The Revolt of Pontiac and the American Invasion

Native Nations Resist British Control

Pontiac's Whirlwind Campaign

Iroquois chief, 1760-1790

Caption: Iroquois chief, 1760-1790

During May and June there were whirlwind attacks on forts Sandusky, St. Joseph, Presqu'île, Miami, Venango and Michilimackinac, as well as on several smaller posts, which were literally stormed. The many skilful subterfuges of the Amerindians enabled them to take most of the forts. At Michilimackinac, for example, the Ojibwa warriors were playing lacrosse outside the palisades. At one point the ball landed near the door, where a few officers and soldiers were watching the game. The players ran towards the ball, followed closely by their women; in a flash, the women handed them the weapons they had hidden under their blankets and the men rushed inside, killing everyone in the garrison. Only forts Pitt (Pittsburgh), Ligonier and Detroit were able to stand up to Pontiac, even though Fort Pitt was attacked twice and the Detroit garrison, galvanized by Major Henry Gladwin, had to withstand a long siege. Pontiac and his men spared only Fort Niagara, deeming it - correctly - to be too strongly fortified.

Additional Images

Map showing the extent of Pontiac’s uprising during 1763-1764
A game of lacrosse