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An American Affidavit

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

148. The Paxton Boys: The Underground History of American Education by John Taylor Gatto from archive.org

148. The Paxton Boys: The Underground History of American Education by John Taylor Gatto from archive.org

The Paxton Boys 

      How the decisive collaboration in which Quaker men of wealth felt driven by  circumstance to seek protection from the Established Church of England happened in the  months after Braddock's army was cut to pieces on October 16,
1755, is a fascinating  story. The western frontier of colonial America promptly exploded, after the British  defeat. Delawares and Shawnees attacked across western Pennsylvania, burning all forts  except Pitt. By November they were across the mountains and the Susquehanna, and in  January the whole frontier collapsed. Settlers fled, many running on until they reached  Philadelphia, "almost crazy with anxiety." Scots-Irish Presbyterians on the Monongahela  blamed their trouble on rich Philadelphia Quakers controlling the legislature who had  prevented levies for frontier defense.   

      An unauthorized Presbyterian militia hastily assembled, the notorious Paxton Boys,  whose columns proceeded to march on Philadelphia! I can hardly do justice here to that  lively time, except to remind you that Pennsylvania to this day is divided East/West. The  net upshot of Braddock's fatal hauteur was to send Scots-Irish Presbyterians on the  warpath against Quakers and to drive important Quaker interests into Tory arms for  protection from their fellow Pennsylvanians.  

     Thus at the very moment British authority and rigid class attitudes came into question for  many Americans, conservative Quakers, conspicuously wealthy and in control of the  mainstream press, became its quiet proponents. "I could wish," said Thomas Wharton  (for whose Quaker family the business school is named at Penn), "to see that Religion  [Anglicanism] bear the Reins of Government throughout the Continent." In the exact  decade when Americans were growing most fearful of the rise of an American civil  episcopate, these Friends "cheered the news of the growth of Anglicanism," according to  Jack Marietta, the Quaker historian. So the dormant seeds for a delayed Anglican revival  were buried in Pennsylvania/New Jersey/Delaware soil right from our national  beginnings. And Philadelphia 

 Soldiers For Their Class  

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