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A history of Virginia

from its discovery and settlement by Europeans to the present time
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Joy of the colonists because of the Restoration—Their folly—Quakers
in America—Laws against them—New commission from the King to
Berkeley—Navigation laws enacted by the English Parliament—Their
oppressive influence in Virginia—An Assembly of royalists—Conspiracy
of the Oliverians—Promptly crushed by the governor—Grant of
Charles to Culpeper and Arlington—Assembly in vain seeks redress—
Expedition of Captain Batte—Grievances of the colony—General discontent—Indian
murders—Nathaniel Bacon—His character—He is chosen
by the people to lead them against the Indians—Asks a commission
from the governor, which is not granted—Marches against the savages
—A new Assembly—Bacon is made captive—He is released—Laws of a
free legislature—Berkeley still refuses a commission—Bacon's conduct
—Governor leaves Jamestown—Rebellion—Berkeley flies to Accomac—
Meeting of Virginians at Middle Plantation—Bacon marches against
the Indians—Battle of Bloody Run—previous hit Bland next hit and Carver—Berkeley again
in Jamestown—Advance of the insurgents—Conflict—Defeat of the
royalists—Jamestown burned by Bacon—His successes—His death—
Despondency of the insurgents—Execution of Thomas Hansford—Of
Wilford—Of William Drummond—Martial law—Trial by jury—Execution
of Giles previous hit Bland next hit—Death of Lawrence—Berkeley's threat for revenge—Assembly
interferes—Death of Sir William Berkeley—Virginia
before and after the rebellion.

When the restoration of Charles II. was publicly
announced in the Virginia colony, it excited
emotions of triumph and joy in many bosoms.[111]
Long-cherished prejudices cannot be changed by
momentary thought. The dominion of the Commonwealth
had been a season of peace, of freedom,


Page 315
and of prosperity to the colonists, with which nothing
they had before enjoyed could be compared.
Their Assemblies had been regularly elected by
the people; had made laws suggested by their
own wisdom; had chosen every important officer
of the government, and, when necessary, had displaced
him; their trade had been scarcely interrupted;
their population had so rapidly increased
that, in 1660, it is said to have numbered thirty
thousand souls.[112] It had been happy for Virginia
had monarchy never again reared its head in England.
Innumerable oppressions, a civil war, and
scenes of blood, would all have been spared. But
the Deity willed that she should again groan beneath
the yoke, in order, it may be, to render her
final deliverance more signal.

While Charles was wandering in exile, many of
his adherents had taken refuge in the colony which
had shown so loyal a spirit in the trying hour.
The number of true cavaliers greatly increased
during the eight years prior to the Restoration,
and these naturally infused their sentiments into
the minds of all who would hear them.

The wealthy planters on the rivers retained their
early prepossessions for monarchy; and the great
body of the people, ignorant of their own true interests,
prejudiced against dissenters, and attracted
by glittering forms, joined in the cry of pleasure
which hailed the return of the king's dominion.
They little anticipated the evils which awaited


Page 316
them. In reflecting on their folly, we are forcibly
reminded of the fable of antiquity; and it will not
be a violation of the laws of good taste, to compare
the Virginians to the unhappy denizens of the
marsh, who despised the passive log that Jove first
gave them as a king, only to be devoured, at last,
by the monster that succeeded. Had the colonists
been under the rule of reason, rather than of blind
caprice, they would never have rejoiced in the
restoration of a governor who knew no will but
his sovereign's; of a Parliament, disposed to fetter
the commerce of all other people with chains
exported from England; and of a monarch, odious
for his personal vices, and thoroughly contemptible
in his public ministrations.

No occupant of the English throne ever embodied
so many disgraceful qualities as did Charles
the Second. John was weak, cruel, and cowardly;
Henry Eighth was arbitrary and voluptuous;
Mary was bigoted and relentless; James
was pedantic and timid; but Charles, with individual
traits perhaps less imposing than any of
these, went far beyond them in his complete developement.
His private life was a tissue of the
most artful meanness, and of the darkest profligacy.
By his own example, he corrupted a court
which, before him, had been less impure than that
of any of the more splendid kingdoms of Europe.
Professing a regard for freedom, he signed the
death-warrant of Algernon Sidney; holding out
promises of general pardon, he sent many republicans


Page 317
to the scaffold;[113] taking an oath to support
the Protestant church of England, he was secretly
a Papist; and, in the hour of death, hoped to find,
in the sacrament administered by a popish priest,
an atonement for the enormities of a misspent life.[114]

His name will ever be associated, in Scotland,
with the ideas of persecution and bloodshed. He
loved foul pleasure, and hated business. He humoured
his Parliaments with the hope of getting
money; and sold the honour of his country for the
means of gratifying his own selfish desires. From
the reign of such a man, neither England nor her
distant colonies could hope for quiet and happiness.

Immediately after the appointment of Sir William
Berkeley, and before the news of the restoration
could have reached the colonies, we note a
change in the liberal spirit that had pervaded Virginia
for several years then past. The demon of
religious persecution was awakened from his stupor
and urged to active exercise. A new sect had,
some time before, appeared in the world, upon
whom the name of Quakers had been bestowed,
because of their contortions of body under the influence
of powerful mental excitement. Neither
their creed nor their practice was more dangerous
to the peace of society, than many other follies
which had passed unmolested. The inward light
in which they believed, was never so brilliant as


Page 318
to illumine the path of ambitious hope. The
movings of the spirit they professed to feel had
never prompted them to popular tumult; if they
abhorred war, this would not render them the
worse citizens; if they rejected forms and sacraments,
they did not therefore become rebels and
outlaws. But upon their first appearance, it is
certain that they were distinguished by certain extravagances,
and even indecencies, which naturally
made them objects of popular odium. These have
long since disappeared, and the Quakers have become
eminent for the propriety of their demeanour,
the rigid morality of their lives, and their attention
to the duties of the best and wisest citizens; but
we may not, therefore, forget the cause they originally
furnished for the harsh measures adopted towards
them. In Massachusetts, in 1658, a furious
fanatic of this sect, named Fanlord, under the influence
of religious frenzy, was preparing to shed
the blood of his own son, when the cries of the unhappy
boy attracted neighbours, who arrested the
arm of this uncalled Abraham.[115] Another deranged
Jeremiah burst in upon an assembled congregation,
and striking violently together two bottles held in
his hands, shattered them in fragments, crying out,
"Thus will the Lord break you in pieces."[116] A
certain lady, of the Quaker persuasion, having decorated
her face with a thick stratum of coal dust,
exhibited herself to many amazed beholders as a
sign of some hideous disease, which she declared


Page 319
was soon to assail all unbelievers.[117] Another female
saint entered a church in the midst of divine worship,
in a state of perfect nudity, and exhorted the
people to give heed to her as a sign of the naked
condition of their own unhappy souls![118] A similar
exhibition took place in the streets of Salem;[119] and
it has even been asserted, that in the close of the
eighteenth century, a Quaker walked naked during
several days, through the streets of Richmond, as
a sign of the times.[120] Such fanatics fell properly
within the cognizance of police laws, and had they
received salutary flagellation, instead of hanging or
the burning of their tongues with heated iron, none
could have complained.

Early in the session of 1660, the Assembly
passed a stern law against the Quakers, reciting
them as "an unreasonable and turbulent sort of
people," who taught and published "lies, miracles,
false visions, prophecies, and doctrines," to the
great disturbance of religion and order. The statute
forbids any master or commander of a vessel,
under a heavy penalty, to bring any of this hated
sect into the colony; requires that all Quakers,
upon detection, should be imprisoned without bail,
until they took an oath to leave the country, and
gave security that they would never return; and
enacts, that any Quaker returning the second time,


Page 320
should be punished as a despiser of the laws, and
forced again to depart; and should he return the
third time, he was to be treated as a felon.[121] All
persons were forbidden to give them countenance;
all officers were to note the laws against them; and
the circulation of their books and pamphlets was
rigidly proscribed.

It is vain to attempt to defend these laws. They
do, indeed, flow necessarily from the principles of
an ecclesiastical establishment; but they embody
the worst forms of intolerance, and, if fully developed,
their policy would destroy all religious
freedom. Yet it is consoling to believe, that no
actual cruelty or oppression resulted from these
harsh enactments. The most striking example of
their exercise occurred in 1663, when John Porter,
a burgess elect, from Lower Norfolk County, was
charged with "being loving to the Quakers, and
attending their meetings." He frankly confessed
that he admired the sect, and revered the mildness
of their doctrines and the purity of their lives.
The Assembly, upon this, did not immediately
condemn him, but tendered to him the oaths of
supremacy and allegiance. He refused to take
them, and was formally expelled by a vote of the
legislative body.[122] In reading this account, we
cannot fail to perceive that John Porter was expelled,
rather for refusing to acknowledge his obligations


Page 321
to the King and his government, than for
loving the despised sect whose doctrines he had

When Charles felt himself firmly seated on the
throne, he sent to his staunch friend, Sir William
Berkeley, a new commission as governor, and some
royal advice as to the proper mode of conducting
the affairs of the colony. He counsels him to attend
diligently to the establishment of religion, to
enforce the use of the prayer book, and to provide
a competent support for ministers. He requires
that a new code shall be prepared, from which all
laws derogatory to a monarchical government shall
be expurgated; urges the governor and people to
build houses and settle towns, in imitation of New
England; directs their thoughts to flax, pitch,
hemp, and silk, and informs them that he had
worn, on his own majestic person, some silk of
Virginian growth, and found it not inferior to that
raised in other countries.[123] The King farther promises
his aid in establishing iron works in the
colony; offers to send over judges to administer
law, provided the people would pay their salaries;
and advises a conference with Maryland on the
subject of planting tobacco. He directs Sir William
Berkeley to summon an Assembly as early as


Page 322
possible, and gives him permission to return for a
season to England, when he shall think proper so
to do.[124]

Buoyed up by unfounded hope and short-lived
joy, the colonists went cheerfully on their way;
but a melancholy reverse soon afflicted them. In
the first session of Parliament after Charles ascended
the throne, were passed the celebrated "Navigation
Laws" of England, giving full effect to a
policy which had already been threatened by previous
rulers. These laws have had both their
advocates and their enemies. On the one hand,
they have been vaunted as presenting in themselves
a perfect embodiment of political and commercial
wisdom, and on the other, they have been decried
as unjust and impolitic, oppressive to colonists and
injurious to the mother country. This controversy
may now be considered as settled. The wisest of
England's instructers have taught her a lesson,
hard to learn, yet not easily to be forgotten. They
have demonstrated, that the nation that shall deliberately
place fetters upon commerce, will, after
a season, suffer from her own harshness. To force
the products of a colony into the bosom of the mother
country, will render such dependencies discontented
and unhappy; will give to the mother
herself the character of a cruel and selfish step-dame,


Page 323
and will make other nations rejoice in the
misery of both.[125] A monopoly of colonial trade
will, after a season, diminish the strength of all
parties concerned: of the colony, by confining her
energies to a single market; of the mother country,
by enfeebling the demand of foreign nations, and
consequently the supply made in the colonies, and
thus enhancing the price to her own people, and of
the rest of the commercial world, by cutting off
some of their motives for exertion.

