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The Supplement to the Boston Independent Chronicle

In 1782 a shocking letter was printed in the Supplement to the Boston Independent Chronicle. It alleged that Indian warriors were sending hundreds of American scalps as war trophies to British royalty and Members of Parliament. The scalps included those of women, as well as young girls and boys.

Soon the letter had crossed the Atlantic and began to circulate throughout Europe, where it shocked European public opinion. But in fact, the British had not received scalps from any Indians. The Supplement to the Boston Independent Chronicle was a fake newspaper which Benjamin Franklin had printed and distributed to his friends.

Franklin intended his hoax to aid the American war effort by turning European opinion against the British.


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All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.