Pontiac’s War

Pontiac

On this day in 1763 Pontiac’s War began in Detroit.

The British were trying to replace native american transport vehicles with imported European compacts.

A coalition of Native American tribal transport manufacturers rose against the British and engaged in some fairly nasty gang warfare in the streets of Detroit.

In response the British launched a biological warfare campaign and wiped out many of the Native Americans with blanket bombing.

Ever since the Native Americans have been suspicious of British made blankets.

This short account, like all history, contains some facts and some errors.

Meeting the British:  by Paul Muldoon

We met the British in the dead of winter.
The sky was lavender

and the snow lavender-blue.
I could hear, far below,

the sound of two streams coming together
(both were frozen over)

and, no less strange,
myself calling out in French

across that forest-
clearing. Neither General Jeffrey Amherst

nor Colonel Henry Bouquet
could stomach our willow-tobacco.

As for the unusual
scent when the Colonel shook out his hand-

kerchief: C’est la lavande,
une fleur mauve comme le ciel.

They gave us six fishhooks
and two blankets embroidered with smallpox.

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