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lished at London, in 1765,) speaking of Pontiac's money, says: “He appointed a commissary, and began to make money, or bills of credit, which he hath since punctually redeemed. His money was the figure of what he wanted to exchange for it, drawn upon bark, and the shape of an otter, (his arms,) drawn under it. Pontiac's "bills of credit,' were the first money issued in Michigan, and however strange it may appear," says Major Rogers, “they were punctually redeemed.” It would afford us great pleasure to say the same, if we could with equal truth, of certain bills issued since, with a “ wild cat," instead of an otter, upon them.
Pontiac's scheme was nothing less, than a sudden and cotemporaneous attack upon all the British posts upon Lakes Erie, Huron, and Michigan, including also the forts at Niagara, Presque Isle, Le Bæuf, Venango and Pittsburgh. His plan was to carry them all by treachery, and to massacre their garrisons. He next intended to take possession of the country, and to oppose the introduction of any British force into his dominions. He calculated, also, that success would give confidence to the western tribes, and unite them all into one grand confederacy.
His preparations being at length completed, the Indians, in the month of May, 1763, commenced a simultaneous attack upon each of the twelve British posts between Green Bay and Pittsburgh, nine of which were immediately captured.
His measures had been taken with such secrecy, that the storm burst upon each garrison before the English had time to prepare for it, and before they had even learned the intentions of their enemy. A more signal proof of the hostile feelings of the Indians, and of the influence exercised by Pontiac over them, can nowhere be found. A frontier ex. ceeding a thousand miles in extent, secured by fortified posts, in a time of peace was simultaneously attacked, and that, too, without the slightest suspicion on the part of the British that an attempt of that kind was even contemplated.
The circumstances attending the surprise of Mackinaw are somewhat extraordinary. The fort was then upon the main land ; the Ottowas, to whom the assault was committed, prepared for a great game of ball, to which the British officers were invited. While engaged in play, one of the parties inclined toward the fort, and the others pressed after them; the ball was once or twice thrown over the pickets, and the Indians were suffered to enter and procure it. Almost all the garrison were present as spectators, and those upon duty were negligent and unprepared. Suddenly the ball was again thrown into the fort, and all the Indians rushed after it. “The residue of the tale,” says Governor Cass, “ is soon told. The troops were butchered, and the fort destroyed.” Niagara and Pittsburgh, being regular fortifications, were successfully defended; and Detroit, regarded by the Indians as the most important, was assailed by Pontiac in person. ..
The garrison, at that time, consisted of a hundred and twenty-two men and officers; there were also about forty traders and engagees residing
in the fort; and Major Gladwyn, a few days before the attack, had superseded Major Campbell in the command.
On the 8th of May, 1763, Pontiac, with a number of warriors, presented himself at the gate, and requested an audience with its commanding officer. His plan was happily conceived, and but for its publicity, might have succeeded. It was this : Pontiac was to have met the British com. mander in council, and at a given signal, (which was to have been the presentation of a belt of wampum in a particular manner,) his attendants were to massacre all the British officers, open the gates, and admit a body of warriors, who were to be ready on the outside for entrance ; they were then to slaughter the whole garrison, demolish the fortress, and thus annihilate the English power. The Indians, previous to this in. tended assault, had sawed off their rifles, so that they could conceal them, without difficulty under their blankets. Unfortunately, however, for Pontiac, Beaufait, a respectable French gentleman then living in Detroit, and he, were friends; and Pontiac wished to save him. Meeting. his friend at the Bloody Bridge, Pontiac threw aside his blanket, and exhibited the shortened rifle, intimating, at the same time, the project he had in view. Whether M. Beaufait disclosed Pontiac's scheme to Major Gladwyn, or whether it was made known by an Indian woman named Catharine, as pretended, we are yet uninformed. Apprehensions of serious consequences to his friendly monitor, at all events, induced the parties at that time to conceal the fact, if any such intelligence was given. The whole plan, however, was disclosed ; and fortunately for the garrison, it was believed. Preparations were therefore made for their reception; the fort was strengthened, the arms were examined, the am. munition arranged ; and every man in the fort, civil and military, was directed to be ready for instant and urgent service. The officers, during the whole preceding night, walked also upon the ramparts. In the meantime, everything was silent, except the songs and dances in the Indian camp, which alone broke upon the ear. Anticipating success, they spent the night as savages usually do, previous to any great enter. prise, in songs and revelry.
