Revisiting Pontiac’s Rebellion

Pontiac’s Rebellion which was an indigenous peoples’ rebellion in the Ohio country and Illinois country in 1763 has been written about by historians since shortly after the rebellion was over. The rebellion was started by a confederation of native groups in an effort to push British settlers and soldiers from the region and to maintain the sovereignty of native lands in the Ohio and Illinois country. Pontiac was an Ottawa (Odawa) leader who had stated that he had been guided by the spiritual visions of another that said that native peoples should form together to push the white man back to the ocean from where they came. 

Stories of the Pontiac’s Rebellion are part of American history teaching in schools throughout the United States and Canada. The teaching about the rebellion is largely a single paragraph in most U.S. History books without much explanation of the causes or results of the uprising itself. The topic and narrative of the rebellion is constantly updated and reviewed by historians; however, the subject lacks any growth in education and remains largely a byline in the buildup to the American Revolution.

The intent of this paper is to review the writings of previous historians’ narratives of Pontiac’s Rebellion. The reasoning for my review is that writings that currently exist depend largely on the British narrative of the rebellion and very rarely look at alternative viewpoints including the native and French viewpoints. Another part of this review is to research the military narrative of the rebellion. From many writings, historians have seen Pontiac’s Rebellion as a British victory, although treaty negotiations after the conflict were largely in the native’s favor. Through the review of the writings of multiple historians the narrative of Pontiac’s Rebellion will be reviewed and discussed.

Pontiac – First Peoples of Canada

We begin this review by looking at an article from the Journal of Ethnic History titled “Migration and the Unmaking of America.” In this article the author, Phil Bellfy, takes account of the British colonies and their expansion, specifically how it affected the existing nations that were being pushed from the lands where they had lived long before the Europeans arrival. Bellfy begins his article discussing the Anishnabeg made up by the Ottawa (Odawa), Chippewa (Ojibway) and Potawatomi peoples the group is also called the Three Fires Confederacy[1] Anishnabeg means Original Man or The People, and the Anishnabeg believed that there was no separation between the people and the land that they lived upon “in both a cultural and physical sense.”[2]

The Anishnabeg’s overall beliefs were that “They were a part of the land and the land is a part of them” was contrary to the beliefs that European Christians had from the book of Genesis that said “Be fruitful, and multiply, replenish the earth and subdue it,” [3] These differences in beliefs would put the Anisnabeg and the European settlers at odds almost immediately, how could natives give up or sell land that they were a part of?

At the time of European contact, the Anishnabeg occupied most of the Great Lakes’ region, including what is now Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Western Ontario,[4] their territory bordered the lands of the Iroquois Confederacy to the east and south of Lake Ontario. As European contact grew into the fur trade, the Anishnabeg expanded their territory to the south into what is now Indiana, Illinois and Ohio, and further to the east pushing the Iroquois further east.[5] Until 1760, the Anishnabeg had primarily traded with French fur traders and dealt with French military and governmental groups, after 1760, the British had forced the French from the region and now controlled the areas fur trade and other trade with the Anishnabeg. The change in terms were not agreeable to the Anishnabeg, but they reluctantly followed to continue their ability to trade for goods.

The Anishnabeg were facing the British policies on trade which were significantly less generous than the French. The British Commander, General Jeffrey Amherst refused to allow gun powder, lead for bullets and trade rifles to be traded with native groups, this refusal caused a great hardship to native groups in their ability to hunt for food and to trade furs. Pontiac an Ottawa (Odawa) leader began to organize warriors to fight against the British insurrection into their lands and the loss of resources that were available to the Anishnabeg in trade. Pontiac’s uprising began as an attack against Fort Detroit with 300 men. Pontiac’s actions inspired attacks on other British outpost and settlers, by other native groups as far east a Fort Bedford in the Pennsylvania colony including a siege of Fort Pitt (now Pittsburgh PA) that lasted two months.

