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Lauliwaskiau - Tenskwatawa The Prophet

The Prophet was born, Lauliwasikau, in March of 1778. He, and his seven siblings, including brother Tecumseh, lost their father while they were still children, followed by their mother’s return to her former village, leaving them in the care of the local Shawnee. Legend has it that he lost his right eye when he was a child while his brother was teaching him how to shoot a bow.

His excessive drinking earned him little respect from tribal members until his transformation into a religious visionary around 1805. His visits to Ohio villages and his inflammatory rhetoric caused a number of liberal chiefs and warriors to be burned at the stake for recommending action contrary to the Prophet. His message was one of hate for the white man combined with unity among Indians to stop the movement into Indian territory. His tumble from fame came quickly during the Battle of Tippecanoe in Indiana (1811).

When his prediction that the Indians would not be harmed by the white man’s bullets proved to be inaccurate. Returning to his homeland, Ohio, in 1826, for a year, he was ultimately forced to move along with other Shawnee to an area west of the Mississippi River. He lived in Missouri for a while prior to moving to Kansas where he died in 1837.

'Indian' segment written in December, 1997 by David Lodge


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The Prophet



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