JULY 25, 1766


Pontiac’s War had its origins in the changing relationships of natives and whites after the British conquest of New France.  The French had learned the languages, intermarried, and traded firearms.  In contrast, the British sold off native lands and forbade trading firearms.  By early 1763, Ottawa chief Obwandiyag (Pontiac) began his attacks with support from the Potawatomi and Huron.  Victories brought in numerous other tribes.  However, by July 1765, his alliance was disintegrating.  In July 1766, British Superintendent of Indian Affairs William Johnson called together the chiefs of the Great Lakes nations to end the war.  On July 25, Pontiac declared to Johnson “I take you by the hand and never will part with it.”  Ironically, for this, Pontiac’s own village banished him.  Yet, the war led to the Royal Proclamation of 1763 that serves as a legal foundation for relations between natives and governments in Canada and the U.S.  

Source:  James H. Marsh, “Obwandiyag (Pontiac): Warrior Chief,” The Canadian Encyclopedia, 7/22/2012.  Retrieved 7/8/2019,   https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/pontiacs-war-feature
Painting:  John Mix Stanley (1814-1872).  Public Domain in U.S.:  Pre 1/1/1925.  Public Domain elsewhere where copyright term is author’s life plus 100 years or less.  

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