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; ******** BE IT REMEMBERED, that on the fifth day of 

$ Seal. * August in the thirty-eighth year of the Independence of 

********* the United States of America, A. D. 1813, John W. 

Camphell of the said district, hath deposited in this office the title of a 

hook the right whereof he claims as author in the words following to wit: 

"A History of Virginia, from its discovery till the year 1781. With 
" Biographical Sketches of all the most Distinguished Characters 
" that occur in the colonial, revolutionary, or subsequent period 
" of our History." By J. W. Campbell. 

In conformity to the act of the Congress of the United States, inti- 
tuled, " An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the 
copies of maps, charts and books, to the authors and proprietors of such 
copies during the times therein mentioned.'* And also to the act, enti- 
tled, " An act supplementary to an act, entitled " An act for the en- 
couragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and 
hooks, to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the times 
therein mentioned," and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of 
designing, engraving and etching historical and other prints." 

Clerk of the District of Pennsylvania. 


1 HE author of the following pages has en- 
deavoured to compress into as small bounds as 
possible all that is interesting in the history of 
Virginia. A desire to render the work accessi- 
ble to those who have neither leisure nor money 
for voluminous publications, has perhaps led 
him into a degree of baldness, at least to an 
extreme of brevity. It is an extreme however, 
which the reader if not willing to approve will 
be most likely to pardon. 

There are no doubt defects of a more se- 
rious nature than such as arise from an uncour- 
teous style or unskilful composition. For his- 
torical inaccuracies his only plea is, that frailty 
of mind and liabilitv to err which is the lot of 
all. It is sufficient for him to say that he has 
sought truth unswayed by any bias known to 
himself. If he has not been so happy as always 
to find it, his failure affords but another proof of 
the imperfection of human efforts, and the va~ 

nity of human expectations. He who may be 
disposed to censure error with severity, should 
remember that truth is often obtained with dif- 
ficulty. Perhaps he is passing judgment upon 
labours he has not tried and would be unwill- 
ing to encounter. 

The labour of compiling a duodecimo vo- 
lume would indeed be trivial, were the objects 
of our research not often involved in obscurity 
or enveloped in darkness. That mist which 
overspreads ages past and gone, often bewil- 
ders the diligent inquirer after truth, and de- 
feats the ingenuous efforts of the historian. 

But whatever be the merit or demerit of the 
work, the subject is certainly important to 
all: — To the statesman who wishes to trace 
from their foundations our political institutions 
and the great fabric of our government; — to 
the philosopher who delights to review the 
gradations of civil society and the progress of 
human knowledge; — to the less enlightened, 
though not less important, citizen who sup- 
ports by his labour the nation, and protects 
her constitution by his sword. While they pos- 

sess the inheritance transmitted by their fathers, 
they may learn to emulate their deeds. While 
they review the wars and hardships of their an- 
cestors, they may know how to appreciate the 
blessings themselves enjoy. 

The history of Virginia is on many accounts 
of more importance than that of her sister 
colonies. The early date of her origin, and the 
singular adventures and achievements of her 
first settlers: the important part she acted in 
the great struggle for liberty, and the illustri- 
ous characters she has given to our councils 
and our armies: her central situation and com- 
mercial advantages, conspire to give her a pre- 
ponderance in the national scale, and render 
her history well worth the attention of her citi- 

Nor will the utility of this work be confined 
to Virginia alone, whose history is interwoven 
with that of the other states, and whose name 
for many years served to designate the whole 
of the English settlements on our coast. 

The author cannot dismiss his prefatory re- 
marks without tendering his thanks to those 


gentlemen who have endeavoured to aid him 
in the prosecution of his work. From that very 
worthy patriot and enlightened citizen who di- 
rects the department of state, he received an 
invitation which did him much honour and 
which he regrets he was unable to accept. In 
his office are many documents of importance 
to the historian, who may have leisure to exa- 
mine and patience to select. To others he is 
indebted for aid, which, although he may have 
neglected to acknowledge, he is not willing to 




1 HE origin of Virginia is not, like that of 
most nations, involved in fable and obscurity. 
Not much more than two centuries have elap- 
sed since our shores were first visited by Eu- 
ropean adventurers. We are able to trace our 
history from the first movements of colonial 
infancy, and can mark with precision our moral 
and physical progress. If a paucity of interest- 
ing materials sometimes check our research, 
we are compensated for the deficiency of mat- 
ter by the recency of the events, and the interest 
they are calculated to excite. To observe the 
rise of society and the changes and revolutions 
of states and empires, is the most pleasing, and 


not the least profitable employment of the hu- 
man mind. But we must feel a peculiar interest 
in reviewing the conduct and marking the po- 
licy of our ancestors. We shall behold our state 
from the very embryon of her existence rising 
amidst enemies, and progressing amidst diffi- 
culties towards her present grandeur and popu- 

It was during the reign of queen Elizabeth, 
that the celebrated sir Walter Raleigh project- 
ed a settlement on our coast. This illustrious 
statesman having obtained letters patent em- 
powering him to discover and settle remote 
lands, fitted out with the assistance of his 
friends two small vessels for this purpose. 
These, under the command of captains Philip 
Amydas and Arthur Barlow, sailed from the 
Thames on the 27th of April 1584. About the 
middle of July they cast anchor at a place cal- 
led Wococon* on the coast of North Carolina. 

* Wococon, or Wokoken is supposed by Stith to be 
that now called Ocracock. Beverly says, " they anchor- 
ed at an inlet by Roanoke j" and this opinion is confirm- 

Soon after their landing they were visited 
by several of the natives, and among others by 
the king's brother, whose name was Granga- 
nameo. This chief discovered no apprehensions 
from the intrusion of the strangers, but invited 
them to sit down on his mat with him and his 

After this first interview frequent visits were 
made by the natives, chiefly for the purpose of 
trading in skins, corals, and other articles. 

The village where Granganameo resided 
was situated on the island of Roanoke, about 
twenty miles from the place of their first land- 
ing. Thither captain Amydas, with seven of 
his companions, went on a visit, and were hos- 
pitably entertained by the wife of that chief, 
who was himself absent. 

The town consisted of eight or nine houses, 
built of cedar, and enclosed by a slender pali- 
sade. The attention of the wife of Granganameo 

ed by a passage in one of Barlow's letters to sir Walter 
Raleigh, preserved by Hackluyt, and also by the accounts 
of subsequent voyages, 


to the English is worthy of remark. It shows, 
that hospitality is not confined to civilized na- 
tions, and that the rudeness of the savage may 
be mingled with the noblest traits of humanity. 
She ordered the boat of the English to be 
drawn on shore that it might not be injured 
by the surge. When dinner was ready she in- 
vited her guests into a room, where they were 
presented with venison, fish and homony or 
boiled corn.* How fearless soever the natives 
might be of the designs of the English, all sus- 
picion was not yet removed from the breasts 
of the latter. Observing some of the Indians 

* Hominy or homoni, as the word is spelt by Stith and 
others, is too generally known in Virginia to need a des-? 
cription; but the origin of the word is involved in obscu- 
rity. Whether it be an Indian word or a corruption in 
civilized language I am unable to decide, nor shall I 
trouble myself much to inquire. Bozman derives it from 
the French omelet, as he writes it; but there is no such 
word in the French language. The orthography being 
omelette at once destroys the resemblance of sound 
which in omelet or omele as it is pronounced, would 
warrant his conclusion. 


approach with their bows and arrows, they 
seized their arms and put themselves in a pos- 
ture of defence. The wife of Granganameo on 
this occasion endeavoured to remove their fears 
by commanding those implements of war to 
be taken from the Indians, whose vain or 
thoughtless parade had excited alarm. In the 
evening they returned to their boat, and lay at 
some distance from the shore, for fear of some 
hostility from the natives during the night. 

The discoveries of the English during their 
stay on these coasts were very limited. They 
penetrated but a few leagues from the place of 
their first landing, and gained from the natives 
but little information respecting their country. 
No trace of this coast having ever been visited 
by any civilized people was discovered. No- 
thing but a confused account of a vessel having 
been wrecked on their shores about thirty years 
before, was obtained from the natives. 

About the middle of September our adven- 
turers returned to England, carrying with them 
two of the natives, Manteo and Wanchese, who 


showed a willingness to visit the land of tht 

This discovery produced so much satisfac- 
tion to queen Elizabeth, that she named the 
country Virginia, in honour, as has been sup- 
posed, of her own virginity.* 

Sir Richard Grenville with seven ships sailed 
from Plymouth in the following year (1585), for 
Virginia. With him returned Manteo, whose 
knowledge of his native country and the lan- 
guage of the Indians, rendered him of singular 
service to the English both as a guide and in- 
terpreter. Under his guidance they visited seve- 
ral towns and made various excursions through 
the country. During their stay at one of the 

* Others say the name was given by sir Walter 

Raleigh himself. " A cause de la repugnance que la 

reine avoit pour le marriage, il (Raleigh) l'appela en 

son honneur, Virginia. 

Recher. aur les Etats Unis. 

The errors of this author however, are too numerous 
to allow much weight to his authority. The above sen- 
tence was founded on the mistaken opinion, that sir 
Walter Raleigh visited Virginia in person. 


towns called Akascogock,* an Indian stole from 
the company a silver cup. This trivial offence 
brought destruction on their town, which was 
reduced to ashes by their merciless invaders. 

Grenville after this sailed for Hatteras, leav- 
ing about a hundred men at Roanoke under 
the command of Ralph Lane. During his stay 
at Hatteras he received a visit from Grangana- 
meo, whose friendship and services the English 
had much cause to remember. He soon after 
sailed for England, where he arrived on the 
18th of September, with a Spanish prize, taken 
pn his way.f 

* Called by some Scroton. See Bozman's Maryland; 
p. 75. 

t Burk's Virginia. 




IjEFORE we proceed in our colonial his- 
tory, it may be proper to give some account 
of the inhabitants of this newly discovered 
country* Their history becomes so much 
blended with that of the colony, as 10 make 
an inquiry into their situation and population 
at this time an object worthy the attention of 
the reader. Our limits will confine us, however, 
to a few general observations. 

According to the account of captain John 
Smith, that part of Virginia that lies between 
the sea and the mountains was inhabited by 
forty-three different tribes of Indians. Thirty 
of these were united in a grand confederacy 
under the emperor Powhatan. The dominions 
of this mighty chief, who was long the most 
powerful rival, and most implacable foe, with 
whom the English had to contend, extended 
over that part of the country that lies south of 


the Potowmack betwixt the coast and the falls 
of the rivers. 

In comparison with civilized countries this 
extensive territory contained but a scanty popu- 
lation. The Powhatan confederacy consisted of 
but about eight thousand inhabitants, which is 
less than a twentieth of its present population. 

Besides this confederacy, there were two 
others which were combined against that of 
Powhatan. These were the Mannahoacks and 
Manakins; the former of whom, consisting of 
eight tribes, occupied the country lying between 
Rappahannock and York rivers; and the latter, 
consisting of five tribes, was settled between 
York and James rivers above the falls. Besides 
these, were the Nottoway s, the Meherricks, 
the Tuteloes, and several other scattering and 
independent tribes. 

The hereditary dominions of Powhatan lay 
on James river which originally bore his name.* 
He had a seat on this river about a mile below 

* Powhatan, Arrowhattock, Appamattock, Pamunkey, 
Youghtanund and Mattapoment, descended to him from 
his ancestors.^ 


the falls, where Richmond now stands, and 
another at Werowocomoco on the north side of 
York river, within the present county of Glou- 

This monarch was remarkable for the strength 
and vigour of his body, as well as for the ener- 
gies of his mind. He possessed great skill in 
intrigue and great courage in battle. His equa- 
nimity in the career of victory, was only equall- 
ed by his fortitude in the hour of adversity. 
If he had many vices incident to the savage 
life, he had some virtues seldom found among 
the civilized. He commanded a respect rarely 
paid by savages to their werowance, and main- 
tained a dignity and splendour worthy the 
monarch of thirty nations. He was constantly 
attended by a guard of forty warriors, and dur- 
ing the night a sentry regularly watched his 
palace. Though unlimited by custom in the 
number of his wives, his seraglio exhibited 
the apathy of the Indian character. When he 
slept one of his women sat at his head and 

* See Trumbull's History of the United States, chap- 
ter first, and Jefferson's Notes. 


another at his feet. When he dined they at- 
tended him with water, or brought him a 
bunch of feathers to wipe his hands. His re- 
galia, free from the glitter of art, showed only 
the simple royalty of the savage. He wore a 
robe composed of skins, and sat on a throne 
spread with mats and decked with pearls and 
with beads. The furniture of his palace, like 
the qualities of his mind, was adapted to war, 
and the implements of death rather than of 
pleasure garnished his halls. 

The small number of the natives compared 
with their extent of territory, may to some be 
a matter of wonder. It is however a circum- 
stance inseparable from savage life, where 
the checks to population are numerous and 
powerful. Amongst uncivilized nations the 
means of subsistence are often precarious and 
always scanty. The labours and hardships of 
the women, and the constant and destructive 
wars of the men, equally tend to retard the 
progress of population. 

When the first settlement of Europeans was 
made in Virginia, it is probable the whole 



number of Indians did not amount to twenty 
thousand.* The wants and even the superfluities 
of civilized life tend equally to condense and 
increase the mass of societv. Arts and manu- 
factories, trade and commerce, strengthen its 
bonds and promote its population. But to sa- 
vages who support themselves by hunting, 
whose places of abode are the forest and the 
wilderness, the multiplication of their species 
is rather an inconvenience than a blessing, as it 
lessens the public stock and divides the means 
of subsistence. 

The Indians of Virginia were generally well 
formed, and something above the European sta- 
ture. Smith, in his History of Virginia, repre- 
sents some of the tribes, particularly the Sus- 
quehannocks, as approaching to the gigantic. 
He describes one of their chiefs, the calf of 
whose leg, he says, measured three quarters of 
a yard in circumference. Their complexion in 
infancy is white, but in riper age it becomes a 

* Trumbull estimates their population at sixteen 
thousand. See his History of the United States, page S3: 


topper brown. Their hair is straight, long, and 
dark. In their moral disposition they are gene- 
rally cunning and deceitful, and always revenge- 
ful and cruel. Such was the state and character 
of the people whom the English found scattered 
over the wilds and forests of America. 

The colonv left at Roanoke made some at- 
tempts to explore the interior of the country. 
They penetrated on the north as far as the 
Chesapeake nation of Indians, who were situ- 
ated on what is now called Elizabeth river, 
and to Secotan* on the south. Towards the 
northwest they discovered the Chowhanocks, 
who dwelt about the junction of the Meherrin 
and Nottoway rivers. The chief of this tribe 
amused the English with an account of a cop- 
per mine and pearl fishery, and a marvellous 
description of the source of the Roanoke, 
which he said gushed from a rock on the 
borders of a great ocean. The credulous ad- 
venturers supposing this to be the south sea 

* Secotan was an Indian town situated between the 
Neus and Pamptico, about eighty miles distant from 


hoped soon to find a short route to South 
America. With a view also of finding rich 
mines they ascended the river in their boats 
until want of provisions compelled them to re- 
turn. About this time thev met with a real loss 
in the death of Granganameo, whose friend- 
ship to the English had been constant and sin- 

Many of the Indian chiefs, who had heard 
of the arrival of the English, began to testify 
their friendship by presents and by visiting the 
colony, accompanied by numbers of their sub- 
jects. The king of the island however, whose 
name was Wingina, did not imitate the exam- 
ple of Granganameo and other friendly natives. 
When the English arrived in his country he 
was confined by wounds which he had received 
in battle. He had no sooner recovered than 
he began to plot the ruin of«.the invaders. For 
this purpose he issued secret orders to his 
warriors to assemble and attack the colony. 
The plot fortunately for the English was dis- 
covered, and Wingina and a number of his 
men were drawn into ambush and slain. 


During this year, (1585) sir Francis Drake, 
who had been cruising in the West Indies 
against the Spaniards, visited the infant colony 
in Virginia, and supplied them with such arti- 
cles as their wants required. He gave them a 
ship also, to enable them, in case their situation 
made it necessary, to return to England. Be- 
fore he left the coast of Virginia there happen- 
ed a violent storm, which drove their vessel 
from its anchorage, and so alarmed the colo- 
nists that they determined to abandon their 
settlement. They sailed with Drake for Eng- 
land, where they arrived in July 1586.* 

* See Burk's Virginia, vol, \t 


i\ FEW days after the departure of Lane and 
his companions for England, sir Richard Gren- 
ville arrived with three ships, and provisions 
for the colony. Finding none of the colonists, 
they suspected that they had been extermina- 
ted by the Indians. Their fears were removed 
by the information of Manteo, from whom they 
learned that their countrymen had returned to 
England with sir Francis Drake. Sir Richard 
Grenville concluded to leave fifty men at Roa- 
noke, and having supplied them with provi- 
sions for two years, he returned to England. 

The following year John White with three 
ships sailed for Virginia. He was appointed 
governor of the colony with the assistance of 
twelve counsellors. On their arrival at Cape 
Hatteras, they despatched a party in search of 
the fifty men left at Roanoke by Grenville. 
They found their houses abandoned, their fort 


destroyed, and no sign of recent habitation, 
except the bones of a man on the place where 
the fort had stood. Twenty men under the 
guidance of Manteo were then sent to Croatan* 
to gain, if possible, some information respect- 
ing the colony. They there understood that in 
a quarrel betwixt Wingina's people and the 
English, one of the latter had been slain, and 
that they had soon after abandoned the settle- 

On the 13th of August Manteo underwent 
the ceremony of baptism, and for his friendship 
to the English was honoured with the title of 
lord of Dessamonpeake.f White soon after- 
wards returned to England, leaving one hun- 
dred persons on one of the islands adjacent to 

In the year 1589 sir Walter Raleigh assign- 
ed to Thomas Smith and others his patent, 
with a donation of one hundred pounds for the 

* Croatan was an Indian town situated near Ocracock 
inlet on Core Bank. 

t Dessamonpeake — a tribe of Indians were so called. 


propagation of Christianity in Virginia. The 
projects of Raleigh for the discovery and set- 
tlement of Virginia had been attended with 
much expense and many disappointments. To 
the enterprise of this illustrious but unfortu- 
nate nobleman, however, we may be proud to 
trace our origin. Sir Walter Raleigh was 
equally distinguished as a soldier, a states- 
man, and a scholar. During the reign of queen 
Elizabeth he was among the first courtiers in 
the kingdom, no less honoured for his talents 
than beloved for his virtues and admired for 
his accomplishments. He early excited the en- 
mity of the Spanish Court by his active enter- 
prizes against that nation both in Europe and 
America. On the accession of James I. he lost 
his interest at court, and was tried and con- 
demned for a conspiracy against the king. He 
was however reprieved, and was employed af- 
terwards in the public service of his monarch. 
The sentence of death was still suspended 
over his head, and was at last executed to ap- 
pease the wrath of his enemies. He suffered in 
the sixty-sixth year of his age. His talents and 


his virtues merited a better fate, and his name, 
however it may have been traduced by his 
enemies, deserves a place amongst those whose 
actions have been the theme of other nations 
and whose misfortunes have been the disgrace 
of their own. 

John White again sailed for Virginia in the 
year 1590, with three ships supplied with pro- 
visions for the colony. They came to anchor on 
the 15th of August, and the first object of their 
search was the men that had been left on the 
island near Hatteras. They fired a cannon to 
announce their arrival, and although they dis- 
covered smoke at the place where the colony 
had been left, they found no person. Observing 
on a post the word Croatan, in large letters, 
they weighed anchor for that place, but meet- 
ing with disastrous fortune, they changed their 
course and steered for the West Indies, neg- 
lecting the welfare of the colony to preserve 
their own. 

A succession of unfortunate voyages began 
to damp the spirit of discovery, which was not 
again revived until the year 1606. 



Bartholomew Gosnold, an enterprizing navi- 
gator, obtained letters patent from James the 
Tirst, who had succeeded Elizabeth on the 
throne of England, by which that tract of coun- 
try from thirty-four to forty-five degrees of 
north latitude was divided into southern and 
northern colonies of Virginia, and persons ap- 
pointed as a council for both divisions. About 
this time the celebrated adventurer John Smith 
arrived in London, decked with the laurels of 
military adventure and heroic achievement. To 
him Gosnold made known his projects, and 
engaged him to enter into the spirit of the en- 
terprise. As Smith is to act a conspicuous part 
in the colonial history of Virginia, it may be 
amusing to the reader to have a sketch of his 
\ife previous to his adventures in America. He 
was born at Willoughby in England in the 
year 1579. He early discovered a romantic 
turn of mind, which at the age of fifteen he 
endeavoured to gratify by embarking for France 
in the train of a young nobleman. After visit- 
ing Paris, he travelled into the low countries, 
where he learned the art of war. At the age of 


seventeen he entered into the train of a French- 
man, who persuaded him to accompany him to 
France. They arrived at St. Valory during the 
night, where, with the connivance of the mas- 
ter of the vessel, the trunks of Smith were 
carried on shore and plundered by the French- 
man, who made his escape before the landing 
of our adventurer. When Smith came on shore, 
he found himself deprived of his baggage, and 
deserted by his companion. He afterwards em- 
barked at Marseilles for Italy, in company with 
a number of pilgrims. On their passage there 
arose a violent storm, which the pilgrims im- 
puted to their having a heretic on board. They 
were at length induced by their superstitious 
fears to throw Smith into the sea, in order to 
calm its waves. He swam to land, which for- 
tunately was at no great distance, and was next 
day taken on board a ship w 7 hich was going to 
Egypt. After coasting the Levant he was at 
length set on shore with a box of one thousand 
chequins, which enabled him to pursue his 
travels. His roving disposition carried him into 
Stiria, where he was introduced t© lord Eber- 


spaught and baron Kizel. The emperor being 
hen at war with the Turks, Smith entered his 
army as a volunteer. When Eberspaught was 
besieged in Olimpack by thte Turkish army, 
and cut off from all means of intelligence, he 
obtained relief by means of a telegraph con- 
structed by Smith. Information was given of 
their design to attack the Turks on the east 
quarter, and advising Eberspaught at what 
time to make a sally. The Turks were defeat- 
ed, and the enterprise of Smith was rewarded 
Tvith the command of a troop of horse. 

