Rebellion - 1676. An uprising of western Virginia planters against
the Eastern Establishment headed by Sir William Berkeley, the royal governor.
The Westerners, led by Nathaniel Bacon, resented both the social pretensions
of the Berkeley group - which in turn considered the Baconites "a giddy
and unthinking multitude" - and Berkeley's unwillingness to support their
attacks on local Indians. Bacon raised a small army, murdered some peaceful
Indians, burned Jamestown, and forced the governor to flee. But Bacon came
down with a "violent flux" and died, and soon thereafter Berkeley restored
Rebellion, 1689-91. After news of the abdication of James II had
reached New York, Jacob Leisler, a local militia captain, proclaimed himself
governor of the colony. He claimed to rule in the name of the new monarchs,
William and Mary, and attempted without success to organize an expedition
against French Canada during King William's War. In 1691, after a governor
appointed by King William had arrived in New York, Leisler resisted turning
over power. He was arrested, tried for treason, and executed.
Boys Uprising, 1763-64. Pennsylvania frontiersmen - many
of them from the town of Paxton - angered by the Eastern-dominated colonial
Assembly's unwillingness to help in defense against Indian attacks, murdered
some peaceful Indians (always easier than taking on warlike tribes) and
marched on Philadelphia. They were persuaded to return to their homes by
a group headed by Benjamin Franklin, who promised the Assembly would authorize
paying bounties for Indian scalps.
|A viewer commented
on how much more there was to the Paxton Boy Uprising, (and not knowing
anything about it -- did my education fail?), I proceeded to investigate
via the internet. At first references were few and far between, but
persistence came up with the following (links included): Interestingly
-- Paxtang Boys, Paxton Boys, Paxtang Rangers and Paxton Rangers seem to
|The Paxton Boys,
Mr. Evans says: "They did not derive their name from a family, but from
Paxtang (corrupted to Paxton) Township, a name derived from an Indian tribe.
Paxton Township is in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, where no Paxtons of
Irish family ever resided, and forty miles away from any Paxton home. [The
Paxton Boys were a military company, and there was not a Paxton in it.
A judicial investigation of the matter was made, and none of the name was
found in the murderous band, and none were accused. The imputations that
have been made, were based on no other foundation than the coincidence
and Indian War
The war between England and France was fought on both a European and colonial
front. The fight between the two nations raged for nine years, 1754-1763.
In Pennsylvania, the French invaded from the west. This invasion reached
virtually to Lancaster's back door. To withstand the oncoming French and
Iroquois forces, Benjamin Franklin was ordered to commission hundreds of
horses and wagons. Franklin obtained these supplies from Lancaster.
The French eventually lost the war and were forced to relinquish their
claim to their American territory. The Indians who had fought against the
British and the colonists, however, could not leave their country. Colonials
were very bitter towards the Indians after the war. One specific incident
testifies to this.
A group of men from Paxtang Township wanted to destroy the entire tribe
of Conestoga Indians, a relatively peaceful tribe who had had good relations
with the settlers. On December 14, 1763 the "Paxtang boys" made a raid
on the Conestogas. Only 14 native American men, women, and children survived.
For their own protection, the remaining Conestogas were kept at the Water
Street jail in Lancaster. They safely remained there for two weeks. Then
on December 27 the "boys" came back to town, broke into the jail, and slaughtered
the remaining 14 survivors.
|Paxton Boys in
Insecurity in the
Pennsylvania frontier led to a raid on Indians by men from Paxton and Donegal
Assembly ordered the arrest of the "Paxton Boys" who proceeded to march
east toward Philadelphia.
persuaded them to forgo battle, allowed them to issue a formal complaint
and obtained greater representation for frontier settlements in the legislature.
PAST AND PRESENT
by Frederic A.
Vi P. Limric email@example.com
COMMANDER "PAXTANG BOYS" was killed in Wyoming Massacre, 3 Jul 1778.
Lazarus Stewart, commander of the Paxtang Reserves and brave frontiersman,
was born in Derry Twp., Lancaster County, PA., in 1734 and was killed in
the terrible Wyoming Massacre, 3 Jul 1778.
His parents were James and Margaret Stewart, who emigrated from Ireland
to Pennsylvania in 1729.
