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dethronement, and the Revolution of of England. The fate of Andros was 1688—unlike other revolutions, with wrapped up in that of the weak tyrant out bloodshed-effected a complete his master, and his fall, so far as Maschange in affairs, not only at home, sachusetts was concerned, was sudden but also in the colonial dependencies and complete.
Changes in Virginia in the course of years Causes of these changes — Classes of settlers --- Aristocracy predomi
nant -- Navigation Act - Intolerance of the ruling party - Popular discontent - Culpepper and Arlington Charter solicited -- Causes which led to Bacon's Rebellion Course pursued by Berkeley - Progress of the contest -- Success of Bacon - His sudden death - Sanguinary revenge of the governor
“ Bacon's Laws" Subsequent suffering of the colony under Culpepper and Lord Howard of Effingham - Affairs in Maryland General prosperity - Efforts in favor of church establishment --- Insurrection stirred up by Fendal James II. no favorer of the proprietary-Writ issued against the charter --James's downfall- English Revolution of 1688.
In resuming the history of Virginia during the civil war in England, who from Chapter VIII., (p. 78,) it will be carried with them to the New World
borne in mind that Sir William their hereditary prejudices in favor of
Berkeley, a staunch royalist, had the privileges conferred by birth and been elected governor by the burgesses, rank, and a contemptuous disregard of in 1660. At that date, popular liberty popular rights and pretensions. Underand privileges were, to all appearance, lying this class was another, consisting well established, as before noted: du- of free descendants of the first settlers ring the twenty-five years or so follow- of inferior rank, and also of indented ing, important changes took place, by servants who had been brought over by which the powers of the governor and the planters, and who, bound to labor counsellors were increased in the exact for a certain number of years, were, duproportion that those of the Assembly ring that period, virtually in a state of and freemen were curtailed. Several serfdom. Negro slaves, as we have precauses helped to bring about this result. viously stated, had also been introduced A brief glance at them is all that our into the colony; and partly from the
supposed necessity of the case in the Originally settled by offshoots or ad- cultivation of tobacco and the general herents of the English nobility, Virginia work on plantations, negroes had largehad received a more decidedly aristo- ly increased in Virginia : these were cratic cast from the influx of Cavaliers | destitute of all the privileges and op
COURSE OF THE ASSEMBLY.
portunities for improvement which the deavor to obtain relief, but without freemen enjoyed.
success; though he did succeed The aristocratic class very naturally in getting for himself a share obtained a controlling ascendancy in in the newly-erected province of North the management of public affairs. Sir Carolina. Meanwhile the proceedings William Berkeley had been put for- of the Virginia Assembly were very ward by them as especially devoted to much like those of the government in their interests. Warmly attached to England. Intolerance obtained the the soil of Virginia, Berkeley's views ascendancy, old edicts were revived accorded well with those of the As- and sharpened, and fresh ones enacted sembly by whom he had been chosen, against Puritans, Baptists, and Quakers, and their influence was united to per- who were visited with fines and banishpetuate the tenure of that power already ment; although it is but fair to say, in their hands. The term for which that Virginia did not, like Massachuthey were authorized to hold office was setts, hang and put to death the untwo years, when a fresh election, ac- fortunate followers of George Fox. cording to previous usage, ought to With the remembrance of what had have taken place. They continued, happened during the civil war, even nevertheless, quietly to retain posses- the pulpit itself was feared, Berkeley sion of their seats, to obtain the reap- expressing a wish that the established pointment of Berkeley, and to legislate ministry “should pray oftener and in a spirit entirely favorable to their preach less.” Education, too, was stuown interests. Furthermore, in order diously discouraged. “I thank God," to insure the continuance of aristocratic are the words of the
are the words of the governor, influence, they disfranchised, by their some years later, " that there own act, a large proportion of the
are no free schools, nor printing, and ple who had chosen them, confining in I hope we shall not have these hundred future the exercise of the elective privi- years; for learning has brought dislege to freeholders and householders obedience, and heresy, and sects into
a principle maintained in Virginia to the world, and printing has divulged this day. The taxes became exorbitant, them, and libels against the best govthe governor and Assembly were over- ernment: God keep us from both !" paid, while all power of checking these he piously concludes. Such was the disorders was taken out of the hands of aim of the party in power, to maintain the people.
