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Michigan CHAPTER 10

Effect Upon the Indians of the Lake Region

So disturbed was the state of mind among the Indians that it became apparent early in the summer of 1761 to Captain Campbell, then in command at Detroit, that trouble of a serious character was brewing. Forthwith he despatched messengers to General Amherst and to the commandants at Forts Pitt and Niagara warning them of the situation and the dangers which threatened. As a matter of fact the garrison at Michilimackinac was surprised by a ruse, and many were massacred, the rest being carried off into captivity. A similar attack at Sault Ste. Marie was prevented by a timely warning and preparation to meet it. It now appeared that there was a wide conspiracy and a general understanding among the Indian tribes of all the northern country from the Atlantic seaboard to the Mississippi to rise in rebellion. By the timely discovery of Captain Campbell the plan was frustrated for the time being. Knowing of the hostile designs of the savages the commandants of all the western forts were on the guard against surprises. Every movement was closely watched. In the summer of 1762 another plot was discovered among the tribes of the immediate vicinity of Detroit to capture the fort and slaughter the garrison. Its fortunate discovery prevented this attack also. As an instance of the state of the popular mind in apprehension of direful events, it is related that in that same summer there was a rain which brought down from the sky sulphurous water of the color and consistency of ink, some of which being collected in bottles seemed to be quite suitable for correspondence. There appears to have been no doubt of the fact, though possibly greatly exaggerated. Its influence upon the superstitious dread of the unlettered habitants was of more than passing importance. Signs and omens and dreams exercised a powerful force upon the minds of the savages.

Michigan


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