But the Parliament of Charles II. were tempted
by the hope of immediate gain. Their Navigation
Laws provided, that no commodities should be imported
into, or exported from, any English settlements
in Asia, Africa, or America, except in vessels
built in England, or in her colonies, and navigated
by crews of which the master and three-fourths of
the mariners shall be English subjects; and this
was under penalty of forfeiture of ship and cargo;
that no persons other than natural born subjects,
or such as have been naturalized, shall be merchants
or factors in any British colonies, upon pain
of forfeiting their goods and merchandise; that
no sugar, tobacco, cotton, wool, indigo, ginger, or
woods for dyeing, should be exported from the colonies
to any country except England; and, to make


Page 324
this clause secure, a bond for its observance was to
be exacted from all owners of vessels trading from
the settlements.[126] These enumerated articles, as
they were called, were gradually extended, until
the list embraced every commodity that could be
produced by colonial industry. In 1663, the navigation
law was extended, by forbidding that any
European article should be imported into the colonies,
unless shipped in England, and in vessels
built and manned according to the requirements of
the previous law.[127] And finally, in 1672, the topmost
stone was laid upon the column of oppression.
The colonies had been theretofore free in their trade
with each other, but in this year it was enacted
that, in shipping these enumerated articles from
colony to colony, the same tax should be paid as
was imposed upon the consumers in England.[128]

A more complete system of commercial oppression
could hardly be conceived. The colonists
were at once cut off from all foreign markets, and
shut up to the prices which English consumers
might think proper to pay; and they were compelled
to send their produce in English vessels,
manned by English seamen, and commanded by
English masters. They were denied even the poor
privilege of domestic traffic without customs. A
tax met them at every outlet and avenue. Whether
they imported or exported, bought or sold, they


Page 325
were taxed. Even their tobacco, of which the
whole burden should have been borne by the consumer,
was laden in the port of shipment and in
the port of sale with a duty so onerous that the
planter endured its heaviest weight, and could
scarcely realize from his crop enough to furnish
clothes for his family.[129] Yet, to justify this oppression,
the British Parliament could urge no better
reason, than that the colonies, having been settled
and supported by England, were to be so used as
best to promote her manufacturing and commercial

(1661, March.) The laws had not been in effect
long in Virginia ere their sinister influence began
to manifest itself. Still hoping against hope, and
unwilling to believe that their sovereign and his
government intended to trample them in the dust,
the General Assembly commissioned Sir William
Berkeley, on his visit to England, to attend specially
to their interests, and to endeavour to procure
for them more favourable laws. They could not
have selected a worse agent. The old cavalier left
the colony about the 30th April, 1661, and returned
in the close of November, 1662. He had feasted
his eyes with the sight of royalty, had obtained
some privileges valuable to himself, but had not
secured one right to the colony, or averted from
her head one stroke of commercial violence.[131] It is


Page 326
doubtful whether he even sought any change in
these fatal laws.

The Assembly manifested every disposition to
submit to the rule of the mother country, while that
rule could be tolerated. The price of tobacco was
already so low that the most substantial planters
were in great distress; and in order to keep the
country from being overwhelmed in debt, a law
was passed forbidding the importation of unnecessary
articles, among which we find enumerated
"strong drink, silk stuffe in garments or in pieces,
gold and silver lace, and ribbands inwrought with
gold and silver."[132] A Spartan simplicity in dress
and manners was thus encouraged, but such laws
availed but little to check the rise of discontent and
just indignation among the high-minded people of

The Assembly which convened in 1662, was
composed principally of landholders and cavaliers.
The people were willing to prove their devotion to
the King, by electing a body of royalists whose
love for monarchy was hardly neutralized by their
fondness for freedom. Their legislation partook of
their character. A new body of laws was compiled;
and the Assembly, in adopting it, declared
that all acts not in this collection were "to all intents
and purposes utterly abrogated and repealed."[133]
Among these former acts was one requiring the
elections of Burgesses for the Assembly to be once
in two years.[134] An able historian has considered


Page 327
this act as repealed by the above-mentioned sweeping
clause;[135] but there is reason to believe that the
legislature did not intend that its operation should
be so extensive. Their design was simply to provide
a new code of general jurisprudence for the
people, in place of the one theretofore existing, and
not to destroy all the rules by which their own constitution
had previously been regulated. From his
view of this clause, the same writer has drawn the
belief, that this Assembly, from being biennial,
became permanent, depended no longer upon the
people, but retained its existence for many years,
until it was finally burst asunder by a rebellion.[136]
But we have satisfactory evidence that elections
were held up to the year 1666;[137] though, after that
time, the same body of men continued, without reference
to popular will, to hold the reins of government,
until they were driven from their places by
an explosion too violent to be longer resisted.

The price of tobacco had fallen so low that the
planters were threatened with ruin, and some remedy
seemed indispensable. A meeting of commissioners
from Maryland, North Carolina, and
Virginia, was held at Wicomocomo to arrange a
commercial treaty. It was agreed that in the succeeding
year no tobacco should be planted in either


Page 328
colony, after the 20th day of June.[138] (1663.) Had
this contract been rigidly observed, it might have
enhanced the price of the staple, and gradually relieved
the planters; but Maryland soon abandoned
the league, and Virginia immediately permitted her
citizens to plant as much as they pleased.[139]

Causes of discontent were daily increasing, in
number and in weight. At length they began
openly to show their influence. A general feeling
of uneasiness and disappointment pervaded a people
who had received a governor and a king, only to
be mocked and oppressed. In the colony at this
time were many soldiers who had served under
Cromwell, and who, from him, had imbibed a cordial
hatred of kings, a prepossession for Puritanism,
and a thorough contempt for the Church of
England in all her forms. These men eagerly
fanned the flames of discontent already rising;
they had but too much reason for their complaints,
and found many to sympathize in their desire for
relief. Secretly and with skill, a formidable insurrection
was organized; conflicting materials
were brought together, and arrayed in opposition
to powers hated by all. So profound was their
concealment, that not one hint of the design escaped
before the evening preceding the day for
the intended stroke. Then, a soldier, named Berkenhead,
who had been one of the conspirators,
moved by remorse or by cowardice, revealed the
plot, and urged instant measures for its defeat.


Page 329

(Sept. 13.) The governor's conduct was prompt
and decided. He issued private orders that an
ample force of militia should meet at the place of
rendezvous before the time appointed by the insurgents.
His directions were obeyed. As fast as
they appeared, the hapless conspirators were seized
and disarmed. Many of them caught the alarm,
and made their escape. Four of the worst were
speedily hanged; and the intended plot was arrested,
ere its actors could discover the cause of
their discomfiture.[140]

The soldiers were all servants, sent over from
England to labour in the colony. Their sturdy
republicanism, and perhaps their morose tempers,
rendered them ungrateful to the mother country;
and, with her accustomed policy, she sent them to
be improved by the air of Virginia. Berkenhead
was the servant of a Mr. Smith, of Gloucester
County, and, in reward for his services, the Assembly
voted him his freedom, and five thousand
pounds of tobacco.[141] The recollection of this desperate
plot was long fresh in the memories of the
settlers. In 1670, we find an order of Council,
regularly entered, complaining of the practice of
sending convicts and abandoned persons to the colony,
who "deserve to dye in England;" referring
to this conspiracy of 1663, and denouncing
stern penalties against any commanders of vessels


Page 330
who should in future bring such wretches to Virginia,
to degrade her character and stain her reputation.[142]

When news of the "Oliverian Plot" reached
England, Charles ordered that forts should be constructed
in the colony, and that Jamestown should
be additionally fortified; but these orders were but
partially observed. The people of Virginia were
as jealous of towns as the King was fond. He regarded
them as nurseries of loyalty, and the colonists
considered them as fit engines for executing
the odious laws for navigation.

The defeat of a conspiracy did not remove the
permanent evils under which the settlers were labouring.
Several years passed away, and yet no
softening of the policy of England had occurred.
Various attempts to evade the laws had been entered
upon. At one time, a profitable traffic with
the Dutch of New York was opened; but the
English system was rigidly enforced, and Virginia
soon found that she was closely watched by her
selfish and unfeeling mother. Her own Assembly
was no longer composed of men who loved equal
justice, and guarded the interests of the people.
(1666, Nov. 9.) They protected their own rights
indeed, and refused to permit either the Governor
or his Council to join them in deciding upon the
public levy;[143] but they restricted the right of suffrage,
which had before been exercised by all freemen,


Page 331
and confined it to "freeholders and housekeepers;"[144] thus excluding a large number of useful
and intelligent voters. But the full weight of
royal power was yet to be felt.

