Chief Pontiac - Pontiac's War
Back in those days, the Ottawa Indians never had a chief, and the British also thought the same. However, they have already heard of the name Chief Pontiac from many sources. With this notoriety, the British thought of him as the chief of the tribe and he accepted it gladly. His status with the Europeans angered some of other Native Indian leaders. His fame increased when he entered what became known as “Pontiac’s War” (1763–1766). The rebellion planned by Pontiac started with his drive to take Detroit from the British. He encouraged different tribe leaders from the Great Lakes region to join him in taking up arms against the British. Pontiac's plan was simple; take as many forts as possible and destroy the British settlements. It was a policy of extermination. Each of the tribe leaders was assigned to one fort. Fifteen British forts were taken of which twelve were completely destroyed. Others, including Fort Detroit and Fort Pitt, were besieged. French settlers also joined in the war providing additional weapons and man power.
Chief Pontiac: The Battle of Bloody Run
The initial phase of the rebellion a great success for the Native Indian alliance. They were able to take more than half of the forts in the surrounding areas. They tried to intimidate British troops by putting the bodies killed by the tribes in full display. The next phase was to starve the people in Fort Detroit to death. The Battle of Bloody Run was fought during Pontiac's War on July 31, 1763 in a failed British attempt to break Pontiac's siege of Fort Detroit. The creek, or run, was said to have run red with the blood of the dead.
Pontiac signs the Oswego Peace Treaty
After laying siege to Fort Detroit for many months the French started to side with the British and Chief Pontiac learned that France had signed a peace treaty with Great Britain. The loss of his French allies effectively ended Pontiac's War. On July 25, 1766, Pontiac signed a peace treaty at Oswego, New York.
Aftermath of Pontiac's Rebellion
Pontiac's War failed but the rebellion of the Native Indian tribes hastened the implementation of the Royal Proclamation of 1763 that established a massive boundary called the Proclamation Line. The Proclamation of 1763 was designed to calm the fears of American Native Indians by halting the westward expansion of colonists whilst expanding the lucrative fur trade.
Death of Chief Pontiac
In 1768, he was forced to leave his Ottawa village on the Maumee River, and relocated near Ouiatenon on the Wabash River. While he was visiting Cahokia, Illinois, in an attempt to unite the tribes of the Mississippi Valley, he was murdered by a Peoria Indian on April 20, 1769. It was a revenge killing for a past skirmish.
The Story of Chief Pontiac
For additional facts and information refer to the legend and the Story of Chief Pontiac.