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Shawnee living and hunting area around 1650.

The Shawnee , also Shawanos or Shawanese are originally in what is now US States Ohio , West Virginia , Kentucky and western Pennsylvania -based American Tribe North America . The Shawnee became particularly well known for their outstanding guides such as Tecumseh , Cornstalk and Blue Jacket . The majority of the descendants of the Shawnee can be found in Oklahoma today in three federally recognized tribes of the United States . There are another five, but not yet recognized, groups in Ohio (4) and Kentucky (1).

Residential areas

In the course of their known history, the Shawnee have always lived scattered in different, often widely spaced locations. This fact, as well as their numerous migrations, make it extremely difficult to assign them to a specific area. They lived in southern Ohio during the second half of the eighteenth century, and historians suggest that this area may have been their home in the sixteenth century.

In the seventeenth century, the Shawnee were again widely dispersed. At the time of first contact with Europeans, several groups were reported living in Illinois , the Ohio , Maryland, and the Savannah River . By 1700, most of the Shawnee gathered in eastern Pennsylvania and gradually migrated westward into the headwaters of the Ohio, while some remained at the Creek in Alabama . Around 1750, the tribe concentrated again in southern Ohio to move west across the Mississippi after the American War of Independence . Eventually the Shawnee settled in Oklahoma and formed three separate groups: Absentee Shawnee , Cherokee Shawnee, and Eastern Shawnee .

External relationships

Shawnee Prophet, Tenskwatawa around 1820, a brother of Tecumseh.

The fragmentation of the Shawnee resulted in amalgamation with a number of other tribes, especially the Delaware , Iroquois and Creek . The relationship with the Delaware began in the late seventeenth century. At that time Shawnee were living in their neighborhood in eastern Pennsylvania, sometimes sharing the same settlement and later moving to Ohio Valley together. In the early nineteenth century there were often mixed groups of both tribes across the Mississippi.

Relations with the Iroquois were very complex and changeable. The Delaware and Iroquois had long been enemies, and the Iroquois League drove the Shawnee out of the Ohio Valley before the Europeans invaded the area. The Shawnee migration to Pennsylvania only began after the peace agreement between the two tribes. The Shawnee of western Pennsylvania and Ohio were associated with the Iroquois group called Mingo , later known as the Seneca of Sandusky . These so-called Eastern Shawnee separated from the rest of their tribe to accompany the Seneca to Oklahoma.

The connection of the Shawnee with the Creek apparently came from before the European contact. From the beginning of the seventeenth century through the late eighteenth century, the Creek Confederation usually had at least one Shawnee settlement. There was also an ancient connection with the Yuchi , but details of this are unknown. The Shawnee were often at war with other southeastern tribes, particularly the Catawba and Chickasaw . In the nineteenth century, Shawnee- Cherokee ties were often very close, and a large group eventually became part of the Cherokee nation.

When the Shawnee lived in eastern Pennsylvania, they had good relations with the English. During the years of Anglo-French rivalry, the Shawnee tried to secure their own independence by pitting the colonial powers against each other and switching alliances. Their constant opposition to white settlement beyond the Appalachians to the west led to participation in the Pontiac uprising and Lord Dunmore's war . They were likely the main force on the Indian front that resisted American expansion during and after the Revolutionary War. Ongoing wars fragmented the Shawnee again, presumably exhausting them. Although resistance to American expansion continued under the leaders Tecumseh and Tenskwatawa , numerous tribesmen refused to support them.

Cities of the Shawnee

Shawnee Village Period today's US state
Chartier`s Old Town 1725-1745 Pennsylvania
Chillicothe 1758-1776 Ohio
Chillicothe 1790 Indiana
Chilli squaque until 1728 Pennsylvania
Eskippakithiki 1745-1748 Kentucky
Kispoko 1758-1776 Ohio
Lewiston Ohio
Logstown 1743-1758 Pennsylvania
Lower Piqua 1780-1790 Indiana
Lower Shawnee Town 1735-1758 West Virginia
Mekoche Ohio
Maqueechalk 1758-1776 Ohio
Old Chillicothe 1776-1789 Ohio
Shawnee Village Period today's US state
Old Piqua 1776-1780 Ohio
Onesson 1731 Pennsylvania
Paxtang 1707-1730 Pennsylvania
Pechoquealin 1694-1728 Pennsylvania
Pequewhan 1697-1707 Pennsylvania
Pekowi 1758-1776 Ohio
Sewickley 1731-1734 Pennsylvania
Starved skirt 1683-1688 Illinois
Tippecanoe Indiana
Upper piqua 1780-1790 Indiana
Wacatomica until 1774 Ohio
Wapakoneta 1795-1833 Ohio
Wyoming 1728-1750 Pennsylvania

Shawnee traditional groups

The Shawnee formed a loose tribal confederation of five different groups. It is controversial whether these groups were originally independent tribes that formed the Shawnee tribal association or whether the groups formed during the great migrations. Each of these five tribal groups had their specific roles and cultural obligations within the tribe:

  • Chillicothe (also Chalahgawtha , Chalaka , Chalakatha ) and
  • Hathawekela (also Thawekila , Chalaiwa , Chalaka ) (both were responsible for the domestic and foreign policy of the Shawnee and mostly provided the political tribal leaders and chiefs)
  • Kispoko (also Kishpoko , Kispokotha , Kishpokotha ) (were the smallest group within the Shawnee, took the lead in preparation and training for war and provided the war chiefs)
  • Mekoche (also Mequachake , Machachee , Maguck , Mackachack ) (responsible for the health and medicine of the Shawnee, mostly provided the shamans and advisors to the chiefs)
  • Pekowi (also Pekuwe , Pekowitha , Piqua ) (responsible for religion and rituals of the Shawnee)

Membership in a tribal group or in a clan was inherited from the father ( patrilinear ), unlike in neighboring tribes, such as the Iroquois, where maternal succession predominated. Each group had its own chief and a main village, usually named after the name of the tribal group where the chief lived. By the time the traditional roles of the tribal groups within the loose Shawnee Confederation were recorded in writing by Europeans and Americans, these strong social traditions were already fading. Therefore, these are largely not understood until today. As a result of the wars with the colonial powers England and France and later the USA from the 17th to the 19th century, the Shawnee had to change their tribal areas several times, their tribal groups were greatly decimated, mixed with splinter groups from foreign tribes and also changed their role within the tribal union .

In addition to the five tribal groups, the Shawnee were originally divided into up to 34 clans, of which only a dozen survived until the time of Tenskwatawa: snake, turtle, raccoon, turkey, falcon, deer, bear, wolf, panther, elk, bison, Tree.


There are considerable similarities in traditional Shawnee culture with the way of life of other tribes. A prehistoric relationship with the Sauk , Fox and Kickapoo can be recognized, which is expressed in ancient customs and traditions and similar language. A number of customs point to similarities with the southeastern tribes, such as political and ritual functions in the organization of their cities.