As early as 1649, immediately after the execution
of Charles I., a grant of the northern neck of
Virginia, embracing all the country between Potomac
and Rappahannoc Rivers, had been made to a
company of cavaliers, who designed to settle upon
it.[145] This grant was never acted upon, and was
finally recalled. But nine years after the restoration,
Charles II. determined to exercise his kingly
liberality, in giving away that which belonged not
to him. He was but a highwayman at heart, and
had he occupied a more humble station, it is not
improbable that his total disregard of the rights of
his fellow-men, would have finally conducted him
to a gibbet. (1669.) By letters patent, regularly
executed and issued, he gave away the whole of
Virginia, with her land and water, her fields and
forests, her mountains, swamps, harbours, and
creeks, for the full period of thirty-one years, unto
two of his favourites, to wit: Thomas, Lord Culpeper,
and Henry, Earl of Arlington, and to their
executors, administrators, and assigns.[146] The first
of these grantees was a man of good sense, but
exceedingly subtle and covetous; the last, bears a
name but too well known as one of the renowned
"Cabal," who introduced a new word into our


Page 332
language, and a new science into our round of
knowledge. He was smooth, polite, well-bred in
the extreme, but he loved low pleasure almost as
much as his sovereign, and even exceeded him in
studied forgetfulness of his overwhelming debts.[147]

(1674.) When this grant was openly promulgated
in the colony, both people and Assembly were
stricken with astonishment and alarm. The King
had at length touched a nerve which caused even his
most loyal servants of the settlement to shudder
with suffering. Upon the faith of previous charters,
they had occupied land, and had devoted to
it assiduous labour. Industry had reclaimed fertile
fields from the forest, and forty thousand inhabitants
now held lands which were thus deliberately
wrested from them by the King, and turned
over to his grasping minions. What burthen, in
the shape of yearly and quit-rents, services, manor
duties, tithes upon advowsons, market customs,
and other imposts, these men might inflict upon
them, was uncertain, but the letters patent were
ample enough to justify these, and many other

Immediately the Assembly resolved to seek redress.
They appointed three commissioners, Thomas
Ludwell, Secretary of State, Francis Morrison,
and Robert Smith; and, having provided for their
support by a heavy tax upon the colony, they sent
them to England to implore the King to recall his


Page 333
grant, or else, they were to endeavour to effect a
compromise with Culpeper and Arlington.[149] The
result of this embassy was what might have been
expected. The commissioners wholly failed in
inducing the despicable being who occupied the
English throne to withdraw his letters patent, as
improvidently issued; and, after protracted negotiations
with the patentees, they obtained terms
little favourable to the interests of the settlers.
Their application for a new charter was equally
fruitless. It has been said that one was prepared;
but it was stopped in its passage through the
Hamper Office, and was at length wholly suppressed.[150]

The grievances of the colonists had now nearly
reached their zenith. The storm was ready to
descend; but, ere we proceed to describe it, we
must speak of an undertaking apparently remote
from popular movements, yet in reality connected
with the immediate cause of their outburst.
Designing to explore the country more fully, Sir
William Berkeley sent Captain Henry Batte with
a brave company, consisting of fourteen Englishmen,
and as many Indians, to penetrate as far
as possible to the southward and westward, and
make such discoveries and observations as were
practicable. Setting out from Appamatox, this
small party, in seven days, reached the foot of
the mountains. Those first encountered were


Page 334
not very lofty, but after farther progress, they
came to others, which towered in majesty above
them, and seemed to pierce the clouds with their
summits. These mountains were often so rugged
and so full of precipices, that the travellers could
with difficulty make their way, and frequently a
day's exertion carried them but three miles forward
in a direct line. Yet ever and anon, they
came upon level plains and green savannas, most
refreshing to behold. Flocks of turkeys, and herds
of deer, elk, and buffalo, constantly saluted them;
and these creatures were so tame, that they suffered
them to approach within any distance, and
seemed to regard the strangers with curious interest
rather than with alarm. Wild fruits of the
country abounded, and among them were grapes
of enormous size, which the adventurers beheld
with unmixed wonder. When they had passed
the lofty range of mountains, they came again
upon a beautiful country, fertile and level, through
which ran a rivulet that "descended backwards"
from the high lands above. After some progress
down this stream, they came to Indian settlements,
which were deserted, and they then found themselves
on the borders of extensive marshes. Here
their Indian guides halted, and positively refused
to go farther, declaring that but a little way in advance
of them, lived powerful tribes of savages,
who made salt, and sold it to their neighbours;
and who had never suffered any strangers to return,
that ventured within their formidable grasp.
With great reluctance, Captain Batte was compelled


Page 335
to retrace his steps. When he reached
Jamestown, he gave to the governor so attractive
a description of his achievements, that Sir William
Berkeley resolved to undertake in person a similar
excursion.[151] But events of the highest import soon
arrested his design, and turned his thoughts into a
less peaceful channel.

So irritated and excitable was the public mind
at this time, that slight circumstances threatened
to awaken an insurrection. It would be irrational
in the highest degree to suppose that the scenes of
violence and blood upon which we are soon to
enter, were the result of momentary agitation.
Their true causes will be found deeply planted in
the history of the colony during many years before
they occurred; and the very fact, that the
apparent cause has seemed inadequate, will prove,
that powerful latent springs were in motion, to
drive the people of Virginia into open rebellion.
Let it be remembered, that, for fourteen years,
they had suffered the crushing exactions of the
laws passed by the Parliament which first welcomed
Charles II. to the throne; that their trade


Page 336
had been ruined; their staple depreciated; their
exports and imports alike laden with intolerable
taxes. When they complained, their petitions
were heard with indifference and treated with neglect.
The loyal governor, whom they had once
delighted to honour, had exhibited his true character;
and now, when the selfishness of the King
and the welfare of the colony were at war, he hesitated
not to take the side of the oppressor. He
drew from the people a princely revenue for his
own private behests, yet he remained unsatisfied,
and craved a larger allowance.[152] He feared and
hated the presence of learning among the colonists,
knowing well that ignorance alone is submissive
to oppression. His memory will for ever
bear a stain induced by his own words, in reply to
an inquiry of the English Council—"I thank God
there are no free-schools nor printing (in Virginia),
and I hope we shall not have these hundred years;
for learning has brought disobedience, and heresy,
and sects into the world; and printing has divulged
them, and libels against the best government.
God keep us from both."[153]

Can it be thought singular that this man should
have forfeited the respect with which he was once

Let it be remembered, farther, that the General


Page 337
Assembly was no longer a fair representation of the
people. Composed of landholders and royalists, it
perpetuated its own existence from year to year by
adjournment. It cut down the sacred right of suffrage,
and reduced it to the smallest possible compass.
It raised the salaries of its own members,
until each received about two hundred and fifty
pounds of tobacco, equivalent to nearly nine dollars,
for his daily emolument.[154] This onerous tax was
wholly borne by the people of the respective counties.
Meanwhile the judiciary itself was rather
dangerous than useful to the colonists. The county
courts were composed of unpaid justices, commissioned
by the governor, and, it seems, holding
their offices during his pleasure.[155] The General
Court was held exclusively by the Governor and
Council; and even when appeals were allowed to
the Assembly, the suitors could hope for little impartiality
from its royalist members. These three
tribunals constituted the whole judicial system of

But yet farther. As though with design to mock
their present miseries, the King had granted away
their whole territory to Culpeper and Arlington.
The men who had borne the brunt of battle, the
heat and burthen of the day, were now in danger
of losing the reward of all their toil. Two
minions of a profligate monarch might fetter their
property with taxes and customs, and drink up


Page 338
their profits by numberless exactions. Perhaps
this last was the grievance most deeply felt, for it
added insult to injury; it infused into the already
bitter draught of parliamentary oppression, the
more bitter gall of kingly ingratitude. When all
these complicated ills are considered, we are not
surprised that the unhappy people were driven almost
to madness by their pressure. It is not wonderful
that their blood should have been rendered
hot by this continued stimulus, and they should
have been even on the verge of open resistance.

Another cause hastened the dénouement. The
Indians had long been practising private hostilities,
and on the upper streams of York and James Rivers
their strength was yet sufficient to render them
dangerous. The governor had promised to send
a force against them, but afterwards wholly neglected
it.[156] An armed band, under Sir Henry
Chichely, ready to march against the enemy, was
suddenly disbanded without cause.[157] It has been
supposed that Berkeley refrained from severe measures
against the Indians, from a desire to secure
to himself some of the profits of their trade;[158] and it
is certain that he rebuked with sternness, what he
considered an act of perfidy on the part of the
whites, towards the garrison of an Indian fortress.[159]
It is not impossible that the excursion of Captain
Batte may have added impetus to the jealousy of


Page 339
the savages; but whatever may have been the incitements,
their hostile action became open and
bloody. Frightful murders were almost daily
perpetrated, and tortures were inflicted upon the
wretched captives who fell into their hands, that
are too revolting to be described.[160]

Roused by these outrages, and finding that they
could obtain no redress from their governor, the
people of Virginia resolved to protect themselves.
A large number assembled, and eagerly sought a
leader ready to sympathize in their sufferings, and
to guide their action. All eyes immediately fell
upon a young gentleman, whose talents and manners
had already enlisted attention. Nathaniel
Bacon was yet in the bloom of manhood. Born of
good parentage, and heir to a rich estate in the colony,
he had passed several years of his life in the
inns of court in London, acquiring the legal knowledge
so important at that period to a legislator for
Virginia. On his arrival in the colony, he was
joyfully received by his friends, and in a short time
he became a prominent member of the Provincial
Council.[161] His figure was graceful and commanding;
his countenance was remarkable for manly
beauty and for engaging expression; his manners
were easy and natural, betraying neither the hauteur
of the professed aristocrat, nor the coarseness


Page 340
of the plebeian. Nature had gifted him with intellectual
endowments of the highest order. His
mind was capacious, yet exact; full of native energy,
yet highly cultured by well-applied art. He
was an orator of uncommon power. His eloquence
appears to have been of that character at once impassioned
and convincing, which carries away alike
the feelings and the reason of the auditors, and
renders them subservient to the speaker's will.
He possessed dauntless courage, and he feared not
to encounter any danger in the cause of freedom
and of innocence.

Such was the man who now assumed the lead
in the great popular movement of 1676. We can
hardly attribute to him any motives other than
those of patriotism and philanthropy. He had all
to lose and nought to gain by a rebellion against
the existing powers. In peace, his youth, his
talents, his riches, would have insured to him the
highest honours that his country could bestow.

