Peaceable Kingdom Lost: The Paxton Boys and the Destruction of William Penn’s Peaceable Kingdom

The idea that the Paxton Boys were precursors of republican revolution was brutally accurate in one sense. The American Revolution did more than destroy oligarchy and proprietary privilege in colonial Pennsylvania; it doomed the region’s Native American population.

Lecture Description

William Penn established Pennsylvania in 1682 as a “holy experiment” in which he believed European colonists and Native Americans could live together in harmony. This lecture explains how Penn’s vision of a Peaceable Kingdom gradually disintegrated in the eighteenth century, with disastrous consequences for Native Americans. The focal point is the Paxton Boys’ notorious attack on the Conestoga Indians in 1763 and their march on Philadelphia the following year.

CATEGORIES

1700-1800 Colonial

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