The War Chief of the Ottawas : A chronicle of the Pontiac war eBook

Thomas Guthrie Marquis
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 99 pages of information about The War Chief of the Ottawas .
and Venango, on the trade-route between Lake Erie and Fort Pitt, and Fort Pitt itself, were also occupied.  But all west of Fort Pitt was to the British unknown country.  Sandusky, at the south-west end of Lake Erie; Detroit, guarding the passage between Lakes Erie and St Clair; Miami and Ouiatanon, on the trade-route between Lake Erie and the Wabash; Michilimackinac, at the entrance to Lake Michigan; Green Bay (La Baye), at the southern end of Green Bay; St Joseph, on Lake Michigan; Sault Ste Marie, at the entrance to Lake Superior—­all were still commanded by French officers, as they had been under New France.

The task of raising the British flag over these forts was entrusted to Major Robert Rogers of New England, who commanded Rogers’s Rangers, a famous body of Indian-fighters.  On September 13, 1760, with two hundred Rangers in fifteen whale-boats, Rogers set out from Montreal.  On November 7 the contingent without mishap reached a river named by Rogers the Chogage, evidently the Cuyahoga, on the south shore of Lake Erie.  Here the troops landed, probably on the site of the present city of Cleveland; and Rogers was visited by a party of Ottawa Indians, whom he told of the conquest of Canada and of the retirement of the French armies from the country.  He added that his force had been sent by the commander-in-chief to take over for their father, the king of England, the western posts still held by French soldiers.  He then offered them a peace-belt, which they accepted, and requested them to go with him to Detroit to take part in the capitulation and ‘see the truth’ of what he had said.  They promised to give him an answer next morning.  The calumet was smoked by the Indians and the officers in turn; but a careful guard was kept, as Rogers was suspicious of the Indians.  In the morning, however, they returned with a favourable reply, and the younger warriors of the band agreed to accompany their new friends.  Owing to stormy weather nearly a week passed—­the Indians keeping the camp supplied with venison and turkey, for which Rogers paid them liberally—­before the party, on November 12, moved forward towards Detroit.

Detroit was at this time under the command of the Sieur de Beletre, or Bellestre.  This officer had been in charge of the post since 1758 and had heard nothing of the surrender of Montreal.  Rogers, to pave the way; sent one of his men in advance with a letter to Beletre notifying him that the western posts now belonged to King George and informing him that he was approaching with a letter from the Marquis de Vaudreuil and a copy of the capitulation.  Beletre was irritated; the French armies had been defeated and he was about to lose his post.  He at first refused to believe the tidings; and it appears that he endeavoured to rouse the inhabitants and Indians about Detroit to resist the approaching British, for on November 20 several Wyandot sachems met the advancing party and told Rogers that four hundred warriors were

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The War Chief of the Ottawas : A chronicle of the Pontiac war from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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