In "The Thin Red Line-, David Edmunds discusses the Shawnee resistance led by Tecumseh, and his brother, the Prophet. He provides brief, but detailed accounts of their life, including critical, life-shaping events. Edmunds wishes to illuminate some unknown particulars that will give the reader a more accurate view of this historical account of the Shawnees, and what precipitated out of it "and why. .
The main thesis is, Americans only remember Tecumseh, but not his brother. Not only do Americans remember Tecumseh, they embellish him. This is mainly because the Americans held more respect for him, compared to the "strange holy man-, The Prophet. The Shawnee resistance can be viewed as a "thin red line- as Edmunds puts it, and despite being brothers, Tecumseh and The Prophet view this "thin red line- in two different ways. Edmunds compares and contrasts the two brothers, and convinces the reader of certain commonalities: Americans killed their father at the Battle of Point Pleasant, they took their land without consent or sharing, and sharing land is a custom of Indians. Their people also were ravaged by alcohol, disease, and murder. Finally, the signing of the Treaty of Greene Ville, which allowed settlement of the Ohio Valley, combined with all the injustices, exploded in the War of 1812. Edmund eventually points out that The Prophet is more responsible, but is disregarded, for the resistance. His holy missions inspired resistance, but Tecumseh, the military leader, is remembered. This is because of the Battle of Tippecanoe and the burning of Prophetstown, where The Prophet is defeated. Tecumseh tries to convince the Americans, if he had been there, "there would have been no blood shed."" Edmunds is able to point out why Tecumseh is more remembered than his brother, because Tecumseh respects the Americans: this, along with the fact that the Americans respect his character, his efforts, and his bravery, is the very reason why they remember him and venerate him as a hero, and forget The Prophet.