Original Document
Original Document
James Dove, An Anti-Quaker Defense of the Paxton Boys, 1764.

After murdering the Conestoga Indians in the Lancaster workhouse, the Paxton Boys marched on Philadelphia, threatening to kill any Indians taking refuge among the Quakers there. A number of pamphlets appeared in Philadelphia in support of the Paxton Boys, accusing the Quakers of treason for harboring Indians who had made war against Pennsylvania's frontier inhabitants.

"WHEN the Indian Incursions last Summer laid waste a considerable Part of our Frontier, by which near a thousand Families were drove from their Places, reduced to the utmost Poverty, and thrown upon the Public-Charity for the Support of their miserable Lives.-How did these meek, merciful, compassionate Quakers (who would seem to monopolize Christian Charity, and all the Tenderness of human Nature amongst themselves) behave on so melancholy an Occasion?-To their immortal Infamy be it known, that when every other religious Society in the City, even the Roman-Catholicks, whom they so much despise, (tho' saddled at the Time with the heavy Expence of building a Chapel) were sensibly affected with the Distresses of the poor unhappy Sufferers, and promoted very generous and liberal Contributions for their Relief and Support. These compassionate and merciful Christians [the Quakers], so easily affected with Pity for Indians, would not grant a single Farthing (as a Society) for the Relief of their Fellow Subjects. Tho' Justice requires we should exempt from this Odium a few worthy Individuals in the City, who contributed on the Occasion; as also a few others in the Town and Neighbourhood of Lancaster, who raised about Thirty Pounds for the same Purpose.

WHEREAS when their Good Brethern the Indians (some of whom were well known by Officers now in the City, to have been in the Battle against Col. BOUQUET, and others at the Siege of Fort Pitt, during the Summer) seem'd to be in Danger of receiving their just Deserts from the Hands of a bereft and injured People, no Toils or Fatigues by Night or Day are thought too great, nor no Expence too much to protect those Bosom Friends. Nay, their very fundamental Principles of Non-Resistance [i.e., the Quakers' commitment to non-violence], which would never before bend in Defence of King or Country, are cheerfully sacrificed on the interesting Occasion, as a Compliment to perfidious Savages.

THE PAXTON PEOPLE'S coming down armed, in a seemingly hostile Manner, is also justly to be condemned,-But whilst we condemn particular Facts, let us not misrepresent the general Characters of these People.

Let it be considered, that they had, long before, sent several Petitions to the Governor and Assembly, which, its suppos'd, have been conceal'd by some ill designing persons: And tho' his Honour never receiv'd these Remonstances, yet the distress'd People believ'd he had, and look'd upon themselves as utterly neglected, and their sufferings despis'd by the Government. . .

WHAT these People intended by their coming down arm'd let themselves declare. I only observe, that the Manner of their Behavior when they came, did them Honour; as it shew'd them to be brave, loyal and discreet.

Credit: David James Dove, The Quaker Unmask'd, or, Plain Truth. Philadelphia: Andrew Steuart, 1764.
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