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15 Interesting Curse of Tippecanoe Facts

by Sankalan Baidya
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15 Interesting Curse of Tippecanoe Facts

Time and again the world has been haunted by things unexplained. The very names of those things have infused a chill that run down the spine of everyone in the world irrespective of caste, color, sex, age and religion. One such thing is known as ‘curse’. A scientific and logical take on the popular curses worldwide do not really offer any supernatural base but somehow the stories continue to run down the time through centuries. Interestingly enough, some of these stories get a strange and almost shockingly real face as the events that take place continue to validate the long told stories. The famous Curse of Tippecanoe is one such historical curse that has a near real face. So, what is it all about? That is precisely what we are going to find out in this list of 15 interesting Curse of Tippecanoe facts! Are you ready?

15 Interesting Curse of Tippecanoe Facts
Tecumseh (Left) and Prophet (Right)

What is Curse of Tippecanoe?

It is actually a death curse which states that American Presidents who get elected in those years that are evenly divisible by the number 20 will die.

Now that we know what is curse is all about, it is time that we start learning some interesting facts about it.

Interesting Curse of Tippecanoe Facts: 1-8

1. The curse is also famous by its other names which are: Tecumseh’s Curse, Zero-Year Curse, Twenty-Year Curse, the Presidential Curse and the Twenty-Year Presidential Jinx.

2. The curse states that Presidents who get elected in years evenly divisible by 20 will die while serving in office.

3. The curse started taking its toll back in 1841 with the death of the then President William Henry Harrison. Harrison was elected in 1840 and died while serving in office.

4. For 120 years that followed, Presidents who were elected in years ending with zero (this happened every twenty years), died while serving in office.

The question that you would naturally ask is how did the curse start in the first place? Well, the next points give an explanation to this!

5. The curse gets its name from 1811 battle. The battle is known as the Battle of Tippecanoe. In 1809, William Henry was the governor of Indiana Territory. He was involved in the negotiations with Native Americans during the Treaty of Fort McHenry.

6. It was during the negotiations that he used questionable tactics and because of the treaty, large tracts of land were ceded to the U.S. government by the Native Americans.

7. The Treaty of Fort McHenry was also a reason for infuriating Tecumseh – the Shawnee leader. The result was simple! The Native Americans and the U.S. government soldiers reached the brink of war that became popular as the Tecumseh’s War.

8. Tecumseh led his Native American warriors into a bloody battle with Harrison-led US soldiers but Tecumseh had to face a humiliating defeat at the Battle of Tippecanoe.

Interesting Curse of Tippecanoe Facts: 9-15

9. It was Tecumseh’s defeat that infuriated his brother by the name Tenskwatawa who was well-known as a Prophet.

10. It was Tenskwatawa who supposedly cursed Harrison and also on the future Presidents (occupants of the White House) that whoever becomes the President of United States in the years that will have the same ending numbers as the year when Harrison became President shall die while serving in office. That’s how the legendary Curse of Tippecanoe originated.

11. There are two exceptions to the victims of the curse. The first one was Ronald Regan who survived an assassination attempt within months after he was installed in Presidential Office in 1980. Regan eventually died in 2004 after he left the office. The cause of death was Alzheimer’s disease.

12. The person who tried to assassinate Regan was John Hinckley, Jr. During trial, it was ruled by the jury that Hinckley was insane. The jury did not find any evidence that would go on to prove that Hinckley believed in the curse in any way.

13. The other US President who survived the curse was George W. Bush who was elected as President in year 2000. He is still alive.

14. There was one President who died while serving in office even though he was not elected in a supposedly cursed year. He was Zachary Taylor. Taylor was elected as President in year 1848.

15. People often attribute his death to the Curse of Tippecanoe because Taylor did fight in the Tecumseh’s War or Tecumseh’s Rebellion against Tecumseh.

List of all Presidents who were elected in a cursed year and died while serving in office.

President’s Name

Year of Election

Year and Cause of Death

William Henry Harrison

1840

April4, 1841, Pneumonia

Abraham Lincoln

1860

April 15, 1865, Assassinated

James A. Garfield

1880

September 19, 1881, Assassinated

Willian McKinley

1900

September 14, 1901, Assassinated

Warren G. Harding

1920

August 2, 1923, Stroke or Heart Attack

Franklin D. Roosevelt

1940

April 12, 1945, Cerebral Hemorrhage

John F. Kennedy

1960

November 22, 1963, Assassinated

Sources: 1, 2

Image Credit: 1, 2

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2 comments

DC Kerr January 29, 2018 - 9:04 pm

A bit of fact checking is in order: Tecumseh was nowhere near the battle of Tippecanoe – he was campaigning for the Indian confederacy & left strict instructions for his half-brother, the Prophet, not to engage the army. The Shawnee swept through Harrison’s encampment at dawn & would have slaughtered everyone, except…the warriors saw that the Prophet’s “spell to stop the soldiers bullets” wasn’t working, and ran off. The understandably upset troops then marched to the nearest village – Prophet’s Town – and burned it to the ground…end of battle.

Reply
Megan Webber April 23, 2019 - 6:25 am

Thank you for stating the correct facts, DC.

Reply

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