(1676, April.) This young councillor had already
received a provocation, urging him to decisive measures
against the Indians. Upon his own lands, in
the county of Henrico, two murders had been committed
by the savages. His overseer and a favourite
servant had fallen beneath their treachery.[162]
He hesitated no longer to assume the command of
the forces assembled by the people of Virginia, to
march against the common foe. When he saw
before him the numbers who had rallied at a single


Page 341
cry, he was reminded of the wrongs they had suffered
and of their power to remove them. Availing
himself of that ready eloquence always at his
command, he presented to his auditors, in rapid
review, the grievances which had so long oppressed
them. The Navigation Laws of Charles
and his Parliament were a copious theme of just
invective; the selfish grants of the tyrant were
stigmatized as open robbery; the enormous salaries
of the Governor and Burgesses, the restriction
of the right of voting, the judicial abuses, the perpetuity
of the legislature,—all these furnished subjects
upon which a patriot orator could not be
silent, and which found in the hearts of listeners a
ready response.[163] And finally, the Indian outrages
were spoken of, and in the burst of indignation
they elicited, the excited parties mutually pledged
to each other an engagement not to lay down their
arms until their enemies were effectually humbled.[164]

In order to proceed regularly, and according to
the forms of law, they made immediate application
to Sir William Berkeley, humbly begging that he
would grant a commission to Bacon, as commander
of the forces against the Indians. A more reasonable
request could not have been preferred; but
the governor hesitated to comply, and his delay
and his silence were alike intolerable to men whose


Page 342
families were hourly exposed to the tomahawk.[165]
Bacon instantly resolved to march without a commission;
and no generous soul can censure his
haste. Proceeding, by rapid movements, towards
the heads of the lower rivers, he fell upon the savages,
and routed them with signal success. He
took many prisoners, and with the full consciousness
of having done well for his suffering countrymen,
he returned to his home.[166]

But he had left behind him a foe worse than the
savages. (May 29.) When Bacon marched with
his volunteers, Sir William Berkeley, professing
to be greatly incensed at his unwarranted proceedings,
declared him and his followers to be rebels;
and raising an armed force, set out to pursue them
towards the falls. It was happy that he was not
successful in overtaking the determined young
leader. A conflict would have been, probably, the
result; and it would have been fatal to the cavalier
and the luxurious planters who formed his
guard. But while in march, Berkeley received
intelligence of an alarming spirit of insurrection
that had shown itself in Jamestown; and immediately
retracing his steps, he returned to the capital.
On every side, the long-suppressed resentment
of the people menaced their oppressors with

Perhaps nothing can more fully show the justice
of the cause in which Bacon and his band had


Page 343
engaged, than the conduct of the Governor and
Council in this crisis. Knowing well the foundation
of the people's complaints, they issued orders
directing that the obnoxious forts, which had been
used to enforce the Navigation Laws, should be dismantled,[167] and that writs should be issued for a new
election of Burgesses to the General Assembly.

The people joyfully breathed again the air of
elective freedom, from which they had been so
long debarred. From the county of Henrico, Nathaniel
Bacon was returned a member of the Colonial
Legislature,[168] and corresponding changes occurred
in other places. No attention was paid to the
hated law restricting the right of suffrage to the
freeholders of the colony. Many of the burgesses
themselves were only freemen, and the dangerous
powers usurped by the last Assembly seemed at
once to be overthrown. But, though the Governor
was compelled to yield to the blast, he was not
appeased. He still cherished thoughts of revenge
for the insults which he professed to have received.

As Bacon approached Jamestown, in a small
sloop, utterly unprepared for hostilities, he was
suddenly arrested by an armed ship, under the
guns of which his frail bark was brought, and he
was himself taken into custody by the High Sheriff
of Jamestown, and carried into the city.[169] But the


Page 344
Assembly convened in a short time thereafter.
Already the young leader was regarded with the
warmest affection by men who considered him
their deliverer, not merely from Indian cruelties,
but from the injustice of their own government.
Berkeley could not venture long to keep such a
man in confinement. With the hope of gaining a
character for clemency, he released his prisoner
from custody, reversed the sentence of attainder
formerly pronounced against him, and restored
him to his place in the Council.[170]

But before Bacon would consent to give his
parole, to resume his duties in Council, or to
acknowledge his fault, he received from the Governor
a promise that he should have a regular
commission as commander of the forces against
the Indians; and this was a condition precedent
on which depended his own agreement. That the
governor gave this promise, no reasonable doubt
can exist: the fact is not only asserted by cotemporary
authorities,[171] but it must be taken for granted,


Page 345
in order to give consistency to the conduct of
the parties in the scenes which followed. (June 5.)
When this agreement was made, a written paper
was presented by his uncle[172] to Nathaniel Bacon,
who solemnly adopted it in the presence of the Council,
acknowledging himself to have been guilty of
many imprudences and "unwarrantable practices;"
begging pardon of the governor for his offences
against him; promising allegiance and true faith
to the government in future; and expressing his
willingness to pledge his whole estate for his
subsequent good conduct. This acknowledgment
was made on the 5th day of June; and immediately
afterwards the newly elected Assembly commenced
its labours.[173]

The action of this Assembly was salutary and
important. Once more we mark the infusion of
the popular spirit into their laws, giving life to
what would otherwise have been a dead body
of enactments, displaying the presence neither of
wisdom nor of liberty.[174] Ecclesiastical monopolies
were destroyed, by limiting vestrymen to a term of
three years, and making them responsible to the
free voters of each parish.[175] Just levies of county


Page 346
taxes were provided for; the enormous perquisites
of the Governor and Council were greatly curtailed;[176] the sale of spirituous liquors throughout
the country was forbidden; two unworthy magistrates
were disgraced and disfranchised; and an
act of general indemnity was passed, to cover all
offences for which the actors in the late scenes
might be called in question. And, we note with
interest, that the restrictions on the elective privilege,
which had been imposed by the "Long
Assembly" of Sir William Berkeley, were removed,
and all freemen were permitted once more to have
a voice in choosing the men who were to exercise
over them the power of liberty and bondage—of
life and death.[177] Among laws so wise and so
healthful in their influence, we find but one which
must call for reprobation. The Assembly declared
that Indian captives taken in war should be made
slaves during life[178]
—thus, for the first time, depriving
the red man of the freedom he prized more than
existence, and adding to the burthen of an institution


Page 347
which had already inflicted unmeasured evil
upon Virginia.

But new troubles were soon to arise. The governor
positively refused to comply with his promise,
and withheld from Bacon the eagerly sought
commission. Indignant at this breach of faith,
and fearing, for stringent reasons, that treachery
would be employed against him,[179] the young planter
obeyed the warning of his uncle, and secretly
left the seat of government. Berkeley, in great
alarm, issued warrants for his apprehension, but
they were impotent against the idol of the people.

Four hundred men were soon under the command
of Bacon, who led them to Jamestown, and,
arranging them in order upon the green in front
of the State House, demanded from the Council a
fulfilment of their pledge. Roused by this daring
act, the old cavalier recalled his well-known courage.
He had not entirely lost the heroism of
earlier years. Advancing towards the insurgents,
he bared his breast to their presented fusils, and
cried aloud: "Here, shoot me—a fair mark—
shoot!"[180] But his young opponent was not inferior
in chivalrous honour. His passions were violent,
and they were now excited to intensity; yet he did
not forget his duty. His reply deserves a record.
"No, may it please your honour, we will not hurt
a hair of your head, nor of any other man's. We
have come for a commission to save our lives from


Page 348
the Indians, which you have so often promised;
and now we will have it before we go."

The Council and Assembly sought to moderate
the excitement, and persuaded Berkeley to grant
the commission. The moment it was obtained,
Bacon led his followers away, and prepared for a
vigorous prosecution of the Indian war. But when
relieved from the immediate presence of this formidable
patriot, the Governor and his Council
yielded to a mean desire for revenge; and pretending
that their late grant had been forced from them
by arms, they declared Bacon a rebel, and prepared
for hostilities against him. Berkeley repaired to
Gloucester, a county fertile in soil, abundant in
wealth, and containing a large population. Here
he raised the royal standard, and invited the planters
to rally round him and make war upon the disturber
of the public peace. Great was his astonishment
to find that his summons excited no enthusiasm,
no cordial response. The seeds of disaffection had
already taken root upon the very soil on which he
stood. The leading men of Gloucester sent him a
temperate and manly reply, telling him that they
regarded Bacon as their brother and the friend of
their country; that he was now leading an army
against the savages, from whom they had so much
to fear; that they could not consent to bear arms
against one thus endangering his life for their
safety; but that, should he engage in any treasonable
designs, the Governor might depend upon
their aid.[181]


Page 349

Meanwhile, intelligence of these measures against
him was conveyed to the insurgent by Drummond
and Lawrence, two steady patriots, who were both
afterwards victims of their love of liberty. Bacon
hesitated not a moment in his course. To be thus
hunted in the rear like a savage animal, while he
was pursuing the wolves, tigers, and bears, in front,
was sufficient to awaken his anger.[182] Retracing his
steps, he advanced rapidly upon Sir William Berkeley,
resolved to force him to the adoption of more
equitable counsels. But the Governor prudently
withdrew from the coming storm; and, attended by
a few adherents, he transported himself with the
feeble remnant of his friends across the bay to the
eastern county of Accomac.[183]

Bacon had advanced to Williamsburg, then
known by the name of the Middle Plantation,
when, finding that his enemy had fled, he summoned
the gentlemen of the country to a free conference
on the state of their affairs. Serious
difficulties presented themselves. No organized
government existed, and doubts prevailed as to the
mode of obtaining one. But brave men are never
discouraged by obstacles that can be overcome.
The flight of Sir William Berkeley was considered
a virtual abdication of the government;[184] and when


Page 350
it was farther urged that the period of ten years,
for which he had been appointed, had expired,[185]
people of Virginia did not hesitate to take into their
own hands the responsible power of self-legislation.
Bacon, and four other members of Council, issued
writs for a new Assembly.[186] The utmost joy and
enthusiasm prevailed. Even the sensitive nature
of woman caught the spirit, and aided in its diffusion.
Sarah Drummond was the wife of Bacon's
friend, and was worthy to be the companion of a
patriot martyr. "The child that is unborn," she
said, "will have cause to rejoice for the good that
will come by the rising of the country."[187]

To give consistency to their action, and to bind
themselves into closer union, the assembled colonists
published a manifesto, which, after due debate, they
all subscribed. In this paper they recite the condition
of the country, the raising of the army, the
appointment of Bacon as general, the outrages of
the Indians, and the unjust measures adopted by
Sir William Berkeley. After this preamble, the
manifesto concludes with three articles of agreement:
by the first, the colonists pledge themselves
at all times to join with Bacon against the common
foe; by the second, they promise to use all proper


