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Chief Pontiac

Facts, information and articles about Chief Pontiac, a Native American Indian Chief from the Wild West

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Pontiac’s Rebellion

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Chief Pontiac summary: Pontiac was an Ottawa Indian chief that has become known through history. He was quite successful in protecting his land and his people from enemies. During the final French-Indian War, Pontiac was an ally of the French. However, the French lost the war, losing their property and holdings to the British. Unlike the agreements Pontiac and the tribe had with the French, the British did not trade supplies and goods with the Indians or ask for permission before building forts. This did not sit well with Chief Pontiac, and in 1763, the Ottawa began what would be referred to as Pontiac’s Rebellion.

The Indians proceeded to capture all of the British forts in the area and sink some of their ships. The Rebellion led to the death of about 400 British soldiers. The conflict ended due to the Indians having to resume hunting, and in the meantime, the British had to send reinforcements across seas. Despite numerous attempts to renew the battle, Pontiac was unable to garner enough support. In 1766, he accepted British occupation of the territory, but tensions remained. The British were quite fearful of Pontiac and his warriors, and they hoped to establish peace with the tribe. However, in 1769, after a trade, a Peoria Indian clubbed Pontiac in the head, killing him. Some believed that his death was set up by the British, while others believed it was a personal dispute. Despite fears of retaliation for Pontiac’s death, the Indians and the British maintained peace afterwards.

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