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Pioneers of the Old South, A Chronicle of English Colonial Beginnings by Mary Johnston

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them. James appointed commissioners to search out what was wrong with
Virginia. Certain men were shipped to Virginia to get evidence there, as
well as support from the Virginia Assembly. In this attempt they signally
failed. Then to England came a Virginia member of the Virginia Council,
with long letters to King and Privy Council: the Sandys-Southampton
administration had done more than well for Virginia. The letters were
letters of appeal. The colony hoped that "the Governors sent over might
not have absolute authority, but might be restrained to the consent of the
Council . . . . But above all they made it their most humble request that
they might still retain the liberty of their General Assemblies; than which
nothing could more conduce to the publick Satisfaction and publick Liberty."

In London another paper, drawn by Cavendish, was given to King and Privy
Council. It answered many accusations, and among others the statement that
"the Government of the companies as it then stood was democratical and
tumultuous, and ought therefore to be altered, and reduced into the Hands
of a few." It is of interest to hear these men speak, in the year 1623, in
an England that was close to absolute monarchy, to a King who with all his
house stood out for personal rule. "However, they owned that, according to
his Majesty's Institution, their Government had some Show of a democratical
Form; which was nevertheless, in that Case, the most just and profitable,
and most conducive to the Ends and Effects aimed at thereby . . . . Lastly,
they observed that the opposite Faction cried out loudly against Democracy,
and yet called for Oligarchy; which would, as they conceived, make the
Government neither of better Form, nor more monarchical."

But the dissolution of the Virginia Company was at hand. In October, 1623,
the Privy Council stated that the King had "taken into his princely
Consideration the distressed State of the Colony of Virginia, occasioned,
as it seemed, by the Ill Government of the Company." The remedy for the
ill-management lay in the reduction of the Government into fewer hands. His
Majesty had resolved therefore upon the withdrawal of the Company's charter
and the substitution, "with due regard for continuing and preserving the
Interest of all Adventurers and private persons whatsoever," of a new order
of things. The new order proved, on examination, to be the old order of
rule by the Crown. Would the Company surrender the old charter and accept a
new one so modeled?

The Company, through the country party, strove to gain time. They met with
a succession of arbitrary measures and were finally forced to a decision.
They would not surrender their charter. Then a writ of quo warranto was
issued; trial before the King's Bench followed; and judgment was rendered
against the Company in the spring term of 1624. Thus with clangor fell the
famous Virginia Company.

That was one year. The March of the next year James Stuart, King of
England, died. That young Henry who was Prince of Wales when the Susan
Constant, the Goodspeed, and the Discovery sailed past a cape and named it
for him Cape Henry, also had died. His younger brother Charles, for whom
was named that other and opposite cape, now ascended the throne as King
Charles the First of England.

In Virginia no more General Assemblies are held for four years. King
Charles embarks upon "personal rule." Sir Francis Wyatt, a good Governor,
is retained by commission and a Council is appointed by the King. No longer
are affairs to be conducted after a fashion "democratical and tumultuous."
Orders are transmitted from England; the Governor, assisted by the Council,
will take into cognizance purely local needs; and when he sees some

occasion he will issue a proclamation.

Wyatt, recalled finally to England; George Yeardley again, who died in a
year's time; Francis West, that brother of Lord De La Warr and an ancient
planter -- these in quick succession sit in the Governor's chair. Following
them John Pott, doctor of medicine, has his short term. Then the King sends
out Sir John Harvey, avaricious and arbitrary, "so haughty and furious to
the Council and the best gentlemen of the country," says Beverley, "that
his tyranny grew at last insupportable."

The Company previously, and now the King, had urged upon the Virginians a
diversified industry and agriculture. But Englishmen in Virginia had the
familiar emigrant idea of making their fortunes. They had left England;
they had taken their lives in their hands; they had suffered fevers, Indian
attacks, homesickness, deprivation. They had come to Virginia to get rich.
Now clapboards and sassafras, pitch, tar, and pine trees for masts, were
making no fortune for Virginia shippers. How could they, these few folk far
off in America, compete in products of the forest with northern Europe? As
to mines of gold and silver, that first rich vision had proved a
disheartening mirage. "They have great hopes that the mountains are very
rich, from the discovery of a silver mine made nineteen years ago, at a
place about four days' journey from the falls of James river; but they have
not the means of transporting the ore." So, dissatisfied with some means of
livelihood and disappointed in others, the Virginians turned to tobacco.

Every year each planter grew more tobacco; every year more ships were
laden. In 1628 more than five hundred thousand pounds were sent to England,
for to England it must go, and not elsewhere. There it must struggle with
the best Spanish, for a long time valued above the best Virginian. Finally,
however, James and after him Charles, agreed to exclude the Spanish.
Virginia and the Somers Islands alone might import tobacco into England.
But offsetting this, customs went up ruinously; a great lump sum must go
annually to the King; the leaf must enter only at the port of London; so
forth and so on. Finally Charles put forth his proposal to monopolize the
industry, giving Virginia tobacco the English market but limiting its
production to the amount which the Government could sell advantageously.
Such a policy required cooperation from the colonists. The King therefore
ordered the Governor to grant a Virginia Assembly, which in turn should
dutifully enter into partnership with him -- upon his terms. So the Virginia
Assembly thus came back into history. It made a "Humble Answere" in which,
for all its humility, the King's proposal was declined. The idea of the
royal monopoly faded out, and Virginia continued on its own way.

The General Assembly, having once met, seems of its own motion to have
continued meeting. The next year we find it in session at Jamestown, and
resolving "that we should go three severall marches upon the Indians, at
three severall times of the yeare," and also "that there be an especiall
care taken by all commanders and others that the people doe repaire to
their churches on the Saboth day, and to see that the penalty of one pound
of tobacco for every time of absence, and 50 pounds for every month's
absence . . . be levyed, and the delinquents to pay the same." About this
time we read: "Dr. John Pott, late Governor, indicted, arraigned, and found
guilty of stealing cattle, 13 jurors, 3 whereof councellors. This day
wholly spent in pleading; next day, in unnecessary disputation."

These were moving times in the little colony whose population may by now
have been five thousand. Harvey, the Governor, was rapacious; the King at
home, autocratic. Meanwhile, signs of change and of unrest were not wanting
in Europe. England was hastening toward revolution; in Germany the Thirty
Years' War was in mid-career; France and Italy were racked by strife; over
the world the peoples groaned under the strain of oppression. In science,
too, there was promise of revolution. Harvey--not that Governor Harvey of
Virginia, but a greater in England was writing upon the circulation of the
blood. Galileo brooded over ideas of the movement of the earth; Kepler,
over celestial harmonies and solar rule. Descartes was laying the
foundation of a new philosophy.

In the meantime, far across the Atlantic, bands of Virginians went out
against the Indians -- who might, or might not, God knows! have put in a
claim to be considered among the oppressed peoples. In Virginia the fat,
black, tobacco-fields, steaming under a sun like the sun of Spain, called
for and got more labor and still more labor. Every little sailing ship
brought white workmen -- called servants -- consigned, indentured, apprenticed
to many-acred planters. These, in return for their passage money, must
serve Laban for a term of years, but then would receive Rachel, or at least
Leah, in the shape of freedom and a small holding and provision with which
to begin again their individual life. If they were ambitious and energetic
they might presently be able, in turn, to import labor for their own acres.
As yet, in Virginia, there were few African slaves -- not more perhaps than a
couple of hundred. But whenever ships brought them they were readily

In Virginia, as everywhere in time of change, there arose anomalies. Side
by side persisted a romantic devotion to the King and a determination to
have popular assemblies; a great sense of the rights of the white
individual together with African slavery; a practical, easy-going, debonair
naturalism side by side with an Established Church penalizing alike Papist,
Puritan, and atheist. Even so early as this, the social tone was set that
was to hold for many and many a year. The suave climate was somehow to
foster alike a sense of caste and good neighborliness -- class distinctions
and republican ideas.

The "towns" were of the fewest and rudest -- little more than small palisaded
hamlets, built of frame or log, poised near the water of the river James.
The genius of the land was for the plantation rather than the town. The
fair and large brick or frame planter's house of a later time had not yet
risen, but the system was well inaugurated that set a main or "big" house
upon some fair site, with cabins clustered near it, and all surrounded,
save on the river front, with far-flung acres, some planted with grain and
the rest with tobacco. Up and down the river these estates were strung
together by the rudest roads, mere tracks through field and wood. The cart
was as yet the sole wheeled vehicle. But the Virginia planter -- a horseman
in England -- brought over horses, bred horses, and early placed horsemanship
in the catalogue of the necessary colonial virtues. At this point, however,
in a land of great and lesser rivers, with a network of creeks, the boat
provided the chief means of communication. Behind all, enveloping all,
still spread the illimitable forest, the haunt of Indians and innumerable

Virginians were already preparing for an expansion to the north. There was
a man in Virginia named William Claiborne. This individual--able,
determined, self-reliant, energetic--had come in as a young man, with the
title of surveyorgeneral for the Company, in the ship that brought Sir
Francis Wyatt, just before the massacre of 1622. He had prospered and was
now Secretary of the Province. He held lands, and was endowed with a bold,
adventurous temper and a genius for business. In a few years he had
established widespread trading relations with the Indians. He and the men
whom he employed penetrated to the upper shores of Chesapeake, into the
forest bordering Potomac and Susquehanna: Knives and hatchets, beads,
trinkets, and colored cloth were changed for rich furs and various articles
that the Indians could furnish. The skins thus gathered Claiborne shipped
to London merchants, and was like to grow wealthy from what his trading

Looking upon the future and contemplating barter on a princely scale, he
set to work and obtained exhaustive licenses from the immediate Virginian
authorities, and at last from the King himself. Under these grants,
Claiborne began to provide settlements for his numerous traders. Far up the
Chesapeake, a hundred miles or so from Point Comfort, he found an island
that he liked, and named it Kent Island. Here for his men he built cabins
with gardens around them, a mill and a church. He was far from the river
James and the mass of his fellows, but he esteemed himself to be in
Virginia and upon his own land. What came of Claiborne's enterprise the
sequel has to show.


There now enters upon the scene in Virginia a man of middle age, not
without experience in planting colonies, by name George Calvert, first Lord
Baltimore. Of Flemish ancestry, born in Yorkshire, scholar at Oxford,
traveler, clerk of the Privy Council, a Secretary of State under James,
member of the House of Commons, member of the Virginia Company, he knew
many of the ramifications of life. A man of worth and weight, he was placed
by temperament and education upon the side of the court party and the Crown
in the growing contest over rights. About the year 1625, under what
influence is not known, he had openly professed the Roman Catholic
faith -- and that took courage in the seventeenth century, in England!

Some years before, Calvert had obtained from the Crown a grant of a part of
Newfoundland, had named it Avalon, and had built great hopes upon its
settlement. But the northern winter had worked against him. He knew, for he
had resided there himself with his family in that harsh clime. "From the
middle of October to the middle of May there is a sad fare of winter on all
this land." He is writing to King Charles, and he goes on to say "I have
had strong temptations to leave all proceedings in plantations . . . but my
inclination carrying me naturally to these kind of works . . . I am
determined to commit this place to fishermen that are able to encounter
storms and hard weather, and to remove myself with some forty persons to
your Majesty's dominion of Virginia where, if your Majesty will please to
grant me a precinct of land . . . I shall endeavour to the utmost of my
power, to deserve it."

With his immediate following he thereupon does sail far southward. In
October, 1629, he comes in between the capes, past Point Comfort and so up
to Jamestown -- to the embarrassment of that capital, as will soon be evident.

Here in Church of England Virginia was a "popish recusant!" Here was an old
"court party" man, one of James's commissioners, a person of rank and
prestige, known, for all his recusancy, to be in favor with the present
King. Here was the Proprietary of Avalon, guessed to be dissatisfied with
his chilly holding, on the scent perhaps of balmier, easier things!

The Assembly was in session when Lord Baltimore came to Jamestown. All
arrivers in Virginia must take the oath of supremacy. The Assembly proposed
this to the visitor who, as Roman Catholic, could not take it, and said as
much, but offered his own declaration of friendliness to the powers that
were. This was declined. Debate followed, ending with a request from the
Assembly that the visitor depart from Virginia. Some harshness of speech
ensued, but hospitality and the amenities fairly saved the situation. One
Thomas Tindall was pilloried for "giving my lord Baltimore the lie and
threatening to knock him down." Baltimore thereupon set sail, but not,
perhaps, until he had gained that knowledge of conditions which he desired.

In England he found the King willing to make him a large grant, with no
less powers than had clothed him in Avalon. Territory should be taken from
the old Virginia; it must be of unsettled land -- Indians of course not
counting. Baltimore first thought of the stretch south of the river James
between Virginia and Spanish Florida--a fair land of woods and streams, of
good harbors, and summer weather. But suddenly William Claiborne was found
to be in London, sent there by the Virginians, with representations in his
pocket. Virginia was already settled and had the intention herself of
expanding to the south.

