Matthew Elliott was a British Indian Agent and militia officer in the years between the American Revolution and the War of 1812. Born in Ireland about 1739, Elliott migrated to America in 1761, He participated in the expedition of Colonel Henry Bouquet in 1763 and 1764 and spent the next several years as an so-called "Indian trader" in Ohio. He was a resident of Pittsburgh at the outbreak of the American Revolution. <p> During the American Revolution, Elliott originally sided with the Americans, but became disillusioned in the late 1770s with the American cause. He had hoped to make his fortune through trade with American Indians, but Continental Army and militia forces had been destroying American Indian villages in the Ohio Country to prevent their retaliation against unsanctioned white settlements in western Pennsylvania. Following the so-called "Squaw Campaign" led by American Edward Hand against American Indian villages in eastern Ohio, Elliott switched his allegiance to the British in 1778. He went to Fort Detroit, Britain's most important stronghold in the West. He spent the remainder of the war trading manufactured goods for furs with American Indian peoples and helping the British solidify alliances with them
After the American Revolution, Elliott continued to work as an Indian Agent and eventually acquired a 4,000-acre estate near what is now Amherstsburg, Canada. He participated on the British side in several of the major campaigns of the War of 1812. Matthew Elliott died in 1814 after a brief illness.
- Horsman, Reginald. Matthew Elliott: British Indian Agent. Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press, 1964.