Page 351
means for the discovery and apprehension of his
enemies, who desired to beget a civil war by opposing
him; by the third, they go further, and, reciting
that the Governor had informed the King
that the people of Virginia were rebellious, and had
requested that troops might be sent from England
to subdue them, they solemnly engage to oppose all
such troops, until his majesty should be informed of
"the state of the case" by delegates sent by Bacon
in behalf of the people. These bold articles of
agreement were all signed by the colonists then
assembled, on the 3d day of August, 1676.[188]

Having thus successfully exerted himself in restoring
the powers of government, Bacon advanced
with his gallant army to attack the Indians. Already
they had taken the alarm, and had hastily
united their few remaining tribes to oppose his
progress. He destroyed the towns of the Pamunky,
the Mattapony, and the Chickahominy Indians,
and then marched immediately to the point
at which he expected to encounter the whole savage
force. Very near the site of the present city
of Richmond, is a spot well known as "Bacon
Quarter Branch," which is supposed to have been
included by the plantation of the renowned insurgent.
Nearly three miles below this flows a small
stream, which has for many years borne the name
of Bloody Run, a title but too well merited by the
fierce conflict which once took place upon its borders.[189]


Page 352
On an eminence overhanging this stream
the natives had collected their whole force, and
knowing that here must be made their final stand,
they prepared for a desperate resistance. A fort,
defended and palisadoed in the best manner known
to the savages, had been erected, and within its
barriers, women, children, and warriors were all assembled.
When Bacon approached, he instantly
saw the difficulty and danger of an assault, but
without a moment's delay, he threw himself at the
head of his forces upon the Indian fortress. The
palisades were torn down; the eminence was gained;
the Indian warriors were met hand to hand;
and in the terrible combat which followed, it is
said that streams of blood ran down the hill, and
mingling with the waters of the rivulet below,
gave to it the ominous name which it has ever
since preserved. The savages were completely
routed; many of them were slain, and a large
number were made prisoners. So decisive was
this blow, that the Indian powers were for ever
broken, and in eastern Virginia we hear of them
no more.[190]

While in the full tide of victory, Bacon received
intelligence which again turned his thoughts to the
enemy whom he had left in his rear. When Sir


Page 353
William Berkeley first arrived in Accomac, he was
received with coldness, and among the better part
of the population, no enthusiasm was felt for the
royal cause. In this peninsula, the odious Navigation
Laws had been felt in all their force, and the
easy access to all parts from the seaboard rendered
evasion of these laws both difficult and hazardous.[191]
Berkeley could gather around him few friends, except
the lowest and most cowardly of the country's
population. His condition was highly critical,
when his fortunes were suddenly restored by an
unexpected event. Giles previous hit Bland next hit and Captain Carver,
two zealous promoters of the late revolution, determined
to make a descent on Accomac in two armed
vessels which Bacon had pressed for the service.
Their design was, if possible, to take Berkeley a
prisoner and convey him to Jamestown.[192] But
treachery revealed their design. One Captain Larimore,
had commanded one of these vessels, and
had professed fervent zeal for the cause of Bacon.
He was a man of coarse passions, and had even
heretofore been little loved; but now he covered
himself with greater infamy by assuming the office
of a traitor. Hastening to Berkeley, he apprised
him of the intended attack, and offered to
head an expedition for defeating it. previous hit Bland next hit and
Carver were incautious, and both themselves and
their crews seem to have yielded to the seductions
of the wine cup, at a time when it specially behooved
them to be sober. Twenty-six tried men,


Page 354
heavily armed, were placed in two boats, and at
midnight they approached in profound stillness the
vessels of the insurgents. The work was accomplished
in a moment. The crews were in no state
to resist, and were all made prisoners.[193] Giles and
Carver were carried on shore and immediately put
in heavy irons. The spirits of the royalist Governor
rose in proportion to his former despair, and with
them returned the thirst for vengeance. Four days
after the capture, the unhappy Carver was executed
upon a gibbet. previous hit Bland next hit was retained in custody,
but his death was not long delayed.[194]

Collecting in haste his whole naval and military
force, Berkeley set sail for Jamestown with one
large armed ship, seventeen sloops and nearly six
hundred men. (Sept. 7.) When he entered the
town, he first offered solemn thanks to God for his
delivery, and then issued renewed proclamations
against the rebels, whom he now supposed to be
utterly discomfited.[195] But his triumph was brief.
In his camp, near the scene of the late battle,
Bacon received notice of the disasters of his friends
and the success of his foes.[196] Calling his followers
once more to arms, he advanced rapidly towards


Page 355
Jamestown, and while in route, he caused to be
brought into his camp the wives of several leading
royalists who were found at their houses in the
country. Sending one of the number to apprise
their husbands in town of the capture,[197] he hastened
onward with his determined army.

(Sept.) As the sun was sinking beneath the
horizon, the
horizon, the insurgent forces gained a gentle eminence
above Jamestown. Having first sounded defiance
with their trumpets, and fired a volley, they immediately
began preparations for attack and defence.
A beautiful night in autumn favoured their design,
and under the moonbeams they worked with little
intermission. A trench was cut and a breastwork
thrown up, composed of felled trees, earth, and
brushwood.[198] The royalist army could discern
their labour; but, fearing to injure the wives of
their leaders, who were in the rebel camp, they
ventured not to fire a single shot, either from the
ships or from the ordnance in the city.

But early in the next morning, Berkeley led out
a large force of nearly eight hundred men, resolved
to storm the entrenchment and drive the rebels before
him. He encountered the very chivalry of
Virginia, against whom his degraded followers
would combat in vain. The royalist force was
broken and routed in every direction; many of


Page 356
them were left dead on the field; their drum was
abandoned to the victors, and with difficulty did
the leaders themselves escape captivity.

Bacon followed up his success with the promptness
of an experienced general. Planting several
heavy cannon upon a commanding position, he
turned them against the fleet anchored near the
city. The first shot was sufficient to convince the
governor that his naval force, upon which he chiefly
depended, would be destroyed if longer retained
in its perilous anchorage; and, with deep disappointment,
he found himself again compelled to fly
before his enemies.[199] He deserted Jamestown with
all his followers, and entering the vessels, they
sailed down the river beyond the reach of the insurgent

No opposing force remained to dispute the entrance
of the city. Bacon and his followers took
possession of Jamestown, and found in it neither
enemies nor friends. There is no evidence that
they sought for spoil, nor is it probable that a body
comprising some of the highest and most refined
men in the colony, could have tolerated pillage in
a town in which many of themselves had formerly
dwelt.[200] But the very existence of their prize gave
them serious difficulty. To remain in Jamestown,
with a sufficient force to guard it, would be impossible;
to abandon it again to the royal forces would


Page 357
be dangerous. In this dilemma, Bacon adopted a
measure, stern indeed, yet apparently both wise
and necessary. He proposed that Jamestown
should be destroyed, and his counsel was immediately
approved. His two faithful friends, Drummond
and Lawrence, with their own hands set fire
to their respective houses, and in a short time the
ancient, the only city in Virginia, was wrapped in

From the mouldering ruins behind him, the insurgent
chief slowly retired with his victorious
army. Hearing that a large force, consisting of
nearly one thousand men, was advancing through
the upper counties, under Colonel Brent, with the
supposed design of attacking him, he gathered his
men around him, and informing them of the threatened
danger, asked them if they were ready to
renew the contest. Shouts, acclamations, the thunder
of drums, and the clash of steel, attested their
enthusiasm. With one accord they divested themselves
of every thing that could impede their march,
and prepared to meet the enemy.[202] But their zeal,
though sincere, was in this case hardly required.
Already Brent's men were deeply infected with the
spirit of freedom, which had roused their brethren;
they learned, with joy, of the victories of Bacon;
and refusing to march farther against him, they
returned each man to his home.[203] Thus this great
storm was speedily dissipated. Brent was a royalist,


Page 358
and was deeply mortified at the departure of his
men; but he could not alone resist the tide which
was now rapidly sweeping from Virginia every
trace of monarchical rule.

The young chieftain had accomplished his purpose.
The people, under his guidance, had asserted
their rights, and their opposers had been driven
into exile. A new Assembly had been summoned,
and the power of free election having been restored,
the burgesses might be expected fairly to represent
the will of their electors. The army had been disbanded,
but was ready, at a moment's warning, to reassemble
and to resist again the obnoxious measures
of the royal government. Advices from England
were anxiously expected, and men began to look
upon the late revolution as established on a permanent
basis. But a mysterious Providence was preparing
a reverse. Virginia was not yet ready for
independence. One hundred years were yet to
pass away, ere she could find herself surrounded
by sisters ready to unite their blood with hers in
maintaining the rights of humanity. Nathaniel
Bacon had imbibed the seeds of fatal disease in the
trenches before Jamestown, and as the season wore
away, his strength became visibly less. He lingered
until the first day of October, when, at the residence
of Mr. Pate, in the county of Gloucester, his
spirit took its flight for ever from a world in which,
though yet young, he had borne so conspicuous a


Page 359

It has generally been found, that popular movements,
whether for good or for evil, are directed
by one ruling spirit. When the keystone of the
most massive arch is withdrawn, the fabric must
crumble and fall. Had George Washington died
at a critical period of the American war, it would
not be safe to declare, that America would, nevertheless,
have achieved her independence. Nathaniel
Bacon died in 1676, and the tide of revolution
was immediately rolled back. The hearts of
the patriots sank within them; neither Ingram
nor Walklate, who now headed them, was competent
to the dangerous task. The first was but a frivolous
being, better skilled in the dance than in the
conflict of arms.[205] As the fortunes of the people
declined, the courage of Berkeley and his followers
revived. Major Robert Beverley, an active member
of the Council, sailed up the rivers, and scoured
the country in pursuit of insurgent bands. Among
his first prizes was Thomas Hansford, a noble
young Virginian, whose warm heart had prompted
him to strenuous action in the late rebellion. With
cruel haste, he was hurried from the place of trial
to the gibbet prepared for his execution. Even in
view of a death so terrible, his heroic spirit did not
give way. He implored only that he might be


Page 360
shot like a soldier, rather than die on the gallows;
but to this passionate request, a reply was returned,
that he died not as a soldier but as a rebel.[206]
Expressing penitence for the errors of his past life,
he yet fully justified his course in the insurrection,
and calling upon all present to note that he died a
loyal subject, and a lover of his country, he met
his fate with the firmness of a truly brave man.[207]

The powers of revenge were now solemnly invoked.
As fast as prisoners of any note were
brought in, they became victims of martial law.
In York River, Captains Chieseman and Wilford
were captured. In the skirmish, Wilford was
wounded in one of his eyes, and lost its sight entirely;
but when allusion was made to this, he
said, with bitterness, that the loss was of small importance,
as he doubted not the Governor would
find him a guide to the gallows.[208] His fears were,
unhappily, but too soon fulfilled. But a more
cruel punishment awaited Chieseman. When he
was brought into the presence of the Governor, his
wife accompanied him, and kneeling before the
arbiter of their fate, she declared that she alone
had urged her husband to rebellion, and implored
that if one must die, she might be executed as the
guilty person. Such a display of feminine tenderness
might have moved a heart of stone; but it fell
powerless upon the vindictive bosom of William


Page 361
Berkeley. In the presence of her unhappy husband,
he applied to her an epithet too gross to be
repeated,[209] imputing dishonour to a woman who
had but just given proof of the highest traits that
can adorn a virtuous wife! A few days afterwards,
Chieseman died in prison from the effects of accumulated
insult, injury, and mortification.

