[FRANKLIN, Benjamin]. An Autograph Act, Signed, by Benjamin Franklin for a War Tax in Response To the Conestoga Massacre]. [Philadelphia]. May 30, 1764. 85 leaves. Folio. Fastened with original seal and ribbon at upper corner. Minor soiling, edges rather brittle. Very good. In a maroon morocco clamshell box. A fascinating manuscript, with an unusual example of Benjamin Franklin's signature, written on behalf of the Pennsylvania Assembly, and signed by Governor John Penn, issuing a war tax in response to the horrific Conestoga Massacre. The massacre, incited by alleged hostile acts of natives on local residents, saw a group of Scots-Irish frontiersmen, known as the Paxton Boys, attack the small tribe of Conestoga Indians on December 14th, 1763. Though many of the residents were not at home the group managed to kill six men, burning their cabins. After news of the murders spread Governor John Penn condemned the actions and called for the capture of the Paxton Boys, putting the remaining Conestoga in protective custody. The vigilante group laid siege on the building where the Conestoga were held, maiming, scalping, and killing fourteen men, women, and children in what was seen as one of the most barbaric acts in Pennsylvania's history. In January of 1764 several hundred men joined the Paxton Boys en route to Philadelphia to confront the government. Benjamin Franklin met the mob and convinced them to offer up their grievances peacefully and return home. Franklin's disgust at their actions is readily apparent in this legislative response: "Whereas many barbarous Invasions have been made on several of His Majesty's Colonies in America, & on the frontiers of this province in particular, by.Parties of the Northern & Western Indians, whereby a great number of the inhabitants have been driven from their Habitations, [and] many perfidiously murdered.in manifest violation of the most solemn Treaties.therefore, We, the representatives of the People of this Province, de. Bookseller Inventory #
Title: Autograph Act, Signed, by Benjamin Franklin ...
Publication Date: 1764
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