The Shawnee had developed a combination of hunting, agriculture and the gathering of forest fruits for their livelihood. Since the early eighteenth century, hunting had been heavily focused on the fur trade. However, in Pennsylvania and the Ohio Valley, activity has been centered on deer skins rather than beaver pelts. The annual cycle began in late September when the Shawnee left their cities to make winter camps in sheltered valleys. Elderly people and young children stayed in the camp through the winter while groups of active men and women went on long hunting trips that could last two to three months. The main animals hunted included deer, buffalo , bears, mountain lions and turkeys. These hunts usually ended in December. The Shawnee trapsed smaller fur animals in January and February and returned to their towns in March. After the fields were prepared, corn, beans and pumpkins were planted in April. In summer, women brought in the harvest and gathered edible wild plants in the forests, while the men fished and / or went deer hunting. After the last corn harvest in August, the community began again with the preparations for the move to the winter quarters. Although the fields belonged to their families, they were all put in one place, usually south of town. Women planted a field together and marked their area, because each of them later owned their own harvest. Planting was associated with certain rituals , as was autumn hunting.

Houses and cities

The traditional Shawnee towns consisted of bark-covered huts, comparable to the longhouses of the Iroquois or similar structures of the Sauk, Fox and Kickapoo. In the late eighteenth century they were replaced by log houses, which consisted of one room and had a bark roof. Each city had a large wooden structure as the center, which was used for council meetings, for practicing rituals and for religious festivals. Thomas W. Alford called these buildings temples, although their function was not limited to rituals. The Town Hall in Old Chillicothe was about 60 feet (18.25 m) square, while the corresponding building in Lower Shawnee Town was 90 feet (27.28 m). The Shawnee town of Alabama also had a square bark-clad town hall that looked different from the houses on the Creek. During the war against the United States in the late eighteenth century, the Shawnee used their town halls as fort when a town's residents chose to defend instead of fleeing. In 1779 the Shawnee of Old Chillicothe, who had sought refuge in such a building, successfully withstood an American unit of 265 men, although their own combat strength consisted of only 25 warriors and 15 boys, not even all of whom had rifles.

From Christopher Gist's assumption that Lower Shawnee Town was inhabited in 1751 by about 300 warriors, one can infer a total population of 1,200 people. At that time, the city consisted of about 140 huts, which were on both sides of the Ohio at the mouth of the Scioto River . Old Chillicothe also had around 1,200 residents in 1779. Both cities were relatively large settlements that were to be regarded as the capitals of the tribe.

Life cycle

A child was born in a small, secluded hut. The mother stayed in this hut with her child until the naming ceremony, which took place ten days after the birth. In the early nineteenth century, the newborn got its name from an older man who must have come from another clan. The name was announced at a festival to which the parents invited their friends and relatives. The ritual included prayers for the child and his parents, as well as urgent admonitions to carefully raise the child. If the name was the same as another clan member, the child was given a middle name. Adults, who were often sick or wounded several times in battle, could change their names to be more fortunate in life. The name change required a ceremony similar to that just described.

By the late nineteenth century, groups of the same name had developed within the clans. To counteract this, the name selection method was changed. Two elderly men or women, whose clan membership was now unimportant, suggested several names that had occurred to them after a prayer. The parents chose one of them. During a long prayer to the Creator, the child was held and the name was announced aloud four times.

Unlike other Algonquians who looked for visions during puberty, the Shawnee did so at the age of seven. Weddings were organized by the parents of the bride and groom or at least their consent was required. A marriage proposal was made from the man's mother to the woman's mother and was accompanied by a gift. Acceptance of the gift was considered approval. The woman's female relatives shared the gifts and prepared a feast with vegetarian dishes as a return gift. The bride and the wedding feast were then taken to the groom's house, where the wedding ceremony took place. Divorce occurred occasionally and could be initiated by either party. The Shawnee also had occasional polygamy .

Corpses were dressed and painted by friends. They then brought the dead person to the prepared grave. These companions, who belonged to a different clan than that of the deceased, received something from the deceased's property in return for their services. The rest of the property was divided among the relatives. Male dead were buried by men, while women were buried by funeral attendants of both sexes. The corpses were clad, but there were no grave goods . The deceased was buried in a stretched out position with his head facing west. Before the grave was filled, friends and relatives surrounded it, sprinkled some tobacco on the body and asked the dead man's soul not to look back. At a funeral ceremony in the hut, the mourners were informed by an elderly man about their ritual behavior in the near future. The twelve days of prescribed mourning ended with another feast. After that, the relatives could go about their normal work and enjoyment. Surviving spouses were required to mourn for a year without changing their clothes, painting themselves, or wearing jewelry. Relatives of the surviving spouse then re-dressed and adorned him, and prepared a feast to celebrate the end of the restrictions. When an eminent personality died a year later, a public ceremony called "Turning Dance" was held. This four-day event consisted of a festival and dances, followed by the display of donations made by relatives for the purpose.

Social organization

There was apparently no dual division into moieties among the Shawnee. However, the ethnologist Charles C. Trowbridge describes a system of twelve patrilineal clans: snake, turtle, raccoon, turkey, falcon, deer, bear, wolf, great lynx, elk, buffalo and tree. He reports that there used to be 34 clans. Lewis H. Morgan points out significant changes in the clan structure between 1824 and 1859. Clans were now neither exogamic (marriage only outside the clan) nor were they further patrilineal. A child's name could belong to either parent's clan, less often to another clan. Morgan believed the Shawnee needed this system in order to maintain relative clan size equality. After 1859 a system of six groups of names developed among the Shawnee: turkey, turtle, round feet, horse, raccoon and rabbit . Names that refer to similar eponyms (generic term derived from a personal name) were combined to form a phratry (clan association).

Trowbridge reports that the chief warchief was a member of the Great Lynx clan and a returning war force was led by warriors belonging to the Wolf clan , while members of the Great Lynx clan brought up the rear. Important rituals as well as political and other positions were assigned to people who were suitable based on their clan affiliation and their personality. The Shawnee demanded codes of conduct to show pride in their eponyms publicly, and also to tease members of other namesake groups or play pranks on them. Thomas W. Alford says that “the camaraderie or bond that existed between those of the same name group was excellent, and it meant a delightful sense of consanguinity and intimacy, a kind of belonging that brought happiness and harmless fun to young and old. "

In the jokes that characterize today's groups of names, the turtles and turkeys are seen as friends and are opponents of horses and "round feet". However, this two-part system has not been extended to the other groups of names. Alford believes that the five departments were grouped into two units. One of them consisted of the Calaka and Mekoce and the other was made up of the Kispoko , Pekowi and Zawikila .