At the siege of Rigal the Ottomans sent a 
challenge to the Transylvanian army, announc- 
ing the offer of the lord Turbisha to fight any 
captain of the christian troops. Thirty of the 
bravest captains being selected, they chose by 
lot one of that number to fight the Turkish 
hero. The lot fell upon Smith, who cheerfully 
accepted the challenge. He met his antagonist 
on horseback, and soon bore away his head in 
the presence of both armies. He immediately 
received and accepted a challenge from another 


Turkish lord, who shared the fate of the for- 

Smith, in his turn, sent an offer to the 
enemy, which was accepted by Bonamalgro. 
This Turk unhorsed Smith and had nearly 
gained the victory, but fortune at length de- 
clared for the English captain, and enabled 
him to add to the glory of his former victories 
the head of Bonamalgro. For these exploits he 
was honoured with a grand military proces- 
sion, in which three Turks' heads borne on 
the points of lances, graced their march. In 
addition to these honours, his general, the lord 
Moyzes, presented him with a horse richly 
caparisoned, a sword and belt worth three hun- 
dred ducats, and a commission of major in his 

Some time after this the Transylvanian army 
was defeated, and Smith being wounded in the 
battle, lay among the slain. He was taken pri- 
soner by the enemy, and after being cured of 
his wounds he was sold to the bashaw Bogul, 
who sent him as a present to his mistress Tra- 
gabigzanda at Constantinople. This lady be* 



came captivated with the fine appearance and 
heroic character of her prisoner, but fearing 
he might be ill-treated by Bogul on his return, 
she sent him for safety to her brother the ba- 
shaw of Nailbraitz on the borders of the sea 
of Asoph. This transfer proved a very unfor- 
tunate one for our adventurer, who exchanged 
the. amatory smiles of his mistress for the op- 
pressive commands of an unfeeling master. 
Within an hour after his arrival he was drest 
in haircloth, and sent, with his head shaved and 
an iron collar about his neck, to work among 
the slaves of the bashaw. In this hopeless situ- 
ation his services were rewarded only by se- 
vere blows and repeated indignities, to which 
his proud spirit could not long submit. One 
day, while he was threshing in the field, his 
master began to beat him in his usual rigor- 
ous and brutal manner. Smith, unable to bear 
the treatment of his tyrant any longer, raised 
his flail and beat out his brains. Then hiding 
his body in the straw, he filled a bag with grain, 
and set off on his master's horse through the 
inhospitable deserts of Russia. After travelling 


through the wilds for sixteen days, he at length 
arrived at a Russian garrison on the river Don, 
where he was kindly received. He afterwards 
visited France, Spain, Germany, and Morocco, 
and returned at last to England.* Such is the 
history of the man whom Gosnold engaged 
to accompany him to America. His adventures 
in the western world remain yet to be told. 
They will be equally amusing to the reader, 
and as they more directly belong to our sub- 
ject, they shall be more minutely related, as 
they occur in the course of our history. 

* See an account of his life in Stith's History of Vir- 


On the 19th of December 1606, Gosnold 
sailed from Black wall with two ships, under 
the command of captain Christopher Newport. 
In this voyage captain Smith, whose active 
mind had already excited the envy of the other 
adventurers, was arrested on a charge of aim- 
ing at usurping the power vested in the coun- 
cil, and kept in confinement during the rest of 
the voyage. On the 26th of April 1607 they 
entered the bay of Chesapeake, and gave to 
the two points of land which formed its en- 
trance, the names of the king's two sons, 
Charles and Henry.* 

On opening their orders, which had been 
delivered them in a sealed box, it appeared 
that Bartholomew Gosnold, John Smith, Ed- 

* Henry was then prince of Wales; Charles was after- 
wards king of England, to wit, the first of that name, 


ward Maria Wingfield, Christopher Newport, 
John Martin, John Ratcliffe and George Ken- 
dall, were appointed a council for the colony. 
Having elected Wingfield president, they en- 
tered on their minutes their reasons for exclud- 
ing Smith from a participation in the duties of 
the council. 

The first river they entered was called by 
the natives Powhatan, but by the English was 
honoured with the name of their own sove- 
reign. While in search of a place of settle- 
ment, they met with some Indians who invited 
them to their town Kichotan, which stood 
where Hampton now stands, and regaled them 
with tobacco and a dance. * In their passage 
up the river, they met with another party of 
the natives, whose chief, with a bow and arrows 
in one hand and a pipe with tobacco in the 
other, demanded the cause of their coming. 

On the 13th of May they landed at a place 
to which they gave the name of Jamestown. 
At this memorable spot the first permament 

* See Smith's History of Virginia. 


settlement was made in Virginia. The Indians* 
who inhabited the adjacent country appeared 
friendly, and their chief Paspiha sent the Eng- 
lish a present of venison, and offered them as 
much land as they should want. 

Captain Newport, accompanied by captain 
John Smith, who was released from confine- 
ment though not absolved from the charge of 
treason, ascended the river with only twenty 
men, as high as the falls. During this excursion 
they made their first visit to the seat of the em- 
peror Powhatan. The town where this monarch 
of so many nations then resided, stood about 
two miles below where Richmond now stands, 
and consisted of about a dozen of houses.* 

The first appearance of the natives was cal- 
culated to inspire confidence in the English; 
but the traits of the Indian character were not 
yet fully unfolded. A little farther acquaintance 
seemed necessary to put the English on their 
guard against that hostile spirit which lurked 

* The site of the town is now part of a farm belonging 
to Mr. William Mayo. 


under the mask of friendship. An opportunity 
offered in the absence of Smith and Newport 
of estimating the faith and attachment of the 
natives. The colony at Jamestown was attack- 
ed by a party of Indians, who killed one and 
wounded seventeen of the English. This at- 
tack showed them the necessity of union 
among themselves, and more vigilance to- 
wards their enemies. 

Hitherto they had been distracted by do- 
mestic feuds, the constant companions of popu- 
lar and incongruous bodies. They were now 
compelled to think of their mutual defence. A 
fort which had been constructed since their 
arrival was strengthened by a palisade, and 
mounted with five pieces of cannon. 

Captain Smith, who had strenuously de- 
manded a trial, at length succeeded in his 
wishes, against the machinations of his ene- 
mies. He was acquitted of the charges against 
him, and consequently admitted to his seat ir* 
the council. 

On the 226 of June 1607, Newport returned 
to England, leaving in Virginia one hundred 


and Jbur persons, with but a scanty stock of 
provisions. Owing to the scarcity or bad qua- 
lity of their food, and no doubt in part to the 
climate, which now when meliorated by the 
cultivation of the soil is not of the most salu- 
brious kind, about fifty of those that remained 
at Jamestown died within a month after the de- 
parture of Newport. The survivors lived dur- 
ing the summer chiefly on crabs and sturgeon. 

During this time of famine and distress, the 
president Wingfield was charged with feasting 
on the provisions belonging to the colony, and 
other improper conduct. What might have 
been the degree of his guilt it is not worth our 
time to inquire. It is sufficient to observe, that 
the council dismissed him from his office, and 
elected John Ratcliffe in his room. 

The adventurous mind of Smith, which 
could not be restrained by the love of ease 
nor the fear of danger, led him into various 
parts of the country, and enabled him to make 
important discoveries. In one of these excur- 
sions he discovered the people of Chickaho- 
mony. In another he procured a quantity of 


corn, as a ransom for an idol which he had 
taken from the Kickotan Indians. He made 
another voyage up the river, with a design of 
exploring the source of the Chickahomony. 
After ascending as far as possible in a boat, he 
proceeded in a canoe, accompanied by only 
two Englishmen and two Indians. The rest of 
his party, who were left to guard the boat, 
were attacked soon after his departure by the 
famous Opechancanough, whose treacherous 
and implacable hostility is indelibly recorded 
in the annals of our country. This wily chief, 
with a number of his subjects, having discover- 
ed from one of the English whom he had taken 
prisoner, the route of captain Smith, pursued 
him without delay up the river. They surprised 
his companions asleep, and after killing them, 
soon overtook Smith, whom after a long and 
obstinate resistance they took prisoner. During 
the fight he killed three of his assailants with 
his musket, and would have made good his 
retreat to the canoe, had not the loss of blood 
from his wounds deprived him of strength, and 
compelled him to surrender to an enemy who 



even in the moment of victory trembled at his 

They carried him prisoner to Orapaxe, a 
town situated on the upper part of Chickaho- 
mony swamp. On their arrival at that place 
they were surrounded by the women and chil- 
dren, whose war songs, accompanied by frantic 
gestures and savage ceremonies, formed a novel 
spectacle to captain Smith. He was afterwards 
confined in a log house under a guard of about 
forty Indians. The capture of Smith induced 
the enemy to think of an attack upon James- 
town. In order the better to succeed in this 
attempt, they endeavoured to attach him to 
their interests, by offering him a large tract of 
land and a number of beautiful women if he 
would assist them in their project. However 
strong these motives might appear, they were 
not sufficient, if we may credit his own account, 
to draw him from the line of his duty, or shake 
the firm foundation of his patriotism. He so 
magnified the difficulties of the enterprise to 
their view, as to induce them to relinquish the 


They afterwards conducted Smith through 
different towns under the dominion of Ope- 
chancanough, and at last brought him to the 
seat of the emperor Powhatan at Werowoco- 
moco. This place was situated on the north 
side of York river, within the present limits of 
Gloucester county. When captain Smith ap- 
peared in the presence of this venerable old 
monarch, he found him dressed in skins, and 
surrounded by his chiefs and counsellors. It 
did not require a long consultation to deter- 
mine the fate of the captive. He was sentenced 
to die, and the emperor himself undertook the 
office of executioner. 

The head of Smith was laid on a large stone, 
and Powhatan being provided with a club, 
was aiming a fatal blow, when the interces- 
sion of his daughter, the princess Pocahontas, 
averted the stroke. She placed herself betwixt 
the instrument of death and the prisoner, whose 
head she clasped in her arms to shield it from 
the vengeance of her father. Whether this in- 
tervention of Pocahontas be imputed to gene- 
rous sorrow, or the softer sympathies of the 


mind, I leave to others to determine. It is cer- 
tain that it succeeded in softening the rigour 
of the monarch, and releasing the prisoner from 
destruction. He ivas set at liberty and allowed 
to return to Jamestown, where he safely ar- 
rived after an absence of" about seven weeks. 

The colony about this time was much in 
want of provisions, but was relieved by the re- 
turn of captain Newport from England, after a 
tedious voyage, in w hich he had been compel- 
led by stress of weather to stop at the West 
Indies. He brought with him one hundred and 
twenty adventurers, with a supply of provi- 
sions and a number of presents for the empe- 
ror Powhatan. Not long after his arrival he 
made a visit to this monarch, for the purpose of 
delivering his presents and bartering for such 
articles as might be of service to the colony. 
He also paid his respects to Opechancanough, 
and returned to Jamestown which had been 
consumed by fire in his absence. 

The hope of finding gold on the shores, or 
in the recesses of Virginia, was not yet en- 
tirely abandoned, notwithstanding it had hither* 


to been rewarded only by chagrin and disap- 
pointment. Newport, possessing the cupidity 
of' his countrymen, made an attempt to dis- 
cover those imaginary treasures, with more 
care, but as little success as others. He shortly 
afterwards returned to England, accompanied 
by the late president, Wingfield. 

Captain Nelson, who had sailed from Eng- 
land with Newport, but on account of the 
damage sustained at sea, had remained longer 
in the West Indies, arrived in Virginia in 
the year 1608, with a seasonable supply of 

Captain Smith, anxious to make new dis- 
coveries, undertook a voyage up the Chesa- 
peake bay, with a design to explore the mouths 
of the large rivers that empty into it. His at- 
tention was particularly arrested by the great 
-width of the Potowmack, and the beauty and 
verdure of its banks. In sailing up this river 
he found his movements closely watched by 
the natives. A large body of them lay in am- 
bush on the bank, but were frightened and 
dispersed by the firing of a few muskets. He 



was afterwards wounded, at the mouth of the 
Rappahannock, by a fish called the stingray, 
and his life being thought in danger, he was 
induced to return to Jamestown. 

Ratcliffe, whose conduct was not more cor- 
rect than that of his predecessor, became equal- 
ly unpopular. He was dismissed from office, 
and the vacancy filled by the appointment of 
Capt. John Smith as his successor. This active 
and enterprising man, however, could not be 
confined to the dull pursuits of domestic life 
or colonial government. A few days after his 
appointment to the presidency, he set off on a 
second voyage to the Chesapeake, during which 
expedition he visited the Susquehannocks, 
Manahocks, Nansemonds, Chesapeakes and 
other Indian tribes, and returned in Septem- 
ber to Jamestown, after a voyage of near three 
thousand miles in an open boat. 


ABOUT the beginning of the year 1609, 
captain Newport again returned to Virginia, 
bringing with him two females, Mrs. Forrest 
and Anne Burras, her maid, the first Eu- 
ropean women that had arrived in the colony. 

Newport was required by his commission to 
discover the South Sea, or one of the lost com- 
pany of sir Walter Raleigh, or a lump of gold. 
Without the attainment of one of which ob- 
jects he was not allowed to return to England. 

A short time after his arrival in Virginia he 
went to see the emperor Powhatan, accompa- 
nied by a guard of fifty men. He had brought 
with him from England several costly presents 
for that monarch, and among others a crown, 
the value of which the savage chief did not 
seem to appreciate. The condition on which 
this ensign of royalty was to be bestowed, was 
homage to the crown of England, a price that 


was easily paid, and which was accompanied 
by an offer, equally valuable to the English, 
of his old mockasins and mantle. 

Newport, after an ineffectual' attempt to ob- 
tain from Powhatan a guide for the purpose of 
exploring the country of the Manakins, pro- 
ceeded thither without such help, accompanied 
by about one hundred men. The hope of real- 
izing those golden dreams which had so often 
proved illusory, was no doubt a principal cause 
of this expedition, which like those undertaken 
with the same views, was attended with the 
same success. After a fatiguing journey they 
returned to Jamestown, without having added 
much to their treasures. 

During this year was celebrated betwixt 
Anne Burras and John Laydon the first mar- 
riage that is recorded in Virginia. 

The scarcity of provisions that prevailed in 
the colony induced captain Smith to undertake 
another expedition among the Indian tribes, 
during which he discovered the Appamattox 
nation. He seldom failed of procuring for the 
colony corn or some other article of provision, 


©f which they were often in want, and he Was 
not very scrupulous about the manner in which 
he procured it. After his return from this ex- 
pedition he received and accepted an invita- 
tion from Powhatan to visit him at Werowo- 

During his stay at the imperial court, various 
plans were laid* by the monarch to entrap the 
English, and by Smith to procure a supply of 
corn for the colony. The vigilance of the 
latter, aided by the unwavering friendship of 
Pocahontas, preserved them from the wiles and 
stratagems of the savage chief. This amiable 
princess, whose sylvan virtues were untarnished 
by the manners of courts and the false delicacy 
of civilized life, gave frequent instances of her 
attachment to the English. While her father 
was meditating an attack under cover of the 
night, she found her way to their camp and in- 
formed them of their danger. 

Captain Smith afterwards made a visit to 
Pamunkey. During his stay at this place he was 
attacked by several hundred Indians, under the 
command of Opechancanough. During the en- 


gagement he seized the chief and led him pri- 
soner in the midst of his own warriors, who 
instantly laid down their arms. He obtained a 
supply of corn, as a ransom for his royal cap- 
tive, whom he consequently delivered up to 
his people. A few days after this, captain 
Smith was attacked, as he travelled through 
the woods alone, by the king of Paspahey, a 
man of gigantic stature. After a long contest 
the chief was overcome by the prowess of 
Smith, who led him prisoner to Jamestown. 

By a new charter, dated May 1609, the 
powers of the president and council were 
transferred to a company in London, to whom 
was intrusted the appointment of officers, eivil 
and military, for the colony. The company, 
soon after their incorporation, appointed lord 
De la War captain general of Virginia, sir 
Thomas Gates lieutenant general, sir George 
Somers admiral, and captain Newport vice ad- 

Towards the latter end of May, Gates, Som- 
ers, and Newport sailed for Virginia, with nine 
ships plentifully supplied with provisions, and 
containing a number of passengers. The ad- 

miral's ship was unfortunately wrecked in sight 
of Bermudas, but the rest of the fleet, with the 
exception of a bark that foundered at sea, got 
safe to Virginia. Gates and Somers arrived in 
two barks which they had constructed with 
much trouble and difficulty in Bermudas. They 
found the colony in the most deplorable situa- 
tion. Captain Smith, tired of the quarrels and 
jealousies of his countrymen, and anxious to 
visit his native land, sailed for England, no 
more to visit the shores of Virginia. After his 
departure the Indians, no longer restrained by 
the terror of his name, broke out into open 
hostilities. Martin and West, who had been 
stationed, the former at Nansemond and the 
latter at the falls of James river, with upwards 
of a hundred men each, were driven from th^ir 
posts, and compelled to take refuge in the set- 
tlement, after losing their boats and a number 
of their men. Ratcliffe, with a party of about 
thirty men, were surprised and cut off by Pow- 
hatan. Famine, the frequent attendant on war, 
increased the catalogue of colonial miseries, 
and rendered the existence of the colony pre- 

carious. From five hundred, the inhabitants 
were in a short time reduced to sixty, when 
the arrival of Gates and Somers shed a beam 
of joy over the gloomy prospects of Virginia. 

These however, had not the means of afford- 
ing substantial relief, and being discouraged 
by the dismal aspect of affairs, they resolved, 
with the miserable residue of the colony, to 
abandon their settlements and return to Eng- 
land. They accordingly embarked, and had 
proceeded down the river some distance, when 
they were met by lord De la War, and brought 
back to Jamestown. 

It was in June 1610 that lord De la War 
arrived in Virginia. After landing his men, he 
read to the colony his commission appointing 
him their captain general for life. He did not 
however remain long in a country that offered 
rewards only to patient industry, and in a cli- 
mate that seemed destructive to the constitu- 
tion of Europeans. After building two forts, 
and making some successful incursions against 
the Indians, he returned in a debilitated state 
of body to England. On his departure the 


colony was left \inder the direction of George 
Percy, who had been appointed successor to 
captain Smith in the presidency. 

On the 10th of May 161], arrived sir T. 
Dale with three ships, and a good supply of 
provisions for the colony. Hitherto little atten- 
tion had been given to the improvement of 
Jamestown, which continued in a state of in- 
fancy without exhibiting marks of enterprise, 
and scarcely of ordinary industry. Captain 
Smith had indeed turned his attention to the 
improvement of the little metropolis of Vir- 
ginia, but his roving disposition would not 
allow him leisure to carry his plans into exe- 
cution. As the improvement of Jamestown was 
so much neglected, it can scarcely be thought 
that the establishment of new towns would be 
an object of attention. 

The first undertaking of Dale, however, was 
the establishment of a town, the ruins of which 
are still visible at Tuckahoe in Henrico coun- 
ty. It contained three streets of framed houses, 
with a good church, besides storehouses, watch- 



houses, &c, and was defended by a palisade 
and several forts. 

Dale afterwards took the town of the Appa- 
mattox Indians, and annexing to it as a corpo- 
ration the plantations of Rocksdale hundred, 
Shirley hundred, and Upper and Lower hun- 
dred, he gave to them the name of New Ber- 
mudas, and conferred on them some valuable 

Dale was succeeded in the government by 
sir T. Gates, who arrived in Virginia in the. 
month of August 1611. During this year cap- 
tain Argall made an expedition to the Potow- 
mack Indians, where, by the treachery of 
Japauzas, king of that nation, he got the prin- 
cess Pocahontas into his hands. This rich prize 
was carried in triumph to Jamestown, where 
she soon after won the heart of a Mr. Rolfe, 
whose tender addresses awoke a reciprocal at- 
tachment. The consent of Powhatan to the 
marriage of his daughter with an alien and an 
enemy was not easily obtained. His difficulties 
however were at length overcome, and the 


marriage betwixt Mr. Rolfe and the princess 
was celebrated in presence of her two brothers. 

In the year 1613 sir T. Gates returned to 
Europe, and the government, on his departure, 
devolved once more on Dale. During the ad- 
ministration of this gentleman, an expedition 
was set on foot against the French and Dutch 
settlements on the bay of Fundy and the Hud- 
son. The forts being unprepared for defence, 
surrendered without resistance. 

In the year 1616 sir T. Dale returned to 
England, accompanied by Pocahontas and her 
husband Rolfe, with several Indians of both 
sexes. On the departure of Dale the govern- 
ment devolved on captain George Yeardly. 
Soon after his accession, he marched against 
the Chickahomonies, whom he defeated in 
battle, and compelled to yield at least a tem- 
porary submission to the English. 

