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Biographies of Area Pioneers, Settlers and other Important Figures.

Letters "P-Q-R"

Entries in maroon font have been transcribed from Johnson's New Universal Cyclopaedia, published in 1876 by A.J. Johnson & Co., New York.

Peak, Elwood

Pontiac, a chief of the Ottawa Indians, born near the river Ottawa in 1720; became an ally of the French in Northern Michigan, and in 1746 defended Detroit against Indian attacks. In 1755 he was present, it is believed, at Braddock's defeat, and after the English in 1760 had displaced the French in the North-west, Pontiac organized a conspiracy among the various Indian tribes with the purpose of murdering the English garrisons at all points. In May, 1763, nine garrisons (ranging from Western Pennsylvania to Mackinaw) were destroyed or dispersed on the same day, and the whole frontier was ravaged. The attack on Detroit, led by Pontiac himself, was anticipated by the English, but the chieftain besieged the town May 12 - October 12, 1763, maintaining his force by the issue of birch-bark notes, all of which he subsequently redeemed. Deserted by his followers, he still endeavored to arouse his people to the dangers in store for them, but in 1766 he was obliged to submit to the British rule. He was murdered at Cahokia, Illinois in 1769, by an Illinois Indian while intoxicated. (See Parkman's Conspiracy of Pontiac, 1867.)

Porter, Andrew, born at Worcester, Pennsylvania, September 24, 1743; taught a school at Philadelphia from 1767 till June, 1776, when he accepted from Congress a commission as captain of the marines; was soon transferred to the artillery, in which he rendered good service, and was promoted to a coloneley at the close of the war; was a commissioner to survey the boundary- lines of the State 1784-88; became brigadier-general of State militia 1800, soon afterward major-general; was appointed surveyor-general of Pennsylvania 1809; declined the post of secretary of war tendered him by President Madison in 1812. Died at Harrisburg, November 16, 1813. Three of his sons filled high political posts.
(Transcriber's note: Along with George B., listed below, the other two sons referred to were David R. Porter, who served as governor of Pennsylvania and James Madison Porter, who held various posts in Pennsylvania.)

Porter, George B., son of Gen. Andrew, born at Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 1790; was liberally educated; became a lawyer; was appointed governor of Michigan Territory 1831, and while holding that office died at Detroit, July 6, 1834.

Pottawattamies, a tribe of Indians of the Algonkin family who originally occupied a large portion of the peninsula of Michigan; were of a very low grade of civilization as compared to the surrounding tribes, being divided into bands recognizing no common allegiance or settled government; spoke an extremely rude dialect; were constantly at war with their neighbors, and were driven westward to Green Bay by the Iroquois toward the close of the seventeenth century. By an alliance with the French in several wars they recovered their position in Southern Michigan, and spread over Northern Indiana and Illinois. The Jesuits early established a mission on St. Joseph's River, Michigan. They took part in the alliance formed by Pontiac, 1763, fought against the Americans during the Revolution, were vanquished by Wayne in his Western campaign, participated in the treaty of Greenville, December 22, 1795, were allies of the British in the war of 1812-15, after which they soon disposed of most of their lands by successive treaties, and removed to the region now known as Kansas. In 1838 they numbered 4000. A few still reside in Michigan and in Wisconsin; the majority have been partially civilized by Catholic and Protestant missions, and are now citizens of Kansas.

Reynolds, George W.
Rinehart, George
Ritter, John P.
Ritter, W.H.H.
Robertson, W.S.
Rough, George H.

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