THE seven years' war was over. The long contest for supremacy in America between England and France had ended in
the surrender by the latter of Canada and all her western posts. The undefined territory of Louisiana, in the
South, alone remained to her of all her former extensive possessions in North America. The first act of the
great drama of American Independence had been played—a fact of which the chief actors themselves were
But while the conquest of Canada paved the way for the independence of the British colonies, it boded no good
to the Indian. He saw his danger, and sought to avert it. The firm hold the French had taken on the affections
of the western Indians had not been shaken by defeat. They still clung to them, and refused to believe that
the hated English had conquered and that their old friends had taken final leave.
This feeling was strengthened by the contrast between the courteous and attentive behavior of the French, and
the insolent and brutal treatment received from the English soldiers who replaced them at the frontier posts.
The former had supplied then regularly with guns, ammunition, and clothing; the withholding of these by the
latter had brought upon them, as a consequence, want, suffering, and death. These evils had been largely
increased by their introduction of the hitherto prohibited traffic in rum—"fire-water," as the Indians
expressively called it.
Glancing at the condition of the country beyond the settlements at this time, we find it—with the
exception of an occasional Indian village—one vast forest. In it a human being, white or red, was rarely
to be seen.
Contact with the whites had changed, without improving the condition of the red man. The warlike Iroquois had
declined in importance. Some of the Delawares and other smaller tribes dwelt upon the head-waters of the
Susquehanna and the Alleghany, but the larger part of them lived upon the Beaver creeks and the Muskingum. The
Shawnees were found
 along the Scioto; the Miainis, on the Wabash and the Maumee. The Illinois, once numerous and powerful, had,
through intemperance, become scattered and degraded. Along the Detroit and near Sandusky were the Wyandots,
whose industry and good husbandry had placed them foremost among the western tribes in civilization and
Albany, New York, was the largest town on the frontier. Traders and others, journeying to the region of the
lakes, made this their starting-point. Ascending the Mohawk to Fort Stanwix, they would pass overland to Wood
Creek, follow the windings of this stream to Oneida Lake, and crossing its western extremity, descend the
river Oswego to the town of that name on the banks of Lake Ontario.
From Philadelphia the route to the Indian country was over the Alleghanies, then descending their western
slope to the valley of the Ohio. At the close of the war adventurous traders, transporting their goods on the
backs of horses, regardless of the perils that beset them, pushed on over the mountains. They were a bold,
rough set, and went well armed. Their wares consisted of blankets and red cloth, guns and hatchets, liquor,
tobacco, paint, beads, hawksbills, etc.
In Southern Illinois were to be seen the old French outposts, Kaskaskia, Cahokia, and Vincennes. Farther up
the Wabash was Fort Ouantenon,
 whence a trail through the forest led to Fort Miami on the Maumee. Descending the Maumee to Lake Erie, one
would have Sandusky on the right, or, farther north, through the Strait of Detroit, would pass Fort Detroit to
the northern lakes. Farther east, beyond the Alleghanies, were Forts Presque Isle, Le Bœuf, and Venango.
The conquered French inhabitants did all they could to influence the resentment of the Indians, and as they
were being constantly pushed from their lands by an increased tide of English immigration, little was wanting
to bring on another bloody Indian war. That little was soon supplied.
Early in 1763 the red men were told that the King of France had given all their country to the King of
England. Furious at this outrage, a plot of vast proportions was at once matured. The destruction of all the
English forts and garrisons was to take place on a given day; the defenceless frontier settlements were to be
swept away, and finally, as they hoped and believed, the English would all be driven into the sea. This has
been, by a misuse of words, called a conspiracy; in reality it was a patriotic, though hopeless, effort on the
part of the natives to free their country from a hated invader, and to avert the impending doom of the race.
The leader in this great uprising was Pontiac, head chief of the Ottawas, then in his fiftieth year. With the
Ottawas were confederated the kindred tribes of Ojibwas and Potawatomies. Pontiac possessed great courage,
eloquence, and energy, more than ordinary mental powers, and was unmatched for craft and subtlety. He was of
middle height, with a figure of remarkable symmetry. His complexion was unusually dark, and his features,
though void of regularity, were expressive of boldness and vigor, which, united with an habitually imperious
and peremptory manner, were sufficiently indicative of unusual strength of will. To these qualities, combined
with the passions, the fierceness, and treachery of his race, was added a powerful ambition, and he had
acquired great influence over the western tribes. He had fought on the French side during the war, and was
said to have led the Ottawas at Braddock's defeat.
PONTIAC AND THE SIEGE OF DETROIT.
In 1760 Major Rogers, with his Rangers, was sent to Detroit to replace the French with an English garrison. On
nearing that post he was met by an embassy from Pontiac—"lord and ruler of all that country"—and
directed to proceed no farther until the arrival of the chief himself. Pontiac soon appeared.
