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Jeffrey Amherst, 1st Baron Amherst

(1717-1797), Field Marshal

Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue Entry

Sitter in 7 portraits
Amherst was responsible for a series of sweeping victories against the French during the Seven Years War (1758-60). These led to the British conquest of Canada, with Amherst establishing the county's military government. His career was not without controversy, owing to his harsh treatment of the Mi'kmaq Indians of Nova Scotia. The most contentious episode was during the Mi'kmaq Indian Pontiac War (1763) when Amherst, in an attempt to put down the uprising, ordered the distribution of smallpox-infected blankets among the Indians. The Pontiac War encouraged the British government to keep a standing army in North America, a measure that provoked colonial resistance in the lead up to the American War of Independence (1775-83).

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