When William Drummond was captured, Berkeley
could no longer restrain his triumph within
the bounds of decency. Coming from his ship to
the shore, he saluted his defenceless captive with
a low bend of the body, and with all the mockery
of affected politeness. "Mr. Drummond!" he
said, "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."[210] A
trial by a court-martial, at the house of John Bray,
resulted, as might have been expected, in his immediate
conviction; and he was suspended upon a
gibbet as soon as one could be prepared.[211] Against
this patriot, the vengeance of Berkeley seems to
have burned with quenchless violence. He pursued
his wife with fines and confiscations, and
would willingly have subjected her to a traitor's
death; but in after days, the protection of King


Page 362
Charles himself was extended, and she was restored
to the possessions that had been taken

It is impossible to say to what extent the passions
of the Governor would have carried him, had
they been allowed unlimited time for their exercise.
The forces under Ingram and Walklate
were at length broken and dispersed, and daily
additions were made to the list of prisoners of state.
News of the rise and progress of the rebellion having
been carried to England, the King issued a
commission, appointing Herbert Jeffries lieutenant
governor, and uniting him with Sir John Berry
and Francis Morrison, as commissioners to inquire
into the state of the colony. (1677, January 29.)
They arrived early in the year, accompanied by a
regiment of regular troops, to suppress the rebellion.

Although armed with full powers to prosecute
the war with vigour, should it be necessary, the
commissioners had received instructions to use all
means for restoring peace; and they brought with
them a royal proclamation of pardon to all engaged
in the insurrection, except Bacon alone, who was
now far removed beyond the utmost reach of kingly
vengeance.[213] But the Governor had not yet quenched
his thirst for blood. The commissioners objected
strenuously to the trial by martial law, which he


Page 363
had thus far employed, and urged a return to the
trial by a jury of the people. To this, Berkeley
at first gave the characteristic reply, that he had
used martial law in order to insure conviction;
and that he feared juries would acquit the prisoners![214] A memorable tribute to the worth of an
institution, which may be well termed the bulwark
of civil freedom. With great difficulty, he was
persuaded to resort to a court of oyer and terminer,
in which a jury was used. But a spirit of
fear had now possessed the bosoms of many; the
jury proved pliant, and more convictions took
place. Eleven unhappy victims had fallen under
the stroke of martial law ere the commissioners
arrived.[215] Nine were afterwards convicted by jury
trial, without appeal, and successively executed.[216]
Several were banished from the colony, never to
return, and their estates were forfeited to the use
of the King, or rather of the Governor, who seldom
failed to convert forfeitures into streams of supply


Page 364
for himself.[217] Many were crushed by enormous
fines, levied for the use of the King's troops sent to
adjust the shackles to their hands; and five men
were sentenced to appear at their respective county
courts, with ropes around their necks, and humbly
"ask pardon for their rebellion and treason."[218] Few
prisoners brought to the bar escaped conviction.
By special requirement of the General Court, the
juries were composed exclusively of freeholders
and housekeepers; and their hearts seem to have
been dismayed by the terrors of the very law
which they were themselves chiefly active in enforcing.

Men began to ask each other to what extent
this scene of blood would go. Berkeley was still
inexorable, and was deaf even to the appeals of
the King's commissioners. When Giles previous hit Bland next hit
was condemned to death, after a conviction by a
jury, on the 8th of March, he pleaded a special
pardon from the King, which had been sent over
by the commissioners, and which the Governor
had taken into his own custody and refused to exhibit.
There is not the slightest reason to doubt
that Berkeley suppressed this pardon, with the
stern resolve that previous hit Bland next hit should die.[219] This enlightened


Page 365
patriot met his fate with the calmness of
conscious innocence;[220] and his name descended to
a family afterwards known among the firmest supporters
of American freedom.

Not content with persecuting and destroying
the living, Berkeley sought to wreak his unmanly
revenge upon the dead. The remains of Nathaniel
Bacon were eagerly sought, that they might be exposed
upon a gibbet; but in this instance the love
of a friend triumphed over the malice of an enemy.
His body had been interred in a retired spot, and
the coffin was pressed down by massive stones, by
order of Lawrence, who had an instinctive presentiment
of the design of the Governor.[221] Thus
the search was vain; the lifeless hero was unviolated,
and his warmest friend escaped a death of
ignominy. Lawrence was drowned in a swollen
branch which he attempted to cross, when Beverley
commenced his incursions into the heart of

It was now time to arrest the Governor's arm.
His vindictive feelings, instead of becoming exhausted,
appeared to gather strength with each
execution. His warmest friends were shocked by
his virulence. When the burgess from Northampton


Page 366
County returned to his home, he declared to a
colleague, "he believed the Governor would have
hanged half the country if they had let him alone."[223]
Even the King, with all his selfishness and hypocrisy,
was horror-stricken when he heard of the
executions; and, in his own refined language, was
heard to say, "that old fool had hanged more men
in that naked country, than he had done for the
murder of his father."[224] The call for severity had
long since ceased; Ingram and his followers had
been dispersed by Captain Grantham; the insurgents
on York River had returned to their homes;
the Governor's house and property at Green Spring
had been restored to his possession.[225] All were submissive,
and all desired peace.

At this crisis, the General Assembly hesitated
no longer to interfere. They voted an address to
Berkeley, imploring him to shed no more blood,
for none could tell where or when it would terminate.[226]

This entreaty came from a source which the Governor
could not disregard. The Assembly, convened
in February, 1677, had thus far proved itself
a ready instrument for stern measures against the
rebels. They had passed acts of attainder against
the dead, and imposed fines and confiscations upon


Page 367
the living;[227] they had pronounced Bacon a traitor,
and had repealed all of his laws except the only one
among them worthy of repeal: they spared the law
making Indians taken in war slaves, doubtless to
prove their love of loyalty by their hatred to freedom;[228]
they had gone so far in their devotion to the Governor
as to enact that any one speaking mutinously or contemptuously
concerning him, should either receive
thirty stripes upon his naked person, or should pay
eight hundred pounds of tobacco.[229] Yet this was
the body which now united with the commissioners
in imploring that the arm of vengeance might
pause; that the blood of the people should no longer
flow. Berkeley found his course regarded with
universal disgust; and feeling that he stood upon
tottering ground, he hastened to retrieve, if possible,
his injured fame at the court of his royal

He sailed from the colony in April. The utmost
joy was felt at his departure; and so much was he
detested, that discharges of cannon and displays of
fireworks expressed the public emotions.[230] It were
to be wished that he had left Virginia for ever immediately
after the surrender to the Commonwealth
in 1652. He would then perchance have escaped
both the hatred of others and the dominion of his
own most dangerous passions. But a repulse yet


Page 368
sterner encountered him when he reached his native
land. The King refused to receive him at
court; and when the proud cavalier heard the remark
that Charles had made concerning his excesses
in Virginia, his spirit sank beneath the indignity.[231] His age and late anxieties aggravated
his disease, and he died a short time after landing
upon the soil of England. It were an ungrateful
task to enter the portals of the tomb in order to
assail the memory of its occupant. Sir William
Berkeley was an inhabitant of Virginia during a
period of nearly forty years, and for twenty-eight
of these he was her governor. His character has
been regarded as inconsistent; but it is to be feared
that such as he was in the closing years of his life,
such had he always been. His very loyalty rendered
him uncompromising. The same stern pride
which planted a battery of cannon against the ships
of the Commonwealth, taught him never to forgive
the first offence of Nathaniel Bacon; the courage
which would have resisted unto death the invasion
of a foreign foe, became the relentless rage which
sought the blood of numberless victims; the very
"With royal favourites in flattery vie,
And Oldmixon and Burnet both outlie."
Versif. of Dr. Donne's Satires, iv.


Page 369
resolution of purpose which made him true to his
sovereign through evil and through good report,
was afterwards the germ of that avenging zeal
which would have consigned the living to a death
of ignominy, and the remains of the dead to desecration
and dishonour.

