Strategic Alliances and Trail of Broken Treaties 1700-1799
Germ warfare with smallpox-infested blankets
Militia Captain William Trent notes on June 24, 1763, that dignitaries from the Delaware tribe met with Fort Pitt officials, warning them of “great numbers of Indians” coming to attack the fort. They plead with the officials to leave the fort while there is still time, but the commander refuses to abandon the fort. Instead, after the parley, the British give “gifts” from the smallpox hospital to two Delaware delegates, a principal warrior named Turtleheart and a chief, Maumaultee. “Out of our regard to them … we gave them two Blankets and an Handkerchief out of the Small Pox Hospital. I hope it will have the desired effect” (Fenn, 2001).