Political organization

Politically, the Shawnee were divided into peace and war organizations. The peace organization was based on five departments, each of which had its own chief. This office was autonomous insofar as the action was limited to its own city. In tribal issues, however, he recognized the authority of the tribal chief, who belonged either to the Hathawekela (Thawikila) or to the Chalaka (Chalaaka) . The chieftainship was usually hereditary, but apparently no longer belonged to a particular lineage by 1824 . When one of the officials died, the other chiefs and leaders chose his successor and usually took one of his sons; if he had no sons, the choice would not necessarily be one of his relatives.

The war chief of the tribe belonged to the Kispoko department, which was responsible for the war, as well as to the Great Lynx clan, whose eponym had suitable qualities. Probably every department had such an office as a counterpart to the peace chief. Tribal councils consisted of chiefs from both organizations. Older men also took part in consultations to share their experiences. Only chiefs could vote when war or peace was decided. In addition to the tribal council, whose deliberations probably concentrated on tribal politics, the existence of a council for each city is recorded.

Trowbridge describes a system of female chiefs, usually mothers or other close relatives of the male chiefs. Similar to the male chiefs, they too were divided into peace and war organizations. The most important political task of a female peace chief was her right to request the war chief to break off a planned attack. Male peace chiefs who opposed the attack could ask them to raise such an objection, which was mostly successful. They were able to save the lives of the death row inmates. Female chiefs directed the tilling of the fields and supervised the festivals. While the female war chief was responsible for cooking the meat, the female peace chief supervised the preparation of corn and vegetables.

If there was a murder case within the tribe, the victim's family was allowed to take revenge on the perpetrator in the same way. Alternatively, the payment of a certain amount of wampum was also possible as atonement : 60 cords for a man and 150 cords for a woman. If the murderer had a high status or was of some other importance to the city or the tribe, the chief could personally collect the necessary amount of wampum. If a relative of the victim killed the killer, the matter was deemed settled, but retribution by a non-relative was deemed to be another murder. Theft was a serious offense and resulted in legal proceedings before the city council, which usually imposed a public flogging sentence. He could declare an incorrigible thief outlawed who could be killed by the victim without fear of revenge.


When the tribal council voted for war and the chief chief upheld this decision, a red-painted tomahawk would circulate in the Shawnee towns as an invitation to join the campaign. The volunteers gathered in the war chief's town to discuss his plans. Participants usually included a shaman whose functions included both divination and treatment of the wounded. A war dance preceded the warriors' departure. Before approaching the enemy, the young men went hunting to kill twelve deer. These were consumed at a festival during which the Führer gave a rousing speech.

After the campaign, the returning warriors sent a messenger ahead to report victory or defeat to the chief of the city. He then informed his female counterpart, who was preparing a party. When the warriors approached the city, they uttered the war cry. Boys and young men who came out to greet them were allowed to abuse and beat the prisoners they were carrying until they reached the town hall. There the female war chief inspected them and thanked the warriors for this gift. Prisoners who had been painted black were destined to die unless the female peace chief objected before entering the city. Other prisoners were distributed among the residents according to need, or to be adopted in place of dead relatives. A peace chief began the war song in the town hall, during which the warriors danced until dusk and undressed themselves naked. Each warrior pounded on a stake while performing his deeds of glory. They stayed at the town hall for four days, drinking infusions made from plants and eating as little as possible.


The numerous gods of the Shawnee were more or less monitored and influenced. This task fell to a higher being, a woman commonly called "Our Grandmother" or "Creator". She was given the first name "Cloud" (Cloud). Closely connected with her was her grandson, who was called "Rounded Side" or "Cloudy Boy", and a small dog. She was assisted by a number of "witnesses" who acted as intermediaries between her and the Shawnee. The most important of these were tobacco, fire, water and eagles. Other figures and objects, such as the thunderbirds , the "four winds" and the medicine bundles of the departments were less important as witnesses, but had other very important functions. Our grandmother created the earth and the turtle that carried it. After her grandson destroyed her in a flood, she recreated the earth. She also created the Shawnee, although some departments were also conceived by her grandson. She taught the people "to protect themselves, to live, to perform ceremonial dances, to grow corn, to hunt, to build houses and to obey their laws." After passing on these instructions, she left the earth and went to her current domicile in heaven, which was also the abode of death. The twelve Shawnee Laws contain the most important part of the instructions given by the Creator. The first law puts its origin and purpose first, describes the benefits of observing it and the consequences of disregarding it. There are also instructions about sexual behavior, e.g. B. during sexual intercourse during periods of menstruation and pregnancy. The second law also contains general rules for daily life. The remaining ten laws each relate to a particular animal: deer, bear, dog, bird, wolf, buffalo, raccoon, turtle, turkey and crow. They describe the benefits animals have for humans and how they are treated.

The tribes played lacrosse with different clubs: a Iroquois , b Passamaquoddy , c  Chippewa , d Cherokee

"Our Grandmother's" influence permeated almost every aspect of the Shawnee religion, but was strongest in communal rituals of worship and weakest in individual activities such as finding visions and practicing sorcery. The main focus of the public service was the annual ceremonial dances. The most important of these were the spring bread dance , which was used to ask for a plentiful harvest, and the autumn bread dance , which was seen as thanksgiving and which was used to ask for plentiful hunted booty. Each dance was accompanied by a feast, for which twelve men went on a special hunt to obtain meat that was cooked by twelve women. According to Alford, these offices were lifelong but could be revoked if poorly performed. The chief of the department called for the meeting and opened a ball game in which women played against men. The losing team had to get firewood for the preparation of the feast and the fire that lit the nightly dance. The entire city gathered at dawn on the third day after they left to receive the twelve hunters. While the women prepared the meat, the hunters danced. An elderly man with rhetorical experience offered a prayer to the Creator. Afterwards there was dancing until the late afternoon and the banquet was served. In earlier times, the Creator personally returned to earth to take part in the festival.

The bread dances opened and decided the ceremonial season, took place in the other important rituals such as the Green Corn Dance (Green Corn Dance) in August, which indicated the first corn harvest. On that occasion, lawbreakers were amnestied , with all wrongdoings except murder being forgiven. From John Johnston's brief records of these events shows up that the entire population of the city was gathered around the Town Hall and brought large quantities of food supplies for the feast. The ritual lasted four to twelve days and contained a message that included both gratitude and moral instructions. Another annual festival, which no longer exists for a long time was the ritual of false faces (false faces). Prayers to our grandmother were also addressed at first fruits ceremonies , funerals and naming rituals, as well as at annual events, e.g. B. the ghost feast and the end of the lacrosse season.

Another ritual center were the Holy bundle (sacred packs), one of which belonged to each department. They were also created by Our Grandmother and remained under her supervision. The Sacred Bundles were one of the most mysterious features of the Shawnee culture, and very rarely discussed. Accordingly, there is little information available about it. Although Trowbridge mentions Our Grandmother, who with her grandson guarded the Indians, her role is undoubtedly subordinate to the Great Spirit to whom most of her functions and deeds have been ascribed. Charles Voegelin and Erminie Voegelin , who investigated this discrepancy with other ethnologists, concluded that the notion of a female creator was a rather late change in their religion that the Shawnee may have adopted from the Iroquois.



