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Jeffery Amherst papers (1758-1764)

Collection processed and finding aid created by Philip Heslip, December 2010
Manuscripts Division, William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan

Summary Information

Title: Jeffery Amherst papers
Creator: Amherst, Jeffery Amherst, Baron, 1717-1797
Inclusive dates: 1758-1764
Extent: 2 linear feet
The Jeffery Amherst papers (763 items) consist of the correspondence, documents, and military orders of Jeffery Amherst, British commander-in-chief in North America from 1758-1763. Included are Amherst's letters to General Thomas Gage and the papers given to Gage with the transfer of authority in 1763.
Language: The material is in English and French.
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site:

Access and Use

Acquisition Information

1937, 1951. M-341, M-856.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information

Cataloging funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the "We the People" project.

Alternate Format

This collection has been microfilmed


The Jeffery Amherst papers were part of the Thomas Gage papers that came to the Clements Library from William L. Clements' estate in 1937.

Preferred Citation

Jeffery Amherst Papers, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


The Jeffery Amherst papers are arranged into three series:
  • Series I: Correspondence and Documents
  • Series II: Schedules
  • Series III: Commissions, Reports, and Articles of Capitulation

Series II is ordered by geography and sender/recipient, while series I and III are ordered chronologically.


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.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The Jeffery Amherst papers (763 items) contain the correspondence, documents, and military orders of Jeffery Amherst, British commander-in-chief in North America from 1758 to 1763. The collection constitutes the papers given to General Thomas Gage at the transfer of authority in 1763. Also included are letters and petitions addressed to Amherst, Amherst's letters to Gage, and letters addressed to Amherst that arrived in New York City after his departure for England.

The Letters and Documents series (241 items) contains letters between Amherst and Thomas Gage, as well as material left for Gage, and letters that arrived at the New York headquarters for Amherst after his departure to England. Items include administrative letters concerning military matters and news, troop instructions and orders, details on troop movements and the outcomes of battles, court martial reports, intelligence reports on enemy forces, promotions, petitions, memorials, troop returns, and accounts for provisions and other military expenses. These document the French and Indian War, British control over Canada and the western territories after the war, management of Indian Affairs, and dealings with Pontiac. Also discussed are activities and construction at forts Crown Point, Edward, George, Herkirmer, Louisbourg, Niagara, Oswego, Pitt, Stanwix, and Ticonderoga. The letters mention and discuss John Appy, John Bradstreet, William Browning, Henry Gladwin, Frederick Haldimand, William Johnson, supplier Christopher Kilby, Robert Monckton, John Prideaux, Robert Rogers, John Stanwix, and John Stuart, among others.

Of note:
  • August 1758-January 1759: Material related to Amherst's successful siege at Louisbourg, including letters, orders, returns, and a report on the condition of the camp
  • May 7, 1759: Plans for an invasion into Canada and for the taking of Fort Ticonderoga
  • July and August 1759: Preliminary action before the taking of Ticonderoga
  • July 28, 1759: News of the death of Brigadier General John Prideaux
  • August 5, 1759: A description of the design of the proposed fort at Oswego
  • March 31, 1760: A letter describing a great fire in Boston that destroyed one quarter of the city
  • October 18, November 4, 1760, and August 31, 1761: Mentions of Mrs. Gage traveling from Albany to Montreal, of her pregnancy, and of her interactions with "the religious ladies"
  • August 1, 1761: Description of Lieutenant Colonel Grant's success against the Cherokee with details on the attack; consideration of a tax on spirits to encourage spruce beer
  • September-October 1761: Amherst's headquarters at Staten Island
  • December 12, 1761: Lord Egremont stresses the use of gentleness and kindness with the French and Indians in Canada
  • 1762-1763: Letters to Gage regarding provisioning forces in Canada and transmitting news from America, England, and Europe
  • January 16, 1762: Sir William Johnson reports on relations with Seneca Indians
  • October 13, 1762: News of the retaking of St. Johns from the French, making the entire island of Newfoundland British
  • July 1, 1763: Sir William Johnson's report on steps to take to appease the Six Nations
  • August 1, 1763: Report that Michilimackinac has fallen to the Potawatomi Indians
  • November 1, 1763: A letter from Henry Gladwin from Detroit recounting the settlement of peace with Pontiac - enclosed are 8 letters from Neyon de Villiere to Gladwin and the Indians of Detroit and a letter from Pontiac to Gladwin (in French)
  • November 17, 1763: Amherst advices the colonial governors that he is returning to England
  • January 30, 1764: Accounts for Henry Gladwin of Detroit with receipts and account records spanning October 1762-October 1763

