Digital Paxton: Digital Collection, Critical Edition, and Teaching Platform

The Conduct of the Paxton Men Impartially Represented - 21

lost their Lives, and not through any Misconduct of the Magistrates---For it seems the Affair was accomplish’d so unexpectedly and suddenly, that not one Half of the Magistrates knew any Thing of the Matter till they were all kill’d; and those that did, could do nothing, unless it was to go at the Peril of their Lives, among an enraged and armed Multitude, and attack them with Stones and Brickbats.

I have indeed heard it alleged among those Magistrates, that there were some Soldiers in the Place, which they might have called to their Assistance---But I have heard it positively declared, by many of the Inhabitants of that Town, who were Eye-witnesses of the whole Transaction, that if there were Ten Thousand Soldiers dispers’d and strolling about in the Manner that these were at the Time, it would have been impossible to have got them to their Arms, and properly drawn them up, before the Indians were killed; so dextrous and expeditious were the PAXTONIANS in executing their Purpose.

The Author of the Narrative proceeds with all the Pathos of Language and Expression, and tells us, “That when the poor Wretches saw that they had no Protection nigh, they divided into little Families, the Children clinging to their Parents;---They fell on their Knees, protested their Innocence, declared their Love to the English, and that in their whole Lives, they had never done them any Injury; and in this Posture they all receive the Hatchet! Men, Women and little Children!”---This was cruel indeed, if it was so---But I would be glad to know who could give this Gentleman so very particular an Account-----------I have been told, that not a single Circumstance happened which could have given rise to it; and that the above Story was pick’d up from among a Parcel of old Papers in a Hop-Garden or a Hemp-field (I forget which) upon Susquehannah.---And indeed this seems most likely to have been the Case:---For who could possibly tell what pass’d, or how these Indians behaved in the short Interval between their being attacked and all killed, which is said not to have been above Two Minutes: (n) No one had any Kind of Intercourse with them during that Time, except those that kill-

(n) It is confidently said, that the PAXTONIANS were not above twelve Minutes altogether in the Town, and not above two Minutes in dispatching the Indians.

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