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MICHIGAN CHAPTER 12

Complete Defeat of the Savages

Pontiac took measures to stop marauding. He visited the various farms and parcelled out the quantity which he estimated each was capable of supplying. For these supplies he issued in payment promissory notes written upon birch bark and signed with his totem, the figure of an otter.
About the middle of May, Lieutenant Cuyler left Fort Niagara with ninety-six men and a quantity of provisions and ammunition for Detroit. They had no knowledge of the terrible situation at the point of their destination. So they proceeded deliberately, coasting along the north shore of Lake Erie. Two weeks later they landed one evening at Point Pelee, a short distance below the mouth of Detroit river, and prepared to encamp for the night. Scarcely had they landed and drawn up their boats when they were attacked by a party of Wyandots who had been sent thither by Pontiac to intercept any such relieving parties. The Englishmen were all killed, put to flight or captured. Cuyler himself escaped and made his way back to Niagara. The savages took possession of the captured boats and supplies and with about forty prisoners made their way to Detroit. The men of the little garrison were delighted when they saw the approaching boats, believing that relief at last was near. What was their horror when they found that the boats were manned by Indians. The boats moved on up to Pontiac's camp, where the supplies were welcome and where the whiskey which constituted part of the same was greedily swallowed. All the prisoners were tortured and butchered as part of the festivities of the occasion, and some of them were cooked and eaten by the drunken savages. Some were shot full of arrows and their bodies were thrown into the river. These floated down past the fort and horrified the soldiers who saw a possibly similar fate in store for themselves.

MICHIGAN


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