The arrival of Pocahontas excited much 
curiosity in England, while the wonders of the 
metropolis were no less calculated to awake 
her own. Having at length satisfied her eyes 
with beholding the works of men in a civilized, 


state of society, she retired with her husband 
to Brentford. Here she was unexpectedly visit- 
ed by her old acquaintance captain Smith. It 
appears, however, that the attention and grati- 
tude of this hero to his benefactress was not as 
gieat as she seemed to wish, and was entitled 
to t xpect. She died soon after at Gravesend, 
While she was preparing to return to her native 
shores. She left behind her an only son, who 
on the departure of his father for Virginia was 
intrusted to the care of his uncle Henry Rolfe 
of London. This youth afterwards became a 
respectable citizen of Virginia, and his pos- 
terity are not unworthy, of their royal ancestry- 
He left at his death a daughter, who was mar- 
ried to colonel Robert Boiling, from whom are 
descended many reputable families. Thus while 
the government of Powhatan has crumbled into 
dust under the arms of European invaders, the 
imperial blood has flowed into new channels, 
and infused its virtues into the veins of those 
who tread on the ruins of his empire. 

Powhatan died soon after he received the 
news of the death of his beloved Pocahontas. 

The character of this monarch, while ennobled 
by all the virtues which seem to characterize the 
savage life, is also marked with some of its 
vices. Courage in battle and fortitude in ad- 
versity, mingled with treachery and cunning in 
their domestic intercourse, form the grand 
lineaments of the Indian character. We must 
not however exclude from the list of their vir- 
tues the warm fidelity of the friend, and the ten- 
der sympathies of the parent. These are not the 
effects of civilization nor the production of en- 
lightened reason alone. The sentiments of the 
heart, like the features of the face or the mem- 
bers of the body may be distorted by the tram- 
mels of education as well as marred by the 
ferocity of passion, but they are engraven too 
deep to be erased by either. Civilization seems 
in some instances to have refined the manners 
of mankind at the expense of their virtues 
and their happiness. War, in its present form, 
in the garb of honour and regulated by the law 
of nations, is accompanied by a destruction of 
the human race greater than that which marks 
the progress of savage arms. The right of exter* 

E 2 


mination, often claimed by nations at war, is 
less excusable than that ferocity which hur- 
ries the savage from his native woods against 
the enemy of his nation. All that was noble, 
all that was brave, and all that was good in 
the Indian character, belonged to Powhatan. 
His name was known and revered among the 
American tribes from the ocean to the lakes; 
and by the English his skill in intrigue and 
his valour in war were not to be despised. 

Sir George Yeardley having been appointed 
governor, arrived in Virginia in the year 1619. 
During this year six new members were added 
to the council, and one hundred disorderly 
persons were sent over as servants to the colo- 
nists. These unwelcome visitors were followed 
by a more agreeable cargo of a hundred un- 
married females, designed to soften the labours 
of life, by mingling with them its conjugal 

In the following year a Dutch ship, with a 
cargo of negroes, arrived on the coast of Vir- 
ginia, and commenced that detestable com- 
merce that has entailed disgrace upon our 
national character. 


About this time (1621) the hostilities of the 
natives began to be attended by more serious 
consequences than the settlers of Virginia had 
seemed to expect. Opechancanough, if not the 
most powerful, was at least the most invete- 
rate enemy that they had encountered since 
their arrival. His enmity grew with the colony, 
and he seemed to think that his own security 
depended on its entire destruction. This he 
had planned in his own mind, and the time at 
length arrived when the plan was to be put in 
execution with the same skill with which it 
had been devised. This plot was laid with the 
deepest cunning, and matured by the most 
profound dissimulation. The wily chief, while 
he endeavoured to inflame the enmity of the 
Indians against the colonists, tried no less to 
blind the watchfulness and lull the suspicions 
of the colonists against the Indians. While the 
planters, secure in this specious appearance of 
friendship, were beginning to taste the bles- 
sings of affluence and the pleasures of society, 
the enemy was aiming a blow no less fatal than 
unexpected. The Indians were drawn together 


with a secrecy, and the attack made with a 
precision and celerity scarcely to be found in 
the movements of civilized armies. 

On the morning of the 22d of May, 1622, 
the Indians, under cover of thick woods, ap- 
. proached the plantations of the English. In 
order to render their attack more unsuspected, 
those of the colonists who were found strag- 
gling from their homes were suffered to pass 
unmolested, after receiving from Opechanca- 
nough many marks of attention. About twelve 
o'clock the w r hcop of battle was heard, and the 
Indians in different parties, bursting from the 
W 7 oods and thickets, carried death through the 
defenceless settlements of the English. In less 
than an hour about three hundred and fifty 
men, women and children fell victims to the 
vengeance of the remorseless savages. The 
friendly discovery made by a converted In- 
dian, in the service of one of the colonists, ap- 
prizing them of their danger, saved a part of 
the colony from ruin. The information was re- 
ceived in time to put Jamestown and the ad- 
joining plantations in a posture of defence. 


By this fatal stroke the number of the plan- 
tations was reduced from about eighty to only 
six; to wit, Paspiha, Shirley hundred, Flower 
de hundred, Kiekotan, Jamestown and South- 
ampton. Industry and business of every kind 
seemed to wither under the loss of colonial 
blood, and the dreary prospect of war and de- 
solation. The recent attack was too fatal to 
admit of immediate retaliation, and too wanton 
and cruel to be easily forgotten. During the 
succeeding year several expeditions were set 
on foot against the enemy, and were generally 
attended with success. The towns of the na- 
tives were burnt and their corn destroyed, 
while the slaughter of men, women and children 
showed a spirit of revenge that did not w r ell 
correspond with a claim to civilization. 

In the year 1624 the London Company, to 
which had been confided the direction of affairs 
in Virginia, was dissolved, and the powers vest- 
ed in it by charter reverted to the crown. A 
provisional government was immediately form- 
ed, consisting of a governor and eleven coun- 
sellors. Sir Francis Wyatt, who had been com- 


missioned governor in the year 1621, was con- 
tinued in office, but having obtained leave to 
visit Ireland, sir George Yeardlev was appoint- 
ed to fill the vacancy made by his absence. 

The colon v had been much harassed for 
some time by the Indians, and an expedition 
was again undertaken and directed principally 
against Opitchapan, whose warriors dwelt on 
the Pamunky. The Indians were defeated in a 
battle and a number of them slain. The Eng- 
lish destroyed dieir huts and provisions, and 
returned, setting fire on their way to the long 
grass and underwood that served to conceal 
the approach of the enemy. 

On the death of sir George Yeardley, in the 
year 1627, the council elected captain F. West 
to fill the vacancy. During the succeeding year, 
above one thousand emigrants from Europe 
arrived in Virginia. This great accession to 
the population of the colony serves to show 
the estimation in which the new settlements 
w r ere held in Europe, and the inducements 
that colonial prosperity must at this time have 
afforded to adventurers. 


About this time also arrived lord Baltimore, 
a Roman catholick nobleman, who had pre- 
viously settled in Newfoundland, but was at- 
tracted to Virginia by the fame of its growing 
prosperity. As the settlement of catholicks in 
Virginia had been prohibited by the colonial 
charters, the assembly thought proper to tender 
to his lordship the oaths of allegiance and su- 
premacy. These oaths he refused to take, pre- 
ferring an exile from the blessings of colonial 
protection and favour to base subjection to the 
unreasonable restraints imposed by govern- 

Lord Baltimore was fortunate enough how- 
ever to obtain a grant of a large territory on the 
north east corner of Virginia, which was set- 
tled in the reign of queen Mary, and in honour 
of that princess was called Maryland. 

Meanwhile the Indians continued their in- 
cursions, and the Pamunkies and Chickaho- 
monies in particular, made frequent attacks on 
the colony, marking their course with terror 
and devastation, the constant attendants on In- 
dian warfare. Many of the English were carried 


oft' prisoners, and made the victims of remorse- 
less cruelty or implacable revenge. 

Captain F. West, in the year 1628, was suc- 
ceeded in the government by John Pott, dur- 
ing whose administration the colonial assem- 
bly was twice convened, and many regulations 
made for the defence of the colony. 

Pott was succeeded, in the year 1629, by 
sir John Hervey, a man of an arbitrary and 
ambitious mind. His administration, however, 
was attended with some advantages to the 
colony and marked by some atttention to 
public interest. The establishment of a court 
at Jamestown, to meet twice a month, in which 
the members of the council were to preside 
in turn; the erection of a fort at Point Com- 
fort, and the encouragement given to the esta- 
blishment of salt works in Accomack, were 
among the wise measures of this administra- 
tion. Some parts of the governor's conduct 
however, excited much discontent among the 
people; and the assembly which met during 
his administration showed the apprehensions 
they entertained from his tyranny, by the re- 


strictions they imposed on his prerogative, i 
They forbade by law the imposition of any ^' 
tax without the consent of the assembly. Thev 
likewise prohibited the raising of troops with- 
out their order, unwilling to admit in the re- 
presentative of the crown a power not claimed 
by the crown itself. In the year 1635 Hervey 
was, for his rapacity and tyranny, suspended 
from his office, and captain F. West appointed 
in his room. But as the former had been ap- 
pointed by royal commission, the assembly 
deemed it necessary to exhibit articles of im- 
peachment against him, and for this purpose 
they appointed commissioners to visit the court 
of England, for the purpose of preferring the 
accusation. The commissioners were received 
with coldness by Charles, and their accusations 
against Hervey dismissed with but little re- 
gard. This odious man was reinstated, and 
continued in office till the year 1639, when he 
was succeeded by sir Francis Wyatt. The 
term of Wyatt's administration was short, for 
in the year 1641, it appears that sir William 
Berkeley became governor of the colony. 



About this time the Indians, under the com- 
mand of Opechancanough, made an irruption 
into the colony, marking their course, as usual, 
with slaughter and dismay. This massacre, like 
the former conducted by the same chief, had 
nigh proved fatal to the colony. The loss was 
estimated at about five hundred persons, the 
greater part of whom were slain about the 
heads of the rivers; particularly York and Pa- 
munky, where Opechancanough commanded 
in person. The militia were immediately arm- 
ed, and the colony put in a posture of defence. 
A body composed of every twentieth man, and 
commanded by sir William Berkeley in per- 
son, marched against the enemy to revenge the 
murders so recently perpetrated on their coun- 

Little is now known, nor is it very impor- 
tant to know much of the events of this war. 
It is only necessary to observe, that hostilities 
were brought to a close by the capture and 
death of Opechancanough. This chief, who was 
now grown old, but who still appeared at the 
head of his warriors, was at last surprised by a 


party of the English, and carried in triumph to 
Jamestown. The hoary monarch showed no 
signs of fear while in the hands of his enemies, 
but supported in captivity that majestic de- 
portment and contempt for pain that distin- 
guished his more prosperous years. He was 
cruelly murdered by one of his guards, whose 
recollection of injuries sustained by the hand 
of the chief probably prompted the bloody 

The dissolution of the Powhatan confederacy 
followed the death of Opechancanough, and a 
general peace succeeded to the horrors of war. 

In the year 1644 sir William Berkeley re- 
turned to England, and during his absence of 
about twelve months Richard Kempe officiated 
as governor. 

About this time commenced in England the 
civil war, betwixt Charles the First and his 
parliament. During this struggle, which proved 
so unfortunate for the monarch, Virginia ad- 
hered to the royal cause. 

The parliament, after the establishment of 
their power, despatched a fleet with a body of 


land forces to reduce the colony. This arma- 
ment arrived in the Chesapeake, in the year- 
1651, under the command of sir G. Aiskew, 
who summoned the colony to surrender to the 
commonwealth. Virginia at this time contained 
a population of nearly twenty thousand persons, 
and was able to bring into the field a force 
neither contemptible as to numbers nor valour. 
She had also at her head a man of loyalty and 
courage, who had not neglected to prepare for 
any attack that might be made. Several Dutch 
ships, then lying at Jamestown, were mounted 
with cannon and arrayed in defence of the 

When the forces of the commonwealth ar- 
rived at Jamestown they were surprised to find 
their summons rejected, and preparations made 
for a vigorous defence. Terms were however 
proposed, for the settlement of matters without 
appeal to arms, and agreed to by the colonists, 
who without relinquishing any of their former 
privileges transferred their allegiance from the 
king to the commonwealth. In consequence of 
this change, it became necessary to appoint a 


provisional government until the regular ap- 
pointments could be made by the council of 
state in England. Accordingly, in the year 
1652, an assembly was convened at Jamestown, 
when Richard Bennet was chosen governor, 
and a council consisting of thirteen members 
elected to assist in the administration. 



I HE hostility of the Indians, although sus- 
pended by the death of Opeehancanough, was 
far from being entirely extinguished. The Rap- 
pahannocks first began to make inroads, de- 
stroying as they proceeded the property and 
lives of the colonists. To repel these aggres- 
sions an expedition was set on foot in the year 
1654 against that nation, and a body of troops 
under the command of general Carter marched 
to the Rappahannock towns. Little however is 
known of the events that occurred in that ex- 
pedition, although it is supposed that the In- 
dians of this tribe were destroyed or driven 
from their homes, as the name of Rappahan- 
nock, in the following year, appears on the list 
of counties. 

Bennet was succeeded by Edward Digges, 
during whose administration a body of six or 


seven hundred Indians, having removed from 
the mountains and settled about the falls of 
James river, began to excite the attention of 
the government. The assembly, who were at 
this time in session, despatched a company of 
about one hundred men under the command 
of captain Hill, for the purpose of repelling the 
invaders. In this attempt Hill was defeated, 
and Totopotomoi, king of the Pamunkies, 
whom he had engaged to assist him, with a 
number of his warriors were killed. 

The affairs of Virginia at this period afford 
little worthy of record. The royal government 
was re-established in the mother countrv, and 
the colony in Virginia felt much joy at the re- 
storation, notwithstanding their recent submis- 
sion to the commonwealth. 

The assembly testified their satisfaction by 
many expressions of attachment to a throne 
which they had lately abjured, and from which 
they had not always received the most conci- 
liating treatment. 

During the short administration of Samuel 


Matthews nothing of importance can be found 
to relate.^ 

In the year 1659 the assembly elected sir 
William Berkeley governor of Virginia, and 
accompanied his commission with a body of 
instructions, and permission to return to Eng- 
land. During his absence in England, Francis 
Moryson, by the appointment of the council, 
acted as governor. 

The spirit of persecution which reigned so 
long in Europe began at length to show itself 
in America. The quakers, a sect in whose opi- 
nions and practice it is difficult to find any 
thing offensive to public peace or injurious to 
social happiness, became the subjects of male- 
volent censure and intemperate zeal. If their 
tenets appear whimsical to some and unrea- 
sonable to others, their innocence of life and 
simplicity of manners might silence the cen- 

* During the existence of the commonwealth, the go- 
vernors of the colony were elected by the assembly, and 
not appointed by the government in England, as stated 
by Robertson and others. 

( J 

sure or soften the severity of their enemies. 
Persecution, however, seldom finds its victims 
among the disturbers of the human race; the 
weak and the friendless, those who are strug- 
gling with adversity or emerging from the 
weakness of infancy, are often the objects of 
intolerance and fury. The quakers in Virginia 
were excluded from the rights of citizens, and 
exposed to the arbitrary control of the magis- 
trate. In the assembly of the year 1663, one 
of that sect was expelled from his seat in the 
house, to which he had been elected by the 
inhabitants of Norfolk county. 

About this time a conspiracy against the 
government of the colony was formed, and 
when nearly ripe for execution was discover- 
ed by the vigilance of the governor, and the 
conspirators executed. The assembly, which 
convened a few days after the disclosure of the 
plot, expressed their gratitude by appointing 
the 13th of September, the day on which the 
conspiracy was to be carried into execution, a 
day of thanksgiving. 

Charles II. with a generosity which cost him 


nothing, and from which he gained but little 
credit, bestowed upon his favourites large tracts 
of land in Virginia, s'ome of which grants in- 
cluded the plantations of actual settlers, and 
proved the sou ce of much trouble and em- 
barrassment. The assembly, after remonstrat- 
ing against the injustice and impolicy of the 
grants, appointed four gentlemen to go to 
England to act as agents for the colony in this 
affair. In the event of this mission proving in- 
effectual, it was resolved to purchase those 
grants from the patentees. The commissioners 
exerted themselves for the interests of the co- 
lony, but the rebellion, which broke out in 
Virginia about this time, rendered their zeal 
and fidelity abortive. 

During the year 1667 an expedition was set 
on foot for exploring the western parts of Vir- 
ginia. Captain Batte was appointed by the go- 
vernor to the command of this party, which 
consisted of about an equal number of whites 
and Indians. In seven days after their depar- 
ture from Appamattox, they arrived at the foot 
of those lofty mountains which ignorant ere- 


dulity had hitherto pronounced impassable. 
According to the accounts given by Beverley, 
the first ridge of mountains they reached was 
neither high nor difficult to surmount; but 
after crossing this, their march was obstructed 
by others that seemed to reach to the clouds. 
In these transmontane regions they discovered 
numerous flocks of deer, elks, buffaloes and 
other animals feeding on the luxuriant herbage 
which the rich valleys and lofty hills presented 
to their view. These explorers continued their 
course westward, until they saw, to use their 
own language, the waters " running back- 
wards," or taking a different course from 
those which empty into the Atlantic ocean. 

The accounts brought by Batte and his 
company, of the beauty and fertility of this 
country, induced sir W. Berkeley to under- 
take an expedition in person; but his plans 
were disconcerted by the rebellion above al- 
luded to, the circumstances of which we are 
now going to detail. 

The discontents that had long existed in the 
bosom of the colony, began at length to wear 

a more serious aspect, and to threaten direful 
consequences. Those who imagined their rights 
and privileges abridged, by restrictions on com- 
merce, united themselves with disaffected emi- 
grants, whose misguided zeal for liberty had 
been repressed in England only to break out 
with greater violence in the colony. The in- 
cursions of the Indians, and the rumors of a 
plot for a general massacre, gave a pretext for 
popular commotion and military preparation. 
So great an alarm was excited by groundless 
rumors and inflammatory reports, that the 
people flew to arms, and prepared for defence 
or aggression, as their fears or ambition might 
dictate. Blending their fears of Indian hostility 
with their domestic and civil grievances, they 
excited the passions of the populace as well by 
their dread of extermination as by their horror 
of oppression. 

No serious danger, however, could at this 
time be justly apprehended from the incursions 
of the natives. Their strength was broken by 
the dissolution of the Powhatan confederacy, 
and, the population of Virginia was sufficient 


t€> repel the attacks of their most powerful 
tribes. But their proximity, and known hosti- 
lity, afforded to the disaffected a pretext for 
arming without law and without authority, 
while a deadly enmity to the measures of go- 
vernment was the principal cause of their 

The insurgents chose for their leader, Na- 
thaniel Bacon, a young man of enterprise and 
talents, who had been educated in England. 
The first object of this aspiring man was to in- 
flame the minds of the populace by portraying 
the grievances they had suffered from the in- 
terruption of their trade, and from the arbitrary 
measures of their rulers. Being possessed of a 
lively and impressive elocution he did not fail 
to employ it on those topics which had excited 
murmurs among the colonists. He also pub- 
lished a paper setting forth the numerous causes 
of discontent since the restoration, and the mo- 
tives that induced them to take up arms on 
this occasion. Having collected a body of about 
six hundred men, he directed his course to- 
wards the Indian settlements, where alone he 



was likely to meet with an enemy who would 
give him a chance of acquiring the fame of 
military prowess. Before his departure he had 
sent a messenger to the governor, sir William 
Berkeley, requesting a commission, that he 
might have the sanction of government as well 
as the voice of the populace on his side. The 
governor, instead of granting his request, with 
a firmness that does honour to his memory, 
published a proclamation commanding Bacon 
and his followers to disperse, under penalty of 
being proclaimed traitors. Not relying, how- 
ever, on mere proclamations, the governor de- 
termined on more effective measures. Having 
raised a force to aid the constituted authorities, 
he marched in pursuit of the insurgents, and 
proceeded as far as the falls of James river, 
when he was alarmed with the news of another 
insurrection at Jamestown. He immediately 
hastened back to the defence of the metropo- 
lis, and of the little remaining power in his 
hands. On his arrival he found that a body of 
men from the lower and middle counties, 
headed by two men, Ingram and Walklate, 

had usurped the government, and were now 
too strong to be resisted. In this dilemma the 
governor, finding opposition hopeless, thought 
proper to accomodate matters with the rebels, 
by yielding at present to their demands. They 
required the dissolution of the assembly, which 
was granted, and writs issued for a new elec- 
tion. The spirit of disaffection became at last 
so general, that the friends to order were out- 
voted in the succeeding election, and the go- 
vernor had the mortification to find in the as- 
sembly a majority opposed to his measures. 

In the mean time Bacon had raised his 
popularity by a successful attack on the In- 
dian settlements, in which he had made a 
number of prisoners. He was returning, swell- 
ed with the importance of his victory, when 
he received the news of the revolution at 
Jamestown. He immediately left the army, and 
proceeded down the river accompanied by a 
small detachment. There were at this time 
several English ships lying in the river, by 
one of which Bacon was intercepted and car- 
ried prisoner to Jamestown. The fame of his 

victory, however, had given such force to the 
current of public favour, that the governor 
found it necessary to release him, and after 
giving his parole, he was admitted to a seat in 
the council. The spirit of rebellion, far from 
having subsided, acquired new strength from 
the mildness of opposition. No art was left 
untried to pervert the judgment and excite the 
passions of the people. 

