THE AMERICAN REVOLUTIONS
The expulsion of the French from North America in the peace treaty of 1763 did not restore harmony to the Quaker communities of the Middle Colonies. The British badly mishandled relations with the midwestern Indians by occupying French forts, cutting off supplies of guns and ammunition that the natives had used for hunting, and not restraining westward settlements. The Indians had not recognized a light French control over them as sovereignty, and they now resisted being incorporated into the British Empire. The French had been defeated, but the Indians were not conquered. Indian resentments boiled over into a war, called by the English "Pontiac's Rebellion," which meant renewed attacks on the Pennsylvania frontier.
Settlers in the exposed country in what is near present-day Harrisburg, mostly Scots-Irish and Germans, blamed Pennsylvania's Quaker-dominated Assembly for failing to protect them. A substantial number of these frontiersmen, called Paxton Boys, wanted revenge on the hostile Indians. Since finding warring Indians was both difficult and dangerous, the Paxton settlers instead massacred friendly Conestogas, particularly venting their wrath upon the Christianized peaceful natives converted by the Moravians. After two ugly massacres by the Paxtons who did not spare women and children, the government supported by Friends determined to bring other threatened friendly Indians to Philadelphia and then to send them to New Jersey or New York for safety. The other colonists refused to accept the praying Indians in their borders.
The Paxton settlers in February 1764 began to march on Philadelphia, threatening to kill both the Indians and their Quaker supporters. When the Paxton mob approached Germantown, nearly 200 young Quaker males armed themselves, used a meetinghouse as barracks, and prepared to defend the Indians. A delegation of Assembly leaders, led by Franklin, met with leaders of the Paxton