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seventeen thousand English troops had gathered about the doomed city. Vaudreuil saw that resistance was foolish and vain, and on the Sth day of September, 1760, surrendered, and thus all Canada passed under the dominion of Great Britain, with General Gage as military governor and General Murray as commandant at Quebec, with four thousand men. Detroit, alone, remained to be conquered. Major Rogers, with two hundred warriors, was sent to plant the British standard at Detroit. On the shores of Lake Erie, they held a council with Pontiac, the great chief of the Ottawas, from whom they gained permission to cross over his country to Detroit. On the 29th of December, 1760, Detroit surrendered, and, while the garrison were made prisoners, the settlers were only required to take the oath of allegiance to the British crown.
The country was now at peace, save in the Carolinia frontiers, where there had been strife with the Indians for years. The Cherokees were the hardiest and most enlightened of the savages. They were peaceable, until they were driven to exasperation by the acts of some Virginia rangers and the treachery of the royal governor of South Carolinia, and, in the spring of 1760, they flew to arms with the tribes of the Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia. French emissaries had been at work on the Indians,
and the Cherokees received military stores sent out from Louisiana. The suffering people appealed to Amherst for help, and, early in April, Colonel Montgomery, with six hundred Highlanders and as many Americans, was sent to strike the Cherokees. He was also accompanied by Colonel Grant, who was defeated at Fort Du Quesne.
On the first of June, the English were ready to apply the scourge. They penetrated the beautiful valley of the Keowee on the western borders of Anderson District, in which well-built houses and cultivated fields gave tokens of a semi-civilization. They plundered the towns, cut down the standing corn and drove the Indians, who at first made a stout resistance, into the wooded hills.
Onward the English marched, over the hills and the head-waters of the Savannah, to the valley of the Little Tennessee. Down that valley they marched, compelled to fight almost every inch of the way into the heart of the southern Alleghany mountains. The whole country was aroused, and the patriotism of the Cherokees gave intensity to their anger.
Montgomery was compelled at last to retrace his steps and left Fort Loudon, which at last fell into the hands of the Indians, who murdered a part of the garrison and scattered the others among the tribes. Montgomery hastened to Charleston, and, regardless of the prayers of the people, who feared the ire of the exasperated Cherokees, he embarked for Halifax.
Instead of being subdued, the Cherokees were more fiercely inflamed against the English. They prepared for war next year, when Colonel Grant, with a stronger force, compelled them to stand on the defensive. He burned their villages, desolated their fields, and killed many of their warriors.
Francis Marion, the great partisan hero, was a provincial officer in this expedition. One of the most touching epistles in the English language is his letter on the destruction of the homes and fields of the unfortunate savages. The nation, finally dispirited by their long and continued reverses, humbly sued for peace in June, 1761, and a treaty to that effect was made.
Although war had ended in America, the French and English continued it on the ocean, and among the West Indian islands, with almost unbroken success by the latter, until the treaty of peace, negotiated in 1762, and signed at Paris on the 10th of February, 1763. By its terms, France ceded to Great Britain all her claimed territory in America eastward of the Mississippi River, north of the latitude of the Iberville River, a little below Baton Rouge.
New Orleans and the whole of Louisiana were ceded by France to Spain, at the
same time; so her entire possessions in North America, for which she had labored and fought for more than a century, were relinquished. Spain, with whom the English had been at war, ceded east and west Florida to Great Britain. Thus England held undisputed possession (save by the Indians) of the whole continent from the shores of the Gulf of Mexico to the frozen sea, and, by prescriptive right, claimed the whole country from ocean to ocean.
Scarcely had the storm of war in the south been subdued, ere another far more portentous gathered in the great northwest. All over the western country, there existed a deep-seated jealousy of the English among the Indians. The English w re cold and indifferent compared with the generous French.
No sooner had the savages learned of the treaty of Paris, in 1733, by which France had ceded the country to Great Britain, without their leave, than there was widespread indignation among them. The arrogance of Amherst in his official intercourse fanned the flame, and a vast confederacy was formed for the purpose of attacking all the English forts on the frontiers on the same day, to destroy their garrisons, and to desolate their settlements, west of the Alleghanies.
Pontiac, the great Ottawa chief, then about fifty
years of age, was at the head of this conspiracy. He sent embassadors to all the tribes around the lakes, and all over the country southward far toward the Gulf of Mexico. A great council of many tribes was convened on the 27th of April. Pontiac, in a stirring address, recounted all the wrongs the red race had suffered at the hands of the Eng. lish, and assured his warriors that the French were soon to return and reconquer Canada, when the Indians would once more fight on their side. He appealed to their superstition by narrating Indian legends, and in various ways excited them with a burning desire for immediate action.
A great conspiracy was formed in which Pontiac was, himself, to assail Detroit. Treachery was resorted to as a means of entering the fort at Detroit then under command of Major Gladwin; but the commandant was informed by an Indian woman of the intended treachery and assured that the signal for the attack would be in the manner that Pontiac delivered the belt of wampum to the major.
With his warriors carrying short guns and tomahawks under their blankets, Pontiac entered the fort; but was amazed and quite alarmed to find that the guards were all on duty, and every soldier in the fort had a musket in his hand. At the moment of delivery of the belt, the drums of the garrison beat the long roll, and the guards levelled