The Schedules series (306 items) comprises the "Papers Delivered by Major General Sir Jeffery Amherst, on his giving up the Command of the Troops in North America, to Major General [Thomas] Gage." The letters and documents are organized into 14 "schedules" grouped by geography and sender/recipient. Letters are primarily copies and extracts, and the bulk of the items date from April to October 1763.

Schedule 1 (Volume 1, pages 1-34) documents Amherst's communications with the British administration at Whitehall, primarily with King George III and Secretary of State Charles Wyndham Egremont.

Discussed are:
  • Pages 9-12: The Treaty of Paris
  • Pages 18 (see also Schedule 2 pages 45-47, 51-53): Captain John Dalrymple's petition concerning accusations from North Carolina Governor Arthur Dobbs
  • Pages 19-26: Britain's new acquisitions in America after the Treaty of Paris, and the boarders with the Indian tribes in Canada and Florida
  • Pages 20 and 29: Suspicions of Catholics and priests in Canada

Schedule 2 (Volume 1, pages 35-61) documents relate to Secretary of War Welbore Ellis and Treasury Secretary Henry Jenkinson.

These contain:
  • Pages 38-39: Lists on the makeup of the regiments of Major General Robert Monckton and Lieutenant General James Abercromby
  • 45-47, 51-53: A memorial for Captain John Dalrymple and communications between Amherst and Governor Arthur Dobbs regarding Dalrymple's arrest and trial
  • Page 50: Amherst's report on the troops along the Mississippi and in Canada, including a suggestion that the commander-in-chief's headquarters be either at New York or Philadelphia

Schedule 3 (Volume 1, pages 62-93) documents relate to commanders on the Southern and western frontier, including officers at Pensacola, St. Augustine, Mobile, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, and Fort de Chartres.

These contain:
  • Page 62-68: Instructions for armies across the continent
  • Page 71: A list of transport ships under Lieutenant Colonel Robertson
  • Page 81: Report on the Seneca Indians from Amherst
  • Page 83-87: Provisions and returns for troops stationed at St. Augustine and Pensacola

Schedule 4 (Volume 2, pages 1-29) documents relate to Major Henry Gladwin stationed at Detroit, and Major John Wilkins at Fort Niagara, concerning Pontiac's rebellion.

These contain:
  • Pages 5-9: Intelligence from Detroit
  • Pages 16-17: A description of an Indian attack on the schooner Queen Royal , leaving Niagara for Detroit, and Amherst's response
  • Pages 19-21: Courts of inquiry on soldiers captured by Indians
  • Pages 22-28: Reports on the 60th Regiment at Niagara and Indian relations
  • Page 29: Discussions concerning the offer of a reward of 100-200 pounds to the person who kills Pontiac

Schedule 5 (Volume 2, pages 30-37) contains the letters between Amherst and General Henry Bouquet.

Discussed are:
  • Page 30-31: Plans for troop reductions in the Southern District
  • 34-37: Details on the 60th Regiment at Fort Pitt

Schedule 6 (Volume 2, pages 38-39) letters to Lieutenant Colonel Browning of the 46th Regiment at Niagara concerning a robbery at Fort Pitt, and to Lieutenant Colonel Campbell of the 17th Regiment regarding disbanding regiments

Schedule 7 (Volume 2, pages 40-74) concerns scaling back operations at Fort Halifax, including many accounts and expense reports.

These concern:
  • Pages 41-45: Orders to Otho Hamilton for the 40th Regiment to move to Halifax
  • Pages 46-52: Proceedings of councils of war at Halifax concerning supply stoppages (September 1, 1752, August 3, 1759, September 3, 1763)
  • Page 60: A list of persons "as judged as absolutely neccissary for office at Halifax"

Schedule 8 (Volume 2, pages 75-82) contains information on operations at Louisbourg, primarily with Colonel John Tulleken.

