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Jeffrey Amherst

Jeffrey Amherst by Joshua Reynolds

Jeffrey Amherst (sometimes spelled Geoffrey) (January 29, 1717 - August 3, 1797) served as an army officer in the British military.

Born in Sevenoaks, England[?] he became a soldier aged about 14. He saw fame during the Seven Years' War, particularly in the North American campaign known in the United States as the French and Indian War.

Amherst led the British attack in 1758 on Louisbourg (the Siege of Louisbourg[?]) and as leader of the British army in North America, helped the British seize most French territory, principally capturing Montreal, Quebec.

The hostility between the English and Native Americans during the Pontiac Uprising[?] of 1763 led to the first documented use of biological warfare in American history. In response to the Indian uprising led by the Ottawa Chief Pontiac, Jeffrey Amherst attempted to spread smallpox among the Native Americans.

In 1763, Amherst was appointed Governor of Virginia. In 1776, he was made Baron Amherst of Montreal and in 1778, commander-in-chief of the army.

The town of Amherst, Massachusetts, location of Amherst College, was named for him.

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