Rogers' journal of events as taken from the officers of the fort during the Pontiac's attack.
A Journal of the Siege of Detroit, taken from the Officers who were
then in the Fort, and wrote in their Words in the following Manner, viz:
The 6th of May; when we were privately informed of a
Conspiracy formed against us by the Indians, particularly the Tawa
Nation, who were to come to council with us the next Day, and massacre
every Soul of us. On the Morning of that Day, being Saturday the 7th
of May, fifteen of their Warriors came into the Fort and seemed very
inquisitive and anxious to know where all the English Merchants' Shops
At 9 o'clock the Garrison were ordered under Arms and the Savages
continued coming into the Fort till 11 o'clock, diminishing their
Numbers as much as possible by dividing themselves at all the Corners of
the streets most adjacent to the Shops. Before 12 o'Clock they were
three hundred Men, at least three times the Number equal to that of the
Garrison; but seeing all the Troops under Arms, and the Merchants Shops
shut, imagined prevented them from attempting to put their evil Scheme
into execution that Day.
Observing us thus prepared, their Chiefs came in a very condemned
like Manner, to Council, where they spoke a great deal of Nonsense to
Major Gladwine and Capt. Campbell, protesting at the same Time the
greatest Friendship imaginable to them, but expressing their Surprise at
seeing all the Officers and Men under Arms. The Major then told them
that he had certain Intelligence that some Indians were projecting
Mischief, and on that Acct he was determined to have the Troops always
under Arms upon such Occasions: That they being the oldest Nation, and
the first that had come to Council, needed not to be astonished at that
Precaution as he was resolved to do the same to all Nations.
At 2 o'Clock they had done speaking, went off seemingly very
discontented and crossed the River half a League from the Fort, where
they all emcamped about 6 o'Clock that Afternoon. Six of their Warriors
returned and brought an old Squaw Prisoner, alledging that she had given
us false Information against them. The Major declared she had never
given any kind of Advice. They then insisted upon naming the Author of
what he had heard in regard to the Indians, which he declined to do, but
told them it was one of themselves, whose Name he promised never to
reveal; where upon they went off and carried the old Woman Prisoner with
them. When they arrived at their Camp, Pondiac their greatest Chief
seized on the Prisoner and gave her three Strokes with a Stick on the
Head, which laid her flat on the Ground, and the whole Nation assembled
around her and called repeated Times kill her, kill her.
Sunday the 8th, Pondiac and several other of the
principal Chiefs came into the Fort, at 5 o'Clock in the Afternoon and
brought a Pipe of Peace with them of which they wanted to convince us
fully of their Friendship and Sincerity, but the Major judging that they
only wanted to caggole us would not go neigh them nor give them any
Countenance, which obliged Capt. Campbell to go and speak with them, and
after smoking with the Pipe and Peace and assuring him of their
Fidedity, they said that the next Morning all the Nation would come to
the Council where every thing would be settled to our Satisfaction,
after which they would immediately disperse, and that that would remove
all kind of Suspicion.
Accordingly on Monday Morning the 9th, six of their
Warriors came into the Fort at 7 o'Clock, and upon seeing the Garrison
under Arms went off without being observed. About 10 o'Clock we counted
fifty-six Canoes, with seven or eight Men in each, crossing the River
from their Camp, and when they arrived nigh the Fort, the Gates were
shut, and the Interpreter went to tell them that not above fifty or
sixty Chiefs would be admitted into the Fort, upon which Pondiac
immediately desired the Interpreter in a peremptory Manner to return
directly and acquaint us that if all their People had not free Access
into the Fort none of them would enter it: that we might stay in our
Fort, but he would keep the Country, adding that he would order a Party
instantly to an Island where we had twenty-four Bullocks, which they
immediately killed. Unluckily three Soldiers were on the Island and a
poor Man with his Wife and four Children which they all murthered except
two Children, as also a poor Woman and her two Sons, that lived about
half a Mile from the Fort.
