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MICHIGAN CHAPTER 11

Pontiac Plans to Wipe Out the English Invaders

There were cases in which different tribes united upon an enterprise and held together to carry it into execution. It was a severe test of Pontiac's combination that it was able to stand against a failure of instant movement and a delay which dragged through more than fourteen months. Meantime the forests were alive with active war parties who went up and down encouraging the spirit of revenge and stimulating the inflamed passions of the warriors. Such men had no conception of discipline or self restraint. The native had never been taught to submit his will to the control of another. He loved individual freedom. He was. impatient of subordination. Hence there was never an Indian army in the proper sense of the word. The French were able to command the services of Indian allies in many affairs, and even the English had troops of savages to help them in engagements against similar forces on the other side. But these allies were not amenable to military discipline and generally fought Indian fashion, without order or restraint, in a sort of go-as-you-please method. The organization which Pontiac was able to effect prob-ably came nearest to being an Indian army of any ever known. That he was able to attack as strongly a fortified place as Detroit and maintain a state of siege against it for a year speaks strongly for his superior genius.
By the treaty of Paris in 1763 the Valley of the Ohio and adjacent parts were reserved as an Indian domain of which the natives were to have exclusive possession and control. If this fact had been anticipated or could even now be made generally known the situation might have been radically changed. The Indians had been irritated by the aggressiveness of the English.

MICHIGAN


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