Bacon having again put himself at the head 
of his troops, determined to march to James- 
town. After travelling all night he arrived early 
next day at that place, and having drawn up 
his men in front of the state house, while the 
assembly were sitting, he found it an easy 
matter to bring them into his measures. A de- 
putation was sent from that body to the go- 
vernor, advising him to accede to the wishes 
of the people, as the only means of restoring 
peace and order to the colony. Finding the as- 
sembly carried off in the torrent of disaffection 
that had overspread the land, sir William 
Berkeley deemed it vain any longer to oppose 
the rage for reform that existed in the minds 


of the people. He therefore signed an act qf 
general indemnity, and granted a commission 
of general to Bacon, whom he had lately pro- 
claimed a traitor. It is certain, however, that 
this change in sir William Berkeley's conduct 
was owing to the influence of the assembly, 
which was under a panic from the force of the 
insurgents, rather than to any fear inspired by 
the arms of the latter. He therefore dissolved 
the assembly, and having received an invita- 
tion from the inhabitants of Gloucester county 
to take up his residence among them, he left 
Jamestown, and once more raised the standard 
of government in the colony. 

Bacon had set out on a new expedition to 
the frontiers, when he heard of the proclama- 
tion of the governor, again declaring him a 
traitor. He instantly changed his course, and 
marched with all speed towards Gloucester. 
The governor finding his force too small to 
meet the insurgents in the field, thought pro- 
per to retire with a few of his friends to Acco- 
mack. Bacon now placed himself at the head 
of civil and military affairs; and under pretence 



that sir William Berkeley had abdicated the 
chair of government, he called a convention, 
for the purpose of settling a provisional go- 
vernment until the pleasure of his majesty 
should be made known. The convention ac- 
cordingly met at Middle Plantation on the 
3d of August 1676, and proceeded to de- 
clare the government vacant by the voluntary 
abdication of sir William Berkeley. Thev also 
declared the power of the people to supply the 
vacancy until the pleasure of the king should 
be known. Writs were afterwards issued, sign- 
ed by Bacon and four others, members of the 
council, for calling an assembly. Having pro- 
cured something like the sanction of civil au- 
thority to his illegal usurpations, this ambitious 
man once more set off at the head of his sol- 
diers against the Indians. After destroying the 
towns of Pamunky, Chickahomony and Mat- 
tapony, he directed his course towards the 
falls of James river, where the enemy were 
uniting their forces to give him battle. At a 
place that has been since called Bloody-run 
an engagement took place in which the In- 


dians were defeated with considerable loss. 
Their main body was posted on an eminence, 
and defended by a palisaded fort, through 
which the English broke with a fury which 
the savages could not resist. By these attacks 
of the insurgent army the power of the In- 
dians in this quarter was broken with but little 
loss to the colony. 

The insurgents, not contented with the tri- 
umph so lately gained over their governor, 
determined to surprise him at Accomack. For 
this purpose a number of armed men, with 
one Giles Bland at their head, privately em- 
barked in two or three small vessels and pro- 
ceeeded towards that place. The intention of 
Bland had fortunately been conveyed to sir 
William Berkeley by a captain Larimore, 
whose vessel had been pressed into the ser- 
vice. In consequence of this information, twen- 
ty-six men under the guidance of Larimore 
embarked at midnight in some boats, and by 
a sudden and bold attack made themselves 
masters of the whole naval force of the enemy. 
This fortunate adventure gave to the affairs 


of sir William Berkeley a brighter aspect, 
and put into his hands the naval empire of 
Virginia. He was able soon after to raise a 
force of about six hundred men, with which 
he marched to Jamestown and reinstated him- 
self in the government. The insurgents were 
now on their return from the frontiers, when 
hearing of the counter-revolution at Jamestown 
they hastened their march and arrived before 
that place just as the sun was setting. They im- 
mediately proceeded to form a kind of intrench- 
ment to defend them from the attacks of the 
loyalists, and having completed their works 
about midnight retired to rest. They were not 
allowed long repose. The governor with all his 
force, which wanted in discipline and valour 
what it was superior in numbers, marched out 
to attack the insurgents. He was beaten back 
with the loss of several of his men killed in 
the engagement. The loyalists embarked next 
night on board their vessels, taking with them 
whatever was most valuable; and dropping 
down the river, came to anchor out of reach 
of the batteries on the island. Finding that their 


enemies had evacuated the town, Bacon and his 
followers entered in triumph, but were much 
disappointed on discovering that their parsi- 
monious opponents had left them nothing to 
plunder. The enraged conquerors immediately 
set the houses on fire, and reduced the infant x/* 
metropolis of Virginia to ashes. 

Bacon found himself once more at the helm 
of affairs in the colony, and thinking himself 
placed above the power of the loyalists, he dis- 
missed his followers, and retired to his former 
residence at Middle Plantation. Death soon 
after closed the career of this restless dema- 
gogue, and left his seditious partisans without 
a leader.* 

* Nfte No. I. Appendix- 


* 1 HE death of their leader had broken the 
strength of the insurgents, and the sad reverses 
of fortune had taught the loyalists not to rely 
on her smiles. Both parties appeared tired of 
the contest, and disposed to close hostilities 
by an amicable adjustment. Commissioners 
were accordingly appointed to meet at West 
Point, for the purpose of settling all differences 
betwixt them. Terms equally agreeable to both, 
consisting of a general indemnity on the part 
of the government and submission on that of 
the insurgents, were settled without difficulty. 
Sir William Berkeley has been charged with 
violating the promise of general pardon, and 
accused of treating the rebels after his restora- 
tion with great severity. It is stated that a num- 
ber of the insurgents suffered death under the 
sentence of martial law, and many were con- 
fined in gaols by the severity of legal process. 


So great was the rigour of punishment that 
some were preparing to leave the colony, when 
the aspect of affairs was fortunately changed 
by the arrival of commissioners from England, 
with power to examine and redress the griev- 
ances of the colony. They brought with them 
a regiment of regulars, for the purpose of sup- 
pressing rebellion and restoring peace and order 
to the community. The disturbances had al- 
ready ceased among the people, but the rigour 
of the governor against the insurgents still con- 

The conduct of sir William Berkeley at this 
time does not well accord w^ith his general 
character, which had not hitherto been marked 
by either duplicity or cruelty. His resentment 
however was so great, that he refused to pub- 
lish an act of general indemnity brought over 
by the commissioners. This general pardon in- 
cluded all who would submit to the govern- 
ment, with the exception of Bacon alone, who 
was now beyond the reach of human justice. 
Finding the governor inflexible, the commis- 
sioners proceeded to open their court for hear- 


ing and determining grievances. The joy that 
diffused itself through the colony, when the 
nature of their commission was known, was 
equal to the gloom that pervaded the public 
mind before their arrival. The assembly, which 
met about this time, concurred with the com- 
missioners, and even remonstrated against the 
conduct of the governor. Soon afterwards sir 
William Berkeley sailed for England, leaving 
the affairs of government in the hands of Her- 
bert Jeffries, as lieutenant governor, whose ap- 
pointment is dated 11th November 1676. 

The colony having been for some time free 
from the inroads of the Indians, began at length 
to be alarmed by the frequent incursions of 
the Six Nations. This confederacy of savage 
tribes was very extensive. The terror of their 
arms was felt from the Carolinas to New Eng- 
land, and as far as the Mississippi on the west. 
Both French and English were anxious to 
procure their friendship, and fearful to provoke 
their vengeance. Fortunately, for the peace 
of the colonv, a treatv was formed with this 
powerful coalition. The terms were settled at 


Middle Plantation, where deputies from the 
several tribes met those of Virginia. By the 
death of Jeffries in 1678, the government de- 
volved on sir H. Chicherly, who in 1680 was 
succeeded by lord Culpeper. This nobleman 
brought with him several new laws, which the 
king had thought proper to recommend to the 
general assembly. He also published an act of 
general indemnity for all offences committed 
during the rebellion. The prudent administra- 
tion of Culpeper entitled him to the friendship 
of the colony, which could not have been bet- 
ter expressed than by making an addition of 
one thousand pounds to his salary. 

On the departure of this nobleman for Eng- 
land, the government once more devolved upon 
sir H. Chicherly. The affairs of Virginia exhibit 
nothing worthy the attention of the historian, 
until the arrival of lord Howard, who was ap- 
pointed in the year 1684 to administer the go- 
vernment of the colony. During his adminis- 
tration the Indians of the Six Nations renewed 
their depredations on the frontiers of Virginia, 
and those tribes who continued in alliance with 



the colonists suffered equally from their incur- 

The governor had the good fortune to stop 
their inroads, by a treaty which he concluded 
with the chiefs of those warlike nations, at 
Albany. On his return from this place, he sent 
a body of militia to the head of the Chesapeake 
bay against a nation of Indians, who had attack- 
ed the frontiers in his absence. 

During the year 1684, died Charles II., a 
monarch neither famed for the wisdom of his 
public, nor the virtues of his private life. Dur- 
ing his exile at the court of France, he ac- 
quired habits of licentiousness and debauchery 
which he brought with him, and rendered 
fashionable in his native land. He was suc- 
ceeded in the throne of England by James the 
Second, who, as well as his predecessor, had 
been forced to seek in France an asylum from 
the rage of his enemies. 

At the restoration James had been declared 
admiral of England, and in the year 1665 he 
obtained a celebrated victory over Opdam, the 
Dutch admiral. James however, did not carry 


with him to the throne those virtues which 
had distinguished him while duke of York. 
He was a bigoted and selfish monarch, and 
9eemed to have lost that courage which had 
marked his early life. As soon as his appoint- 
ment was known in Virginia, the governor 
and council made a humble address to his 
majesty, congratulating him on his accession 
to the throne, and tendering their lives and 
fortunes in his defence whenever he should 
demand them. The spirit of discontent how- 
ever which began to rise in England soon 
found its way into her colonies. 

The governor in order to check these sedi- 
tious appearances, published a proclamation 
forbidding all inflammatory discourses, and 
factions tending to disturb the peace of go- 
vernment. Several persons were also appre- 
hended and brought before the council for 
treasonable proceedings. The dread of popery, 
so strong in the mother country, operated also 
on the minds of the colonists. The discontents 
on this side the ocean almost kept pace with 
those in England. 


At length the unfortunate monarch, finding 
the popular current too strong to be resisted, 
with a timidity that perhaps saved him from 
the fate of his father, resolved to abdicate his 

When this event was known in Virginia, 
and it was formally announced that William 
and Mary were recognised as sovereigns by 
the British nation, a general joy was diffused 
amongst the colonists. The council, who had 
so lately pledged their lives and fortunes in de- 
fence of James, naturally felt some embarrass- 
ment on the occasion. Their hatred to the 
catholic religion, however, which was not di- 
minished by their security from its influence, 
overcame every obstacle, and, a few months 
after the accession of William and Mary was 
made known, they were publicly proclaimed 
in Virginia. 

In the year 1689 sir Francis Nicholson was 
appointed governor in the absence of Howard 
who returned to England. It was during the 
administration of Nicholson, that the establish- 
ment of a post office was first proposed; and a 


subscription for a college was also set on foot 
and patronized by the governor and council. 
For this institution two thousand five hundred 
pounds were obtained, and a charter was soon 
after procured from the king, accompanied by 
a donation of about two thousand pounds ster- 
ling, due on account of quitrents, twenty thou- 
sand acres of land, and the revenue arising 
from the penny per pound on tobacco export- 
ed from Virginia and Maryland to the other 

In the year 1692 Nicholson was removed 
from the chair of government, to make room 

* The college by its charter was under the direction 
of twenty visitors, who were its legislators, and was also 
allowed a representative in the general assembly. It had 
a professorship of the Latin and Greek languages, one 
of mathematics, one of moral philosophy, and two of 
divinity. After the revolution the language and divinity 
professorships were changed for those of law and medi- 
cine. The late bishop Madison proffered his aid in pro- 
curing information relative to the literature and lite- 
rary institutions of Virginia, but his death deprived me 
of the pleasure of receiving his communications. 



for sir Edmund Andros, a flatterer and favour- 
ite of kings, but an oppressor of the people. 
This man had been formerly governor of New 
York. He afterwards received from king James 
a commission for the government of New Eng- 
land, where he imitated the conduct of his 
royal master in bigotry and oppression. At 
length the indignation of the people could' no 
longer be repressed, and they determined on 
resistance. On a report that a massacre was in- 
tended by the governor's guards, the people 
of Boston took up arms, and surrounding the 
palace, seized the governor and about fifty of 
his coadjutors, and placed them in confine- 
ment. Sir Edmund was carried to England for 
trial, but instead of meeting with the punish- 
ments which his crimes had deserved, he was 
honoured with the appointment of governor of 

On his arrival in Virginia writs were issued 
for a new election of burgesses, and several 
proclamations were published relative to the 
general interests of the colony. From the cha- 
racter given by Beverley of sir Edmund An- 


dros, we must conclude that he had been much 
reformed by his transportation to England. He 
is represented by this historian as a liberal and 
enlightened man, of a mild deportment, and 
a great encourager of industry and manufac- 
tures.* He was succeeded by sir F. Nicholson, 
who was again appointed to the government of 
Virginia, and continued in office until the year 
1705, when he was recalled and Edward Nott 
appointed in his room. There is nothing worthy 
of notice during the administration of Nott, or 
that of his successor Edmund Jennings. 

The administration of Alexander Spots wood, 
which commenced in the year 1710, opens a 
wider and more interesting prospect to the his- 
torian. This gentleman, with an enlightened 
and enterprising mind, united in himself the 
accomplishments of the statesman and the sol- 
dier. Soon after his appointment he determined 
on exploring the country west of that great 
range of mountains which seemed to prescribe 
limits to his predecessors. This undertaking 

* Note II. Appendix. 


was accomplished, and the passage of the 
mountains effected without much difficulty. 
The splendor of the achievement far over- 
balanced the dangers of its execution. 

About this time the encroachments of the 
French, on the north western waters, induced 
the governor to propose to the British ministry 
the establishment of a company, to settle such 
lands on the Ohio as they might be able to 
procure from the natives. He likewise proposed 
the establishment of a chain of forts from the 
Lakes to the Mississippi, by which the en- 
croachments of the French might be restrained, 
and the fur trade might be secured to the Eng- 
lish. The ministry did not however enter into 
his views, and it was not till after the treaty of 
Aix la Chapelle that his plans were revived 
and adopted by the British government. 

Spotswood was equally unsuccessful in ano- 
ther application which he made to the govern- 
ment, requiring that the men employed under 
him in exploring the country should be paid 
for their services. However reasonable might 
be his request, it seemed to make him more 


unpopular with the ministry, and was soon 
after followed by his dismission from office. 

The enterprising talents, and inflexible vir- 
tues of governor Spotswood might have been 
highly useful to the interests of Britain in Ame- 
rica, at a time when her ancient European 
rival, France, was endeavouring to wrest from 
her hands the trade and riches of the new world. 
The former, with her possessions on the sea 
coast and country adjacent, beheld with a jea- 
lous eye the progress of her enemy on the St. 
Lawrence and the Lakes. The latter claimed 
the country west of the Alleghany, on the 
ground of her being the first who explored 
it. The English claims, founded on the char- 
ters of their monarchs, were much more exten- 
sive, and seemed to be as boundless as their 
ambition itself. They thought themselves enti- 
tled to the whole country, as far as the South 
Sea; and although they were compelled to recede 
from the extravagance of this claim, yet the 
encroachments of both France and Spain seem- 
ed to indicate the necessity of strong and ef- 
fective resistance. The antipathy which pre- 


vailed betwixt those nations in Europe, seemed 
to extend its influence to their remotest colo- 
nies; and peace, so seldom enjoyed at home, 
was scarcely to be expected to continue on 
this side the ocean. Accordingly, in the year 
1739, hostilities commenced against Spain, and 
soon after against France. In the commence- 
ment of this war the late governor Spotswood 
was again called into public service, and ho- 
noured with the command of the colonial 
troops. But he did not live to enjoy the re- 
turning smiles of royal favour. 

Spotswood had been succeeded in the go- 
vernment by sir Hugh Drysdale, who arrived 
in Virginia in the year 1723, and during whose 
administration nothing occurred worthy of re- 
cord. ' 

Drysdale was succeeded in office bv Gooch, 
soon after whose accession an expedition was 
set on foot against Carthagena. In this unsuc- 
cessful attempt Gooch, who had been formerly 
an officer in the British service, commanded 
the colonial troops. 

About this time (1742) considerable alarm 


was excited in Virginia, by the news of a skir- 
mish betwixt a party of Shawanese and a de- 
tachment of militia. In this engagement the 
Virginians lost a captain M'Dowell, and seve- 
ral men. The governor, with the advice of the 
council, adopted such measures as might pre- 
vent aggression from the same quarter. A sup- 
ply of ammunition was sent to the frontiers, 
and commissioners appointed to visit the In- 
dian tribes for the purpose of promoting peace. 
In the year 1743 the college of Virginia lost 
her first president, the Rev. James Blair. This 
learned and eminent divine was born and edu- 
cated in Scotland, but on account of the un- 
settled state of religion in that kingdom, he 
passed over to England near the end of the 
rtign of Charles the Second. He sailed for 
Virginia as a missionary, in the year 1685, 
and soon after his arrival was appointed to the 
highest honours the church could offer in the 
colony. The establishment of a college in Wil- 
liamsburg, was in part owing to his exertions, 
and its subsequent prosperity was much in- 
debted to his zeal in its behalf. In the yeaj 

1691 he sailed for England, to procure a char- 
ter and the pecuniary aid of government, and 
his mission was art* nded with the desired suc- 
cess. Blair was named in the charter as the 
first president, in which office he continued 
fifty-one years. He was also ecclesiastical com- 
missary and member of the council about the 
same number of years. 

The vacancy in the council occasioned by 
the death of Mr. Blair, was filled by the ap- 
pointment of William Fairfax, son of the pro- 
prietor of the northern neck. 

By the death of colonel William Byrd, the 
colony was deprived of another valuable citizen, 
as well as member of the council. His exten- 
sive education and ample fortune threw a lustre 
round the virtues of his private life. His death 
was a serious loss to Virginia. 

In the year 1746 the public buildings in 
Williamsburg were destroyed by fire, sup- 
posed to be the work of some incendiary. In 
consequence of the destruction of the capitol, 
the next assembly, agreeably to summons, met 
in the college. It may be proper >to notice here, 


a proclamation of the governor, forbidding the 
meetings of Moravians, Newlights and Me- 
thodists, under severe penalties. Enjoying, as' 
we do now, the blessings of a free government, 
and feeling the influence of principles, the off- 
spring of the revolution, we look back with 
astonishment, almost with incredulity, on the 
bigotry and intolerance which so lately influ- 
enced the councils of Virginia.* 

* There is one sect, the Quakers, to whom the blessings 
of liberty seem to be mingled with the alloy of intole- 
rance and persecution. The free exercise of their reli- 
gion is restrained by civil policy, or prohibited by legal 
sanctions. They are required to conform to the institu- 
tions of man by violating the commandments of God. 
The arguments in favour of this rigid policy go to the 
destruction of religious liberty, by making the human 
legislator the judge of our religion, and the arbiter of 
our conscience. Its advocates say, that in the present 
state of the world, means of defence against the aggres- 
sion of enemies are as necessary and as just as are the 
means to prevent disease or hunger, or any other evil 
that might obstruct the enjoyment of life; and if it be 
just that government resist and repel the attacks of 


About this time a bill was brought forward, 
and passed in the house of burgesses, for the 
removal of the seat of government to some 
more central part of the colony. The governor 
and council, some of whom possessed property 
in Williamsburg, refused their assent to a mea- 
sure which threatened to injure their private 
interests. The matter was again brought for- 

enemies, it is equally just that all who enjoy the bene 
fits of this protection should contribute to its support. 

But is it not a painful reflection to a republican, enjoy 
ing the blessings of liberty, to think that they are so un 
equally diffused; and that so large a portion of our popu 
lation should be exposed to the penalties of the law 
because they refuse to dip their steel in human blood 
It will not much relieve our feelings to recollect that 
this infringement of liberty of conscience falls on a sect 
whose innocence almost precludes the necessity of law, 
and whose meekness might inspire compassion. 

The Abbe Raynal, speaking of the Quakers, says, 
" La fiere simplicity de ces nouveaux enthousiastes qui 
benissoient le ciel et les hommes au milieu des tour- 
mens et de l'ignominie, inspira de la veneration pour 
leurs personnes, fit aimer leurs sentimens et multiplia 
leurs proselytes 



ward in the year 1748, but met with no better 
success than before. During this year the 
towns of Petersburg and Blandford were esta- 
blished by law, and acts of assembly passed 
establishing towns in Augusta, King William 
and Henrico counties. 

Among other acts of this session, the assem- 
bly ordered a general revisal of the colonial 
laws, and for this purpose appointed a com- 
mittee consisting of the following persons, 
Peyton Randolph, Philip Ludwell, Beverly- 
Whiting, Carter Burwell and Benjamin Wal- 

Gooch, who had been governor of Virginia 
for upwards of twenty years, at length resolved 
on visiting his native country. Before his de- 
parture he was waited upon by the president 
and council with an address of thanks for his 
able and upright administration. His correct 
and uniform conduct had indeed procured him 
the esteem of the Virginians generally, and his 
departure was sincerely regretted. 

The administration now devolved upon Ro- 


binson, as president of the council, and at his 
death, which happened soon after, Thomas 
Lee, who had succeeded him in the presi- 
dency, was advanced to the chair of govern- 


HlTHERTO the genius of the colonists had 
been repressed by the labours they had to un- 
dergo, and the difficulties they had to sur- 
mount. The western horizon at length began 
to brighten, and arts and manufactures, litera- 
ture and commerce, seemed to excite attention, 
and gradually to extend their influence in Virgi- 
nia. New characters also appeared on the stage 
of action, some of whom were to act a distin- 
guished part in the military and civil affairs of 
the colony. This epoch commences with the 
administration of governor Dinwiddie, who ar- 
rived in Virginia in the year 1752. 