the domination of a body of wealthy The navigation act, which was warm- aristocratic planters, over a submissivo ly opposed by Massachusetts, met with and ignorant commonalty, and a still equally earnest and strong opposition lower class of indented white servants in Virginia. It bore very severely up- and negro slaves. on their trade by restricting the market The popular discontent was certainly to England and English vessels alone. not allayed by the news that the prodiBerkeley was sent to England to en- gal Charles II. had granted away the
whole colony to Lord Culpepper and had collected a body of his neighbors, Lord Arlington, two rapacious cour- besieged an Indian fort, and unhappily tiers whom it was necessary to satisfy. put to death six envoys sent forth to Fresh taxes and levies were the conse- treat of a reconciliation; an outrage quence of measures taken to see if these met on the part of the savages by the new claimants could not be bought off. usual retaliation of murder, pillage, and Colonel Moryson, Secretary Ludwell, incendiarism. The Assembly undertook
and General Smith were dis- to provide for the present emergency
patched to England on this by a very elaborate but ruinously exbusiness, and the governor and Assem- pensive system of forts and levies of bly took the opportunity to solicit a troops to protect the country. Additionroyal charter.
Their petition was al dissatisfaction was the consequence; granted, but delays having occurred in the whole arrangement was stigmatized
the charter passing the seals, its as absurd and oppressive; and
progress was finally cut short active and energetic operations by news of a rebellion which had were loudly demanded. Bacon was broken out in Virginia.
among the most earnest complainants. The immediate occasion of this popu- In the vigor of early manhood, educalar outbreak was an Indian war: the ted in the Temple, of good address, and man who presented himself as a leader influential connections, he declared his was Nathaniel Bacon. Virginia, it will determination to act on his own authorbe remembered, had suffered too deeply ity should a commission, which he had from the treacherous outbreaks of the requested, be denied him. Indians, not to be predisposed, even The people generally were in a high after an interval of thirty years' peace, state of excitement, when the news arto take the worst view of their char-rived that the Indians had broken in acter and intentions, which the war upon Bacon's plantation and murdered with Philip of Pokanoket, then raging some of his servants. He instantly flew in Massachusetts, could not fail to to arms; and, being joined by some five strengthen. The Senecas had attacked or six hundred men, set off in pursuit and driven the Susquehannahs upon of the enemy. The governor looking the frontiers of Maryland, with which upon this proceeding as an insult to his State a war had arisen, in which the authority, proclaimed Bacon as a rebel, neighboring Virginians became in-deprived him of his seat in the council, volved. Certain outrages of the In- and called upon all those who respected dians had been resented by the plant- his own authority to disperse immediers, among others by one named John ately. Some of the less zealous of the Washington, who had emigrated some insurgents obeyed the summons and reyears back from the north of England, turned to their homes; but this defecand became the founder of that family tion did not restrain their leader, who from which, a century later, sprung the pushed forward in hot pursuit of the illustrious father of his country. He Indians. Some bodies of these were
BACON AND GOVERNOR BERKELEY.
still on a friendly footing, although exclaimed, “Here, shoot me! 'Fore suspected; and when nearly out of God! fair mark ! shoot!" But Bacon, provisions, Bacon and his company ap- not giving way to excitement, replied, proached one of their forts and re- “No, may it please your honor, we will quested a supply. Having been kept not hurt a hair of your head, nor of any waiting for three days, until their ne- other man's—we are come for a comcessity became extreme, the English mission to save our lives from the Inwaded the stream in order to compel dians, which you have so often promtheir acquiescence: a shot was dis-ised, and now we'll have it before we charged from the shore they had just go.” The insurgents also made the left, which induced Bacon to attack same demand, accompanied by menthe fort, and put a hundred and fifty aces in case of refusal, against the AsIndians to the sword. This, at least, is sembly itself, who, thus threatened, said to be his own account.
