The motives of the Indians in the rising of 1763 may, therefore, be summarized as follows: amity with the French, hostility towards the British, hope of plunder, and fear of aggression. The first three were the controlling motives of Pontiac’s Indians about Detroit. They called it the ‘Beaver War.’ To them it was a war on behalf of the French traders, who loaded them with gifts, and against the British, who drove them away empty-handed. But the Senecas and the Delawares, with their allies of the Ohio valley, regarded it as a war for their lands. Already the Indians had been forced out of their hunting-grounds in the valleys of the Juniata and the Susquehanna. The Ohio valley would be the next to go, unless the Indians went on the war-path. The chiefs there had good reason for alarm. Not so Pontiac at Detroit, because no settlers were invading his hunting-grounds. And it was for this lack of a strong motive that Pontiac’s campaign, as will hereafter appear, broke down before the end of the war; that even his own confederates deserted him; and that, while the Senecas and Delawares were still holding out, he was wandering through the Indian country in a vain endeavour to rally his scattered warriors.
THE GATHERING STORM
When Montreal capitulated, and the whole of Canada passed into British hands, it was the duty of Sir Jeffery Amherst, the commander-in-chief, to arrange for the defence of the country that had been wrested from France. General Gage was left in command at Montreal, Colonel Burton at Three Rivers, and General Murray at Quebec. Amherst himself departed for New York in October, and never again visited Canada. Meanwhile provision had been made, though quite inadequate, to garrison the long chain of forts [Footnote: See the accompanying map. Except for these forts or trading-posts, the entire region west of Montreal was at this time practically an unbroken wilderness. There were on the north shore of the St Lawrence a few scattered settlements, on Ile Perrot and at Vaudreuil, and on the south shore at the Cedars and Chateauguay; but anything like continuity of settlement westward ceased with the island of Montreal.] that had been established by the French in the vaguely defined Indian territory to the west. The fortunes of war had already given the British command of the eastern end of this chain. Fort Levis, on what is now Chimney Island, a few miles east of Ogdensburg, had been captured. Fort Frontenac had been destroyed by Bradstreet, and was left without a garrison. British troops were in charge of Fort Oswego, which had been built in 1759. Niagara, the strongest fort on the Great Lakes, had been taken by Sir William Johnson. Near it were two lesser forts, one at the foot of the rapids, where Lewiston now stands, and the other, Fort Schlosser, on the same side of the river, above the falls. Forts Presqu’isle, Le Boeuf,