It is believed that the Shawnee originally lived in the vicinity of Lake Winnipeg along with other Algonquin-speaking tribes and were one of the first tribes to migrate south. This hike probably took place at the same time as that of Lenni Lenape and Nanticoke in the 13th century. Because of the Shawnee customs, some historians suggest that they settled in the northeastern areas of the Great Lakes around 1500 , but opinions differ. What is certain is that they lived in southern Ohio and northern Kentucky around 1650 .

The Shawnee were particularly closely related to the Lenni Lenape , Miami , Kickapoo , Illinois , Sauk and Fox , both linguistically and culturally . In negotiations with neighboring tribes as well as with the Europeans and Americans, the Shawnee (like most of the Algonquin tribes of the northeast and the Atlantic coast) referred to the Lenni Lenape as their "grandfathers", the Wyandot and Iroquois as "uncles" or "older brothers" and other tribes as "younger brothers".

Displacement in the Beaver Wars

Beaver hunting ground in North America under the Nanfan Treaty of 1701

Little is known about the details of the Shawnee expulsion from the Ohio Valley during the first Beaver Wars. The Iroquois are responsible for these evictions, but the Shawnee may have waged war against the Erie and Neutral . By 1656, the Iroquois had defeated their Iroquois-speaking neighbors, with the exception of the Susquehannock , and began to attack the Algonquin tribes in Ohio Valley and southern Michigan . Most of the Algonquians fled to Wisconsin , but some of the Shawnee were able to assert themselves as allies of the Susquehannock for the next few years. In 1675 the western Iroquois had also defeated the Susquehannock. The Shawnee had to leave the Upper Ohio Valley due to a lack of firearms and were dispersed in four groups.

Two of these groups moved south to the Cherokee in eastern Tennessee around 1674 , although relations between the two tribes have not always been peaceful in the past. The Cherokee allowed a Shawnee group (Chillicothe and Kispoko) to settle on the Cumberland River to use as a buffer against the Chickasaw. The Chickasaw were traditional enemies of the Cherokee. While exploring the Cumberland River valley in the 1670s, the French encountered a group of Shawnee. The second Shawnee group (Hathawekela) was allowed to settle on the Savannah River in South Carolina and served here as a buffer against the Catawba in the east, also enemies of the Cherokee. British traders came across this Shawnee in 1674 and named it Savannah .

The other two Shawnee groups from Ohio Valley moved in opposite directions. One group (Piqua) went east to the Delaware, where they settled at the confluence of the Pequa Creek and Susquehanna Rivers in southern Pennsylvania. The last group (Chaouesnon) moved west into the land of Illinois . French records indicate that around 3,000 western Shawnee lived in the vicinity of the French trading post at Fort St. Louis on the upper Illinois River in 1683 .

As a result of the permanent Iroquois attacks, the Ohio Valley was almost uninhabited between 1670 and 1730 from Indiana in the west to Pennsylvania in the east. The area was used by the Iroquois as an additional hunting area. Without the relatively dense population of earlier years, the game population could recover and the Ohio Valley could develop into an excellent hunting area. Although the Iroquois prevented other tribes from establishing permanent settlements, smaller Shawnee groups often returned to hunt. Apparently the Shawnee never completely gave up their claim to their homeland during their exile. Meanwhile it turned out that the Shawnee were unwelcome guests in their new residential area in Illinois. Violent clashes between Shawnee and Illinois Confederates often broke out near the French trading post due to overcrowding. Around 1689 the Shawnee therefore left the area and moved to their relatives on the Cumberland River in Tennessee. Since then they have had a strong dislike for the Illinois and raided their villages several times in the following years.

Some of the western Shawnee moved to Maryland. Here they were discovered in 1692 by hunting Munsee and Mahican . The Munsee led them into the Lehightal in northern Pennsylvania. Mahican and Munsee were allies of the Iroquois and members of the Covenant Chain since 1677. The Shawnee from Illinois, however, were still considered enemies of the Iroquois who wanted to prevent their settlement by force. The Mahican intervened in a council meeting of the Iroquois League and were able to get the Shawnee to settle near the Munsee in the Lehightal. After the Shawnee had signed a peace treaty with the Iroquois in 1694, they also joined the Covenant Chain.

The Shawnee or Savannah in South Carolina, who were to serve as a shield against the Catawba, did their job. In battles between them and the Catawba, the British did not remain neutral, but supported the Catawba. Under constant threat from the British-armed Catawba and Yamasee , the Savannah left the region in small groups between 1690 and 1710. Some moved north to the Shawnee in the Lehightal. Others took refuge at the Creek in Alabama and the rest went to relatives in Tennessee. Around 1763 the Catawba were completely destroyed in the war against the Iroquois.

The Cherokee in Tennessee also ran into problems with the Shawnee, with thousands of Shawnee from Illinois increasing their fighting power by 1690 and they became a serious rival. In the winter of 1692 they raided a Cherokee village whose warriors were hunting. They captured women and children who they sold as slaves. With the Shawnee's permission, French traders were allowed to set up a trading post in Nashville near their villages. In 1715 the Shawnee suffered a crushing defeat against the Cherokee and had to flee Tennessee. Some found refuge with the Savannah who lived under the Creek, but most moved to Kentucky, their old homeland in southern Ohio, in 1729.

Around 1737 the Delaware and with them the Shawnee had to leave the Lehightal in eastern Pennsylvania. They then settled together with the Munsee on Iroquois territory in the Wyoming valley and Susquehanna River. In the 1740s, thousands of Shawnee and Delaware left the Iroquois dominion and moved to western Pennsylvania.

After an absence of almost a century, individual Shawnee groups returned to their original home in the upper Ohio Valley. One group made peace with the Cherokee in 1746 and repopulated the Cumberland Basin. However, the Chickasaw had not joined the peace treaty. In a battle near Nashville in 1756, the Shawnee were defeated and fled north to the Ohio. Here they united with a large group of Cumberland-Shawnee who had founded Shawneetown around 1745 near a new French fort on the Ohio in southern Illinois. But the exposed location of the city favored attacks by the Chickasaw and after less than two years the Shawnee left the place and moved to western Pennsylvania. By 1758, most of the Shawnee were living on the north side of the Ohio River, between the two tributaries, the Allegheny in the east and the Scioto River in the west.

Indian wars in the Ohio area

French, Spanish and British colonies in North America.