"What is your business in my country, and how dare you enter it without my permission?" was the haughty demand
with which he greeted the Ranger.
 Rogers told him his errand. Pontiac listened with attention, and with savage dignity exclaimed, "I stand in
On the following day, however, the chief reappeared, and made a conciliatory speech; the pipe of peace was
smoked, and harmony was apparently established. "I had several conferences with him," says Rogers, "in which
he discovered great strength of judgment and a thirst after knowledge. He puts on an air of majesty and
princely grandeur, and is greatly honored and revered by his subjects."
Pontiac was too sagacious to believe that the English could be driven into the sea. His plan was to bring back
the French, as a check to British encroachments. This idea had been held up to him by the Canadians, who told
him that the armies of the French king, destined for the recovery of Canada, were already on the way. Acting
upon this idea, he sent ambassadors, bearing the war-belt of wampum and the reddened tomahawk,
in token of war, to the different tribes. Those of the west accepted his message and pledged themselves to
take part in the war. With the exception of the Senecas, the Iroquois confederacy was kept neutral by the
strenuous exertions of Sir William Johnson. Up to the very moment of the outbreak the Indians succeeded in
concealing their design. They continued, meanwhile, to hang around the posts, "begging, as usual, for tobacco,
gunpowder, and whiskey."
THE OJIBWAY MAIDEN DISCLOSING PONTIAC'S PLOT.
Detroit, near which were the villages of the Wyandots, Potawatomies, and Ottawas, was founded by the French as
an Indian trading-post in 1701, and had at this time two thousand five hundred French inhabitants, dwelling on
productive farms on both sides of the river. The fort was in the centre of the settlement, on the western
margin of the river, and contained about one hundred houses, surrounded by a palisade twenty-five feet high
and about one thousand two hundred yards in circumference; a wooden bastion stood at each corner, and each
gate-way was protected by a block-house. It was garrisoned by about one hundred and twenty soldiers, and about
forty fur-traders and employés. Some small pieces of cannon were mounted on the bastions, and two small armed
schooners lay anchored opposite the town.
On the night of May 6, 1763, Major Gladwyn, the commander of the fort, received secret intelligence that an
attempt would be made the next day to capture the fort by treachery. The guard was weak, the defences feeble
and extensive. Fearing an immediate attack, Gladwyn doubled his sentinels, and kept an anxious watch all that
Next morning Pontiac, with sixty chosen warriors, each of whom was armed with a gun cut short so that it was
hidden under his blanket, entered the fort. His plan was to demand a council, and, after delivering his
speech, to offer a peace-belt of wampum. This belt was worked on one side with white and on the other with
green beads. The reversal of the belt from the white to the green side was to be the signal of attack. Every
Englishman was to be killed, but not a Frenchman was to be touched. The plan was well laid, and might have
succeeded had it not been revealed to Gladwyn.
The savage throng, plumed and feathered, and besmeared with paint, had no sooner entered the fort than they
saw that their plot had failed. Soldiers and employés were armed and ready for action. Pontiac and his
warriors, however, moved on, betraying no sign of surprise, and entered the council-room, where Gladwyn and
his officers, all well armed, awaited them.
 "Why," asked Pontiac, "do I see so many of my father's young men standing in the street with their guns?"
"To keep the young men from idleness," was the reply of the sagacious English commander.
The business of the council then began. Pontiac's speech was bold and menacing, and his gesticulation
vehement. As the critical moment approached, and just as he was on the point of presenting the belt, and all
was breathless expectation, Gladwyn gave a signal. The drums at the door of the council suddenly rolled the
charge, the clash of arms was heard, and the officers drew their swords. Pontiac was brave, but this decisive
proof that his plot was discovered completely disconcerted him. He delivered the belt in the usual manner, and
the council then broke up. The gates were again opened, and the baffled savages withdrew.
Failing to capture the fort by stratagem, Pontiac next tried an open attack. A large war party of Ojibwas had
joined him from Saginaw. Ottawas, Ojibwas, Potawatomies, and Wyandots, all had united, and came like an
avalanche, yelling the warwhoop, naked, and painted for the fight. Sheltering themselves behind adjacent
buildings, the Indians kept up an incessant fire for several hours. Some buildings
 within the fort were set on fire by their blazing arrows, but the flames were soon extinguished. Day after day
they continued their attacks. No man of the beleaguered garrison lay down to sleep except in his clothes and
with his weapons by his side. The two vessels in the river helped the defence, protecting by their fire the
northern and southern faces of the works. The smaller one was despatched to Niagara for aid. Pontiac was
determined to capture the fort, and omitted no means in his power to accomplish his purpose.
PONTIAC AND GLADWYN.
Under the pretence of pacific negotiations he decoyed Captain Campbell into his camp. This officer, who had
formerly commanded the fort, was favorably known to the Indians. Unfortunately for him, in a sortie from the
fort, an Ottawa of distinction had been killed. The nephew of this Indian avenged his death by killing
Campbell—an act disavowed and regretted by Pontiac.