In the morning, Pontiac and his warriors sung their war-song, danced, their war-dance, and repaired to the fort; they were admitted at once, and conducted to the council-house, where Major Gladwyn and his offi. cers were prepared to receive them. Pontiac, as he entered the gate and passed through the streets, observed an unusual movement among the troops. He saw that the garrison was under arms, that the guards were doubled, and that the officers were armed with swords and pistols ; and inquired of the British commander the cause of this unusual move. ment. He was told that it was always necessary to keep young men to their duty, lest they should be ignorant and idle. The council was then opened, and Pontiac proceeded to address Major Gladwyn. His speech was bold and menacing, his manner and gesticulations were vehement; they became still more so, as he approached the critical moment, when
he was about to present the belt to Major Gladwyn, and all was breathless expectation. The drums suddenly rolled the charge, the guards levelled their pieces, and the officers drew their swords. Pontiac trembled. He had led his warriors frequently to victory, and triumphed in many a hard-fought battle: the unexpected and decisive proof that his treachery was discovered and prevented, now entirely disconcerted him. After pausing a moment, he presented the belt in the usual manner.
Major Gladwyn thereupon approached the savage, and drawing aside his blanket, discovered the shortened rifle. After reproaching him for his treachery, he instantly ordered him to leave the fort. The Indians retired, and as they passed the gate, gave a yell and fired upon the garrison. They also murdered an aged English woman and her two sons, and a discharged sergeant and his family, in the vicinity. They after. ward commenced an attack upon the fort, which lasted several days, and were finally repulsed, with but little loss or injury to the English or the Indians.
Major Campbell, though superseded, still remained in the fort. He had commanded the garrison ever since the country had surrendered, and was known and esteemed by the Canadians and the Indians. Pontiac, through two French gentlemen in Detroit, with whom he was still in communication, expressed a desire to see Major Campbell, that they might smoke the calumet together; and solemnly promised that he might go and come in perfect safety. Such was the anxiety of all to bring this irksome warfare to a close, that Major Campbell, (by the advice of some gentlemen who had visited Pontiac, and were deceived by his professions and promises,) together with Lieutenant McDougald, repaired to his camp. They were received at first with politeness; but afterward, in violation of Pontiac's plighted faith, were forcibly detained. Pontiac afterward offered Major Campbell his life for the surrender of the fort. " The melancholy fate of this self-devoted officer,” says Governor Cass, “ adds another to the many proofs, which an intercourse with the Indians has furnished, of the little confidence to be placed in savage promises during war.” Lieutenant McDougald afterward fled, and reached the garrison at Detroit, in safety. Major Campbell's vision being imperfect, he declined the attempt, and was massacred by the nephew of an Ottawa chief, who was killed during one of the sorties from the fort.
In justice, however, to Pontiac, we ought perhaps here to remark, that he was indignant at the murder of Major Campbell, and used every exertion in his power to apprehend the murderer; who had fled, appre. hensive of Pontiac's vengeance, and probably would have atoned by his death for the atrocious act, in case he had been arrested.
On the 3rd of June, 1763, intelligence was received at Detroit, of peace between England and France. The subsequent events in the Pontiac war became, therefore, of but little importance. Pontiac soon relaxed in his efforts. General Bradhurst arrived with an army of three thousand men, and all the tribes in the vicinity of Detroit resorted thither.
England and France being now at peace, the tomahawk was buried, and the war-whoop ceased to echo through our vales. .
Pontiac, either distrusting the professions of the English, or too much exasperated to live cordially with them, declined any intercourse with their troops, and took no part in the pending negotiations. He abandoned the country and repaired to Illinois. Here, owing to some cause which has not been explained, he was assassinated by a Peoria Indian. (See note 4.) Such was the respect inspired by his talents and services, that the Ottawas, Pottawatomies, and Chippeways, considered his death a public misfortune, and its atonement a sacred duty. They thereupon commenced a war upon the Peorias, in which that tribe, together with the Kaskaskias and Cahokies, were almost exterminated, and from which they never recovered. The memory of the great Ottawa chief is yet held in reverence among his countrymen ; and whatever fate shall hereafter await them, his name and deeds will live in their traditionary narratives, increasing in interest as they increase in years.*
Notwithstanding the cession of an immense territory by France to the British crown, no effort was made by the latter to promote its settlement. A system of conciliation toward the Indians was now adopted ; and in a few years that bitter animosity, which was the fruit of a century of hostilities, gradually gave way, and the Indians became attached to the English interesi.
By the treaty of peace signed at Pariš, on the 10th of February, 1763, France renounced all pretensions to Nova Scotia, ceded to England the whole of Canada and its dependencies, and all that portion of Louisiana east of the Mississippi river, together with the French posts and settlements on the Ohio. Spain, having at the same time relinquished her claims to Florida-all that part of North America between Hudson's Bay on the north, and the Capes of Florida on the south, and between the Atlantic on the east, and the Mississippi on the west, became a part of the British empire.
