In 1782, American General Brodhead ordered Colonel David Williamson to teach the Natives on the Tuscarawa and Sandusky rivers of Ohio a bitter lesson in revenge for the Iroquois attacks on White settlements around Fort Pitt.
Williamson took 160 American militiamen to the village of Gnadenhutten, east of present-day Columbus, and there he found hungry Delawares nervously gathering corn in what had become a war zone. Delawares were easier targets than Iroquois, since they were devout Moravian Christians and Pacifists.
Williamson and his soldiers told them they would escort them to food and safety. Instead they were "bound and charged with being warriors, murderers, enemies and thieves, " writes Peter Schmalz in "the Ojibwa of Southern Ontario," since they had in their possession horses and tools used by whites but not usually owned by Natives. They were ordered into the mission and missionary's house in Gnadenhutten and systematically clubbed to death from behind with a cooper's mallet, and then scalped.
The mass execution completed, the building was burned to the ground, the scalped bodies still inside, a symbolic mutilation of both. Years later, the Nazis would do the same to Jews - murder them and then burn their bodies in synagogues - a cruel mockery of their religion and the power of their God to protect them.
Only two Delawares somehow managed to feign death and escape.
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