In 1775 when General Edward Braddock's expedition against the French and
Indians on the Ohio River was organized, Lazerus Stewart raised and commanded
and participated in the disastrous campaign which resulted in Braddock's
defeat and death.
The frontiers of Pennsylvania suffered terrible Indian incursions for years
after Braddock's defeat and the situation was truly desperate. The
Provincial Government in 1758 prosecuted a war against the French and Indians,
and Captain Stewart commanded a company of "Rangers" detailed to guard
the settlements along the Juniata river. In the engagements he exhibited
such impetuous daring and vigilance that he inspired confidence in his
The French and Indian war had been concluded but a few months when the
terrible Pontiac war broke out in all its fury.
The Governor of Pennsylvania was appealed to for help and protection but
could give neither. The Assembly paid no attention to the applications
of the distressed inhabitants, and instead of redress and aid, abused and
insulted those who were sent to appeal for protection.
It was under these circumstances that the "Paxtang Rangers" commanded by
Captain Lazerus Stewart took matters in their own hands.
On 15 October 1763, occurred the first massacre at Wyoming, when awful
outrages were committed by the bloodthirsty savages under "Captain Bull."
Two companies of the rangers were sent by Colonel John Elder to Wyoming,
one of these was commanded by Lazerus Stewart.
In December following the "Paxtang Boys" under Captain Stewart and Matthew
Smith massacred the Conestoga Indians in the work house at Lancaster, for
which the Provincial Government intended to punish the perpetrators of
the insurrection, but upon a show of material resistance only reprimanded
The strife at Wyoming between the Connecticut settlers and Pennsylvania
gave Stewart and his rangers an opportunity to gratify their love of adventure,
and to show their hostility to the Proprietary Government.
In December 1769, Stewart went to Connecticut to negotiate with the Susquehanna
Company. In consideration of certain lands he proposed to unite
his rangers "with those of the company and effect the occupation and settlement
of Wyoming. The proposition was accepted and he and his followers
located in Hanover Township. On 1 Jan 1770, Stewart at the head of
forty rangers marched to Wyoming and captured two garrisons of Pennsylvania
that had been left at Fort Durkee.
In the autumn of 1771 Captain Steward erected the first block- house in
Hanover township. Here he brought his wife and here they reared their
family of seven children.
Captain Stewart bore a leading part in the stirring events of the Yankee-Pennsylvania
Wars. On 28 Jun 1770, Governor Penn offered a reward of £300
for the apprehension of Lazerus Stewart, Zebulon Butler and Lazerus Young,
three persons against whom the governor's ire was specially excited.
Stewart was several times in the custody of the Provincial authorities
but each time affected his escape. He was considered by Governor
Penn the most dangerous man in the Province.
When Col. Plunket led his expedition from Fort Augusta against the Connecticut
settlers in December, 1775, Captain Stewart led the assault which resulted
in the humiliating defeat of Plunket.
On the day of the invasion of the Wyoming Valley by the British and their
Tory and Indian allies 3 Jul 1778, Captain Stewart was in command of he
Hanover Company and fell in the thickest of the fight.
Stewart owned a large farm in Paxtang and had married Martha, daughter
of Josiah and Elizabeth Crain Espy. They were the parents of seven
children, the youngest, Martha, being born the day before the battle in
which her brave father lost his life.
Captain Stewart was a great hero, and a defender of the frontiersmen and
of the Con- necticut settlers at Wyoming. He was a prominent and
efficient actor who contributed in no small degree to the protection of
his neighbors. He was a practical man, sober, enter- prising, brave,
kind and generous. He died gloriously struggling to drive back the
ruthless invaders from the soil of his native state.
When the awful news was conveyed to his widow and mother, she took her
seven children and a small craft and floated down the Susquehanna River
to Harrisburg. After the war she returned to Wyoming where she died
date unknown. Copyright © 1999 Vi P. Limric
Market Square, now occupied as an open park, was the center of the
activity of the town. There was originally an acre of ground reserved
from the Frankfort Company's land, but it was not centrally located, and
was subsequently sold, and at the same time, in 1703-4, the Bailiff's,
etc., "For the common good and to purchase a place nearer the now midst
in the centre of said town," bought of James De La Plaine, a half acre
representing the present Market Square. Here for many years and until
recent times, was the market house. Here also was the engine house
of the Fellowship Fire Engine Company, one of the three early volunteer
companies of the town. For a complete account of this fire company
see "Pennsylvania Magazine of History," Vol. xviii, page 429. The
fire company removed to Armat Street in 1850 and the little old engine
house was removed to the rear of 164 School House Lane, where it still
serves as a play house.
also at one time was the prison, the stocks and the public scales. Delegations
of Indians on their way to the city would stop in Germantown and were fed
at the Market Square. A table often used for their dinner is still preserved
by the Ashmeads.
