By: Marc Immanuel
Published on: 22 March 2017
Last updated on: 11 May 2018
THE GNADENHUTTEN MASSACRE
(a.k.a. THE MORAVIAN MASSACRE)
8 March 1782
Territory under present-day occupation of US state of Ohio
Massacre death toll: Approx. 96
US militia death toll: 0
During the US Revolutionary War (1775-1783), on 8 March 1782, a Pennsylvania Militia force of approximately 160 militiamen in an expedition ordered by Washington County Lieutenant (top county militia authority) James Marshel and led by Washington County Militia Lieutenant Colonel David Williamson, executed nearly 100 innocent captive Indigenous civilians (mostly of Lenape ethnicity). The massacred villagers included approximately 35 children (including approximately 12 infants).
Inside two “killing houses” (one for the men and one for the women and children), the militia murdered the captives one by one — by bashing their heads with a big wooden hammer and scalping their heads with hatchets. The militia then burned down the people’s villages (including the piles of bodies) and rode back to Washington County, Pennsylvania-jurisdiction territory, with the plunder and the people’s scalps.
In May 1782, US political and military authorities made a brief inquiry into the “Gnadenhutten affair”, then suppressed the official evidence and never held anyone accountable. (source4, pgs 168-169)
US Founding Father George Washington (top military authority at the time and 1st US president following the Revolution) was a friend of some of the Washington County leaders who headed and participated in this specific act of genocide.
US Founding Father Benjamin Franklin (who was one of the top Pennsylvania authorities at the time), despite having been well informed of what happened at Gnadenhutten and despite his professed ethical values, showed a willingness to compromise with physical genocide [UN/ICC genocide criteria (a)-(b)-(c)] by his complicity in excusing those responsible for the brutal massacre of men, women, and children in the name of the United States, instead of calling for a further investigation and a full accountability for that act. (source5)
Lieutenant Marshel and Colonel Williamson retained their positions of county authority and, following the Revolution, were both elected to the office of Sheriff (top executive authority) of Washington County, Pennsylvania. As Washington County Sheriff (1785-1787), James Marshel was one of the delegates present at the 1787 US Constitutional Convention, which produced the original US Constitution. (Marshel was an anti-Federalist delegate who voted against ratification of and did not sign the Constitution).
SOURCES OF INFORMATION
1. “Gnadenhutten Massacre”,
Wikipedia, volunteer-written encyclopedia, article (historical)
2. “Biggest Atrocity of the Revolutionary War at Gnadenhutten”,
News Historian, article (historical), by Daryl Worthington, 7 March 2016
3. “Historic Pittsburgh” (pgs 128-132)
4. “George Washington’s War on Native America”,
book, by Barbara Alice Mann, University Nevada Press, 2008, pgs 147-170
5. “From Benjamin Franklin to James Hutton, 7 July 1782”, letter
A LIST OF OVER 100 GENOCIDAL MASSACRES BY THE UNITED STATES
AGAINST INDIGENOUS PEOPLES OF THE WESTERN CONTINENT:
From the Gnadenhutten Massacre to the Wounded Knee Massacre
CRIMES OF THE U.S. GOVERNMENT:
From the Trail of Tears
to the Invasion of Iraq
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