by Denise Weimer
In the early 1800s, the United States became caught up in the war between Britain and France. Our fledgling country resented British trade restrictions and naval impressments and feared Native Americans in the Northwest Territory who had decided they needed British support to prevent further American settlement. One such Native American leader was Shawnee war chief Tecumseh. After surviving multiple destructions of his boyhood villages during the American Revolution, he joined a band attacking settlers’ flatboats on the Ohio River. Eventually, he became a leader, while his brother, Tenskwatawa, became a prophet who predicted an apocalypse that would destroy the settlers. In 1808, at the confluence of the Wabash and Tippecanoe Rivers, they established Prophetstown, a multi-tribal village.
It’s said someone threatened him not to repeat his speech in Cherokee Territory (where many progressive chiefs embraced white ways), or they’d kill him. Some speculate this could have been Cherokee Chief The Ridge, who was the Cherokee ambassador at the Tukabatchee meeting. Thus, Tecumseh traveled home without stopping in Cherokee Territory. Facing great division and confusion, The Ridge had his work cut out when his people met in council at their main town, Ustanali.
|Massacre at Ft. Mims|
When the Red Stick Creeks (those who sided with Tecumseh and the British) began attacking National Creeks (those who did not want war), the National Creeks called to the Cherokees for aid. Meanwhile, the American militia entered into conflict with the Red Sticks at Burnt Corn Creek and Fort Mims, near Mobile, and the governors of Tennessee and Georgia called for Cherokee volunteers. The Ridge failed to sway the council from its neutrality until a Cherokee woman was killed by Red Sticks. At that point, he helped round up five to seven hundred volunteers for The Cherokee Regiment, which would come to serve under General Andrew Jackson. And there begins my story, Bent Tree Bride.
Represented by Hartline Literary Agency, Denise Weimer holds a journalism degree with a minor in history from Asbury University. She’s a managing editor for the historical imprints of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas and the author of almost a dozen published novels and a number of novellas. A wife and mother of two daughters, she always pauses for coffee, chocolate, and old houses!
Connect with Denise here:
Monthly Newsletter Sign-up
For more information, Toward the Setting Sun by Brian Hicks and Forging a Cherokee-American Alliance in the Creek War: From Creation to Betrayal by Susan M. Abram