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Friday, December 14, 2012

The Paxton Boys & December 14, 1763

"On Wednesday, the 14th of December, 1763, Fifty-seven Men, from some of our Frontier Townships, who had projected the Destruction of this little Common-wealth [Conestoga], came, all well-mounted, and armed with Firelocks, Hangers and Hatchets, having traveled through the Country in the Night, to Conestogoe Manor. There they surrounded the small Village of Indian Huts, and just at Break of Day broke into them all at once. Only three Men, two Women, and a young Boy, were found at home, the rest being out among the neighbouring White People, some to sell the Baskets, Brooms and Bowls they manufactured, and others on other Occasions. These poor defenceless Creatures were immediately fired upon, stabbed and hatcheted to Death! The good Shehaes [a Conestoga] among the rest, cut to Pieces in his Bed. All of them were scalped, and otherwise horribly mangled. Then their Huts were set on Fire, and most of them burnt down. When the Troop, pleased with their own Conduct and Bravery, but enraged that any of the poor Indians had escaped the Massacre, rode off, and in small Parties, by different Roads, went home."
- Benjamin Franklin, 1764

It really wasn't that long ago, on a cold Wednesday morning, that a group known as the Paxton Boys began their murderous rampage in central Pennsylvania. In the time of Benjamin Franklin, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, all of this happened.  
When I did a Google search for the date and title of this post, I was surprised to see that last year's post was the #2 return...right after Wikipedia's article about the Paxton Boys.
As many should know, Lazarus Stewart met his fate in the Battle of Wyoming fifteen years later on July 3, 1778. 
May all their souls find peace.

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