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delphia and quartered in barracks. But the Conestoga Indians were attacked by a party of fifty-seven Scotch-Irish, afterwards known as the “Paxton Boys," who, finding only six of them in the village,—three men, two women, and a boy,-massacred them all, mangled their bodies, and burnt their property. The remaining fourteen of the tribe were collected by the sheriff and put for protection in the Lancaster jail. The Paxtons hearing of it, immediately attacked the jail and cut the Indians to pieces with hatchets.
We have grown so accustomed to lynch law that this slaughter of the Conestogas would not now cause much surprise, especially in some parts of the country; but it was a new thing to the colonists, who in many respects were more orderly than are their descendants, and a large part of the community were shocked, disgusted, and indignant. Franklin wrote a pamphlet which had a wide circulation and assailed the Scotch-Irish as inhuman, brutal cowards, worse than Arabs and Turks ; fifty-seven of them, armed with rifles, knives, and hatchets, had actually succeeded, he said, in killing three old men, two women, and a boy.
The Paxton lynchers, however, were fully supported by the people of the frontier. A large body of frontiersmen marched on Philadelphia with the full intention of revolutionizing the Quaker government, and they would have succeeded but for the unusual preparations for defence. They were finally, with some difficulty, persuaded to return without using their rifles.
The governor was powerless to secure even the arrest of the men who had murdered the Indians in the jail, and the disorder was so flagrant and the weakness of the executive branch of the government so apparent that the Quakers and a majority of the people thought there was now good reason for openly petitioning the crown to abolish the proprietorship. While in England, Franklin had been advised not to raise this question, and he had accordingly confined his efforts to taxing the proprietary estates.
The arrangement he had made provided that the estates should be fairly taxed, but the governor and the Assembly differed in opinion as to what was fair. The governor claimed that the best wild lands of the proprietors should be taxed at the rate paid by the people for their worst, and he tried the old tactics of forcing this point by delaying a supply bill intended to defend the province against Pontiac and his Indians. The Assembly passed the bill to suit him, but immediately raised the question of the abolition of the proprietorship. Twenty-five resolutions were passed most abusive of the proprietors, and the Assembly then adjourned to let the people decide by a general election whether a petition should be sent to the king asking for direct royal government.
A most exciting political campaign followed in which Franklin took the side of the majority in favor of a petition, and wrote several of his most brilliant pamphlets. He particularly assailed Provost Smith, who, in a preface to a printed speech by John Dickinson defending the proprietary government, had
eulogized William Penn in one of those laudatory epitaphs which were the fashion of the day :
“Utterly to confound the assembly, and show the excellence of proprietary government, the Prefacer has extracted from their own votes the praises they have from time to time bestowed on the first proprietor, in their addresses to his son. And, though addresses are not generally the best repositories of historical truth, we must not in this instance deny their authority.
“ That these encomiums on the father, though sincere, have occurred so frequently, was owing, however, to two causes : first, a vain hope the assemblies entertained, that the father's example, and the honors done his character, might influence the conduct of the sons; secondly, for that, in attempting to compliment the sons upon their own merits, there was always found an extreme scarcity of matter. Hence, the father, the honored and honorable father, was so often repeated, that the sons themselves grew sick of it, and have been heard to say to each other with disgust, when told that A, B, and C, were come to wait upon them with addresses on some public occasion,' Then I suppose we shall hear more about our father.' So that, let me tell the Prefacer, who perhaps was unacquainted with this anecdote, that if he hoped to curry more favor with the family, by the inscription he has framed for that great man's monument, he may
find himself mistaken; for there is too much in it of our father."
Franklin then goes on to say that he will give a sketch “in the lapidary way" which will do for a monument to the sons of William Penn.
“ Be this a Memorial
When their own province
And the whole British empire
Could yet meanly desire
Totally or partially
While their fellow subjects all around them
To gain this point
For the defence of their people
Rather than abate in the least
Wisely and benevolently
To the most abject slavery ;
In improving their country
A striking instance
And an irrefragable proof,
That wisdom and goodness
But that ineffable meanness May be connected with unbounded fortune.” Dickinson's followers, of course, assailed Franklin on all sides. Their pamphlets are very exciting reading, especially Hugh Williamson's “What is Sauce for a Goose is also Sauce for a Gander,” which describes itself in its curious old-fashioned subtitle as
Being a small Touch in the Lapidary Way, or Tit sor Tat, in your own way. An Epitaph on a certain Great Man. Written by a Departed Spirit, and now most humbly inscribed to all his dutiful Sons and Children, who may hereafter choose to distinguish him by the Name of A Patriot. Dear Children, I send you here a little Book for you to look upon that you may see your Pappy's Face when he is dead and gone. Philadelphia, Printed in Arch Street 1764."
“ Pappy" is then described for the benefit of his children in an epitaph :
“ An Epitaph &c
B... F... Esq., LL.D.
Possessed of many lucrative
Whom he infamously treated
from the Province
He never performed
In moderate circumstances;
In his Hand Maid Barbara
of his last offspring
Whom Barbara also served
But alas the Loss !
Without a tomb or even