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Lord Jeffery Amherst and Amherst College

This page includes links to scholarly articles about the actual Lord Jeffery Amherst as well as information about holdings of related materials in the Archives.

Lord Jeffery Amherst

The Jeffery Amherst Collection contains a wide range of documents by and about Lord Jeffery Amherst, including many documents in his own hand. We are adding images of all of our Lord Jeffery Amherst manuscripts to Amherst College Digitial Collections: LJA in ACDC

The Plimpton Collection of French and Indian War Items (1670-1934) includes several manuscripts by Lord Jeffery Amherst. The collection includes other manuscripts, maps, and other printed items about the French and Indian War, the conflict during which Lord Amherst rose to prominence.

Many books and articles treat Amherst as a historical figure. Professor Kevin Sweeney wrote a brief profile of Amherst for the Amherst Magazine: "The Very Model of a Modern Major General" (Fall 2008).

One article that directly addresses the question of Lord Jeffery Amherst and smallpox-infected blankets during Pontiac's War can be found in JSTOR: “The British, the Indians, and Smallpox: What Actually Happened at Fort Pitt in 1763?” by Philip Ranlet in volume 67, number 3, summer 2000 of Pennsylvania History.

Other articles about Lord Amherst can be found by searching America: History & Life, as well as other databases of secondary sources available through Frost Library.

Information and images of original historical documents about the founding and naming of the town of Amherst, Massachusetts are available through the Jones Library's Digital Amherst website.

Lord Jeffery Amherst as college Mascot

Amherst College did not have an official mascot during the nineteenth century. The evolution of "Lord Jeff" as the mascot for the school was a gradual process that began in the early decades of the twentieth century. This post in the Archives & Special Collections blog, the Consecrated Eminence, gives a basic outline of that evolution from 1903 to the late 1940s:

"Oh, Lord Geoffrey Amherst was a soldier of the King!"

This summary of the history of the mascot draws from several collections held in the Archives:

Music at Amherst Collection
Includes multiple editions of the "Lord Jeffery Amherst" song by J. S. Hamilton (AC 1906) 

Alumni Biographical Files
Hamilton's description of how he wrote "Lord Jeffery Amherst" is part of his biographical file along with other material about the song and his life.

Student and Alumni Publications Collection
Includes issues of "Lord Jeff," "The Jeff," and other student publications from 1829 to the present. 

Athletics Collection
Contains programs and photographs that feature the "Lord Jeff" mascot. 

Buildings and Grounds Collection
Includes photographs and details of the construction of Valentine Hall.

The Mead Art Museum holds several works of art that relate to Lord Jeffery Amherst that can be found by searching their collections database.

Information about the equestrian statue of Lord Jeffery Amherst first proposed by a group of alumni in 1913 can be found on the site devoted to the sculptor Bela Lyon Pratt.

Town Hall Meeting April 1, 2013

An open meeting to learn about the history of Lord Jeff as the college mascot was held in the Red Room in Converse from 7:30 - 9:00 on Monday, April 1, 2013. Mike Kelly, Head of the Archives & Special Collections, began the meeting with a presentation on the history of Lord Jeffery Amherst and the evolution of the "Lord Jeff" mascot. A video of this presentation is available on YouTube and his PowerPoint presentation is available for download:

Lord Jeff Presentation on YouTube (4/1/2013)