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Ottawa Indian Chiefs and Leaders

The following were chiefs or leaders of the Ottawa Indians. Pontiac An Ottawa chief, born about 1720, probably on Maumee river, Ohio, about the mouth of the Auglaize. Though his paternity is not positively established, it is most likely that his father was an Ottawa chief and his mother a Chippewa woman. J. Wimer1 says that as early as 1746 he commanded the Indians, mostly Ottawa, who defended Detroit against the attack of the northern tribes. It is supposed he led the Ottawa and Chippewa warriors at Braddock’s defeat. He first appears prominently in history at his meeting with Maj. Robert Rogers, in 1760, at the place where Cleveland, Ohio, now stands. This officer bad been dispatched to take possession of Detroit on behalf of the British. Pontiac objected to the further invasion of the territory, but, learning that the French had been defeated in Canada, consented to the surrender of Detroit to the British, and was the means of preventing an attack on the latter by a body of Indians at the mouth of the strait. That which gives him most prominence in history and forms the chief episode of his life is the plan he devised for a general uprising of the Indians and the destruction of the forts and settlements of the British. He was for a time disposed to be on terms of friendship with the British and consented to acknowledge King George, but only as an “uncle,” not as a superior. Failing to receive the recognition he considered his due as a great sovereign, and being deceived by the rumor that the French were preparing for the...

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