A few miles west of here on July 18, 1765, Pontiac, an Ottawa Chief, and George Croghan, British Representative, met in a formal peace council which ended the most threatening Indian uprising against the British in North America. Following the French and Indian War (1754 - 1763), many Indian tribes showed dissatisfaction with British rule. Indian leaders believed the land belonged to the Indians and that the French and British occupied it only by their consent, but the British had no intention of accepting Indian tribes as independent national units possessing sovereignty. This disagreement and others concerning liquor, ammunition, and other gifts led to open hostilities.
On May 3, 1763, Pontiac led the Ottawa and other tribes in an attack of Fort Detroit. Additional tribes attacked other forts. Soon the frontier was the scene of an extensive Indian uprising. By August, only Detroit, Fort Pitt, and Fort Niagara remained in British hands. Pontiac held his followers to a six months siege of Detroit which was remarkable as warriors preferred active combat. Contemporary estimates of the number killed or captured by the Indians ran as high as 2,000, but the actual figure was closer to 600.
The siege failed and Pontiac traveled west to seek French aid. When this was refused, Pontiac agreed to meet the English Representative George Crogahn. Following this meeting, Pontiac accompanied Croghan to Detroit where they arrived on August 17, 1765, to finalize the treaty with appropriate ceremonies.
Pontiac was assassinated in Cahokia, Illinois, in April 1769 by a Peoria Indian.