in 1763 Detroit (and Michigan) became the centerpiece of an international conflict. At the conclusion of the French and Indian War, after the French had surrendered their claims on North American territory to the British and the Spanish, a local Ottawa chief called Pontiac launched an assault on the British at Detroit. Within weeks the British lost control of the entire American frontier.The British responded to this threat by establishing a new frontier between American settlers and Native Americans through the Proclamation of 1763. For the Indians, the Proclamation showed British good faith–it demonstrated that the government in London meant to keep Native American lands out of the hands of settlers. For the American colonists, however, the Proclamation meant economic ruin. With an economy already torn by the long French and Indian War, the colonists felt they needed access to new lands in the West as a means to start rebuilding their wealth. Since the imperial government would not provide the means, the colonists began thinking of other ways to gain new lands–including independence.Farmer’s version dates from about 120 years after Pontiac’s War, and Burton’s account appeared fifty years after that. Dunbar’s and May’s story is a modern account from the twentieth century. How does the story change over time? What parts of the conflict are emphasized in each account?
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