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Pontiacs War Essay

2608 words - 11 pages

Dane Eremenko
for George Hoffman
Due March 26, 2010
History 101

The Pontiac uprising was a rebellion between some Native American’s and the British, with the help of the French Canadians. The Ottawa chief Pontiac was among the group of Ottawa, and asked for the help of three other tribes, Huron, Chippewa, and Potawatomi. Before getting into Pontiacs War we need to rewind and look before the war began. Pontiac, and Amherst had participated in the 7 years war that took place in 1756, and ended in 1763. The 7 years war was a war between France and Britain, mainly taking place at the Plains of Abraham. The war ended with Britain defeating the ...view middle of the document...

The Native had visions of purified Indians by getting rid of all European technologies and values reuniting themselves in their ancient traditions. He also preached to throw off their dependence on the white man and his goods, even to the point of rejecting firearms. He stated, “The road to Heaven was being blocked by the white people, and it could be opened only by the change of heart on the part of the Indians and probably, war.”2 Neolin wanted his people to give up the white man’s liquor, cling to only one wife, and to abandoned white man’s weapons and cloths.
The war was named Pontiacs War even though Pontiac did not instigate it. Pontiac, also known as Obwandiyag, was born in 1720, and was a native of Ottawa. Pontiac’s father was part of the Ottawa Indians, and his mother was Chippewa, because of his parents Pontiac was raised in the Ottawa area. In the beginning Chief Pontiac was just one of many Native leaders who decided that war was in their best interest to protect their position in North America. During the French invasion some of the Indians converted to Catholicism, and this was Pontiacs second Religion a side from his Native beliefs. When Pontiac got complaints from the French Canadians Pontiac said, “We are all brothers and the children of your Great Father, the King of France.”3 He finished his speech off by telling us he had defended the French many years earlier against other Native leaders. He stated, ”I am French, and I want to die French.”4

The French consistently gave the Indians ammunition, gifts, and clothing while the British withdrew such gifts and ammunition. This created tension, and was further instigated by the fact that the French had warned them of the British growing population and their intentions of taking away their lands. In April 1763 Pontiac called upon his tribes to join him against the British. Chief Pontiac envisioned his people to take arms and fight back against the British. On May 1, Pontiac and the other warriors went to Fort Detroit and demanded an audience. Pontiac did this so he could get a good look at the fort and make a plan to attack the fort. By May 7, he took 300 soldiers to Fort Detroit each with hatchets and short muskets beneath their robes. Another Indian had betrayed Pontiac’s trust, and Major Gladwin heard about Pontiacs plan, and they where ready to defend the fort. When Chief Pontiac felt that Gladwin was ready for the attack he pulled back and left. Pontiac and his followers tried twice more to take the fort but were never able to.
The Natives used tactics to get in and take over the forts. One strange incident when taking Fort Michilimackinac was, “one Chippewa playing lacrosse beside Fort Michilimackinac flung the ball inside the fort. The players chased the ball inside the fort, drew weapons, and killed or captured the entire garrison.”5 The Natives had taken over every British fort west of Fort Niagara except for Fort Detroit, and Fort...

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