In order to compensate the French inhabitants of Detroit for the provisions he was forced to exact from them,
Pontiac had recourse to a strange and novel, but successful expedient—one which reveals the native
ability of the man. He issued promissory notes drawn on birch-bark, on which was a figure representing the
article wanted, and signed with the figure of an otter, the totem or otter-graph of his family. These
he is said to have faithfully redeemed. He kept two secretaries—one to write for him, the other to read
the letters he received, and he managed to keep each in ignorance of what was done by the other.
A supply of provisions and ammunition despatched from Fort Niagara for the relief of the garrison of Detroit
was waylaid and captured near the mouth of the Detroit River. As the long line of bateaux came in sight, it
was welcomed by a gun from the fort. It was soon painfully evident, however, that the convoy was in the hands
of the enemy. The boats were rowed by English prisoners. The foremost had arrived opposite the larger of the
two vessels anchored in the stream, when the soldier who steered her conceived a daring plan of escape. He
knew that death, perhaps by torture, was to be his fate, and he saw one chance for life.
Seizing the principal Indian, he endeavored to throw him overboard. A desperate struggle ensued; both were
precipitated into the water, and went down together; the remaining Indians leaped out of the boat. The
prisoners pulled for the vessel, shouting for aid, and were at once fired upon and hotly pursued. The light
birch canoes of the savages gained rapidly upon them. One of the soldiers was hit by a bullet. Escape seemed
hopeless, when a cannon-shot from the schooner skimmed along the surface of the water, narrowly missing the
leading canoe. A second followed. This stopped the chase, and the fugitives reached the vessel in safety. The
tortured and mangled corpses that floated past Detroit on the following day revealed the horrible fate which
had befallen their fellow-soldiers. This surprise and capture was effected by the Wyandots.
A month later the vessel which had been despatched to Niagara reached Detroit after a perilous passage,
bringing a reinforcement of sixty men, and the supplies, of which they were greatly in need. While lying
becalmed in the narrowest part of the river, a few miles above the fort, the Indians had attempted her
capture. The captain, expecting an attack, had kept all but twelve of his men concealed below, keeping a
strict watch from the time the sun went down.
PONTIAC'S ATTACK ON THE FORT.
 Hours passed, and the sentinels at length perceived dark objects moving upon the water. The men were quietly
summoned from below, and noiselessly took their posts. The stroke of a hammer upon the mast was to be their
signal to fire. When the Indians had approached sufficiently near, they were greeted with a sudden discharge
of cannon and musketry, scattering death and destruction among them. Some of the canoes were sunk, and a
number of the Indians were killed and wounded; the remainder fled in consternation to the shore. Some days
later, with a favoring breeze, the vessel left her exposed position, sending a volley of grape into the
Wyandot village as she passed, and finally anchored along-side of her companion at the fort.
Pontiac made a determined effort to destroy these vessels by means of burning rafts filled with combustibles.
Three times it was tried, without success, and the attempt was then abandoned. Some of the Indians, weary of
the siege, now came to the fort and begged for peace. Treaties were made with the Wyandots and the
Potawatomies, the latter restoring all their captives. The Ottawas and Ojibwas obstinately continued the
At the end of July, Captain Dalzell arrived, with a reinforcement of two hundred and eighty men, and having
obtained the reluctant assent of Gladwyn, marched that night with a strong party to surprise Pontiac's camp.
The plan was revealed by some Canadians, and the Indians prepared to receive him. A mile and a half from the
fort, a creek, ever since called Bloody Run, descended through a wild and rough hollow, and was crossed at the
road by a narrow wooden bridge. Beyond the bridge, intrenched and protected by strong picket-fences and
wood-piles, the Indians lay in wait.
While crossing the bridge, the advanced guard of the English were met with a sudden and murderous discharge,
which shot down one-half their number. Cheered on by Dalzell, the troops charged over the bridge and up the
heights beyond, finding no foe but seeing the flashes of their guns, and losing men at every discharge. Some
lost their way in the darkness. Captain Grant, with his company, recrossed the bridge, and made a stand in the
road. They soon discovered that the Indians had gained their rear, and that instant retreat was necessary.
This, after much hard fighting, was at length effected, mainly by the skill and valor of Dalzell and Grant,
the second in command, who was severely wounded.
They had retreated half a mile when, reaching a point opposite an orchard and picket-fence, the Indians, who
had gained their rear, rose from their hiding-places and poured a hot fire into their ranks. The troops were
again thrown into confusion, but by the heroic efforts of Dalzell
 order was restored. Charging upon the Indians he dislodged them, putting them to flight, and then resumed his
At the same time Major Rogers, with a party of Rangers, drove the Indians from a Canadian house, and,
occupying it with his men, covered the retreat. Some of the regulars followed him in. Furniture was placed
against the windows, and through the openings they kept up an effectual fire upon their enemies, which was
sharply returned. Rogers's party was now completely surrounded, the other troops having reached the fort. Two
armed bateaux were despatched up the river from the fort, and, opening fire upon the savages, Rogers and his
companions were enabled to effect their retreat.
