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REVIEW OF A MASSACRE IN LANCASTER COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA,
IN 1763. The melancholy account
As their lands by degrees now to be exhibited is copied were mostly purchased, and into Proud's History of Penn- the settlement of the white sylvania from a pamphlet people began
people began to surround which was printed immediate-. them, the Propriсtary assignly after the events occured- ed them lands on the manor of entitled, “ A Narrative of the Conestogoe, which they might late Massacre, in Lancaster
not part with.
There they County, of a number of Indians, have lived many years in friends of this Province :". friendship with their white
“ These Indians were the neighbours, who loved them remains of a tribe of the Six for their peaceable, inoffensive Nations, settled at Conestogoe, behaviour. and thence called Conestogoe “ It has always been obseryIndians On the first arrival ed that Indians, settled in the of the English in Pennsylva- neighborhood of white people, nia, messengers from this do not increase but diminish tribe came to welcome them, continually. This tribe acwith presents of venison, corn cordingly went on diminishing, and skins; and the whole tribe till there remained in the town entered into a treaty of friend. ormanor, but 20 persons ship with the first Proprietary, seven men, five women and William Penn ; which was to eight children, boys and girls. last as long as the sun should, « Of these, Shebaes was a shine, or the waters run into
very old man, having assisted the rivers.
at the second treaty, held with “ This treaty has been since them by William Penn, 1701; frequently renewed, and the and ever since continued a chain brightened, as they ex- faithful friend to the English; press it, from time to time, he is said to have been an exIt has never been violated on ceeding good man, considering their part, or
ours till now. his education, being naturally Vol. VI. NO. 8.
of a most kind, benevolent huts were set on fire, and most temper.
of them burnt down! " This little society con- “ The magistrates of Lantinued the custom they had caster sent out to collect the begun when more numerous, remaining Indians, brought of addressing every new Gove them into the town, for their ernor, and every descendant better security against any of the first Proprietary, wel- farther attempts; and, it is coming him to the province, said, condoled with them on assuring him of their fidelity, the misfortune which had and praying a continuance of happened, took them by the that "favour and protection hand and promised them prowhich they had hitherto ex- tection. They were put into perienced. They had accord. a work-house, a strong build. ingly sent up an address of ing, as the place of greatest this kind to our present Gov. safety. erpor, John Penn, Esq. on his « These cruel men again arrival; but the same assembled themselves ; and scarce delivered when the un- hearing that the remaining 14 fortunate catastrophe happen- Indians were in the work-house ed, which we are about to re- at Lancaster, they suddenly late.
appeared before the town on “ On Wednesday the 14th the 27th of December. Fifty of December, 1763, fifty seven of them armed as before, dismen, from some of our frontier mounting, went directly to the townships, who had projected work-house, and by- violence the destruction of this little broke open the door, and entercommonwealth, came all well ed with the utmost fury in mounted, and armed with fire their countenances. When Jocks, hangers and hatchets, the poor wretches saw they having travelled through the had no protection nigh, nor country in the night to Cones- could possibly escape, and belogoe manor. There they ing without the least weapon surrounded the small village of defence, they divided their of Indian huts, and just at little families, the children break of day, broke in upon clinging to their parents ; they them all at once. Only three fell on their faces, protested . men and two women and a their innocence, declared their young boy were found at home love of the English, and that
the rest being out among in their whole lives they had the neighbouring white people. never done them injury; and These poor defenceless crea- in this posture they all receive tures were immediately fired ed the hatchet ! Men, women upon, stabbed and hatcheted and children were every one to death! The good Shebaes inhumanly murdered in cold among the rest, cut to piece blood ! es in his bed. All of them 66 The barbarous men who were scalped, and other wise committed the atrocious fact, horribly mangled. Then their in defiance of government and
of all laws human and divine, be natural for many to askand, to the eternal disgrace of How came this peace. to be their country and their colour, interrupted ? To this inquiry then mounted their horses, it may be answered, that huzzaed in triumph, as if they several causes cooperated to had obtained a victory, and produce the deplorable result; rode off unmolested !
but the principal cause was " The bodies of the murder- this an inundation of foreigned were then brought out, ex
came into the province posed in the street till a hole with the principles and spirit could be made in the earth to of war, and excluded the Quareceive and cover them. But kers from that share in the the wickedness cannot be government which they had covered, and the guilt will lie formerly possessed. on the whole land till justice The presbyterians, who is done to the murderers. The murdered the harmless tribe, blood of the innocent will cry are represented as deluded to heaven for vengeance.".
fanatics. Under the influence “But these people, being of a malignant enthusiasm they chiefly presbyterians, seem to destroyed their
destroyed their poor Indian think they have a better justi- brethren an acceptable fication-nothing less than the sacrifice to the FATHER OF word of God. With the MERCIES. But how dreadful Scriptures in their hands and is that delusion which led promouths, they can set at nought fessed Christians to believe that express command-Thou that God could be pleased to shalt do no murder,' and justify see them engaged in murder, their 'wickedness by the com- ing his heathen children ! this mand given to Joshua to dese delusion however was not controy the heathen! Horrid per- fined to the 57 murderers of version of Scripture and re- the Conestogoe tribe, it was ligion ! to father the worst of spread in a greater or less decrimes on the God of love and gree over the other provinces.