Baltimore, the King, and the Privy Council weighed the matter. Westward,
the blue mountains closed the prospect. Was the South Sea just beyond their
sunset slopes, or was it much farther away, over unknown lands, than the
first adventurers had guessed? Either way, too rugged hardship marked the
west! East rolled the ocean. North, then? It were well to step in before
those Hollanders about the mouth of the Hudson should cast nets to the
south. Baltimore accordingly asked for a grant north of the Potomac.

He received a huge territory, stretching over what is now Maryland,
Delaware, and a part of Pennsylvania. The Potomac, from source to mouth,
with a line across Chesapeake and the Eastern Shore to the ocean formed his
southern frontier; his northern was the fortieth parallel, from the ocean
across country to the due point above the springs of the Potomac. Over this
great expanse he became "true and absolute lord and proprietary," holding
fealty to England, but otherwise at liberty to rule in his own domain with
every power of feudal duke or prince. The King had his allegiance, likewise
a fifth part of gold or silver found within his lands. All persons going to
dwell in his palatinate were to have "rights and liberties of Englishmen."
But, this aside, he was lord paramount. The new country received the name
Terra Mariae -- Maryland -- for Henrietta Maria, then Queen of England.

Here was a new land and a Lord Proprietor with kingly powers. Virginians
seated on the James promptly petitioned King Charles not to do them wrong
by so dividing their portion of the earth. But King and Privy Council
answered only that Virginia and Maryland must "assist each other on all
occasions as becometh fellow-subjects." William Claiborne, indeed, continued
with a determined voice to cry out that lands given to Baltimore were not,
as had been claimed, unsettled, seeing that he himself had under patent a
town on Kent Island and another at the mouth of the Susquehanna.

Baltimore was a reflective man, a dreamer in the good sense of the term,
and religiously minded. At the height of seeming good fortune he could write:

"All things, my lord, in this world pass away . . . . They are but lent us
till God please to call for them back again, that we may not esteem
anything our own, or set our hearts upon anything but Him alone, who only
remains forever." Like his King, Baltimore could carry far his prerogative
and privilege, maintaining the while not a few degrees of inner freedom.
Like all men, here he was bound, and here he was free.

Baltimore's desire was for "enlarging his Majesty's Empire," and at the
same time to provide in Maryland a refuge for his fellow Catholics. These
were now in England so disabled and limited that their status might fairly
be called that of a persecuted people. The mounting Puritanism promised no
improvement. The King himself had no fierce antagonism to the old religion,
but it was beginning to be seen that Charles and Charles's realm were two
different things. A haven should be provided before the storm blackened
further. Baltimore thus saw put into his hands a high and holy opportunity,
and made no doubt that it was God-given. His charter, indeed, seemed to
contemplate an established church, for it gave to Baltimore the patronage
of all churches and chapels which were to be "consecrated according to the
ecclesiastical laws of our kingdom of England"; nevertheless, no
interpretation of the charter was to be made prejudicial to "God's holy and
true Christian religion." What was Christian and what was prejudicial was,
fortunately for him, left undefined. No obstacles were placed before a
Catholic emigration.

Baltimore had this idea and perhaps a still wider one: a land -- Mary's
land -- where all Christians might foregather, brothers and sisters in one
home! Religious tolerance -- practical separation of Church and State -- that
was a broad idea for his age, a generous idea for a Roman Catholic of a
time not so far removed from the mediaeval. True, wherever he went and
whatever might be his own thought and feeling, he would still have for
overlord a Protestant sovereign, and the words of his charter forbade him
to make laws repugnant to the laws of England. But Maryland was distant,
and wise management might do much. Catholics, Anglicans, Puritans,
Dissidents, and Nonconformists of almost any physiognomy, might come and be
at home, unpunished for variations in belief.

Only the personal friendship of England's King and the tact and suave
sagacity of the Proprietary himself could have procured the signing of this
charter, since it was known -- as it was to all who cared to busy themselves
with the matter -- that here was a Catholic meaning to take other Catholics,
together with other scarcely less abominable sectaries, out of the reach of
Recusancy Acts and religious pains and penalties, to set them free in
England-in-America; and, raising there a state on the novel basis of free
religion, perhaps to convert the heathen to all manner of errors, and embark
on mischiefs far too large for definition. Taking things as they were in
the world, remembering acts of the Catholic Church in the not distant past,
the ill-disposed might find some color for the agitation which presently did
arise. Baltimore was known to be in correspondence with English Jesuits, and
it soon appeared that Jesuit priests were to accompany the first colonists. At
that time the Society of Jesus loomed large both politically and
educationally. Many may have thought that there threatened a Rome in America.
But, however that may have been, there was small chance for any successful
opposition to the charter, since Parliament had been dissolved by the King,
not to be summoned again for eleven years. The Privy Council was subservient,
and, as the Sovereign was his friend, Baltimore saw the signing of the charter
assured and began to gather together his first colonists. Then, somewhat
suddenly, in April, 1632, he sickened, and died at the age of fifty-three.

His son, Cecil Calvert, second Lord Baltimore, took up his father's work.
This young man, likewise able and sagacious, and at every step in his
father's confidence, could and did proceed even in detail according to what
had been planned. All his father's rights had descended to him; in Maryland
he was Proprietary with as ample power as ever a Count Palatine had
enjoyed. He took up the advantage and the burden.

The father's idea had been to go with his colonists to Maryland, and this
it seems that the son also meant to do. But now, in London, there deepened
a clamor against such Catholic enterprise. Once he were away, lips would be
at the King's ear. And with England so restless, in a turmoil of new
thought, it might even arise that King and Privy Council would find trouble
in acting after their will, good though that might be. The second Baltimore
therefore remained in England to safeguard his charter and his interests.

The family of Baltimore was an able one. Cecil Calvert had two brothers,
Leonard and George, and these would go to Maryland in his place. Leonard he
made Governor and Lieutenant-general, and appointed him councilor. Ships
were made ready -- the Ark of three hundred tons and the Dove of fifty. The
colonists went aboard at Gravesend, where these ships rode at anchor. Of
the company a great number were Protestants, willing to take land, if their
condition were bettered so, with Catholics. Difficulties of many kinds kept
them all long at the mouth of the Thames, but at last, late in November,
1633, the Ark and the Dove set sail. Touching at the Isle of Wight, they
took aboard two Jesuit priests, Father White and Father Altham, and a
number of other colonists. Baltimore reported that the expedition consisted
of "two of my brothers with very near twenty other gentlemen of very good
fashion, and three hundred labouring men well provided in all things."

These ships, with the first Marylanders, went by the old West Indies sea
route. We find them resting at Barbados; then they swung to the north and,
in February, 1634, came to Point Comfort in Virginia. Here they took
supplies, being treated by Sir John Harvey (who had received a letter from
the King) with "courtesy and humanity." Without long tarrying, for they
were sick now for land of their own, they sailed on up the great bay, the

Soon they reached the mouth of the Potomac -- a river much greater than any
of them, save shipmasters and mariners, had ever seen -- and into this turned
the Ark and the Dove. After a few leagues of sailing up the wide stream,
they came upon an islet covered with trees, leafless, for spring had hardly
broken. The ships dropped anchor; the boats were lowered; the people went
ashore. Here the Calverts claimed Maryland "for our Savior and for our
Sovereign Lord the King of England," and here they heard Mass. St.
Clement's they called the island.

But it was too small for a home. The Ark was left at anchor, while Leonard
Calvert went exploring with the Dove. Up the Potomac some distance he went,
but at the last he wisely determined to choose for their first town a site
nearer the sea. The Dove turned and came back to the Ark, and both sailed
on down the stream from St. Clement's Isle. Before long they came to the
mouth of a tributary stream flowing in from the north. The Dove, going
forth again, entered this river, which presently the party named the River
St. George. Soon they came to a high bank with trees tinged with the
foliage of advancing spring. Here upon this bank the English found an
Indian village and a small Algonquin group, in the course of extinction by
their formidable Iroquois neighbors, the giant Susquehannocks. The white
men landed, bearing a store of hatchets, gewgaws, and colored cloth. The
first Lord Baltimore, having had opportunity enough for observing savages,
had probably handed on to his sagacious sons his conclusions as to ways of
dealing with the natives of the forest. And the undeniable logic of events
was at last teaching the English how to colonize. Englishmen on Roanoke
Island, Englishmen on the banks of the James, Englishmen in that first New
England colony, had borne the weight of early inexperience and all the
catalogue of woes that follow ignorance. All these early colonists alike
had been quickly entangled in strife with the people whom they found in the

First they fell on their knees,
And then on the Aborigines.

But by now much water had passed the mill. The thinking kind, the wiser
sort, might perceive more things than one, and among these the fact that
savages had a sense of justice and would even fight against injustice, real
or fancied.

The Calverts, through their interpreter, conferred with the inhabitants of
this Indian village. Would they sell lands where the white men might
peaceably settle, under their given word to deal in friendly wise with the
red men? Many hatchets and axes and much cloth would be given in return.

To a sylvan people store of hatchets and axes had a value beyond many
fields of the boundless earth. The Dove appeared before them, too, at the
psychological moment. They had just discussed removing, bag and baggage,
from the proximity of the Iroquois. In the end, these Indians sold to the
English their village huts, their cleared and planted fields, and miles of
surrounding forest. Moreover they stayed long enough in friendship with the
newcomers to teach them many things of value. Then they departed, leaving
with the English a clear title to as much land as they could handle, at
least for some time to come. Later, with other Indians, as with these, the
Calverts pursued a conciliatory policy. They were aided by the fact that
the Susquehannocks to the north, who might have given trouble, were
involved in war with yet more northerly tribes, and could pay scant
attention to the incoming white men. But even so, the Calverts proved, as
William Penn proved later, that men may live at peace with men, honestly
and honorably, even though hue of skin and plane of development differ.

Now the Ark joins the Dove in the River St. George. The pieces of ordnance
are fired; the colonists disembark; and on the 27th of March, 1634, the
Indian village, now English, becomes St. Mary's.

On the whole how advantageously are they placed! There is peace with the
Indians. Huts, lodges, are already built, fields already cleared or
planted. The site is high and healthful. They have at first few dissensions
among themselves. Nor are they entirely alone or isolated in the New World.
There is a New England to the north of them and a Virginia to the south.
From the one they get in the autumn salted fish, from the other store of
swine and cattle. Famine and pestilence are far from them. They build a
"fort" and perhaps a stockade, but there are none of the stealthy deaths
given by arrow and tomahawk in the north, nor are there any of the Spanish
alarms that terrified the south. From the first they have with them women
and children. They know that their settlement is "home." Soon other ships
and colonists follow the Ark and the Dove to St. Mary's, and the history of
this middle colony is well begun.

In Virginia, meantime, there was jealousy enough of the new colony, taking
as it did territory held to be Virginian and renaming it, not for the old,
independent, Protestant, virgin queen, but for a French, Catholic, queen
consort -- even settling it with believers in the Mass and bringing in
Jesuits! It was, says a Jamestown settler, "accounted a crime almost as
heinous as treason to favour, nay to speak well of that colony." Beside the
Virginian folk as a whole, one man, in particular, William Claiborne,
nursed an individual grievance. He had it from Governor Calvert that he
might dwell on in Kent Island, trading from there, but only under license
from the Lord Proprietor and as an inhabitant of Maryland, not of Virginia.
Claiborne, with the Assembly at Jamestown secretly on his side, resisted
this interference with his rights, and, as he continued to trade with a
high hand, he soon fell under suspicion of stirring up the Indians against
the Marylanders.

At the time, this quarrel rang loud through Maryland and Virginia, and even
echoed across the Atlantic. Leonard Calvert had a trading-boat of
Claiborne's seized in the Patuxent River. Thereupon Claiborne's men, with
the shallop Cockatrice, in retaliation attacked Maryland pinnaces and lost
both their lives and their boat. For several years Maryland and Kent Island
continued intermittently to make petty war on each other. At last, in 1638,
Calvert took the island by main force and hanged for piracy a captain of
Claiborne's. The Maryland Assembly brought the trader under a Bill of
Attainder; and a little later, in England, the Lords Commissioners of
Foreign Plantations formally awarded Kent Island to the Lord Proprietor.
Thus defeated, Claiborne, nursing his wrath, moved down the bay to Virginia.


Virginia, all this time, with Maryland a thorn in her side, was wrestling
with an autocratic governor, John Harvey. This avaricious tyrant sowed the
wind until in 1635 he was like to reap the whirlwind. Though he was the
King's Governor and in good odor in England, where rested the overpower to
which Virginia must bow, yet in this year Virginia blew upon her courage
until it was glowing and laid rude hands upon him. We read: "An Assembly to
be called to receive complaints against Sr. John Harvey, on the petition of
many inhabitants, to meet 7th of May." But, before that month was come, the
Council, seizing opportunity, acted for the whole. Immediately below the
entry above quoted appears: "On the 28th of April, 1635, Sr. John Harvey
thrust out of his government, and Capt. John West acts as Governor till the
King's pleasure known."*

* Hening's "Statutes" vol. I p. 223.

So Virginia began her course as rebel against political evils! It is of
interest to note that Nicholas Martian, one of the men found active against
the Governor, was an ancestor of George Washington.

