12016-08-19T12:59:11-07:00Will Fenton82bf9011a953584cd702d069a30cbdb6ef90650a72001Copy of a letter from Charles Read, Esq; to the Hon: John Ladd, Esq; and his associates, justices of the peace for the County of Gloucester.2016-08-19T12:59:11-07:00Read, Charles, 1715-1774.HSP Am 1764 Rea Ar.64 R 28Philadelphia: : Printed and sold by Andrew Steuart, at the Bible-in-Heart, in Second-Street, (price 3 old pennies), 1764.Concerning the massacre of the Conestoga Indians by the Paxton Boys.8 p. ; 20 cmEnglish short title catalogue (ESTC), W15135; Hildeburn, C.R. Pennsylvania, 2050; Sabin, J. Dictionary of books relating to America from its discovery to the present time, 681428Title PageWill Fenton82bf9011a953584cd702d069a30cbdb6ef90650a
12016-08-19T15:02:52-07:00Will Fenton82bf9011a953584cd702d069a30cbdb6ef90650aCopy of a Letter From Charles ReadWill Fenton1gallery2016-08-19T15:02:52-07:00Will Fenton82bf9011a953584cd702d069a30cbdb6ef90650a
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12017-03-29T05:45:14-07:00Early Condemnations2plain2017-03-29T05:48:10-07:00Accounts of the Paxton incident published between December 1763 and January 1754 did not look favorably upon the conduct of the Paxton Boys. Emphasizing the particulars of Indian violence and condemning the vigilantes’ violation of law and order, these early pamphlets shaped future critiques. Paxton apologists didn’t gain traction until the spring of 1764.
This early account the Conestoga massacre anticipates arguments Franklin popularizes with Narrative. Read presents the Paxtons as the real savages, murderers who should suffer the punishment of the law. He holds that the Susquehannock are subjects of the crown and entitled to security, an argument less grounded in ethics than economics.
Benjamin Franklin’s influential pamphlet created a template for Paxton critiques. He emphasizes the need for law and order. Franklin also personalizes the Susquehannock by using their English names, describing familial relationships, and providing detailed accounts of their slaughter. Meanwhile, he condemns the Scotch-Irish frontiersmen as “CHRISTIAN WHITE SAVAGES.”
Published contemporaneously with Narrative, this pamphlet provides the first insinuations of Paxton apology. The author complains of “too general Approbation” of the killings, despite their being “contrary to the Laws of Nations.” The pamphlet’s appearance of impartiality earned it significant popularity: Serious Address was republished in four editions.