Peace, however, was not yet secured to the 
colony, but the hostility of her neighbours 
served to call into action the latent powers she 
possessed. The encroachments of the French 
in the north west, and particularly the esta- 
blishment of a fort at Au Beuf, first brought 



into public notice George Washington, whose 
name has so distinguished a place in the annals 
of his country. He was scarcely in his nine- 
teenth year, when he was despatched by go- 
vernor Dinwiddie, with a message to the 
French commandant on the Ohio. He accom- 
plished his journey through an unknown wil- 
derness, and executed with faithfulness the 
trust committed to his hands. 

The French officer transmitted the gover- 
nor's letter to the commanding officer in Cana- 
da, and returned for answer that he would 
wait the orders of his superior. This answer 
was probably viewed in the light of a denial 
by the government of Virginia, as she began 
to make provision for expelling the French by 
force. For this purpose a regiment of three 
hundred men was raised, and placed under the 
command of colonel Fry, who was assisted by 
George Washington as lieutenant colonel. The 
French expecting an attack from this quarter, 
did not neglect the proper means of defence. 
They endeavoured to secure the friendship of 
the Indians, as well as to exasperate them 


against the English. They also strengthened 
their posts by reinforcements from Canada, 
and proceeded to destroy the English forts 
and trading houses before they could be re- 
lieved by the colonial troops. In the fort at 
Logstovvn they found stores and furs to the 
value of twenty thousand pounds. The fort 
which had been erected at the junction of 
the Ohio and Monongahela also fell into their 

Before the troops were in readiness to march, 
Washington was ordered to proceed with two 
companies as far as the Great Meadows. On 
his march he received information, from some 
friendly Indians, that the French were at that 
moment engaged in erecting a fort at the con- 
fluence of the Alleghany and Monongahela 
rivers, and that a detachment was then on the 
way from that place to the Great Meadows. 
Washington, taking the Indians as guides^ 
marched all night without halting, for the pur- 
pose of intercepting the party. He succeeded 
to the utmost of his wishes. Just at dawn of 
day they descried the French erecting their 


tents in a retired valley. A detachment under 
captain Waggoner was immediately ordered 
to make a circuit and appear on the opposite 
side. Both divisions fired on the enemy at 
the same time. Jumonville, the commander of 
the party, was killed, and the detachment, with 
the exception of one man who escaped, were 
made prisoners. 

At length the main body of the troops ar- 
rived at the Great Meadows, and being rein- 
forced by two companies of regulars from 
South Carolina and New York, they proceed- 
ed towards fort Du Quesne under the direc- 
tion of Washington, whose detachment had 
formed a junction with the main body, and 
who had succeeded to the command, in con- 
sequence of the death of colonel Fry. 

Before their departure from the Great Mea- 
dows, they erected a stockade for the security 
of their horses and baggage. They had ad- 
vanced only to the foot of Laurel Hill, about 
fourteen miles from the stockade, when they 
were informed by a party of Indians of the ar- 
rival of a reinforcement at fort Du Quesne. A 


dislodgement of the French was therefore con- 
sidered as impracticable, and the party were 
compelled to return to the stockade, since 
known by the name of Fort Necessity. They 
had scarcely put that place in a posture of de- 
fence, when they were attacked by a body of 
about fifteen hundred French and Indians, com- 
manded by Monsieur De Villiers. The attack, 
which began about ten o'clock in the morning, 
continued without intermission till night. It 
was on this occasion, that the illustrious leader 
of the American armies first showed that cool 
and determined courage which has marked his 
military career. His soldiers seemed anxious to 
imitate his example, and so bold a resistance 
was made, that the French commandant thought 
proper to offer terms of capitulation. A flag of 
truce was sent to Washington, and terms pro- 
posed which, however, were deemed dishon- 
ourable, and were without hesitation reject- 
ed. The firmness of Washington induced the 
French officer to recede from the rigour of his 
terms, which were soon after returned to Wash- 
ington, so modified as to obtain his acceptance. 


The provincial troops were allowed to march off 
with their baggage unmolested. Their loss on 
this occasion has been stated at about a hundred 
killed and wounded. The loss of the enemy was 
supposed to be much greater. The troops were 
harassed in their retreat by parties of Indians, 
as well as oppressed by hunger and fatigue. 
At length they arrived at Winchester, having 
surmounted incredible difficulties, and under- 
gone unspeakable hardships. Their services 
were rewarded by the house of burgesses with 
a vote of thanks, accompanied by what was 
much more necessary, a donation for the relief 
of their immediate wants. 

The expedition of Washington, although 
not attended with success, served as a guide 
to future attempts; and while it showed the 
difficulty of the enterprise, pointed out the 
man most fit to achieve it. 

We will conclude this chapter with a sketch 
of the life of this illustrious man, who needs 
no higher eulogium than a detail of his splen- 
did actions. 


Ge o r g e W a shington was born at Bridges 
creek, in the county of Westmoreland, Virgi- 
nia, February 22d, 1732. At the age of ten 
years he lost his father, Augustine Washing- 
ton, whose estate, according to the English 
law, descended to his eldest son, Laurence 
Washington. At the age of fifteen, George 
was on the point of entering the British navy 
as a midshipman. The entreaties of an affec- 
tionate mother prevailed on him to abandon 
the idea. His talents were reserved for a fairer 
field of glory. Although he early showed a dis- 
position for action rather than speculation, he 
was not inattentive to the improvement of his 
mind. He received from a private instructor 
the general principles of English literature, but 
the boundaries of his education were much 
enlarged by his own genius and industry. 

Those sciences that are purely speculative 
occupied but little of his attention, which was 
more attracted by objects of utility than amuse- 
ment. Much of his time was devoted to the 
study of the mathematics, and his knowledge 
of the art of surveying contributed to the in- 


crease of his fortune. In the exercise of his 
professional duties, as a surveyor, he became 
acquainted with the value of lands, and gained 
such information respecting the country which 
he traversed, as enabled him to make impor- 
tant additions to his landed property. 

The estimation in which he was held in 
Virginia, at the early age of nineteen, is shown 
by his being appointed an adjutant general at 
that age, with the rank of major. But the du- 
ties of this office lasted only a short time. 

His expedition to the Ohio, which followed 
soon after, has already been noticed. He com- 
menced this arduous expedition on the 31st of 
October 1753, the day on which he received 
his commission. Having obtained guides on 
the frontiers to conduct him through the wil- 
derness, he crossed the Alleghany mountains, 
and directed his march for the Monongahela. 
On his arrival at a fort on French creek, he 
found the commanding officer, to whom a letter 
of Dinwiddie was addressed. During his re- 
turn he encountered difficulties, which to a less 
enterprising mind would have been deemed 


insurmountable. Owing to the depth of the 
snow his horses and attendants were left at the 
mouth of French creek, from whence he set 
out on foot accompanied by his guide alone. 
On their way they were fired at by an Indian, 
whom they took prisoner but soon after dis- 
missed. On reaching the Monongahela, they 
were employed nearly a whole day in making 
a raft to effect their passage. The masses of ice 
which were then descending the river drove 
with such violence as to dislodge the passen- 
.gers. Clinging to the logs of their shattered 
raft, they were enabled to reach an island, where 
they passed the night. The cold was so intense, 
that the hands and feet of his guide were fro- 
zen. The next morning they crossed to the 
main land on the ice. 

Washington soon after visited this country 
at the head of a regiment, to the command of 
which, as already observed, he had succeeded 
on the death of colonel Fry. The skill and for- 
titude displayed in this expedition, particularly 
in the action at the Great Meadows, reflected 
much honour on his character. In that engage- 



ment he compelled an enemy of nearly four 
times his own number, to allow him the privi- 
lege of marching off, with all his arms and bag- 
gage, unmolested. 

In the year 1755, Washington accompanied 
general Braddock to that fatal field where Eu- 
ropean discipline and valour were overcome 
by savage cunning and ferocity. In the battle 
of the Monongahela he showed a fearless front, 
although he was soon the only aid that remain- 
ed on the ground. The particulars of this bat- 
tle shall be related hereafter. At present we 
will confine our details to the immediate oc- 
currences of Washington's life, without em- 
bracing the important events of national his- 

After his return from the Monongahela, he 
was appointed to the command of a regiment 
designed for the defence of the frontiers. His 
exertions to protect the back settlements were 
often fruitless. The impossibility of defending 
so extensive a frontier against so deceitful an 
enemy, suggested the propriety of offensive 
measures. The plan of carrying war into the 


enemy's country, was at length adopted. In the 
expedition against fort Du Quesne, Washing- 
ton acquired much honour by his patience and 
courage. His health was considerably impaired 
by the fatigues of the campaign. On his return 
he resigned his command of the provincial 
troops. Soon after his resignation he was mar- 
ried to the widow of Mr. Custis, a young lady 
possessed of great personal attractions and a 
handsome estate. In addition to Mount Ver- 
non, which he inherited by the death of his 
brother, he now possessed a very ample for- 
tune. No farmer was ever more careful or sys- 
tematic in the cultivation and management of 
a farm, and few have been more successful. 
In one year his farms have produced seven 
thousand bushels of wheat, and ten thousand 
of corn. He was, during his retirement, elect- 
ed a member of the state legislature, where 
his attachment to his country was shown by 
a steady opposition to every infringement of 
her rights. 

In the year 1774 he became a member of 
the first congress, and he was honoured with 


a place on all the committees of defensive ar- 
rangements. In the year 1775 he was elect- 
ed commander in chief of the army of the 
United States. He accepted this important 
office with diffidence, and fulfilled its duties* 
with dignity and fortitude. In that long and 
arduous contest, which rent from the British 
empire her most flourishing provinces, Wash- 
ington was the firmest support of the Ameri- 
can cause. When the storm was at the highest, 
sand hope began to forsake his friends, he stood 
at the helm, unmoved by the roaring of the 
tempest. The gloomy aspect of affairs served 
but to give new vigour to a mind whose re- 
sources were not easily exhausted. All his 
plans were formed with coolness and executed 
with undaunted resolution. In tracing his mili- 
tary career, through fields of blood or martial 
encampments, we find the same inflexible firm- 
ness, and the same unshaken virtue. Equally- 
free from the obsequiousness of a courtier and 
the ferocity of a conqueror, he preserved the 
affections of his soldiers without losing the 
confidence of his rulers. When lord Howe, on 


his arrival, addressed a letter to " George 
Washington, Esquire," on the settlement of 
their differences, Washington refused to re- 
ceive it, as it was not addressed to him in his 
military capacity, and showed a disposition to 
refuse him the honours his country had be- 
stowed upon him. His conduct was applauded 
by the government, whose dignity had been 
insulted in the person of their commander in 

While other generals have shone only in the 
arms of victory, Washington never appeared 
more worthy of admiration than when flying 
before a proud and exulting enemy. After the 
loss of Forts Washington and Lee, when he 
led his shattered and feeble army into New Jer- 
sey before the advancing standard of England, 
his troops resembled more an offering for the 
altar of liberty, than the legion to whom were 
intrusted the sacred interests of their country. 
Such was their love for their commander, that 
all their hardships, their wants and distresses, 
could not sever their union nor diminish their 



attachment. It seemed difficult to tell, whether 
Washington or liberty was the dearest name. 

After seeing the independence of his coun- 
try established, the heroic chief resigned to 
congress the high office entrusted to his hands; 
and after an affectionate parting from his com- 
panions in arms, he retired to the peaceful 
walks of private life. He was not, however, al- 
lowed long repose. He became, in the year 
1787, a member of the convention which form- 
ed our constitution, and of that august body 
he was elected president. In the year 1789 he 
was unanimously elected the first President of 
the United States. After serving his country 
in that exalted station during eight years, or 
two terms of office, he resolved on retiring 
from public life. His valedictory address was 
published in September 1796, and on the 14th 
December 1799 he closed a life of nearly sixty- 
eight years. 


A FEW weeks after the return of the troops 
from the Great Meadows, some companies 
that had been expected from the adjacent co- 
lonies of Maryland and North Carolina having 
arrived, governor Dinwiddie, without giving 
the regiment time to recover from their shat- 
tered condition, ordered them to repass the 
mountains for the purpose of dispossessing the 
French. As the assembly, however, rose with- 
out providing the necessary means for carrying 
on the war, it was abandoned for the present, 
and the Virginia regiment was reduced to in- 
dependent companies. 

In the year 1754 orders were received for 
settling the rank of officers in the colonies, and 
directing that those commissioned by the king 
should take rank of those commissioned by the 
colonial governors. In consequence of this in- 
vidious distinction, colonel Washington retired 


in disgust from public service. In the following 
year, however (1755), general Braddock, who 
had lately arrived from Ireland with two regi- 
ments, and had taken the command of the forces 
in Virginia, prevailed upon him to accompany 
the army in the capacity of aid-de-camp. 

The army set off in the month of April, and 
proceeded to Will's Creek, afterwards called 
Fort Cumberland, where they were detained 
waiting for their baggage until the month of 
June. Owing to the badness of the roads, the 
transportation of their baggage presented one 
of the greatest difficulties they had to encoun- 
ter. Washington, apprized of this circumstance, 
had recommended the use of pack horses in- 
stead of wagons, and his advice was, after 
much delay, in part adopted. 

Soon after the army left Fort Cumberland, 
colonel Washington was attacked with a vio- 
lent fever, from which he did not recover until 
his arrival at the river Monongahela. It was 
determined at a council, held at the Little 
Meadows, that a body of twelve hundred men, 
under the command of Braddock in person, 


should advance without delay against Fort Du 
Quesne, and that the remainder of the troops, 
with the heavy baggage, should be left under 
the command of colonel Dunbar and major 
Chapman. Even when freed from the most 
cumbrous part of their baggage, the progress 
of the army, owing to the nature of the coun- 
try through which they passed, was extremely 
slow. They were four days marching from the 
Little Meadows to the Great Crossings of 
Yohoghany, a distance of only about nineteen 
miles. On the 9th of July 1755, the army 
reached the Monongahela, on the opposite 
side of which, at the distance of six miles, 
stood Fort Du Quesne, the place of destina- 
tion. Unfortunately for the fate of this expedi- 
tion, the commander felt too secure in his own 
strength and in the discipline of British regu- 
lars. He was equally unacquainted with the 
country, and with the proper mode of lighting 
its savage inhabitants. Although sufficiently 
brave himself, his courage was likely to be of 
little avail against the enemy with whom he 
had to contend. 


Early in the morning preparations were 
made for crossing the Monongahela. A select 
body of three hundred infantry, under the 
command of colonel Gage, was ordered to 
cross the river, as an advance guard, for the 
purpose of covering the passage of the main 
body. This detachment was followed by ano- 
ther of two hundred, designed to act as a re- 
serve to the other. The main body followed 
the detachments, maintaining the order of bat- 
tle. They had advanced but a short distance 
from the bank of the river, when they were 
alarmed by a brisk fire, apparently in front and 
flank of the advance parties. These imme- 
diately fell back, and communicated to the 
main body a panic, from which they could not 
be recovered. The firing soon became general, 
and the confusion amongst the British regulars 
presented to the enemy the prospect of an easy 

The French had drawn themselves up in the 
form of a half circle, in the skirt of a thick 
wood, which served as a cover for their centre, 
while the wings were supported by parties of 


Indians, who concealing themselves in the long 
grass, were no less skilful in securing them- 
selves, than dextrous in annoying their enemies. 

Braddock had drawn up his men in two 
lines, with the artillery in the centre; thus pre- 
senting a solid front to the fire of the enemy. 
He appeared in the front of his men, animating 
them by his example and endeavouring in vain 
to restore them to order. After having five 
horses shot under him, and seen two of his 
aids fall by his side, he at length received a 
shot and fell from his horse. This proved the 
signal for a general rout among the regulars, 
who were preserved from total destruction by 
the provincial troops. These dispersing them- 
selves in the woods, by a successful fire gave 
a check to the pursuers, and served as a cover 
to the flying regiment. The general, by the 
exertions of colonel Washington and captain 
Stewart, of his guards, was brought off the 
ground in a cart. The horses and baggage fell 
into the hands of the enemy. 

The loss of the provincial army on this oc- 
casion, amounted to about seven hundred killed 


and wounded, among whom were upwards of 
sixty officers. Much has been said in praise of 
the Virginia troops in this engagement, and 
if we estimate their courage by the loss they 
sustained, it was indeed very great. Out of 
three companies that were in the engagement, 
scarcely thirty escaped alive. Captain Peronny 
and all his officers were killed, and all of the 
company of captain Poulson, except one, shared 
the same fate. 

It would be superfluous to notice the bravery 
of Washington on this occasion. His fame is 
already fixed on a base that cannot be shaken 
by the revolutions of time. We shall merely 
observe, that in all the subsequent engage- 
ments in which lie shone with so much splen- 
dour at the head of his armv, he in no instance 
showed more cool and determined bravery than 
in the battle of the Monongahela. He had three 
horses shot under him, and several bullet holes 
were made through his clothes; but Provi- 
dence designed him for more important fields 
and more successful warfare. 

On the arrival of the army at Dunbar's 


camp, it was deemed expedient to destroy all 
the stores, except what might be wanted for 
immediate use. Soon after their arrival at this 
place, the brave commander of the expedition 
died of his wounds. He w r as by no means de- 
ficient in military skill or personal courage; 
but he was not apprized of the manner of the 
attack, nor acquainted with the proper mode 
of repelling it. British courage and discipline 
were of little avail in the American woods, and 
contending with a foe whose success depended 
more on ambush and surprise than on valour 
and discipline. 

After the defeat of general Braddock the 
command of the army devolved on colonel 
Dunbar, who considering any farther offensive 
measures as impracticable at present, marched 
his troops to Philadelphia. 

The retreat of the army left the whole fron- 
tier of Virginia exposed to the ravages of the 
victorious enemy, who now extended their in- 
cursions even over the Blue Ridge, and marked 
with blood and terror their hostile course. 

This distressing state of affairs induced the- 



governor to call a meeting of the assembly, to 
provide for the security of the colony. On the 
meeting of that body, it was determined to 
raise a regiment of sixteen companies, the 
command of which, and all the forces in 
Virginia, was given to colonel Washington, 
Meanwhile the French and Indians continued 
their depredations, and news frequently ar- 
rived of irruptions along the frontiers. The 
western inhabitants, instead of uniting and re- 
pelling the assailants, abandoned their dwel- 
lings, their flocks and their farms to the mercy 
of the rude invader. 

Having made arrangements for the recruit- 
ing service, Washington set out in person to 
visit the western frontier posts. From thence 
he returned to Williamsburg for the purpose 
of settling the plan of future operations: on his 
way he was overtaken by an express, inform- 
ing him that a body of French and Indians had 
broken into the back settlements, and were 
murdering the inhabitants and burning their 
houses. Washington hastened back to Win- 
chester, and endeavoured to raise a body of 


militia to march against the enemy; but his 
exertions were frustrated by the general terror 
and confusion that prevailed among the people. 
Before any adequate force could be raised, the 
enemv had allayed their furv with blood, and 
had re-crossed the pathless mountains with 
their prisoners and their plunder. Washington 
saw the necessity of training a body of militia 
for the defence of the colony, but his advice 
was almost always rejected, or adopted too 

In the year 1756 lord Loudon arrived in the 
colony, vested with the command of the Bri- 
tish forces in Virginia. A short address was 
presented to him by the regiment, compli- 
menting him on his arrival, and a statement of 
the military affairs of the colony, drawn up by 
Washington, was laid before him. The assem- 
bly, which had been recently dissolved, was 
again summoned to meet, principally for the 
purpose of devising measures of defence against 
the repeated attacks of the Indians. A day of 
fasting and prayer was also appointed by pro- 
clamation. Meantime general Montcalm, com- 


mander of the French forces in America, did 
not remain idle during the delays and consul- 
tations of the Virginia assembly. Before the 
troops were ready to march from Virginia, that 
officer had taken the posts of Oswego and On- 
tario without opposition. His Indian allies 
also continued their attacks upon the back set- 
tlements with their usual ferocity and success. 

In return for these numerous inroads of the 
savages, it may relieve the mind to see them 
chastised by the hands of provincial volunteers. 
Colonel Armstrong, at the head of about three 
hundred militia, made an excursion into their 
territory, and after marching several days 
through woods and swamps, halted on the 
borders of their town. Having disposed them- 
selves in order, at day break they attacked the 
Indians, of whom they killed forty and rescued 
eleven prisoners. This town was situated about 
twenty-five miles above Fort Du Quesne. 

During the year 1757, governor Dinwiddie 
took leave of the colony and sailed for Eng- 
land. The character of this governor has been 
assailed bv the historians who have recorded 


the transactions of his government. They charge 
him with want of integrity, and with disregard 
for the interests of the colony. What foundation 
they had for those charges we are in part left 
to conjecture, as they have taken much more 
pains to convince us that they believed him 
guilty, than they have to show us the grounds 
of that belief. 

After the departure of Dinwiddie, the admi- 
nistration devolved on John Blair, as president 
of the council, until the arrival of Francis Fau- 
quier, which happened in the following year. 
Soon after Fauquier's entrance into office, he 
published a proclamation, by which he conti- 
nued in office those who had held their places 
under his predecessor. He also dissolved the 
assembly, and issued orders for a new elec- 

Early in this gentleman's administration, the 
troops designed for the conquest of Du Quesne 
were put in motion. They amounted to about 
eight thousand men, and were appointed to ren- 
dezvous at Raystown. General Abercrombie, 
in consequence of the return of lord Loudon 



to England, had succeeded to the chief com- 
mand of the colonial forces; but the depart- 
ment of the middle and southern provinces 
was committed to general Forbes. This officer, 
with as many regular troops as could be spared 
from the northern colonies, commenced his 
march from Philadelphia in November 1758. 
Colonel Bouquet* had been previously dis- 
patched with two thousand men as an advance 
guard. The troops from Virginia, agreeable to 
the orders of the commander in chief, marched 
in detachments from Winchester to Fort Cum- 
berland. From thence they proceeded to Rays- 
town, where the different detachments assem- 
bled. From this place the country was cover- 
ed with woods, mountains, and morasses, which 
greatly impeded the progress of the army. 

