Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution - Bill of Rights

"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

Preservation and Proposition

Our mission is to document the pivotal Second Amendment events that occurred in Frontier Mercersburg, and its environs, and to heighten awareness of the importance of these events in the founding of our Nation.

We are dedicated to the preservation of the place where the Second Amendment was "born" and to the proposition that the Second Amendment (the "right to bear arms") is the keystone of our Liberty and the Republic.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Enoch Brown Massacre . . . the flash point of the American Revolution?

By JW Ross

This year, 2013, is the 248th Anniversary of the "Sideling Hill" Incident which many scholars believe was the beginning of the Revolutionary War on the frontier. Historians point to the incident at "Sideling Hill" in March of 1765, as the cause of the Smith rebellion and the spark that started the American Revolution. It is important to note, and commemorate, because it is contrary to what we have been taught - "the shots heard round the world" were not on Lexington Bridge and the commons in Boston in 1775, but in Pennsylvania at Sideling Hill in 1765.
That said, Sideling Hill was, for the settlers in the Conococheague, the end not the beginning. For years they had suffered at the hands of marauding Indians, corrupt public officials, greedy merchants, ethnic bigotry, and a pacificist colonial government unwilling to protect them. The beginning of the end for the settlers of the Conococheague was the Enoch Brown Massacre, a year earlier in 1764.

The Enoch Brown Massacre gutted all human sensibilities. Although you would have to be divine to sort out which of the multitude of murderous behavior, on both sides, was the "worst", the killing of 10 young children fractured any sense of personal security that the settlers in the Conococheague may have had. The children weren't killed accidently, nor were they incidental casualties of war. Rather the Indian perpetrators waited in the woods surrounding the school house, set upon the children with purpose, killing the teacher who begged for mercy, and when some of the children ran for their lives they were chased down and butchered. Some were even scalped. The barbaric murder of these school children by the "savages" (as the Indians were called) was so horrific that even the Indian elders found them disturbing.
March 1764, the year of the massacre, was the moment of truth for the greater Conococheague settlements. It was clear even to the most loyal of the King's subjects that the Crown's colonies were "out of control" and the Crown and Quaker government had abandoned them and their progeny. The settlements very survival as a community was at stake. No doubt this madness stirred the first thoughts, that when "turned" by the Founders into the "Declaration of Independence" . . . it formed the basis of the American Revolution.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. ­ That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, ­ That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness". . .

The time had come when these British subjects could no longer rely on the Crown to maintain law and order on the frontier. The time had come for these new Americans to take their safety and liberty into their own hands. The time had come to shed the bondage of their forefathers and the circumstance of their birth, to start again without the shackles of history, to start anew a life of their choice, in a place of their choosing, and to be measured and rewarded by the quality of their effort and the content of their character.

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