International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Religion and Removal among the Shawnee from Ohio into Kansas
Brady DeSanti

This article examines the removal of the Shawnee from their traditional homelands in Ohio and Indiana into “Indian Territory” (Kansas and Oklahoma) from 1824-1832. The displacement of the Shawnee caused them great hardship and exacerbated preexisting divisions within their community. These challenges impacted every facet of Shawnee life, but one overlooked theme has been the religious dimensions of their removal experiences. Those Shawnee factions that wished to maintain traditional ways of life resisted white encroachment into their homelands and opposed missionary attempts to convert them to Christianity. This conflict pitted so-called traditionalists against some leaders open to allowing Christian missionaries into Shawnee life, finding it a necessary part of adjusting to American civilization. Denominational rivalries also developed among the missionaries, as they vied for the most influence over the federal government’s policy toward the Shawnee.

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