Chief Tecumseh was a Shawnee leader who became the primary leader of a large Native American confederacy in the early 19th century.
Tecumseh was among the most celebrated Shawnee leaders in history and was known as a strong and eloquent orator who promoted tribal unity. He was also ambitious, willing to take risks, and make significant sacrifices to repel the settlers from Native American lands in the Old Northwest Territory. In 1808, with his brother Tenskwatawa ("He who opens the door"), Tecumseh founded the Indian village the European Americans called Prophetstown, north of present-day Lafayette, Indiana. Prophetstown grew into a large, multi-tribal community and a central point in Tecumseh's political and military alliance.
His death and the end of the war caused the pan-Indian alliance to collapse. Within a few years, the remaining tribal lands in the Old Northwest were ceded to the U.S. government and subsequently opened for new settlement and most of the Indians eventually moved west, across the Mississippi River. Since his death Tecumseh has become an iconic folk hero in American, Indigenous, and Canadian history.