Harvey, thrust out, took first ship for England, and there also sailed
commissioners from the Virginia Assembly with a declaration of wrongs for
the King's ear. But when they came to England, they found that the King's
ear was for the Governor whom he had given to the Virginians and whom they,
with audacious disobedience, had deposed. Back should go Sir John Harvey,
still governing Virginia; back without audience the so-called
commissioners, happy to escape a merited hanging! Again to Jamestown sailed
Harvey. In silence Virginia received him, and while he remained Governor no
Assembly sat.

But having asserted his authority, the King in a few years' time was
willing to recall his unwelcome representative. So in 1639 Governor Harvey
vanishes from the scene, and in comes the well-liked Sir Francis Wyatt as
Governor for the second time. For two years he remains, and is then
superseded by Sir William Berkeley, a notable figure in Virginia for many
years to come. The population was now perhaps ten thousand, both English
born and Virginians born of English parents. A few hundred negroes moved in
the tobacco fields. More would be brought in and yet more. And now above a
million pounds of tobacco were going annually to England.

The century was predominantly one of inner and outer religious conflict.
What went on at home in England reechoed in Virginia. The new Governor was
a dyed-in-the-wool Cavalier, utterly stubborn for King and Church. The
Assemblies likewise leaned that way, as presumably did the mass of the
people. It was ordered in 1631: "That there bee a uniformitie throughout
this colony both in substance and circumstance to the cannons and
constitutions of the church of England as neere as may bee, and that every
person yeald readie obedience unto them uppon penaltie of the paynes and
forfeitures in that case appoynted." And, indeed, the pains and forfeitures
threatened were savage enough.

Official Virginia, loyal to the Established Church, was jealous and fearful
of Papistry and looked askance at Puritanism. It frowned upon these and
upon agnosticisms, atheisms, pantheisms, religious doubts, and alterations
in judgment -- upon anything, in short, that seemed to push a finger against
Church and Kingdom. Yet in this Virginia, governed by Sir William Berkeley,
a gentleman more cavalier than the Cavaliers, more royalist than the King,
more churchly than the Church, there lived not a few Puritans and
Dissidents, going on as best they might with Established Church and fiery
King's men. Certain parishes were predominantly Puritan; certain ministers
were known to have leanings away from surplices and genuflections and to
hold that Archbishop Laud was some kin to the Pope. In 1642, to reenforce
these ministers, came three more from New England, actively averse to
conformity. But Governor and Council and the majority of the Burgesses will
have none of that. The Assembly of 1643 takes sharp action.

For the preservation of the puritie of doctrine and unitie of the church,
IT IS ENACTED that all ministers whatsoever which shall reside in the
collony are to be conformable to the orders and constitutions of the church
of England, and the laws therein established, and not otherwise to be
admitted to teach or preach publickly or privately. And that the Gov. and
Counsel do take care that all nonconformists upon notice of them shall be
compelled to depart the collony with all conveniencie. And so in
consequence out of Virginia, to New England where Independents were
welcome, or to Maryland where any Christian might dwell, went these tainted
ministers. But there stayed behind Puritan and nonconforming minds in the
bodies of many parishioners. They must hold their tongues, indeed, and
outwardly conform -- but they watched lynx-eyed for their opportunity and a
more favorable fortune.

Having launched thunderbolts against schismatics of this sort, Berkeley,
himself active and powerful, with the Council almost wholly of his party
and the House of Burgesses dominantly so, turned his attention to "popish
recusants." Of these there were few or none dwelling in Virginia. Let them
then not attempt to come from Maryland! The rulers of the colony legislated
with vigor: papists may not hold any public place; all statutes against
them shall be duly executed; popish priests by chance or intent arriving
within the bounds of Virginia shall be given five days' warning, and, if at
the end of this time they are yet upon Virginian soil, action shall be
brought against them. Berkeley sweeps with an impatient broom.

The Kingdom is cared for not less than the Church in Virginia. Any and all
persons coming into the colony by land and by sea shall have administered
to them the Oath of Supremacy and Allegiance. "Which if any shall refuse to
take," the commander of the fort at Point Comfort shall "committ him or
them to prison." Foreigners in birth and tongue, foreigners in thought,
must have found the place and time narrow indeed.

On the eve of civil war there arose on the part of some in England a
project to revive and restore the old Virginia Company by procuring from
Charles, now deep in troubles of his own, a renewal of the old letters
patent and the transference of the direct government of the colony into the
hands of a reorganized and vast corporation. Virginia, which a score of
years before had defended the Company, now protested vigorously, and, with
regard to the long view of things, it may be thought wisely. The project
died a natural death. The petition sent from Virginia shows plainly enough
the pen of Berkeley. There are a multitude of reasons why Virginia should
not pass from King to Company, among which these are worthy of note: "We
may not admit of so unnatural a distance as a Company will interpose
between his sacred majesty and us his subjects from whose immediate
protection we have received so many royal favours and gracious blessings.
For, by such admissions, we shall degenerate from the condition of our
birth, being naturalized under a monarchical government and not a popular
and tumultuary government depending upon the greatest number of votes of
persons of several humours and dispositions."

When this paper reached England, it came to a country at civil war. The
Long Parliament was in session. Stafford had been beheaded, the Star
Chamber swept away, the Grand Remonstrance presented. On Edgehill bloomed
flowers that would soon be trampled by Rupert's cavalry. In Virginia the
Assembly took notice of these "unkind differences now in England," and
provided by tithing for the Governor's pension and allowance, which were
for the present suspended and endangered by the troubles at home. That the
forces banded against the Lord's anointed would prove victorious must at
this time have appeared preposterously unlikely to the fiery Governor and
the ultra-loyal Virginia whom he led. The Puritans and Independents in
Virginia -- estimated a little earlier at "a thousand strong" and now, for
all the acts against them, probably stronger yet -- were to be found chiefly
in the parishes of Isle of Wight and Nansemond, but had representatives
from the Falls to the Eastern Shore. What these Virginians thought of the
"unkind differences" does not appear in the record, but probably there was
thought enough and secret hopes.

In 1644, the year of Marston Moor, Virginia, too, saw battle and sudden and
bloody death. That Opechancanough who had succeeded Powhatan was now one
hundred years old, hardly able to walk or to see, dwelling harmlessly in a
village upon the upper Pamunkey. All the Indians were broken and dispersed;
serious danger was not to be thought of. Then, of a sudden, the flame
leaped again. There fell from the blue sky a massacre directed against the
outlying plantations. Three hundred men, women, and children were killed by
the Indians. With fury the white men attacked in return. They sent bodies
of horse into the untouched western forests. They chased and slew without
mercy. In 1646 Opechancanough, brought a prisoner to Jamestown, ended his
long tale of years by a shot from one of his keepers. The Indians were
beaten, and, lacking such another leader, made no more organized and
general attacks. But for long years a kind of border warfare still went on.

Even Maryland, tolerant and just as was the Calvert policy, did not
altogether escape Indian troubles. She had to contend with no such able
chief as Opechancanough, and she suffered no sweeping massacres. But after
the first idyllic year or so there set in a small, constant friction. So
fast did the Maryland colonists arrive that soon there was pressure of
population beyond those first purchased bounds. The more thoughtful among
the Indians may well have taken alarm lest their villages and
hunting-grounds might not endure these inroads. Ere long the English in
Maryland were placing "centinells" over fields where men worked, and
providing penalties for those who sold the savages firearms. But at no time
did young Maryland suffer the Indian woes that had vexed young Virginia.

Nor did Maryland escape the clash of interests which beset the beginnings
of representative assemblies in all proprietary provinces. The second, like
the first, Lord Baltimore, was a believer in kings and aristocracies, in a
natural division of human society into masters and men. His effort was to
plant intact in Maryland a feudal order. He would be Palatine, the King his
suzerain. In Maryland the great planters, in effect his barons, should live
upon estates, manorial in size and with manorial rights. The laboring men --
the impecunious adventurers whom these greater adventurers brought out --
would form a tenantry, the Lord Proprietary's men's men. It is true that,
according to charter, provision was made for an Assembly. Here were to sit
"freemen of the province," that is to say, all white males who were not in
the position of indentured servants. But with the Proprietary, and not with
the Assembly, would rest primarily the lawmaking power. The Lord
Proprietary would propose legislation, and the freemen of the country would
debate, in a measure advise, represent, act as consultants, and finally
confirm. Baltimore was prepared to be a benevolent lord, wise, fatherly.

In 1635 met the first Assembly, Leonard Calvert and his Council sitting
with the burgesses, and this gathering of freemen proceeded to inaugurate
legislation. There was passed a string of enactments which presumably dealt
with immediate wants at St. Mary's, and which, the Assembly recognized,
must have the Lord Proprietary's assent. A copy was therefore sent by
the first ship to leave. So long were the voyages and so slow the procedure
in England that it was 1637 before Baltimore's veto upon the Assembly's
laws reached Maryland. It would seem that he did not disapprove so much of
the laws themselves as of the bold initiative of the Assembly, for he at
once sent over twelve bills of his own drafting. Leonard Calvert was
instructed to bring all freemen together in Assembly and present for their
acceptance the substituted legislation.

Early in 1638 this Maryland Assembly met. The Governor put before it for
adoption the Proprietary's laws. The vote was taken. Governor and some
others were for, the remainder of the Assembly unanimously against, the
proposed legislation. There followed a year or two of struggle over this
question, but in the end the Proprietary in effect acknowledged defeat. The
colonists, through their Assembly, might thereafter propose laws to meet
their exigencies, and Governor Calvert, acting for his brother, should
approve or veto according to need.

When civil war between King and Parliament broke out in England, sentiment
in Maryland as in Virginia inclined toward the King. But that Puritan,
Non-conformist, and republican element that was in both colonies might be
expected to gain if, at home in England, the Parliamentary party gained. A
Royal Governor or a Lord Proprietary's Governor might alike be perplexed by
the political turmoil in the mother country. Leonard Calvert felt the need
of first-hand consultation with his brother. Leaving Giles Brent in his
place, he sailed for England, talked there with Baltimore himself,
perplexed and filled with foreboding, and returned to Maryland not greatly
wiser than when he went.

Maryland was soon convulsed by disorders which in many ways reflected the
unsettled conditions in England. A London ship, commanded by Richard Ingle,
a Puritan and a staunch upholder of the cause of Parliament, arrived before
St. Mary's, where he gave great offense by his blatant remarks about the
King and Rupert, "that Prince Rogue." Though he was promptly arrested on
the charge of treason, he managed to escape and soon left the loyal colony
far astern.

In the meantime Leonard Calvert had come back to Maryland, where he found
confusion and a growing heat and faction and side-taking of a bitter sort.
To add to the turmoil, William Claiborne, among whose dominant traits was
an inability to recognize defeat, was making attempts upon Kent Island.
Calvert was not long at St. Mary's ere Ingle sailed in again with
letters-of-marque from the Long Parliament. Ingle and his men landed and
quickly found out the Protestant moiety of the colonists. There followed an
actual insurrection, the Marylanders joining with Ingle and much aided by
Claiborne, who now retook Kent Island. The insurgents then captured St.
Mary's and forced the Governor to flee to Virginia. For two years Ingle
ruled and plundered, sequestrating goods of the Proprietary's adherents,
and deporting in irons Jesuit priests. At the end of this time Calvert
reappeared, and behind him a troop gathered in Virginia. Now it was Ingle's
turn to flee. Regaining his ship, he made sail for England, and Maryland
settled down again to the ancient order. The Governor then reduced Kent
Island. Claiborne, again defeated, retired to Virginia, whence he sailed
for England.

In 1647 Leonard Calvert died. Until the Proprietary's will should be known,
Thomas Greene acted as Governor. Over in England, Lord Baltimore stood at
the parting of the ways. The King's cause had a hopeless look. Roundhead
and Parliament were making way in a mighty tide. Baltimore was marked for a
royalist and a Catholic. If the tide rose farther, he might lose Maryland.
A sagacious mind, he proceeded to do all that he could, short of denying
his every belief, to placate his enemies. He appointed as Governor of
Maryland William Stone, a Puritan, and into the Council, numbering five
members, he put three Puritans. On the other hand the interests of his
Maryland Catholics must not be endangered. He required of the new Governor
not to molest any person "professing to believe in Jesus Christ, and in
particular any Roman Catholic." In this way he thought that, right and left,
he might provide against persecution.