Fort Pitt – Griffing

Now, Bellfy suggests that we must recognize that Pontiac’s Uprising, was not really a war or a conspiracy. Bellfy writes, “Pontiac’s action should be more honestly referred to as ‘a vigorous defense of the homeland.’ While the history books refer to Pontiac’s “War” as a failure, from the perspective of the Anishnabeg, the campaign was a success.”[6] Bellfy also points out that “Pontiac and his allies essentially forced the British to recognize that the area’s Native people were very much in control of their homelands and had the power to dictate the terms of trade.”[7]

Bellfy’s arguments in Journal of Ethnic History suggest that Pontiac and the uprising that started with the Anishnabeg peoples was not a group of savages looking to attack white settlers, but an organized defense of native land and trade rights that spread to a pan-Indian coalition that pushed the British to recognize the sovereignty of native groups and led to the Treaty of Fort Stanwix and the Treaty of Hard Labor two years later. These treaties established boundaries for settlers to live within and protected that border with Provincial and British Military Forces. “’Pontiac’s Rebellion’ had eliminated the worst of the British threat and at the onset of the Revolutionary War, the area’s native people joined their former British enemies to counter what they perceived as a greater threat – the Americans and their lust for land.”[8] Bellfy paints a different image than what is normally reported on Pontiac’s Uprising, the section of this article on Pontiac and the Anishnabeg peoples shows Pontiac acting in defense of their land, opposing people who were unwilling to trade under previous agreements and pushing their border into other lands.

In the article, “Thinking and Believing: Nativism and Unity in the ages of Pontiac and Tecumseh,” George Dowd discusses the similarities between Pontiac and Tecumseh and how they unified native groups under common goals to establish large movements. The article shows the parallels between the two men and how they are viewed in history. The article discusses the guidance given to Pontiac by a Lenni Lenape (Delaware) profit named Neolin, Tecumseh also had a spiritual advisor named Tenskatawa, [9] which is one of many similarities between the two movements.

Much of what we know from Neolin’s visions come from the words of Pontiac. While for the most part Pontiac conveys the visions and messages from Neolin correctly, according to later records of the Shawnee and the Lenni Lenape there were some differences. [10] Pontiac used the spiritual visions that Neolin spoke about to guide his tactics to push the British away from the Indiana and Ohio countries. Neolin’s guidance painted the French in a much more positive light, than it did the British. Neolin’s message was “the Master of Life loves our French brothers” and the English “are my enemies and the enemies of your brothers (the French). [11] Pontiac was a believer in the spiritual guidance of Neolin and wen he met with French officers at Fort Chartres (Illinois) where he attempted to gain French aid, without success, he told the French officers, ”(The Master of Life) who put arms in our hands, and it is he who has ordered us to this bad meat that would come to infest our lands… Think then my Father that thou goest against the Master of Life and that all red men conform to his will.”[12] Dowd quotes historians Howard Peckham and Wilbur Jacobs who called Pontiac’s Uprising an “Indian War for Independence”[13]

Dowd’s article shows that Pontiac was a Pan-Indian leader, his leadership crossed not only the three tribes of the Anishnabeg, but also to other nations in the Ohio country and as far east as Fort Ligonier, Pennsylvania. Pontiac used the spiritual beliefs that he had to guide his tactics and to share those messages with other groups to join in pushing the British invaders back to the east. Pontiac’s approach pushed the uprising he started throughout many of the native nations in what is now Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. defeating British regulars and multiple militias. Pontiac used spirituality, charisma and tactics to gain the respect of the British colonial leadership.

