EDITOR'S NOTE: This story is Part 6 in a 9-part series on Ohio's great American Indian chiefs released by the Ohio Historical Society on Nov. 3, 1967. Richland Source has entered into a collaborative agreement with the Ohio History Connection to share content across our sites. Part 1 focused on the Six Nations. Part 2 profiled Little Turtle. Part 3 examined Cornstalk. Part 4 was about Logan. Part 5 honed in on Pontiac.
The Prophet was a name the younger brother of Tecumseh earned via his uncanny powers which influenced a huge swath of the Native American Indian world.
He was called Lalawethika when he was born (about 1775) and his youth was spent in dissipation. However, he became a changed character after recovering from a long trance in which he was given up for dead.
Claiming that during his coma he visited the spirit world, The Prophet revealed his visions to his fellow tribesemen in 1805 at the Shawnee capital of Wapokneta.
He denounced all White man's customs, and preached a return to the Native American Indians' previous ways.
After he foretold an eclipse of the sun in 1806, delegations from the most distant tribes came to learn the new doctrines. They were at the same time exposed to Tecumseh's doctrines of tribal cooperation.
When cures The Prophet had promised failed to materialize, his influence weakened and was destroyed by General William Henry Harrison's victory at Tippecanoe.
The Prophet received a British pension and lived in Canada from 1812 to 1826, then returned to Ohio. He migrated with his tribe to Missouri and Kansas, where he died in 1837.