Gallop Toward the Sun: Tecumseh and William Henry Harrison's Struggle for the Destiny of a NationPeter Stark
Publisher: Random House (August 29, 2023)
Hardcover: 416 pages
A vivid account of the rivalry between future president William Henry Harrison and the Shawnee chief Tecumseh—and of the Native American alliance that fought westward expansion—from the New York Times bestselling author of Astoria
The conquest of Indigenous land in the eastern United States through corrupt treaties and genocidal violence laid the groundwork for the conquest of the American West. In Gallop Toward the Sun, acclaimed author Peter Stark exposes the fundamental conflicts at play through the little-known but consequential struggle between two extraordinary leaders.
William Henry Harrison was born to a prominent Virginia family, the son of one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. He journeyed west, became governor of the vast Indiana Territory, and sought statehood by attracting settlers and imposing one-sided treaties. Tecumseh belonged to an honored line of Shawnee warriors and chiefs. His father died while fighting the Virginians flooding into Kentucky, and in his dying words extracted a promise from his sons to “never give in” to the land-hungry Americans.
Tecumseh was, by all accounts, one of the nineteenth century’s greatest leaders. An eloquent speaker, he traveled from Minnesota to Florida and west to the Great Plains convincing far-flung tribes to join a great confederacy and face down their common (American) enemy. Eager to stop U.S. expansion, the British backed Tecumseh’s confederacy in a series of battles during the forgotten western front of the War of 1812 that would determine control over the North American continent.
Tecumseh’s brave stand was likely the last chance to protect Indigenous people from U.S. expansion—and prevent the upstart United States from becoming a world power. In this fast-paced narrative—with its sharply drawn characters, high-stakes diplomacy, and bloody battles—Peter Stark brings this pivotal moment to life.
Peter Stark is an adventure and exploration writer and historian. Born in Wisconsin, he studied English and anthropology at Dartmouth College and took a master’s in journalism from the University of Wisconsin. A longtime correspondent for Outside magazine, Stark has also been published in Smithsonian, The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, and Men’s Journal. His book Astoria was a New York Times bestseller, received a PEN USA literary award nomination, and was adapted into an epic two-part play.