans.”

Hammontree first portrayed Tecumseh in his classroom, where he taught Ohio history and noting that the students were bored with the usual teaching process, came dressed as Tecumseh and the reaction was amazing. Over the years, Hammontree has developed and portrayed over 30 characters ranging from Tecumseh to Dwight Eisenhower, Pretty Boy Floyd to Mozart.

Opening the program will be Bob Ford, folk artist and teacher, who weaves the different styles of music listened to by Americans of the time as well as the Native Americans and explores the musical traditions of both peoples.

Elixir and the Ohio Humanities Council invite you to join Bob Ford and Tecumseh, Thursday March 10 at ThePlace@TheWoodward [111 S. Main Street in downtwon Mount Vernon] at 7 PM. The doors open at 6 PM and being the facility is a first floor theatre, it is handicap accessible. The program is presented on a donation basis. For more information concerning this program and the entire series call 392-6102, 392-3018 or visit www.elixirpresents.com or www.VisitKnoxOhio.org.

Coming March 31, the Unsinkable Molly Brown with special guests, Elixir.

Published on March 7, 2011

 


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