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CHAP. of Bacon to repel the savages. The moment they were
gone, Berkeley proclaimed Bacon a traitor, and his soldiers 1676. rebels, and gave orders for them to disperse. April.
The populous counties on the Bay began to show signs of insurrection. Their quarrel was not with the Indians, but with the acts and continued existence of the House of Burgesses. Bacon, meanwhile, had returned successful from his expedition. The haughty old governor was forced to yield ; the obnoxious Assembly was dissolved, and writs issued for the election of members for another, to which Bacon was returned triumphantly from Henrico county. This Assembly corrected the evils of the long one. The unjust taxes on the poor were removed ; the privilege of voting for their legislators was restored to the people, and many abuses in relation to the expenditure of the public money rectified. The House elected Bacon commander of the army. These measures were very distasteful to Berkeley and his advisers—he would not give them his sanction. Finally, however, he yielded to necessity ; and even went so far as to transmit to England, his own and the council's commendations of Bacon's loyalty and patriotism.
The Indians still continued their attacks upon the settlements, and Bacon with a small force went to punish them : again the insincere Berkeley proclaimed him a traitor. Such treachery excited his indignation and that of the army. No confidence could be placed in the governor's word. “It vexes me to the heart," said the gallant patriot, “ that while I am hunting the wolves which destroy our lambs, that I should myself be pursued like a savage--the whole country is witness to our peaceable behavior ; but those in authority, how have they obtained their estates? Have they not devoured the common treasury ? What schools of learning have they promoted ? " Such were the questions asked, and such were the sentiments that stirred the hearts of the people. They must
have their rights restored : wives urged their husbands to CHAF contend for their liberties.
Berkeley with a few royalist followers and advisers, went 1676. to the eastern shore of the bay. There by promises of plunder, he collected a rabble of sailors belonging to some English vessels, and a company of vagabond Indians. When the rumor of the governor's intentions spread throughout the land, the people with one accord met in convention at the Middle Plantation, now Williamsburg, where they deliberated all day, even until midnight. They decided it was their duty to defend themselves from the tyranny of the governor. They adjourned, however, and went to their homes, determined to be guided in their conduct by the course he should pursue. They were not long in suspense, for Berkeley crossed over with five ships to Jamestown, to put down what he was pleased to call a rebellion. In a Sept. very short time the little army so successful against the Indians, was gathered once more under the same leader. The conflict was short ; Berkeley's cowardly rabble broke and fled ; deserting Jamestown, they went on board their ships and dropped down the river. The victors entered the deserted town. A council was held as to what was to be done. Should they leave it as a place of defence for their enemies? It was
It was deemed necessary to burn it. Drummond and Lawrence, men prominent in the popular movement, applied the torch to their own dwellings; the example was followed by others, and, in a few hours, the first town founded by Englishmen on this continent was in ruins. A crumbling church-tower is all that now remains to mark the site of old Jamestown.
The good results of this struggle were doomed to be lost. Bacon suddenly fell ill of a violent fever, which terminated his life in a few days. He was called a traitor Oct. and a rebel by Berkeley and his royalist party, as was Washington by the same party one hundred years afterward.
The people were now without a leader—without any
one to plead their cause. Berkeley played the tyrant, 1676. ravaged the country and confiscated the property of the
patriots. He caused to perish on the scaffold more than twenty of the best men of Virginia. One or two incidents may serve to exhibit his spirit. When Drummond (who is represented as a “sober, Scotch gentleman, of good repute”) was brought into his presence, “You are very welcome,” said he, bowing at the same time, with mock civility ; “I am more glad to see you than any man in Virginia ; you shall be hanged in half an hour!” He derided, in vulgar terms, a young wife who came to plead for her husband, to take the blame of his offence upon herself, and to offer her own life for his.
