John Bradstreet was an English military commander in North America during the French and Indian War and Pontiac's Rebellion.
John Bradstreet was born in 1711. He was either born in Nova Scotia or emigrated there from England shortly after his birth. In 1735, he enlisted in the British army as an ensign and quickly moved up the ranks.
During King George's War (1744-1748), French soldiers captured and imprisoned Bradstreet in Fort Louisbourg. In 1744, the French exchanged him for some of their own men whom the English held. Because of his intimate knowledge of Fort Louisbourg, he played a crucial role in England's capture of the fort in 1745. Following the war, Bradstreet continued to serve in the English military and also became lieutenant governor of St. John's, Newfoundland. In 1755, he became the commander of Fort Oswego on the New York frontier. He played an active role in the French and Indian War. Most importantly, men under his command captured Fort Frontenac (modern-day Kingston, Ontario) in August 1758. By losing Fort Frontenac, the French could no longer easily communicate with their forces and American Indian allies in the Ohio Country. It also became almost impossible for French merchants to continue to trade European manufactured goods for American Indian furs, weakening the French alliance with American Indian populations even further.
Bradstreet is most famous for his role in Pontiac's Rebellion. After facing numerous setbacks during 1763, the first year of the rebellion, English forces took the offensive in late 1764. While a British army under Henry Bouquet subdued American Indian populations in eastern Ohio, Bradstreet led a force from Fort Niagara to conquer those along the Great Lakes. He failed to attain any significant victories, but Bouquet would succeed in ending the involvement of the Shawnee tribe, the Delaware tribe, and the Seneca tribe, thus bringing Pontiac's Rebellion to a close. Following the conflict, Bradstreet continued his military career, eventually attaining the rank of major general. He died of natural causes in 1774.
- Hurt, R. Douglas. The Ohio Frontier: Crucible of the Old Northwest, 1720-1830. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1996.
- Smith, William. Historical Account of Bouquet's Expedition Against the Ohio Indians, in 1764: with preface by Francis Parkman and a translation of Dumas' biographical sketch of General Bouquet. Cincinnati, OH: R. Clarke, 1868.