After having thus put all the English without the Fort to death, the
ordered a Frenchman who had seen the Woman and her two Children killed
and scalped, to come and inform us of it, and likewise of their having
murthered Sir Robert Davers, Captain Robertson and a Boats' Crew of six
Persons two Days before, being Saturday the 7th of May, near
the Entrance of Lake Huron, for which Place they set out from hence on
Monday the 2d Inst. in order to know if the Lakes and Rivers were
Navigable for a Schooner which lay here to proceed to Michilimackinac.
We were then fully persuaded that the Information given us was well
founded, and a proper Disposition was made for the Defense of the Fort,
although our Number was but small, not exceeding one hundred and twenty,
including all the English Traders, and the Works were nigh Mile in
On Tuesday the 10th, very early in the Morning, the
Savages began to fire on the Fort, and Vessels which lay opposite to the
east and west Sides of the Fort. About 8 o'Clock the Indians called a
Parley and ceased firing, and half an Hour after, the Waindotes Chiefs
came into the Fort, on their way to a Council where they were called by
the Tawas and promised us to endeavour to soliciate and persuade the
Tawas from committing further Hostilties. After drinking a Glasss of Rum
they went off at three o'Clock that Afternoon. Several of the
Inhabitants and four Chiefs of the Tawas, Waindotes and Chippawas and
Pottawattomes came and acquainted us, that most of all the Inhabitants
were assembled at a Frenchman House about a Mile from the Fort, where
the Savages proposed to hold a Council, and desiring Captain Campbell
and another Officer to go with them to that Council, where they hoped
with their Presence and Assistance further Hostilities would cease,
assuring us at the same Time that come whata would, that Capt. Campbell
and the other Officers that went with him, should return whenever they
pleased. This Promise was assertained by the French as well as the
Indian Chief, whereupon Captain Campbell and Lieutenant McDougall went
off escorted by a Number of the Inhabitants and the four Chiefs, they
first promised to be answerable for their returning yt Night.
When they arrived at the House already mentioned they found the
French and Indians assembled, and after counceling a long while, the
Waindotes were prevailed on to sing the War Song, and this being done,
it was next resolved that Captain Campbell and Lieutenant McDougall
should be detained as Prisoners, but would be indulged to lodge in a
French House till a French Commandant arrived from the Ilenoes, that
next Day five Indians and as many Canadians would be dispatched to
acquaint the Commanding Officer of the Ilonies that Detroit was in their
Possession and require of him to send an Officer to Command, to whome
Captain Cample and Lieutenant McDougall should be delivered. As for
Major Gladwin he was summoned to give up the Fort and two Vessels,
&c., the Troops to ground their Arms, and they would allow as many
Battoes and as much Provision as they judged requisite for us to go to
Niagara: That if these Proposals were not accepted of, they were a
thousand Men, and storm the Fort at all events, and in that Case every
Soul of us should be put to the Torture. The Major returned for Answer,
that as soon as the two Officers they had detained were permitted to
come into the Fort, he would after consulting them give a positive
Answer to their Demand, but could do nothing without obtaining their
On Wednesday the 11th, several Inhabitants came early in
the Morning into the Fort, and advised us by way of Friendship to make
our Escape aboard the Vessels, assuring us that we had no other Method
by which we could preserve our Lives, as the Indians were then fifteen
hundred fighting Men, and would be as many more in a few Days, and that
they were fully determined to attack us in an Hours time. We told the
Mons'rs that we were ready to receive them, and that every Officer and
Soldier in the Fort would willingly perish in the Defense of it, rather
than condescend or agree to any Terms that Savages would propose. Upon
which the French went off as I suppose to communicate what we had said
to their Allies, and in a little afterwards the Indians gave their usual
Hoop, and five or six hundred began to attack the Fort on all Quarters.