Richard Middleton in the essay, “Pontiac: Local Warrior or Pan-Indian Leader” discusses how Pontiac is portrayed as a historical figure. His article debates whether Pontiac was a local leader who was lucky enough to have others follow him, or was he seen as a force for change among multiple native groups who saw him as a strong leader. General Sir Jeffrey Amherst called Pontiac “the Ringleader of the Mischief” when he spoke of the uprising’s capture of every British post west of the Alleghenies, with the exception of Forts Pitt, Detroit and Niagara.[14] Two years later General Thomas Gage that Pontiac had maintained his influence over multiple native groups that continued to fight against British outposts and British settlers moving onto their land. At the peace conference held at Fort Detroit in the Summer of 1765, Colonel John Campbell, one of the military representatives stated the Pontiac had ”vast influence“[15]  over the proceedings and the agreements that were made. Middleton also writes that historian in 1851, Francis Parkman wrote in his book The Conspiracy of Pontiac and the Indian War after the Conquest of Canada that Pontiac’s authority over the confederated Ottawa, Ojibwa, and Potawatomi ”was almost despotic, and his power extended far beyond the limits of the three united tribes. His influence was great among all the nations of the Illinois country; while from the sources of the Ohio to those of the Mississippi and, indeed, to the farthest reaches of the wide-spread Algonquin race, his name was known and respected.” [16]

Middleton also notes that many historians discount the influence that Pontiac had on the overall uprising. Middleton writes that including a historian who referred to Pontiac as the “greatest local menace” and another historian, Howard Peckham, who stated that “There was no grand conspiracy or pre-concerted plan on his part embracing the western tribe…. In the beginning, there was only a local conspiracy at Detroit directed by Pontiac.”[17] Middleton suggests that the best way to define the leadership of Pontiac is to “look at the manner in which leadership is exercised, whether by force, or by holding a particular office, or through influence….” [18]

Middleton goes on to explain how the plans to force the British back across the Allegheny Mountains did not begin with Pontiac. He notes that in 1760, two warrior chiefs of Seneca descent named Tahaiadoris a Genesee leader and Kisshuta a Mingo leader had developed a plan of Pan-Indian forces capturing Fort Detroit, Fort Pitt and the now occupied former French forts along the Allegheny River to cut off communications among the Forts. Tahaiadoris and Kisshuta also had made plans to reach out to long standing enemies of the Iroquois, the Cherokee and other southern nations who were already fighting the British to join forces in pushing the British back. Their plan also included an expected return of French forces to retake Canada and support their native bothers.[19] After receiving word of this Iroquois led attack, the Anishnabeg and other Great Lakes native groups were distrustful of the Iroquois and also ill prepared to become involved in a war at that time. The Great lakes groups communicated and chose not only to not go to the war conference, but to allow the Wyandot leaders to warn the British commander at Fort Detroit of this action. [20] Tahaiadoris and Kisshuta’s plan never gained ground and was abandoned.

Over the next two years native groups saw that the British troops who had taken control of the French forts along the Allegheny River and at Presque Isle stay there, though they had promised to remove themselves. They saw Amherst and William Johnson stop the gifts that were normally traded with the native groups that included gun powder, trade muskets and lead for musket balls. This slowed the native groups ability to hunt in the ways they had become accustomed to. Native groups saw these gifts as rent for the occupation of their land. Amherst stated that the natives must earn what they needed by trading with white merchants.[21]

The natives saw these actions by the British as a way to weaken them, in the Spring of 1762, war belts again began circulating and requests for assistance went to the French Governor of Louisiana who had been waiting for a reason to attack the British, and the French Minister of War agreed that they could use gifts to secure support near the southern British Colonies. A French officer then traveled north on the Mississippi River to Fort Chartres to meet with the Anishnabeg and other groups. Even with French support the native groups in the region were again unwilling to commit to an attack on the British. At the conference, the native groups of the Great Lakes regions stated, “they would be on their guard and watch the motions of the British for the future.”[22] These groups encouraged the native groups in the Ohio Country to do the same.