(April 27.) Upon the departure of Berkeley,
Herbert Jeffries became governor, and all parties
united in earnest efforts to heal the wounds and
calm the troubled spirits of the unhappy colony.
Previous to the rebellion, Virginia had presented a
phasis of human life almost unknown in the history
of the world. She was without cities; for her
single town contained but eighteen dwellings, with
a state-house and the time-honoured church.[232] The
people lived on their plantations, generally near
some beautiful river or bold stream, which either
turned their mills, or brought to their doors the
produce of foreign climes. The houses were generally
of wood, and few attained to the dignity of a
second story. The more wealthy planters possessed
in property all that could render life desirable.
Seventy horses and three hundred sheep were not
considered excessive possessions for the chief man
of the colony.[233] Their laws were yet simple, and
lawyers were almost unknown. Education was
not generally diffused; schools and colleges could
hardly be said to exist. The affluent sent their
sons to England for education; the medium classes


Page 370
and the poor imparted to their children such knowledge
of books as they possessed themselves, and
this was generally sufficient for the proper discharge
of their duties in life. Had the power across
the ocean been idle, Virginia might have been prosperous
and happy; but it was her fate to be cursed
by the very dominion to which she had so long and
so loyally adhered. The rebellion opened the eyes
of her people to their wrongs and to the remedy;
but its total failure closed them again in a troubled
sleep, which was not disturbed until they were
roused to slumber no more. It has been remarked
that the rebellion was productive of enormous evil
to Virginia, and of no real benefit;[234] but it would be
unwise thus hastily to judge and to determine. The
evil was immediate and pressing, the benefit was
unseen and silent in its operation. Availing himself
of the insurrection as a pretext, King Charles
refused to grant the favourable charter which was
to have been prepared, and gave a miserable
substitute, with which the colony was forced to
appear contented.[235] It gave no privileges, guarantied
no liberties, removed no burdens, redressed no
wrongs. It said nothing on the subject of taxation,
thus leaving this avenue still open to English encroachment.
A heavy loss of property had occurred
during the rebellion. Jealousies had been engendered
not easily to be appeased. A body of mercenary
troops, the first ever permanently placed on


Page 371
the soil of British America, added to the people's burdens,
and insulted them by their very presence;—
lives had been sacrificed that would have been valuable;—blood
had been shed which would have
warmed many patriot hearts. These were the evils;
they were many and onerous, but let them not mislead.
The name of Nathaniel Bacon was not forgotten;
his spirit disappeared from human vision,
but it yet lingered fondly about the land he had
loved, ready to pervade it again when liberty should
invoke its presence; his principles wrought their
way silently into the minds of men,—and one hundred
years from the day of his death, Virginia was
fighting in the front rank of the embattled host
which drove the armies of Britain from her shores,
and planted in imperishable honour the standard of
freedom upon the soil of America.


Burk, ii. 123; Campbell, 67; Bancroft, ii. 196.


Gordon's America, i. 53; Marshall's Colon. i. 69.


The reader may consult even
Hume, v. 402-405; but he will find
Charles more accurately sketched by


Voltaire, Siècle de Louis XIV. i.
2, page 6; Hume, ii. 606, edit. 1832.


Grahame's Colon. Hist. i. 306.


Ibid, i. 307.


Grahame's Colon. Hist., i. 307;
Bancroft's U. S., i. 454.


Grahame, i. 307; Bancroft, i.


Note ix., Grahame's Colon Hist.,
i. 461. At the next court for Salem,
this lady was, with great propriety,
adjudged worthy of stripes.


Note ix., Grahame's Colon. Hist.,
i. 461.


Hening, i. 533, Act vi. The act
does not say, a felon without benefit
of clergy, from which it seems probable
that death was not intended.


Burk's Va., ii. 132, with accompanying
comments; Hening's Stat.
at Large, ii. 198, September 12,
1663; Hawks's Eccle. Hist. Va., 71.


Beverley, 57, mentions a tradition
that the King at his coronation
wore a robe of silk from Virginia.
Grahame adopts this story, i. 105, in
note. He cites Oldmixon, an author
full of ridiculous falsehoods. It is
curious to find Beverley and Oldmixon
agreeing in any thing: they
had a cordial contempt each for the
other. Read Beverley's Preface. Mr.
Burk does not seem to believe the
above story, ii. 125.


Burk, ii. 124-126. Grahame
says, by this commission trials by
jury were restored, which had been
discontinued for some years, i. 106.
I find no evidence to sustain either
of these statements. The instructions
of the King may be seen reflected
in the laws passed by the
Assembly of 1660-61, contained in
Hening, ii. 17-32.


Smith's Wealth of Nations, edit.
1818, i. 325, 326, ii. 82-85. Adam
Smith finds but one argument in
favour of the Navigation Laws, the
increase they are supposed to produce
in sailors and shipping for national
defence. Their efficacy even
for this end is doubtful; and his arguments
against them are overwhelming.
Grahame's Col. Hist. i.


12 Car. II., cap. xviii., and in
Robertson's America, i. 422; Grahame's
Colon. Hist., i. 107, 108.


15 Car. II., c. vii.; Robertson, i.
422; Grahame, i. 108.


25 Car. II., c. vii.; Robertson's
Am., i. 422; Grahame, i. 109.


Grahame's Col. Hist., i. 107;
Burk's Va., ii. 133.


Robertson's Am., i. 422, citing
Act 15, Car. II. Sir William Keith
highly approves of the Navigation
Laws, and uses much lame reasoning
to support them, 148-152; and in
the Introduction, passim.


Hening, ii. 7, 17; Bancroft, ii.


Hening, ii. 18, Act. ii., Session


Hening, ii. 43.


Ib., i. 517.


Bancroft, ii. 205.


Bancroft, ii. 205. There is strong
reason for Mr. Bancroft's opinion in
the fact that the same Assembly was
adjourned or prorogued from 1666 to
1675; but the law to which he refers
in Hening, ii. 211, 212, was, I apprehend,
passed when elections by
the people were still in use.


Compare Hening, ii. 196, 197,
Sess. 1663, with ii. 249, 250, Sess.
1666. The names of the Burgesses
will be found to be entirely different.


Burk, ii. 134.


Hening, ii. 202, Sess. 1663.


Beverley, 58; Keith, almost verbatim
from Beverley, 151; Burk, ii.
135, 136; Grahame, i. 114; Oldmixon,
i. 379.


Hening, ii. 204; Beverley, 58,
says he received two hundred pounds
sterling; so saith Keith, 151; Burk,
ii. 137.


Extract from Records of Gen.
Court, in Hening, ii. 509-511. These
persons are called "jail-birds," and
afterwards "Newgate-birds."—Outline,
in Howe, 70.


Burk, ii. 145; Hening, ii. 254.


Act iii., Sess. 1670, Hening, ii.
280; Bancroft, ii. 208.


Bancroft, ii. 209.


Behold the full patent, in Hening,
ii. 569-578; Bancroft, ii. 210;
Outline, in Howe, 71.


Read Bancroft, ii. 209, and his
authorities; Appendix, in Burk, ii. 9.


Those who doubt this would do
well to read the patent, Hening, ii.,
particularly on pages 572, 574, 575,


Burk, ii. 143; Hening, ii. 518;
Beverley, 65; Keith, 155.


Beverley, 75; Burk, ii. 152;
Hening, ii. 531; and Remonstrance
against Stoppage of Charter, 535537.


Beverley, 62, 63, gives the original
account of this expedition. He
says, "It is supposed, that in this
journey, Batte did not cross the great
ridge of mountains," but kept under
it to the south; and speaks of
marshes, corresponding to his description,
which have been found
between Cape Florida and the mouth
of the Mississippi. Yet, after reading
attentively this account, it seems
to me most probable that the explorers
crossed the Blue Ridge;
passed through the beautiful valley
of Virginia; scaled the Alleghany
Mountains, and penetrated nearly to
the salt licks, contiguous to the
Great Kanawha, or the Ohio River.
Vide Burk, ii. 149-151.


Berkeley's permanent salary exceeded
the present annual expenditure
of the State of Connecticut.—
Bancroft, ii. 203.


This was in 1671. Enquiries to
the Governor of Virginia, in Hening,
ii. 517; Bancroft, ii. 192;
Howe's Hist. Collec., 331; Campbell's
Va., 257, 258.


Hening, 23, 309, 325, vol. ii.;
Bancroft, ii. 206, and in note; Giles
previous hit Bland's next hit letter in Burk, ii. 248.


Beverley, 224, 225; Hening, ii.
69, 70; Bancroft, ii. 204.


Bacon's Rebellion, in Force, i.


Breviare et Conclusum, in Burk,
ii. 250.


Bacon's Rebellion, in Force, i.
11; Bancroft, ii. 216.


T. M.'s Account of Bacon's
Rebel., 12; Bancroft, ii. 216.


Read the account in "Indian
Proceedings," 7, a valuable tract,
presented by Hon. William Burwell
to Mass. Hist. Soc., and afterwards
published by P. Force, vol. i.


Allen's Am. Biog., art. Bacon.
This article seems to have been furnished
by Mr. Campbell. Hist. of
Va., 215; Burk, ii. 159.


Bacon's Rebellion, in Force, 10; Bancroft, ii. 218.


Beverley, 68; Burk, ii. 160, 161.
No authentic remnant of this speech
exists; but, beyond reasonable doubt,
it was delivered. See Oldmixon's
Brit. Emp. i. 384.


Bacon's Rebellion, in Force, 10;
Our Late Troubles, by Mrs. Ann
Cotton, in Force, 4, 5; Bacon's
Proceedings, in ditto, 10, 11.


T. M.'s account of Bacon's Rebellion,


Burk, ii. 160; Our Late Troubles,
in Force, 4.


Breviare et Conclusum, in Burk,
Appen. ii. 250; Burk's Text, ii. 165.


Bacon's Rebellion, Force, 11;
Breviare et Conclusum, in Burk,
Appendix, ii. 251; Bancroft, ii. 219.


T. M.'s Account, Force, 12; Our
Late Troubles, 4, 5; Bacon's Proceedings,
11. "Some being put into
irons." Burk, ii. 167.


Breviare et Conclusum, Appen.,
Burk, ii. 251; Burk, ii. 167; Bacon's
Proceedings, Force, 11.


Read Bacon's Proceedings, Force,
11, 12; Our Late Troubles, by Mrs.
Ann Cotton, Force, 4, 5; Breviare
et Conclusum, Burk's Appen. ii. 251.
Beverley, 70, and Keith, 159, love
Berkeley and hate Bacon too much
to be trusted. Mr. Campbell is very
illiberal in his whole account of the
Rebellion, and tacitly does Bacon injustice
by saying nothing about the
governor's promise, page 76. Mr.
Burk is generally enthusiastic in
his admiration of the insurgent, yet
he seems unable to acquit him of
the dishonour of having broken his
parole, ii. 167, 168; and doubts on
the point are yet entertained by generous
and cultivated minds.—Letter
from Charles Campbell, Esq.,
of Petersburg, to the author, dated
April 16, 1846. But the authorities
first above cited are conclusive; and
even without them, I would find it
impossible to impute deliberate perfidy
to a character such as that of
Bacon is admitted to be, 62.


