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Pontiac’s War

Early in the eighteenth century the French had commenced extending their influence among the tribes who inhabited the country bordering on the great western lakes. Always more successful than the other European settlers in conciliating the affections of the savages among whom they lived, they had obtained the hearty good will of nations little known to the English. The cordial familiarity of the race, and the terms of easy equality upon which they were content to share the rude huts of the Indians, ingratiated them more readily with their hosts, than a course of English reserve and formality could have done. The most marked instances of the contrast between the two great parties of colonists may be seen in the different measure of success met with in their respective religious operations. While the stern doctrines of New England divines, as a general rule, were neglected or contemned by their rude hearers, the Jesuits met with signal success in acquiring a spiritual influence over the aborigines. Whether it was owing to the more attractive form in which they promulgated their creed and worship, or whether it was due to their personal readiness to adapt themselves to the habits, and to sympathize with the feelings of their proselytes, certain it is that they maintained a strong hold upon the affections, and a powerful influence over the conduct of their adopted brethren. Adair, writing with natural prejudice, says that, “instead of reforming the Indians, the monks and friars corrupted their morals: for in the place of inculcating love, peace, and good-will to their red pupils, as became messengers of the divine, author...

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