Pontiac

c. 1720–April 20, 1769

Pontiac was a chief of the Ottawa Indians who remains famous for his leadership role in Pontiac's Rebellion (1763–1766).

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Biography

Pontiac was a chief of the Ottawa Indians who remains famous for his leadership role in Pontiac’s Rebellion (1763–1766). Pontiac subscribed to the religious beliefs of Neolin, a prophet among the Delaware Indians who encouraged his fellow Indians to forsake all English goods and customs. Along with other American Indian leaders, Pontiac urged tribes to rise up against the British when the French were expelled from the Ohio Country after the French and Indian War. Pontiac’s Rebellion was initially successful and American Indians captured most of the British Forts in the Ohio Country. However, they were never able to capture Fort Pitt or Fort Detroit and Pontiac’s Rebellion gradually collapsed by the end of 1764. Pontiac signed a peace treaty with the British at Fort Ontario on July 25, 1766. Pontiac spent much of his later life in the Illinois Country, where he was murdered by a fellow American Indian at Cahokia in 1769.

Quick Facts

  • Pontiac was born circa 1720.
  • Pontiac’s father was an Ottawa Indian.
  • Pontiac’s mother was a Chippewa Indian.
  • Pontiac subscribed to the religious beliefs of Neolin, a prophet among the Delaware Indians who encouraged his fellow Indians to forsake all English goods and customs.
  • In 1763, Pontiac and other American Indian leaders urged tribes in the Ohio Country to rise up against the British.
  • American Indians were never able to capture Fort Pitt or Fort Detroit during Pontiac’s Rebellion and it gradually collapsed by the end of 1764.
  • Pontiac signed a peace treaty with the British at Fort Ontario on July 25, 1766.
  • Pontiac spent much of his later life in the Illinois Country, where he was murdered by a fellow American Indian at Cahokia in 1769.
  • Pontiac’s burial site is unknown.
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Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title Pontiac
  • Coverage c. 1720–April 20, 1769
  • Author
  • Keywords pontiac
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date May 26, 2022
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update May 6, 2022
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