Pontiac, fl. 1760–66, Ottawa chief. He may have been the chief met by Robert Rogers in 1760 when Rogers was on his way to take possession of the Western forts for the English. Although the Native American uprising against the English colonists just after the French and Indian Wars is known as Pontiac's Rebellion or Pontiac's Conspiracy, Pontiac's role is uncertain. He definitely was present at the siege of Detroit, and encouraged other tribes to fight the British, but most of the actual fighting and strategy was probably planned independently by other Native American leaders. After the rebellion had failed and a treaty had been concluded (1766), Pontiac is supposed to have gone west and to have been murdered by Illinois at Cahokia. This story is, however, accepted by few authorities.
See bibliography under Pontiac's Rebellion.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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