A little late but here is my thread on Benjamin Franklin and the Conestoga Genocide to commemorate @kelsapellet hitting the target goal of 1000 followers.

(Spoilers: Benjamin Franklin isn't one of the bad guys) /1
On December 14 & 27 of 1763, a 50 to 100 members of a colonial death squad known as the Paxton Boys committed two massacres, respectively, against the peaceful, Christian, treaty-upholding Conestoga who are considered the last independent remnant of the Susquehannock. /2
January 30, 1764, Franklin published a pamphlet entitled "A Narrative of the Late Massacres, in Lancaster County, of a Number of Indians, Friends of this Province, By Persons Unknown. With some Observations on the same" and it contained exactly what the title promised. /3
That pamphlet contains an entire paragraph that is my personal favorite thing written by Benjamin Franklin. He spends a painstaking amount of time demeaning the conduct of the Paxton Boys before providing them a title fit for genocidaires: "White Christian Savages". /4
You can get into the weeds with that a bit since Franklin does use "savages" to describe indigenous people in his 1784 "Remarks concerning the Savages of North America" but in that document he is largely praising the Indians. It seems "savages' was not a comparison /5
in "Narrative" of Indian conduct in the French-and-Indian War or the on-going Pontiac's War but rather a historical designation that what the death squad did would be abhorrent in any society that Franklin could think of - the unprovoked murder of innocent, peaceful people. /6
This pamphlet, of course, caused opposing pamphlets to be released and so on. According to Alison Olson (1999), the Pamphlet War over the Paxton Boys was larger than any earlier issue. It was the subject of approx. 20% of publications produced in Penn. in 1764. /7
It was the largely the method of Pennsylvanian adoption of English satire with a societal impact in the debate between Paxtonian and Quaker but, honestly I still have more work to do on the "Pamphlet War" itself so, I want to look at this a different way. /8
Despite attempts by Pennsylvanian authorities to arrest and try members of the Paxton Boys, none where ever brought to justice. There is academic speculation on who could be among their numbers but we actually have no solid proof of who perpetuated the massacres. /9
Franklin, in his outcry over two massacres of approx. 20 innocent people, started a public conversation that forced the atrocity and its aftermath to be recorded. That is on top of his role in stopping the Paxton Boys from invading Philadelphia, which I didn't even mention. /10
Franklin may have owned two house slaves and his paper may have had advertisements for slave auctions but he also transformed into an abolitionist. He also, as outlined her, was a man who called about "a crime without a name" roughly 180 years before Lemkin gave it one. /11
I am not a Franklin scholar and this particular research is still underway but this is why the polymath has become my personal favorite Founding Father. For more on Franklin, you know exactly who to follow. /e
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