Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Native American Biography: Delaware Prophet and Pontiac

Delaware (Delaware) and Pontiac (Ottawa) had similar goals, to create a Native American Pan American alliance.  However they had different means, Pontiac had violent intentions, to throw off the British, while Delaware had peaceful intentions.  Delaware Prophet got his mandate from the Master of Life and a mystical experience.  He hoped to bring people together spiritually, and taught that they must throw off white ways, alcohol included.  He was well received.  He also denounced evil practices such as war dances and medicine making.  He promoted return to the old ways.  Pontiac believed he benefitted greatly from adherence to Delaware Prophet's teachings.  The prophet predicted his eventual victory.  Delaware isn't dead to attack the fort at present day Pittsburg.  However his plans were known.  Instead the laid siege.  In the meantime the defeated eight British forts, and inflicted over 2000 casualties.  However Indian life is not conducive to long affairs.   The warriors have families to feed.  Pontiac's strength was also reduced due to illness.  The had been given blankets infected with smallpox.  Pontiac negotiated peace, gaining a pardon. Delaware Prophet lost his influence after Pontiac was defeated.  Little is known of the prophet after this.  Pontiac was murdered in Cohokia, Illinois some years later, which lead to a brief war to avenge his death.  He was killed by a Peoria Indian, who may have been ordered by the British to prevent another uprising.  In Pontiac we have and example of resistance to European incursion.  This pattern would last for many years.

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