Pennsylvania Paxton Massacre

By: Peyton, Alex, Aken, Maria

Who were the Paxton boys and when did they start?

The Paxton boys were Scottish Irish Presbyterians who lived in a county called Paxtang in Pennsylvania. The Paxton boys disagreed with Indian settlement and how the government was handling this issue. They took this issue in their own hands attacking a Indian village, the Conestoga a village nearby. Their first attacked the Conestoga village in the date of December 14 1763. In their first strike they killed six Indians they found while the remaining Indians were rushed to safety in Lancaster. In early 1764 they stroke a tribe in eastern Pennsylvania. On December 27 the Paxton boys charged into Lancaster slaughtering the last fourteen Indians.

"Susquehannock." American Indian Tribes: The and Conestoga Indians. The Philadelphia Spirit Experiment, 2008. Web. 11 Feb. 2013.

What the Paxton Boys Did


Their massacre of 20 peaceful Indians from a Conestoga village followed a series of battles during which hundreds of frontiersmen and American Indians were killed. The idea of this seemed to be too much for the Paxton Boys, who marched to the Conestoga Indian town on the morning of December 14, 1763, and murdered 20 Conestoga’s while 14 others escaped. They were not satisfied so they followed them. The Indians fled to Lancaster and were locked up in a guarded jailhouse for protection. The Indians were caught and slaughtered right in front of people.

How the Paxton Boys came to be


The Paxton Boys weren’t always the murderous, angry people who killed twenty Indians. But there history goes back to over a decade to when there were clashes between the settlers and the Indians over land. The settlers ultimately won but were extremely angry at the Indians and as were the Indians at the settlers. The Indians began raiding the settler’s towns to show their anger. The settlers were infuriated at these raids. A rumor began to spread that the Conestoga, a friendly group of Indians who had traded and lived in peace with the settlers for generations, had been seen collaborating and giving weapons to the raiding Indians. The Paxton boys were outraged, and the murders began.


The Paxton boys in Philadelphia

On January 1764 a group of peaceful Indians from a Conestoga village trudged through a heavy snowstorm to reach the citi's barracks in Philadelphia. The Paxton boys marched to Philadelphia with about 1,000 men. Pennsylvania's Quaker were the only colony without a standing militia and the capital was vulnerable. The Assembly Riot Act to try to outlaw the Paxton army by prohibiting gatherings of 12 or more persons. The Indians were kept in Philadelphia for another year, epidemics took a heavy toll on them. The summer and fall of 1765 more than a third of the indians in the barracks succumbed to dysentery or smallpox. On March 1766 the survivors finally left Philadelphia for their former villages in Northern Pennsylvania.

Vaughan, Alden T. "Philadelphia under siege." American History 33.6 (1999):26. History Reference Center. Web. 10 February. 2013