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A comet, earthquakes, and Tecumseh (1811)

The Great Comet of 1811, as drawn by William Henry Smyth

A comet appeared in March 1811. The Shawnee leader Tecumseh, whose name meant "shooting star",[29] traveled to Tuckabatchee, where he told the Muscogee that the comet signaled his coming. McKenney reported that Tecumseh would prove that the Great Spirit had sent him by giving the Muscogee [Creek] a sign. Shortly after Tecumseh left the Southeast, the sign arrived as promised in the form of an earthquake.

On December 16, 1811, the New Madrid earthquake shook the Muscogee lands and the Midwest. While the interpretation of this event varied from tribe to tribe, one consensus was universally accepted: the powerful earthquake had to have meant something. The earthquake and its aftershocks helped the Tecumseh resistance movement by convincing, not only the Muscogee, but other Native American tribes as well, that the Shawnee must be supported.

The New Madrid earthquake was interpreted by the Muscogee to support the Shawnees' resistance.

The Muscogee who joined Tecumseh's confederation were known as the Red Sticks. Stories of the origin of the Red Stick name varies, but one is that they were named for the Muscogee tradition of carrying a bundle of sticks that mark the days until an event occurs. Sticks painted red symbolize war.[30]

Red Stick rebellion: Further information: Creek War, Red Sticks, Fort Mims massacre, War of 1812#


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