* Henry Bouquet was appointed lieutenant colonel in 
the British army in 175 6. Alter the expedition against 
Fort Du Quesne, he was sent from Canada against the 
Ohio Indians, whom he compelled to sue for peace. He 
was afterwards promoted to the rank of brigadier gene- 
ral. He died at Pensacola, in February 1766. Anmtpl 


Colonel Bouquet with his advance guard kept 
a considerable distance before, for the pur- 
pose of scouring the country, and protecting 
the workmen engaged in opening a road. 

Bouquet with his detachment at length 
reached Loyal Hanna, a post about fifty miles 
from Raystown. From this place major Grant 
was despatched with a body of eight hundred 
men, for the purpose of reconnoitering the 
country about Fort Du Quesne. This officer 
reached a hill near the fort during the night, 
and having posted his men in different columns, 
he sent forward a party to examine the works 
and discover the situation of the enemy. He 
also detached major Lewis with a baggage 
guard about two miles in his rear; and having 
made such other arrangements as he deemed 
necessary, he believed himself secure, and with 
more parade than prudence ordered the reveille 
or alarm to be beaten. During all this time 
silence reigned in the fort, which Grant im- 
puted to the terrors imposed by his appear- 
ance. But the calm was a dreadful precursor of 
a storm, which burst with resistless fury and 


unexpected ruin. The moment the Indians and 
French were ready for the attack, they issued 
from the fort, spreading death and dismay 
amongst the provincial troops. As soon as the 
attack was announced by the firing of guns, 
major Lewis with his rear-guard advanced to 
the assistance of Grant, leaving only fifty men 
under the command of captain Bullet to guard 
the baggage. Their united forces, however, were 
unable to withstand the impetuous assault of 
the savages, whose warwhoop is always a fore- 
runner of havoc and destruction. The fire of the 
rifle requires coolness and deliberation, whereas 
the tomahawk and scalping-knife are fitted for 
sanguinary despatch. No quarter was given by 
the Indians. Major Grant saved his life only 
by surrendering to a French officer. In the 
same way the brave major Lewis escaped, 
after defending himself against several Indians 
successively. The two principal officers being 
now in the hands of the enemy, the rout be- 
came general amongst their troops. In their 
pursuit the Indians exercised evtry cruelty 
which savage ferocity could inflict upon the 


hapless victims whom the sad fortune of the 
clav delivered into their hands. The situation 
of the retreating troops at this time must ap- 
pear truly desperate. They were in an enemy's 
country, far from any English settlement, as 
well as from any immediate prospect of suc- 
cour; routed and dispersed by a bloody and 
vindictive foe, whose intimate knowledge of 
the woods and superior agility seemed to 
threaten a total destruction of the party. Their 
escape, however, was effected by the prudence 
and heroism of captain Bullet, of the baggage 
guard, by a manoeuvre no less fortunate for 
his men than honourable to himself. This of- 
ficer, immediately on discovering the rout of 
the troops, despatched on the strongest horses 
the most necessary part of the baggage, and 
disposing the remainder on an advantageous 
part of the road, as a kind of breastwork, he 
posted his men behind it, and endeavoured not 
only to rally the fugitives as they came up, 
but bv a well directed fire to check the violence 
of the pursuers. Finding the enemy growing 
too strong to be withstood by his feeble force, 


he ordered his men according to previous 
agreement-, to reverse their arms and march 
up in front of their assailants, holding out a 
signal for capitulation, as if going to surrender. 
The impatience of the Indians to bathe their 
tomahawks in English blood, would scarcely 
allow them to suspend their attacks, while the 
latter appeared in the act of suing for mercy. 
The moment they had arrived within about 
eighty yards of the enemy, Bullet gave the 
word to fire:— A dreadful volley was instantly 
poured upon the Indians, and was followed by 
a furious charge with fixed bayonets. The ene- 
my were unable to resist this bold and unex- 
pected attack, and believing that the army of 
the English was at hand, they fled with precipi- 
tation; nor did they stop until they reached the 
French regulars. Bullet, instead of pursuing 
them, wisely retreated towards the main body 
of the army, collecting in his march the wound- 
ed and wandering soldiers, who had escaped 
from the field of battle without knowing whi- 
ther to direct their course. In this fatal action 
about twenty officers and two hundred and 


seventy-three private soldiers were either killed 

or taken prisoners. 

The Virginia troops on this occasion be- 
haved with courage, and suffered severely in 
the action; but the gallant conduct of captain 
Bullet is almost without a parallel in American 
history. His situation, after the defeat of Grant, 
to an officer of less discernment must have ap- 
peared desperate. To resist the triumphant 
savages with a handful of men, would seem 
madness; and to have fled without any hopes 
of escape would have been folly. In this dilem- 
ma, with scarcely time to deliberate, Bullet 
adopted the only plan which could preserve 
himself and his men from the most cruel death 
or the most distressing captivity. 


1 HE main body of the army at length reached 
the camp at Loyal Hanna on the 5th of Novem- 
ber 1758. In their march from this post, Wash- 
ington proceeded in front of the army to super- 
intend the opening of the road. They were 
much harassed by parties of Indians in their 
march, and frequent skirmishes took place, in 
one of which colonel Washington defeated a 
party of the enemy and took several prisoners. 
Colonel Mercer, who had been detached to 
support the party of Washington, came upon 
them during the night, and supposing them to 
be Indians, an engagement ensued, in which 
about fourteen persons were either killed or 
wounded before their error could be discover- 
ed. The army having reached the field of bat- 
tle, found the ground strewed with the bodies 
of those who had fallen in Grant's defeat. 
They took possession of Fort Du Quesne 


without opposition, the French having aban- 
doned it during the night. This fortress, after 
being repaired and garrisoned, was called Fort 
Pitt, in honour of the celebrated statesman of 
that name. 

Their attention was then called to the last 
sad office due to their unfortunate fellow sol- 
diers, who lay unburied in the open field. They 
collected their mangled carcases and covered 
them in one common grave. 

After having accomplished the object of the 
expedition, general Forbes returned to Phila- 
delphia,* and colonel Washington, who had 
been elected by the county of Frederick a 
member of the general assembly, directed his 
course to Williamsburg. 

The capture of Fort Du Quesne, as it was 
the means of restoring peace to the frontiers, 
diffused a general joy through the colony. The 
success of general Forbes induced the ministry 


The hardships of the campaign had broke the con- 
stitution of general Forbes. He died soon after his re- 
turn to Philadelphia. 



to think of extending their conquests, and re- 
ducing Canada to the dominion of the British 
crown. For this purpose in the year 1759 general 
Amherst, who had succeeded to the chief com- 
mand, marched in the month of July, at the head 
of twelve thousand men, for Ticonderoga. On 
their approach the enemy made a show of de- 
fence, but on the 27th of the month they blew 
up their magazine and retired to Crown Point. 
They soon afterwards abandoned this post also 
and retired to Aux Noix. On the 4th of Au- 
gust general Amherst took possession of Crown 
Point. While he was thus victoriously making 
his way towards the St. Lawrence, for the pur- 
pose of joining general Wolfe at Quebec, 
general Prideaux, agreeably to the plan of the 
campaign, had arrived at Niagara, which he 
immediately invested. He was assisted by sir 
William Johnson,* who commanded the New 

* Sir William Johnson was born in Ireland in the 
year 1714, came to America about 1734, and died in 
1774. His son, sir John Johnson, was appointed major 
general in the same year in which his father died, and 
governor of Canada in 1796. 


York militia and a body of Indians who were 
friendly to the American cause. This officer, 
soon after their arrival at this place, succeeded 
to the chief command, in consequence of the 
death of general Prideaux, who was killed by 
the bursting of a cohorn in the trenches. The 
French, alarmed at the preparations making 
for the reduction of the important post of Nia- 
gara, determined to risk a battle in its defence. 
A body of French and Indians, amounting to 
about two thousand, under the command of 
Monsieur D'Anbrv, commenced an attack on 
the 25th of July. In less than an hour they 
were thrown into disorder by the fire of the 
English, who took D'Anbry and sixteen other 
officers prisoners. The fort was immediately 
surrendered, and the garrison, which consisted 
of about six hundred men, was conducted to 
New York and New England. 

Meanwhile general Wolfe had proceeded up 
the St. Lawrence with a body of eight thousand 
men, the fleet being commanded by admiral 
Saunders. Having taken possession of the Isle 
of Orleans and Point Levi, he prepared for an 


attack on the capital of the French dominions 
in America. The situation of the town present- 
ed almost insuperable difficulties to the be- 
siegers. Its elevation above the level of the 
river, while it enabled the garrison to annoy 
the fleet below, precluded the possibility of 
much damage from the latter. Batteries were 
however erected on the Isle of Orleans and 
Point Levi, and a heavy cannonade opened on 
the lower town.* 

The adventurous spirit of general Wolfe at 
length determined him to scale the precipice, 
and attack the enemv in their intrenchments. 
To execute this plan the army embarked in 
boats and proceeded several miles up the river, 
above the place where they designed to land. 
Under cover of the night they dropped silently 
down again, undiscovered by the sentinels, and 
landed directly against the Heights of Abraham. 

* The tide, which formerly washed the foot of the 
rock on which the town is built, has long since receded 
to a great distance, leaving a considerable tract of ground 
on which has been built what is called the lower town. 


The ascent to the top of the rock was so steep 
and rugged, that the troops could ascend only 
by laying hold of the bushes and stumps, and 
pulling themselves up the precipice. At dawn 
of day the army of Wolfe was drawn up in 
good order on the Plains of Abraham. Mont- 
calm immediately drew out his forces and ad- 
vanced to the attack. The battle was obstinately 
contested and the slaughter great on both sides, 
and particularly so among the officers. Victory 
at length crowned the prowess of the English, 
who pursued the enemy to the very walls of the 
town. On the 18th of September 1759, Que- 
bec surrendered to the British crown. 

The loss of the English in this battle was 
about five hundred men, while that of the 
French has been estimated at three times that 
number. The commander in chief of , each army 
was mortally wounded. The splendid achieve- 
ment of Wolfe, which put into the hands of the 
British the metropolis of the French dominions 
in America, will ever be remembered with a 
mixture of regret for the loss of the best of 
men and the bravest of officers. 



•General Wolfe early embraced the military 
profession, and at a very juvenile age distin- 
guished himself at the battle of La Feldt. Un- 
der the ministry of the great Chatham his 
splendid talents were brought into notice, and 
after distinguishing himself at Louisburg he 
was appointed to command the army against 
Quebec. To the vivacity of youth he seemed 
to unite the wisdom of years; and controlled by 
the soundness of his judgment the glow of pas- 
sion and the fire of military genius. The name 
of Wolfe will descend on the page of history 
marked with a brilliancy which must long at- 
tract the admiration of posterity. His remains 
were carried to England, and buried with pomp 
in Westminister Abbev, where a handsome 
monument has been erected to his memory. 
His death has given to the celebrated West 
the subject of a beautiful painting. 

Lewis Joseph De Montcalm, marquis of St. 
Veran, equally unfortunate on this fatal day, 
was not less distinguished for his talents and 
his bravery. He was born of a noble family at 
Candiac in the year 1712, and at an early age 


commenced his military career. After com- 
manding with reputation in Italy, Bohemia, 
and Germany, he was sent to America in the 
year 1756, when he succeeded Dieskau as 
commander in chief in Canada. Soon after his 
arrival he took Oswego, and Fort William 
Henry, and in the year 1758 he repulsed gene- 
ral Abercrombie with much slaughter from 
the walls of Ticonderoga. His fall and that of 
Quebec were equally distressing to his country. 


W E are now verging on a period when the 
encroachments of the British government upon 
the rights of her colonies began to awake in 
the latter a spirit of opposition and resistance. 
The laurels won from her rival, by her gallant 
officers and veteran armies, were doomed to 
wither beneath the sway of an unwise and 
obstinate ministry. A succession of measures, 
as hostile to the liberties as annoying to the 
feelings of the colonists, began to excite mur- 
murs and discontent, which soon grew to open 
and avowed opposition. 

The first measure that brought fairly to trial 
the sovereignty of the British parliament, and 
the degree to which the submission of the 
colonies would extend, was the passage of the 
stamp act. The assembly was in session in the 


year 1765, when intelligence was received of 
the passage of this alarming act. 

The assembly of Virginia expressed their 
opinion of this measure in several resolutions, 
brought forward by Patrick Henry, Esquire, 
declaratory of the rights of the colonies, and 
condemning as unconstitutional any attempt 
to impose on them taxes without their own 

On the day in which that odious law was to 
go into operation, not a sheet of stamped paper 
was to be found, and every transaction that de- 
pended upon it was suspended. A general fer- 
ment pervaded the public mind, and petitions, 
remonstrances and resolutions showed in what 
direction the tide of popular opinion flowed. 
This odious law was soon after repealed, but 
the arbitrary spirit which gave it birth was not 
so easily extinguished. The repeal was accom- 
panied by a declaratory act, asserting the right 
of the government to bind the colonies in all 
cases whatsoever. She soon gave a better proof 
of her right by imposing certain duties on tea, 
glass, and some other articles imported into the 


colonies. This measure, generally denominated 
the tea act, excited an opposition, if not so 
general, yet in some places much more violent 
than that excited by the stamp act. 

During the year 1767 died Francis Fauquier, 
lieutenant governor of Virginia, at the age of 
sixty-five years. The government devolved on 
John Blair until the arrival of lord Botetourt, 
which happened in the following year. 

The address of Botetourt to the assembly 
which met first after his arrival, was, like his 
own character, mild and conciliatory. During 
the sitting of that body, however, several reso- 
lutions were passed, condemning the measures 
of government, in consequence of which the 
governor felt it his duty to dissolve them. 
Having summoned the burgesses to meet him 
in the council chamber, he there presented 
them with the following laconic address, " Mr. 
" Speaker, and gentlemen of the house of bur- 
" gesses, I have heard of your resolves, and 
" augur ill of their effects; you have made it 
" my duty to dissolve you, and you are dis- 
" solved accordingly. " 


The members having met in a private house 
in town, appointed a speaker and formed una- 
nimously a non-importation agreement. 

The governor used all his influence to pro- 
mote the interests, and restore the peace of the 
colonies. His death, which happened in 1771, 
cast a gloom over the affairs of Virginia. Equally 
celebrated for the soundness of his judgment 
and the honesty of his heart, lord Botetourt re- 
ceived and merited the affections of the people. 
Never was the administration of the govern- 
ment in the hands of one more beloved, or 
whose death was more justly lamented. The 
assembly testified their respect for his charac- 
ter by passing a resolution to erect a statue to 
his memory. 

William Nelson, being president of the 
council, occupied the chair of government 
until the arrival of lord Dunmore in the year 
1772. This nobleman had been governor of 
New York, from which place he was removed 
to Virginia. He had previously sent on his fa- 
mily, under the care of captain Foy, his private 
secretary, an officer who had won some glory in 


the battle of Minden, but whose military talents 
were watched with a jealous eye by the colo- 
nists. They were afraid he was designed as an 
instrument to enforce the measures of govern- 
ment, and their suspicions were increased by 
the enlargement of his salary by the governor, 
without the cognizance of the assembly, and 
contrary to the established laws and customs 
of the country. The assembly did not neglect 
to lay before the governor the sense of the 
house on the subject. The mildness of his 
answer was calculated to silence their mur- 
murs, but could not secure their confidence. 
His advent seemed the precursor of war and all 
its train of horrors. 

During the following session of the assembly 
a committee of correspondence was appointed, 
for the purpose of obtaining the earliest infor- 
mation, both of the measures of the British 
government, and the proceedings of the sister 
colonies. This committee consisted of the fol- 
lowing persons: Peyton Randolph, Robert Car- 
ter Nicholas, Richard Bland, Richard Henry 
Lee, Benjamin Harrison, Edmund Pendleton. 


Patrick Henry, Dudley Digges, Dabney Carr, 
Archibald Carey, and Thomas Jefferson. 

The colony of Virginia, next to that of Mas- 
sachusetts, was most active in her opposition 
to the arbitrary measures of government. When 
intelligence was received of the shutting up of 
Boston port, the assembly entered an animated 
protest on their journals, against that and other 
measures, which they said " were the result of 
a determination to enslave the colonies." While 
engaged in these proceedings they received a 
summons to the council chamber, and were 
immediately dissolved. On the succeeding day 
the members met at the Raleigh tavern, where 
they formally agreed among themselves, and 
recommended the same to others, not to pur- 
chase any tea or East India commodity, except 
saltpetre and spices, until the duties should be 
taken off. They also recommended to their 
committee of correspondence, to communicate 
with the other colonial committees of corres- 
pondence on the expediency of calling a gene- 
ral congress. 

While the assembly of Virginia were en- 



gaged in these momentous deliberations, our 
frontiers became the theatre of Indian depreda- 
tion and cruelty. The sad tidings from the bor- 
ders at length arrested the attention of the go- 
vernor, who issued orders to the back counties 
to furnish their respective quotas of militia. 

The Indian name was no longer terrible to 
the Virginians, whose dexterity in the use of 
the rifle had taught the enemy to dread vhe 
dangerous contest. An army of three thousand 
was soon raised, chiefly from the counties of 
Bedford, Augusta, and Botetourt. Fifteen hun- 
dred men, under the command of colonel An- 
drew Lewis, were ordered to proceed towards 
the mouth of the Great Kenhaway, while the 
remainder, with Dunmore at their head, march- 
ed to a point farther up the Ohio, with a de- 
sign to reach the Indian towns in the absence 
of their warriors. 

The division under Lewis having arrived at 
Point Pleasant, received intelligence that a large 
body of Indians were approaching within a mile 
of their camp. The news was soon confirmed 
by the arrival of several scouts, some of whom 


bcre fatal marks of the proximity of the foe. 
A detachment of three hundred men, under 
the command of colonels Charles Lewis and 
Fleming, advanced to the attack, assisted by- 
captains Dickinson, Harrison, Wilson, Lock- 
ridge, J. Lewis, Burford, Love, Shelby and 
Russell. Lewis, at the head of the first divi- 
sion, proceeded to the right at some distance 
from the Ohio, while Fleming with the other 
division marched on the left towards the bank 
of the river. About sunrise a firing was opened 
against the right wing by a body of about fif- 
teen hundred Indians. The commencement of 
the attack, which among savages is always im- 
petuous, proved very destructive to the militia. 
Colonel Lewis, the commander of the right 
division, fell early in the engagement, and a 
number of his men were either killed or wound- 
ed. At length the whole division was compel- 
led to fall back, while the left, under Fleming, 
was equally hard pressed. This brave officer, 
having received a wound on his wrist, still 
continued to animate his men, who seemed 
willing to dispute every inch of ground with 


the enemy. The superior numbers of the latter 
enabled them to outflank the Virginians, while 
the party that had defeated Lewis were prepar- 
ing to attack Fleming in the rear. At this cri- 
tical moment, the advance divisions were re- 
lieved bv the arrival of a reinforcement under 
colonel Field, whose assistance turned the scale 
of victory, and decided the fate of the day. 
The retreat of the enemy was however slow, 
and their firing, which continued under cover 
of the woods, was not silenced till dark. 

In this engagement, which lasted the whole 
day, upwards of fifty Virginians, including colo- 
nels Lewis and Field, were killed, and about 
ninety wounded. 

After the battle, colonel Andrew Lewis, 
anxious to revenge the death of his brother, 
proceeded towards the Shawanese towns for 
the purpose of destroying them. On his way 
he was met by an express from Dunmore, in- 
forming him that his lordship had concluded a 
peace w r ith the Indians, who had agreed to give 
up their lands on this side of the Ohio, and set 
at liberty their prisoners. 


It was while the articles of this treaty were 
adjusting that the famous speech of Logan is 
said to have been delivered to lord Dunmore. 
This eloquent chief was the son of Shikille- 
mus, a celebrated warrior of the Cayuga nation, 
whose residence was at Shamokin. He was re- 
presented by Mr. Hocke welder, a Moravian 
missionary, as a man of talents and a friend to 
the whites. In the year 1774 the family of Lo- 
gan was sacrificed by the indiscriminate ven- 
geance of a party of whites under the command 
of captain Michael Cresap. This fatal attack 
on the family and peace of Logan, too much 
resembled his own mode of warfare, and ought 
not to be excused on the ground of retaliation. 
The immediate cause of the outrage was a re- 
port of a number of white persons, who were 
looking for a new settlement, having been killed 
by the Indians. But justice, to punish the crimes 
of the warrior, did not require the blood of his 
innocent wife and children. The war, which 
followed in consequence of this severe attack 
on the family of the chief, was marked by all 
the ferocity of savage vengeance. Happily the 


• 150 

battle of Point Pleasant brought these hostili- 
ties to a close, and compelled the enemy to sue 
for peace. The implacable Logan, however, 
refused to listen to the sound of peace, but 
remaining in his cabin, he is said to have sent 
by a messenger the following warlike address 
to Dunmore. 