Pontiac suddenly arose as a leader among the Ottawa and it was understood that his father was Ottawa and his mother was Ojibwa, a marriage of two of the more powerful nations in the Great Lakes region. Middleton states that Pontiac was present near the Forks of the Ohio in July 1755, with other natives from the Great Lakes, were present at the defeat of General Braddock. Two years later Pontiac was at Fort Duquesne where he made a speech urging the Indian defenders not to abandon their French Allies.[23]   While there is no evidence of Pontiac giving support of Tahaiadoris and Kishutta’a plan, it is clear that Pontiac was an up and coming leader. He also became more recognized when his travels introduced him to the Leni Lenape prophet Neolin, and Pontiac took Neolin’s visions that natives should give up the European ways and return to their beliefs.

The British obviously saw Pontiac as an important leader of native groups. The British belief in Pontiac’s importance was not misplaced. During 1763 he had activated a remarkable coalition of Indian nations, loosely coordinated but prepared to fight, for the restoration of a world free of English redcoats and settlers.[24] Pontiac may not have directly led each attack, but his charismatic leadership, fueled by the visions and words of Neolin made a great impression on many native nations and on the British. William Johnson, British Indian Affairs officer sent his deputy George Croghan to meet with Pontiac at Detroit after Pontiac had ended the hostilities to negotiate the peace. Croghan traveled with a large amount of gifts from Johnson for Pontiac and his people as a gesture of good will and assurances to continue to follow the Proclamation of 1763 and assure no settlers would move past the Allegheny Mountains, but the British would maintain their western posts[25]. Croghan also presented an invitation for Pontiac to meet with Johnson at Niagara later.

Middleton’s article shows the importance that Pontiac had; he discusses in detail the effect that Pontiac’s leadership had on other nations. He also shows the importance that was placed upon him by the French, British and the Anishnabeg. Pontiac was most certainly a Pan-Indian leader and the power he had is greatly underestimated in the writings of others.

The next article was written by historian James T. Clark in 1914 for the New York State Historical Association. The article uses some descriptive words that would be considered racial slurs in the current age, those words will be quoted only when it is germane to the point being discussed. The article, Sir William Johnson and Pontiac discusses the two men and very briefly touches on the actual meeting. Clark states, “The meeting of Sir William Johnson and the Ottawa chief Pontiac, at Oswego, was not merely a picturesque episode of the pre-revolutionary history of our beloved country, but it was the closing act, or at least the climax.in a drama that was set on a wide and romantic stage. This drama embraced the relations of the aboriginal race of Red Men to the White invaders and conquerors of Europe…”[26]

Clark states that upon the European arrival and establishment of colonies on the Atlantic coast, that there was already major division between the native groups that existed, and especially between the groups to the north and south of the Great Lakes.[27] The French settlers in the Great Lakes region were largely there for the fur trade,” the for trade was a lode-stone, for a few bauble and gems and knives from Paris, bales of peltry could be had worth much French Gold.” “As for the French traders, many went the way of commercial adventurers, compared to the sturdy tillers of the soil whom England had planted deep along the coasts. They sank into runners of the woods, and instead of civilizing the savages they debased them or themselves became half-savages, a mongrel caste, lower than the Indians of pure blood.”[28]

The article goes into depth about Sir William Johnson, from his upbringing and inheritance of land in the Western side of New York colony. Clark writes that after the death of his wife, Johnson married a native woman named Caroline who was niece to Henrik, a powerful chief of the Mohawks, calling her “One of the best types of civilized Indians.”[29] Caroline was younger and known for her beauty, the marriage gave Johnson more respect among the native groups. The two had three children, two daughters and a son, “the son is mentioned in Johnson’s will as ’the half-breed William of Cajahorie.’”[30] In 1748 Johnson was name the Superintendent for Indian Affairs for the New York Province, he resigned the position in 1749 after it was cutting into his commercial business of supplying provisions to the Oswego Garrison. His resignation dissatisfied the regional native groups and he was reinstated in 1755 and given the commission of Major General by General Braddock. Johnson persuaded the Indians to take up arms for the British at the critical time of the outbreak of the French and Indian War.[31] In 1756. Johnson was given an appointment directly from the Crown as “sole superintendent of the affairs of the Six Nations (Iroquois Confederacy) and other Northern Tribes.”[32] Johnson now answered to and negotiated on behalf of the King of England.

