“You will Do well to try to inoculate the Indians, by means of Blankets, as well as to Try Every other Method, that can Serve to Extirpate this Execrable Race. — I should be very glad [if] your Scheme for Hunting them down by Dogs could take Effect; but England is at too great a Distance to think that at present.” Lord Jeffrey Amherst to Colonel Henry Bouquet- July 16, 1763.
A small passage from an insignificant letter…from the Royal Governor of North America to a soldier under his command during Pontiac’s Rebellion- its ramifications are infamous. The astoundingly befuddled plans of two British officers(most North Americans had already been exposed) has been inexplicably linked to American Indian policy of the late 19th century. There is not a scrap of evidence that any US officer advocated using biological warfare against any Indian nation; yet, popular sentiment holds it as an indisputable fact. Our government committed many wrongs in its dealings with American Indians- this is not one of them.