Episode 2, Tecumseh's Vision:In the spring of 1805, Tenskwatawa (actor Billy Merasty, Cree First Nation), a Shawnee, fell into a trance so deep that those around him believed he had died. When he finally stirred, the young prophet claimed to have met the Master of Life. He told those who crowded around to listen that the Indians were in dire straits because they had adopted white culture and rejected traditional spiritual ways.
The brothers came closer than anyone since to creating an Indian nation that would exist alongside and separate from the United States. The dream of an independent Indian state may have died at the Battle of the Thames, when Tecumseh was killed fighting alongside his British allies, but the great Shawnee warrior would live on as a potent symbol of Native pride and pan-Indian identity.
Jenny Hale Pulsipher, Historian: Sometimes the Pilgrims are saying uh back off, and sometimes they bring the Wampanoags closer depending on what circumstances are like. But this is a celebration of their survival, of their recognition that they probably wouldn't have survived without the assistance of these Indians. This is a time clearly when they're welcome.
Narrator: Patuxet had easy access to fresh water, a decent harbor, and high ground from which the Pilgrims could defend themselves. They set their lone cannon on a nearby hill and christened the village New Plymouth. The fortifications were hardly sufficient to the task; the Wampanoag, even in their weakened state, could have wiped out the visitors with ease; instead Massasoit sent warriors to keep an eye on the strangers.
Colin G. Calloway, Historian: When Indian people see the strangers who have arrived and they've brought with them women and children, that makes them different from previous Europeans that they've seen or heard of.
R. David Edmunds, Historian: Massasoit is a classic sort of-of village chief or super village chief in the Algonquian world. He is a man of great respect among his people. He doesn't have the coercive power that a European sovereign or a monarch would have. He is a person who leads by example, and people have faith in his leadership and his experience.
Narrator: \"This sudden and unexpected execution has so terrified the Indians,\" Edward Winslow wrote, \"that many have fled their homes. Living like this, on the run, many have fallen sick, and died.\"
Karen Kupperman, Historian: It's much easier to create a wampum shell, to drill that hole through the center with a steel drill than with a stone drill, and so suddenly there's a large supply of wampum. And what this means is that tribes in the interior who previously had very little access to wampum now are able to get it and they're also groups that have furs and other things to trade to the Europeans.
Daniel K. Richter, Historian: I think he would have looked back over the previous decade and thought that he had done some pretty good work. It must have seemed possible to Wampanoags and to other Native groups and southern New England to envision a future in which English and Native communities could live profitably together.
Lisa Brooks, Abenaki Historian: You have all of these people who are coming over from England with that sense of entitlement. They have this image of the colonies as if there's just great space for them to occupy and there are great resources that are for the taking.
Daniel K. Richter, Historian: The population of the English colonies was growing dramatically, with an increasing demand to establish new towns, create farms and expand. The one thing that Native People have that the English people want is their land.
The beaver population was badly depleted, collapsing the trade on which his relationship with the Pilgrims had been built. And the English no longer needed Massasoit's help in expanding their commercial reach. So he was forced to bend to his allies' desire to have his land.
Narrator: He was first called Metacom, and later Philip. He came of age in the 1650s...in a world his forefathers could not have imagined. He fancied fine English lacework, and richly detailed wampum. He was one of the few Wampanoag who kept pigs. And he counted among his close friends both Indians and Englishmen.
Colin G. Calloway, Historian: The English missionaries demanded from Indian people much more than an expressed belief in their God. It was part of an English cultural assault, which Massasoit must have seen was tearing apart many native communities, and I think that's why he wants to try and curb the missionaries, try and stop this kind of assault taking place.
Josiah Winslow: You have, have you not, in recent times, procured a great and unusual supply of both ammunition and provisions, planning an attack on us both here in Taunton and in other places.
Colin G. Calloway, Historian: He was clearly a person caught in historical forces that gave him very difficult choices, and like many Indian leaders in those situations across the continent, he must have been weighing the options of peace and war, he must have been trying to balance conflicting pressures.
