The Peacemakers, 1755-1761
ALTHOUGH A deep despondency prevailed in Bethlehem on the morning of November 25, the Brethren had little time to grieve and mourn their disaster. Indian war parties roamed at will throughout the countryside, north, east, and west of the village.
With the exception of the New York colony, whose Indian allies were firmly under British control, all across the six hundred miles of colonial frontier the Indian war had begun. The middle colonies, especially Pennsylvania and Virginia, were particularly vulnerable. Their western frontiers consisted of three distinct belts of white occupation that lay between the Indian territories on the west and the more populated eastern centers of white civilization. The farthest outposts were the crude huts of the "borderers" -- wild and graceless souls who chose to flee the confining aspects of society. Many were outcasts evading the long arm of the law. For the first several seasons of occupation they grew no crops, usually because they detested the plodding employment or because their nearest neighbors, the Indians, resented their presence and occasionally forced them to flee eastward, back toward the settlements.
The second layer of inhabitants, who settled twenty-five to thirty miles further east, were log cabin dwellers. Cattle, sheep, horses, and hogs were