Today at the Indigo Sky Hotel, the Tecumseh pipe tomahawk goes on exhibit for the first time outside of Ohio through a loan arranged with the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma. For a nice picture of the pipe and additional information you can read this article by Kay Hively of the Neosho Daily News . The following comes from the Ohio Historical Society’s on-line collections catalog, along with images from Ohio Pix. If you have never been to those sites take a few minutes, have fun, and peruse the collection.
Physical Description: Tomahawk peace-pipe was likely made in Canada and dates from 1807. This forged-iron pipe has a curly-maple handle with two inlaid silver bands. There are two silver oval inscription plates. One is engraved “Tecumseh 1807” and the initials “TW” for Thomas Worthington are engraved on the other. Item Count: 1 item Dimensions: 12.7 cm wide x 40.64 cm long.Biographical and Historical Notes: Tecumseh (1768-1813) began to establish a reputation as a leader during the Indian Wars of the late eighteenth century, when he fought in several minor skirmishes and the Battle of Fallen Timbers. He refused to sign the Treaty of Greenville in 1795, fearing that it would increase white settlement and eventually cost American Indians their land. Tecumseh argued that all American Indians held land in common and that one tribe could not cede the land to the U.S. government. During the War of 1812, Tecumseh supported the British, in hopes of regaining lost land. He was killed during the Battle of the Thames in 1813. Thomas Worthington (1773-1827) was born in Charles Town, Virginia (later West Virginia). He was orphaned by the age of seven and received little formal education. After a brief time at sea, Worthington turned his attention to farming and surveying, which led him to locate and purchase land in the Virginia Military District, which is now in the state of Ohio. In 1798, he moved to Chillicothe with his family, including his brother-in-law Edward Tiffin, who later became Worthington’s political ally. Worthington quickly became a prominent citizen. He was appointed register of the Chillicothe Land Office and was elected to the Territorial Assembly. He was a leader of the Jeffersonian Republicans in Ohio and vocally opposed Territorial Governor Arthur St. Clair, who believed that the settlers were not qualified to govern themselves and required the leadership of a strong governor. Worthington lobbied President Thomas Jefferson and Congress to pass an act that enabled Ohio to draw up a constitution and become a state. He served two partial terms in the U.S. Senate, where he proposed what later became the National Road and the creation of the General Land Office. Worthington was the sixth governor of Ohio, serving from 1814-1818, and served three terms in the Ohio House of Representatives before his death in 1827.
Provenance: The Ohio Historical Society received this tomahawk pipe from James T. Worthington of Washington, D.C., in 1947. Tecumseh gave the pipe to Thomas Worthington when he visited Adena, Worthington’s home in Chillicothe, in the fall of 1807.
Index Terms: metal, maple (wood), silver (metal), tomahawks (weapons), Worthington, Thomas, 1773-1827, and Tecumseh, Shawnee Chief, 1768-1813.
Source: Worthington, James T. Catalog Number: H 39472.