Under these complex influences the Maryland Assembly passed in 1649 an Act
concerning Religion. It reveals, upon the one hand, Christendom's
mercilessness toward the freethinker -- in which mercilessness, whether
through conviction or policy, Baltimore acquiesced -- and, on the other hand,
that aspiration toward friendship within the Christian fold which is even
yet hardly more than a pious wish, and which in the seventeenth century
could have been felt by very few. To Baltimore and the Assembly of Maryland
belongs, not the glory of inaugurating an era of wide toleration for men
and women of all beliefs or disbeliefs, whether Christian or not, but the
real though lesser glory of establishing entire toleration among the
divisions within the Christian circle itself. According to the Act,*

"Whatsoever person or persons within this Province and the Islands
thereunto belonging, shall from henceforth blaspheme God, that is curse
him, or deny our Saviour Jesus Christ to bee the sonne of God, or shall
deny the holy Trinity, . . . or the Godhead of any of the said three
persons of the Trinity, or the unity of the Godhead, or shall use or utter
any reproachful speeches, words or language concerning the said Holy
Trinity, or any of the said three persons thereof, shall be punished with
death and confiscation or forfeiture of all his or her lands and goods to
the Lord Proprietary and his heires . . . . Whatsoever person or persons
shall from henceforth use or utter any reproachfull words, or speeches,
concerning the blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of our Saviour, or the holy
Apostles or Evangelists, or any of them, shall in such case for the first
offence forfeit to the said Lord Proprietary and his heires the sum of five
pound sterling . . . . Whatsoever person shall henceforth upon any occasion
. . . declare, call, or denominate any person or persons whatsoever
inhabiting, residing, traffiqueing, trading or comerceing within this
Province, or within any of the Ports, Harbors, Creeks or Havens to the same
belonging, an heritick, Scismatick, Idolator, puritan, Independant,
Presbiterian, popish priest, Jesuite, Jesuited papist, Lutheran, Calvenist,
Anabaptist, Brownist, Antinomian, Barrowist, Roundhead, Sepatist, or any
other name or term in a reproachful manner relating to matter of Religion,
shall for every such Offence forfeit . . . the sum of tenne shillings
sterling . . . .

"Whereas the inforceing of the conscience in matters of Religion hath
frequently fallen out to be of dangerous Consequence in those commonwealths
where it hath been practised, . . . be it therefore also by the Lord
Proprietary with the advice and consent of this Assembly, ordeyned and
enacted . . . that no person or persons whatsoever within this Province . .
.professing to beleive in Jesus Christ, shall from henceforth bee any waies
troubled, molested or discountenanced for or in respect of his or her
religion nor in the free exercise thereof . . . nor anyway compelled to the
beleif or exercise of any other Religion against his or her consent, soe as
they be not unfaithfull to the Lord Proprietary or molest or conspire
against the civill Government . . ."

* "Archives of Maryland, Proceedings and Acts of the General
Assembly", vol. I, pp. 244-247.


On the 30th of January, 1649, before the palace of Whitehall, Charles the
First of England was beheaded. In Virginia the event fell with a shock.
Even those within the colony who were Cromwell's men rather than Charles's
men seem to have recoiled from this act. Presently, too, came fleeing
royalists from overseas, to add their passionate voices to those of the
royalists in Virginia. Many came, "nobility, clergy and gentry, men of the
first rate." A thousand are said to have arrived in the year after the
King's death.

In October the Virginia Assembly met. Parliament men -- and now these were
walking with head in the air -- might regret the execution of the past
January, and yet be prepared to assert that with the fall of the kingdom
fell all powers and offices named and decreed by the hapless monarch. What
was a passionate royalist government doing in Virginia now that England was
a Commonwealth? The passionate government answered for itself in acts
passed by this Assembly. With swelling words, with a tragic accent, it
denounced the late happenings in England and all the Roundhead wickedness
that led up to them. It proclaimed loyalty to "his sacred Majesty that now
is" -- that is, to Charles Stuart, afterwards Charles the Second, then a
refugee on the Continent. Finally it enacted that any who defended the late
proceedings, or in the least affected to question "the undoubted and
inherent right of his Majesty that now is to the Collony of Virginia"
should be held guilty of high treason; and that "reporters and divulgers"
of rumors tending to change of government should be punished "even to

Berkeley's words may be detected in these acts of the Assembly. In no great
time the Cavalier Governor conferred with Colonel Henry Norwood, one of the
royalist refugees to Virginia. Norwood thereupon sailed away upon a Dutch
ship and came to Holland, where he found "his Majesty that now is." Here he
knelt, and invited that same Majesty to visit his dominion of Virginia,
and, if he liked it, there to rest, sovereign of the Virginian people. But
Charles still hoped to be sovereign in England and would not cross the
seas. He sent, however, to Sir William Berkeley a renewal of his Governor's
commission, and appointed Norwood Treasurer of Virginia, and said,
doubtless, many gay and pleasant things.

In Virginia there continued to appear from England adherents of the ancient
regime. Men, women, and children came until to a considerable degree the
tone of society rang Cavalier. This immigration, now lighter, now heavier,
continued through a rather prolonged period. There came now to Virginia
families whose names are often met in the later history of the land. Now
Washingtons appear, with Randolphs, Carys, Skipwiths, Brodnaxes, Tylers,
Masons, Madisons, Monroes, and many more. These persons are not without
means; they bring with them servants; they are in high favor with Governor
and Council; they acquire large tracts of virgin land; they bring in
indentured labor; they purchase African slaves; they cultivate tobacco.
From being English country gentlemen they turn easily to become Virginia

But the Virginia Assembly had thrown a gauntlet before the victorious
Commonwealth; and the Long Parliament now declared the colony to be in
contumacy, assembled and dispatched ships against her, and laid an embargo
upon trade with the rebellious daughter. In January of 1652 English ships
appeared off Point Comfort. Four Commissioners of the Commonwealth were
aboard, of whom that strong man Claiborne was one. After issuing a
proclamation to quiet the fears of the people, the Commissioners made their
way to Jamestown. Here was found the indomitable Berkeley and his Council
in a state of active preparation, cannon trained. But, when all was said,
the Commissioners had brought wisely moderate terms: submit because submit
they must, acknowledge the Commonwealth, and, that done, rest unmolested!
If resistance continued, there were enough Parliament men in Virginia to
make an army. Indentured servants and slaves should receive freedom in
exchange for support to the Commonwealth. The ships would come up from
Point Comfort, and a determined war would be on. What Sir William Berkeley
personally said has not survived. But after consultation upon consultation
Virginia surrendered to the commonwealth.

Berkeley stepped from the Governor's chair, retiring in wrath and
bitterness of heart to his house at Greenspring. In his place sat Richard
Bennett, one of the Commissioners. Claiborne was made Secretary. King's men
went out of office; Parliament men came in. But there was no persecution.
In the bland and wide Virginia air minds failed to come into hard and
frequent collision. For all the ferocities of the statute books, acute
suffering for difference of opinion, whether political or religious, did
not bulk large in the life of early Virginia.

The Commissioners, after the reduction of Virginia, had a like part to play
with Maryland. At St. Mary's, as at Jamestown, they demanded and at length
received submission to the Commonwealth. There was here the less trouble
owing to Baltimore's foresight in appointing to the office of Governor
William Stone, whose opinions, political and religious, accorded with those
of revolutionary England. Yet the Governor could not bring himself to
forget his oath to Lord Baltimore and agree to the demand of the
Commissioners that he should administer the Government in the name of "the
Keepers of the Liberties of England." After some hesitation the
Commissioners decided to respect his scruples and allow him to govern in
the name of the Lord Proprietary, as he had solemnly promised.

In Virginia and in Maryland the Commonwealth and the Lord Protector stand
where stood the Kingdom and the King. Many are far better satisfied than
they were before; and the confirmed royalist consumes his grumbling in his
own circle. The old, exhausting quarrel seems laid to rest. But within this
wider peace breaks out suddenly an interior strife. Virginia would, if she
could, have back all her old northward territory. In 1652 Bennett's
Government goes so far as to petition Parliament to unseat the Catholic
Proprietary of Maryland and make whole again the ancient Virginia. The hand
of Claiborne, that remarkable and persistent man, may be seen in this.

In Maryland, Puritans and Independents were settled chiefly about the
rivers Severn and Patuxent and in a village called Providence, afterwards
Annapolis. These now saw their chance to throw off the Proprietary's rule
and to come directly under that of the Commonwealth. So thinking, they put
themselves into communication with Bennett and Claiborne. In 1654 Stone
charged the Commissioners with having promoted "faction, sedition, and
rebellion against the Lord Baltimore." The charge was well founded.
Claiborne and Bennett assumed that they were yet Parliament Commissioners,
empowered to bring "all plantations within the Bay of Chesapeake to their
due obedience to the Parliament and Commonwealth of England." And they were
indeed set against the Lord Baltimore. Claiborne would head the Puritans of
Providence; and a troop should be raised in Virginia and march northward.
The Commissioners actually advanced upon St. Mary's, and with so superior
a force that Stone surrendered, and a Puritan Government was inaugurated.
A Puritan Assembly met, debarring any Catholics. Presently it passed an act
annulling the Proprietary's Act of Toleration. Professors of the religion
of Rome should "be restrained from the exercise thereof." The hand of the
law was to fall heavily upon "popery, prelacy, or licentiousness of
opinion." Thus was intolerance alive again in the only land where she had
seemed to die!

In England now there was hardly a Parliament, but only the Lord Protector,
Oliver Cromwell. Content with Baltimore's recognition of the Protectorate,
Cromwell was not prepared to back, in their independent action, the
Commissioners of that now dissolved Parliament. Baltimore made sure of
this, and then dispatched messengers overseas to Stone, bidding him do all
that lay in him to retake Maryland. Stone thereupon gathered several
hundred men and a fleet of small sailing craft, with which he pushed up the
bay to the Severn. In the meantime the Puritans had not been idle, but had
themselves raised a body of men and had taken over the Golden Lyon, an
armed merchantman lying before their town. On the 24th of March, 1655, the
two forces met in the Battle of the Severn. "In the name of God, fall on!"
cried the men of Providence, and "Hey for St. Mary's!" cried the others.
The battle was won by the Providence men. They slew or wounded fifty of the
St. Mary's men and desperately wounded Stone himself and took many
prisoners, ten of whom were afterwards condemned to death and four were
actually executed.

Now followed a period of up and down, the Commissioners and the Proprietary
alike appealing to the Lord Protector for some expression of his
"determinate will." Both sides received encouragement inasmuch as he
decided for neither. His own authority being denied by neither, Cromwell
may have preferred to hold these distant factions in a canceling,
neutralizing posture. But far weightier matters, in fact, were occupying
his mind. In 1657, weary of her "very sad, distracted, and unsettled
condition," Maryland herself proceeded -- Puritan, Prelatist, and Catholic
together -- to agree henceforth to disagree. Toleration viewed in retrospect
appears dimly to have been seen for the angel that it was. Maryland would
return to the Proprietary's rule, provided there should be complete
indemnity for political offenses and a solemn promise that the Toleration
Act of 1649 should never be repealed. This without a smile Baltimore
promised. Articles were signed; a new Assembly composed of all manner of
Christians was called; and Maryland returned for a time to her first

Quiet years, on the whole, follow in Virginia under the Commonwealth. The
three Governors of this period -- Bennett, Digges, and Mathews are all chosen
by the Assembly, which, but for the Navigation Laws,* might almost forget
the Home Government. Then Oliver Cromwell dies; and, after an interval,
back to England come the Stuarts. Charles II is proclaimed King. And back
into office in Virginia is brought that staunch old monarchist, Sir
William Berkeley -- first by a royalist Assembly and presently by commission
from the new King.

* See Editor's Note on the Navigation Laws at the end of this volume.

Then Virginia had her Long Parliament or Assembly. In 1661, in the first
gush of the Restoration, there was elected a House of Burgesses so
congenial to Berkeley's mind that he wished to see it perpetuated. For
fifteen years therefore he held it in being, with adjournments from one
year into another and with sharp refusals to listen to any demand for new
elections. Yet this demand grew, and still the Governor shut the door in
the face of the people and looked imperiously forth from the window. His
temper, always fiery, now burned vindictive; his zeal for King and Church
and the high prerogatives of the Governor of Virginia became a consuming

When Berkeley first came to Virginia, and again for a moment in the flare
of the Restoration, his popularity had been real, but for long now it had
dwindled. He belonged to an earlier time, and he held fast to old ideas
that were decaying at the heart. A bigot for the royal power, a man of
class with a contempt for the generality and its clumsily expressed needs,
he grew in narrowness as he grew in years. Berkeley could in these later
times write home, though with some exaggeration: "I thank God there are no
free schools nor printing, and I hope we shall not have these hundred
years; for learning has brought disobedience into the world and printing
has divulged them, and libels against the best governments! God keep us
from both!" But that was the soured zealot for absolutism -- William Berkeley
the man was fond enough of books and himself had written plays.

The spirit of the time was reactionary in Virginia as it was reactionary in
England. Harsh servant and slave laws were passed. A prison was to be
erected in each county; provision was made for pillory and stocks and
duckingstool; the Quakers were to be proceeded against; the Baptists who
refused to bring children to baptism were to suffer. Then at last in 1670
came restriction of the franchise:

"Act III. ELECTION OF BURGESSES BY WHOM. WHEREAS the usuall way of chuseing
burgesses by the votes of all persons who having served their tyme are
freemen of this country who haveing little interest in the country doe
oftener make tumults at the election to the disturbance of his Majestie's
peace, than by their discretions in their votes provide for the
conservation thereof, by makeing choyce of persons fitly qualifyed for the
discharge of soe greate a trust, And whereas the lawes of England grant a
voyce in such election only to such as by their estates real or personall
have interest enough to tye them to the endeavour of the publique good; IT
IS HEREBY ENACTED, that none but freeholders and housekeepers who only are
answerable to the publique for the levies shall hereafter have a voice in
the election of any burgesses in this country."

