m. bef. 1768
Facts and Events
Advisory on Mother of Tecumseh
There is a commonly repeated story that the mother of Tecumseh was Mary Bayles, wife of Andrew Ice, son of Frederick Ice. As the story goes, Mary Bayles, was stolen by the Indians and returned several years later with a 2 year old son whom she called Tecumseh. This story is easily contradicted since Mary Bayles was born in 1763, and Tecumseh was born in 1768. 
Shawnee indian [from "A Pioneer History of Wirt County" by Tommie Sewell, in the Wirt County Journel, Vol 79 No 53, c. 1979]
A picture of Tecumseh is said to have been the only one made of the famous chief. He is dressed in the uniform of a British officer and the portrait was painted by a British.
Tecumseh, the name signifying "shooting star", was born on the Mad River, near its junction with the Great Miami, in 1786, in a cabin erected of sapling poles and sticks, daubed with clay. [Note: should be 1768.]
Indian genealogy is shrouded in obscurity and historians differ widely even to the family of Pukesheno. Tecumseh was a triplet, according to many writers. His triplet brothers were Tellskwatwa, who is better known as "The Prophet", and Kumskaukau. The Prophet was only second to Tecumseh as a warrior. While these triplet boys at the age of six were playing on the banks of the Scioto, their father was being killed at the battle of the Great Kanawha. From this time Chesetau became the head of the family and directed the training of his younger brothers, as their teacher and exempler. They were provided with small bows and arrows, and taught to hunt. Their capable mother, Methelashe, fed their family good venison and buffalo meat, corn gruel, ash cakes, pastes of bear fat, nuts and berries, wild rice and the products from her thrifty garden.
When Tecumseh was 12 years old the home was destroyed by whites. At the age of 14 hew joined his first war party and at the age of 18 he went with his brother Chesekau, to the south and southwest and was gone for three years. Before his return, the two brothers engaged in an encounter with the whites on the Tennessee border where Chesetau was killed in 1788 or 1789.
On Tecumseh's return to Ohio, he possesssed a growing sense of the injustice of the whites.
He had now become a trained warrior and was unexcelled as a hunter among his tribesmen. From this time, his influence spread so that he was not only a chief of his own tribe but was destined to become a great sachem of many tribes. His eloquence as an orator among his people provided a great advantage to him. He could not only sway his followers by the magic of his utterance but he is now classed as a stateman and a diplomat. He never won a great battle, but retained the loyality of his people. His efforts to keep the land for the indians proved futile. He went about the country dressed in the usual hunting shirt, mocassins and leggings, with knife and tomahawk in the girdle. He carried a formidable rifle and two stained feathers adorned the crown of his head., as an organizer among his people he had no peer. Tecumseh would not tolerate the torture of prisoners. History records show he prevented his followers from scalping and killing prisoners at Fort Meigs. On one occasion he found two boys in the woods and personally led them back to the settlement to prevent them from suffering harm.
Sauwseekee, Tecumseh's second oldest brother, was killed at Wayne's Victory in 1793.
The Prophet's fame rested on his ability as a medicine man who pictured to his followers the time when they could live forever untroubled by elbowing whites, when pumpkins and corn would grow to an enormous size. A parallel has existed in recent days when trustful old men and women believed in the panacea of one Dr. Townsend.
School boys know Tecumseh won the help of the Creek tribe. On receiving a cold reception from the leaders of the tribe, he left them but before his departure he advised them that he was going to Detroit and on his arrival would stamp his foot on the ground and shake down their wigwams. The Creek carefully measured the fullfillment of the threat. On the very day that Tecumseh was expected to complete his journey, a terrible rumble was heard, the earth rocked to and fro, their teepees trembled, and many of them toppling over. Terrified they rushed wildly about exclaimed, "Tecumseh has reached Detroit." This was the historical earthquake of New Madrid, Mississippi.
During the War of 1812, Tecumseh joined forces with the British and soon after was commissioned a briigadier general and to our knowledge was the only Indian ever to receive this high rank. At the battle of the Thames, Tecumseh commanded the left wing of the British army and it was here that Tecumseh died, probably from a pistol shot by Colonel Richard Johnson who was later elected vice-president. The tide of battle rolled by the prostrate form of Tecumseh. The next day when the Americans had returned to the United States Tecumseh's faithful Shawnee warriors returned to the battlefield and, near a large fallen oak, they buried their fallen leader.
The British granted a pension to Mamate, Tecumseh's widow, and to his son, they gave a sword. The willows and rosebushes now grown thich above the ground where in silence and solitude repose the dust of the Shawnee chief. He struggled in vain against the inevitable. He fought a good fight. His fame is secure upon the golden pages of history. Who shall say to him nay? Tecumseh lived to witness the movements that led to the time when his tribe would vanish from the setting sun. Some of his direct descendants, the Alfords, now live in Oklahoma.