Nathaniel Bacon, Sen., a member
of Council; note to Hening, ii.
544; T. M.'s Account, in Force, 15.


The acknowledgment may be
read, in full, in Hening, ii. 543, 544.


The acts of this memorable session
are generally known by the
title of "Bacon's Laws." They are
in Hening, ii. 341-365. To their
lasting honour be it remembered,
that, though they were all repealed
by special instructions from the King,
yet subsequent legislatures found it
necessary to revive them; and nearly
all were re-enacted under different
Preface to Hening's Sta. ii. v.,
and page 391, in note.


Hening, ii. 356, Act vi.


Hening, ii. 357, 358, 359; Bancroft,
ii. 221.


Hening, ii. 356, Act vii.; Bancroft,
ii. 220. On this clause a brief
passage of arms occurred in the Virginia
Convention of 1829-30. B. W.
Leigh, Esq., called Bacon a "rebel,"
and declared that he was the author
of universal suffrage in Virginia.
Mr. Leigh cited the note in Revised
Code, i. 38, which certainly does
not ascribe to Bacon the paternity
of free suffrage—the reverse rather
is plainly set forth. In this debate,
Bacon's character and laws were
ably vindicated by John R. Cooke,
Esq.—Virginia Convention, 182930,
pages 339-341.


Hening, ii. 346; Gregory vs.
Baugh, iv. Randolph, 624-633. This
law did not remain long in force. It
was the fruit of continued indignation
against the cruelty of the Indians.


T. M.'s Account, 15; Bancroft,
ii. 221.


T. M.'s Account, 17; Bancroft,
ii. 221; Robertson's Am. 424; Grahame's
Colon. Hist. i. 120; Beverley,
71; Keith, 159.


Bacon's Proceedings, Force, 13, 14; Our Late Troubles, ditto, 5.


Bacon's words in "Our Late
Troubles," Force, 5; Bacon's Proceedings,
15; Bancroft, ii. 223.


Burk, ii. 171; Grahame, i. 121;
Marshall, 161; Robertson, 424; Bacon's
Proceedings, in Force, 19;
Beverley, 72; Keith, 160; Bancroft,
ii. 224; Campbell, 77.


Burk, ii. 172; Campbell, 78;
Beverley, 72; Keith, 161, all say "on
that the Governor had abdicated,"
&c. But see Bancroft, ii.
224; Our Late Troubles, 6; Bacon's
Proceedings, 15-17. There is a re-remarkable
parallel between these
movements in the colony of Virginia
and the revolution which occurred
twelve years after in England, when
James II. was declared to have "abdicated"
the throne, because he fled
in time to escape the fate of his


Bancroft, ii. 224, citing Bonds,
&c., from office of Gen. Court, Richmond.


Burk, ii. 172; Bancroft, ii. 224.


Bancroft, ii. 224, copying from
Bonds, &c., in Gen. Court, Richmond.


The manifesto is in Beverley,
73, 74; Burk, ii. 173-175. Mr. Grahame
gives a parody, i. 121, 122.
See Bancroft, ii. 223, 224; Bacon's
Proceedings, 16, 17; Oldmixon, i.


Burk, ii. 176; Howe's Hist.
Collec., 75 and 304; Charles Dickens's
Amer. Notes, 56.


I am convinced that this is the
battle described by T. M., in his account
of Bacon's Rebellion, Force,
11; though it is there displaced
from its proper order in the succession
of events. Vide Burk, ii. 176;
Grahame, i. 122; Outline in Howe,
75; Bacon's Proceedings, 23; Campbell,
78, 79.


Burk, ii. 177; Outline in Howe,


T. M.'s Account, 21, 22; Bacon's
Proceedings, 20.


Bacon's Proceedings, 20; T. M.'s
Account, 22, 23; Burk, ii. 180; Breviare
et Conclusum, Burk, Appendix,


T. M.'s Account, 23; Bacon's Proceedings,
20, 21; Our Late Troubles,


Breviare et Conclusum, Burk,
Appen. 251; Bancroft, ii. 226.


Breviare et Conclusum, Burk,
Appen. ii. 251; The Insurgent, or a
Tale of Early Times, 216, 217. This
exciting tale is founded on the events
of Bacon's Rebellion. With much
of pure fiction, it embraces more of
historic truth.


Bacon's Proceedings, 23, 24;
Our Late Troubles, 8; Marshall says,
"the wives of those who supported
the government were carried to the
camp, where they were very harshly
treated," Am. Colon., 162. This is
unjust to the insurgents.


Breviare et Conclusum, 251;
Burk, ii. 183; Bancroft, ii. 227.


Bacon's Proceedings, 25, 26;
Burk, ii. 186, 187; The Insurgent,
242-244; Breviare et Conclusum,
Burk, Appen. 252.


Mr. Campbell is not more inaccurate
than unjust, in speaking on
this subject, p. 81.


Note to Burk, ii. 190; Bancroft,
ii. 228; T. M.'s account of Bacon's
Rebel., Force, 21.


Bacon's Proceedings, 27.


Ibid. 27.


Bacon's Proceedings, Force, i.
28; Burk, ii. 192; Bancroft, ii. 228,
229. An epitaph, written by one of
Bacon's followers, who was devotedly
attached to him, will be read with interest
by every Virginian. It is in
Force's Hist. Tracts, i. 29. The two
valuable tracts, "T. M.'s Account,"
&c., and "Our Late Troubles," to
which so frequent reference has been
made in the preceding pages, were
originally published in the Richmond
Enquirer, on the 1st, 5th, 8th, and
12th September, 1804. See Hening,
ii. 374, in note.


He seems to have been a rope-dancer.
Ingram's Proceedings, 31,


Ingram's Proceedings, Force,
33; Bancroft, ii. 230.


Hansford is said to have been
the first native-born Virginian who
ever died by hanging. Ingram's
Proceedings, 33.


Ingram's Proceedings, Force,


Ingram's Proceedings, in Force,
34; Bancroft, ii. 231.


T. M's. Account of Bacon's Rebellion,
23. Bancroft repeats the
words without change, ii. 231.


The brief record of his trial is
in Hening, ii. 546. On pages 545557
of this invaluable compilation,
the reader will find many startling
records of summary trials and condemnations
to death. I have examined
the original volume of MS.
records in the office of the General
Court in Richmond. It is labelled
Judgments and Orders from 1670 to
1677. Consult pages 343-357.


Proclamation of Charles, in
Burk, App. ii. 264-65, dated Oct.
22, 1677.


Burk, ii. 203. "True and faithful
Account," by John Berry and
Francis Morrison, in Burk, Appen.
ii. 254.


"A true and faithful Account."
Burk, Appen. ii. 254. Mr. Burk
has fallen into a gross error, in declaring
that when the trial by jury
was used instead of martial law, ten
men were acquitted in one day, ii.
200. The reverse is true; ten were
found guilty by the jury in one day.
Ans. to Objections against Sir William
Berkeley, in Burk's Appen. ii.
262, 263. Burk read historical documents
carelessly. He seems to
have been led into error by a mistake
of a single word in the "True
and faithful Account," page 254:—
"There was not a prisoner that
came to the bar, that was brought
in guilty by the jury." It should be,
"but was brought in guilty," &c.
The context renders this reading indispensable.
Yet Mr. Burk's error
is repeated in the Outline, in Howe,
p. 78. Bancroft corrects it, ii. 231,
232, note.


Hening, ii. 545-547.


Ibid, ii. 550-553.


See Hening, ii., case of Henry
West, 547, 548; Sands Knowles,
552; Bancroft, ii. 231.


Two of these persons appeared
at court, with small strips of tape
around their necks; but, on learning
this, the Governor and Council,
in high dudgeon, rebuked the sitting
justices, and ordered that the sentence
should be literally executed.—
Hening, ii. 557.


T. M.'s Account of Bacon's Rebellion,
24. The Duke of York had
sworn, "By God, Bacon and previous hit Bland 
should die." He was a papist and
a tyrant. See Burk, ii. 206.


Dr. Robertson, speaking of the
sequel of Bacon's Rebellion, says,
"No man suffered capitally!" Am.,
i. 425. Mr. Grahame, who ought
to have ascertained the truth, says
he is satisfied "that no person was
put to death by martial law, except
during the subsistence of the rebellion,"
i. 126, note. He is easily satisfied!
All the trials by martial
law, mentioned in Hening, ii. 545547,
were in January, 1677; nearly
four months after the death of Bacon.


T. M.'s Account, 23, 24.


Ibid, 23; Ingram's Proceedings,
46, 47.


T. M.'s Account, 24; Burk, ii.
208; Bancroft, ii. 232.


T. M.'s Account, Force, 24; Bancroft,
ii. 232, in substance.


Ingram's Proceedings, 43-45.
Burk's account of a treaty between
the belligerents, is not accurate, ii.


Burk, ii. 207; Bancroft, ii. 232.


Hening's Statutes, ii. 369, 381,


The fact here noted is remarkable.
See order of Assembly, in Hening,
ii. 404, and note.


Hening, ii. 385; Bancroft, ii.


Francis Morryson's Letter to
Secretary Ludwell, in Burk's Appen.,
ii. 267.


Bancroft, ii. 233. George Chalmers
says Berkeley died "of a
broken heart." Revolt. Amer. Col.,
i. 164; T. M.'s Account, 24; Burk,
ii. 208; Bancroft, ii. 233. But Beverley,
77, and his echo, Keith, 162, say,
Charles approved of his course, and
during his last sickness often made
kind inquiries as to his health! The
first assertion we know to be false,
the last is wholly improbable. Mr.
Grahame prefers the authority of
Oldmixon, in favour of Berkeley, to
the plain reports of the King's commissioners
against him. Oldmixon
is proverbial for his stupid blunders.
See Beverley's Preface. He has
been touched by Mr. Pope's caustic


Bancroft, ii. 212, citing Mass.
Hist. Collec., xi. 53.


Answer to Objections against Sir
William Berkeley, Burk's Appen.,
ii. 263; Bancroft, ii. 212.


Marshall's Am. Col., i. 162;
Bancroft, ii. 233.


Hening, ii. 531, 533. The charter
is there, and in Burk's Appen.,
lxi. lxii.; Bancroft, ii. 233; Beverley,