*Hening's "Statutes", vol. II, p. 280.

Three years later another woe befell the colony. That same Charles II -- to
whom in misfortune Virginia had so adhered that for her loyalty she had
received the name of the Old Dominion -- now granted "all that entire tract,
territory, region, and dominion of land and water commonly called Virginia,
together with the territory of Accomack," to Lord Culpeper and the Earl of
Arlington. For thirty-one years they were to hold it, paying to the King
the slight annual rent of forty shillings. They were not to disturb the
colonists in any guaranteed right of life or land or goods, but for the
rest they might farm Virginia. The country cried out in anger. The Assembly
hurried commissioners on board a ship in port and sent them to England to
besiege the ear of the King.

Distress and discontent increased, with good reason, among the mass of the
Virginians. The King in England, his councilors, and Parliament, played an
unfatherly role, while in Virginia economic hardships pressed ever harder and
the administration became more and more oppressive. By 1676 the gunpowder of
popular indignation was laid right and left, awaiting the match.


To add to the uncertainty of life in Virginia, Indian troubles flared up
again. In and around the main settlements the white man was safe enough
from savage attack. But it was not so on the edge of the English world,
where the white hue ran thin, where small clusters of folk and even single
families built cabins of logs and made lonely clearings in the wilderness.

Not far from where now rises Washington the Susquehannocks had taken
possession of an old fort. These Indians, once in league with the Iroquois
but now quarreling violently with that confederacy, had been defeated and
were in a mood of undiscriminating bitterness and vengeance. They began to
waylay and butcher white men and women and children. In self protection
Maryland and Virginia organized in common an expedition against the Indian
stronghold. In the deep woods beyond the Potomac, red men and white came to
a parley. The Susquehannocks sent envoys. There was wrong on both sides. A
dispute arose. The white men, waxing angry, slew the envoys -- an evil deed
which their own color in Maryland and in Virginia reprehended and
repudiated. But the harm was done. From the Potomac to the James Indians
listened to Indian eloquence, reciting the evils that from the first the
white man had brought. Then the red man, in increasing numbers, fell upon
the outlying settlements of the pioneers.

In Virginia there soon arose a popular clamor for effective action. Call
out the militia of every county! March against the Indians! Act! But the
Governor was old, of an ill temper now, and most suspicious of popular
gatherings for any purpose whatsoever. He temporized, delayed, refused all
appeals until the Assembly should meet.

Dislike of Berkeley and his ways and a growing sense of injury and
oppression began to quiver hard in the Virginian frame. The King was no
longer popular, nor Sir William Berkeley, nor were the most of the Council,
nor many of the burgesses of that Long Assembly. There arose a loud demand
for a new election and for changes in public policy.

Where a part of Richmond now stands, there stretched at that time a tract
of fields and hills and a clear winding creek, held by a young planter
named Nathaniel Bacon, an Englishman of that family which produced "the
wisest, greatest, meanest of mankind." The planter himself lived farther
down the river. But he had at this place an overseer and some indentured
laborers. This Nathaniel Bacon was a newcomer in Virginia -- young man who
had been entered in Gray's Inn, who had traveled, who was rumored to have
run through much of his own estate. He had a cousin, also named Nathaniel
Bacon, who had come fifteen years earlier to Virginia "a very rich, politic
man and childless," and whose representations had perhaps drawn the younger
Bacon to Virginia. At any rate he was here, and at the age of twenty-eight
the owner of much land and the possessor of a seat in the Council. But,
though he sat in the Council, he was hardly of the mind of the Governor and
those who supported him.

It was in the spring of 1676 that there began a series of Indian attacks
directed against the plantations and the outlying cabins of the region
above the Falls of the Far West. Among the victims were men of Bacon's
plantation, for his overseer and several of his servants were slain. The
news of this massacre of his men set their young master afire. Even a less
hideous tale might have done it, for he was of a bold and ardent nature.

Riding up the forest tracks, a company of planters from the threatened
neighborhood gathered together. "Let us make a troop and take fire and
sword among them!" There lacked a commander. "Mr. Bacon, you command!" Very
good; and Mr. Bacon, who is a born orator, made a speech dealing with the
"grievances of the times." Very good indeed; but still there lacked the
Governor's commission. "Send a swift messenger to Jamestown for it!"

The messenger went and returned. No commission. Mr. Bacon had made an
unpleasant impression upon Sir William Berkeley. This young man, the
Governor said, was "popularly inclined" -- had "a constitution not consistent
with" all that Berkeley stood for. Bacon and his neighbors listened with
bent brows to their envoy's report. Murmurs began and deepened. "Shall we
stand idly here considering formalities, while the redskins murder?"
Commission or no commission, they would march; and in the end, march they
did -- a considerable troop -- to the up-river country, with the tall, young,
eloquent man at their head.

News reached the Governor at Jamestown that they were marching. In a
tight-lipped rage he issued a proclamation and sent it after them. They and
their leader were acting illegally, usurping military powers that belonged
elsewhere! Let them disband, disperse to their dwellings, or beware action
of the rightful powers! Troubled in mind, some disbanded and dispersed, but
threescore at least would by no means do so. Nor would the young man "of
precipitate disposition" who headed the troop. He rode on into the forest
after the Indians, and the others followed him. Here were the Falls of the
Far West, and here on a hill the Indians had a "fort." This the Virginia
planters attacked. The hills above the James echoed to the sound of the
small, desperate fray. In the end the red men were routed. Some were slain;
some were taken prisoner; others escaped into the deep woods stretching

In the meantime another force of horsemen had been gathered. It was headed
by Berkeley and was addressed to the pursuit and apprehension of Nathaniel
Bacon, who had thus defied authority. But before Berkeley could move far,
fire broke out around him. The grievances of the people were many and just,
and not without a family resemblance to those that precipitated the
Revolution a hundred years later. Not Bacon alone, but many others who were
in despair of any good under their present masters were ready for heroic
measures. Berkeley found himself ringed about by a genuine popular revolt.
He therefore lacked the time now to pursue Nathaniel Bacon, but spurred
back to Jamestown there to deal as best he might with dangerous affairs. At
Jamestown, willy-nilly, the old Governor was forced to promise reforms. The
Long Assembly should be dissolved and a new Assembly, more conformable to
the wishes of the people, should come into being ready to consider all
their troubles. So writs went out; and there presently followed a hot and
turbulent election, in which that "restricted franchise" of the Long
Assembly was often defied and in part set aside. Men without property
presented themselves, gave their voices, and were counted. Bacon, who had
by now achieved an immense popularity, was chosen burgess for Henricus County.

In the June weather Bacon sailed down to Jamestown, with a number of those
who had backed him in that assumption of power to raise troops and go
against the Indians. When he came to Jamestown it was to find the high
sheriff waiting for him by the Governor's orders. He was put under arrest.
Hot discussion followed. But the people were for the moment in the
ascendent, and Bacon should not be sacrificed. A compromise was reached.
Bacon was technically guilty of "unlawful, mutinous and rebellious
practises." If, on his knees before Governor, Council, and Burgesses, he
would acknowledge as much and promise henceforth to be his Majesty's
obedient servant, he and those implicated with him should be pardoned. He
himself might be readmitted to the Council, and all in Virginia should be
as it had been. He should even have the commission he had acted without to
go and fight against the Indians.

Bacon thereupon made his submission upon his knees, promising that
henceforth he would "demean himself dutifully, faithfully, and peaceably."
Formally forgiven, he was restored to his place in the Virginia Council. An
eyewitness reports that presently he saw "Mr. Bacon on his quondam seat
with the Governor and Council, which seemed a marvellous indulgence to one
whom he had so lately proscribed as a rebel." The Assembly of 1676 was of a
different temper and opinion from that of the Long Assembly. It was an
insurgent body, composed to a large degree of mere freemen and small
planters, with a few of the richer, more influential sort who nevertheless
queried that old divine right of rule. Berkeley thought that he had good
reason to doubt this Assembly's intentions, once it gave itself rein. He
directs it therefore to confine its attention to Indian troubles. It did,
indeed, legislate on Indian affairs by passing an elaborate act for the
prosecution of the war. An army of a thousand white men was to be raised.
Bacon was to be commander-in-chief. All manner of precautions were to be
taken. But this matter disposed of, the Assembly thereupon turned to "the
redressing several grievances the country was then labouring under; and
motions were made for inspecting the public revenues, the collectors'
accounts," and so forth. The Governor thundered; friends of the old order
obstructed; but the Assembly went on its way, reforming here and reforming
there. It even went so far as to repeal the preceding Assembly's
legislation regarding the franchise. All white males who are freemen were
now privileged to vote, "together with the freeholders and housekeepers."

A certain member wanted some detail of procedure retained because it was
customary. "Tis true it has been customary," answered another, "but if we
have any bad customs amongst us, we are come here to mend 'em!"
"Whereupon," says the contemporary narrator, "the house was set in a
laughter." But after so considerable an amount of mending there threatened
a standstill. What was to come next? Could men go further -- as they had gone
further in England not so many years ago? Reform had come to an apparent
impasse. While it thus hesitated, the old party gained in life.

Bacon, now petitioning for his promised commission against the Indians,
seems to have reached the conclusion that the Governor might promise but
meant not to perform, and not only so, but that in Jamestown his very life
was in danger. He had "intimation that the Governor's generosity in
pardoning him and restoring him to his place in the Council were no other
than previous wheedles to amuse him."

In Jamestown lived one whom a chronicler paints for us as "thoughtful Mr.
Lawrence." This gentleman was an Oxford scholar, noted for "wit, learning,
and sobriety . . . nicely honest, affable, and without blemish in his
conversation and dealings." Thus friends declared, though foes said of him
quite other things. At any rate, having emigrated to Virginia and married
there, he had presently acquired, because of a lawsuit over land in which
he held himself to be unjustly and shabbily treated through influences of
the Governor, an inveterate prejudice against that ruler. He calls him in
short "an old, treacherous villain." Lawrence and his wife, not being rich,
kept a tavern at Jamestown, and there Bacon lodged, probably having been
thrown with Lawrence before this. Persons are found who hold that Lawrence
was the brain, Bacon the arm, of the discontent in Virginia. There was also
Mr. William Drummond, who will be met with in the account of Carolina. He
was a "sober Scotch gentleman of good repute" -- but no more than Lawrence on
good terms with the Governor of Virginia.

On a morning in June, when the Assembly met, it was observed that Nathaniel
Bacon was not in his place in the Council -- nor was he to be found in the
building, nor even in Jamestown itself, though Berkeley had Lawrence's inn
searched for him. He had left the town -- gone up the river in his sloop to
his plantation at Curles Neck "to visit his wife, who, as she informed him,
was indisposed." In truth it appears that Bacon had gone for the purpose of
gathering together some six hundred up-river men. Or perhaps they
themselves had come together and, needing a leader, had turned naturally to
the man who was under the frown of an unpopular Governor and all the
Governor's supporters in Virginia. At any rate Bacon was presently seen at
the head of no inconsiderable army for a colony of less than fifty thousand
souls. Those with him were only up-river men; but he must have known that
he could gather besides from every part of the country. Given some initial
success, he might even set all Virginia ablaze. Down the river he marched,
he and his six hundred, and in the summer heat entered Jamestown and drew
up before the Capitol. The space in front of this building was packed with
the Jamestown folk and with the six hundred. Bacon, a guard behind him,
advanced to the central door, to find William Berkeley standing there
shaking with rage. The old royalist has courage. He tears open his silken
vest and fine shirt and faces the young man who, though trained in the law
of the realm, is now filling that law with a hundred wounds. He raises a
passionate voice. "Here! Shoot me! 'Fore God, a fair mark -- a fair mark!

Bacon will not shoot him, but will have that promised commission to go
against the Indians. Those behind him lift and shake their guns. "We will
have it! We will have it!" Governor and Council retire to consider the
demand. If Berkeley is passionate and at times violent, so is Bacon in his
own way, for an eye-witness has to say that "he displayed outrageous
postures of his head, arms, body and legs, often tossing his hand from his
sword to his hat," and that outside the door he had cried: "Damn my blood!
I'll kill Governor, Council, Assembly and all, and then I'll sheathe my
sword in my own heart's blood!" He is no dour, determined, unwordy
revolutionist like the Scotch Drummond, nor still and subtle like "the
thoughtful Mr. Lawrence." He is young and hot, a man of oratory and outward
acts. Yet is he a patriot and intelligent upon broad public needs. When
presently he makes a speech to the excited Assembly, it has for
subject-matter "preserving our lives from the Indians, inspecting the
public revenues, the exorbitant taxes, and redressing the grievances and
calamities of that deplorable country." It has quite the ring of young
men's speeches in British colonies a century later!

The Governor and his party gave in perforce. Bacon got his commission and
an Act of Indemnity for all chance political offenses. General and
Commander-in-chief against the Indians -- so was he styled. Moreover, the
Burgesses, with an alarmed thought toward England, drew up an explanatory
memorial for Charles II's perusal. This paper journeyed forth upon the
first ship to sail, but it had for traveling companion a letter secretly
sent from the Governor to the King. The two communications were painted in
opposite colors. "I have," says Berkeley, "for above thirty years governed
the most flourishing country the sun ever shone over, but am now
encompassed with rebellion like waters."


