American History Myths Debunked: The Indians Weren’t Defeated by White Settlers – IndianCountryToday.com
“More victims of colonization were killed by Eurasian germs, than by either the gun or the sword, making germs the deadliest agent of conquest,” says PBS.org.
And reports of the British then using biological warfare to gain an edge in subsequent battles against the American Indians abound. One of the most prevalent examples of its use came from Lord Jeffrey Amherst, who was commanding general of British forces in North America during the final battles of the French & Indian war (1754-1763). The town of Amherst, Massachusetts was later named for him, as was Amherst College.
Historical stories point to Lord Amherst requesting that smallpox infected blankets be sent to the Indians, like this one in Carl Waldman’s Atlas of the North American Indian about a siege of Fort Pitt by Chief Pontiac’s forces during the summer of 1763: “Captain Simeon Ecuyer had bought time by sending smallpox-infected blankets and handkerchiefs to the Indians surrounding the fort—an early example of biological warfare—which started an epidemic among them. Amherst himself had encouraged this tactic in a letter to Ecuyer.”