Tecumseh Shawnee Chief - Battle Of The Thames Memorial
Road Trips. Usually the start of q great adventure with a destination in mind or, sometimes no destination at all, just the prolific journey, of the Road Trip itself.
This particular day, I did have a destination to go to, and was very much anticipating the drive/trip getting there.
I was heading to Detroit Michigan, from Toronto Ontario. It’s roughly a 4 to 5 hour drive along Canada’s busiest highway, the 401. Since the Afghan war started, and so many Canadian troops returning home to Canadian soil, and leaving their life on a middle eastern battle ground, Highway 401 is also become known as - The Highway Of Tears.
As I was a couple hours into my drive, the road-trip tunes playing on the car stereo, windows down and the breeze blowing through the car - it felt good. In my head, I was running ideas through my mind of what my photographic goals were while in Detroit. What I wanted to capture, and how I wanted to capture it.
I was feeling good. pumped-up and optimistic. As I continued my drive down through Southern Ontario, I noticed yet another highway sign, explaining what the next upcoming turnoff will be, and where it leads. As I quickly glanced up to read the sign information, as I had no intention of diverting from navigating to Detroit, the sign said; ‘Tecumseh Memorial’ Next turn. I quickly mentally digested what I just read and I had absolute no idea, that Tecumseh , the historical figure I had read and learned about was literally, the next upcoming exit. So, without hesitation, My left hand pulled-up on my right-turn signal and - my road trip just took a detour - with a big smile on my face!
Tecumseh Shawanee Chief - Battle Of The Thames
It took about 8-10 kilometres navigating a winding road. There were no other signs really pointing me in the right direction so, I wasn’t really confident I was going the right way. But, I couldn’t stop now, I was on a mission to visit Tecumseh’s Memorial.
As I took the last curve in the road before seeing something that would resemble a Memorial and place of homage to a great leader, I pulled into the small park and did just that, I slowly, (with the sounds of gravel beneath my wheels) came to a stop, parked my car and stepped out.
I looked around and I was the only person there. I was absorbing where I was. Taking-in my outdoor open-air surroundings, I reached back a few feet and opened the hatch-back to my car, reached in and started pulling-out my camera, tripod and other gear. I wanted to document the Battle Of The Thames.
Lots of earth tones. Many plaques peppered the grounds detailing the historical events that took place here. And here, is in the middle of farm country. Lots of open sky and fields. Nothing to suggest great battles of armies pitted against each other. Nothing resembles the pools of blood from the dying warriors and soldiers. Nothing to suggest to stench that would have permeated the air.
I was left with a haunting feeling after reading one of the plaques displayed throughout the park. There is a quote from an American soldier whom speaks about the screams and death curdling sounds, coming from Tecumseh's warriors when they learned of their leaders death.
Lots of artist renditions and memorial made of metal. Carved within the metal are many forms of nature and wildlife. Spirits, birds and the vibrance of life itself, There arent many trees around so the wind blew across the farmer's plains as I'd step from one plaque to another, reading the history of the battle. And certainly moved by what I had read.
I recommend going to see for yourself. Spend the time to learn, read and appreciate the historical significance of the battle and the war of 1812 itself. The whole reasoning behind Tecumseh's partnership with the British/Canadian army. And what he feared would happen to the Native American People, as the American frontier consumed more and more land in it's western migration .
Attached are images I captured and my interpretation of them. As, how I saw them. This was and is a significant place in Canadian History - A battle that took the life of the great leader - Tecumseh. And quite possibly, re-directed the geography and displacement of the Indigenous peoples.forever.
After spending my time walking, reading the plagues, observing the surroundings of my little personal discovery of this historical location, I returned to my car and set-out again for my road-trip to Detroit Michigan.
The sun was starting to set on the city. And I wanted to capture this. I've included the photo along with the the Tecumseh Memorial images.
They say - things happen for a reason - I find it interesting that, had I not self-discovered the memorial, and that adding to my time getting to Detroit, I probably would not have arrived near and in Detroit at the later time that I had.
I stood in a place that revealed the sun setting between the towers. This only happens once a year from the ideal vantage point that I just fortunately stood. If I had stood a few feet either left or right of where I was, I could have completely missed the perfectly setting sun between the towers. And was a perfect conclusion to the adventurous day.
I’ve include wikileaks bio about Tecumseh.
Tecumseh /tᵻˈkʌmsə, tᵻˈkʌmsi/tə-KUM-sə, tə-KUM-see (March 1768 – October 5, 1813) was a leader of the Shawnee Native Americans. He led a large tribal confederacy against the United States during Tecumseh's War, which precipitated his alliance with Britain in the War of 1812.
Tecumseh grew up in the Ohio Country during the American Revolutionary War and the Northwest Indian War, where he was constantly exposed to warfare. With Americans continuing to move west after the British ceded the Ohio Valley to the new United States in 1783, the Shawnee moved farther northwest. In 1808, they settled Prophetstown in present-day Indiana. With a vision of establishing an independent Native American nation east of the Mississippi under British protection, Tecumseh worked to recruit additional tribes to the confederacy from the southern United States.
During the War of 1812, Tecumseh's confederacy allied with the British and helped in the capture of Fort Detroit. Prior to the raid, Chief Tecumseh delivered a powerful speech upon a rock that is preserved to this day at Fort Malden. After the U.S. Navy took control of Lake Erie in 1813, the Native Americans and British retreated. American forces caught them at the Battle of the Thames, and killed Tecumseh in October 1813. With his death, his confederation disintegrated, and the Native Americans had to move west again, yet Tecumseh became an iconic folk hero in American, Aboriginal and Canadian history.