The thriving trading post of Keth-tip-pe-can-nunk, known commonly as Tippecanoe, was established in the eighteenth century. It was at the junction of the Wabash and Tippecanoe Rivers, just seven miles north of Lafayette. In an effort to scatter the Native Americans and make room for new white settlers, the United States government razed the post in 1791. Seventeen years later, two Shawnee brothers, Tecumseh and the Prophet, rebuilt the town which became the capital of a great Native American confederacy designed to unite tribes, train warriors with a spiritual and athletic regimen, and organize a defense against the increasing presence of white settlers in the land.
The government grew increasingly wary of the rising power of the tribes, and General William Henry Harrison was deployed with one thousand men to destroy the town. Claiming the white men’s bullets were not going to harm the warriors, The Prophet inspired his men through fiery oratory and ordered an attack on Harrison’s troops on November 7, 1811. The white men routed their attack and broke the warriors’ spirits. Native Americans lost their footing in the fertile Midwestern lands they had roamed for thousands of years. Exploiting this military victory, William Henry Harrison, later used ” Tippecanoe and Tyler, Too” as a slogan during his presidential campaign.