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Lord Jeffrey Amherst and the Smallpox Blankets

Page history last edited by Delaney Branigan 3 years, 3 months ago



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external image Amherst_1866.jpg

Lord Jeffrey Amherst, the Founding of the Town of Amherst, the Question of Smallpox Blankets, and Pontiac's War

Town of Amherst Official Website



The Town of Amherst--What's In a Name? Amherst Wire (January 28, 2019)



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

Sir 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.


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 MascotThe New York Times (January 26, 2016)


Some people living in the Amherst area call for a complete renaming of the town. Click here for a Daily Hampshire Gazette article about the issue.  

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