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In the winter of 1763, dozens of Western Pennsylvanians calling themselves the Paxton Boys murdered 21 Native Americans, a politically charged action that nearly embroiled the colony in civil war and altered the colony's election in 1764. This essay examines the Paxton Boys' justifications and also the failed rhetorical strategies developed by Quakers for defending Native Americans. . . As the Paxton Boys demonstrated the interrelationship between colonial violence and rhetoric, they set the precedent for future violence targeting Native Americans in Pennsylvania and beyond.