and with many among them the Governor Berkeley, having gathered warm partisans of Bacon, were content a body of troops, proceeded to march enough to give way before the popular after Bacon and his men, but his pro- movement, and to compel the governor, gress was arrested by disturbances in though sorely against his will, to yield, the lower counties. His own authority and also to appoint Bacon to the comin the capital passed out of his hands; mand of the forces sent against the Inthe old Assembly was dissolved; and dians. This point being settled, the Bacon was one among the newly elect- Assembly proceeded to enact many ed burgesses; but, having ventured to salutary reforms, popularly known as approach Jamestown in a sloop with “Bacon's Laws," all tending to abate armed followers, he was apprehended the exorbitant pretensions of the arisand compelled very humbly to beg tocratic party, and to restore to the pardon for his mutinous conduct. The mass of the people the privileges of Assembly proceeded directly, so soon which they had been deprived. These as possible, to restore the franchise to laws, though afterwards abrogated in a the freemen, and to endeavor to effect mass by the government at home, were, needed reforms in almost every de- the most important of them, reënacted, partment.
in nearly the same words, by succeeding Bacon, though pardoned and restored Assemblies. to his seat in the council, soon after se- But there was yet a further struggle cretly left Jamestown, and in a few between the contending parties. Harddays, having got together some four ly had Bacon set out on' his work of hundred of his adherents from the up- subduing the Indians, before Berkeley per counties, suddenly made his ap- issued a proclamation denouncing Bapearance in the town. His demands
con as a rebel, setting a price on his had to be listened to, although the head, and commanding his followers to fiery old governor, it is said, tore open disperse. Indignant at this treatment, , his dress, and exposing his naked breast, Bacon immediately retraced his steps
and the governor fled in dismay from Bacon's supporters were mostly taken, the capital. Steps were taken directly and Berkeley, again restored to power, to reorganize the government. The pursued a course of malignant revenge people were called together; a public utterly disgraceful to his name and podeclaration was issued; and writs is-sition. No less than twenty-five persued for a new election of burgesses in sons were executed during the few sucOctober. Bacon set out again to carry ceeding months. Horsford was hanged, on the war against the Indians, which and Drummond, formerly a governor of led Berkeley to contrive by promises the colony of South Carolina, shared the
pay and plunder to recover his lost same fate. So furious had Berkeley beauthority. Quite unexpectedly he suc-come, that the Assembly strongly proceeded; but it was only a passing tri-tested, and the king's commissioners, umph. Bacon made a rapid descent who had arrived to inquire into the from the upper country, with an army rebellion, were shocked, and endeathat had just gained the victory at the vored to put a stop to this wholesale Bloody Run. Jamestown was invested slaughter. His conduct excited great and speedily retaken, and further, to indignation in England, and Charles is prevent its again being occupied by reported to have exclaimed, on hearing Berkeley, it was, by Bacon's orders, of his doings, “The old fool has taken burned to the ground. A large body away more lives in that naked country, of troops under Colonel Brent were than I did here in England for the murmarching to attack Bacon, but, terrified der of my father.” Berkeley, not long by his promptitude and success, they after, returned to the mother country, dispersed without venturing a battle. and in a brief space ended his days
Bacon was now completely victori- there. ous, and at liberty to carry out his de- The issue of Bacon's rebellion was signs to their fullest extent. Precisely injurious to the interests of the colonwhat he purposed, however, can never ists. Some trifling concessions were be known; for just at this juncture he indeed made to their complaints, but
was suddenly stricken down by the majority of those abuses by which
the hand of death. This was in they had been provoked into a rising, January, 1677; and as he was the mas- remained in full force. The whole of ter spirit of the whole popular move
“ Bacon's Laws” enacted by the popument, with him died also all systematic lar Assembly were annulled, the franeffort to obtain redress of grievances.* chise, as just before, and not as origin
ally, was restricted to freeholders alone, * Mr. Ware, in his discriminating “ Memoir of and the Assembly chosen by it was only Nathaniel Bacon,” says that “there seems no good
to meet once in two years, nor, except reason to doubt the purity of his motives, and the singleness and simplicity of his character." on special occasions, to remain in session Ware also doubts the correctness of the opinion ad for more than a fortnight. Oppressed vanced by Hening that Bacon was taken off by poi- with the still stricter enforcement of See Sparks's “ American Biography,” vol. xiii.,
the navigation laws, which ruinously