When referring to Pontiac, who Clark calls “A Chief of Chiefs”[33] he also states that it is hard to make a comparison of the two men calling Johnson as “The Irish Pioneer” and referring to Pontiac as,”the big man of his savage people.” [34] In describing Johnson’s physical characteristics, Clark writes; ”Five feet, eleven and a half inches tall, neck massive, broad chest and large limbs, the head large and shapely, countenance open and beaming with good nature, eyes grayish black, hair brown with a tinge of auburn.”[35]  Clark describe Pontiac as, “That he was a stalwart man of the forests and streams must be understood. Tradition has it that he was not above average height and he is characterized as long-headed, whether the term is used figuratively or as a physical description – one of the dolichocephalics, whom scientists’ class as the pioneer of human progress.”[36] Clark’s description of Johnson is based on a quotation from Lady Julia Grant’s Journal, Memoirs of an American Lady; The description of Pontiac is unquoted.

Clark goes on to discuss Pontiac and his known past including helping the French defend Detroit. Leading “several hundred Indians against Braddock at Fort Duquesne”[37] Clark writes ”that by his skill and daring in war he kept first place among the chiefs of the Western tribes. He (Pontiac) devised a currency of promissory notes among his people, which, be it said to his credit, were redeemed.” [38]  Clark goes on in the same paragraph to call the natives a ”peculiar race… those traits are the same qualities that our (white) men great,” and;  ”their stealth, treachery, cruelty, vindictiveness, may well be referred to as the habits from the chase and other animal like pursuits.”[39] 

Later, Clark writes of George Croghan having and amicable meeting with Pontiac at Detroit in the fall of 1765 in which Pontiac and Croghan “smoked the pipe of peace.”[40] Croghan then invited Pontiac to meet with Johnson at Oswego, the next summer. Pontiac arrived at Oswego of 1766, later than he and his party were expected. Clark writes, ”Pontiac came with chiefs and warriors of the Ottawa, Hurons, Chippewa, and Pottawatomies, gliding across the lake in their canoes to land at this ancient water gateway of the south and the west. The chiefs of the Six Nations were there, gazing with curious eyes upon the great warrior of the west, chief of chiefs, who came from far beyond the unsalted seas to bow to England’s power and smoke the calumet with their beloved white protector.”[41] For the next several days many speeches were given and a peace was negotiated, Sir William Johnson had a silver medal struck in silver which he in turn gave as gifts to the chiefs with the inscription, ”a pledge of peace and friendship with Great Britain.”[42]

Clark’s writings on this topic, viewed with the modern eye, are at the very least misguided on a cultural appreciation of the native nations in North America. His lens for the cultural understanding of the humans that occupied much of the nation is muted by descriptive language using words like savage, niggardly, and mongrel to describe them. While the article is described as an analysis of the meeting between Sir William Johnson and Pontiac at Oswego, the article is largely a way of pointing out British supremacy and ignoring the longstanding culture that existed on the continent.

In their opening sentence, to the article Franco- Indian Diplomacy in the Mississippi Valley 1754-1763: Prelude to Pontiac’s Uprising, Carl Brasseaux and Michael LeBlanc make a statement the largely supports the purpose of this article. “For over a century, the historiography of Pontiac’s Rebellion has borne a markedly Pro-British stamp, a manifestation of Anglo-American historians’ excessive reliance upon British archival resources.”[43] The authors point out that a Pro-British bias has ignored the factors that contributed to the uprising, including the recorded treatment of native peoples by the British military and colonial governments and the continued settling of land outside established treaty boundaries. The authors also suggest that many historians have ignored the French influence on native groups that continued after the French and Indian War had ended. The authors also state that the Pro-British narrative has caused American historians to mistakenly suppose that “Trans- Appalachian Indians spontaneously formed into intertribal alliance only after the Treaty of Paris (1763) and ensuing British attempt to occupy Illinois.”[44]