In this action the English lost fifty-nine in killed and wounded. Captain Dalzell, who had been Putnam's
companion in his campaign with the Rangers, and more recently aide-de-camp to General Amherst, was among the
slain. He had displayed great bravery, but was shot down while heroically attempting to rescue a wounded
soldier. The Indians were greatly elated at their success; Pontiac's force was soon largely augmented, and the
siege was pressed with renewed vigor.
Nothing of importance occurred, however, until the night of September 4th, when a gallant feat was performed
by the master and crew of the schooner Gladwyn.
She had been to Niagara with despatches, and was returning, having on board, besides the master and mate, a
crew of ten men. That night, the wind failing, she anchored about nine miles below the fort. A vigilant watch
was kept, but it was so dark that at a distance of a few rods nothing could be seen.
Three hundred and fifty Indians, in their birch canoes, gliding silently and swiftly down with the current,
were close upon them when discovered. The bow gun was fired, but the Indians were soon clambering up the
vessel's side, holding their knives between their teeth. The crew used their small-arms with effect, and then
seizing the spears and hatchets with which they were provided, met the savages with such determined courage
that in a minute or two they had killed and wounded more than twice their own number.
In this brief period, however, the master had been killed and several of the men wounded. The Indians were
swarming over the bulwarks when Jacobs, the mate, called out,
"Blow up the schooner!"
Some of the Indians understood the words, gave the alarm to their companions, and instantly leaped overboard
in a panic, all the others
fol-  lowing their example, diving and swimming for the shore to escape the threatened explosion. They did not dare
to renew the attack, and on the following morning the schooner reached the fort without molestation bringing a
much needed supply of provisions. The survivors of the crew were each presented with a medal for their
This was the last important event of a siege whose long duration was a novelty in Indian warfare. On the
approach of the hunting season the Indians dispersed, and although small parties hovered around, preventing
the free egress of the garrison, yet the siege was virtually ended. Pontiac withdrew to the Maumee, intending
to renew the war in the following spring.
A few insignificant log-forts, widely scattered and feebly garrisoned, upheld the claims of England to the
vast domain beyond the Alleghanies. The smaller garrisons consisted of an ensign and perhaps a dozen men. The
weakness of this military cordon shows how slight was the fear of an Indian uprising. Yet no sooner was it
known that Detroit was besieged, than these posts were, one after another, assaulted by the Indians, and nine
out of the twelve were captured.
Hostile Indians were discovered in the vicinity of Presque Isle in the middle of June. This fort stood near
the site of the present city of Erie, on the southern shore of Lake Erie, and was commanded by Ensign
Christie, a brave and gallant officer. At one of its angles was a large block-house, substantially built of
massive timber, its upper story projecting several feet beyond the lower one.
Into this block-house the garrison retired early on the morning of June 15th, abandoning the main body of the
fort. To protect the roof from fire, a partial opening at its summit permitted water to be poured down upon
it. Unfortunately there was a high steep ridge within forty yards of it, affording a cover for assailants.
From this favorable point the Indians repeatedly succeeded in setting fire to the roof of the block-house, but
the flames were as often extinguished by the heroic little garrison. Soon, however, their supply of water gave
out, and with desperate energy they set to work digging a well within the block-house. Before a sign of water
appeared the block-house was again on fire, when a soldier, at the risk of his life, ascended the roof and
tore away the burning shingles, thus extinguishing it.
During the night the well was finished. It was just in time. An adjacent building was discovered to be in
flames, and they were communicated to the block-house, a corner of which at length burst into a sheet of
 flame. Water was passed up from the well, and the fire was once more extinguished.
By midnight of the second day the men were completely exhausted by the long and desperate struggle. One of the
enemy called out in French that further resistance was useless, as the fort had been undermined. Ensign
Christie was assured that, if he would surrender, the garrison should be spared; if not, they would all be
Hostilities were suspended till morning, when Christie delivered up the post he had so gallantly defended, on
condition that he and his garrison should be allowed to depart unmolested. Notwithstanding this stipulation
they were seized, and sent to an Ottawa village near Detroit. Christie soon afterwards made his escape to the
The unfortunate officer who commanded at Sandusky was taken prisoner when that place was captured, and carried
to the Ottawa village. He was beaten, and compelled to sing and dance all the way from the landing-place to
the camp. The worst was to come. To cap the climax of his misery, he was compelled to take to wife an old
squaw who had lost her husband.
