The Gods of Prophetstown

The Gods of Prophetstown

The Battle of Tippecanoe and the Holy War for the American Frontier

Book - 2012
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In 1806, a Shawnee known as Lalawauthika proclaimed himself Tenskwatawa ("The Open Door"), a spiritual leader in direct contact with the Master of Life. In the five years before the battle of Tippecanoe, Tenskwatawa used his spiritual leadership to forge a political pseudo-state, together with his twin brother Tecumseh. William Henry Harrison, meanwhile, built a power base in Indiana, rigging elections and maneuvering for higher position. Jortner places the religious dimension of the struggle at the fore, recreating the spiritual landscapes trod by each side. The climactic battle, he writes, was as much a clash of gods as of men. --publisher's description.
Publisher: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, ©2012
ISBN: 9780199765294
0199765294
Branch Call Number: 973.5 J829g 2012
Characteristics: x, 310 pages : illustrations, map ; 25 cm

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This a great book, the best from an academic press I've read in a long time. I recommend you check it out. Author Jortner provides a thorough reappraisal of the role of Tecumseh's brother Tenskwatawa in the pan-Indian movement leading up to the War of 1812 in the Old Northwest. The standard view of a malignant, weak Prophet is convincingly overturned. William Henry Harrison, whose grandson's street my apartment window looks down upon, now wears the black hat. The chapter on white frontier politics where differences were debated in newspapers but settled by street duels is stunning. As I say, this is a great book!

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