Tecumseh at Adena 1807

Adena, the historic Worthington home, is located on a commanding range of hills west of Chillicothe. It looks across to Mount Logan, from which the face of the Great Seal of Ohio was designed. It overlooks the Scioto Valley, a terrain favored alike by mound-buiders, the Indians and ourselves.

The story of this banquet harks back to the time of Tecumtha and his brother, Tenskwatana, the Prophet. The presence of a large number of Indians drawn by the Prophet's mission to Greenville in 1807, caused increasing alarm among Ohio settlers in the central and western part of the state. After mobilizing several companies of the Ohio Militia (organized under the Ordinance of 1784), Governor Kirker dispatched General Thomas Worthington and General Duncan MacArthur to Greenville. They bore a peace-message to the Indians, and were instructed to obtain from Tecumtha and the Prophet the status of the activity there, and its purposes. The commissioners left Chillicothe, then the capital of Ohio, on September 8, 1807, and arrived at Greenville on September 16th.

They were cordially received and treated during their visit, and invited to attend a large Indian council about to be held at the settlement. On their return journey, they were accompanied by an Indian commission of four, Tecumtha, Blue Jacket, Roundhead and the Panther, with Stephen Ruddell as interpreter. They had been appointed by the council at Greenville to wait on the governor, and assure him of the peaceful purposes of the Prophet's mission.

The report submitted to Governor Kirker by his commission was entirely favorable to the Prophet's cause. They found no evidence that it was a covert war movement. A few days after they arrived at Chillicothe, a record-breaking mass meeting was held. It was addressed by Tecumtha, and presided over by Governor Kirker. The address was able, magnetic and convincing. The pioneer unrest and fear of Indian hostilities was set at rest. Tecumtha's assurances that his people desired to live in peace with their white brothers were accepted.

To that end, the Prophet's mission work - a labor of love - was teaching better moral preparation and better understanding of the new conditions that confronted his race after the Treaty of Greenville. The magnetic oratory of the great Indian patriot won. Hundreds of men who listened with close attention to this historic address departed to their homes, relieved of their fears that another Indian war was impending. Governor Kirker discharged the militia he had mobilized as a precautionary measure.

Hospitable entertainment was shown the Indian commissioners on all sides during their short stay. General and Mrs. Worthington, who had opened the doors of Adena to Tecumtha and his associates, gave a reception in their honor on the eve of their departure for Greenville. The banquet, after the fashion of that day, was elaborate and bountiful. It was the age of "the pyramid table." In the serving of coffee, one of the chiefs was overlooked. From the Indian viewpoint, such an individual omission at a friendly feast opened a fine field for Indian banter of the "coffeeless chief" by the other Indians. This custom is explained in Alford's notes on the Shawnee's "Umsoma." The situation naturally grew tense to the other guests who could have no knowledge of the "Umsoma." Tecumtha quickly exercised his good offices, to the great relief of his hostess' embarrassment. the neglected chief was served gospel measures of coffee, poured by her own hands, and was honored for the remaining hours of the reception with her personal attention.


Old Chillicothe by William Albert Galloway, pages 213-214
The Buckeye Press, Xenia Ohio, 1934