Schedule 9 (Volume 3, pages 1-38) documents operations at the fort at St. John and the troops at Newfoundland, primarily through communications with Captain Stephen Gauly.

Discussed are:
  • Page 5: Expenses for 1762
  • Page 8: Disbursements for September 1762-August 1763
  • Pages 9-38: Accounts for the Newfoundland operations

Schedule 10 (Volume 3, pages 39-42) contains letters between Amherst and Sir William Johnson, concerning Indian relations, including the Seneca and Six Nations tribes in Western New York, Canada, and the Illinois and Ohio territories.

Schedule 11 (Volume 3, pages 43-60) documents communications with John Stuart from Charleston, South Carolina, concerning southern Indian affairs. Of note is a speech from Cherokee Chief Little Carpenter

Schedule 12 (Volume 3, pages 61-80) contains letters from Governor Thomas Boone of South Carolina; Lieutenant Governor Fauquier of Virginia; Colonel Adam Stephen at Winchester, Virginia; Lieutenant Governor James Hamilton and Governor John Penn of Pennsylvania; New Jersey Governor William Franklin; New York Lieutenant Governor Cadwallader Colden; and Amherst. These concern purchasing lands from various Indian tribes, settlement on Indian lands, and troop levels in the various colonies.

Schedule 13 (Volume 3, pages 81-91) concern Henry Bouquet and the regiment organized at Fort Pitt.

Schedule 14 (Volume 3, pages 92-117) contains troop dispositions, expense accounts, military returns, and letters received in New York after Amherst had left for England.

Included are:
  • Page 81: A disposition for all British forces in North America in August 1763
  • Pages 92-95: Reports from Bouquet regarding Fort Pitt (October 24, 1763)
  • Pages 95-110: Reports from John Hopkins of Detroit including accounts and returns
  • Page 111: A letter from Robert Rogers at Detroit who was too deep in debt to pay his creditors
  • Pages 112-115: Letters from Colonel John Bradstreet on the forces at Albany, New York
  • Pages 116-117: Letters from Thomas Hancock of Boston concerning the sale of supplies at Louisbourg

The Commissions, Reports, and Articles of Capitulation series (11 items) contains various treaties and reports relating to the British victory over France in the French and Indian War.

These are:
  • November 24, 1759: Proclamations for the British takeover of Ticonderoga and Crown Point (2 items)
  • September 8, 1760: Articles of Capitulation for the surrender of Canada from Amherst to French Governor Pierre François de Rigaud
  • May 29, 1762: Appointment of Lieutenant Launcelot Hill to the 55th Regiment
  • February 10, 1763: "The Definitive Treaty of Peace and friendship Between His Britannick Majesty, the Most Christian King, and the King of Spain, Concluded at Paris," printed in London, 1763
  • June 8, 1763: "A Report of the Board of Trade" relating to the new British possession in America from France and Spain and the board's "opinion by what regulations the most extensive Advantages may be derived from them" (2 copies)
  • July 9, [1763]: A customs act from George III along with a printed list of ships in Newfoundland and America and additional instructions to the fleet under Captain Graves (4 items)

