"On the Trail of Pontiac" is a complete story in itself, but forms the fourth volume of a line known by the general title of "Colonial Series."
The first volume, entitled "With Washington in the West," related the adventures of Dave Morris, a young pioneer of Will's Creek, now Cumberland, Va. Dave became acquainted with George Washington at the time the latter was a surveyor, and served under the youthful officer during the fateful Braddock expedition against Fort Duquesne.
The Braddock defeat left the frontier at the mercy of the French and the Indians, and in the second volume of the series, called "Marching on Niagara," are given the particulars of General Forbes' campaign against Fort Duquesne and the advance of Generals Prideaux and Johnson against Fort Niagara, in which not only Dave Morris, but likewise his cousin Henry, do their duty well as young soldiers.
The signal victory at Niagara gave to the English control of all that vast territory lying between the great Lakes and what was called the Louisiana Territory. But war with France was not yet at an end, and in the third volume of the series, entitled "At the Fall of Montreal," I have related the particulars of the last campaign against the French, including General Wolfe's memorable scaling of the Heights of Quebec, the battle on the Plains of Abraham, and lastly the fall of Montreal itself, which brought this long-drawn war to a conclusion, and was the means of placing Canada where it remains to-day, in the hands of England.
With the conclusion of the War with France, the settlers in America imagined that they would be able to go back unmolested to their homesteads on the frontier. But such was not to be. The Indians who had assisted France during the war were enraged to see the English occupying what they considered their own personal hunting grounds, and, aroused by the cunning and eloquence of the great chief Pontiac, and other leaders, they concocted more than one plot to fall upon the settlements and the forts of the frontier and massacre all who opposed them. The beginning of this fearful uprising of the red men is given in the pages which follow.
As in my previous books, I have tried to be as accurate historically as possible. The best American, English, and French authorities have been consulted. I trust that all who read the present volume may find it both entertaining and instructive.
July 1, 1904