Strategic Alliances and Trail of Broken Treaties 1700-1799


Germ warfare documented in letters

During the French and Indian War, Jeffery Amherst, Britain's commander in chief in North America, authorizes the use of smallpox to wipe out their Native American enemy. In his writings to Colonel Henry Bouquet about the situation in western Pennsylvania, Amherst suggests that the spread of disease would be beneficial in achieving their aims. General Amherst, July 8, 1763: “Could it not be contrived to send the Small Pox among those disaffected Tribes of Indians? We must, on this occasion, use every stratagem in our power to reduce them.” Colonel Bouquet, July 13, 1763: “I will try to inoculate the Indians by means of Blankets that may fall in their hands, taking care however not to get the disease myself.” Amherst, July 16, 1763: “You will Do well to try to Inoculate the Indians by means of Blankets, as well as to try Every other method that can serve to Extirpate this Execrable Race.” Bouquet, July 19, 1763: “All your Directions will be observed” (Kent and Stevens, 1941, p. 161).

Traumatic Event