One of these outlying posts was taken in so ingenious a way, and one which so well displays the Indian's
talent for strategy and deception, that it merits particular notice.
On the margin of Lake Huron, at the northern extremity of Michigan, stood Fort Michilimackinac, a large square
area with wooden bastions, surrounded by high palisades. As it was susceptible of successful defence,
stratagem was necessarily resorted to for its capture.
A Jesuit mission had been established here in 1671. It soon became an important centre of the fur-trade with
the distant regions of the Mississippi and the north-west. Beyond the fort was a group of white Canadian
houses, with strong picket-fences around them. The fort was garrisoned by thirty-five men. Within the
palisades some thirty families resided, and without there were as many more.
The Indians in the vicinity were the Ojibwas and Ottawas. Many of the latter lived in log-houses, and
cultivated corn and vegetables. The Ojibwas were still in their original barbarous state. All these Indians
were extremely hostile to the English, and had fought against them in the recent war. Their feelings towards
them are clearly shown in the speech of time Ojibwa chief, Minnevana, to an English trader, Alexander Henry.
"Englishman, we are informed that our father, the King of France, is
 old and infirm, and that being fatigued with making war upon your nation he is fallen asleep. During his sleep
you have taken advantage of him and possessed yourselves of Canada. But his nap is about at an end. I think I
hear him already stirring, and inquiring for his children, the Indians; and when he does awake, what must
become of you? He will destroy you utterly.
"Englishman, although you have conquered the French, you have not yet conquered us. We are not your slaves.
These lakes, these woods and mountains were left to us by our ancestors; they are our inheritance, and we will
part with them to none.
"Englishman, our father, the King of France, employed our young men to make war upon your nation. In this
warfare many of them have been killed, and it is our custom to retaliate until such time as the spirits of the
slain are satisfied. This is done either by spilling the blood of the nation by which they fell, or by making
"Englishman, your king has never sent us any presents, nor entered into any treaty with us, wherefore he and
we are still at war; but for you, who came in peace to trade with us and supply our wants, we shall regard you
as a brother, and you may sleep tranquilly, without fear of the Ojibwas."
This tribe, on hearing the news that Pontiac had begun the war, were wrought up to a high pitch of excitement,
and determined to attack the fort without letting their neighbors, the Ottawas, know their design. Captain
Etherington, the commander of the fort, received repeated warnings of his danger, but disregarded them all.
On the morning of June 4th, the king's birthday, the discipline of the garrison was somewhat relaxed, and many
of the soldiers, without their arms, were outside the fort, watching a game of ball between the Ojibwas and
the Sacs. The gates of the fort were open, and the officers themselves were witnessing the sport. A number of
Canadian residents, traders, and fishermen, and many Indian squaws wrapped in blankets, were among the
lookers-on. Indian chiefs and warriors were also apparently watching the game—in reality their thoughts
were very differently occupied. Several bands of Ojibwas and Sacs who had recently arrived were encamped in
the woods near by.
OLD FORT MICHILIMACKINAC.
In front, the field was filled with the players. The game, called baggattaway by the Ojibwas, and lacrosse by
the Canadians, is an exciting one, and is a favorite with the tribes. A tall post at either extremity of the
ground was the goal, or station, of the rival parties. The object of each
 was to drive the ball to the post of the opposing players. Each player had a bat about five feet long, with a
hoop-net at the end large enough to hold the ball. All were nearly naked.
The game was opened, as usual, by the ball being thrown into the air by some disinterested person in the
centre of the field, when the contest for its possession began. Sometimes, while struggling for the ball, the
players would close together in a dense mass, then they would scatter over the field in pursuit of it, all the
while yelling and shouting at the top of their voices. Pushing and tripping their antagonists, or throwing
them down, they kept up the contest, the spectators applauding and enjoying it almost as much as the players.
Suddenly the ball was thrown towards the fort and fell near it. This was no accident, but a part of a
prearranged plan for the surprise and capture of the fort. Rushing on as if for the ball, the noisy throng
crowded through the gate-way, and were masters of the fort before the astonished garrison could realize the
fact, or interfere to prevent them.
The terrible warwhoop was sounded. The warriors grasped the hatchets their squaws had hidden beneath their
blankets. Some assailed the spectators without, others attacked those within, and massacred them without
mercy. Etherington and Leslie, his lieutenant, were seized and borne off; a few escaped the carnage, but in a
few minutes all was over.
who was an eye-witness, has left us an interesting account of this tragedy, and of his personal experiences
during and after its occurrence.