Subject Terms

  • Albany (N.Y.)
  • Amherst, Jeffery Amherst, Baron, 1717-1797--Correspondence.
  • Annapolis Royal (N.S.)
  • Barbados.
  • Boston (Mass.)
  • Canada--History--1755-1763.
  • Charleston (S.C.)
  • Cherokee Indians.
  • Creek Indians.
  • Crown Point (N.Y.)
  • Dalrymple, John, 1705-1766.
  • Detroit (Mich.)
  • Fort de Chartres, Ill.
  • Fort Detroit (Detroit, Mich.)
  • Fort Edward (N.Y.)
  • Fort Johnson (N.C.)
  • Fort Johnson (N.Y.)
  • Fort Ontario (N.Y.)
  • Fort Oswego (Oswego, N.Y.)
  • Fort Pitt (Pa.)
  • Fort Stanwix (Rome, N.Y.)
  • Fort Ticonderoga (N.Y.)
  • France. Treaties, etc. 1762 Nov. 3.
  • George III, King of Great Britain, 1738-1820.
  • Great Britain. Army--Colonial forces--America.
  • Great Britain. Army--History.
  • Great Britain--Colonies--Administration.
  • Great Britain--Colonies--America Defenses.
  • Great Britain--Colonies--History--Sources.
  • Great Britain. Treaties, etc. 1763 Feb. 10.
  • Halifax (N.S.)
  • Indians of North America.
  • London (England)
  • Louisbourg (N.S.)--History--Siege, 1758.
  • Mobile (Ala.)
  • Montréal (Québec)
  • New York (N.Y.)
  • Old Fort Niagara (N.Y.)--Siege, 1759.
  • Ottawa Indians.
  • Pensacola (Fla.)
  • Québec (Québec)--History--French and Indian War, 1755-1763.
  • Seneca Indians.
  • Shawnee Indians.
  • Six Nations.
  • Staten Island (New York, N.Y.)
  • Trois-Rivières (Québec)
  • United States--History--French and Indian War, 1755-1763.
  • Vaudreuil, Pierre de Rigaud, marquis de, 1698-1778.
  • Whitehall (London, England)
  • Barrington, William Wildman Barrington, Viscount, 1717-1793.
  • Boone, Thomas.
  • Bouquet, Henry, 1719-1765.
  • Bradstreet, John, 1711-1774.
  • Burton, Ralph, d. 1768.
  • Campbell, John, 1723-1806.
  • Colden, Cadwallader, 1687-1776.
  • Dobbs, Arthur, 1689-1765.
  • Farmar, Robert, 1717-1778.
  • Gage, Thomas, 1721-1787.
  • Gladwin, Henry, 1729-1791.
  • Gould [Morgan], Sir Charles, 1726-1806.
  • Haldimand, Sir Frederick, 1718-1791.
  • Halifax, George Montagu-Dunk, Earl of, 1716-1771.
  • Hancock, Thomas, 1703-1764.
  • Johnson, William, Sir, 1715-1774.
  • Loring, Joshua, 1716-1781.
  • Maturin, Gabriel, d. 1774.
  • Mendip, Welbore Ellis, Baron, 1713-1802.
  • Murray, James, 1719?-1794.
  • Penn, Richard, 1735-1811.
  • Pontiac, Ottawa Chief, d. 1769.
  • Prevost, Augustine, 1725-1786.
  • Robertson, James, 1720?-1788.
  • Rogers, Robert, 1731-1795.
  • Stuart, John, 1718-1779.
  • Wilkins, John, 1761-1816.
  • Wright, James, Sir, 1716-1785.
Genre Terms:
  • Accounts.
  • Letters (correspondence)
  • Military records.
  • Orders (military records)

Contents List

Container / Location Title
Correspondence and Documents [series]
Box   1 Folders   2-6
Volume   4  
Volume   5  
Volume   6  
 1762-October 1763
Volume   7  
  November 1763-January 1764
Folder   : Oversize Manuscripts  
Schedules [series]
Volume   1  
Schedules 1-3,  1760-1763
Volume   2  
Schedules 4-8,  1763
Volume   3  
Schedules 9-14,  1763
Box   1 Folder   1
Commissions, Reports, and Articles of Capitulations [series]
Box   1 Folders   7-11

Additional Descriptive Data


The following 12 maps were all owned by Amherst or associated with his command in North America. They were acquired separately from the Amherst papers.


