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"Fighting the Paxton boys, 1764." Topic

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John the OFM01 Sep 2021 12:38 p.m. PST

It was an ugly incident in American history.
An unruly mob massacred peaceful Indians right after Pontiac's Rebellion. They were planning to March on Philadelphia to …. to do whatever dumb stupid insurrectionidts do. I don't think they even knew.
In among other sources, the incident is mentioned in Seymour's book on the Pennsylvania/Philadelphia Associators. The Associators were not exactly a militia, since the pacifist Quaker Assembly refused to authorize one.
They were more like a gentleman's club. (Get yer mind out of the gutter! grin) it was an "association" of concerned citizens. They were concerned about Indian raids, Spanish and French raids up the Delaware, etc.
They were serious men in serious times. They bought their own weapons and uniforms, training regularly. As one would expect, this did not sit well with the Assembly, but how do pacifists disarm a militia?
They even purchased cannons to defend the Delaware, including even a 24-pdr! They became quite proficient, and I would love to know if it made it to Fort Mercer later.
I'm not here to debate its makeup and the level of official sanction, ot lack thereof.
But I digress…

The Mob was marching on Philadelphia. The Associators were called out. Seymour reproduces a very interesting print of the muster, showing in some detail the battalions and even their flags.

Sadly for gamers, the Mob was dispersed with no casualties. That doesn't mean that we can't game a battle.
The Mob is easy. FIW militia, if you're picky about fashion (I am not), or FIW and AWI if not.
Pictures of AWI Associators are easy to come by. It's a sort of 1768 Warrant-ish coat, spiffy wealthy militia type gear and a round hat with a bucktail. Very Pennsylvania with the bucktail.
But I'm pondering 1764 Associators. For a quick game and little expense or work, use FIW British. Heck, even 1745 British. On the table, I see little difference.
One could also use 1777 AWI Associators if you have them. I do as a matter of fact. My first batch were Old Glory AWI Marines. Uniform as described, round hat. You can add epoxy putty buck tails.
I also have bespoke Kings Mountain guys. Continentals with separate accurate heads, with buck tails. I ordered those heads and did swaps with Okd Glory Continentals.

Finally, to make a project out of it, one could use instead FIW Provincial figures. RAFM, Eureka, Front Rank, Warlord, etc. You're on your own whether you want to do head swaps. I'd say it's 50/50. You can't be wrong either way.
I'd do epoxy buck tails, in the cocked hat personally.

For flags, go to

Let's put down that murderous band of racist scoundrels! Make Pennsylvania great!

John the OFM01 Sep 2021 12:47 p.m. PST

And here is Seymour's book. Highly recommended.

A friend who knows him says he is the "herald" of the US Army.

I just noticed while looking that up that he also has a book on the First Troop, Philadelphia City Cavalry. They started as the Philadelphia Light Horse, who served as Washington's bodyguard during the Trenton Princeton campaign.
They are now part of the Pennsylvania National Guard, and my son served with them in Kuwait.
I didn't know I needed that book until 10 minutes ago. I guess I do now. grin

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP01 Sep 2021 1:06 p.m. PST

Agree-an excellent book, very well done.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP01 Sep 2021 2:42 p.m. PST

The Light Horse of the City of Philadelphia:

From Military Uniforms in America: The Era of the American Revolution 1755-1795, edited by John Elting, 106:

'Among the oldest United States military units in continuous existence, the Philadelphia Light-Horse was founded by twenty-eight young men of wealth and social distinction on November 17, 1774. Each man agreed to mount, arm land equip himself at his own expense. One of them, Benjamin Randolph, noted his subsequent purchases-a carbine, a broadsword, belt, cartridge box, pair of pistols, a saddle, gun bucket, saddle bags, saddle cloth, and a 'sute' of clothes and cap…'

'The Troop's organization included a captain, first lieutenant, second lieutenant, cornet, quartermaster, two sergeants, and two corporals. A veteran soldier hired as sword master and riding master; and a trumpeter and a farrier likewise were retained to accompany the Troops on active service.'

'Volunteering its services early in the Revolution, the Troop's first recorded duty was to escort General George Washington from Philadelphia to New Rochelle on his ride to assume command of the American Army. Throughout the war, detachments of the Troop served as escorts for supply trains and prisoners. In the fall of 1776, the Troop (twenty-five officers and men, plus their trumpeter) was among the Pennsylvania units which reinforced Washington's defeated army on the south bank of the Delaware River. It served with distinction throughout the ensuing Trenton-Princeton campaign, both on reconnaissance missions and several spirited little shock actions. In January 1777, Washington discharged them with sincere thanks. Later, the Troop served in the 1777-1778 operations around Philadelphia.'

Dn Jackson Supporting Member of TMP03 Sep 2021 1:12 a.m. PST

'The Troop's organization included a captain, first lieutenant, second lieutenant, cornet, quartermaster, two sergeants, and two corporals. A veteran soldier hired as sword master and riding master; and a trumpeter and a farrier likewise were retained to accompany the Troops on active service.'

So 9 officers and non-coms out of a unit of 28 leaves 19 privates.

That would mean it had a ration of 1 officer/NCO for every 2 privates. Seems a little top heavy to me. :-)

DOUGKL04 Sep 2021 9:48 p.m. PST

Additional actions could be done since the Paxton Boys severed as mercenaries for Connecticut in a land dispute with Pennsylvania.

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