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Bradstreet's Expedition of 1764

Bradstreet's Expedition of 1764

BRADSTREET'S EXPEDITION OF 1764. As part of the delayed punitive action the British directed against participants in Pontiac's War, Colonel John Bradstreet left Niagara with 1,400 sickly British regulars and untrained American provincials in early August with orders from Major General Thomas Gage, British commander in chief in North America, to attack the Shawnees and Delawares. This was to be done in conjunction with Colonel Henry Bouquet's expedition from Fort Pitt and to continue on to Detroit. Near Presque Isle (later Erie, Pennsylvania), Bradstreet met ten Indians who claimed to be emissaries from the two tribes he was supposed to attack, and they duped him into concluding a peace treaty (12 August). He proceeded to Detroit, where he was only partially successful in his dealings with the Indians. The return voyage to Niagara, via Sandusky, Ohio, was badly managed. Bradstreet seriously overestimated the willingness of native Americans to submit to British control. Gage finally lost confidence in his leadership when Bradstreet disobeyed a direct order to attack the villages on the Scioto River, something Bradstreet knew to be logistically impossible. It was left to Bouquet's expedition to restore British prestige.

SEE ALSO Bouquet's Expedition of 1764; Gage, Thomas; Pontiac's War.


Anderson, Fred. Crucible of War: The Seven Years' War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754–1766. New York: Knopf, 2000.

Godfrey, William G. Pursuit of Profit and Preferment in Colonial North America: John Bradstreet's Quest. Waterloo, Ont.: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 1982.

                         revised by Harold E. Selesky

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