Bacon with an increased army now rode out once more against the Indians. He
made a rendezvous on the upper York -- the old Pamunkey -- and to this center
he gathered horsemen until there may have been with him not far from a
thousand mounted men. From here he sent detachments against the red men's
villages in all the upper troubled country, and afar into the sunset woods
where the pioneer's cabin had not yet been builded. He acted with vigor.
The Indians could not stand against his horsemen and concerted measures,
and back they fell before the white men, westward again; or, if they stayed
in the ever dwindling villages, they gave hostages and oaths of peace.
Quiet seemed to descend once more upon the border.

But, if the frontier seemed peaceful, Virginia behind the border was a
bubbling cauldron. Bacon had now become a hero of the people, a Siegfried
capable of slaying the dragon. Nor were Lawrence and Drummond idle, nor
others of their way of thinking. The Indian troubles might soon be settled,
but why not go further, marching against other troubles, more subtle and
long-continuing, and threatening all the future?

In the midst of this speculation and promise of change, the Governor,
feeling the storm, dissolved the Assembly, proclaimed Bacon and his
adherents rebels and traitors, and made a desperate attempt to raise an
army for use against the new-fangledness of the time. This last he could
not do. Private interest led many planters to side with him, and there was
a fair amount of passionate conviction matching his own, that his Majesty
the King and the forces of law and order were being withstood, and without
just cause. But the mass of the people cried out to his speeches, "Bacon!
Bacon!" As the popular leader had been warned from Jamestown by news of
personal danger, so in his turn Berkeley seems to have believed that his
own liberty was threatened. With suddenness he departed the place, boarded
a sloop, and was "wafted over Chesapeake Bay thirty miles to Accomac." The
news of the Governor's flight, producing both alarm in one party and
enthusiasm in the other, tended to precipitate the crisis. Though the
Indian trouble might by now be called adjusted, Bacon, far up the York, did
not disband his men. He turned and with them marched down country, not to
Jamestown, but to a hamlet called Middle Plantation, where later was to
grow the town of Williamsburg. Here he camped, and here took counsel with
Lawrence and Drummond and others, and here addressed, with a curious, lofty
eloquence, the throng that began to gather. Hence, too, he issued a
"Declaration," recounting the misdeeds of those lately in power, protesting
against the terms rebel and traitor as applied to himself and his
followers, who are only in arms to protect his Majesty's demesne and
subjects, and calling on those who are well disposed to reform to join him
at Middle Plantation, there to consider the state of the country which had
been brought into a bad way by "Sir William's doting and irregular actings."

Upon his proclamation many did come to Middle Plantation, great planters
and small, men just freed from indentured service, holders of no land and
little land and much land, men of all grades of weight and consideration
and all degrees of revolutionary will, from Drummond -- with a reported
speech, "I am in overshoes; I will be in overboots!" and a wife Sarah who
snapped a stick in two with the cry, "I care no more for the power of
England than for this broken straw!" -- to those who would be revolutionary
as long as, and only when, it seemed safe to be so.

How much of revolution, despite that speech about his Majesty's demesne and
subjects, was in Bacon's mind, or in Richard Lawrence's mind and William
Drummond's mind, or in the mind of their staunchest supporters, may hardly
now be resolved. Perhaps as much as was in the mind of Patrick Henry,
Thomas Jefferson, and George Mason a century later.

The Governor was in Accomac, breathing fire and slaughter, though as yet
without brand or sword with which to put his ardent desires into execution.
But he and the constituted order were not without friends and supporters.
He had, as his opponents saw, a number of "wicked and pernicious
counsellors, aides and assistants against the commonalty in these our cruel
commotions." Moreover -- and a great moreover is that! -- it was everywhere
bruited that he had sent to England, to the King, "for two thousand Red
Coates." Perhaps the King -- perhaps England -- will take his view, and, not
consulting the good of Virginia, send the Red Coats! What then?

Bacon, as a measure of opposition, proposed "a test or recognition," to be
signed by those here at Middle Plantation who earnestly do wish the good of
Virginia. It was a bold test! Not only should they covenant to give no aid
to the whilom?? Governor against this new general and army, but if ships
should bring the Red Coats they were to withstand them. There is little
wonder that "this bugbear did marvellously startle" that body of Virginia
horsemen, those progressive gentlemen planters, and others. Yet in the end,
after violent contentions, the assembly at Middle Plantation drew up and
signed a remarkable paper, the "Oath at Middle Plantation." Historically,
it is linked on the one hand with that "thrusting out of his government" of
Sir John Harvey in Charles I's time, and on the other with Virginian
proceedings a hundred years later under the third George. If his Majesty
had been, as it was rumored, wrongly informed that Virginia was in
rebellion; if, acting upon that misinformation, he sent troops against his
loyal Virginians -- who were armed only against an evil Governor and
intolerable woes then these same good loyalists would "oppose and suppress
all forces whatsoever of that nature, until such time as the King be fully
informed of the state of the case." What was to happen if the King, being
informed, still supported Berkeley and sent other Red Coats was not taken
into consideration.

This paper, being drawn, was the more quickly signed because there arrived,
in the midst of the debate, a fresh Indian alarm. Attack threatened a fort
upon the York -- whence the Governor had seen fit to remove arms and
ammunition! The news came most opportunely for Bacon. "There were no more
discourses." The major portion of the large assemblage signed.

The old Government in Virginia was thus denied. But it was held that
government there must be, and that the people of Virginia through
representatives must arrange for it. Writs of election, made as usual in
the King's name, and signed by Bacon and by those members of the Council
who were of the revolt, went forth to all counties. The Assembly thus
provided was to meet at Jamestown in September.

So much business done, off rode Bacon and his men to put down this latest
rising of the Indians. Not only these but red men in a new quarter, tribes
south of the James, kept them employed for weeks to come. Nor were they
unmindful of that proud old man, Sir William Berkeley, over on the Eastern
Shore, a well-peopled region where traveling by boat and by sandy road was
sufficiently easy. Bacon, Lawrence, and Drummond finally decided to take
Sir William captive and to bring him back to Jamestown. For this purpose
they dispatched a ship across the Bay, with two hundred and fifty men,
under the command of Giles Bland, "a man of courage and haughty bearing,"
and "no great admirer of Sir William's goodness." The ship proceeded to the
Accomac shore, anchored in some bight, and sent ashore men to treat with
the Governor. But the Governor turned the tables on them. He made himself
captor, instead of being made captive. Bland and his lieutenants were
taken, whereupon their following surrendered into Berkeley's hands. Bland's
second in command was hanged; Bland himself was held in irons.

Now Berkeley's star was climbing. In Accomac he gathered so many that, with
those who had fled with him and later recruits who crossed the Bay, he had
perhaps a thousand men. He stowed these upon the ship of the ill-fated
Bland and upon a number of sloops. With seventeen sail in all, the old
Governor set his face west and south towards the mouth of the James.

In that river, on the 7th of September, 1676, there appeared this fleet of
the King's Governor, set on retaking Virginia. Jamestown had notice. The
Bacon faction held the place with perhaps eight hundred men, Colonel
Hansford at their head. Summoned by Berkeley to surrender, Hansford
refused, but that same night, by advice of Lawrence and Drummond, evacuated
the place, drawing his force off toward the York. The next day, emptied of
all but a few citizens, Jamestown received the old Governor and his army.

The tidings found Bacon on the upper York. Acting with his accustomed
energy, he sent out, far and wide, ringing appeals to the country to rouse
itself, for men to join him and march to the defeat of the old tyrant.
Numbers did come in. He moved with "marvelous celerity." When he had, for
the time and place, a large force of rebels, he marched, by stream and
plantation, tobacco field and forest, forge and mill, through the early
autumn country to Jamestown. Civil war was on.

Across the narrow neck of the Jamestown peninsula had been thrown a sort
of fortification with ditch, earthwork, and palisade. Before this Bacon now
sounded trumpets. No answer coming, but the mouths of cannon appearing at
intervals above the breastwork, the "rebel" general halted, encamped his
men, and proceeded to construct siege lines of his own. The work must be
done exposed to Sir William's iron shot.

Now comes a strange and discreditable incident. Patriots, revolutionists,
who on the whole would serve human progress, have yet, as have we all, dark
spots and seamy sides. Bacon's parties of workmen were threatened,
hindered, driven from their task by Berkeley's guns. Bacon had a curious,
unadmirable idea. He sent horsemen to neighboring loyalist plantations to
gather up and bring to camp, not the planters -- for they are with Berkeley
in Jamestown -- but the planters' wives. Here are Mistress Bacon (wife of the
elder Nathaniel Bacon), Mistress Bray; Mistress Ballard, Mistress Page, and
others. Protesting, these ladies enter Bacon's camp, who sends one as envoy
into the town with the message that, if Berkeley attacks, the whole number
of women shall be placed as shield to Bacon's men who build earthworks.

He was as good -- or as bad -- as his word. At the first show of action against
his workmen these royalist women were placed in the front and were kept
there until Bacon had made his counter-line of defense. Sir William
Berkeley had great faults, but at times -- not always -- he displayed chivalry.
For that day "the ladies' white aprons" guarded General Bacon and all his
works. The next day, the defenses completed, this "white garde" was withdrawn.

Berkeley waited no longer but, though now at a disadvantage, opened fire
and charged with his men through gate and over earthworks. The battle that
followed was short and decisive. Berkeley's chance-gathered army was no
match for Bacon's seasoned Indian fighters and for desperate men who knew
that they must win or be hanged for traitors. The Governor's force wavered
and, unable to stand its ground, turned and fled, leaving behind some dead
and wounded. Then Bacon, who also had cannon, opened upon the town and the
ships that rode before it. In the night the King's Governor embarked for
the second time and with him, in that armada from the Eastern Shore, the
greater part of the force he had gathered. When dawn came, Bacon saw that
the ships, large and small, were gone, sailing back to Accomac. Bacon and
his following thus came peaceably into Jamestown, but with the somewhat
fell determination to burn the place. It should "harbor no more rogues."
What Bacon, Lawrence, Drummond, Hansford, and others really hoped -- whether
they forecasted a republican Virginia finally at peace and
prosperous -- whether they saw in a vision a new capital, perhaps at Middle
Plantation, perhaps at the Falls of the Far West, a capital that should be
without old, tyrannic memories -- cannot now be said. However it all may be,
they put torch to the old capital town and soon saw it consumed, for it was
no great place, and not hard to burn.

Jamestown had hardly ceased to smoke when news came that loyalists under
Colonel Brent were gathering in northern counties. Bacon, now ill but
energetic to the end, turned with promptness to meet this new alarm. He
crossed the York and marched northward through Gloucester County. But the
rival forces did not come to a fight. Brent's men deserted by the double
handful. They came into Bacon's ranks "resolving with the Persians to go
and worship the rising sun." Or, hanging fire, reluctant to commit
themselves either way, they melted from Brent, running homeward by every
road. Bacon, with an enlarged, not lessened army, drew back into
Gloucester. Revolutionary fortunes shone fair in prospect. Yet it was but
the moment of brief, deceptive bloom before decay and fall.

At this critical moment Bacon fell sick and died. Some said that he was
poisoned, but that has never been proved. The illness that had attacked him
during his siege of Jamestown and that held on after his victory seems to
have sufficed for his taking off. In Gloucester County he "surrendered up
that fort he was no longer able to keep, into the hands of that grim and
all-conquering Captaine Death." His body was buried, says the old account,
"but where deposited till the Generall day not knowne, only to those who
are resolutely silent in that particular."

With Bacon's death there fell to pieces all this hopeful or unhopeful
movement. Lawrence might have a subtle head and Drummond the courage to
persevere; Hansford, Cheeseman, Bland, and others might have varied
abilities. But the passionate and determined Bacon had been the organ of
action; Bacon's the eloquence that could bring to the cause men with
property to give as well as men with life to lose. It is a question how
soon, had Bacon not died, must have failed his attempt at revolution,
desperate because so premature.

Back came Berkeley from Accomac, his turbulent enemy thus removed. All who
from the first had held with the King's Governor now rode emboldened. Many
who had shouted more or less loudly for the rising star, now that it was so
untimely set, made easy obeisance to the old sun. A great number who had
wavered in the wind now declared that they had done no such thing, but had
always stood steadfast for the ancient powers.

The old Governor, who might once have been magnanimous, was changed for the
worse. He had been withstood; he would punish. He now gave full rein to his
passionate temper, his bigotry for the throne, and his feeling of personal
wrong. He began in Virginia to outlaw and arrest rebels, and to doom them
to hasty trials and executions. There was no longer a united army to meet,
but only groups and individuals striving for safety in flight or hiding.
Hansford was early taken and hanged with two lieutenants of Bacon, Wilford
and Farlow. Cheeseman died in prison. Drummond was taken in the swamps of
the Chickahominy and carried before the Governor. Berkeley brought his
hands together. "Mr. Drummond, you are very welcome! I am more glad to see
you than any man in Virginia! Mr. Drummond you shall be hanged in half an
hour!" Not in half an hour, but on the same day he was hanged,
imperturbable Scot to the last. Lawrence, held by many to have been more
than Bacon the true author of the attempt, either put an end to himself or
escaped northward, for he disappears from history. "The last account of Mr.
Lawrence was from an uppermost plantation whence he and four other
desperadoes with horses, pistols, etc., marched away in a snow ankle deep."
They "were thought to have cast themselves into a branch of some river,
rather than to be treated like Drummond." Thus came to early and untimely
end the ringleaders of Bacon's Rebellion. In all, by the Governor's
command, thirty-seven men suffered death by hanging.

