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Published: Monday, 10/8/2012

Toledo author to speak on death of warrior chief

Tecumseh to be topic at Bedford library

Frank Kuron of Toledo describes himself as an early American
history enthusiast. Frank Kuron of Toledo describes himself as an early American history enthusiast.

TEMPERANCE — Toledo author Frank Kuron is to share his knowledge of the storied Shawnee brave Tecumseh at a presentation Wednesday at the Bedford Branch Library.

Mr. Kuron, whose 2011 book Thus Fell Tecumseh explores the death of the warrior chief at the Battle of the Thames in Ontario in 1813, is slated to be at the library at 7 p.m. 

A book signing is scheduled after his presentation.

Mr. Kuron, 57, is a graphic artist and freelance writer who describes himself as an early American history enthusiast. 

He spent six years researching Tecumseh and decided to make his death the focus of the book. He said that death helped shape the area’s history by ending Indian resistance to white expansion in the Northwest Territory, which at that time included Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana.

“It was his idea to unite the independent tribes into a confederation, and he was successful. Had he not been killed, there’s a good chance he may have succeeded in getting more tribes from the western areas to join him,” Mr. Kuron explained.

Tecumseh was killed in battle near what today is the city of Chatham, during the War of 1812, which was fought against the British and their Indian allies.

The circumstances of his death are not entirely clear, although Col. Richard Johnson took credit and used it in his later political career. 

He became vice president of the United States in 1837, serving in the administration of President Martin Van Buren, and before that represented Kentucky in the U.S. House and Senate. A campaign slogan was “Rumpsey Dumpsey, Rumpsey Dumpsey, Colonel Johnson killed Tecumseh.”

Mr. Kuron said others may have had a hand the killing “and they let Johnson get the credit. Tecumseh’s burial site is a mystery.”

Mr. Kuron’s 352-page book is available at Barnes and Noble, the University of Toledo bookstore, and Amazon.com.

He said his research took him to the Kentucky Historical Society in Frankfort and the Filson Historical Society in Louisville. He also used the University of Kentucky archives, the Ohio Historical Society, and the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library.

He said the years spent reading accounts of Tecumseh left him with a good feel for the warrior’s character.

“He was just one of those charismatic types of people. He was respected by his allies and his enemies, the Americans,” he said.

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