Colin G. Calloway, Historian: For Indian people, of course, a killing of an Indian by an Indian in Indian country was something that should have been settled by Indian people. After that blatant assault of Indian sovereignty, Philip must have been under incredible pressure from his warriors to step up and do something about this.
Colin G. Calloway, Historian: It's hard to see how conflict could have been avoided and how the outcome of that war could have been different. Looking at the generation before this war, there is at least a moment, where things were different.
Tecumseh: The Shawnees have heretofore been scattered about in parties, which we have found has been attended with bad consequences. We are now going to collect them all together to one town that one chief may keep them in good order, and prevent sickness, despair and disorder from coming among them.
Tenskwatawa: My Children! The Great Spirit bids me say to you thus. Have very little to do with the Americans...They are unjust; they have taken away your lands which were not made for them. The Whites I have placed on the other side of the Great Water, to be another people, separate from you... [in time] I will overturn the land, so that all the white people will be covered and you alone shall inhabit the land.
Tecumseh: How my Brother can you blame me for placing little confidence in the promises of our fathers the Americans You have endeavored to make distinctions. You have taken tribes aside. You wish to prevent the Indians from uniting, and from considering their land the common property of the whole. I do not see how we can remain at peace with you if you continue to do so. Brother. This land that was sold, and the goods that were given for it, were done only by the few. If you continue to purchase land from those who have no right to sell it, I do not know what will be the consequence. I now wish you to listen to me, Brother. I tell you so because I am authorized by all the tribes to do so. I am at the head of them all. I am a Warrior, and all the Warriors will meet together in two or three moons from this. Then I will call for those chiefs that sold you the land and shall know what to do with them. For Brother, we want to save this land; we do not wish you to take it. And if you take it you shall be the cause of trouble between us.
Tecumseh: As the Great Chief in Washington is to determine the matter, I hope the Great Spirit will put some sense into his head to induce him to direct you to give up this land. It is true, he is so far off. He will not be injured by the war. He may still sit in his town, and drink his wine, whilst you and I will have to fight it out.
Colin Calloway, Historian: The Indian warriors attack Harrison's army in camp. For a moment, it looks as if the Indians have infiltrated the lines; there's confusion. But as the light increases, it becomes clear to the Americans that the Indians lack the numbers, and that they lack the ammunition to carry this assault home. And, eventually, the Indians are driven from the field. In reality, the Americans suffered probably more casualties than the Indians. The American force was superior; the American force was better armed; the American force had more ammunition. But I do think that it represents a blow to the confederacy.
Colin Calloway, Historian: The British-Indian army turns to make a stand at Moraviantown, on the Thames River in Ontario, in 1813. The outcome of the battle seems really to have been a foregone conclusion. By the time the British general [Proctor] actually stops to turn to fight, he has lost the confidence not only of his Indian allies, but of his own men. When the fighting breaks out, the British resistance is minimal. What resistance is mounted is mounted by Tecumseh and the Indian warriors.
Tecumseh: Listen! We are much astonished to see you tying up everything and preparing to run the other way. You always told us to remain here and take care of our lands. It made our hearts glad to hear that was your wish. But now we see you are drawing back like a fat animal, running off with its tail between its legs...Listen! Father! The Americans have not yet defeated us by land. We, therefore, wish to remain here, and fight our enemy should they make their appearance. If you have an idea of going away, give us the arms and ammunition and you may go and welcome for it. Our lives are in the hands of the Great Spirit. We are determined to defend our lands, and if it is his will, we wish to leave our bones upon them.
Narrator: The Cherokee Nation was still on its knees in 1805. Its population had dwindled to 12,000, and it had lost more than half its land. Even after the Cherokees and other tribes had signed peace treaties with the United States, the Ridge knew the safety of his people was not a given thing; he understood that the central conflict still pertained: The United States meant to have what was left of the Cherokee homeland. Ridge meant to save it. But he knew that this battle with the United States required a nimble and artful new approach. Preserving the Cherokee Nation meant walking for a time down the new path America was offering. 59ce067264