A "Most Troublesome Situation"
The British Military and the Pontiac Indian Uprising of 1763-1764
by Timothy J. Todish and Todd E. Harburn
Illustrations by Gary Zaboly and Robert Griffing
At the conclusion of the French Indian War, the triumphant British took possession of a vast area west of the Appalachians in the Great Lakes region. It was not only replete with a lucrative fur trade and almost infinite colonization possibilities, but also hostile Indians harboring lingering loyalties to their former French allies. It was not long before overly-strict British regulation of the fur trade, coupled with a perceived arrogance, further fueled Indian resentment of colonial expansion into their territories. Pontiac's Uprising, or Pontiac's Conspiracy, of 1763, named after the Ottawa chief generally recognized as one of its main catalysts, was the violent, sometimes horrifying tribal reaction in 1763 against two short years of controversial British military rule.
This important new book looks at the Pontiac Uprising through the eyes of the British military, yet treats both sides fairly and honestly. There was legitimacy to the positions of both the British and the Indians, but it was also a brutal war in which both committed extreme, and sometimes unnecessary, acts of violence. Using numerous excerpts from period accounts, the authors tell the story through the eyes and the minds of those who were caught up in it. The sieges of forts Detroit and Pitt, as well as the losses of smaller posts, are told in great detail. Many more obscure events are also brought to life. Major Robert Rogers' expedition to the Great Lakes, Captain Thomas Morris' brave but futile journey to the Illinois country, the defeat of Cuyler's relief party, the remarkable story of the shipwrecked survivors of the sloop Michigan, the formation of the unique "Platoons," the Battle of Buffalo Creek and the little known ambush at Roche a Davion are all told in exciting detail. The uprising had its share of dedication and heroism as well as treachery, greed and deceit. Every effort is made to relate these events fairly and objectively, without regard for political correctness or revisionism.
The main text is supplemented with appendices that explain the makeup of the garrisons of the various posts, what the sites are like today, and also a retelling of the remarkable Indian captivity of John Rutherford.
Noted historian Brian Leigh Dunnigan has written an insightful foreword. In addition to many period drawings and maps, excellent artwork by modern artists Robert Griffing and Gary Zaboly brings the text to life. Of special note is portrait of British Captain James Dalyell, who was killed at the Battle of Bloody Run. This painting is reproduced in a historical publication for the very first time in this book.
221 pages, illustrated, 8.5 x 11, paperback, 2006. A Purple Mountain Press original.
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