“Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.”
The French were defeated, but what next of British rule in America?
Britain’s in Control
British grip on The New World was at a high at 1763. Following the defeat of the French at the French Indian War, the British empire were in complete control of the vast majority of eastern America.
Next to arrive was the Pontiac War, fought in 1763 between Native Americans and Britain. Only lasting for less than a year, its significance could not be understated as the American Revolution slowly came to the fore. What would Connor expect around this time?
The Treaty of Paris in 1763 brought an end to French dominion in America, newly acquired lands were invaded by British settlers, mainly the Ohio River Valley and Great Lakes region.
Unlike their French rivals, who treated the natives with respect, British settlers were feared by the natives, who thought they would destroy their way of life. Dissatisfied with British legislation and encouraged by existing French traders still in the area, natives began attacking nearby forts and settlements, effectively beginning the Pontiac War.
The Native Assault
The three main native Indian groups objecting British sovereignty included:
•The Great Lakes tribes of Ottawas, Ojibwas, Potawatomis and Hurons.
•The Illinois Country of Miamis, Weas, Kickapoos and Mascoutens and Piankashaws.
•The Ohio Country of Delawares, Shawnees, Wyandots and Mingos
Some sought revenge due to their alliance and close links with French settlers, others due to Britain strengthening their forts immediately after victory when under the impression they would withdraw from their land, whilst others, such as the Iroquois Confederacy, largely did not fight during the war due to their alliance with the British.
Nonetheless, the Seneca tribe, the western most Iroquois nation, were the first to seek the Great Lakes tribes to combine and attack the British-held Detroit Fort. Chief Pontiac of Ottawa was able to convince his tribe as well as the the Potawatomies and Wyandot to attack on 7th May, though unsuccessfully
Despite the loss, many of the most important forts west of the Appalachian Mountains were taken by the natives, usually through stealthy and unconventional means:
•The first raided, Fort Sandusky, was taken by Natives pretending to hold a peaceful council with the British, before seizing the commander and burning the fort to the ground.
•Another fort captured, Fort Michilimackinac, was taken after local Ojibwas staged a stickball game. The ball was hit through the open fort gate after the British had come out to watch. Given weapons smuggled in by Native Women, they killed everyone in the garrison.
The British Fightback
British reinforcements later laid siege to the forts to recapture them. Eventually both sides made peace for various reasons
•Without European allies, the nearing of the hunting season and the realisation that France would not regain control of the land, the inevitable break up of the native coalition forced Chief Pontiac seek peace.
•Unwilling to risk more tension and settlers’ lives as well as being unwilling to bear the cost of protecting the newly won land, King George III signed the Royal Proclamation of 1763 on October 7th, which stated land west of the Appalachian Mountains was for Native Americans only – no colonists could settle there. Though the Natives were satisfied, American colonists were disillusioned with this treaty.
Why fight for this new land if they were never able to reap the rewards?
What of those who were poor and struggled to find land to survive on?
Confusion over the boundary caused even more problems; some settlements were located beyond the line, numerous land claims were unsettled and land had been granted to British soldiers who had participated in the French Indian War, which further blurred the boundary.
And so, the first murmurs of disapproval under British rule began and the American Revolution would escalate from here on in.
The Pontiac War could delve into Connor’s Half-British, half Native American ancestral history greatly and the non-conventional methods of intrusion and deception and would play into the assassin’s hand. Various possibilities could be possible:
•Negotiating councils with British garrisons that he would later turn on
•Leading the Native Americans to capture the forts
•Uniting the tribes that have been divided
Connor would become a hero amongst the Natives. How would this fare for the other Americans, whom were also fighting freedom against the British? There are endless possibilities!
So next time, the American Revolution will finally start to heat up! What role will the native Indians have in the ongoing assassin versus templar war? What parts of the Frontier do you want to explore particularly? Let us know!