February 6th, 1764, several hundred Paxtang boys from the banks of the
Conestoga and Susquehanna, then the frontier, on their way to murder the
peaceful Moravian Indians who had taken shelter in Philadelphia, were met
by Benjamin Franklin, Benjamin Chew, Thomas Willing, Thomas Galloway and
others and persuaded to return to their homes. Philadelphia had been
thrown into a state of great excitement which must in a measure have been
communicated to Germantown, for the Lutheran pastor in the city came out
to take part with the mob.
Built in 1852,
the Fulton Opera House is one of three National Historic Landmark theaters
in United States. The history of the Fulton chronicles the evolution of
the American stage. One of the oldest continuously operating theaters in
the United States today, the Fulton was designed by noted Philadelphia
architect Samuel Sloan in the Italianate Style. The Fulton Hall, as it
was first known, was built in 1852 on the site of Lancaster's old pre-Revolutionary
War jail. One foundation wall of the old jail was left intact. On the site
of the jail in 1763, the last of the Conestoga Indians were massacred by
a frontier vigilante gang known as the "Paxtang Boys". Today the Fulton
Opera House is the community's premiere performing arts center.
The Paxtang Boys
took part in a grisly attack when they massacred the remnants of the Conestoga
tribe who had been quartered in the old Lancaster Prison at King and Water
Streets, in 1763. These were bitter times, and the white men justified
their bloody deed on the ground that it was reprisal for Indian slayings
on the frontier.
Fears of further killings rose as the Paxtang Boys headed toward Germantown
and Philadelphia, but the excursion ended with no further violence. The
massacre at Lancaster set off a great controversy in the colony.
Gnadenhutten Massacre of Christian Indians
the dead Indians had been among those protected by the Pennsylvania government
from the Paxton Boys during 1763 and 1764. Some of the militia men participating
in the massacre had been Paxton Boys. Later, others would be Whiskey Rebels
as well. Not everyone in the region endorsed the slaughter of peaceful
Christian Indians, but there was little protest. The force of communal
values endorsing these events was too strong to resist. Indeed, no apologies
for the massacre ever emerged from the West. Reports of the murders scandalized
some eastern politicians, but the perpetrators were never punished. Laws
of the states and nation certainly did not extend to the protection of
Indians on the frontier, at least not in 1782.
Rebellion, 1763-64. Indians of the Great Lakes area, led
by Pontiac, chief of the Ottawas, attempted unsuccessfully to drive the
British out of their territory and check the influx of white settlers who
invaded the region after the end of the French and Indian War.
War, 1769-71. Another east-west conflict, this one in North Carolina,
triggered by the dominance of the eastern counties. It culminated in the
Battle of Alamance, where a thousand government troops beat a "Regulator"
(rebel) force twice that size.
1786-87. This Massachusetts uprising was both a result of
unstable economic conditions following the Revolution and an important
cause of the movement to strengthen the central government that resulted
in the drafting of the Constitution. Debt-ridden western Massachusetts
farmers, led by Daniel Shays, seeking to stop foreclosures and obtain the
printing of new issues of paper money by the state, marched on Springfield,
where they hoped to seize a government arsenal. Government militia units
easily defeated them, however, and Shays fled the state. The "rebellion"
Rebellion 1794. When Congress enacted a stiff excise tax
on whiskey in 1791, farmers in western Pennsylvania were especially hard
hit. They were accustomed to turning their surplus grain into whiskey,
which was easier to store and ship to market than grain itself. When the
farmers organized protest meetings and prevented the collection of the
tax, President Washington announced that their actions "amount to treason"
and ordered them to disperse. When they did not, he called up thirteen
thousand militiamen (more than he had ever commanded during the Revolution)
and marched against them. Faced with this overwhelming force, the protestors
submitted. Thomas Jefferson, who was popular throughout the West, had
the tax repealed after he became President in 1801.
-"199 Things Every American Should Know", American