Around 1744, the number of Indians in the Ohio Valley, especially Shawnee, Delaware and Mingo , grew rapidly. They lived in partially mixed villages that stretched in a wide arc from the Sandusky River over northeastern Ohio to south to the Ohio River. Their population was estimated at around 10,000 people with around 2,000 warriors. The French had a keen interest in trading with these Indians and wanted to win them over as allies in future colonial wars against the British. To this end, they sent Pierre Chartier , the son of a French father and a Shawnee mother, to the Shawnee. He was able to persuade them to raid some British traders. The English feared that the tribes on the Ohio would come under French influence and asked the Iroquois League to drive the Shawnee and Delaware back to the Susquehanna River. But despite all the Iroquois threats, no Indian left the Ohio area.

The King George's War (1744–1748) barely affected the Indians in the Ohio area, but the French ran into serious problems. The British trade blockade stopped the flow of French trade goods, so that the Indians in the Great Lakes area no longer received goods on which they were partially dependent. British traders took advantage of this situation and supplied the French allies on the great lakes and in the Ohio area with English goods.

In the Treaty of Lancaster in 1744, the British asked the Iroquois League that the tribes in the Ohio area should observe the rules of the Covenant Chain. The Iroquois, for their part, created a system of half kings, through which Shawnee and Delaware were represented in the league's councils. This new arrangement satisfied the Ohio tribes. The French tried unsuccessfully to incite the tribes allied with them north of the Great Lakes against the Shawnee and Delaware. In June 1752, 250 Ojibwa and Ottawa attacked the Miami villages and the British trading post at Piqua , Ohio, from Fort Michilimackinac . The French then built a number of new forts in western Pennsylvania. They built Fort Duquesne at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela , the site of today's Pittsburgh . Virginia sent Major George Washington to the crisis region in 1753 , who asked the French to demolish the forts and not build new ones. He received a polite refusal, but his second visit in 1754 resulted in a battle between the British and the French, which also marked the beginning of the French and Indian War (1754–1763).

In the summer of 1754, the Ohio tribes were ready to side with the British against the French. In the autumn, however, they learned that the Iroquois had ceded the Ohio area to the British by contract. They realized that the British wanted to take their land from them and declared both the Iroquois and the British to be their enemies. Even so, they were not ready to support the French. They sent a force of 300 French and 600 Allied Indians from the Saint Lawrence River and the Great Lakes to Fort Duquesne to successfully defend the fortress against the British.

In the Battle of Monongahela in July 1755, a British army of 2,200 men under General Edward Braddock suffered a crushing defeat at Fort Duquesne. He and half of his troops were killed. When this news reached the English colonies, the anger of the white population grew at all Indians, whether they were involved in the battle or not. The Shawnee picked the wrong time to send a delegation to Philadelphia to protest the Iroquois land cession in Ohio. All members of the delegation were hanged in Philadelphia, although no Shawnee or Delaware participated in the battle of the Monongahela. The Indians immediately opened war against the British. Around 2,500 colonists lost their lives on the Pennsylvania, Virginia and Maryland border between 1755 and 1756. This hatred of the English can probably be explained by bad experiences with the long knives , as the border fighters were called on the settlement border.

It was only when a peace treaty with eastern Delaware was signed in Easton , Pennsylvania in October 1758 that the Indian raids stopped. Pennsylvania surrendered the land west of the Appalachian Mountains , ceded by the Iroquois in 1774. When this news reached the Shawnee, Delaware and Mingo, the British were able to conquer Fort Duquesne unmolested by them in November. Also, Quebec and Fort Niagara fell into British hands, and after the capitulation of Montreal in 1760, the war was over.

The Ohio tribes took over 650 white prisoners in the war. During the exchange of prisoners on the Muskingum River in 1761 , about half of them declared that they did not want to return to white civilization. They had been adopted by the tribes and some had Indian wives. Fort Duquesne was rebuilt by the British, occupied with 200 men and renamed "Fort Pitt". General Jeffrey Amherst became Commander in Chief of the British Army in North America and decided to treat the Indians allied with France as a "defeated people". The annual gifts to allied chiefs and the delivery of trade goods, especially gunpowder and rum, have ceased. Around 1761 the Seneca called for a general uprising against the British. In 1762 an Indian prophet named Neolin (the Enlightened One) proclaimed an alliance of all Indians against the British from the Delaware. From his village on the Ohio, he preached against alcohol and European trade goods and called for a return to Indian culture and traditional values. He soon had many supporters among the Lenape, but his most important follower was Pontiac , the Ottawa chief in Detroit . Pontiac was without a doubt one of the most important Native American figures. With the far-reaching unification of the notoriously divided tribes, he achieved an astonishing achievement, and in battle he proved to be an excellent leader who was equal to the disciplined and well-armed British troops.

Pontiac succeeded in secretly organizing the uprising named after him (1763–1766) and kicking off completely surprisingly for the British. The revolt began in May 1763 and the insurgents managed to capture nine of the twelve British forts west of the Appalachians in a short time. Only Fort Detroit, which was attacking Pontiac itself, received a warning and was able to repel the attack. With their guerrilla tactics , the Indians were a dangerous enemy even to regular British troops. General Amherst's proposal to use blankets contaminated with smallpox to decimate the Indians with an epidemic shows how serious the situation was for the British . It was one of the first documented attempts at “biological warfare”, but it was unsuccessful.

Gradually, however, Pontiac was abandoned by its allies, for whom the war lasted too long. The uprising was finally brought to an end by Colonel Henry Bouquet . With 1,500 soldiers he advanced into what is now Ohio and forced the tribes still allied with Pontiac near the present-day town of Tuscarawas to give up the fight and release all British prisoners, some of whom had been held since the French and Indian War. Pontiac did not give up the fight until July 25, 1766 and submitted to William Johnson at Fort Oswego . In April 1769, Pontiac was murdered in Cahokia , Illinois by an Indian of the Kaskaskia tribe, who received money from a British trader for this. Pontiac was buried near St. Louis , Missouri .

In the wake of the bloody revolt, the British government in Pennsylvania issued the Royal Proclamation of 1763, with which the settlement west of the Appalachians was forbidden. But neither the British authorities nor the military could stop the settlement. By 1774 almost 50,000 European settlers were living west of the Appalachians. By the Treaty of Fort Stanwix in 1768, the Iroquois opened Kentucky for settlement and brought the Shawnee to their main hunting area.

Virginia and Pennsylvania claimed the area around Pittsburg for settlement. The Delaware therefore planned to move west and received from the Miami around 1770 permission to settle on their tribal territory. The Shawnee didn't want to give up their home on Upper Ohio without a fight. When the British surveyors appeared on the Kanawha River , they were attacked by Shawnee warriors. After further Shawnee raids in Kentucky in the spring of 1774, a group of vigilantes led by Michael Cresap fought back and killed a Shawnee chief who was traveling with a trade group at Wheeling. More massacres of the so-called long knives of peaceful Shawnee and Mingo followed, including the wife of Mingo chief Logan , as well as his brother and pregnant sister. Logan started a campaign of revenge and killed 13 settlers on the Muskingum River. Then the Lord Dunmore's War (1773–1774) broke out between the Shawnee and Mingo on the one hand and the colony of Virginia on the other. Lord Dunmore , governor of Virginia, marched into the Upper Ohio Valley in May 1774 with 2,500 colonial militia. The Delaware and the tribes on the Great Lakes remained neutral, so Cornstalk , warchief of the Shawnee, had to oppose on October 10, 1774 with his 300 Shawnee and Mingo warriors Dunmore's force at Point Pleasant at the confluence of the Ohio and Kanawha Rivers. After a fierce battle and great losses on both sides, the Indians finally succumbed and fled north. Cornstalk had to sign a Treaty of Camp Charlotte that opened Kentucky to white settlement south of the Ohio.