An Indian named Wawaton had formed a strong friendship for him, and regarded him as a brother. A day or two
before the capture of the fort, Wawaton paid him a visit, and urged him to accompany him on a journey. He came
a second time, using every argument to persuade him, but without avail, and finally left him with a dejected
countenance, even shedding tears. His urgency and the hints he dropped world have been more effectual if Henry
had understood the Indian language better. Here is Henry's narrative of what followed:
"The morning of the 4th of June was sultry. A Chippewa came to tell me that his nation was going to play at
baggattaway with the Sacs, another Indian nation, for a high wager. He invited me to witness the sport, adding
that the commandant was to be there, and would bet on the side of the Chippewas. I did not go myself to see
the match, because, there being a canoe prepared to depart on the following day for Montreal,
 I employed myself in writing letters to my friends. Suddenly I heard an Indian war-cry and a noise of general
"Going instantly to my window, I saw a crowd of Indians within the fort furiously cutting down and scalping
every Englishman they found. In particular I noticed the fate of Lieutenant Jouette.
"I had in the room a fowling-piece loaded with swan shot. This I immediately seized, and waited to hear the
drum beat to arms. In this dreadful interval I saw several of my countrymen fall, and more than one struggling
between the knees of an Indian, who, holding him in this manner, scalped him while yet living.
At length, disappointed in the hope of seeing resistance made to the enemy, and sensible that no effort of
mine could avail against four hundred Indians, I thought only of seeking shelter. Amid the slaughter that was
raging I observed many of the Canadian inhabitants of the fort calmly looking on, neither opposing the Indians
nor suffering injury, and from this circumstance I conceived a hope of finding security in their houses.
"Between the yard of my own house and that of Mr. Langlade, my neighbor, there was only a low fence, over
which I easily climbed. I found the whole family at the windows, gazing at the scene of blood before them. I
begged Mr. Langlade to put me in some place of safety until the heat of the affair should be over; but he,
after looking a moment at me, turned again to the window, shrugging his shoulders, and intimating that he
could do nothing for me. 'What,' said he, 'would you have me do?'
"This was a moment for despair; but the next, a Pani woman, a slave of Langlade's, beckoned to me to follow
her. She took me to a door, which she opened, desiring me to enter, and told me that it led to the garret,
where I could conceal myself. I joyfully followed her directions; she locked the garret door after me, and
with great presence of mind took away the key.
"No long time elapsed before I heard some of the Indians enter the house in which I was. Through the flooring
of single boards I could hear all that passed, and the Indians at once inquired if there were any Englishmen
in the house. Langlade replied that 'he could not say, he did not know of any.' The Pani woman had kept my
secret. Langlade, however, told them they might examine for themselves. Saying this, he brought them to the
"The state of my mind at this moment may readily be imagined. Some delay was occasioned by the absence of the
key, and a few precious
 moments were thus allowed me in which to secrete myself. In one corner lay a heap of birch-bark vessels used
in maple-sugar making.
"The door was unlocked and opened, and the Indians ascended the stairs before I had completely crept into a
small opening which presented itself at one end of the heap. An instant after four Indians entered the room,
all armed with tomahawks, and all besmeared with blood.
"I could scarcely breathe, and I thought the throbbing of my heart occasioned a noise loud enough to betray
me. The Indians walked in every direction about the garret, and one of them approached me so nearly that, had
he at a particular moment put forth his hand, he must have touched me. Still I remained undiscovered, a
circumstance to which the dark color of my clothes and the want of light—there was no window—must
have contributed. After taking several turns in the room, and informing Langlade how many they had killed and
how many scalps they had taken, they returned downstairs, and I, with sensations not to be described, heard
the door, which was the barrier between me and my fate, locked for the second time.
"This respite, however, was not of long duration. Next day Langlade, having ascertained my presence, and
fearing for the safety of his family, delivered me into their hands. One of them, named Wenniway, whom I had
previously known, and who was upward of six feet in height, had his entire face and body covered with grease
and charcoal, with the exception of a white spot encircling either eye.
"This man, walking up to me, seized me with one hand by the collar of the coat, while with the other he held a
large carving-knife, as if about to plunge it into my heart, his eyes meanwhile fixed steadfastly on mine.
After some seconds of most anxious suspense he dropped his arm, saying, 'I won't kill you.' To this he added
that he had been frequently engaged in wars against the English, and had brought away many scalps; that on one
occasion he had lost a brother whose name was Musinigon, and that I should be called after him. At my request,
as the Indians were all mad with liquor, Wenniway consented that I should for the present remain where I was.
"I had not been in my garret more than an hour when an Indian, whom I had seen before and who was in my debt,
came to the house and ordered me to follow him to the Ojibwa camp, saying that Wenniway had sent him for me. I
went, but instead of proceeding to the camp, the Indian turned in the direction of the woods. Suspecting
treachery I refused to follow, and told him that I believed he meant to murder me, and that if so he might as
well strike where he was as at any greater
 distance. He replied that he did intend to kill me, and to pay me in that manner for my goods.
