On the morning of September 8, 1756, a band of about three hundred volunteers of a newly created Pennsylvania militia led by Lt. Col. John Armstrong crept slowly through the western Pennsylvania brush. The night before they had reviewed a plan to quietly surround and attack the Lenape, or Delaware, Indian village of Kittanning. The Pennsylvanians had learned that several prominent Delaware who had led recent attacks on frontier settlements as well as a number of white prisoners were at the village. Seeking reprisal, Armstrong’s force successfully assaulted Kittanning, killing one of the Delaware they sought, but causing most to flee—along with their prisoners. Armstrong then ordered the village burned. The raid did not achieve all of its goals, but it did lead to the Indians relocating their villages further away from the frontier settlements. However, it was a major victory for those Pennsylvanians—including Quaker legislators—who believed the colony must be able to defend itself from outside attack, whether from the French, Indians, or another colony.
Brady Crytzer teaches history at Robert Morris University.
Description courtesy of Westholme Publishing.
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