Abstract

Abstract:

How did Indigenous peoples remember the Gnadenhutten Massacre? The Shawnee leader Tecumseh gives us a clue. In his 1810 speech to William Harrison, he relayed the story of a murder of Delawares by American militiamen at the end of the Revolutionary War. That bloody event, the 1782 massacre of Christian Indians at Gnadenhutten on the Muskingum in the Ohio River Valley, served as a powerful entry point and a mnemonic device for Native Americans. Accounts of the torture of Colonel William Crawford, Hendrick Aupaumut's visit to the multi-tribal confederacy at the Glaize, John Adlum's encounter with Conestoga leader Logan, and Tecumseh's words to Harrison all reflect the enduring memory the massacre held among Indigenous peoples. The memory also aligned with the pan-Indian revivalist movement that emerged at the multi-tribal communities at the White River in the years leading up to the War of 1812. The memory of the massacre echoed across three decades and multiple tribal identities. It became a collective memory among Native peoples, possessing political, spiritual, and cultural capital.

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