"Then drawing his knife, he held me in a position to receive the intended blow. By a sudden effort I arrested
his arm, and gave him a push by which I turned him from me, and released myself from his grasp. I then ran for
the fort with all speed, the Indian following me, I expecting every moment to feel his knife. On entering the
fort I saw Wenniway, and hastened to him for protection. He interfered, but the other still pursued. At last I
succeeded in reaching Langlade's house, and he abandoned the chase."
Yet another freak of fortune was in store for our hero. He and other prisoners were being taken in canoes to
Beaver Island, in Lake Michigan, when, a thick fog coming on, they were compelled to keep close to the shore.
At Fore Point, when within a few yards of the land and in shallow water, one hundred Ottawas suddenly rushed
upon them from among the bushes and dragged them to the shore with terrific shouts.
"No sooner, however, were we fairly on our legs," says Henry, "than the chiefs of the party advanced, and,
giving us their hands, told us they were Ottawas, and friends whom the Ojibwas had insulted by destroying the
English without consulting them. The truth was they felt aggrieved at losing such a glorious opportunity for
plunder. Soon we were embarked again in the canoes of the Ottawas, who relanded us at Michilimackinac and took
possession of the fort.
"Though we had changed masters, we were still prisoners and were strictly guarded. A council was held, the
Ottawas were conciliated by presents, and we were once more in the hands of the Ojibwas, who declared that
they intended 'to make broth of us.'"
Henry's suspense, however, was soon to end. His friend and brother Wawaton now appeared, claimed him as a
brother, and enforced his claim by a quantity of goods with which to satisfy his captors. It appeared that
Wawaton, before leaving the fort, had received the promise of Minnevana, the great war-chief, to protect
Henry, and that the chief, at the moment of the assault, had sent his son to find him and bring him to his
lodge. The son went, but did not succeed in finding him. After numerous other adventures Henry reached
Montreal in safety, and resided there until his death, in 1824.
The fury of the Indians was not limited to the attack of stockades; they devastated the borders of
Pennsylvania, New York, and Virginia,
 killing and carrying into captivity two thousand persons. A thrifty and independent population was suddenly
reduced to beggary and despair.
In July, Colonel Henry Bouquet, with five hundred men, marched to the relief of Fort Pitt, which had been
beleaguered since May. It had been attacked with great spirit by the savages, who endeavored to set it on fire
with lighted combustibles attached to arrows, and who, with their rifles, kept up a constant discharge at the
troops from under cover of the bank of the Alleghany River.
Captain Ecuyer, the commander of the fort, when summoned by the savages to surrender, was assured that if he
would retreat to Carlisle they would protect him from some bad Indians in the neighborhood who thirsted for
his blood; but if he stayed they would not be responsible for the consequences. Ecuyer, who fully comprehended
Indian duplicity, thanked them for their "truly disinterested advice," but told them that "he did not care a
straw for bad Indians, and meant to stay where he was; but," he added, "an army of six thousand pale-faces is
now on the way hither, and another of three thousand has just gone up the lakes to annihilate Pontiac, so you
had better be off. I have told you this in acknowledgment of your friendly counsels to me, but don't whisper
it to those bad Indians, for fear that they should run away from our deadly vengeance." Though there was no
truth in this story, it had its effect upon the Indians.
A Swiss by birth, Henry Bouquet began his military career when a boy. He was active, courageous, and faithful,
and had acquired a practical knowledge of Indian warfare. His present undertaking—a march of two hundred
miles, through a wilderness filled with hostile savages—was one of great difficulty and danger, and his
force seemed hardly sufficient for the purpose. Only a few years before, Braddock, in a similar attempt, with
four times as many men, had met with an overwhelming disaster.
Bouquet's order of march was as follows: In the advance were the Provincial rangers, closely followed by
pioneers, who, with their axes, cleared the way. The wagons and cattle were in the centre, guarded in front,
flank, and rear by the regulars. Another body of rangers guarded the rear. The riflemen, acting as scouts,
ranged through the woods far in front and on either flank. In this order, through the heats of July, they
toiled up the Alleghanies, and relieved the besieged posts at Bedford and Ligonier.
When Bouquet arrived within twenty-five miles of Fort Pitt, he was attacked at a place called Bushy Penn by a
large body of Indians, and a severe battle was fought, lasting two days. On the second day, when the troops,
exhausted, dispirited, and distressed to
 the last degree by the total want of water, were about to give way, and the Indians, confident of success,
were pressing them more closely, redoubling their yells and war-cries—at this moment, when all seemed
lost, their commander, a cool and experienced veteran, by a successful stratagem, changed the fortune of the
Withdrawing a part of his force from the front, he gave the Indians the impression that he was about to
retreat. Leaping from their hiding-places, they rushed with fierce yells upon the thin line of English, and
were on the point of breaking into the camp, when suddenly the troops that had been removed appeared upon
their flank, and, after pouring in a well-directed fire, fell upon them with the bayonet. A similar movement,
performed at the same moment by two companies upon the other flank, put the savages to flight. They were
closely pursued by the troops, who gave them no time to rally or reload their rifles, and many of them slain.
