Jeffery Amherst papers  1758-1764
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Biography

British officer Jeffery Amherst (1717-1797) was born in Kent, England, to Jeffery Amherst, Sr., (d. 1750) and Elizabeth Kerrill. Having served as aide-de-camp to both General John Ligonier and the Duke of Cumberland, Amherst received a commission as lieutenant colonel of the 15th Regiment of Foot and was sent to North America in 1756. William Pitt selected Amherst to command the British siege against the French at Louisbourg; Amherst took the fort on July 26, 1758. In September of that year, Amherst succeeded James Abercromby as commander-in-chief in North America. He took Ticonderoga (Fort Carillon) and Crown Point from the French in July and August 1759, and General James Wolfe captured Quebec. Amherst lead an invasion into Canada in August 1760, and after the fall of Montreal on September 8, the French capitulated.

As governor general of North America, Amherst established his headquarters in New York City. However, he was less effective as a peacetime leader. He ended the practice of giving gifts to Indian allies and promoted settlement on Indian land, two policies that led to Pontiac's War in 1763. His failure to anticipate the uprising lead to his recall to England; in November 1763, Thomas Gage succeeded Amherst as commander-in-chief of North America. During the Revolutionary War, Amherst's service was limited to suppressing the Gordon riots in London (1780) and advising the government on military matters. In 1788 he was made first Baron Amherst of Montreal and in 1796 a field officer of the British army. He died at his Kent estate on August 3, 1797.