Shawnee in the American Revolutionary War

The Ohio Territory and Skirmishes between Indians and United States forces between 1775 and 1811.
George Washington

After the start of the American War of Independence (1775–1783), the British began to incite the Indians in the Ohio area against the Americans. Several tribes followed them, including the tribes north of the Great Lakes, parts of the Shawnee, Mingo, and Chickamauga . In addition to delivering weapons and ammunition, the British paid premiums for American scalps regardless of the age or gender of the victims. In 1777, Daniel Boone's daughter and two of her friends were captured by Shawnee warriors. Boone was able to rescue them after a three-day chase. The situation got increasingly out of hand, so that Cornstalk wanted to negotiate with the Americans at Fort Randolph . However, he was captured and murdered two days later.

In July 1777, Boonesborough , Harrodsburg, and St. Asaph were the only Kentucky settlements that had not been abandoned by their residents. Even the forts weren't safe. Fort Henry , for example, was besieged and attacked by 400 Shawnee, Mingo and Wyandot , half of the 42-man crew killed and the nearby settlement burned to the ground. In 1778 the American General Edward Hand led a punitive expedition of the Pennsylvania Militia into the Ohio area. In what was later called the "Squaw Campaign", he destroyed two peaceful Delaware villages. Hand lost his post and was replaced by General Lachlan McIntosh . Even so, the Delaware signed a peace treaty with the Americans at Fort Pitt in September 1777 .

Simon Girty was an influential Indian warrior of white European descent. He served as a scout at Fort Pitt and came to believe that the Americans would lose the war. He went to the Shawnee and became one of the fiercest opponents of the long knives. In 1779 he led numerous raids on American forts in the Ohio area. Long knives from Kentucky under the leadership of John Bowman crossed the Ohio in May 1779 and moved to the Shawnee villages on the Scioto River. They burned Old Chilicothe and killed numerous Shawnee including Chief Blackfish . The surviving tribesmen fled north and relocated Chillicothe to the Mad River.

In early 1780, the British planned a large-scale offensive to conquer the entire Ohio and upper Mississippi area. Captain Henry Bird left Detroit with a force of 600 warriors and on the Ohio his Indian force had grown to 1,200 men. American settlements burned throughout the summer and residents were killed or displaced. In return, the American general George Rogers Clark attacked the Shawnee villages on the Mad River and spread fear and terror. The mutual atrocities continued in 1781. In the spring, General Daniel Brodhead raided the main Delaware Coshocton village , captured women and children, and killed all men.

In March 1782 the Gnadenhütten massacre occurred in which 90 peaceful, Christian Delaware were killed by the Pennsylvania militia. In May 1782, Colonel William Crawford led a force of around 500 volunteers from Pennsylvania to the Sandusky River to destroy the Indian villages there. The Americans suffered a crushing defeat. Crawford was executed on the torture stake in revenge for huts by Delaware warriors. In August, Shawnee under Simon Girty carried out further raids in Kentucky. 60 militiamen, including Daniel Boone's son Israel, lost their lives in a confrontation with long knives on the Licking River . Rogers Clark led a 1,100-man punitive expedition to the Miami River and destroyed the Shawnee villages there, including New Chillicothe.

The War of Independence ended with the Treaty of Paris (1783) , but that in no way meant the end of the war between the Americans and the tribes in the Ohio area. The information about the internal processes and a third period of splitting is very little. One part, the so-called Peace Party, left Ohio and moved across the Mississippi into Spanish territory in March 1779. The majority of the Shawnee stayed in Ohio, settling in Wapakoneta on the Auglaize River and on the Ottawa River . Others went to the Ohio Seneca in Lewistown.

Northwest Indian War

General Arthur St. Clair

A number of treaties between the Americans and Indians, including the Treaties of Fort McIntosh in 1785 and Fort Harmar in 1789, redefined the boundaries of Indian land. Some tribes, including the Shawnee, Mingo and Delaware, did not give up the resistance to the white invaders, however, which led to the Northwest Indian War (1785–1795), also known as Little Turtle's War. The British instructed their Indian allies to stop attacks on American settlements, but were not heard.

After the war, the US Army shrank to an infantry regiment and an artillery company. However, President George Washington was soon forced to send troops again against insurgent Indians. In the Ohio area warriors of the Shawnee, Miami, Potawatomi and Chippewa had united under the Miami chief Little Turtle and the Shawnee chief Blue Jacket . He instructed the governor of the newly created Northwest Territory , General Arthur St. Clair , to raise new troops immediately. In Fort Washington is a force of 1,200 militia members and 320 regular soldiers gathered under the command of General Josiah Harmar and marched to the Indian territory. In 1790 the first battle took place in the valley of the Maumee River . Little Turtle and his warriors withdrew and attacked the Americans on the flanks using guerrilla tactics . The inexperienced militiamen lost over 200 men. Hamar later claimed to have won that battle. However, the general had to face a committee of inquiry and was then replaced by St. Clair personally.

Greenville Treaty

In 1791 General St. Clair led a campaign of revenge involving 2,000 militiamen and two regular regiments with around 600 soldiers. When the force advanced to the Indian settlement areas on the Wabash River, it had shrunk to 1,400 men due to deserters. On November 4th, the battle broke out in which the Americans were defeated by Little Turtle. More than 600 soldiers and officers were killed in the battle known as "St. Clair's Defeat ”or“ Battle of the Wabash ”went down in US history. This battle is considered to be the most costly defeat that a US armed force has ever suffered against Indians. After this debacle, St. Clair resigned from the army on the orders of George Washington, but remained governor of the Northwest Territory.

This military debacle sparked calls for a strong, professional army. On March 5, 1792, the US Congress established the Legion of the United States, and George Washington appointed General Anthony Wayne to command it. In the spring of 1794 he moved with 4,600 men to the Maumee River and built Fort Recovery there. On August 20, 1794, the Battle of Fallen Timbers broke out under Blue Jacket. Young Tecumseh also fought here as the leader of a small group of Shawnee, to which his younger brother Tenskwatawa also belonged. The Indian coalition was crushed by General Anthony Wayne. There was also no rescue from Fort Miami in the UK, to which the Indians had fled to seek protection. As a result of the defeat, the Shawnee and other tribes had to give up again large areas in the then Northwest Territory in the Treaty of Greenville in 1795 .


