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MICHIGAN CHAPTER 11

Pontiac Plans to Wipe Out the English Invaders

The course of events seemed to show the intention of these people to drive the natives out of the country and possess it for themselves. The benevolent intentions of the distinguished gentlemen who formulated the treaty in the French capital never came to the ears of the dwellers in the American forests, or if they did, they had no meaning within savage comprehension. A proclamation was issued in October of that year strictly prohibiting English settlements within the reservation. Practically this came too late to have any effect whatever on the attitude of the Indians. They were already on the war path, butchering, burning, sacking, destroying. The luckless trader or traveler caught in the woods was murdered offhand. The families living in exposed frontier locations were scalped, their cattle run off, their dwellings sacked and burned. The rumors of these depredations quickly spread. Terror-stricken families fled from their homes to the refuge of the fortified posts. Everywhere there was a frenzy of apprehension, of excitement. Those who lived near the forts felt little security. Even the garrisons themselves were compelled to exercise the greatest watchfulness to guard against surprise, to suspect treachery in every move and to trust no protestations of friendliness on the part of any savage.
Pontiac called a council of his warriors. This was held at an appointed spot on the banks of the River Ecorces, a short distance below Detroit. Thither came all the tribes until there was an immense village of their wigwams. On the 27th of April, 1763, all the warriors were summoned and Pontiac addressed them in his most impassioned manner. An account of this council written by a priest of Detroit at the time has been preserved in the archives of the State Historical Society. From contemporary evidence it is believed to be trustworthy.

MICHIGAN


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