British, believed that if the Indians could unite, they could win French support and have enough forces to drive the British from the Great Lakes once and for all. Pontiac traveled among and sent messages to the tribes of the region to urge Indian unity. A LENNI LENAPE (DELAWARE) Indian known as the Delaware Prophet helped Pontiac in his cause. A spellbinding orator like Pontiac, he claimed that Manitou, or the Great Spirit, had communicated with him to bring about a united Indian country where Indians could practice traditional ways. But whereas the Delaware Prophet preached against guns, Pontiac considered force necessary to defeat the British. After much planning, Pontiac and his warriors began a siege of Fort Detroit. He also sent messages--wampum belts calling for war--to chiefs of other tribes. Fighting broke out all over the region. Many tribes participated. In addition to Potiac's Ottowa, warriors from among the Chippewa, KICKAPOO, ILLINOIS, MIAMI, Potawatomi, SENECA, and SHAWNEE made attacks on outlying settlements as well as on forts. About 2,000 settlers died during the rebellion. Many British posts surrendered to the Indian force: Forst Sandusky, Fort St. Joseph (now Niles, Michigan), Fort Miami (Fort Wayne, Indiana), Fort Ouiatenon (Lafayette, Indiana), Fort Michilimackinac (Mackinac, Michigan), Fort Edward Augustus (Green Bay, Wisconsin), Fort Venengo (Franklin, Pennsylvania), and Fort Presqu' Isle (Erie, Pennsylvania). The allied Indians also were victorious at Point Pelee on Lake Erie, stopping supply boats on their way to Detroit and killing 56 whites at Bloody Run, just outside the fort, killing 54 British troops. The only major British victory was at Bushy Run, south of Lake Erie outside Fort Pitt (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania). Nevertheless, despite these Indian victories, the British ultimately won the war. Part of the reason Pontaic's Rebellion failed is that the two most important British fors did not surrender: Fort Detroit and Fort Pitt. The defenders at Fort Pitt used an early form of biological warfare to hold out agianst the siege. At Amherst's suggestion, the defending garrison sent out smallpox- infected blankets and hankerchiefs, starting an epidemic among the Indians that summer. Meanwhile at Detroit, the schooner Huron broke through Inidan lines with
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- Fall '15
- History, Ottowa, Pontiac's Rebellion