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BACON'S REBELLION.

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clamors and threats they prevailed on that body to give Bacon the commission of general; to pass an act of indemnity in favor of him and his followers; and even to obtain an "applausive letter" to the king from the Governor, Council and Assembly. Sir William, having again dissolved the Assembly, and finding Bacon supported by the mass of the people, deemed it prudent to fly to Accomac County, on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake, having first by proclamation declared Bacon a rebel.

Bacon, alleging that Sir William Berkeley had withdrawn himself from the government of the colony, called a convention of the people, which assembled on the third of August at the Middle Plantation (afterward Williamsburg), and they there issued a public declaration that the Governor having abandoned the government,' they would adhere to General Bacon, and support him against any force that might be sent against him. They ratified this declaration by an oath, which was called the "oath of engagement," or fidelity to Bacon, which was also taken by a considerable portion of the colonists. He again marched against the Indians and defeated them with great slaughter, at a small stream which still bears his name, near Richmond, the present seat of government. He then assumed the chief authority in the colony, and, uniting with five members of the Council, one of them his uncle, he called a new Assembly.

Governor Berkeley had not been at first well received by the people of Accomac, but was at length able to recruit near one thousand men, by the promise of plunder, and returned with them to James Town.

But Bacon, with a very inferior force, laid siege to the

1 The doctrine of abdication, with its consequences, which was afterwards brought to bear against James the Second, seems to have been here foreshadowed by this transatlantic demagogue.

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JAMES TOWN BURNT.

place, and after a slight skirmish with the Governor's followers, being about to obtain possession of it, Sir William re-embarked in the night, and returned to Accomac. The next morning Bacon entered the deserted town, consisting of some sixteen or eighteen houses, which he consigned to the flames, that they might not again afford shelter to the royalists. While he was preparing to follow the Governor to Accomac, he was attacked by a disease contracted in the sickly month of September, in the marshy lands around James Town, and died. in the County of Gloucester. His adherents, after his death, made a show of resistance for a while, but on overtures from the Governor, they at length surrendered; and thus terminated what in the annals of Virginia has gone under the name of "Bacon's," or the "Grand Rebellion."

The lives lost in this insurrection were chiefly the victims of the law. There were no less than twenty-three executed, some of whom were tried by martial law, and some by the common law court. Berkeley's vindictive course was condemned in England' as well as Virginia. He had enjoyed a good reputation in the colony for more than thirty years, but was generally censured at last for his conduct in provoking, in resisting, and in punishing this rising of the people.

When the news of these popular commotions reached England, the king was no longer disposed to enlarge the privileges of a colony in which the royal authority was so little respected, and which had proved so inadequate to maintain itself. Two years afterwards he granted a new charter to Virginia, that was strictly conformable to the

'It is said that Charles, among whose faults cruelty could not be reckoned, remarked of Berkeley, "That old fool has taken away more lives in that naked country, than I for the murder of my father."

CHARACTER OF BACON—CULPEPER'S INSURRECTION. 47

petition of the Virginia agents in six of its least important items, but it was silent on the paramount questions of grants of land, and the imposition of taxes.1

It has been common, of late years, for historians, under the natural bias of popular sympathies, to regard Bacon as an heroic asserter of the rights of the people, and a martyr to his patriotism. The evidence of his real motives is indeed by no means clear. His professions were always patriotic; and it is only his acts that give rise to doubts about his true character, which doubts seem to have been quite as great with his contemporaries as they can be with those who have succeeded him; yet his humiliating acknowledgments in the presence of the Assembly are such as a brave man would scarcely have made, or having made, such as an honest man would not have disregarded. It therefore seems probable that he was actuated by the vulgar love of power and popularity, and that, profiting by circumstances, he adroitly made the public good the pretext for the attainment of his individual purposes.

Such had been the excitement in Virginia against the Indians, that the first Legislature which met after the insurrection enacted that Indians taken in war might be made slaves.2

Bacon's rebellion was soon after followed by a similar rising in North Carolina, conducted by John Culpeper, a surveyor in the Albemarle settlement. He had so much confidence in the cause of the insurgents, that he went to England in their behalf. He was there tried for

1 The terms of the charter may be seen in the appendix to the second volume of Burk's Hist. of Virginia.

2 The courts have, however, decided that no Indian brought into the province after 1692, nor the descendants of any Indian female so brought in, can be held in slavery.

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NEW NETHERLANDS CAPTURED BY THE DUTCH.

treason, and owed his acquittal to the influence and address of Lord Shaftesbury.1

Soon after the charters were granted to Connecticut and Rhode Island, Charles, prompted by his brother, the Duke of York, made war on the Dutch, who had been seventy years in close alliance with England, and who had shown great favor and kindness to Charles in his exile, but whom the English people now hated as their great commercial rivals no less than the Duke of York hated them for their religion. A secret expedition was sent against their colony of New Netherlands, which, thus surprised and unprepared, surrendered without resistance. It then received its present name of New York from the Duke. It was recaptured by Holland in 1673, but, in the following year, it was, by the treaty of peace, retroceded to England, as was Acadie to France.

Some months before, the King, in anticipation of the conquest, and by virtue moreover of the prior claim which England had always asserted to the territory of the Dutch settlement, made a grant to his brother of the territory between the Kennebec and St. Croix, to the East, and of all the country to the South-west, as far as Delaware, so as to comprehend the New Netherlands and a part of Connecticut, which showed that Charles was as regardless of the terms of his recent charter to that colony as he was of his obligations to the Dutch.

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The Duke immediately afterwards granted to Lord Berkeley and Sir George Carteret that part of the New

1 As William Drummond, who had been the Governor of the Albemarle settlement, appears to have been the person of that name who was one of Bacon's followers, and who was tried and executed for the part he had taken in the "Rebellion," was his return to Virginia from Albemarle connected with Bacon's schemes; and could his example have influenced the insurrection of Culpeper?

EAST AND WEST JERSEY.

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Netherlands which lies between the Hudson and the Delaware, and to which Carteret, who owned an estate in the Island of Jersey, and had been its Governor, gave the name of New Jersey.

Berkeley, being in debt, assigned his undivided interest to two of his creditors, Fenwick and Billings, who were Quakers; and, some disagreement arising between them, it was adjusted by the mediation of the celebrated William Penn. It is probable that Penn's agency on this occasion decided the destiny of his subsequent life.

After the retrocession of New York in 1674, the Duke of York obtained a renewal of his patent, as doubts had been entertained about the validity of his first grant, in consequence of the New Netherlands being, at that time, in possession of the Dutch.1

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Two years afterwards New Jersey was divided between Sir George Carteret and Lord Berkeley's assigns -East Jersey, the best settled part, being allotted to Carteretand West Jersey to Berkeley's assigns. Perth Amboy was the seat of government of East Jersey, and Burlington of West Jersey.

Carteret having ordered East Jersey to be sold to pay his debts, a sale was accordingly made in 1682, and it was purchased by William Penn and eleven others. It was subsequently agreed among them that each purchaser should take a partner, and to the twenty-four proprietors the Duke of York, always friendly to Penn, made a new grant of East Jersey though he had refused to make one to Berkeley. The first Governor appointed by the proprietors was Robert Barclay, author of "The Apology." Both East and West Jersey continued proprietary governments

'It is said that, under the influence of the same legal question, Berkeley applied to the Duke of York for the renewal of his grant, which request he evaded.

VOL. I. -4

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