Brasseaux and Leblanc using the French archives including the records of the French Colony of Louisiana showing the towards the end of the French and Indian War, Louisiana Governor Louis Billouart de Kelerec continued to use a network of French/ Indian alliances to mobilize natives to stop the encroachment of the British into French territory. The authors write, “the intertribal ties forged by Kerelec persisted, thus laying the groundwork for Pontiac’s uprising.”[45] King Louis XV approved the use of French supplies and weapons for a guerilla campaign against the Anglo-Americans in early 1762, including sending French troops and trade good to extend the Franco-Indian alliance in the Louisiana Territory.[46] When the end of the war came, France would no long support the supply chain from the Louisiana Territory, Kerelec however did what he could to maintain the friendship and cooperation between the French and their Native allies, including using his own money to extend gifts, gun powder, and weapons. These items would prove useful for the native of the Great Lakes region as they began to see the British encroachment past the Appalachians and the maintenance of British soldiers at posts in the Ohio and Illinois territories. As supplies were cut off from France however, the ability to mount an assault with support from French soldiers and he possibility of allied soldiers from the Spanish colonies ended. Letters from Kerelec continued to circulate among the Native communities reporting that French troops had arrived in Louisiana showing that the British had falsely told natives that the French had been defeated.

Pontiac and other French allied leaders were ready to continue the fight. “Pontiac sent runners carrying war wampum (black beads summoning allies to war), among the tribes in the Illinois district and successfully solidified and expanded the Franco-Indian alliance in preparation for the anticipated offensive.”[47] The allies gathered near Detroit on April 27, 1763 and Pontiac addressed those assembled. Pontiac told the council that the King of France had not abandoned them, and that France had soldiers coming to assist them in pushing the British back to the sea. Pontiac’s speech inspired those gathered and the natives planned their strike against British outposts in the Illinois territory including Detroit. The allied groups captured and destroyed every outpost in Illinois territory except for Detroit. In October 1763 word came that the French King would not come to support the uprising and on October 31, 1763, Pontiac sent a letter to the English commander at Detroit stating: ”My Brother – my father has sent word that I must sue for peace. I have accepted his advice. All of our young men have buried their tommahawks. I trust that you will forget the outrages that have transpired for quite some time; and I will forget your offenses against myself.”[48] Shortly afterwards, the other uprisings that included Chippewa, Wyandot and Iroquois also ended.

Brasseaux and LeBlanc show in their article that Pontiac was not alone in planning the uprising, and that the influence for the Louisiana Governor may have caused Pontiac and his allies to attack, feeling that French support would soon come to assist them. For Pontiac and his allies when fighting the betrayal from the British, they found that the French would also betray them.

In the article Ponteach: The First American Problem Play, Historian Marilyn Anderson discusses a play that is written by Major Robert Rogers, famed leader of Roger’s Rangers in the French and Indian War. The play was entitled Ponteach and it was never performed on stage. There is some debate as to whether Rogers wrote the play himself or had extensive literary help.[49] Though the play was never performed it did receive some critical reviews on of which called that Ponteach and his fellow tribesman portrayed violence that the writer could only read with “abhorrence and disgust” and that he had hoped for a greater contrast between the noble Ponteach and the villainous whites.[50]

Rogers had a familiarity with Pontiac. Rogers and his rangers were at the siege Detroit during the French and Indian War by the French and Pontiac as a French ally. Rogers had interviewed Pontiac and took part in putting down Pontiac’s Rebellion.[51] Rogers had a respect for natives and their leaders such as Pontiac and he had some understanding of why the natives performed the atrocities that they did. Rogers had been involved in the fur trade and saw first-hand the advantages that Europeans had taken against their native counterparts. “As he demonstrates in his drama, he (Rogers) sympathized with the Indian’s natural resentment and frustration at the unfair trading practices.”[52]

Throughout the play, Rogers portrays Pontiac as a noble man, frustrated by the whites constant incursion into the lands where his people had lived for many years. Anderson shows that Rogers had a great respect for Pontiac in how the play was written. Rogers saw Pontiac as an important leader who deserved respect for his achievements and tactics. The play may not have been able to sway many of the colonists or the British public to better understand the horrible things that had been done to the natives in North America, but Rogers felt it was important enough to tell that story.

