Quaker History Book Reviews Peaceable Kingdom Lost: The Paxton Boys and the Destruction of William Penn's Holy Experiment. By Kevin Kenny. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. x + 294 pp. Maps, illustrations, notes, bibliography, and index. $29.95. Students of Quaker history in colonial America are familiar with the traumatic events of the "Paxton Boys'" massacre of peaceful Conestoga Indians in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania in 1763 and subsequent march on Philadelphia to confront Friends there. In this thoroughly researched book, Kevin Kenny fills in details and places the incident in a broader context: the Paxton Boys were part of a colonial philosophy of conquest by arms that culminated in the American Revolution and ended Penn's "holy experiment" of a Peaceable Kingdom. Peaceable Kingdom Lost is divided into five chronological sections, each describing the episodic development of Penn's philosophy into actual government--and that utopian vision's destruction through competing religious and philosophical claims, pragmatic politics, violence, and greed, among other factors. "False Dawn" presents Penn's "enlightened" views, the context in which he sought to give them concrete political expression, and the forces that eventually would cause his "experiment" to end. "Theatre of Bloodshed and Rapine" needs little more description! It
Quaker History – Friends Historical Association
Published: Nov 18, 2011
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