On March 8, 1782, a group of Western settlers killed nearly 100 unarmed and peaceful Indians who had converted to Christianity under the tutelage of missionaries from the Church of the United Brethren. The murders were cold-blooded and heartless; roughly two-thirds of those executed were women and children. Since that maelstrom of violence struck the small Indian village of Gnadenhutten, history has treated the episode as a simple morality tale. It was actually the culmination of a series of events among different Indian tribes, the British, Congressional authorities at Pittsburgh, the Pennsylvania militia, and key individuals, all of which are lost in contemporary explanations of the massacre.
Anatomy of a Massacre: The Destruction of Gnadenhutten, 1782 fills that void by examining the political maneuvering among White settlers, Continental officials, British officers, Western Indian tribes, missionaries, and the Indians practicing Christianity that culminated in the massacre. Uniquely, it follows the developing story from each perspective, using first-person accounts from each group to understand how they saw and experienced the changes on the American frontier. Along the way it profiles some of the key individuals responsible for the way the war unfolded. It is a fresh look at an often mentioned, but seldom understood, episode in the American Revolution.
The book is published by Westholme Publishing. The audiobook is published by University Press Audiobooks.
“A clear and concise account of deepening suspicions and escalating racial violence that produced one of the most chilling massacres in American history.” (Colin G. Calloway, author of The Indian World of George Washington)
“A clear picture of just how brutal and inhumane the western edges of the Revolution could truly be.” (Brady J. Crytzer, author of Guyasuta and the Fall of Indian America)
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