“Brother, I wish you would take pity on the red people and do what i have requested… The great spirit has inspired me, and i speak nothing but the truth to you….” – Tecumseh in Speech of Tecumseh to Governor Harrison.

A portrait of Tecumseh i found online.

A portrait of Tecumseh i found online.

The words read like they were pleading. In the previous paragraphs Tecumseh expresses admiration, disgust and even threatens harm to others. But the last paragraph feels like pleading judgement. On one hand Tecumseh begins his paragraph by saying to Harrison, “Brother, i wish you would take pity on the red people…”, which suggests he is pleading to Harrison. But as the paragraph progresses Tecumseh almost introspectively writes, “How can we have confidence in the white people?” That line shows a shift in Tecumseh’s tone and intent. What once was respectful and bargaining moved to a more questioning, judgmental tone. Tecumseh writes, “When Jesus Christ came on earth, you killed him and nailed him on a cross. You thought he was dead, but you were mistaken. You have Shakers among you, and you laugh and make light of their worship?” In this two points Tecumseh asserts what right to Harrison and his men have to run the Indians off of their land when the judgement of white people slew Jesus Christ, and; that Harrison and the white community are only judging the Indians because they hold land – not because their views or traditions are better than theirs.

I hate to relate this to a modern movie, simply because it deals with the persecution of a large number of people. But with the extended winter break i have watched a bunch of movies. Seven Psychopaths has a shoot out scene that resonated within me while i read this passage. The good guys have the bad guys dog kidnapped and the bad guy has to come get it. It is not a good connection between the two, i get that. But the thing that interest me is what would the battles Tecumseh spoke of look like? Would he sneak in like an assassin and execute people one by one or will it be a fire fight of bullets by the end of it?

What do you think? Do you agree? Do you love it? Or am i a complete tool? Any response is welcome!

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