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Beyond Pontiac's Shadow

Michilimackinac and the Anglo-Indian War of 1763

Keith R. Widder

Publication Year: 2013

On June 2, 1763, the Ojibwe captured Michigan’s Fort Michilimackinac from the British. Ojibwe warriors from villages on Mackinac Island and along the Cheboygan River had surprised the unsuspecting garrison while playing a game of baggatiway. On the heels of the capture, Odawa from nearby L’Arbre Croche arrived to rescue British prisoners, setting into motion a complicated series of negotiations among Ojibwe, Odawa, and Menominee and other Indians from Wisconsin. Because nearly all Native people in the Michilimackinac borderland had allied themselves with the British before the attack, they refused to join the Michilimackinac Ojibwe in their effort to oust the British from the upper country; the turmoil effectively halted the fur trade. Beyond Pontiac’s Shadow examines the circumstances leading up to the attack and the course of events in the aftermath that resulted in the regarrisoning of the fort and the restoration of the fur trade. At the heart of this discussion is an analysis of French-Canadian and Indian communities at the Straits of Mackinac and throughout the pays d’en haut. An accessible guide to this important period in Michigan, American, and Canadian history, Beyond Pontiac’s Shadow sheds invaluable light on a political and cultural crisis.

Published by: Michigan State University Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. 2-7


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-x

In 1978, in commemoration of the bicentennial of the American Revolutionary War, Dr. David Armour and Keith Widder wrote At the Crossroads, Michilimackinac During the American Revolution. Published by the Mackinac Island State Park Commission, this important work provides a thorough and well-written examination of that important chapter in Mackinac history ...

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pp. xi-xvi

This book had its origins in September 1965 when I first met David A. Armour, then a young assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. Dave and his family had just returned from spending their first summer at the Straits of Mackinac, where he served as a historian for the Mackinac Island State Park Commission. ...

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pp. xvii-xxviii

On June 2, 1763, while playing a game of baggatiway, a party of Ojibwe warriors from Mackinac Island and Cheboygan attacked Fort Michilimackinac and captured it from the British. The Ojibwe triumph over the heavily armed garrison may have been the most significant hour in the pays d’en haut during the eighteenth century. ...

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Chapter One. Michilimackinac, 1760: At the Heart of North America

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pp. 3-30

In late September or early October 1760, Charles-Michel Mouet de Langlade brought news of the capitulation of Montreal to Michilimackinac. By the time Langlade arrived, Captain Louis Liénard de Beaujeu de Villemonde had vacated his command of the fort. ...

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Chapter Two. Michilimackinac, 1761: A French-Canadian, Odawa, and Ojibwe Community

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pp. 31-54

A complex web of relationships wove together the fabric of the fur-trade society at Michilimackinac. French- Canadians living at Michilimackinac maintained close ties with family and business associates in Montreal and Quebec and formed connections with Native people throughout the pays d’en haut, especially the Odawa and the Ojibwe. ...

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Chapter Three. Detroit, 1760–1761: The British Enter the Pays d’en Haut

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pp. 55-74

The story of Michilimackinac after the British conquest of Canada in 1760 is the saga of Indians, British, French-Canadians, and métis struggling to build an enduring peace and a viable fur trade based upon trust. Before British officials could establish their authority permanently at Detroit and Michilimackinac they had to earn trust. ...

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Chapter Four. Michilimackinac, 1761: British Troops Take Possession of the Fort and the Posts at La Baye and St. Joseph

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pp. 75-94

Captain Henry Balfour took possession of the French forts at Michilimackinac, La Baye, and St. Joseph in autumn 1761, thereby incorporating the Michilimackinac borderland into the British Atlantic World. When Balfour reached Michilimackinac on September 28, 1761, he met British traders, who together generated mistrust, uncertainty, ...

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Chapter Five. Prelude to War, 1762–1763: Amherst’s Policies, Native Unrest, and the Diplomacy of Thomas Hutchins and James Gorrell

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pp. 95-124

With the dawn of 1762, Native people and Canadians in the Michilimackinac borderland faced the unenviable task of adapting to the presence of assertive British traders, officers, and soldiers who had recently entered their homeland. Although the Canadians had sworn oaths of allegiance to King George III, many chafed under what they perceived to be a British yoke of oppression. ...

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Chapter Six. Michilimackinac on the Brink, Spring 1763

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pp. 125-140

Upon their arrival in September 1761, British soldiers and traders set about disrupting the lives of the residents of Fort Michilimackinac by reshaping the appearance of the community and introducing new ways. Most noticeably, officers and enlisted men transformed the southeast quadrant of the fort into a military district when they moved into houses, ...

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Chapter Seven. Michilimackinac, Summer 1763: Attack, Exile, Diplomacy, Loss, Repatriation

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pp. 141-168

On the sultry morning of Thursday, June 2, 1763, all hell broke loose at Fort Michilimackinac when warriors from local Ojibwe villages brought death and destruction to British soldiers and traders. After receiving war belts from Pontiac, the Michilimackinac Ojibwe, along with the Ojibwe from Cheboygan, rose up against the British garrison, ...

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Chapter Eight. Crown Officials Respond to Calamity, Late 1763 and Early 1764

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pp. 169-188

The turmoil stirred up by the Ojibwe at Michilimackinac and other acts of violence in the West motivated General Jeffery Amherst, Sir William Johnson, General Thomas Gage, and George Croghan to reflect upon the war and articulate policies to guide future actions in the upper country. ...

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Chapter Nine. Prelude to British Reoccupation of Fort Michilimackinac, 1764

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pp. 189-202

Reoccupying Fort Michilimackinac formed a key element in British strategy for restoring peace and the fur trade in the upper country. Before redcoats could come back to the fort, Sir William Johnson, General Thomas Gage, and Lieutenant Colonel Henry Gladwin worked through many challenges and uncertainties during the first eight months of 1764. ...

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Chapter Ten. The British Return to Michilimackinac, 1764–1765

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pp. 203-222

Upon arrival at Fort Michilimackinac on September 22, 1764, Captain William Howard and two companies of the Seventeenth Regiment of Foot assumed responsibility for reestablishing British presence and authority in the pays d’en haut and for overseeing the restoration of the fur trade. ...

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pp. 223-224

In late 1764, Captain William Howard picked up the work begun by Lieutenant James Gorrell at La Baye in 1762–63. The alliances negotiated by Gorrell with the Wisconsin Indians played a vital role in maintaining peace throughout the Michilimackinac borderland before and after the attack at Fort Michilimackinac on June 2, 1763. ...

Appendix One. Michilimackinac Families

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pp. 225-236

Appendix Two. Dietrich Brehm’s Reports for 1760 and 1761

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pp. 237-252

Appendix Three. Deeds, December 21, 1760

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pp. 253-260


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pp. 261-298


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pp. 299-312


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pp. 313-331

E-ISBN-13: 9781609173821
E-ISBN-10: 1609173821
Print-ISBN-13: 9781611860900
Print-ISBN-10: 1611860903

Page Count: 360
Illustrations: 95
Publication Year: 2013

Edition: 1st Hardcover