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date: 31 July 2021

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The fullest account we have of the Paxton Boys’ attacks on the Conestoga Indians comes from Benjamin Franklin, who joined with other civic leaders to persuade a force of 250 boys to turn back when they began marching on Philadelphia. Franklin’s sympathy for the Natives, who were Christian converts, is evident, as is his contempt for the men who attacked them. Shehaes, mentioned below, was an elderly Conestoga who had been present in 1701 when William Penn entered into a treaty with the Indians “and ever since continued a faithful and affectionate Friend to the English.”

Source: “A Narrative of the Late Massacres, [30 January 1764],” Founders Online, National Archives (, ver. 2014–05-09). Source: The Papers of Benjamin Franklin, vol. 11, January 1, through December 31, 1764, ed. Leonard W. Labaree. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1967, p. 42ff.

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