Enoch Brown school massacre

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1885 memorial

The Enoch Brown school massacre[1] was "one of the most notorious incidents"[2] of Pontiac's War. On July 26, 1764, four Delaware (Lenape) American Indians entered a settlers' log schoolhouse in the Province of Pennsylvania in what is now Franklin County, near the present-day city of Greencastle.


Inside were the schoolmaster, Enoch Brown, and a number of young students. Brown pleaded with the warriors to spare the children; nonetheless he was shot and scalped.[3] The warriors then tomahawked and scalped the children. Brown and nine children were killed.[2][3] Two scalped children survived their wounds.[3] Four children were taken as prisoners.[2]

A day earlier, the warriors had encountered a pregnant woman, Susan King Cunningham, on the road. She was beaten to death, scalped, and the baby was cut out of her body.[3] When the warriors returned to their village on the Muskingum River in the Ohio Country and showed the scalps, an elder Delaware chief rebuked them as cowards for attacking children.[3]

John McCullough, a settler who had been held prisoner by the Delaware since 1756,[4] later described the return of the raiding party in his captivity narrative:

I saw the Indians when they returned home with the scalps; some of the old Indians were very much displeased at them for killing so many children, especially Neep-paugh'-whese, or Night Walker, an old chief, or half king,—he ascribed it to cowardice, which was the greatest affront he could offer them.[5]


Incidents such as these prompted the Pennsylvania General Assembly, with the approval of Governor John Penn, to reintroduce the scalp bounty system previously used during the French and Indian War.[3] Settlers could collect $134 for the scalp of an enemy American Indian male above the age of ten; the bounty for women was set at $50.[6]

Settlers buried Enoch Brown and the schoolchildren in a common grave. In 1843, the grave was excavated to confirm the location of the bodies. In 1885, the area was named Enoch Brown Park and a memorial was erected over the gravesite.[7]


  1. ^ Variations on the name in sources include the "Enoch Brown massacre" and the "Enoch Brown Indian massacre". Dixon calls it the "Enoch Brown Schoolhouse Massacre" (p. 223).
  2. ^ a b c Middleton, p. 171
  3. ^ a b c d e f Dixon, p. 223
  4. ^ Dixon, p. 95
  5. ^ Archibald Loudon, A Selection of Some of the Most Interesting Outrages Committed by the Indians in Their Wars with the White People (New York, 1808; reprinted 1888), volume 1, p. 283
  6. ^ Dixon, pp. 223–24
  7. ^ Dixon, p. 318


Coordinates: 39°49′29″N 77°45′20″W / 39.8247°N 77.7556°W / 39.8247; -77.7556