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Lord Jeffrey Amherst, the Founding of the Town of Amherst and the Question of Smallpox Blankets


Massachusetts_state_seal.pngTown of Amherst Official Website

Jeffrey Amherst, Governor of British North America, 1766
Jeffrey Amherst, Governor of British North America, 1766



Biography icon for wiki.pngSir Jeffrey Amherst (1717-1797) from Encyclopedia Virginia. See also Jeffrey Amherst from the Quebec History website.

Jeffrey Amherst and Smallpox Blankets by Peter d'Errico, Legal Studies Department, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2010. See also, Early Biological War on Native Americans that also presents the work of Professor d'Errico on this topic.

For more background on Jeffrey Amherst and the issue of smallpox blankets, see Frequently Asked Questions from the Amherst College Library.

See also, The British, The Indians and SmallPox: What Actually Happened at Fort Pitt in 1763? by Philip Ranlet. Pennsylvania History, Summer 2000.

Colonial Germ Warfare, Harold B. Gill, Jr. Colonial Williamsburg Journal, Spring 2004.

For a modern day native perspective, see Genocide and Intent of the Infected Blankets from Native American Netroots, August 9, 2009.

To broaden the discussion, see Biological Warfare in Eighteenth Century North America: Beyond Jeffrey Amherst. Elizabeth Fenn, 1999.


Jeffrey Amherst and Pontiac's War

Depiction of the 1763 Siege of Fort Detroit by Frederic Remington.
Depiction of the 1763 Siege of Fort Detroit by Frederic Remington.


Chief Pontiac
Chief Pontiac

Jeffrey Amherst also had an important role in Pontiac's War (also known as Pontiac's Rebellion), an 1763-1776 uprising of native tribes in the Great Lakes Region against British policies following the French and Indian War.

See Pontiac's War from the Baltimore County Public Schools for a upper elementary grades lesson plan.

Pontiac's War: Forging New Links in the Anglo-Iroquois Covenant Chain, 1758-1766. Jon William Parmenter. Ethnohistory, Autumn, 1997.


Contemporary Connections


Amherst College Drops Lord Jeff as Mascot, The New York Times (January 26, 2016)