Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Unrest in the Northwest Territories

Though the area known as the “Northwest Territory” had been ceded to the United States in the Treaty of Paris in 1783, some British settlers remained in the area, and they, along with the British in Canada, were accused of inciting and aiding Native Americans against U.S. settlers in the Indiana Territory.  The Shawnee leader Tecumseh tried to organize a confederacy of native tribes to refuse cession of land to the United States, but could not gain the unified stance he needed.  Allying with Tecumseh meant opposition to the government and not all tribes were willing to risk the consequences of a disagreement.  In November 1811 a battle between Tecumseh’s followers and a militia led by Indiana territorial governor William Henry Harrison took place at Tippecanoe, near present day Lafayette, Indiana.  Casualties were significant on both sides, but the Native Americans fled their village as the site was destroyed.  In the larger war that soon followed, Tecumseh and other Native American tribes actively supported the British side.