  • Abbott, Edward.
  • Amherst, Jeffrey, 1717-1791.
  • Amherst, William, 1732-1781.
  • Appy, John, 1725-1761.
  • Barrington, William Wildman Barrington, 2nd viscount, 1717-1793.
  • Batten, John.
  • Beardsley, Samuel.
  • Beckwith, John.
  • Boone, Thomas.
  • Bouquet, Henry, 1719-1765.
  • Bradstreet, John, 1711-1774.
  • Brehm, Dietrich.
  • Browning, William.
  • Bruce, Robert George.
  • Burton, John.
  • Burton, Ralph, d.1768.
  • Campbell, John, 1723-1806.
  • Colden, Cadwallader, 1687-1776.
  • Colvill, Lieutenant.
  • Dalrymple, John.
  • Des Barres, Joseph Frederick Wallet.
  • Dobbs, Arthur, 1684-1765.
  • Duncan, Alexander.
  • Ecuyer, Simeon.
  • Egremont, Sir Charles Wyndham, 2nd earl of, 1710-1763.
  • Elliot, Robert.
  • Ellis, Welbore, 1st baron Mendip, 1713-1802.
  • Farmar, Robert, 1735-1780.
  • Fitzpatrick, Patrick.
  • Fleming, Samuel.
  • Forster, William.
  • Franklin, William, 1731-1813.
  • Fratts, Jacob.
  • Gage, Thomas.
  • Gambier, John.
  • Gault, William (Gaull?).
  • Gladwin, Henry, 1729-1791.
  • Gould--Morgan, Sir Charles.
  • Great Britain. Army in America.
  • Great Britain. Sovereigns. George III. 1760-1820.
  • Gualy, Stephen.
  • Haldimand, Sir Frederick, 1718-1791.
  • Halifax, George Montagu Dunk, 2nd earl of, 1716-1771.
  • Hamilton, James.
  • Hamilton, John.
  • Hancock, Thomas, 1703-1764.
  • Haviland, William.
  • Hawkins, John.
  • Hawkins, Thomas.
  • Henesy, James.
  • Hopkins, Joseph.
  • Jenkinson, P.
  • Johnson, Sir William, 1st bart., 1715-1774.
  • Leake, Robert, 1758-1773.
  • Limes, Peter.
  • Liverpool, Charles Jenkinson, 1st baron Hawkesbury, 1st earl of, 1727-1808.
  • Loring, Joshua, Sr., 1716-1781.
  • Mackenzie, Robert.
  • Maclean, Allan.
  • McBride, Barard.
  • Marr, John.
  • Martin, Samuel.
  • Massey, Eyre, 1st baron Clarina 1719-1804.
  • Maturin, Gabriel.
  • Moncrieffe, Thomas.
  • Morrall, Thomas.
  • Murphy, Morgan.
  • Murray, James, 1719-1794.
  • Neal, Thomas.
  • Nesbitt, William.
  • Ormsby, James.
  • Osborne, Charles.
  • Penfold, Charles.
  • Penn, John, 1729-1795.
  • Penn, Richard.
  • Pittman, Philip.
  • Prevost, Augustine, 1725-1786.
  • Quill, Thomas.
  • Ramsay, Peter.
  • Robertson, James, 1720-1788.
  • Rogers, Robert, 1731-1795.
  • Rogers, William.
  • Scott, James.
  • Scott, Joseph.
  • Sharpe, Horatio, 1718-1790.
  • Sissholt, Michael.
  • Stanwix, John, 1690-1766.
  • Stephen, Adam, d.1791.
  • Stephens, Sir Philip, 1st bart., 1725-1809.
  • Stevens, Samuel.
  • Stuart, John, 1718-1779.
  • Swits, Isaac.
  • Tulliken, John.
  • Van der Werken, Johannis.
  • Villiers, Pierre Joseph Neyon de.
  • Walters, Williams.
  • Wempel, John.
  • Wentworth, Benning, 1696-1770.
  • Weston, Peter.
  • Wheelock, Anthony.
  • Wheelwright, Nathaniel.
  • Wilkins, John.
  • Williamos, Charles.
  • Wright, Sir James, 1716-1785.

Alternate Locations

This collection was originally part of the Thomas Gage papers. See this collection for the continuation of the papers relating to the office of British commander-in-chief of North America and for Gage's responses to Amherst (American Series, 1758-1763).

Related Materials

The following collections contain letters written by Amherst or relate to the British army in America during the French and Indian War:

Jeffery Amherst's official papers are in the British Public Record Office.

The Clements Library Graphics Division holds a color, engraved portrait of Jeffery Amherst

Other Amherst papers are in the Amherst College Library, the Legislative Library of Nova Scotia, and the American Antiquarian Society in Worchester, Massachusetts


Amherst, Jeffery Amherst, and Richard Middleton. Amherst and the Conquest of Canada: Selected Papers from the Correspondence of Major-General Jeffrey Amherst while Commander-in-Chief in North America from September 1758 to December 1760. Stroud, Gloucestershire: Sutton Pub. Army Records Society, 2003.

Amherst, Jeffery Amherst, and John Clarence Webster. The Journal of Jeffery Amherst, Recording the Military Career of General Amherst in America from 1758 to 1763. Toronto: The Ryerson Press, 1931.

Lowe, William C. "Amherst, Jeffrey, first Baron Amherst (1717--1797)." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press: 2004.