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Translation Of Pontiac's Speech

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History is told by the victors. This truth bearing phrase is applicable to many historical events which have become difficult to retell and study because they have been tarnished by embellishments, falsities, and bias from the victor. Although the French were not declared victors through any war against the Native Americans, after infecting the majority of the indigenous people with European diseases they relocated Native Americans to expand and establish French settlements, attempted to convert Native Americans to Christianity, and introduced Native Americans to alcohol and manufactured items. Through these things the French became a major influence in the Native American community. The “impression” the French left upon Native Americans…show more content…
The heavy inclusion of Christian philosophies indicate that Pontiac’s speech was altered during translation. Pontiac's speech portrays the Native Americans as being unequal to the French in stature and power. Cadillac describes Native Americans he comes in contact with as, “...the most tractable and most peaceable of the savages”(Cadillac 4). A similar message to Cadillac is represented by the capitalization of the “b” on the word brother, which refers to the French. In the Christian faith, the only time a pronoun or common noun is capitalized is when referring to God, so by making “brother” a proper noun the purpose of using the word “brother”, to symbolize the camaraderie between the two parties, as a synonym for “French” loses its meaning. Despite, the acknowledging the mutual friendship the French have with the Native Americans there appears to be better “friend.” This unequal division of brotherhood is also encompassed in Winthrop’s speech: “...some must be rich, some poor, some high and eminent in power and dignity, others mean and in subjection…all these differences for the preservation and good of the whole...”(Winthrop 1). The inclusion of the European definition of brotherhood shows that the translation of Pontiac’s speech is illegitimate. In the translation of Pontiac’s speech the importance of the French is emphasized. In the translated version of
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