Peaceable Kingdom Lost: The Paxton Boys and the Destruction of William Penn's Holy Experiment (Google eBook)

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Oxford University Press, Jul 21, 2009 - History - 304 pages
4 Reviews
William Penn established Pennsylvania in 1682 as a "holy experiment" in which Europeans and Indians could live together in harmony. In this book, historian Kevin Kenny explains how this Peaceable Kingdom--benevolent, Quaker, pacifist--gradually disintegrated in the eighteenth century, with disastrous consequences for Native Americans. Kenny recounts how rapacious frontier settlers, most of them of Ulster extraction, began to encroach on Indian land as squatters, while William Penn's sons cast off their father's Quaker heritage and turned instead to fraud, intimidation, and eventually violence during the French and Indian War. In 1763, a group of frontier settlers known as the Paxton Boys exterminated the last twenty Conestogas, descendants of Indians who had lived peacefully since the 1690s on land donated by William Penn near Lancaster. Invoking the principle of "right of conquest," the Paxton Boys claimed after the massacres that the Conestogas' land was rightfully theirs. They set out for Philadelphia, threatening to sack the city unless their grievances were met. A delegation led by Benjamin Franklin met them and what followed was a war of words, with Quakers doing battle against Anglican and Presbyterian champions of the Paxton Boys. The killers were never prosecuted and the Pennsylvania frontier descended into anarchy in the late 1760s, with Indians the principal victims. The new order heralded by the Conestoga massacres was consummated during the American Revolution with the destruction of the Iroquois confederacy. At the end of the Revolutionary War, the United States confiscated the lands of Britain's Indian allies, basing its claim on the principle of "right of conquest." Based on extensive research in eighteenth-century primary sources, this engaging history offers an eye-opening look at how colonists--at first, the backwoods Paxton Boys but later the U.S. government--expropriated Native American lands, ending forever the dream of colonists and Indians living together in peace.
  

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Review: Peaceable Kingdom Lost: The Paxton Boys and the Destruction of William Penn's Holy Experiment

User Review  - Andy Miller - Goodreads

This history begins with William Penn's relatively noble and unique treatment of the Native Americans when he founded Pennsylvania and ends with the Revolutionary War, showing that by that time Penn's ... Read full review

Review: Peaceable Kingdom Lost: The Paxton Boys and the Destruction of William Penn's Holy Experiment

User Review  - Rahime - Goodreads

Interesting topic and a valuable read, but a little hard to get through. Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
FALSE DAWN
9
THEATRE OF BLOODSHED AND RAPINE
63
ZEALOTS
113
A WAR OF WORDS
157
UNRAVELING
203
Identifying the Conestoga Indians and the Paxton Boys
235
Acknowledgments
239
Abbreviations
241
Notes
243
Bibliography
265
Index
285
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Kevin Kenny is Professor of History at Boston College where he specializes in eighteenth and nineteenth-century Atlantic migration. He is author of Making Sense of the Molly Maguires and The American Irish: A History, and editor of Ireland and the British Empire.

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