" I appeal to any white man to say if ever 
c< he entered Logan's cabin hungry, and he 
M gave him not meat; if ever he came cold 
" and naked, and he clothed him not. During 
" the last long and bloody war Logan remain- 
" ed idle in his cabin, an advocate for peace. 
" Such was Logan's love for the whites, that 
" my countrymen pointed as they passed and 
" said, Logan is the friend of white men. I 
" had even thought to have lived with you, 
" but for the injuries of one man. Colonel 
" Cresap, the last spring, in cold blood and 
" unprovoked, murdered all the relations of 
" Logan, not even sparing my women and 
" children. There runs not a drop of my blood 
" in the veins of any living creature. This 
" called on me for revenge. I have sought it. 


" I have killed many. I have fully glutted my 
" vengeance. For my country I rejoice at the 
" beams of peace. But do not harbour a thought 
" that mine is the joy of fear. Logan never 
" felt fear. He will not turn on his heel to save 
" his life. Who is there to mourn for Logan! 
" Not one." 

Whether this be really the speech of Logan, 
or was put in his mouth by the ingenuity of 
some poetic fancy, I shall not pretend to de- 
cide. It is certainly characterized by the laco- 
nic and figurative style of the Indians. I can- 
not, however, see in it that " tender sentiment" 
and " sublime morality" which the historians 
of Virginia say it possesses. Certainly there is 
nothing either tender or sublime in the decla- 
ration of savage vengeance, and the confession 
of having glutted himself with the blood of his 
enemies. The end of this bloody warrior cor- 
responded with his life. After " having killed 
many and glutted his vengeance with blood," 
he went to Detroit, on his return from which 
place he was murdered. After the return of 
peace had compelled Logan to forbear the use 


of the tomahawk and the hatchet, the renown- 
ed warrior had become an abandoned sot. The 
immoderate use of brandy had stupified his 
mental powers, and mingled with the ferocity 
of the savage, the delirious ravings of the 


TOWARDS the close of the year 1774 the 
affairs of the colony began to wear a most 
eventful aspect. Preparations were every where 
making to decide by arms those grand points 
that could not be settled by argument. In Sep- 
tember a deputation from all the colonies met 
at Philadelphia, to deliberate on the important 
affairs of the nation. This august assembly, not 
inferior to a Roman senate for wisdom or vir- 
tue, evinced the sincerity of their loyalty as 
well as the firmness of their patriotism. Their 
attachment to the crown was not more sincere 
than their determination to resist its encroach- 
ments on the rights and liberties of the people. 
While they breathed the spirit of peace and 
loyalty, they did not neglect to confirm the 
people in their opposition to tyranny and op- 
pression. Much important business came be- 


fore the house, a detail of which more properly 
belongs to a general history of the revolution. 

The public mind, now writhing under the 
lash of ministerial arrogance, awaited only the 
word of her rulers to plant the standard of re- 
volt, and array her forces against the power 
and pride of Britain. In consequence of the 
hostile appearances in some of the colonies, 
orders were issued to the provincial governors 
to deprive the people of the means of resist- 
ance, by removing the military stores to places 
of security. 

In compliance with this order, governor 
Dunmore, whose mind was assailed by terrors, 
often the companions of an unsound heart, re- 
moved the powder from the magazine in Wil- 
liamsburg, and placed it on board the Magdalen 
man of war. This measure excited a ferment 
among the people of the town, who assembled 
for the purpose of demanding restitution. They 
were prevailed on, however, to disperse, and a 
remonstrance was presented to the governor 
against the removal of the powder, which was 
stated to be necessarv to the defence of the 


colony, in the event of an insurrection amongst 
the negroes. The governor gave assurances ihat 
the powder should be restored the moment 
that the public security required it. This an- 
swer, unsatisfactory as it was in its nature, 
seemed to quiet the minds of the people for 
the moment; but the subsequent conduct of 
Dunmore was not calculated to restore har- 
mony to the colony. Conscious of having de- 
served the enmity of the people, he took care 
to provide against its effects. He removed his 
family on board the Fowey man of war, fearful 
of an attack on his palace, which was defended 
chiefly by parties of negroes whom he had 
armed as his lifeguard. 

The peace of the town was much disturbed 
by a report, that in case of any tumult the in- 
habitants were to be massacred. The feelings 
of the people were wrought up to an alarming 
height, and not only at the seat of government, 
but throughout the colony, the dark cloud of 
war seemed to be gathering fast. At Frede- 
ricksburg, the militia took a most menacing 
attitude. They encamped in the field, armed 


and equipt for service, while deputies were 
sent to ascertain how matters stood at Wil- 
liamsburg. In several other places preparations 
were making for marching to the seat of go- 
vernment, in case of necessity. The patriots of 
Hanover, more zealous than the rest, without 
waiting for orders, marched with the illustri- 
ous Patrick Henry at their head, for the pur- 
pose of demanding restitution of the powder 
which Dunmore had taken from the magazine. 
By the time they had reached Doncastle ordi- 
nary, sixteen miles from Williamsburg, their 
numbers had increased to near five hundred 

The approach of Henry at the head of an 
armed force excited in the breast of Dunmore 
the most serious apprehensions. His perilous 
situation compelled him to ask advice of the 
council, which at that time consisted of the 
following persons: William Nelson, president, 
Mr. Camm, president of the college, Ralph 
Wormley, colonel G. Corbin, G. Corbin, ju- 
nior, colonel William Byrd and John Page. It 
was agreed in council that a deputation should 


meet the volunteers, and dissuade them from 
entering the town. 

Henry in the mean time having halted at the 
house of colonel G. Corbin, the king's receiver 
general, obtained from him, chiefly through 
the influence of a Mr. Braxton, a bill for the 
amount of the powder. Henry having accom- 
plished the object of his expedition, dismissed 
his volunteers, and proceeded on his way to the 
general congress, of which he again had been 
elected a member. 

In consequence of this spirited conduct of 
Mr. Henry, he was denounced by a proclama- 
tion of the governor, and the people of Hano- 
ver were forbid to aid or assist him in any 
seditious measures, under the penalty of being 
declared rebels. His conduct, however, was ap- 
plauded by his country, and he had the satis- 
faction of receiving from different parts of the 
colony the warmest testimonials of approbation. 

While the cloud of war was thus gathering 
over Virginia, news arrived that it had already 
burst in New England. The battle of Lexing- 



ton, quick as an electric shock, roused the 
most languid and animated the most patriotic. 

The governor of Virginia, no longer think- 
ing himself secure in his palace, took refuge 
on board the Fovvey man of war. This step 
brought the royal government in Virginia to 
a close. Lord Dunmore not only refused, on 
the solicitation of the assembly, to return to 
the palace, but declined giving his assent to 
several important bills offered by the assembly 
for his concurrence. This body now dissolved 
themselves, most of the members having been 
elected to the convention about to meet in 
Richmond. A short time afterwards Dunmore 
and his family, attended by captain Foy, sailed 
from Yorktown. 

In July 1775 the convention met in Rich- 
mond, for the purpose of organizing a pro* 
vincial form of government and plan of defence 
for the colony. The latter important trust was 
placed in the hands of a committee of public 
safety, consisting of the following illustrious 
characters: Edmund Pendleton, George Ma- 
son, John Page, Richard Bland, Thomas Lud- 


well Lee, Paul Carrington, Dudley Digges, 
James Mercer, Carter Braxton, William Ca- 
bell and John Tabb. Most of these names will 
be familiar to the reader versed in the annals 
of his country. 

Edmund Pendleton was a member of the 
first congress in the year 1774, and was again 
appointed at the next election; but in the year 
1775 his bad state of health induced him to 
decline the honour of a third election. He was 
for many years one of the judges of the court 
of appeals, in which he presided at the time of 
his death. In 1787 he was appointed president 
of the convention which met to consider the 
constitution proposed for the government of 
the United States. For its adoption he was a 
powerful advocate. In the year 1789 he was 
appointed by Washington district judge, but 
declining the office, it was filled by the ap- 
pointment of Cyrus Griffin. During the ad- 
ministration of Adams the venerable judge 
published a pamphlet against a war with 
France. He died in Richmond, October 26th ? 
1803, in the eighty-third year of his age. 


George Mason was not less illustrious as a 
statesman nor less virtuous as a citizen. He 
was a member of the general convention which, 
in the year 1787, framed the federal constitu- 
tion, as well as of the convention of Virginia 
which in the following year met for its adop- 
tion. In the former body he refused to sign his 
name to the instrument formed by his coad- 
jutors; in the latter he used the whole force of 
his reasoning powers against its adoption. In 
George Mason the friends to the federal con- 
stitution found, next to Mr. Henry, their most 
powerful opponent. He opposed the general 
plan as tending to consolidation, and contend- 
ed for a reservation to the states of all powers 
not delegated. He was so averse from that sec- 
tion that allowed the slave trade for twenty 
years, that he wished rather to exclude the 
southern states from the union than admit so 
illegal a traffic. He died at his seat at Gunston 
Hall in the year 1792, at the age of sixty-seven 

John Page, equally distinguished for his 
talents and his patriotism, was worthy the 


many important trusts committed to his hands. 
From the commencement of the revolution till 
his death, he was the friend and faithful ser- 
vant of his country. He was one of the repre- 
sentatives from Virginia in the first congress 
under the federal constitution. In the year 1800 
he was chosen one of the electors of president, 
and in 1802 was elected governor of Virginia. 
He died at Richmond, October 11th, 1808, in 
the sixty-fifth year of his age. 

Richard Bland was a political writer, and 
an active member of the house of burgesses 
about the commencement of the revolution. 
He published, in the year 1766, an inquiry into 
the rights of the British colonies, in answer to 
a pamphlet published in London in the pre- 
ceding year. 

The convention voted for the service of the 
state, two regiments of regulars to serve for 
one year, and also ordered that a portion of the 
militia should encamp by regiments, for the 
purpose of improving in military exercises. 
These were denominated minute men, from 
the nature of their enlistment, which required 



them to be ready to march at a minute's 

The general committee met soon after at 
Hanover town, where those who had been 
elected officers by their companies repaired to 
get their commissions. The committee also 
appointed a commissary of stores, and another 
of provisions, in order that supplies adequate 
to the wants of the army might be ready. 
Their attention was next turned to Norfolk, 
where it was expected Dunmore, who had not 
yet left the coast of Virginia, would make an 
attack. Captain Davis, of the Norfolk volun- 
teers, was ordered to collect and mount all the 
cannon he could procure. The committee after 
making these arrangements adjourned to meet 
in Williamsburg. 

Meanwhile Dunmore, whose force consisted 
of three or four armed vessels and two com- 
panies of the fourteenth regiment just arrived 
from the West Indies, together with a few 
negroes and tories, was preparing for an attack 
on Hampton. The inhabitants of that place had 
excited his lordship's vengeance by affording 


shelter to two young men of the name of Bar- 
ron, who had annoyed his fleet and burnt two 
of his vessels. These adventurous patriots com- 
manded two pilot boats, with which they ho- 
vered near the enemy, and when pursued they 
made Hampton their place of retreat. Hampton 
was unable to resist Dunmore without military 
aid, and it was a question with the committee 
whether policy required the defence of the 
coast, or whether it should be abandoned to 
the enemy. The disgraceful idea of wasting 
the country before the invaders, was warmly 
and successfully reprobated by John Page, the 
early and steady friend of the revolution. It 
was accordingly determined to send a force to 
the assistance of Hampton; and captain Nicho- 
las, of the second regiment of regulars, and 
captain Lyne of the King and Queen county 
minute men, were appointed for that purpose. 
These were followed by colonel Woodford, 
with one hundred riflemen of the Culpeper 

Before the arrival of Woodford an attack 
was made on the town by a party of the enemy, 


who met with a reception that compelled them 
to abandon the enterprise. The town was soon 
after strengthened by the arrival of Woodford, 
who posted his men in the most advantageous 
situation to repel an attack. Early in the morn- 
ing, the fleet of Dunmore appeared in view, 
and began to cannonade the town. The firing 
was answered from the beach by the riflemen, 
who under cover of woods and bushes annoyed 
the enemy on their decks and compelled them 
to retire. 

Dunmore next attempted to get possession 
of some cannon belonging to the colony, in 
Princess Anne county. Colonel Hutchinson, 
the county commandant, having received in- 
telligence of his lordship's movements, pre- 
pared to attack him on his way thither. For 
this purpose, he placed a number of men in 
ambush on the road which Dunmore was ex- 
pected to take. But the plan was better laid 
than executed. On the approach of the enemy 
the party was thrown into confusion, and their 
commander and some of the men were made 


After this affair Dunmore finding that the 
provincials were preparing to attack him, took 
a strong position at Great Bridge, on Elizabeth 
river, where he hoped to intercept the militia 
that were marching against him. Here he erect- 
ed a fort, which he garrisoned with a company 
of regulars under major Leslie. 

The committee to whom was intrusted the 
defence of the colony, sent colonel Woodford 
with the second regiment, and a party of mili- 
tia, to dislodge the enemy from their post. 
This officer, having despatched colonel Scott 
and major Marshall* with part of the troops*in 
advance, proceeded with the remainder to Suf- 
folk, where he was joined by a number of 
equestrian volunteers. Meanwhile the advance 
detachment under Scott and Marshall, having 
seized all the boats in the river, were ready 10 
cross and attack the enemy. On the arrival of 
Woodford a breastwork was constructed within 
cannon shot of the fort, but for want of artil- 
lery no attack could be made. 

* Father of the present Chief Justice. 


On the ninth of December captain Fordyce 
was ordered to storm the works of the pro- 
vincials. At sunrise a column, led by about 
sixty grenadiers, advanced along the bridge 
with fixed bayonets against the breastwork. 
They were saluted by a heavy fire in front, 
and attacked in flank by a small party under 
captain Stevens, who was posted on an emi- 
nence on the left. Under this destructive fire 
they continued to advance, until the fall of the 
commandant, within a few steps of the breast- 
work, was taken as a signal for retreat. In this 
ill-judged attack almost every grenadier was 
either killed or wounded. Their retreat was 
covered by the cannon of the fort. After this 
repulse lord Dunmore and most of his fol- 
lowers took refuge on board his vessels, and 
the provincial troops marched into Norfolk. 

During their stay in Norfolk the soldiers 
considerably annoyed the enemy, by firing into 
their vessels, under cover of the houses which 
stood along the shore. In revenge for these in- 
sults, lord Dunmore commenced a heavy can- 
nonade on the town. On the night of the 1st 


of January 1776, a party of the enemy landed 
under cover of their cannon, and set fire to the 
houses near the river which afforded shelter to 
our troops. The latter beheld the progress of 
the flames with less concern, from an appre- 
hension that the British designed to make 
Norfolk a permanent post. Impressed with this 
idea, the committee of public safety sent orders 
to colonel Howe, who commanded in Norfolk, 
to destroy the remainder of the town. Thus 
was the most populous* town in Virginia re- 
duced to ashes, from a vain hope that its des- 
truction would remove the seat of the war from 
our colony. 

Colonel Howe was assisted in the command 
at Norfolk by colonels Woodford and Stevens, 
two able and zealous officers. In addition to 
the two regiments already in service, the con- 
vention determined to raise seven more for the 
defence of the colony, f 

After the vote of the convention for raising 

* Norfolk contained near 6000 inhabitants. 
t For note see the next page. 


the new troops had taken place, the committee 
of safety informed their representatives in con- 
gress of that measure, desiring them to use 
their endeavours to have the whole supported 
from the continental treasury. Only six regi- 
ments, however, were received into pay by 
congress, who granted commissions to the of- 
ficers in the order they stood recommended 
by the convention, beginning with colonel 
Henry of the first, and ending with colonel 
Buckner of the sixth regiment. 

Colonel Henry, on being offered his com- 
mission, declined the honour, having deter- 
mined to retire from military service. He ac- 
cordingly resigned the command he held under 
the convention, and retired to his residence in 

t The following gentlemen were also chosen as field 
officers to the troops about to be raised. 

Regiment. Colonels. Lieutenant Colonels. Majors. 

Third, Hugh Mercer. George Weedon. Thomas Marshall. 

Fourth, Adajn Steven. Isaac Read. R. Lawson. 

Fifth, William Peachy. William Crawford. J. Parker. 

Sixth, Mordecai Buckner. Thomas Elliott. J. Hendricks. 

Seventh, William Dangerfield. Alex. M'Clanahan. William Nelson. 

Eighth, Peter Muhlenburg. A. Bowman. P. Helvinstone- 

Niwtb, Thomas Flemming. George Matthews* M. Donavom. 


Hanover. Previous to his departure from Wil- 
liamsburg he received an address from the 
officers and soldiers of his regiment, in which 
they expressed their regret at his leaving them, 
but applauded his spirited resentment to what 
they styled a most glaring indignity. From this 
address it appears that Mr. Henry's resignation 
was owing to some disgust at the new arrange- 
ment that had taken place, or to some part of 
the conduct of the committee of safety. Imme- 
diately after his return home he was chosen 
one of the delegates to represent the county of 
Hanover in convention. 

On Monday the 6th of May, forty-five mem- 
bers of the house of burgesses met at the 
capitol in Williamsburg, pursuant to their last 
adjournment; but it being their opinion that 
they could no longer act under the ancient 
constitution, they unanimously dissolved them- 
selves. The same day the general convention 
of delegates, from the different counties and 
corporations, met at the capitol, and having 
appointed Edmund Pendleton president, and 



John Tazewell clerk, they proceeded to the con- 
sideration of the important affairs of the colony. 

On the 15th of the same month the conven- 
tion, after appealing to " the Searcher of hearts" 
for the sincerity of their former declarations in 
favour of peace and union with the mother 
country, adopted unanimously the following 

" That the delegates appointed to represent 
" this colony in general congress be instructed 
" to propose to that respectable body to declare 
" the united colonies free and independent States ', 
" absolved from all allegiance to, or depen- 
" dence on the crown or parliament of Great 
" Britain; and that they give the assent of this 
" colony to such declaration, and whatever 
" measures may be thought necessary by con- 
" gress for forming foreign alliances, and a 
" confederation of the colonies at such time 
" and in the manner that to them shall seem 
" best: provided, that the power of forming 
" governments for, and the regulations of the 
" internal concerns of each colony be left to 
"the colonial legislatures." They also appoint- 


ed a committee to prepare a declaration of 
rights, and a plan of government* for the 

The declaration of rights prepared by the 
committee, in consequence of the resolution 
of the house, after having undergone some 
slight alterations was, on the twelfth of June, 
approved by an unanimous vote of the con- 
vention. On the 29th of the same month a 
constitution or form of government, built on 
the solid base of equal rights, was unanimously 
adopted by the house. In order to put this go- 
vernment in motion, it was declared in the last 
clause of the constitution, " that the represen- 
" tatives of the people, met in convention, 
44 shall choose a governor and privy council 
u and such other officers, directed to be chosen 
it by both houses, as may be judged necessary 
" to be immediately appointed. The senate to 
*' be first chosen by the people, to continue till 
iC the last day of March next, and the other 
*' officers until the end of the succeeding ses- 
" sion of the assembly. " 

* Note III. Appendix. 


In pursuance of the above regulation the 
following appointments were made under the 
new plan of government. 

Patrick Henry, Esquire, Governor. 

John Page, Dudley Digges, John Tayloe, 
John Blair, Benjamin Harrison of Berkeley, 
Bartholomew Dandringe, Charles Carter of 
Shirley, and Benjamin Harrison of Brandon, 
counsellors of state. 

Thomas Whiting, John Hutchings, Cham- 
pion Travis, Thomas Newton jun. and George 
Webb, Esquires, commissioners of admiralty. 

Thomas Everard and James Cocke, Es- 
quires, commissioners for settling accounts. 

Edmund Randolph, Esquire, attorney ge- 

On the 5th of July the general convention 
adjourned themselves, to meet on the first 
Monday of October following. During their 
session they passed, beside the declaration of 
rights and plan of government, several ordi- 
nances for the defence and internal improve- 
ment of the colony, the most important of 
which were the following: 


An ordinance for erecting salt works in the 
colony. For establishing a board of commis- 
sioners to superintend and direct the naval 
affairs of the colony. For raising six troops of 
horse. For arranging the counties into districts 
for electing senators, &c. They also resolved 
to expunge from the litany such parts as re- 
lated to the king and royal family, and substi- 
tuted in the morning and evening service such 
forms of expression as were better suited to 
the new state of affairs. 

The declaration of independence, so strongly 
recommended by the Virginia convention, was 
passed in congress on the Fourth of July 1776; 
and agreeably to an order of the privy council, 
it was proclaimed on the 25th of the same 
month at the capitol, the court-house, and the 
palace at Williamsburg, amidst the acclama- 
tions of the people, and accompanied by the 
firing of cannon and musquetry. 

Lord Dunmore having left Hampton Roads 
with his whole fleet, sailed up the bay of Chesa- 
peake, and about the first of Jane landed on 
Gwynn's island, near the mouth of the Rappa- 



bannock, where he fortified himself. His force 
was about five hundred men, including negroes. 
In this position he was attacked by a body of 
troops, under the command of brigadier ge- 
neral Lewis, and compelled to abandon the 
island, leaving behind a great part of his bag- 

Tired at length of a war which yielded only 
disgrace and disappointment, lord Dunmore, 
after despatching the miserable remnant of his 
followers to Florida and the West Indies, sailed 
from Virginia, and arrived with lord William 
Campbell and sir Peter Parker off Staten island 
on the 14th of August 1776, 


HAVING given a detail of the military and 
civil events in Virginia, until the establishment 
of the present republican form of government, 
it may not be uninteresting to close the colonial 
history with a brief survey of the genius and 
literature of our country at this period. And 
here the slightest observation will convince us, 
that the opinion entertained by the British, and 
publicly expressed in parliament, respecting the 
ignorance of the colonists, was equally illiberal 
and unfounded. 

