On July 26, 1764, four Delaware (Lenape) warriors attacked the teacher and students at a schoolhouse in what is now Franklin County, Pennsylvania, near present-day Greencastle. They killed Enoch Brown, the schoolmaster, and ten children.
While we want to remain ignorant about the tragedies in the world, today's media will not allow it. While we want to be ignorant to the trends in politics, religion, and morality in our region, our nation, and our world, we can not ignore it. While we wish to reject the things we don't understand, we simply must attempt to understand it.
And while we want to think these are new occurrences, clearly they are not.
One child who had been scalped survived.
We could talk until we are blue in the face about the government's role in protecting our children, but our first line of defense is in ourselves. What must we do?
Because of such raids, the Pennsylvania Assembly had already reintroduced bounties for scalps of American Indians, which they had offered during the French and Indian War. They paid for every American Indian killed above the age of ten, including women. The bounty was approved by the colonial governor, John Penn. The unrestricted bounty resulted in settlers' attacking Indian women and children, with corresponding retaliatory raids by the Lenape.
Like others, I have been saying prayers for the families in Newtown, Connecticut, this weekend, but while I'm at it, I have also mentioned my own classroom and school full of students. What are you doing to respond to the events at Sandy Hill?
Settlers buried Brown and the children in a common grave. Years later, the village had lost the historical memory of the location of the grave. In 1843, villagers excavated the area to locate the grave for preservation and protection of remains and found remains of one adult and ten children. In 1885, the city of Greencastle designated the area as the Enoch Brown Park, and erected a memorial to the event. Five thousand people attended the dedication of the memorial and park.