Pocahontas (1595-1617)

Pocahontas was the daughter of Powhatan, a powerful chief of the Powhatan Confederacy in Virginia. It is reported that she saved the life of Captain John Smith. She was captured by the Jamestown colonists and learned to like the colonists and later brought them food.

She fell in love with John Rolfe, married him and through her influence, helped keep peace as long as Powhatan lived. She became a Christian. The young couple went to London where she was feted as Lady Rebecca. As they began their trip to Virginia she died of small pox at the age of 22. She left one son, Thomas Rolfe, who was educated in England by his Uncle, Henry Rolfe. Thomas Rolfe had one daughter, Jane Rolfe.

Chief Pontiac (1712-1769)

Son of an Ottawa father and an Ojibway mother, was born on the Maumee River. By 1775 he had become a chief with great power of organization. He traveled widely urging the Indians, likely fought against Braddock in 1755. With his Ottawas, Ojibways and Pottawaton, he formed his conspiracy to overthrow the English rule by taking their forts. He almost successed. Forts Michellimackinac, Sandusky, Miami, Ouitanon, Presque Isle, LeBouef and Venango fell and many people were masaquered. Forts Pitt, Niagara, Ligonier and Detroit held out and Pontiac's plan collapsed. He was pardoned by the English.

In fear that he was about to organize further hostilities among the Illinois Indians, he was stabbed to death by a Kaskaskia tribeman at Cahokia. In retaliations, the Potawatanis practically exterminated the Illinois.

Pontiac achieved his fame by his powerful organizing ability and by his six months siege of Fort Detroit. An Ojibwa girl told Major Gladwyn, Commander of the fort, of a strategy to be used by the Indians to get into the fort and take it.

The English were ready and Pontiac failed. He was one of the most remarkable men of his race in American history.

"If you are French....join us. If you are English, we declare war against you. Let us have your answer."

He said this after the end of the French and Indian War and before his attacks.

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