Armour 1Colin J. ArmourProfessor Smith & HallAmerican Literature & History11 November 2017 Chief Pontiac’s Adventures in the Revolutionary War         Chief Pontiac can be defined as an American from his very first occurrence in history since he entered the Revolutionary War, from the French and Indian War. He also acquired many traits throughout his lifetime such as, independence, opportunity, innovation, and generosity. Pontiac, born near the Great Lakes, had built his reputation and leadership through the Odawa tribe through his early life. Leading American Indians in the struggle against the British military, this gave him his title of War Chief. Pontiac had entered the war when a confederacy of Native American’s, attacked a British force near Detroit. He had recruited other tribes such as the Wyandots, Potawatomi, and the Ojibwas, to create a rebellion that would stretch into years. There were many similarities in Pontiac and Americans from the Revolutionary War that shows that he has the traits of being an American.         Pontiac didn’t necessarily have the perfect life, he endured many struggles and encountered many obstacles. The parents of Pontiac are unknown, born in 1720 near The Great Lakes, Pontiac lived an independent and lonely life. Even though his life sounds very empty early on, his independence helped him out later on with Armour 2strategizing and planning. His aloneness allowed him to ponder on thoughts all the way from his teens, to early adulthood of being Chief. Pontiac was not always a leader, he was not blood born into becoming a Chief, he had struggled to obtain his title. Not much is known about his early life, but by 1755 he had been promoted to the Chief of the Ottawa tribe. This came to be from his experience and talent for strategic planning. The main reason he was promoted was because, the Ottawa’s believed that their previous commander was insufficient and made unnecessary ideas. A specific was that caught the other Indian tribe’s attention was the French and Indian War. Pontiac raided forts that were occupied by the French, after a long battle they soon surrendered. Pontiac had agreed to let the French leave untouched on only one condition, that he would be treated with honor and respect. He soon discovered under British rule, him and his people would never be welcomed in forts and that he would be deprived of hunting grounds, and having aggressive settlers encroaching on their land. This is the exact point where he recruited the other Indian tribes to join in a campaign known as “Pontiac’s Conspiracy”. He created an attacking point to the nearest fort to them, out of anger, he would combine all of these tribes to attack and wipe out the undefeated settlements. The qualities and attributes that Pontiac represents to being an American is,independence, opportunity, innovation, and generosity. His independence quality comes from his childhood and how he was a strong boy that could handle any Armour 3situation thrown his way. He encountered many dangerous opportunities to challenge himself as a child, such as when his tribe was raided and ran-sacked, before the Indian Removal Act. He had faced this without guidance or a mentor to help him through this encounter. Pontiac had very much respect from his people and had a lot of compassion towards them. Even though he was by himself for a large point of his life, he always looked out for his tribe while running around in the forest looking for danger. He was always intellectually curious when he explored around thesurrounding areas of his tribe, surprisingly he never got into any danger through this but, he gained a very large amount of environmental knowledge. One of the more important qualities, he seizes the moment of opportunity for an advantage for him and his tribe. He seeks the good opportunities that will further his chances of winning the Revolutionary War. An example is, he paired up with three other tribes, and encouraged them to join in his revolution. This created a turning point for his side of the war and gave him the opportunity of advancement, which he took advantage of heavily. Pontiac is very productive and never lets a moment to spare, he uses his time very wisely to advance himself against the enemy for a maximum value. Pontiac and his men, make changes and established new methods and ideas to strategize in the war with much innovation. Pontiac was very wise and never went Armour 4out to war, but he was always prepared for it. He and other tribe leaders, created one of the most thought out, and innovated attacks on the North side of the country. This was caused by British movement near The Great Lakes, Pontiac quickly took action. He always had relentless creativity in his strategies created, and had some of the largest robust external partnerships in the Revolutionary War. Along with the partnerships’ he had many authentic community connections, one of the only people in the war to have such an asset. Without Pontiac, who knows how the Indian tribes would have responded to the British advancing on their territory without his outstanding inclusive leadership.  This made him a very essential person and figure in the war. Even though he was a very famous war leader, created a rebellion that lasted for years, and had been in combat for most of his life, he was a very generous man. He graced his people with protection, food, and shelter. Because of this, Pontiac’s Rebellion was one of the most drawn-out battles during the Revolutionary War. Pontiac was full of optimism and has planned out the future of his tribe with a certain image that he would strive to achieve before he is gone. Alongside his optimism, he was a very large altruist, giving more to his people than what he would get in return for his personal gain. This was not all one-sided, Pontiac had the trust of his people from his idealist ideas of achieving the goal of the future of their tribe will live on. Armour 5         Pontiac was not only known in textbooks or introduced as a small piece of the war, there are many poems and literature that embraced who Pontiac was. One piece of literature known as “Literary Land Claims” demonstrates the indigenous people that roamed without land known as “savages”. It covers from Pontiac’s War to the Attawapiskat. This specific example reveals their opinion of that Pontiac was not generous, or gracious, but instead a bloodthirsty savage. Along with the poetry and literature, many quotes were said to inspire his people and encourage them to keep on fighting. The most famous quote from Pontiac is, “They came with a Bible and their religion stole our land, crushed our spirit…and now tell us we should be thankful to the ‘Lord’ for being saved.” This quote is an example and how enraged Pontiac was when these people attempted to take their land, and claim it as their own, as if they have been there for hundreds of years and that they are doing the Lord’s will. The quote that inspired the most people of the Indian tribes is, “The fire of hope almost went out; we have to rekindle it.” Encouraged and inspired, Pontiac’s people sought to bring hope to their land and that they will not leave without a fight, and that they will die to defend what is theirs. Chief Pontiac lead his tribe to victory over the British in the war named for him, from 1763 to 1766 leading American Indians against the British military near The Great Lakes. The war started in 1763, immediately after The French and Indian War, located in Illinoi and Ohio. These tribes joined together under Pontiac’s Armour 6inspiration and strategic planning ideas against the British. Most of these tribes were very dissatisfied with British policies after the French and Indian War. Numerous warriors and great Chiefs joined the war to create an uprising to drive the British out of their land. The war was named after Pontiac because, he was the most prominent of Chiefs during the conflict. Because of his great strategizing ideas and war plans against the British, he kept his tribes out of a great deal of casualties and out of danger. Pontiac always had the advantage in the war, this reason is from the large amount of support and large amount of men at his disposal against Great Britain. Although the American Indian’s had a major advantage over the British troops, their technology was not close to comparison. The British had acquired, blunderbusses, muskets, and dual models. On the other hand, the American Indian’s had tomahawks, stone axes, and the basic bow and arrow. Their battle training was also on very different skill levels. The British had very major battle training as where the American Indian’s have none. The advantage the Indian’s had to counter this is the terrain of their biome. They knew the terrain better than any British military could comprehend. The major population difference, terrain, weather, and battle plans were the large turning point against the British. Throughout the Revolutionary War,Pontiac has shown qualities of patriotism and leadership. In joining the war and creating a war named after him to drive the British back, he has truly made himself Armour 7known in American history.