Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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AMHERST, Jeffery, soldier, born in Riverhead, Kent, England, 29 January 1717: died 3 August 1797. His American career began in 1758, when he was commissioned Major-General at the instance of William Pitt, and sent to cooperate with Prideaux in wresting Canada from the French. From boyhood he had been a soldier serving in Flanders and winning distinction under the duke of Marlborough. For his services in reducing the French strongholds he received the thanks of the House of Commons, and the order of the bath. In 1760 he was appointed governor-general of the British possessions in America, but proved unable to deal with the Indians under such a leader as Pontiac. In 1763 he was made governor of Virginia, his last American service. In England, Pontiac's conspiracy was generally unknown, and as Amherst was a favorite with the king, honors were heaped upon him, largely because he steadily favored the American war. In 1776 he was raised to the peerage as Lord Amherst, and in 1787 received a patent as Baron Amherst of Montreal, this being the name of his seat in Kent. See the "Gentleman's Magazine " for September 1797, Parkman's" Conspiracy of Pontiac," and Bancroft's "History of the United States," vol. iii. A fine portrait of General Amherst by Gainsborough is in the national portrait gallery.
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