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Michigan CHAPTER 10

Effect Upon the Indians of the Lake Region

To put this hated race in mastery over them was a transfer of power very far from welcome.
The approach of the English was known to the tribes. In fact, the rumors of it had been circulating through the forests and it may well be believed that the facts and their significance had been discussed in many a wigwam council. The native savage had some mental acuteness; he had a form of government and of tribe organization. He understood many things and some of the abler men of the tribes were gifted with a wonderful amount of shrewdness and cunning. One of the most remarkable of these was Pontiac, a chief of the Ottawas. He dwelt with his squaws and offspring on Peche Island, a small islet in Lake St. Clair, a short distance above the head of Detroit river. He was of noble form, commanding presence and proud demeanor. His courage was unconquerable and his influence over not only his own tribe but of the neighboring ones allied by community of interest, was most profound. When Major Rogers arrived at the mouth of the Coyahoga river, the present site of Cleveland, on the 7th of Novemebr, 1760, he was met by a delegation of Ottawas who advised him to halt and await the arrival of Pontiac, who was the lord of the country. The Indian chief soon put in an appearance and demanded to know of Rogers why he had presumed to enter this country without permission, and what was his business. Rogers quietly informed him that the French had been defeated, and had surrendered to the English, and that he had been sent hither by his commanding officer to take possession of Detroit. At the same time he informed Pontiac that the English had no hostile intent toward the Indian tribes, but preferred to live in peaceful relations with them.

Michigan


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