Indeed some of them behaved extremely well and advanced very boldly in
an open plain exposed to our Fire, and came within sixty Yards of the
Fort, but upon having three Men killed and above a dozen wounded, they
retired as briskly as they advanced, and fired at three hundred Yards
Distance till seven o'Clock at Night, when they sent a Frenchman into
the Fort with a Letter to the Major, desiring a cessation of Arms, that
Night, and proposing to let the Troops with their Arms aboard the
Vessels, but insisting upon our giving up the Fort, leaving the French
Auxilliary all the Merchandize and officers Effects, and had even the
Insolence to demand a Negro Boy belonging to a Merchant to be delivered
The Major's Reply to these extraordinary Propositions was much the same as to the first.
Tuesday the 12th, five Frenchmen and an many Indians were
sent off for the Illinois with Letters wrote by a Canadian agreable to
Pondiacs Desire. On the 13th we were informed by the
Inhabitants that Mr. Chapman, a Trader from Niagara, was taken Prisoner
by the Waindotes, with five Battoes loaded with Goods.
The 21st, on of the Vessels was ordered to sail for the
Niagara, but to remain till the sixth of June at the Mouth of the River
in order to advert the Battoes which we expected daily from Niagara.
Upon the 22nd we were told that Ensign Paully who
commanded at Sandusky was brought Prisoner by ten Tawas, who reported
that they had prevailed after long Consultation with the Waindotes who
lived at Sandusky to declare War against us; that some Days ago they
came early of a Morning to the Block House, and murthered every Soul
therein, consisting of twenty seven Perons, Traders included; that
Messrs Callender and Prentice, formerly Captains in the Pennsylvania
Regt were amongst that Number, and that they had taken one hundred
Horses loaded with Indian Goods, which with the Plunder of the Garrison
was agreed to be given the Waindotes before they condescended to join
them; that all they wanted was the Commanding Officer.
On the 29th of May, we had the Mortification to see eight
of our Battoes in the Possession of the Enemy, passing on the opposite
Shore, with several Soldiers Prisoners in them. When the foremost Battoe
came opposite the Sloop, she fired a Gun, and the Soldiers aboard
called at those in the Battoe, that if they passed the Savages would
kill them all, upon which they immediately seized on two Indians and
threw them overboard with him and tomahawked him directly, they being
near the Shore and it quite shoal. Another Soldier laid hold of an Oar,
and struck that Indian upon the Head, of which Would he is since dead.
Then there remained only three Soldiers, of which two were wounded, and
although fifty Indians were on the Bank not sixty Yards, firing upon
them, the three Soldiers escaped aboard the Vessel, with the Battoe
loaded with eight Barrels of Provisions and gives the following Account
of their Misfortune, viz:
That two Nights before, about 10 o'Clock, they arrived about six
Leagues from the Mouth of the River where they encamped. That two Men
went a little from the Camp for Firewood to boil their Kettle, when one
of the two was seized on by an Indian, killed and scalped in an Instant.
The other Soldier ran directly and alarmed the Camp, upon which
Lieutenant Cuyler immediately ordered to give Ammunition to the
Detachment, which consisted of one Serjeant and seventeen Soldiers of
the Royal Americans, three Serjeants and seventy-two Rank and File of
the Queen's Independent Company of Rangers. After having delivered their
Ammunition, and a Disposition made of the Men, the Enemy came close to
them without being observed, behind a Bank and fired very smartly on one
Flank which could not sustain the Enemys Fire and they retired
precipitately and threw the Whole in Confusion. By that Means the
Soldiers embarked aboard teh Battoes with one, two and three Oars in
each Battoe, which gave an Opportunity to the Savages of taking them all
except the two Battoes that escaped with Mr. Cuyler to Niagara.
Sunday the 5th of June, we were acquainted that Fort
Miames was taken, that Ensign Homs who commanded there had been informed
by two Frenchmen who arrived there preceeding Day of Detroits being
attacked by the Indians, which he would hardly believe, but threatened
to imprison the French for that Report, that an Indian Woman had
betrayed him out of the Fort by pretending that another Woman was very
sick, and begged of him to come to her Cabin to let blood of her, and
when he had gone a little Distance from the Fort was fired on and
killed. The Serjeant hearing the Report of the firing ran to see what it
was, and was immediately taken Prisoner. The Soldiers shut the Gates
and would probably defended the Fort if one Walsh, a Trader who had been
taken Prisoner a few Days before, had not advised them to open the
Gates, alledging that if they did not comply the Indians would set Fire
to the Fort and put them to death; whereas, if they opened the Gates,
they should be well treated. Whereupon the Gates were opened, and the
Soldiers grounded their Arms.
