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Toward a New Understanding of the French & Indian War: Implications of the Fort Hyndshaw Massacre

Author(s): Danny Younger

Year: 2016

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The discovery of a hitherto undocumented massacre site has prompted a radical reinterpretation of the French & Indian War in northeastern Pennsylvania.  Following the extermination of the missionary populations at Gnadenhutten and Dansbury, this third massacre of Moravian women and children has established a pattern best explained in the context of a Delaware Indian/Moravian "religious war" whose proximate cause can be traced to the earthquake of 18 November 1755 – the single largest earthquake ever to hit the northeastern American coast.  With ethnographic materials serving to posit direct linkage between earthquakes and the need to revitalize Delaware Indian spirituality, the Christianizing activities of the Moravian brethren must now be framed in a new light, as the sole and unequivocal threat to Delaware Indian religiosity in 1755 – a threat that required the expiation that only massacres could offer. 

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Toward a New Understanding of the French & Indian War: Implications of the Fort Hyndshaw Massacre. Danny Younger. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434249)


Temporal Keywords
The Contact Period

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 689

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America