Friday, July 10, 2020

"No man shall suffer for the murder of a Savage": 1765 and 2020

On 14 June 1765, Francis Fauquier, the Lieutenant Governor of the Virginia Colony, wrote a letter to the Board of Trade about "the Augusta Boys", who had recently killed five Cherokee in Augusta County, and connected them to "the Paxton Boys", who had killed six Susqehannock in Pennsylvania in 1763: "I am informed that the Paxton Boys [...] say no man shall suffer for the murder of a Savage." When I recently came across that phrase in Jeffrey Ostler's "Surviving Genocide", it seemed like an observation about the recent American history of police murders of African-Americans, which so often amounts to "no police suffering for the murder of a Black person."  (Andrew Shields, #111words, 10 July)

No comments: