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The Lost History of the New Madrid Earthquakes$
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Conevery Bolton Valencius

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226053899

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226053929.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 22 October 2019

Revival and Resistance

Revival and Resistance

Earthquakes on Native Ground

Chapter:
(p.106) 3 Revival and Resistance
Source:
The Lost History of the New Madrid Earthquakes
Author(s):

Conevery Bolton Valencius

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226053929.003.0004

The New Madrid earthquakes had important consequences for Indians in North America. For people in the Cherokee Nation in the midst of a period of cultural upheaval and social stress, the earthquakes gave force to a religious movement of apocalyptic prophecy focused on resistance to American pressure. For Creeks resisting American takeover, the earthquakes became an important symbol in the Creek/American war sometimes termed the “Red Stick War.” For Native Americans throughout eastern North America, the spiritual symbolism of the quakes became a reason to ally with the Shawnee leaders Tecumseh and Tenskwatawa (both often termed “The Prophet”) in their Indian League, a movement of cultural and military resistance that formed an often-overlooked force in the War of 1812. The New Madrid earthquakes thus reveal political, military, cultural and religious tensions and faultlines in North America in the early nineteenth century.

Keywords:   Cherokee Nation, apocalyptic prophecy, Creek/American War, Red Stick War, Tecumseh, Tenskwatawa, The Prophet, Indian League, War of 1812, New Madrid earthquakes

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