There comes to us, down the centuries, the comment of that King for whom
Berkeley was so zealous, a man who fell behind his colonial Governor in
singleness of interest but excelled him in good nature. "That old fool,"
said the second Charles, "has hanged more men in that naked country than I
have done for the murder of my father!"

That letter which Berkeley had written some months before to his sovereign
about the "waters of rebellion" was now seen to have borne fruit. In
January, while the Governor was yet running down fugitives, confiscating
lands, and hanging "traitors," a small fleet from England sailed in,
bringing a regiment of "Red Coates," and with them three commissioners
charged with the duty of bringing order out of confusion. These
commissioners, bearing the King's proclamation of pardon to all upon
submission, were kinder than the irascible and vindictive Governor of
Virginia, and they succeeded at last in restraining his fury. They made
their report to England, and after some months obtained a second royal
proclamation censuring Berkeley's vengeful course, "so derogatory to our
princely clemency," abrogating the Assembly's more violent acts, and
extending full pardon to all concerned in the late "rebellion," saving only
the arch-rebel Bacon -- to whom perhaps it now made little difference if they
pardoned him or not.

But with this piece of good nature, so characteristic of the second
Charles, there came neither to the King in person nor to England as a whole
any appreciation of the true ills behind the Virginian revolt, nor any
attempt to relieve them. Along with the King's first proclamation came
instructions for the Governor. "You shall be no more obliged to call an
Assembly once every year, but only once in two years . . . . Also
whensoever the Assembly is called fourteen days shall be the time prefixed
for their sitting and no longer." And the narrowed franchise that Bacon's
Assembly had widened is narrowed again. "You shall take care that the
members of the Assembly be elected only by freeholders, as being more
agreeable to the custom of England." Nor is the grant to Culpeper and
Arlington revoked. Nor, wider and deeper, are the Navigation Laws in any
wise bettered. No more than before, no more indeed than a century later, is
there any conception that the child exists no more for the parent than the
parent for the child.

Sir William Berkeley's loyalty had in the end overshot itself. His zeal
fatigued the King, and in 1677 he was recalled to England. As Governor of
Virginia he had been long popular at first but in his old age detested. He
had great personal courage, fidelity, and generosity for those things that
ran with the current of a deep and narrow soul. He passes from the New
World stage, a marked and tragic figure. Behind him his vengeances
displeased even loyalist Virginia, willing on the whole to let bygones be
bygones among neighbors and kindred. It is said that; when his ship went
down the river, bonfires were lighted and cannon and muskets fired for joy.
And so beyond the eastward horizon fades the old reactionary.

Herbert Jeffreys and then Sir Henry Chicheley follow Berkeley as Governors
of Virginia; they are succeeded by Lord Culpeper and he by Lord Howard of
Effingham. King Charles dies and James the Second rules in England.
Culpeper and Effingham play the Governor merely for what they can get for
themselves out of Virginia.* The price of tobacco goes down, down. The
crops are too large; the old poor remedies of letting much acreage go
unplanted, or destroying and burning where the measure of production is
exceeded, and of petitions to the King, are all resorted to, but they
procure little relief. Virginia cannot be called prosperous. England hears
that the people are still disaffected and unquiet and England stolidly
wonders why.

* In 1684 the Crown purchased from Culpeper all his rights except in the
Northern Neck.

During the reign of the second Charles, Maryland had suffered from
political unrest somewhat less than Virginia. The autocracy of Maryland was
more benevolent and more temperate than that of her southern neighbor. The
name of Calvert is a better symbol of wisdom than the name of Berkeley.
Cecil Calvert, second Lord Baltimore, dying in 1675, has a fair niche in
the temple of human enlightenment. His son Charles succeeded, third Lord
Baltimore and Lord Proprietary of Maryland. Well-intentioned, this Calvert
lacked something of the ability of either his father or his grandfather.
Though he lived in Maryland while his father had lived in England, his
government was not as wise as his father's had been.

But in Maryland, even before the death of Cecil Calvert, inherent evils
were beginning to form of themselves a visible body. In Maryland, as in
Virginia, there set in after the Restoration a period of reaction, of
callous rule in the interests of an oligarchy. In 1669 a "packed" Council and
an "aristocratic" Assembly procured a restriction of the franchise similar to
that introduced into Virginia. As in Virginia, an Assembly deemed of the right
political hue was kept in being by the device of adjournment from year to
year. In Maryland, as in Virginia, public officials were guilty of corruption
and graft. In 1676 there seems to have lacked for revolt, in Maryland, only
the immediate provocative of acute Indian troubles and such leaders as Bacon,
Lawrence, and Drummond. The new Lord Baltimore being for the time in England,
his deputy writes him that never were any "more replete with malignancy and
frenzy than our people were about August last, and they wanted but a
monstrous head to their monstrous body." Two leaders indeed appeared, Davis
and Pate by name, but having neither the standing nor the strength of the
Virginia rebels, they were finally taken and hanged. What supporters they
had dispersed, and the specter of armed insurrection passed away.

The third Lord Baltimore, like his father, found difficulty in preserving
the integrity of his domain. His father had been involved in a long wrangle
over the alleged invasion of Maryland by the Dutch. Since then, New
Netherland had passed into English hands. Now there occurred another
encroachment on the territory of Maryland. This time the invader was an
Englishman named William Penn. Just as the idea of a New World freedom for
Catholics had appealed to the first Lord Baltimore, so now to William Penn,
the Quaker, came the thought of freedom there for the Society of Friends.
The second Charles owed an old debt to Penn's father. He paid it in 1681 by
giving to the son, whom he liked, a province in America. Little by little,
in order to gain for Penn access to the sea, the terms of his grant were
widened until it included, beside the huge Pennsylvanian region, the tract
that is now Delaware, which was then claimed by Baltimore. Maryland
protested against the grant to Penn, as Virginia had protested against the
grant to Baltimore -- and equally in vain. England was early set upon the
road to many colonies in America, destined later to become many States. One
by one they were carved out of the first great unity.

In 1685 the tolerant Charles the Second died. James the Second, a Catholic,
ruled England for about three years, and then fled before the Revolution of
1688. William and Mary, sovereigns of a Protestant England, came to the
throne. We have seen that the Proprietary of Maryland and his numerous
kinsmen and personal adherents were Catholics. Approximately one in eight
of other Marylanders were fellows in that faith. Another eighth of the
people held with the Church of England. The rest, the mass of the folk,
were dissenters from that Church. And now all the Protestant elements
together -- the Quakers excepted -- solidified into political and religious
opposition to the Proprietary's rule. Baltimore, still in England, had
immediately, upon the accession of William and Mary, dispatched orders to
the Maryland Council to proclaim them King and Queen. But his messenger
died at sea, and there was delay in sending another. In Maryland the
Council would not proclaim the new sovereigns without instructions, and it
was even rumored that Catholic Maryland meant to withstand the new order.

In effect the old days were over. The Protestants, Churchmen and Dissenters
alike, proceeded to organize under a new leader, one John Coode. They
formed "An Association in arms for the defense of the Protestant religion,
and for asserting the right of King William and Queen Mary to the Province
of Maryland and all the English Dominions." Now followed a confused time of
accusations and counter-accusations, with assertions that Maryland
Catholics were conspiring with the Indians to perpetrate a new St.
Bartholomew massacre of Protestants, and hot counter-assertions that this
is "a sleveless fear and imagination fomented by the artifice of some
ill-minded persons." In the end Coode assembled a force of something less
than a thousand men and marched against St. Mary's. The Council, which had
gathered there, surrendered, and the Association for the Defense found
itself in power. It proceeded to call a convention and to memorialize the
King and Queen, who in the end approved its course. Maryland passed under
the immediate government of the Crown. Lord Baltimore might still receive
quit-rents and customs, but his governmental rights were absorbed into the
monarchy. Sir Lionel Copley came out as Royal Governor, and a new order
began in Maryland.

The heyday of Catholic freedom was past. England would have a Protestant
America. Episcopalians were greatly in the minority, but their Church now
became dominant over both Catholic and Dissenter, and where the freethinker
raised his head he was smitten down. Catholic and Dissenter and all alike were
taxed to keep stable the Established Church. The old tolerance, such as it
was, was over. Maryland paced even with the rest of the world.

Presently the old capital of St. Mary's was abandoned. The government
removed to the banks of the Severn, to Providence -- soon, when Anne should
be Queen, to be renamed Annapolis. In vain the inhabitants of St. Mary's
remonstrated. The center of political gravity in Maryland had shifted.

The third Lord Baltimore died in 1715. His son Benedict, fourth lord,
turned from the Catholic Church and became a member of the Church of
England. Dying presently, he left a young son, Charles, fifth Lord
Baltimore, to be brought up in the fold of the Established Church.
Reconciled now to the dominant creed, with a Maryland where Catholics were
heavily penalized, Baltimore resumed the government under favor of the
Crown. But it was a government with a difference. In Maryland, as
everywhere, the people were beginning to hold the reins. Not again the old
lord and the old underling! For years to come the lords would say that
they governed, but strong life arose beneath, around, and above their

Maryland had by 1715 within her bounds more than forty thousand white men
and nearly ten thousand black men. She still planted and shipped tobacco,
but presently found how well she might raise wheat, and that it, too, was
valuable to send away in exchange for all kinds of manufactured things.
Thus Maryland began to be a land of wheat still more than a land of tobacco.

For the rest, conditions of life in Maryland paralleled pretty closely
those in Virginia. Maryland was almost wholly rural; her plantations and
farms were reached with difficulty by roads hardly more than bridle-paths,
or with ease by sailboat and rowboat along the innumerable waterways.
Though here and there manors -- large, easygoing, patriarchal places, with
vague, feudal ways and customs -- were to be found, the moderate sized
plantation was the rule. Here stood, in sight usually of blue water, the
planter's dwelling of brick or wood. Around it grew up the typical
outhouses, household offices, and storerooms; farther away yet clustered
the cabin quarters alike of slaves and indentured labor. Then stretched the
fields of corn and wheat, the fields of tobacco. Here, at river or bay
side, was the home wharf or landing. Here the tobacco was rolled in casks;
here rattled the anchor of the ship that was to take it to England and
bring in return a thousand and one manufactured articles. There were no
factories in Maryland or Virginia. Yet artisans were found among the
plantation laborers -- "carpenters, coopers, sawyers, blacksmiths, tanners,
curriers, shoemakers, spinners, weavers, and knitters." Throughout the
colonies, as in every new country, men and women, besides being
agriculturists, produced homemade much that men, women, and children
needed. But many other articles and all luxuries came in the ships from
overseas, and the harvest of the fields paid the account.


The first settlers on the banks of the James River, looking from beneath
their hands southward over plain land and a haze of endless forests, called
that unexplored country South Virginia. It stretched away to those rivers
and bays, to that island of Roanoke, whence had fled Raleigh's settlers.
Beyond that, said the James River men, was Florida. Time passed, and the
region of South Virginia was occasionally spoken of as Carolina, though
whether that name was drawn from Charles the First of England, or whether
those old unfortunate Huguenots in Florida had used it with reference to
Charles the Ninth of France, is not certainly known.

South Virginia lay huge, unknown, unsettled. The only exception was the
country immediately below the southern banks of the lower James with the
promontory that partially closed in Chesapeake Bay. Virginia, growing fast,
at last sent her children into this region. In 1653 the Assembly enacted:
"Upon the petition of Roger Green, clarke, on the behalfe of himselfe and
inhabitants of Nansemund river, It is ordered by this present Grand
Assembly that tenn thousand acres of land be granted unto one hundred such
persons who shall first seate on Moratuck or Roanoke river and the land
lying upon the south side of Choan river and the ranches thereof, Provided
that such seaters settle advantageously for security and be sufficiently
furnished with amunition and strength . . . ."

Green and his men, well furnished presumably with firelocks, bullets, and
powder-horns, went into this hinterland. At intervals there followed other
hardy folk. Quakers, subject to persecution in old Virginia, fled into
these wilds. The name Carolina grew to mean backwoods, frontiersman's land.
Here were forest and stream, Indian and bear and wolf, blue waters of sound
and sea, long outward lying reefs and shoals and islets, fertile soil and a
clime neither hot nor cold. Slowly the people increased in number. Families
left settled Virginia for the wilderness; men without families came there
for reasons good and bad. Their cabins, their tiny hamlets were far apart;
they practised a hazardous agriculture; they hunted, fished, and traded
with the Indians. The isolation of these settlers bred or increased their
personal independence, while it robbed them of that smoothness to be gained
where the social particles rub together. This part of South Virginia was
soon to be called North Carolina.

