| American History Stories, Volume III|
|by Mara L. Pratt|
|Anecdotes from the time Washington became president through the War of 1812, the rise of Andrew Jackson, and the sectional differences leading to the Civil War. Numerous black and white illustrations complement the text. Ages 8-12 |
THE ADMINISTRATION OF JAMES MADISON
 The next President was James Madison. He, too, was chosen
by the Republicans. He had been a near and dear friend
of Jefferson, and in simplicity of manners and living
was very like him. He was usually dressed in a plain
suit of black broadcloth, and was always very quiet and
gentlemanly in his bearing. The wearing of gay colors
had very much gone out of fashion since the days of
Washington and Adams, and so they were not very often
worn, either at the capitol or elsewhere.
 When Madison became president, affairs were very
prosperous and quiet. There was a prospect of trouble
ahead, however, both from the Indians and from the
The Indians had been very quiet since the time of
Washington, when Anthony Wayne had attacked them so
furiously; but now there had arisen among them a young
chief, Tecumseh, who was wise enough to see that the
Indians were being pushed father and farther from their
"happy hunting grounds," and that unless the white man
could be driven away, they would some time have no
hunting-grounds at all. And so when Harrison, the
Governor of Indiana, bought from some of the chiefs a
piece of land, and was about to take possession of it,
this chief felt that the time had come to speak; and
accordingly the Flying Tiger, as he was called, came to
Harrison about it.
"I wish to talk with you," said Tecumseh.
"Very well," said Harrison, "will you come into my
"No," said Tecumseh; "the air of the white man's wigwam
stifles me. I will talk outside."
As Tecumseh and his warriors, and Harrison and his
officers gathered, one of the officers said, "Tecumseh,
sit down beside your father," pointing to Harrison.
"My father!" cried the chief, contemptuously. "the Sun
is my Father!"
Tecumseh then went on to explain that the Indian was
 being driven every year farther west, that the broad
lands of the country were theirs, and that no Indian
had any right to sell, nor a white man any right to buy
Governor Harrison tried to explain, but Tecumseh would
not understand; and although he went away quietly
enough, Harrison well knew that an outbreak might at
any time be expected.
Tecumseh's great plan now, was to unite all the Indian
tribes into one body, and so make a fearful attack upon
the white men. And for this purpose he left his tribe
in the care of his brother, "The Big Prophet," and
travelled about from tribe to tribe, telling his story
and urging them to fight against these "pale-faces," as
he called the white men. If Tecumseh had succeeded in
his plan, I fear it would have been a sad, sad day for
those states bordering upon the Indian camps. But
while Tecumseh was away, Harrison attacked the Indian
camp on the Tippecanoe river, broke up their town, and
drove the tribe into the forests beyond.
Tecumseh on his return, finding his own tribe broken
up, and knowing that now his plan was hopeless, vowed
vengeance on the Americans. Knowing that America was
just on the verge of another war with England, he again
journeyed from tribe to tribe, telling them what had
been done during his absence, and urging them to join
the English against the Americans.
Having inflamed all the Indians who would listen to him
 with his own desire for revenge, he hastened to the
British officers and offered himself and his warriors
to fight against the Americans.
Satisfied that revenge was sure, Tecumseh and his
followers were quiet during the winter
months—quiet, but not idle, as the Americans
learned to their sorrow a few months later.
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