Peaceable kingdom lost: The Paxton Boys and the destruction of William Penn's holy experiment

by Kevin Kenny

Paperback, 2009



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Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2009.

User reviews

LibraryThing member bness2
Excellent book covering a part of American history I had previously known little about. Fascinating period of history just on the eve of the Revolutionary War. It's also a very sad story, as it shows the roots of the American genocide of Native Americans.
LibraryThing member Shrike58
For much of this book I'll admit that I was not all that impressed, due to a familiarity with the author's main secondary sources (it read too much like a bland rehash), but this monograph really comes into its own when dealing with the period between Pontiac's War and the American Revolution, when the Ulster Irish frontiersmen called the Paxton Boys were a catalyst for chaos. First by murdering the last of the Conestoga tribe and demonstrating just what the authority of the Pennsylvania colonial government was worth, and then further rubbing in this lack of effective authority by helping the Susquehanna Company of Connecticut appropriate a large chunk of the Wyoming Valley. That a small band of self-serving thugs could have such a disproportionate influence is a commentary on how fractious Pennsylvania politics were and also illustrates that, in the end, there is no such thing as polite colonialism; frankly, William Penn's "holy experiment" was probably doomed from the start as a naive fiction. No one comes out of this chunk of history looking especially good; desperation will do that though I suppose.… (more)



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