Far down the coast was Cape Fear. In the year of the Restoration a handful
of New England men came here in a ship and made a settlement which, not
prospering, was ere long abandoned. But New Englanders traded still in
South Virginia as along other coasts. Seafarers, they entered at this inlet
and at that, crossed the wide blue sounds, and, anchoring in mouths of
rivers, purchased from the settlers their forest commodities. Then over
they ran to the West Indies, and got in exchange sugar and rum and
molasses, with which again they traded for tobacco in Carolina, in
Virginia, and in Maryland. These ships went often to New Providence in the
Bahamas and to Barbados. There began, through trade and other
circumstances, a special connection between the long coast line and these
islands that were peopled by the English. The restored Kingdom of England
had many adherents to reward. Land in America, islands and main, formed the
obvious Fortunatus's purse. As the second Charles had divided Virginia for
the benefit of Arlington and Culpeper, so now, in 1663, to "our right
trusty and right well-beloved cousins and counsellors, Edward, Earl of
Clarendon, our High Chancellor of England, and George, Duke of Albemarle,
Master of our Horse and CaptainGeneral of all our Forces, our right trusty
and well-beloved William, Lord Craven, John, Lord Berkeley, our right
trusty and well-beloved counsellor, Anthony, Lord Ashley, Chancellor of our
Exchequer, Sir George Carteret, Knight and Baronet, ViceChamberlain of our
Household, and our trusty and well-beloved Sir William Berkeley, Knight,
and Sir John Colleton, Knight and Baronet," he gave South Virginia,
henceforth called the Carolinas, a region occupying five degrees of
latitude, and stretching indefinitely from the seacoast toward the setting

This huge territory became, like Maryland, a province or palatinate. In
Maryland was one Proprietary; in Carolina there were eight, though for
distinction the senior of the eight was called the Palatine. As in Maryland,
the Proprietaries had princely rights. They owed allegiance to England, and a
small quit-rent went to the King. They were supposed to govern, in the main,
by English law and to uphold the religion of England. They were to make laws
at their discretion, with "the advice, assent, and approbation of the freemen,
or of their deputies, who were to be assembled from time to time as seemed

John Locke, who wrote the "Essay Concerning Human Understanding", wrote
also, with Ashley at his side, "The Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina,
in number a Hundred and Twenty, agreed upon by the Palatine and Lords
Proprietors, to remain the sacred and unalterable form and Rule of
government of Carolina forever."

"Forever" is a long word with ofttimes a short history. The Lords
Proprietors have left their names upon the maps of North and South
Carolina. There are Albemarle Sound and the Ashley and Cooper rivers,
Clarendon, Hyde, Carteret, Craven, and Colleton Counties. But their
Fundamental Constitutions, "in number a hundred and twenty," written by
Locke in 1669, are almost all as dead as the leaves of the Carolina forest
falling in the autumn of that year.

The grant included that territory settled by Roger Green and his men. Among
the Proprietors sat Sir William Berkeley, Governor of Virginia, the only
lord of Carolina actually upon American ground. Following instructions from
his seven fellows Berkeley now declared this region separated from Virginia
and attached to Carolina. He christened it Albemarle. Strangely enough, he
sent as Governor that Scotchman, William Drummond, whom some years later he
would hang. Drummond should have a Council of six and an Assembly of
freemen that might inaugurate legislation having to do with local matters
but must submit its acts to the Proprietaries for veto or approval. This
was the settlement in Carolina of Albemarle, back country to Virginia,
gatherer thence of many that were hardy and sound, many that were
unfortunate, and many that were shiftless and untamed. An uncouth nurse of
a turbulent democracy was Albemarle.

Cape Fear, far down the deeply frayed coast, seemed a proper place to which
to send a colony. The intrusive Massachusetts men were gone. But "gentlemen
and merchants" of Barbados were interested. It is a far cry from Barbados
to the Carolina shore, but so is it a far cry from England. Many royalists
had fled to Barbados during the old troubles, so that its English
population was considerable. A number may have welcomed the chance to leave
their small island for the immense continent; and an English trading port
as far south as Cape Fear must have had a general appeal. So, in 1665, came
Englishmen from Barbados and made, up the Cape Fear River, a settlement
which they named Clarendon, with John Yeamans of Barbados as Governor. But
the colony did not prosper. There arose the typical colonial
troubles -- sickness, dissensions, improvidence, quarrels with the aborigines.
Nor was the site the best obtainable. The settlers finally abandoned the
place and scattered to various points along the northern coast.

In 1669 the Lords Proprietaries sent out from England three ships, the
Carolina, the Port Royal, and the Albemarle, with about a hundred colonists
aboard. Taking the old sea road, they came at last to Barbados, and here
the Albemarle, seized by a storm, was wrecked. The two other ships, with a
Barbados sloop, sailed on anal were approaching the Bahamas when another
hurricane destroyed the Port Royal. The Carolina, however, pushed on with
the sloop, reached Bermuda, and rested there; then, together with a small
ship purchased in these islands, she turned west by south and came in March
of 1670 to the good harbor of Port Royal, South Carolina.

Southward from the harbor where the ships rode, stretched old Florida, held
by the Spaniards. There was the Spanish town, St. Augustine. Thence Spanish
ships might put forth and descend upon the English newcomers. The colonists
after debate concluded to set some further space between them and lands of
Spain. The ships put again to sea, beat northward a few leagues, and at
last entered a harbor into which emptied two rivers, presently to be called
the Ashley and the Cooper. Up the Ashley they went a little way, anchored,
and the colonists going ashore began to build upon the west bank of the
river a town which for the King they named Charles Town. Ten years later
this place was abandoned in favor of the more convenient point of land
between the two rivers. Here then was builded the second and more enduring
Charles Town--Charleston, as we call it now, in South Carolina.

Colonists came fast to this Carolina lying south. Barbados sent many;
England, Scotland, and Ireland contributed a share; there came Huguenots
from France, and a certain number of Germans. In ten years after the first
settling the population numbered twelve hundred, and this presently doubled
and went on to increase. The early times were taken up with the wrestle
with the forest, with the Indians, with Spanish alarms, with incompetent
governors, with the Lords Proprietaries' Fundamental Constitutions, and
with the restrictions which English Navigation Laws imposed upon English
colonies. What grains and vegetables and tobacco they could grow, what
cattle and swine they could breed and export, preoccupied the minds of
these pioneer farmers. There were struggling for growth a rough agriculture
and a hampered trade with Barbados, Virginia, and New England -- trade
likewise with the buccaneers who swarmed in the West Indian waters.

Five hundred good reasons allowed, and had long allowed, free bootery to
flourish in American seas. Gross governmental faults, Navigation Acts, and
a hundred petty and great oppressions, general poverty, adventurousness,
lawlessness, and sympathy of mishandled folk with lawlessness, all combined
to keep Brother of the Coast, Buccaneer, and Filibuster alive, and their
ships upon all seas. Many were no worse than smugglers; others were robbers
with violence; and a few had a dash of the fiend. All nations had sons in
the business. England to the south in America had just the ragged coast
line, with its off-lying islands and islets, liked by all this gentry,
whether smuggler or pirate outright. Through much of the seventeenth
century the settlers on these shores never violently disapproved of the
pirate. He was often a "good fellow." He brought in needed articles without
dues, and had Spanish gold in his pouch. He was shrugged over and traded with.

He came ashore to Charles Town, and they traded with him there. At one time
Charles Town got the name of "Rogue's Harbor." But that was not forever,
nor indeed, as years are counted, for long. Better and better emigrants
arrived, to add to the good already there. The better type prevailed, and
gave its tone to the place. There set in, on the Ashley and Cooper rivers,
a fair urban life that yet persists.

South Carolina was trying tobacco and wheat. But in the last years of the
seventeenth century a ship touching at Charleston left there a bag of
Madagascar rice. Planted, it gave increase that was planted again. Suddenly
it was found that this was the crop for low-lying Carolina. Rice became her
staple, as was tobacco of Virginia.

For the rice-fields South Carolina soon wanted African slaves, and they
were consequently brought in numbers, in English ships. There began, in
this part of the world, even more than in Virginia, the system of large
plantations and the accompanying aristocratic structure of society. But in
Virginia the planter families lived broadcast over the land, each upon its
own plantation. In South Carolina, to escape heat and sickness, the
planters of rice and indigo gave over to employees the care of their great
holdings and lived themselves in pleasant Charleston. These plantations,
with their great gangs of slaves under overseers, differed at many points
from the more kindly, semi-patriarchal life of the Virginian plantation. To
South Carolina came also the indentured white laborer, but the black was
imported in increasing numbers.

From the first in the Carolinas there had been promised fair freedom for
the unorthodox. The charters provided, says an early Governor, "an overplus
power to grant liberty of conscience, although at home was a hot
persecuting time." Huguenots, Independents, Quakers, dissenters of many
kinds, found on the whole refuge and harbor. In every colony soon began the
struggle by the dominant color and caste toward political liberty. King,
Company, Lords Proprietaries, might strive to rule from over the seas. But
the new land fast bred a practical rough freedom. The English settlers came
out from a land where political change was in the air. The stream was set
toward the crumbling of feudalism, the rise of democracy. In the New World,
circumstances favoring, the stream became a tidal river. Governors,
councils, assemblies, might use a misleading phraseology of a quaint
servility toward the constituted powers in England. Tory parties might at
times seem to color the land their own hue. But there always ran, though
often roughly and with turbulence, a set of the stream against autocracy.

In Carolina, South and North, by the Ashley and Cooper rivers, and in that
region called Albemarle, just back of Virginia, there arose and went on,
through the remainder of the seventeenth century and in the eighteenth,
struggles with the Lords Proprietaries and the Governors that these named,
and behind this a more covert struggle with the Crown. The details
differed, but the issues involved were much the same in North and South
Carolina. The struggle lasted for the threescore and odd years of the
proprietary government and renewed itself upon occasion after 1729 when the
Carolinas became royal colonies. Later, it was swept, a strong affluent,
into the great general stream of colonial revolt, culminating in the

Into North Carolina, beside the border population entering through Virginia
and containing much of a backwoods and derelict nature, came many
Huguenots, the best of folk, and industrious Swiss, and Germans from the
Rhine. Then the Scotch began to come in numbers, and families of Scotch
descent from the north of Ireland. The tone of society consequently changed
from that of the early days. The ruffian and the shiftless sank to the
bottom. There grew up in North Carolina a people, agricultural but without
great plantations, hardworking and freedom-loving.

South Carolina, on the other hand, had great plantations, a town society,
suave and polished, a learned clergy, an aristocratic cast to life. For
long, both North and South clung to the sea-line and to the lower stretches
of rivers where the ships could come in. Only by degrees did English
colonial life push back into the forests away from the sea, to the hills,
and finally across the mountains.


In the spring of 1689, Virginians flocked to Jamestown to hear William and
Mary proclaimed Lord and Lady of Virginia. The next year there entered, as
LieutenantGovernor, Francis Nicholson, an odd character in whom an
immediate violence of temper went with a statesmanlike conception of things
to be. Two years he governed here, then was transferred to Maryland, and
then in seven years came back to the James. He had not been liked there,
but while he was gone Virginia had endured in his stead Sir Edmund Andros.
That had been swapping the witch for the devil. Virginia in 1698 seems to
have welcomed the returning Nicholson.

Jamestown had been hastily rebuilt, after Bacon's burning, and then by
accident burned again. The word malaria was not in use, but all knew that
there had always been sickness on that low spit running out from the
marshes. The place might well seem haunted, so many had suffered there and
died there. Poetical imagination might have evoked a piece of sad
pageantry -- starving times, massacres, quarrels, executions, cruel and
unusual punishments, gliding Indians. A practical question, however, faced
the inhabitants, and all were willing to make elsewhere a new capital city.

Seven miles back from the James, about halfway over to the blue York, stood
that cluster of houses called Middle Plantation, where Bacon's men had
taken his Oath. There was planned and builded Williamsburg, which was to be
for nearly a hundred years the capital of Virginia. It was named for King
William, and there was in the minds of some loyal colonists the notion,
eventually abandoned, of running the streets in the lines of a huge W and
M. The long main street was called Duke of Gloucester Street, for the
short-lived son of that Anne who was soon to become Queen. At one end of
this thoroughfare stood a fair brick capitol. At the other end nearly a
mile away rose the brick William and Mary College. Its story is worth the

The formal acquisition of knowledge had long been a problem in Virginia.
Adult colonists came with their education, much or little, gained already
in the mother country. In most cases, doubtless, it was little, but in many
cases it was much. Books were brought in with other household furnishing.
When there began to be native-born Virginians, these children received from
parents and kindred some manner of training. Ministers were supposed to
catechise and teach. Well-to-do and educated parents brought over tutors.
Promising sons were sent to England to school and university. But the lack
of means to knowledge for the mass of the colony began to be painfully

In the time of Charles the First one Benjamin Symms had left his means for
the founding of a free school in Elizabeth County, and his action had been
solemnly approved by the Assembly. By degrees there appeared other similar

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