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Pontiac

(c. 1720—1769) leader of the Ottawa Indians


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(c. 1720–69)

Leader of a Native American tribal confederacy, and chief of the Ottawa Indians, for many years allies of the French. After the French defeat in 1759 and British occupation of their forts, he managed to confederate many Algonquian tribes, fearful of British expansion and intransigence. Spurred by religious enthusiasm, Ottawa, Ojibwa, Potawatomi, Wyandot, Shawnee, and Delaware tribesmen rose in a concerted frontier attack from the Great Lakes to Virginia in May 1763. Only Detroit and Fort Pitt held out and 200 settlers were killed, many in western Pennsylvania. British punitive expeditions weakened the confederacy, and in 1766 Pontiac made peace. He was murdered in 1769 near St Louis by hired Indian assassins.

Subjects: Arts and Humanities — Warfare and Defence.


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