The loss of the English in this severe conflict was eight officers and one hundred and fifteen men.
On this occasion the Indians displayed great firmness and intrepidity, but these qualities were more than
counterbalanced by the steadiness and courage of the English. A few days later Fort Pitt was relieved.
In the following campaign two armies were marched from different points into the heart of the Indian country.
Bouquet advanced from Fort Pitt into the Delaware and Shawnee settlements of the Ohio valley, while Colonel
Bradstreet passed up the lakes and penetrated the region beyond Detroit. The latter failed to accomplish
anything of consequence, the former succeeded in overawing the hostile tribes, and compelled them to sue for
peace and restore all their captives.
In conducting this expedition to a successful termination, Bouquet showed himself well acquainted with the
Indian character, and fully equal to the task of impressing them strongly with his ability to chastise them in
case they attempted to cajole or deceive him, as they several times attempted to do. Seeing the kind of man
with whom they had to deal, they had no alternative but to submit. He told them plainly that their excuses
were frivolous, and their conduct indefensible, that they were all in his power, and that he could exterminate
them, but that the English were a merciful and generous people, and that if they sincerely repented of their
past perfidy and behaved well in future they might hope for mercy and peace. As a reward for his important
services, Bouquet received the thanks of the Assembly of Pennsylvania, and the rank of brigadier-general from
RESTORED CAPTIVE RECOGNIZING ITS MOTHER BY A SONG OF CHILDHOOD.
The return of the English captives and the meeting of husbands and
 wives, parents and children, brothers and sisters, who had long been separated, and many of whom were supposed
to be dead, presented a scene of thrilling interest. Even the Indians, taught from infancy to repress all
outward signs of emotion, could not wholly conceal their sorrow at parting with their adopted relatives and
friends. They shed tears over them, and earnestly besought for them the care and protection of the commanding
officer. They offered them furs and choice articles of food, and even asked leave to follow the army home,
that they might hunt for the captives and supply them with better food than that provided for the soldiers.
The Indian women filled the camp with their lamentations and wailing both night and day.
A tinge of romance is thrown around this remarkable scene. One young warrior had become so much attached to a
Virginia maiden among the captives that he called her his wife, and persisted in following her to the frontier
at the risk of his life.
There was a darker side to this impressive picture. Among the Virginians and Pennsylvanians in Bouquet's army
were many who had joined in the hope of recovering their lost loved ones. While some were filled with joy and
rapture, others with anxious and troubled looks were flying from place to place, with eager inquiries after
relatives and friends, trembling to receive the answer to their questions, distracted with doubts, hopes, and
fears, on obtaining no news of those they sought for, or stiffened into living monuments of horror and woe on
learning their unhappy fate.
At the delivery of the captives a Shawnee chief addressed Bouquet as follows:
"Father," said the chief, "we have brought your flesh and blood to you. They have all been united to us by
adoption, and although we now deliver them, we will always look upon them as our relatives whenever the Great
Spirit is pleased that we may visit them. We have taken as much care of them as if they were our own flesh and
blood. They are now become unacquainted with your customs and manners, and we therefore request you to use
them tenderly and kindly, which will induce them to live contentedly with you."
What a pang must have invaded that mother's breast who recognized her child, only to find it clinging more
closely to its Indian mother, her own claims wholly forgotten? Some of the children had lost all remembrance
of their former home, and resisted when handed over to their relatives. Some of the young women had married
Indian husbands, and with their children were unwilling to return to the settlements. Indeed several of them
had become so strongly attached to their Indian lords and
 to their mode of life that they made their escape and returned to the wigwams of their husbands.
One old woman sought her daughter, who had been carried off nine years before. She discovered her, but the
girl, who had almost forgotten her native tongue, did not recognize her, and she bitterly complained that the
child she had so often sung to sleep on her knee had forgotten her in her old age. Bouquet, whose humane heart
had been deeply touched by this scene, suggested an expedient:
"Sing the song you used to sing to her when a child."
The mother sung, the child's attention was instantly fixed, a flood of tears proclaimed the awakened memories,
and the long lost child was restored to the mother's arms.
Pontiac endeavored, but in vain, to secure the assistance of the French in his efforts to continue the war. In
the spring of 1766 he made a treaty with Sir William Johnson at Oswego, and submitted to the English,
renouncing forever the great scheme he had so long meditated. His death occurred at Cahokia, where he was
murdered by an Illinois Indian, who, it is said, was bribed with a keg of whiskey by an English trader to
commit the deed. This murder, which aroused the vengeance of all the tribes friendly to Pontiac, brought about
the successive wars and almost total annihilation of the Illinois nation. The dead chieftain was buried with
the honors of war by his friend, St. Ange, the French commandant of St. Louis.
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