Monday, May 2, 2011

White Invaders - Early 1800s

White Invaders - Early 1800s
Overhiser Fruit Farm dwellers (5 generations) have much in common with our Native American ancestors. If you work the land and depend on the forces of nature you appreciate how Indians felt about Mother Earth. We now know that Albert and June Overhiser's 30 descendants have a small percentage of Native American blood. This blog will give you a better understanding of our ancestor, The Prophet.

The Ohio and Kentucky Valley conquest was the greatest hurdle for national expansion in the late 1700s and early 1800s. Tensquatawa the Prophet (our ancestor) and his brother Chief Tecumseh led the defense against the invaders.  They forged a coalition of many tribes dedicated to protecting Indian lands and cultures.  Tribal communities were based on clan and kinship with deference paid to age, not wealth or station.  Women farmed, men hunted.  They valued sharing and reciprocity as a way of living.  Tribal homelands were hallowed ground held in common.  One package - earth, sky, rivers, lakes, mountains, meadows and all living creatures.  Euro-Americans viewed the land as wild, chaotic, and godless.  Each side thought the other to be savages. 

Tensquatawa's preachings grew more militant and political from 1808–1811, as more young warriors from nearby tribes joined his movement. By 1811, both white settlers and the U.S. Army had become quite concerned about what was happening at Prophetstown on the Wabash.  Late in 1811, Tecumseh journeyed south to meet with other tribes in hopes of building a larger alliance.  According to legend, he left Tensquatawa in command and ordered him to avoid any confrontation with whites.

On November 7, 1811, while Tecumseh was still away, Tensquatawa saw a vision and told the other Indians to attack the coming white people. The Americans were under the command of future President William Harrison. Tensquatawa's forces were soundly defeated. (See the Battle of Tippecanoe.) It was a two hour battle that left many Indians dead or wounded. The Indians buried their men in the night, and stripped The Prophet of his powers. The village at Prophetstown was burned and the defeat put an end to Tecumseh's hope of a broad Native alliance.

The notion of "land exchange" was proposed as early as 1803, by President Jefferson (1801-1809).  The 1817 treaty with the Cherokee was the first that included Indians ceding land in the east for equal amounts in present-day Arkansas. Many other treaties of this nature quickly followed.  The earlier Indian relocations were done by purchase, force and coercion. The notion that Pioneers were heroes and Indians inhuman needs more balance by hearing more Indian voices.

Tensquatawa and Tecumseh participated in the defense of the Canadian colonies during the War of 1812. In 1813 The Prophet was present at the Battle of the Thames, but fled with the British forces and was absent when Tecumseh was killed. In the following decade he unsuccessfully tried to regain a position of leadership. He had married Priscilla Perkins in 1795 and Marsha Bates (our ancestor) was born in 1814.  In 1825 he returned to the United States and assisted in removing many of the Shawnees west of the Mississippi. In 1826 he established a village at the site of modern Kansas City, Kansas. He died in 1836 at his village in Kansas City (located in the Argentine area; the White Feather Spring marker notes the location).

Sources: Colin G. Calloway, The Shawnees and the War For America, 2007; wikipedia; and other Internet sites

At the Farm May 2, 2011 - Blossoms
Allan reports that this year is a "normal" old fashion spring with cool wet weather.  Fruit should be coming on at normal times rather than two weeks "early" as it was last year.  The fields are muddy but they were still able to plant 1000 new peach trees and 200 apple trees. If you drive to the farm between May 6 and 16 you will see fruit trees blooming: sweet cherries, peaches, tart cherries, pears, plums and apples.

The Farm Family traveled to Hersey PA for spring break.  Aaron and Kim went on the 8th Grade trip to DC. Kelsy and Kortny are in soccer and softball.  Alex and Adam are playing baseball. Aaron is playing baseball and is on a travel basketball team.  Makes me tired just thinking about all the activities.