Tecumseh, painting by Benson Lossing from 1808
Tecumseh's war

In 1805 a Shawnee group returned to the Wabash area and established the village of Tippecanoe . Its leader, Tecumseh, started an intertribal movement to resist American expansion . Encouraged by the English, he tried to unite the Indian tribes in an alliance whose members were no longer allowed to sell land to the United States, while his brother Tenskwatawa preached a nativist (adherence to one's own culture) movement that supported this goal. Although Tecumseh's clan and departmental ancestry qualified him for the position of tribal war chief, numerous Shawnee refused to serve him. Most of his followers came from other tribes, particularly the Kickapoo, Potawatomi, and the Delaware. The Miami also remained reluctant, but the tribes farther west, such as the Sauk and Winnebago, were very interested. Overall, however, his project failed due to the disagreement of the tribes and their inability to see that only a common struggle of all Indians offered the long-term perspective of stopping the land grabbing of the white settlers and securing Indian territory. Tecumseh tried to make it clear to the Indian tribes that they were first and foremost Indians and only afterwards members of a certain tribe. This view, however, overwhelmed most of the chiefs.

William Henry Harrison , the governor of the Indiana Territory and later US President, considered the threat serious and led an army to Tippecanoe in 1811 while Tecumseh was on a mission to the southeastern tribes. Although the battle that followed was actually a draw, it destroyed Tenskwatawa's credibility and the movement broke up. Those Shawnee who followed Tecumseh retired to Canada with him and later went to Kansas. Tecumseh died on October 5, 1813 in the Battle of the Thames River.

British-American War of 1812

Battle of the Thames River

Just a few decades after the American War of Independence, another war broke out between Great Britain and the young United States. A major cause for the Americans was the British responsibility for the permanent border skirmishes with the Indians.

In the British-American War of 1812, Tecumseh and his Indian alliance fought on the British side. The initial successes of the British-Indian coalition under General Isaac Brock and Tecumseh, such as the capture of Fort Mackinac and Detroit , and the victory over the Americans at Frenchtown in January 1813 very likely prevented the American conquest of Canada and thus further expansion of the United States States.

After the death of Major General Brock in the Battle of Queenston Heights on October 13, 1812, he was replaced by General Henry Procter . On October 15, 1813, the battle of the Thames River broke out , which was decided by the Americans under General Harrison with a massive cavalry attack. After a single salvo had been fired, the poorly positioned British line broke up in a wild flight, General Procter first and foremost. Not even the only British cannon was fired. According to various reports, the British had 12 to 36 injured at this point in time. Tecumseh's Indian alliance continued to fight for about an hour before it was known about his death. Tecumseh's Indian army disbanded after his death. Only about 300 warriors followed the British into the region they held on Lake Ontario . Harrison forced the tribes on the American side of the Detroit River to a peace treaty. This destroyed the last chance the Indian peoples had to keep a remnant of their own territory in America.

Expulsion and re-division

The migrations and resettlements of the Shawnee in the 19th century eventually led to the division into three independent tribes, the Absentee Shawnee , the Cherokee Shawnee and the Eastern Shawnee .

The Absentee Shawnee have their origins in the peace faction that left Ohio during the revolution and settled in southeast Missouri near Cape Girardeau , where they were allocated land in Texas by the Spanish government in 1793 . Around 1797, the Shawnee of the Creek Confederation joined them, as did other Native American resettlers from Ohio. In the early nineteenth century most left the warring party. Some migrated to Arkansas and Oklahoma, often in the company of Delaware and Cherokee. Others were encouraged by Spanish officials to build settlements near Nacogdoches and on the Red River . After their expulsion in 1839, three years after Texas gained independence, the Texas Shawnee moved to the Canadian River in central Oklahoma, where part of the tribe had lived since at least 1836. In 1854 they were formally referred to as the Absentee Shawnee . They were officially recognized as a separate tribe in 1872 and their land ownership in Oklahoma was confirmed.

In 1831 a so-called Mixed Band of Shawnee and Seneca moved directly to a reservation in northeast Oklahoma. When the Shawnee broke away from the Seneca in 1867, they were named Eastern Shawnee .

The Cherokee Shawnee are from the portion of the tribe that remained in Ohio. In 1825 the United States liquidated the Shawnee land allocation in Missouri and made a reservation for the tribe in Kansas. The Ohio Shawnee moved there in 1832 and 1835. The Shawnee living in Missouri, the so-called "Black Bob Band", were forcibly relocated to Kansas. In the following years there was constant conflict between these two groups in Kansas, until they went to Oklahoma under American pressure, where they split. The Ohio Shawnee officially joined the Cherokee Nation in 1869 and settled in their territory under the name Cherokee Shawnee (now the Shawnee Tribe ), while the Black Bob Band mingled with the Absentee Shawnee.

The Eastern Shawnee were affiliated with the Quapaw Agency in northeastern Oklahoma, where their traditional tribal culture was quickly lost. In 1940 they organized themselves as the Eastern Shawnee Tribe with a management. The Cherokee Shawnee who live in Craig and Rogers Counties of northeast Oklahoma have also given up much of traditional Shawnee culture. The Cherokee Shawnee gave up their tribal organization when they merged with the Cherokee Nation, and have had no formal political organization since the split. The Absentee Shawnee, who live in Cleveland Counties and Pottawatomie Counties in central Oklahoma, were historically the most culturally conservative section of the tribe and retained their typical traditional features. They still practice the most important Shawnee rituals, namely the war dance, the spring and autumn bread dance. They have a management and are organized as the Absentee Shawnee Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma .


By 1950 the Shawnee totaled 2,252 people, of which the 1,100 Cherokee Shawnee group was the largest, followed by 712 Absentee Shawnee and 440 Eastern Shawnee.

The 2000 census showed the Absentee Shawnee Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma 1,701, the Eastern Shawnee of Oklahoma 1,222, the Shawnee Tribe (formerly Cherokee Shawnee) 2,987, and the Piquwa Sept of Ohio Shawnee 63, making a total of 5,773 Tribal members.

State recognized tribes of the Shawnee

Today there are three federally recognized tribes in the United States, all of which are based in Oklahoma:

  • Absentee Shawnee Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma (mostly Hathawekela , Kispoko and Pekowi , administrative seat is Shawnee , Oklahoma, tribal members: 3,050)
  • Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma (mostly Mekoche , administrative seat is Wyandotte , Oklahoma, tribal members: 2,801)
  • Shawnee Tribe (formerly Loyal Shawnee , since they Civil War loyal on the part of the northern states fought later Cherokee Shawnee called because it in 1869 joined the Cherokee, recognized as a separate tribe since 2000, mostly Chillicothe and Mekoche. Council is based in Miami , Oklahoma, tribal members: 2,226)

Other Shawnee tribes and groups

Some of the following tribes and groups are state recognized tribes, but not state recognized tribes. Some are not recognized at either the federal or state level and are considered fake tribes.

