Pontiac, the N. W. county of Quebec, Canada, separated from Ontario on the southwest by the Ottawa river; area, 20,798 sq. m.; pop. in 1871, 16,547, of whom 8,649 were of Irish, 3,530 of French, 1,981 of Scotch, and 964 of English origin or descent, and 1,217 were Indians. The surface is covered with extensive forests, and lumbering is the chief business. Capita], Bryson.
Pontiac, a city and the county seat of Oakland co., Michigan, on the Clinton river, and on the Detroit and Milwaukee railroad, 26 m. N. W. of Detroit; pop. in 1870, 4,867; in 1875, about 5,000. It contains several fine residences, and has a handsome union school building, which cost $70,000. Its trade and manufactures are important. The principal establishments are two founderies, two breweries, three carriage factories, five flouring mills, two marble works, three planing mills, a plaster mill, a pump factory, a tannery, three wagon factories, a manufactory of turbine water wheels, and a woollen mill. There are five grain elevators, three banks, seven hotels, graded public schools, two weekly newspapers, and seven churches. Pontiac was settled in 1818, incorporated as a village in 1857, and as a city in 1861. A new state insane asylum is now in process of construction at Pontiac; $400,000 have been appropriated for the purpose, and it will be one of the finest edifices in the state.
Pontiac, a North American Indian, chief of the Ottawas, an Algonquin tribe, born about 1712, killed in 1769. He was first known as an ally of the French. In 1746, at the head of a body of Indians, mostly Ottawas, he successfully defended Detroit, then a French possession, against the attacks of some hostile northern tribes. He is believed to have led several hundred Ottawas at Braddock's defeat in 1755. The Indians at that time were fond of the French, and hated the English; their discontent was increased by injudicious usage, and trivial conspiracies began to be formed. Pontiac finally determined to concentrate the hatred of all the western tribes in one great effort to drive out the English. At the end of 1762 he sent messengers to the different nations, proposing that in May, 1763, they should rise, massacre the English garrisons, and fall upon the frontier settlements. The plot was generally successful. Pontiac had reserved for himself the attack upon Detroit, but before it was made his intention was discovered. He then regularly besieged the place, and neglected no expedient that savage warfare could suggest to take it. To obtain food for his warriors he issued promissory notes, drawn upon birch bark and signed with the figure of an otter, which were all redeemed.
After the siege had continued several months it was raised, and the tribes generally sued for peace. But Pontiac was not yet subdued. He endeavored to stir up the Indians on the Miami and in other parts of the west, and applied for aid, though in vain, to the French commander at New Orleans. He at last made a stand in the Illinois country, where for a time he had the active cooperation of the French fur traders; but even his more immediate followers fell away from him, and he then accepted the peace which the English offered. From this time he had no importance, and in 1766 he formally submitted to the English rule. He was killed by an Illinois Indian at Cahokia, opposite St. Louis, while drunk. - See " History of the Conspiracy of Pontiac," by Francis Parkman (Boston, 1851).