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WHEN THE MISSISSIPPI RAN BACKWARDS 1. Describe the intentions behind New Madrid’s founding and the “wilderness” conditions from which the community was carved. - Spain feared the US’s rapid westward expansion. In order to foment the alienation of western Americans from their government and build a buffer zone on the west bank of the MS river to discourage US expansion, Spanish ambassador Don Diego de Gardoqui encouraged American citizens to colonize the west side of the river by offering them free land and free trade for an oath of allegiance to Spain. The rivers dominated life in the west, being the main avenue for trade, transportation and news. The MS allowed shipping to New Orleans, where goods could be sold or shipped to the east coast. The rivers were dangerous though, with obstacles like the Falls of the Ohio. George Morgan chose to put New Madrid on the largest south-north-south bend in the MS river because he believed that a fortified settlement here would control river traffic between St. Louis and Natchez and be the gateway for all trade west of the Alleghenies. New Madrid was a planned utopia, an idealized land of plenty George Morgan envisioned growing into a great metropolis, the key to controlling river traffic on the lower MS. 2. How did Indians initially react to the growing presence of white settlers in the Upper Mississippi River Valley? What role did Tecumseh and his brother, Prophet, play in the response? How did US-Indian relations ultimately sour? - in response to the never-ending US land grab, Tecumseh worked tirelessly to rally the tribes. His message was that to protect their lands the tribes had to agree to common ownership of all remaining land and to unite in a political-military confederation. He said by standing together the government could not take advantage of them, and Tecumseh promised that under his leadership such a confederation would be capable of resisting further US encroachment. - The first reaction was in August 1810, when a landmark council was held in Vincennes (Fort Knox) in Indiana Territory. The conference included territorial officials and chiefs of the northwest tribes, & brought together for the first time 2 men who had become the principal adversaries in the US-Indian struggle for control of the frontier—Shawnee chief Tecumseh and Indiana Territory governor William Henry Harrison. - Harrison denied Tecumseh’s claims that the US had done the Indians wrong and civilities fell apart. - Tecumseh’s brother was Tenskwatawa, and he had a life transforming vision that inspired a new religion. The new religion was based on the twin tenets of a return to traditional native ways and pan-tribal unity. Tecumseh and his brother established a new village near Greenville in western Ohio on the US side of the boundary delineated by the 1795 Treaty of Greenville, which became headquarters of the Prophet’s new religion. There was an influx of Indians, and some white settlers were killed by an unknown group of Indians, which caused
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Pres Jefferson to demand that the Indians remove themselves from Greenville. They had no intention to at first, but eventually moved further west into the
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This note was uploaded on 02/20/2010 for the course HIST 2055 taught by Professor Sheehan during the Spring '08 term at LSU.

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