Charles Grant in his article Pontiac’s Rebellion and the British Troop Moves of 1763 delves into the reactions of the British Army and how the command staff moved British Troops in the year of the uprising. Grant writes, “Generally speaking, the errors in misinterpreting the influence of Pontiac’s Rebellion are of two magnitudes. “Most authors make the error of first magnitude by concluding that the rebellion was an important factor in causing the decision to station British regulars on American frontiers.”[53] He adds the errors of the second magnitude that Pontiac’s Rebellion “reinforced the decision” to place troops on the frontier.[54] Grant believed that it is natural for historians to believe that the movement of British troops to strengthen colonial defenses on the frontier was the result of Pontiac’s Rebellion.[55] Grant reviewed documents and journals regarding troop movements; he found that the movements were preplanned to guard against French influence from their colony of Louisiana and the encroaching Spanish influence.[56]

Grant, in his writings, shows that British troops movements were preplanned prior to the uprising and were fortunate for the British to regain control of the areas which were under siege. Grant asserts that it would have been impossible for General Amherst to gain approval from Britain to move the Crown’s units to the frontier. The troop movements in 1763 were a show of force and protection for the newly acquired lands of the Crown.

There are holes in the research on Pontiac that could not be filled within this examination of the historiography of Pontiac’s Rebellion. The holes exist due to a lack of written record from the native communities. Much of the tradition was transferred by oral history and may not have been recorded in writing before those storytellers passed on. The story of Pontiac’s Rebellion is riddled with biases in the same way many indigenous histories are portrayed, with racial bias. Included in this review here the writings of James T. Clark, who describes natives as savages, red men and uses other terms that would not be seen as appropriate today. The views of Pontiac have changed a great deal in the writing of historians over the years. While prior historians may not have understood cultural development and looked upon the world with a biased cultural lens, the narrative more recently shows Pontiac and other leaders in a better cultural importance.

The historical record shows the importance of Pontiac’s Rebellion to history. Pontiac may not have been a tactical military leader; he did however take advantage of opportunities that presented themselves. Pontiac led one military siege against the British at Fort Detroit, that siege inspired other native groups to resist British occupation of their lands. Pontiac was a Pan-Indian leader, meaning that he united various groups of natives in a common goal. Although that common goal was eventually lost, Pontiac helped give the natives a stronger situation from which to bargain from.

Bibliography:

Anderson, Marilyn J. “”Ponteach”: The First American Problem Play.” American Indian Quarterly 3, no. 3 (1977): 225-41.

Bellfy, Phil. “Migration and the Unmaking of America.Journal of American Ethnic History 20, no. 3 (2001): 9-22.

Billington, Ray A. “The Fort Stanwix Treaty of 1768.” New York History 25, no. 2 (1944): 182-94.

Brasseaux, Carl A., and Michael J. LeBlanc. “Franco- Indian Diplomacy in the Mississippi Valley 1754-1763: Prelude to Pontiac’s Uprising?” Journal De La Société Des Américanistes 68 (1982): 59-70.

Champagne, Duane. “The Delaware Revitalization Movement of the Early 1760s: A Suggested Reinterpretation.” American Indian Quarterly 12, no. 2 (1988): 107-26.

Clark, James T. “Sir William Johnson and Pontiac.” Proceedings of the New York State Historical Association 13 (1914): 85-107.

