Purdue Professor to Expound on Prophetstown

Dr. Dawn Marsh, assistant professor of history at Purdue University, will discuss the unique, short-lived Native American settlement of Prophetstown, in Indiana’s Wabash Valley, on Thursday, Sept. 18,  2008,  at 7 p.m. at the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian, 3001 Central Street, Evanston.

In a lecture titled “Interpreting Prophetstown ,” Marsh will discuss the early 19th-century settlement’s unique role as the center of an organized, inter-tribal resistance movement against United States expansion into Native lands.

Shawnee Indian brothers Tenskwautawaw (Tens-Kwau-Ta-Waw), known as “The Prophet,” and Tecumseh settled at Prophetstown in the spring of 1808.  They developed a new community that became the spiritual, social, and political capital of a 14-nation Native American confederation.

The confederation returned to traditional beliefs and social practices, rejecting the "trade based" lifestyles that had been adopted by members of the “Government Tribes," according to the Web site of Historic Prophetstown, http://www.prophetstown.org.

The tribes sided with the British during the War of 1812. The village was sacked by U.S. forces in 1811 and abandoned in 1812.

“The town was founded as part of a religious revival that was led by the Prophet,” Marsh told Purdue News Service. “Unfortunately, the warriors and the battle at this site are emphasized more than the life of the village.”

Marsh, who specializes in Native American history, holds a doctorate and a master’s degree from the University of California, Riverside. She heads the Purdue University Tecumseh Initiative, which provides opportunities for Native Americans for graduate education and research.

Admission to the talk is included with an entrance donation to the museum.  Suggested donation is $5 for adults; $2.50 for seniors, students, and children. Maximum suggested admission per family is $10. For information, phone (847) 475-1030. On the Net: www.mitchellmuseum.org.

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