We need not remind our readers, that the State of Illinois was included in the above cession; and after the 10th of February, 1763, acknow. ledged the supremacy of England.
* See Gov. Cass's historical discourse.
A humorous anecdote is told of Gen. Forbes, while on the route, which serves to illustrate the Indian character; and taking into consideration the character of the general, it is really amusing,
“While on the march, Gen. Forbes, on account of his illness, was carried in a close lit. ter; and to this the officers went to receive their orders. Some hostile Indians having arrived in camp on an embassy, and observing that all commands emanated from this litter, inquired the cause. The British officers, thinking the savages would despise their general, if told he was sick, were at first puzzled to give the inquirers an answer. After a moment'e reflection, however, one of them, remarkable for his shrewdness, replied to the
Indians, that in that litter was their general, who was so fierce and strong, that he felt it necessary to bind himself hand and foot, and lie still until he came into the enemy's country, lest he should do the embassadors, or even his own men, mischief. The red men gave their usual grunt, and placed some miles of forest between themselves and this fierce chieftain, as soon as possible.”
In the attack and defence of the French forts on the banks of the Montmorency, a scene occurred, in the presence of both armies, which makes humanity shudder.
In General Moncton's brigade, there was a British captain by the name of Ochterlony, by birth a Scotchman; and an ensign, by the name of Peyton ; the latter was of Irish origin. They were of the same age, about thirty, and connected together by ties of mutual friendship. The former had fought a duel, before the battle of Montmorency, with a German officer, and received a dangerous wound. His friends, therefore, insisted that he should remain in the camp during the day. His spirit, however, revolted at the thought of a scratch, as he called his wound, received in a private rencontre, preventing him from doing duty when his country required his services. In leading up his men to the intrenchment, he was shot through the lungs, and fell; recovering from the shock, he continued to advance, until by loss of blood he was compelled to desist. Peyton, at the same time, was lamed by a shot, which shattered the small bone of his left leg.
The British soldiers, in their retreat, with tears in their eyes, begged that Captain Ochterlony would allow them to carry him and their ensign off the field. Bigotted to a point of honor, he refused to quit the ground, but desired them to take care of his ensign. Peyton, with generous disdain, refused their offers, declaring he would never leave his captain in such a situation. The soldiers thereupon retired, and the captain and ensign were in a short time the only survivors on the field.
Captain Ochterlony sat down by his friend, and, as they expected nothing but immediate death, they took leave of each other. They indulged, however, in their forlorn situation, some lingering hope ; and, seeing a French officer with two Indians approaching, Captain Ochterlony started up, and accosting the officer in French, which he spoke perfectly well, expressed his expectation that they would treat him and his companion as officers and gentlemen. The two Indians were apparently controlled by the Frenchman. The latter first snatched the laced hat from Peyton's head; he proceeded next to rob the captain of his watch and money. The Indians regarded this as a signal for them to rob · and pillage, also. One of them thereupon advancing, clubbed his firelock, and struck at
Ochterlony from behind ; he missed however his head, and the blow fell upon his shoulder. The other poured the contents of his musket into the captain's bosom ; on which he exclaimed: “Oh! Peyton! the villain has shot me." The barbarian then sprung upon him with the ferocity of a tiger, and with his scalping-knife stabbed him in the groin. The captain having no weapons, as none of the officers wore swords in the action, and being still alive, the three ruffians endeavored to strangle him with his own sash. As he was on his knees, struggling with surprising exertion, Peyton, having a double-barrelled gun in his hand, and seeing the distress of his friend, fired, and one of the Indians fell dead upon the spot; the other, thinking Peyton an easy prey, advanced upon him, when the latter, taking aim, at about four yards distance, discharged his second barrel, apparently to no effect. The savage fired in his turn, and wounded Peyton in his shoulder ; then, rushing upon him, thrust him through with his bayonet. As he was about to repeat the blow, Peyton parried it, and received a wound in the left hand. Seizing, at the same time, the Indian's musket, he pulled him forward, and drawing a dagger, plunged it into the barbarian's side. A struggle ensued, in which Peyton was uppermogt; and, repeating his strokes, he succeeded in killing his antagonist outright. An unaccountable curiosity now seized him, to 'know whether his former shot had taken effect; and stripping a blanket from the tawny savage, then lying upon the ground, he perceived that the ball had passed through his breast. Having thus obtained a dear-bought victory, he