Posts Tagged ‘Shawnee’

Historic Home Place

This is the home I lived in as a baby. Bull Creek is to the viewer’s right. Behind the house, the farm ran to the Ohio River. (mules etc.) The river was fordable on horseback–Shawnee on horseback used to cross here to raid Kentucky. A 1790 blockhouse to prevent Shawnee raids was built here.  (Eric Suddeth photo)


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Shawnee Three Sisters Stew


I am not a cook, but this is based on Shawnee recipes and my dining experiences at powwows. The Three sisters: Corn, beans, squash

As the Shawnee say: Haskwaalawe? Are you hungry?


20 ounces of dried pintos (soaked overnight)

20 ounce can of hominy

One winter squash peeled and cubed


Hickory smoke flavoring


Thickener: cornmeal and/or file

Bacon grease


Red pepper

Black pepper

Garlic powder

Salt to taste

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Tecumseh on the run

I see this picture as the Shawnee hero, Tecumseh, hiding from his enemies. Perhaps these are scouts working for the US Army. (yes, I plan to write about Tecumseh)

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I love this picture. (Not sure who the artist is) I imagine the great warrior leader, Tecumseh, great of all Shawnee leading a raiding party through the Indian woods.He was not only a brilliant military tactician, but a man of compassion. He eradicated torture among Shawnees.

[in another lifetime, I was Tecumseh! Everyone can be Napoleon]

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Tecumseh was a Shawnee warrior/war leader, perhaps the greatest military mind the United States has produced. He wasn’t the only Shawnee warrior. My great-grandmother on my mother’s side, Evalina Greenfield Pait, was about one quarter Shawnee. Some Shawnee lived in Tullytown, 25 miles northeast of Louisville. Their descendants still live a few miles north of Charlestown, Indiana where my paternal grandfather was from. His family was Cherokee, but they surely intermarried with Shawnee.

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Devil’s Backbone overlooks the Ohio River and Fourteen Mile Creek. (located in Charlestown State Park, Charlestown, Indiana) It is about 14 miles from the Falls of the Ohio, which was a natural place for pre-Columbian Native Americans to settle. Travel on the Ohio River past the falls was hazardous.

A team of archaeologists has proposed that Devil’s Backbone before Columbus was a temple Complex. (the state of Indiana has never conducted an archaeological exam). Here are my proposals from the tribes involved, listed in order of likelihood.

  • Shawnees: They were associated with the Ohio River further upriver, but a group lived just five miles away in Tullytown, near Charlestown.
  • Siouan Tribes: The Lakota/Sioux and kindred tribes. These Indians lived along the Ohio River, especially on the north side. They split up, groups going south, west of the Mississippi, and to the Great Lakes area.
  • Cherokees: They once had a town on the Cumberland River, near the Ohio River. Even in the present, they live in eastern Kentucky

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The antique shop was my parents’ Krispy Kreme Doughnut Shop when I was a baby. Charlestown Indiana. A kitchen fire put them out of business.

We lived with my grandparents on a farm bordered by Bull Creek and the Ohio River. This house is all that is left of the farm. About 1790, this was the site of a small fort built to stop Shawnee from crossing the Ohio. (my parents had Shawnee blood, so the Shawnee won!)


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Around the time of the Revolutionary War, a trader named Charles Tully set up a trading post about 20 miles north-east of Louisville, a mile from Charlestown, Indiana. Charles Tully was likely Meti—half French/half Shawnee. He traded with local Shawnees. Whites moved in, and the town became Springville before being abandoned a few years later.

A couple miles away, in Utica, Indiana is the Witches Castle. Three sisters, Tully’s daughters from his Shawnee wife, lived here. Legend has it that the 3 sisters were burnt out and driven from their home because they were Shawnee. The place is said to be haunted by them.

I would love to write about this. Some Tully descendants still live in the Charlestown area. I have been unsuccessful in contacting them. (I believe my Cherokee great-great grandfather moved to the area and married into these Shawnee) If anyone can help me contact them, I would so much appreciate it.

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