Dowd, Gregory E. “Thinking and Believing: Nativism and Unity in the Ages of Pontiac and Tecumseh.American Indian Quarterly 16, no. 3 (1992): 309-35.

Middleton, Richard. “Pontiac: Local Warrior or Pan-Indian Leader?” Michigan Historical Review 32, no. 2 (2006): 1-32.


[1] Bellfy, Phil. “Migration and the Unmaking of America.Journal of American Ethnic History 20, no. 3 (2001): 9-22. Accessed July 18, 2020.

[2] Bellfy, Page 9

[3] Bellfy, Page 9

[4] Bellfy, Page 10

[5] Bellfy, Page 10

[6] Bellfy, page 10

[7] Bellfy, Page 11

[8] Bellfy, Page 11

[9]Thinking and Believing: Nativism and Unity in the Ages of Pontiac and Tecumseh.American Indian Quarterly 16, no. 3 (1992): 309-35. Accessed June 27, 2020. doi:10.2307/1185795.

[10] Dowd, Page 310

[11] Dowd, Page 310

[12] Dowd, Page 310

[13] Dowd. Page 311

[14] Middleton, Richard. “Pontiac: Local Warrior or Pan-Indian Leader?” Michigan Historical Review 32, no. 2 (2006): 1-32. Accessed July 19, 2020. Pages 1-2

[15] Middleton. Page 2

[16] Middleton. Page 2

[17] Middleton. Page 2 – 4

[18] Middleton. Page 5

[19] Middleton. Page 5

[20] Middleton. Page 7

[21] Middleton. Page 8

[22] Middleton. Page 10

[23] Middleton. Page 11

[24]  Middleton. Page 31

[25] Middleton. Page 31

[26] Clark, James T. “Sir William Johnson and Pontiac.” Proceedings of the New York State Historical Association 13 (1914): 85-107. Accessed July 19, 2020. Page 85

[27] Clark. Page 86

[28] Clark. Page 88

[29] Clark. Page 88

[30] Clark. Page 92-93

[31] Clark, Page 95

[32] Clark. Page 95

[33] Clark. Page 96

[34] Clark. Page 96

[35] Clark. Page 96

[36] Clark. Page 96

[37] Clark. Page 97

[38] Clark. Page 96

[39] Clark, Page 96

[40] Clark. Page 102

[41] Clark. Page 103

[42] Clark. 104

[43] Brasseaux, Carl A., and Michael J. LeBlanc. “Franco-Indian Diplomacy in the Mississippi Valley 1754-1763: Prelude to Pontiac’s Uprising?” Journal De La Société Des Américanistes 68 (1982) Page 59

[44] Brasseaux/LeBlanc. Page 59

[45] Brasseaux/LeBlanc. Page 59

[46] Brasseaux/ LeBlanc. Page 60

[47] Brasseaux/LeBlanc. Page 63

[48] Brasseaux/LeBlanc. Page 64

[49] Marilyn Anderson, “Ponteach: The First American Problem Play,” American Indian Quarterly 3, no. 3 (1977): pp. 225-240.

[50] Anderson. Page 228

[51] Anderson. Page 229

[52] Anderson. Page 229

[53] Charles S. Grant, “Pontiac’s Rebellion and the British Troop Moves of 1763,” The Mississippi Valley Historical Review 40, no. 1 (June 1953): pp. 75-88.

[54] Grant. Page 77

[55] Grant. Page 82 – 83

[56] Grant. Page 84

Author:

Greetings! I am Shawn MacIntyre, and I grew up with a love of history. When most kids were watching cartoons I was watching documentaries. After a long career in public safety, I chose to return to college to seek a new career path bringing history to the public. In April 2019. I graduated from Point Park University with a Bachelor's Degree in History, Magna Cum Laude. My new path is to make learning history fun, exciting and accessible to everyone. I invite you to join me on my journeys to historic destinations, learn interesting facts about the past, and spark a love for history!

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