Long before the confederacy of southern states, United States forces faced the uprising of a confederacy under the Shawnee leader and Native American folk hero Tecumseh who had visions of a Midwestern Indian nation allied with the British. Confederacy Tip_and_Ty_bannerforces led by Tecumseh’s brother Tenskawatawa (One with Open Mouth) met government forces under the direction of William Henry Harrison, Governor of the Indian Territory, on November 7, 1811, in the Battle of Tippecanoe (and Tyler too).

The battle took place in Indiana, at the confluence of the Tippecanoe and Wabash too Rivers. The day gave government forces an important political and symbolic victory and dealt a devastating blow to Tecumseh’s confederacy. Public opinion in the United States blamed the entire brouhaha on buttinsky Brits. The War of 1812 broke out only six months later.

The Battle of Tippecanoe (and Tyler too) also served as an important springboard for Harrison’s political ambitions which culminated in his becoming president in 1841. At the age of 68 years and 23 days when inaugurated, Harrison was the oldest president to take office until Ronald Reagan in 1981. During the campaign, Democrats characterized Harrison as an out-of-touch old fart (One Who Sits in Log Cabin Drinking Hard Cider). Harrison and running mate John Tyler (and Tippecanoe too) turned the tables on the Dems, adopting the log cabin and hard cider as campaign symbols along with one of the most famous campaign slogans ever (Tippecanoe and you know who).

Harrison caught cold shortly after his inauguration and went quickly from bad to worse. Harrison’s doctors tried applications of opium, castor oil, leeches, and Virginia snakeweed too. But to show his disdain for modern medicine, Harrison became delirious and died. He served only 32 days in office – some would say the perfect tenure for any politician.

Inspiration for 11/7/16




One thought on “November 7, 1811: Tippecanoe and So Do You

  1. How sad it is that the best one can hope for on the eve of this election is a return performance of the common cold.

    No, that is just not right.

    I will instead hope for a speedy impeachment process.

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