It became, also, a kind of The name neither of the hereditary disease, which perwriter nor the printer was haps has not been wholly exgiven with this Narrative, but terminated to this day. There the Historian says they were now not many of our “ supposed to be as nearly countrymen who would apconnected as FRANKLIN and prove the massacre in PennHALL."
sylvania ; but is it certain that As this horrid massacre the wars with the Indians in took place in Pennsylvania, our own time will appear less and as it is known that the abhorrent to future generareligious principles and pa- tions, than the massacre of the cific policy of William Penn friendly tribe does to us? We had occasioned peace for 70 blush for deluded men who years between
the white could so wantonly exterminpeople and the Indians; it will ate a harmless people. Why
not blush for the rence of all good men ? Yet butcheries of our age e ? How how many hundreds of instanoften have rulers authorized ces might be collected from the invasion of provinces, with history, in which murders of as little justice and as, little the innocent, equally atrocious cause of offence, on the part and inhuman, have been orderof the invaded, as there was ed by rulers, who bore the in the case of the massacre in name of Christians, and still Lancaster county !
gloried in such horrible exWill any plead that the per- ploits. petrators of this atrocious deed Wanton butcheries of the had no authority from any gov. innocent, in the wars of rulers, ernment for what they did, are regarded as things of and that this makes an course, as unavoidable events, sential difference between and always to be expected. their conduct and the usual The people of each nation have murders of the innocent in been disposed to excuse them time of war ? Let it then be in their own troops, or to cover supposed, that the same harm- them with a cloud of military less tribe had been slaughter- glory. But such clouds will be ed by an order of some gov- dispersed; the Sun of righteernment: would this order ousness and peace will shine ; have rendered the deed less and the murders of war will unjust and horrible ? If it yet appear in their true col. would in any degree have ours. Then the instigators of abated the criminality of the such scenes of barbarity and immediate agents, would it violence, will be numbered not also have exposed the with the bewildered wretches rulers who ordered the slaugh- who murdered the Conestoter to the just vengeance goe Indians. of Heaven, and to the abhor.
WHEREFORE DO THE WICKED LIVÉ AND PROSPER ? TAERE is scarcely any topic consistent with the rectitude which has been more frequent- of divine government to disly the subject of doubtful and tribute favors with a promisanxious contemplation, or has cuous hand to the just and the given rise to more bold and unjust. Why, say they, is unjustifiable speculations con- not sentence against an evil cerning the moral govern- work speedily executed? Why ment of God, than the little are bold offenders permitted regard which seems to be to trample with impunity on paid to personal character in every moral and religious the distribution of temporal right? Why is successful enjoyments. Men frequently villainy allowed to insult the indulge the sentiment, and tears, and riot in the distresses sometimes have not hesitated of humble and injured innoto affirm, that it is utterly in. cence ?
A little reflection will con- men, being obliged to trust bis Nince us that there is nothing happiness to the caprice of in the circumstances attending every person with whom he is the condition of the unright- connected. Perhaps he may eous that can impair our con- be endued with the robes of fidence in the moral govern- office and abound in the pos. ment of God. We do not session of wealth, and yet be however deny that success
liable to have the exclamation frequently attends the wicked forced from him all this and that they thrive with all availeth me nothing,” merely the luxuriance of the green because some Mordecai withbay tree. But it is neverthe, holds his tribute of respect. less certain that men do not Who would accept the mi. sufficiently discriminate be- ser's wealth, if he must also tween the means of happiness possess the miser's soul and happiness itself. A man Dommed to suffer the most abmay have all those possessions ject poverty in the midst of that are usually means of hap- profusion to be pointed at apiness, and yet be completely broad, and to be distracted at wretched. For it is the mind home by the contending pasonly which can furnish the sions of desire and fear. The principles of real enjoyment. Sons of riot and dissipation Can popular applause confer may deceive the unthinking any happiness on the wretch multitude by their noisy mirth, who is oppressed with the re- but it is like the irrational and morse and fearful apprehen- frenzied joy of the maniac sions of a guilty conscience ? who dances to the music of his Will the recollection of vast chains Guilty indulgencies possessions soothe the guilty will be succeeded by the pangs mind trembling at the near of remorse--and it will gen• prospect of the opening tomb? erally be found that the obConscience will arraign the servation of a heathen philos. culprit at her bar, and subject opher is perfectly correct him to the penalties of a spir- " As malefactors,” he says, it wounded with remorse and “ when they go to punishment wrung with despair. In fact, carry their own cross, so wickthere is scarcely any crime edness generally carries its whose indulgence does not own torment with it." contain the seeds of its own We see then that punishpunishment. The votaries of ment overtakes the wicked in licentious pleasure purchase a this life, much more frequenttransient gratification at the ly than is usually imagined. expense of their health and
But even admitting what is fortune. The envious man is frequently asserted, that bad continually wounding himself men do not come into trouble with the thorns which he has more than others ; still we planted in his own pillow. He can discover reasons abunwho indulges a spirit of pride davtly sufficient to satisfy us is the most dependent of all of the propriety of delaying