If any one dared speak disrespectfully of Berkeley or his rule, he was publicly whipped. The end came at last; Berkeley left the country, and the people celebrated his departure with bonfires and rejoicings. When he arrived in England he found that public opinion severely condemned his conduct; and, what was more wounding to his pride, even Charles, to serve whom he had stained his soul with innocent blood, exclaimed, “That old fool has taken away more lives in that naked land than I for the death of my father!” The names and characters of Bacon and his adherents were vilified, and for a century these slanders were not disproved ; the truth was not permitted to be published. The facts, as now known, prove that the men who thus opposed the tyranny of Berkeley were not rebels and traitors, but worthy to be num
bered among the patriots of the land. 1677. The first Assembly held after this unsuccessful strug
gle was devoted to the interests of the aristocracy. All the liberal laws passed by the preceding one were repealed; henceforth only freeholders could vote for members of the House of Burgesses. The poor man was as
CULPEPPER AND EFFINGHAU.
heavily taxed as the rich, but unless he was a landholder CHAP. he had no vote.
The profligate Charles gave Virginia to two of his 1678. favorites - Arlington and Culpepper; the latter soon after purchased the claim of the former. The king appointed Culpepper governor for life. He came authorized to heal differences between the people and the government, but he used 1680.; the power for his own interest alone ; he valued Virginia only in proportion to the money his rapacity could extort; even the soldiers, sent to maintain his authority, he defrauded of their wages. When he had secured to himself the highest possible revenue, he sailed for England. The condition of the Virginians was wretched in the extreme; the rewards of their industry went to their rapacious rulers, and they, goaded to desperation, were on the point of rebellion.
Rumors of these discontents reached England, and the truant governor reluctantly left his pleasures to visit his domain. Having the authority of the king, Culpepper 1682. caused several men of influence to be hanged as traitors. The people who owned farms in the territory, given him by royal grant, he now compelled to lose their estates, or compromise by paying money. Charles had now another favorite to provide for; Culpepper was removed, and 1684. Effingham appointed. This change was even for the worse ; Effingham was more needy and more avaricious.
On the accession of James II. what is known in history as Monmouth's Rebellion occurred. After its sup- 1685. pression, multitudes of those implicated in it were sent to Virginia and Maryland to be sold as servants for a term of ten years. Many of these were men of education and of good families. The House of Burgesses, to their honor be it said, declared these poor men free, though the cruel James had forbidden the exercise of such lenity.
So little were the claims of humanity respected at this time in the West of England, that it was a common occur
CHAP. rence to kidnap persons of the poorer sort, and send them
to the colonies to be sold as servants for a term of years. 1685. These were principally brought to Virginia and Mary
land, as there the planters required many laborers. The trade was profitable, more so than the African slave
trade. 1688. After the accession of William and Mary an effort was
made to establish a college in Virginia, “ to educate a domestic succession of Church of England ministers,” as well as to teach the children of the Indians. The celebrated Robert Boyle made a large donation, and the king gave, in addition to three other grants, outstanding quit-rents,
valued at about £2,000. Such was the foundation of the 1691. college of William and Mary.
The Rev. James Blair, said to be the first commissary sent to the colonies by the Bishop of London, “ to supply the office and jurisdiction of the bishop in the out-places of the diocese," was its president for fifty years.
Though William was thus moderately liberal, he was by no means the representative of the true feeling of his ministry ; they even looked upon this pittance as uncalled for. Blair, the pious and energetic Scotchman, once urged upon Seymour, the attorney-general, the importance of establishing schools to educate ministers of the gospel.
Consider, sir,” said he," that the people of Virginia have souls to save.” He was answered by a profane imprecation upon their souls, and told to “make tobacco." This pithy rebuff indicated the spirit and general policy of the home government; it valued the colonies only as a source of wealth.
For many years voluntary emigration to Virginia almost ceased. There were no inducements, no encouragement to industry, all commerce was restricted. The planters were at the mercy of the English trader ; he alone was permitted to buy their tobacco and to sell them merchandise. The whole province was given over to the tende: