the year 1806, two extraordinary men, twin
brothers, of the Shawnese tribe, rose among them. One
of these was called Tecumseh, or "The Crouching
Panther;" the other, Olliwacheca, or "The Prophet."
Tecumseh was not only an Indian warrior, but a man of
great sagacity, far-reaching foresight and indomitable
perseverance in any enterprise in which he might
engage. He was inspired with the highest enthusiasm,
and had long regarded with dread and with hatred the
encroachment of the whites upon the hunting grounds of
his fathers. His brother, the Prophet, was an orator,
who could sway the feelings of the untutored Indian as
the gale tossed the tree-tops beneath which they
But the Prophet was not merely an
orator: he was, in the superstitious minds of the
Indians, invested with the superhuman dignity of a
medicine-man or a magician. With an enthusiasm
unsurpassed by Peter the Hermit rousing Europe to the
crusades, he went from tribe to tribe, assuming that
he was specially sent by the Great Spirit.
Gov. Harrison made many attempts to
conciliate the Indians, but at last the war came, and
at Tippecanoe the Indians were routed with great
slaughter. October 28, 1812, his army began its march.
When near the Prophet's town three Indlans (sic) of
rank made their appearance and inquired why Gov.
Harrison was approaching them in so hostile an
attitude. After a short conference, arrangements were
made for a meeting the next day, to agree upon terms
But Gov. Harrison was too well
acquainted with the Indian character to be deceived by
such protestations. Selecting a favorable spot for his
night's encampment, he took every precaution against
surprise. His troops were posted in a hollow square,
and slept upon their arms.
The troops threw themselves upon the
ground for rest; but every man had his accourtrements
on, his loaded musket by his side, and his bayonet
fixed. The wakeful Governor, between three and four
o'clock in the morning, had risen, and was sitting in
conversation with his aids by the embers of a waning
fire. It was a chill, cloudy morning with a drizzling
rain. In the darkness, the Indians had crept as near
as possible, and just then, with a savage yell, rushed
with all the desperation which superstition and
passion most highly inflamed could give, upon the left
flank of the little army. The savages had been amply
provided with guns and ammunition by the English.
Their war-whoop was accompained (sic) by a shower of
The camp-fires were instantly
extinguished, as the light aided the Indians in their
aim. With hideous yells, the Indian bands rushed on,
not doubting a speedy and an entire victory. But Gen.
Harrison's troops stood as immovable as the rocks
around them until day dawned: they then made a
simultaneous charge with the bayonet, and swept every
thing before them, and completely routing the foe.
Gov. Harrison now had all his
energies tasked to the utmost. The British descending
from the Canadas, were of themselves a very formidable
force; but with their savage allies, rushing like
wolves from the forest, searching out every remote
farm-house, burning, plundering, scalping, torturing,
the wide frontier was plunged into a state of
consternation which even the most vivid imagination
can but faintly conceive. The war-whoop was resounding
everywhere in the forest. The horizon was illuminated
with the conflagration of the cabins of the settlers.
Gen Hull had made the ignominious surrender of his
forces at Detroit. Under these despairing
circumstances, Gov. Harrison was appointed by
President Madison commander-in-chief of the
North-western army, with orders to retake Detroit, and
to protect the frontiers.
It would be difficult to place a man
in a situation demanding more energy, sagacity and
courage; but General Harrison was found equal to the
position, and nobly and triumphantly did he meet all
He won the love of his soldiers by
always sharing with them their fatigue. His whole
baggage, while pursuing the foe up the Thames, was
carried in a valise; and his bedding consisted of a
single blanket lashed over his saddle, Thirty-five
British officers, his prisoners of war, supped with
him after the battle. The only fare he could give them
was beef roasted before the fire, without bread or
In 1816, Gen. Harrison was chosen a
member of the National House of Representatives, to
represent the District of Ohio. In Congress he proved
an active member; and whenever he spoke, it was with
force of reason and power of eloquence, which arrested
the attention of all the members.
In 1819, Harrison was elected to the
Senate of Ohio; and in 1824, as one of the
presidential electors of that State, he gave his vote
for Henry Clay. The same year he was chosen to the
United States Senate.
In 1836, the friends of Gen.
Harrison brought him forward as a candidate for the
Presidency against Van Buren, but he was defeated. At
the close of Mr. Van Buren's term, he was re-nominated
by his party, and Mr. Harrison was unanimously
nominated by the Whigs, with John Tyler for the Vice
Presidency. The contest was very animated. Gen.
Jackson gave all his influence to prevent Harrison's
election; but his triumph was signal.
The cabinet which he formed, with
Daniel Webster at its head as Secretary of State, was
one of the most brilliant with which any President had
ever been surrounded. Never were the prospects of an
administration more flattering, or the hopes of the
country more sanguine. In the midst of these bright
and joyous prospects, Gen. Harrison was seized by a
pleurisy-fever and after a few days of violent
sickness, died on the 4th of April; just one month
after his inauguration as President of the United