Reliving History

Re-enacting group to present historical program and appraisal fair

Chief Black Hoof to be portrayed by re-enactor Cottrel

SHELBYVILLE, Ky. (April 2016) – Born in 1720 and living well over a century, Chief Black Hoof was witness to many pivotal events that shaped what became the United States of America. He led the Shawnee peoples in a time when war was common, and Ohio ceased to be a frontier territory.
A living history re-enactor for over 40 years, Ohio resident Rusty Cottrel has diligently researched Chief Black Hoof. “As chairman for the 225th anniversary of the Battle of Peckuwe, I researched Black Hoof, who was the Peckuwe chief in 1780 and it appeared to me he was significantly influential during a good portion of the 18th and 19th century,” said Cottrel.

Photo provided

Rusty Cottrel often gives historical interpretations about Shawnee Chief Black Hoof.

He gave a historical interpretation of Chief Black Hoof, whose Indian name was Catahacasa, in the 225th anniversary reenactment of the Battle of Peckuwe. “Black Hoof was born somewhere near the pan handle of Florida in 1720 and witnessed the huge changes in the Ohio Valley during the 18th century and on into the 19th century as Primary Chief of the Shawnee. He would pass away in 1831 at the age of 111.”
Finding Chief Black Hoof to be an intriguing part of history, Cottrel said he was, “largely responsible for preservation of Shawnee culture during the transition period as Ohio ceased to be frontier.” He had plans to convert his nation over to farming and U.S. citizenship, but was interrupted when the Jackson administration developed a policy for Native removal west of the Mississippi.
“He has been largely overlooked in history, in favor of the “lost cause” of Tecumseh,” Cottrel said. “As Black Hoof moved more in his later life to align himself with the American government, he actually led a much larger portion of the Shawnee nation than Tecumseh.” Tecumseh was killed during the War of 1812.
But Tecumseh was unable to convince Black Hoof and his followers to join the Native American coalition against the white man, even though Black Hoof had been an ardent opponent to white expansion at one time. Black Hoof had fought against the whites in nearly every major battle from the French and Indian War (1756-1763) through the Battle of Fallen Timers in 1794.
After signing the First Treaty of Greenville in 1795, Black Hoof became a strong supporter of the American government. He met with President Thomas Jefferson in 1802 and sought the support of America to set up three Shawnee reservations in Ohio, recognize the Shawnee as United States citizens, and convert the tribe to a farming lifestyle.  
Cottrel will portray Chief Black Hoof in a special presentation on Thursday, April 14 at 7 p.m. at the Stratton Community Center, located at 215 Washington St., Shelbyville, Ky. In character as Black Hoof, Cottrel will transport his audience back to the homeland of his ancestors and through the many conflicts he faced in his lifetime.
“I hope the audience will learn a bit about this early Shawnee culture, and in particular, see how Black Hoof made transitions in his outlook during his lifetime of leadership, and hopefully, perceive a bit of the tragedy involved with the decisions that he was forced to make,” said Cottrel.
This program is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.  
“Chief Black Hoof” will be presented by the Painted Stone Setters, Inc. This group seeks to preserve, document and interpret Kentucky’s vast 18th century history in many ways.
The group participates in many living history events and programs throughout the year and is responsible for hosting The Long Run Massacre & Floyd’s Defeat each second weekend in Sept. in Shelbyville. A School Day Program precedes this event on the Friday before the weekend event.
The Painted Stone Settlers will also be hosting an Appraisal Fair on Sat., April 23 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., also at the Stratton Community Center. This event will feature Oldham County expert appraiser Mike Brown.
“I’ve been in the antique business since I was 16 years old,” Brown said. Mostly self-taught on the topic, he has traveled across the country participating in various trade fairs and antique shows. Brown specializes in Americana antiques, but has an extensive general knowledge about antiques that enables him to evaluate any unique item.
There is a $10 charge for each appraised item, limit of two items per person. For more information about either event contact Helen McKinney at (502) 487-0379.

• For more information about the Painted Stone Settlers or the Long Run Massacre please visit www.paintedstonesettlers.org.

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