On the 10th of June we heard that Ensign Schlosser the
Commanding Officer at Saint Josephs was taken Prisoner and that all the
Garrison (except three Men) were massacred. That the Indians came on the
25th of May with a Pretence to Council, and as soon as the
Chiefs had shaken Hands with Mr. Schlosser, they seized on him, gave a
Shriek and instantly killed ten Men.
The 12th we were told that Lieut. Jenkins and all the
Garrison of Owat'anon, consisting of a Sergeant and eighteen Men were
taken Prisoners and carried to the Ilonies.
The 18th a Jesuit arrived from Michillimakenac and
brought a Letter from Captain Etherinton and Lieutenant Lessley, with an
Account of their being taken Prisoners. That Lieutenant Janet and
twenty-one Soldiers. That on the 2nd the Indians were playing
Ball as usual nigh the Fort, where Captain Etherington and Lieut.
Lessley happened to be looking at them, but were suddenly seized on and
carried into the Woods. At the same Time the Savages had purposely
thrown their Ball into the Fort, as if that had happened by Accident,
and followed it directly into the Fort, where a Number of their Women
had Tomahawks and Spears concealed under their Blankets, which they
delivered them and put the whole Garrison to death, except thirteen Men.
The 30th we were informed that the Blockhouse at Presque
Isle was burned, that Ensign Christie and all his Garrison, which
consisted of twenty-nine Men were taken Prisoners except six Men, who it
was believed made their escape to La Beuf.
On the night of the 2nd Instant and Lieut. McDougall were
lodged at the House I have already mentioned, about two Miles from the
Fort, and made a Resolution to Escape, when it was agreed on between
them that McDougall should set off first, which he did and get safe into
the Fort, but you know it was much more dangerous for Captain Campbell
than for any other Person by Reason that he could neither run or see,
and being sensible of that failing I am sure prevented him from
attempting to escape.
The 4th a Detachment was ordered to destroy some
Breastworks and Entrenchments the Indians had made a Quarter of a Mile
from the Fort, and about twenty Indians came to attack that Party, which
they engaged but were drove off in an Instant with Loss of one Man
killed (and two wounded) which our People scalped and cut to Pieces.
Half an Hour after the Savages carried the Man they had lost before
Captain Campbell, striped him naked, and directly murthered him in a
cruel Manner, which indeed gives one Pain beyond Expression, and I am
sure cannot miss but to affect sensibly all his Acquaintences, although
he is now our of the Question.
The Indians likewise reported that Venango and Le Beuf is taken by the Savages.
Dated at Detroit 8th Augt 1762.
(Signed) Robert Rogers
To Sir William Johnson.
From: DIARY OF THE SIEGE OF DETROIT IN THE WAR WITH PONTIACE.
ALSO A NARRATIVE OF THE PRINCIPAL EVENTS OF THE SIEGE, BY ROBERT ROGERS;
A PLAN FOR CONDUCTING INDIAN AFFAIRS, BY COLONEL BRADSTREET; AND OTHER
AUTHENTICK DOCUMENTS NEVER BEFORE PRINTED. Edited with Notes by Franklin B. Hough. Albany, NY: J. Munsell, 1860: 125-135.
Dictionary of Canadian Biography 3: 525-531.
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Keller, Allan. Pontiac's Conspiracy. American History Illustrated 1977 12 (2): 4-9, 42-49.
Kelsey, Harry. The Amherst Plan: A Factor in the Pontiac Uprising. Ontario History 1973 65 (3): 149-158.
Kopperman, Paul E. The Captive's Return: Bouquet's Victory. Timeline 1990 7 (2): 2-15.
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