Battle of Tippecanoe Key Events

“We took a north Cours[e] up the East side of the Wabash and Crosst [sic] to the west with orders to kill all the Indians we saw. fine news.”

–John Tipton, October 31, 1811 diary entry

Several critical events in the chronology of the Battle of  Tippecanoe are highlighted here. Harrison, the Prophet, and Tecumseh conducted a series of negotiations over a period of years. At an 1810 meeting, Harrison and Tecumseh almost came to blows regarding the Treaty of Fort Wayne. The natural tension between Harrison’s land negotiations and Tecumseh’s land claims for the confederacy foreshadowed the fight at Tippecanoe.

Year Event
1808 James Madison is elected president. Tecumseh and Tenskwatawa (the Prophet) establish Prophet’s Town near the confluence of the Tippecanoe and Wabash Rivers, Indiana Territory.
1809 Illinois Territory is established. The area of present-day Michigan becomes a separate territory. Governor Harrison concludes the Treaty of Fort Wayne. The Embargo Act is repealed.
1810 A company from the 7th US Infantry is ordered to Vincennes. Harrison is informed that Congress has ratified several treaties made with the Indians. Congress passes an act approving sale of the land gained in the Treaty of Fort Wayne. Tecumseh and Harrison have their first meeting, which is held at Vincennes.
1811 Note: At various times during 1811, Harrison served as both the governor of the Indiana Territory and a general officer in command of the military expedition.
May Proclamation of sale is issued for public lands gained as a result of the Treaty of Fort Wayne.
July The 4th US Infantry in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is attached to Harrison for operations. The regiment arrives in Vincennes in September 1811.
July Harrison and Tecumseh conduct their second meeting at Vincennes. After the conference, Tecumseh departs on a trip through the American south to recruit more Indian tribes into his confederacy.
September The 4th US Infantry and a company of the Rifle Regiment arrive at Vincennes. Harrison organizes and trains forces for the upcoming campaign at Vincennes and Fort Knox. Once organized, the army moves north and establishes Fort Harrison (near present-day Terre Haute, Indiana).
September The secretary of war authorizes General Harrison to approach Prophet’s Town and order the Indians there to disperse. If they refuse, Harrison is authorized to attack and compel them to disperse by force.
Oct. 29 The army departs Fort Harrison.
Nov. 3 The army crosses the Vermillion River and enters Indian Territory.
Nov. 6 The army arrives outside of Prophet’s Town and agrees to meet with Indian representatives the next day to discuss peace terms. The army establishes its camp on Burnett Creek.
Nov. 7 Battle of Tippecanoe. American forces repulse an Indian attack.
Nov. 8 Harrison’s forces destroy Prophet’s Town.
Nov. 9 The army departs the Prophet’s Town area.
Nov. 18 The army arrives in Vincennes.
Tecumseh and Harrison

Tecumseh and Harrison at Vincennes/Public Domain

The information on this page includes excerpts from the chronology in To Compel With Armed Force. Complete citations and references are available in the book.