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Background of the Shawnee

Originally the Shawnee were believed to be located in Southern Ohio, West Virginia and Western Pennsylvania.

In the mid 1600s the Iroquois, from the north, drove them from their home. Later, just before the mid 1700s, they managed to return to their homelands only to be driven out again. This time by the European invaders who were bent on settling this new land and claiming it as their own.

The Shawnee tribe frequently changed homes and they were scattered to the Carolinas, Tennessee, Eastern Pennsylvania and Southern Illinois. They mostly moved from place to place, both willingly and under duress from Iroquois and colonial assailants. In the early 1800's, the Shawnee leader Tecumseh and his brother Tenskwatawa tried to unite the eastern tribes under the banner of pan-Indian unity. When this alliance was broken up by the Americans, the Shawnees were forcibly relocated to Oklahoma. They still live there today, in three distinct communities.

Well known leaders in the Shawnee Nation were Tecumseh and his brother Tenskwatawa (The Prophet), Cornstalk, Blackfish, Black Hoof, and Bluejacket.