  • Alabama
    • Piqua Shawnee Tribe (mostly Pekowi , administrative seat is Birmingham, Alabama, approx. 300 tribal members, were confirmed as a nationally recognized tribe by the state of Alabama with the Davis-Strong Act ).
  • Ohio
    • United Remnant Band of the Shawnee Nation (also Shawnee Nation, URB ), administrative seat is Dayton, Ohio, approx. 600 tribesmen, claim to be descended from Kispokotha Shawnee, who escaped the expulsion in the year 1830. Not recognized by the three federally recognized tribes or by the Bureau of Indian Affairs , but recognized as a federally recognized tribe by the state of Ohio in 1979.
    • Shawnee Nation Ohio Blue Creek Band (also Shawnee Nation, Ohio Blue Creek Band of Adams County , mostly Pekowi , approx. 200 tribal members)
    • East of the River Shawnee Tribe (headquartered in Greenville, Ohio)
    • East of the River Shawnee
  • Indiana
    • Upper Kispoko Band of the Shawnee Nation (administrative seat is Kokomo, Indiana)
  • Kansas
    • United Tribe of Shawnee Indians (headquartered in De Soto, Kansas)
  • Kentucky
    • Ridgetop Shawnee Tribe of Indians (also Ridgetop Shawnee Tribe , were confirmed as a nationally recognized tribe by the State House of the Kentucky General Assembly in 2009 and 2010 , are the descendants of Shawnee, black and white settlers. They previously identified as Melungeon because of prejudice against Indians or Black Irish , however the American Indian Movement regards them as a fake tribe )

Flags of the Shawnee

Famous Shawnee

Chief Black Hoof
  • Tecumseh (1768–1813), was one of their outstanding chiefs, tried, together with his brother Tenskwatawa, to unite all Indian tribes of the Northeast, Midwest and Southeast into an Indian alliance in order to be able to better resist the advancing American settlers and the frontier , fought together with the allied British in the British-American War against the Americans. After the defeat of the British-Indian alliance, the Shawnee were relocated to Oklahoma.
  • Tenskwatawa (1775-1836), a younger brother of Tecumseh and prophet of a new religious movement that Tecumseh later transformed into a political movement.
  • Blue Jacket (ca.1743 - ca.1810), also known as Weyapiersenwah , was an important predecessor of Tecumseh and a leader in the Little Turtles War (also known as the Northwest Indian War ). Blue Jacket surrendered to "Mad" Anthony Wayne in the Battle of Fallen Timbers and signed the Treaty of Greenville in which he ceded large parts of Ohio to the United States.
  • Cornstalk (approx. 1720–1777), Blue Jackets most famous predecessor, led the Shawnee in Lord Dunmore's War and tried to move the Shawnee to neutrality during the American Revolutionary War.
  • Black Hoof (approx. 1740-1831), also known as Catecahassa , was a respected Shawnee chief of the Mekoche and one of Tecumseh's opponents. He was of the opinion that the Shawnee had to adapt culturally to the whites in order to avoid annihilation.
  • Black Fish (around 1729–1779), also known as Cot-ta-wa-ma-go , chief of the Chillicothe Shawnee, was a bitter opponent of the Euro-American settlers, especially known for his capture of Daniel Boone, whom he was a brother adopted, and Simon Kenton (1755-1836).
  • Link Wray (1929-2005), a well-known rock guitarist, had Shawnee ancestors.
  • Sat Okh (1920–2003), "Lange Feder", also Stanislaw Suplatowicz, author, son of a Shawnee and a Polish woman.


The German author Fritz Steuben wrote a series of eight books about Tecumseh and the everyday life of the Shawnee in the 1930s.

See also

List of North American Indian tribes


  • Bruce G. Trigger (Ed.): Handbook of North American Indians . Vol. 15: Northeast. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington DC 1978, ISBN 0-16-004575-4 .
  • Alvin M. Josephy Jr.: 500 Nations. Frederking & Thaler GmbH, Munich 1996, ISBN 3-89405-356-9 .
  • Alvin M. Josephy Jr.: The world of the Indians. Frederking & Thaler GmbH, Munich 1994, ISBN 3-89405-331-3 .
  • Stephen Warren: The Shawnees and Their Neighbors, 1795-1870 . University of Illinois Press, Urbana and Chicago 2005.
  • Paul O'Neil: The Way West. Series: The Wild West. Time-Life Books (Netherland) BV, 1980.

Web links

Commons : Shawnee  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Bruce G. Trigger (Ed.): Handbook of North American Indians . Vol. 15: Northeast, p. 622.
  2. a b c d e Bruce G. Trigger (Ed.): Handbook of North American Indians . Vol. 15: Northeast, pp. 622/623
  3. a b Bruce G. Trigger (Ed.): Handbook of North American Indians . Vol. 15: Northeast, pp. 624/625
  4. a b c d e f Bruce G. Trigger (Ed.): Handbook of North American Indians . Vol. 15: Northeast, pp. 625/626
  5. a b c d e f g Bruce G. Trigger (Ed.): Handbook of North American Indians . Volume 15: Northeast. Pp. 626-627.
  6. a b c d e f Bruce G. Trigger (Ed.): Handbook of North American Indians . Vol. 15: Northeast, pp. 628/629
  7. a b c d e f g Shawnee history , accessed January 8, 2013
  8. a b c d e f Shawnee history , accessed January 9, 2013
  9. ^ The Battle of the Monongahela . In: World Digital Library . 1755. Retrieved August 3, 2013.
  10. a b Paul O'Neil: The way to the west, p. 88f. Series: The Wild West. Time-Life Books (Netherland) BV, 1980.
  11. a b c d e f g Bruce G. Trigger (Ed.): Handbook of North American Indians . Vol. 15: Northeast, pp. 631ff.
  12. a b c d e Shawnee history , accessed January 10, 2013
  13. a b Shawnee history , accessed January 11, 2013
  14. ^ Richard H. Dillon: Indian Wars, p. 55
  15. a b c Richard H. Dillon: Indianerkriege, S. 55f
  16. Census 2000 ( Memento of the original from July 22, 2017 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF; 145 kB) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  17. ^ Homepage of the Absentee-Shawnee Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma
  18. ^ Homepage of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma
  19. Homepage of the Shawnee Tribes
  20. Homepage of the Piqua Shawnee Tribe
  21. ^ State of Alabama - Indian Affairs Commission
  22. Homepage of the Shawnee Nation Ohio Blue Creek Band ( Memento of the original from December 17, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  23. Kentucky General Assembly 2010 Regular Session HJR-16 ., updated 9-2-2010. Retrieved October 20, 2013.
  24. Kentucky General Assembly 2009 Regular Session HJR-15 ., updated 5-2-2009. Retrieved October 20, 2013.
  25. Homepage of the Ridgetop Shawnee Tribe of Indians