The depth and boldness of our political 
essays, and the masterly eloquence displayed in 
our councils, refutes the calumny. Few assem- 
blies could boast of more wisdom, and none of 
more virtue, than the first general congress of 
the colonies. Of this august body, the Virginia 
representation formed, in weight of talents and 
integrity of principle, a very important part. 


Virginia fostered in her bosom the most en- 
lightened statesmen and the most illustrious 
heroes. She gave a leader to our armies and an 
orator of the highest order to our councils. The 
celebrated Patrick Henry was among the ear- 
liest and ablest supporters of the revolution. He 
possessed a mind fraught with wisdom and a 
patriotism steady as the beam of heaven. Wc 
have already seen him at the head of a band of 
volunteers directing his march against the palace 
of Dunmore, whose seat he was so soon to oc- 
cupy, and on the ruin of whose power his own 
and his country's glory was shortly to be built. 
But when declaiming in the great councils of 
the nation, our admiration rises at the extent 
of his knowledge and the resistless force of his 
eloquence. He combined in a happy degree the 
power of reasoning with the more attractive 
accomplishments of the orator. Without the 
aid of extensive learning, or the influence which 
family and fortune bestow, he possessed a con- 
trol over the passions and opinions of his au- 
dience, which his own eloquence alone could 
describe. To a clear understanding and a correct 


taste, he united a bold imagination and mysteri- 
ous power of expression which argument could 
not resist nor obstinacy withstand. As early as 
the year 1765, Mr. Henry was a member of 
the assembly of Virginia, in which body he in- 
troduced some resolutions that breathed a spirit 
of liberty and showed the zeal and patriotism of 
his youthful mind. In the year 1774 he was 
chosen a deputy from Virginia to the first con- 
gress, and formed one of the committee who 
drew up the petition to the king. 

As already observed, Mr. Henry was active 
in opposing the tyranny of lord Dunmore, and 
marched in person with the volunteers of Hano- 
ver to demand restitution of the powder carried 
off from the magazine. He was afterwards ap- 
pointed colonel of the first Virginia regiment, 
but thinking himself not well treated by the 
committee of safety, he shortly after resigned 
his commission, and withdrew from public ser- 
vice.* His country, however, knew his worth 
too well to allow him a long retirement. In the 

• MS. Penes mc, 


year 1776 he was elected by the convention first 
governor of Virginia under the new constitu- 
tion, and continued in that high office for several 
successive years. In the year 1778 he received 
an anonymous letter, designed to alienate his 
affections from his friend general Washington. 
This letter he enclosed to the general to put 
him on his guard against the insidious attacks 
of his enemies. In June 1788, he was a member 
of the Virginia convention, in which he opposed 
the adoption of the federal constitution with all 
the power of his eloquence. Almost the whole 
weight of opposition devolved on him, and the 
difficulty of the task only served to unfold the 
astonishing resources of his mind. He opposed 
the constitution on the ground, that changes 
were dangerous to liberty, and that the proposed 
plan was a consolidation in which the rights of 
the states would be lost in the powers of the 
general government. To reply to the arguments 
of a Madison, a Randolph and a Marshall, re- 
quired no ordinary share of understanding and 
eloquence. Although opposed to its adoption, 


Mr. Henry was a firm supporter of the consti- 
tution when adopted. 

After the resignation of Mr. Randolph in the 
year 1795, Mr. Henry was nominated secretary 
of state by president Washington, but conside- 
rations of a private nature induced him to de- 
cline the honour. In November 1796 he was 
again elected governor of Virginia, but resigned 
the office soon after his appointment. 

In the year 1799 Mr. Henry was appointed 
by president Adams envoy to France with 
Messrs. Ellsworth and Murray. In reply to the 
letter of the secretary of state, he mentions a 
severe indisposition and his advanced age and 
weakness as a reason for declining the appoint- 
ment. This letter was dated the 16th of April 
1799, at Redhill in Charlotte county, where he 
died on the 6th of June following.* 

The name of Jefferson also claims a distin- 
guished place in the annals of our country. Early 
in the revolution he commenced that path of 

* American Biography. Burk's Virginia. Marshall's 
Washington, &c. 


fame which led to the highest honours his coun- 
try could bestow. His essay on the rights of 
British America, written early in the year 1774, 
showed no less depth of research than sound- 
ness of judgment. The rights of the colonies 
were investigated with clearness, and their 
wrongs portrayed with just severity. This work 
was designed as a draft of a petition to the king, 
which Mr. Jefferson, as a member of the con- 
vention of 1774, designed to propose to the 
house. Having been stopped on his way by 
sickness, he sent it to the speaker, who laid it 
on the table for the perusal of the members. It 
was considered as too strong for the times, and 
was on that account not adopted by the house, 
but the approbation of the members may be 
inferred from their unanimous subscription for 
its publication. 

About the same time was published an essay 
entitled " Considerations on the present state of 
Virginia examined.' ' This critique was written 
by Robert Carter Nicholas, and was rendered 
interesting by the importance of the subject and 
the spirit with which it was written. 


In the other colonies also, many valuable 
essays were published upon the subject of our 
differences with the mother country. Of these 
the following were deservedly esteemed for their 
force and ingenuity. " Observations on the Bos- 
ton port bill," by Josiah Quincy: " Considera- 
tions on the nature and extent of the authority 
of the British parliament," by James Wilson: 
" Strictures on a Pamphlet entitled ' A friendly 
address to all reasonable Americans," by gene- 
ral Charles Lee* &c. &c. 

Although the monuments of genius, erected 
in the period of which we speak, are chiefly con- 
fined to the statesman and politician, yet the 
silent walks of philosophy were not untrod, nor 
were the fields of science left unexplored by 
our ancestors. The names of Franklin and Rit- 
tenhouse, the one a native of Boston, the other 
of Germantown, have cast a lustre around the 

* The above essays are in possession of Mr, Jeffer- 
son, whose care has collected and preserved from obli- 
vion many valuable papers and much useful information. 




American name. Bar tram,* the American na- 
turalist, was pronounced by Linnaeus, the 
greatest natural botanist in the world. 

John Banister, of Virginia, was not less re- 
markable for his botanical researches, though less 
celebrated in the literary world. He settled in the 
colony towards the close of the 17th century, 
and devoted his time to the study of plants, 
with that success that attends the assiduous 
efforts of genius. He collected and described a 
variety of rare species of plants, but unfortu- 
nately in one of his excursions he fell from a 
rock and was killed. His botanical friends have 
honoured his memory by calling a plant of the 
decandrous class, Banisteria. 

But Virginia can boast of another naturalist 
still more distinguished for his talents and re- 
search. John Clayton was the son of an emi- 
nent lawyer, who was for some time attorney 
general of Virginia. At an early age he was 
placed in the office of Peter Beverley, clerk for 
Gloucester county, and as successor to that 

Note IV. Appendix. 


gentleman retained the office upwards of fifty 
years. He died at the age of eighty-eight, and 
till his last year retained the vigour of his con- 
stitution, and the strength and acuteness of his 
understanding. His residence was about twenty 
miles from Williamsburg, but he visited most 
of the settled parts of Virginia, and even tra- 
versed the country lying along the eastern side 
of the Blue Ridge, in quest of botanical know- 
ledge. His descriptions of plants were so re- 
markable for their accuracy and plainness, that 
the species he described was seldom left doubt- 
ful. Clayton was a member of several learned 
societies of Europe, and a correspondent of 
several eminent naturalists, amongst whom were 
Gronovius and Linnaeus. He left at his death 
two volumes of manuscripts prepared for the 
press, and also a Hortus Siccus of folio size, 
with marginal notes and directions to the en- 
graver. These works perished in the wreck of 
the revolution; but several of his essays, among 
which is an account of the medicinal plants of 
Virginia, were preserved from a similar fate by 
a place in the philosophical transactions. His 


Flora Virgimaca was also published in Europe, 
by professor Gronovius, and served to give 
him a name amongst the learned of his dav. It 
is frequently referred to by Linnaeus and other 
naturalists of the aere.* 

If we pass from the department of natural to 
that of civil hisiory, we find ourselves trans- 
planted to a dreary waste, where but few flowers 
attract our view. The early histories of Virginia 
are remarkable for dryness of detail and clum- 
siness of composition. In the year 1705, R. 
Beverly, a native of Virginia, published a his- 
tory of the colony from its first establishment 
till his own time. This work embraced also the 
natural productions, and the manners and cus- 
toms of the natives. But the conciseness of its 

* Le pere du col. Banister de Virginie avoit precede 
M. Bertram et ne lui etoit point inferieur; mais aucun 
cl'eux n'est a comparer au fameux docteur Clayton mort 
peu avant la revolution. II a considerablement augmente 
le dictionaire de botanique, ct est connu dans les ecoles 
d' Europe sous le nom de Linnee Virginien, 

Recher. Hist, et polit. sur les Etats Unis. 


narration, and the frigidness of its style, render 
it little instructive and less amusing to the reader. 
In the year 1747, the reverend William Stith, 
president of William and Mary college, pub- 
lished a history of Virginia in one octavo 
volume. This work, which details the affairs 
of the colony till the year 1624, contains in an 
appendix, a collection of charters relating to the 
period comprised in the volume. The author, 
besides the materials of Smith* and Beverly, 
derived much information from the manuscripts 
of his uncle sir John Randolph, and also from 
the records of the London company, which 
were in the hands of William Byrd, president 
of the council. Mr. Stith, although not deficient 
in classical learning, was entirely destitute of 
taste as a writer. His history is remarkable for 

* Captain John Smith published his sixth voyage to 
Virginia in 1606. — His first voyage to New England, 
1614. — His second to New England, 1615. — Description 
of New England, 1617. — The general history of Vir- 
ginia, New England and the Somer islands, in six books 
folio, 1627. — His travels and adventures, 1630. 



prolixity and minuteness of narration, but his 
faithfulness as a historian I believe has never 
been impeached. 

Agreeably to the arrangements made in the 
late convention, the general assembly met at 
the capitol in Williamsburg on the first Mon- 
day in October 1776. In conformity with the 
new constitution, the legislature of Virginia 
now consisted of two branches, called the house 
of delegates and the senate. The honourable 
Edmund Pendleton was chosen speaker of the 
former body, and Archibald Carey, Esquire, 
of the senate or upper house. 

The attention of the legislature was early 
called to the state of the colony, and an increase 
of the military force was determined on. While 
the affairs of the commonwealth were thus pro- 
gressing towards domestic security and order, 
and civil liberty seemed to be placed on the 
solid base of equal rights and free representa- 
tion, our sea-board and western borders were 
exposed to the ravages of war. On the frontiers, 
the Indians committed many depredations, and 
hitherto no important stand had been made 


against them, since the expedition under Col. 
Lewis to the Ohio. It was at length determined 
by the assembly to raise a force sufficient to 
repel if not to vanquish the hostile tribes. The 
command of this force, which consisted of 
about two hundred men, was entrusted to colo- 
nel William Christian, an able and enterprising 
officer. The expedition was designed princi- 
pally against the Cherokee and Creek nations, 
who to the number of about seven hundred had 
encamped in Carter's valley, on the waters of 
Holston, from whence they sent out numerous 
detachments. Some of their parties penetrated 
over the North Mountain into the country lying 
along the western foot of the Blue Ridge, car- 
rying terror and devastation wherever they went. 
On the approach of colonel Christian towards 
their settlements, they retreated with precipi- 
tancy, after making some show of disputing his 
passage over Broad river. 

On the 1 8th of October colonel Christian 
passed the Tennessee river, and soon after 
reached the Cherokee towns, which he was 
prevented from destroying by timely overtures 


of peace from the enemy. Four of their chiefs 
arrived at his camp with proposals which were 
accepted by the commander. The principal ar- 
ticles of the treaty consisted in the restoration 
of all prisoners and property detained by the 
savages, and the reference of all matters of dis- 
pute to the state of Virginia, in conjunction 
with a deputation from their own tribes. For 
the performance of these conditions fifteen hos- 
tages were given, such as were required by 
colonel Christian, to be exchanged yearly for 
such others as might be required by the state. 
Before his return, however, he destroyed three 
or four towns which were under the influence 
of chiefs who refused to accede to the offers of 
peace, and some of whom had been guilty of 
burning their prisoners.* 

The assembly, during their session this fall, 
passed an act for the appointment of a committee 
to revise the laws of the commonwealth, and 
prepare a code suited to the new state of affairs. 
This important trust was confided to hands per- 

* Virginia Gazette. 


fectly competent to the task. The committee 
consisted of the following illustrious characters: 
Thomas Jefferson, Edmund Pendleton, George 
Wythe, George Mason, and Thomas Ludvvell 
Lee, Esquires. The execution of the work how- 
ever devolved on the three first named gentle- 
men, who afterwards were honoured with the 
first posts of dignity and importance their coun- 
trv could bestow. 


While these affairs were transacting in Vir- 
ginia, the war was progressing with various 
success in the other colonies. The Americans, 
after being defeated on Long Island, by general 
Howe, had abandoned the place. The evacua- 
tion of New York by the continental troops 
followed soon after, and the expedition against 
Canada was marked by the fail of general Mont- 
gomery and the retreat of his army from the 
walls of Quebec. 

The skill and energy of the commander in 
chief was at this time far superior to his means. 
On his retreat towards New Jersey his force 
consisted of only about three thousand five 
hundred men. With this small army he was 


closely pursued by lord Cornwallis, who arrived 
in Newark the very morning (November 28th) 
that Washington left it. The British general 
hoped to disperse the American army before 
it should cross the Delaware. In this however 
he was disappointed. Washington effected the 
passage of the Delaware without being com- 
pelled to fight, and saved by his superior skill 
and caution the army on which his country's 
hope seemed to rest. The prospects were in- 
deed gloomy at this time, and in no other cause 
than that of liberty could success have been 
reasonably calculated upon. The fortitude of 
Washington, however, never forsook him, nor 
would his zeal in the cause of his country 
allow him to be long inactive. On the 25th of 
December he recrossed the Delaware, and the 
splendid achievements of Trenton and Princeton 
began to re-animate his distressed and dejected 

The bold resistance of the colonies called for 
greater force, or more skilful exertions on the 
part of the invaders. The war in the northern 
department had hitherto yielded but little glory 


to the British commanders. The approach of 
general Burgoyne, an able and accomplished of- 
ficer, from Canada, with a force of about seven 
thousand men, seemed to threaten the downfal 
of our power in that quarter. His success, how- 
ever, was soon arrested by general Gates, at the 
head of an army superior in numbers, and not 
inferior in bravery to the opposing force. 

The capture of Burgoyne spread a general 
joy throughout the colonies, and inspired their 
councils and their armies with new vigour in 
the yet doubtful contest. Meanwhile, Washing- 
ton was watching in anxious suspense the move- 
ments of sir William Howe, who had sailed from 
New York with a force of eighteen thousand 
men, and a powerful fleet under the command 
of his brother, lord Howe. Fearing it should be 
a scheme to draw him to the south, and leave 
the Hudson with a force not sufficient to de- 
fend the important post of West Point, Wash- 
ington proceeded no farther than Bucks county, 
in Pennsylvania, where he waited the destina- 
tion of the enemy. 

Sir William entering the Chesapeake, sailed 


up the bay and landed his army in Cecil county, 
Maryland, on the eastern shore of the bay. 
Washington discovering his movements, took 
a position on the Brandyvvine, where he waited 
the approach of his foe. A severe conflict en- 
sued which terminated in the defeat of the 
Americans. In this engagement the Virginia 
brigades, under Wayne and Weedon, distin- 
guished themselves.* 

This battle was soon after followed by ano- 
ther at Germantown, in which the enemy were 
again victorious. The remissness, however, of 
sir William Howe, in improving his victories, 
rendered them of little importance to his cause. 
The destruction of a few hundred men could 
be of no serious consequence in the conquest 
of a country as extensive and populous as the 
United Colonies. Nothing but the utmost vi- 
gour in following up, as well as wisdom in 
planning his conquests, could render their ef- 
fects permanent, or ensure success to the in- 
vaders. The case was very different with respect 

* Marshall's Washington, Sec. &c. 


to America. Her armies were improving in dis- 
cipline, and every defeat taught her better how 
to meet the enemy in the next contest. She had 
already waded too far in blood to think of re- 
turning without the prize of victory in her 

The arrival of count D'Estaing, with a for- 
midable fleet, in aid of the American cause, 
contributed to its success, and served to in- 
crease the embarrassments of the British. 

On the accession of sir Henry Clinton to the 
chief command, the war was carried on with 
renewed vigour, but the plan of conquest was 
in some measure changed. The reduction of 
the southern colonies presented an object of 
less difficulty, but not of less value to Bri- 
tain than the northern. An expedition against 
Georgia, under the command of lieutenant colo- 
nel Campbell, threatened the subjection of that 
state, while sir Henry himself was preparing to 
march in person to South Carolina. 



THE intermediate situation of Virginia had 
saved her interior in some measure from the 
ravages of invasion. The storm of war had 
hitherto spent its force on the more northern 
colonies, and was now beginning to burst with 
all its horrors upon the south, while our popu- 
lous state was left to throw its aid in whatever 
quarter it was required. It readily occurred to 
sir Henry Clinton, that the resistance of the 
southern states would depend much upon the 
assistance they should receive from Virginia. 
To humble the pride, and destroy the resources 
of this province, therefore became an object 
worth the attention of the commander in chief. 
An expedition threatening the overthrow of re- 
sistance in this quarter, was accordingly pro- 
jected, and early in May 1779 the hostile 
squadron, conducted by sir George Collier, 
anchored in Hampton Roads. The army con- 


sisted of about two thousand land forces and 
five hundred marines; the whole commanded 
by brigadier- general Matthews, an able and ex- 
perienced officer. 

The defenceless situation of Portsmouth and 
Norfolk rendered those places an easy conquest. 
The garrison of Fort Nelson, which consisted 
of about one hundred and fifty men, under the 
command of major Matthews, abandoned their 
post under cover of the night, and retired to 
the borders of the Dismal Swamp. On the 11th 
of May the British general took possession of 
Portsmouth, where he established his head- 
quarters, and from whence he detached troops 
to Norfolk and Gosport. In these places he de- 
stroyed abundance of naval and military stores 
of much importance to the state. 

The army continued but a short time on our 
shores, though long enough to destroy upwards 
of a hundred vessels, and a great quantity of 
public and private property. They burnt the 
town of Suffolk,* and many private houses 

* Gordon's Am. War. — Marshall's Washington.— 
Lee's Memoirs, &c. 


shared the same fate. This destruction of pri- 
vate property, which ought to be held sacred 
by civilized nations at war, called for the inter- 
ference of the assembly. A resolve was passed 
in that body, requiring the governor to remon- 
strate against this cruel mode of carrying on 

The army, embarking on board their ships, 
returned to New York, carrying with them their 
prizes and their plunder. 

The fall of Charleston, and the success of the 
British arms in the south, under lord Cornwal- 
lis, portended much evil to Virginia. Her re- 
duction was determined on by the commander 
in chief, and a plan apparently big with success 
was laid for that purpose. 

As soon as Clinton was informed of the de- 
feat of the southern army by lord Cornwallis, 
he despatched brigadier- general Leslie, with a 
force of about three thousand men, against our 
state. The co-operation of this detachment with 
the army under Cornwallis, who was expected 
to enter Virginia on the south, appeared fully 
adequate to the object in view. 


Leslie arrived in the Chesapeake bay, in Oc- 
tober 1780, and landing at Portsmouth, took 
possession of such vessels and other property as 
could be found on the coast. The defeat of 
major Ferguson, who had been ordered to ma- 
noeuvre through the northern parts of South 
Carolina, and was expected to join Cornwallis 
at Charlotte, caused the latter to alter his plans, 
and prevented his junction with Leslie.* 

Some time elapsed before Leslie could obtain 
information of the situation of Cornwallis, and 
the circumstances that occurred to prevent the 
important junction with that officer. Meanwhile 
the governor of Virginia was earnestly employ- 
ed in preparing to oppose the invaders. Thomas 
Jefferson, successor of Patrick Henry, was then 
governor of the state, and the assembly, com- 
posed of men selected for their wisdom and 
patriotism, was in session. 

At this crisis, general Greene, who had been 
appointed to succeed Gates in the command of 

Lee's Memoirs of the War in the Southern Colonies, 
Vol. II. 



the southern army, arrived in Richmond, on 
his way to the south. As much reliance had 
been placed on the supplies to be received from 
Virginia, Greene was not a little embarrassed 
to find her in such a weak and exposed situa- 
tion. After making such arrangements as he 
deemed necessary, he continued his journey to 
the south, leaving baron Steuben* to direct the 
defence of the state. General Gates had removed 
his head-quarters to Charlotte, and there he sur- 
rended into the hands of Greene the command 
of the southern army. 

In the mean time general Leslie, leaving the 
shores of Virginia, sailed for Charleston, where 
he found orders requiring him to repair with 
his army to Camden. On the 19th of Decem- 
ber he began his march with about fifteen hun- 
dred men, to effect a junction with the army 
under Cornwallis. This he accomplished with- 
out difficulty. On the 1 1th of January Cornwal- 
lis advanced towards North Carolina. Wishing 
to disperse the force under general Morgan, 

* Note V. Appendix. 


who had been manoeuvring in the western parts 
of the state, he despatched colonel Tarleton in 
pursuit of him. The splendid victory of the 
Cow pens checked the ardour of the pursuers 
and revived the drooping spirits of the Ameri- 
cans. The southern army was, however, unable 
to face their enemy in the field, and the move- 
ments of Cornwallis indicating a design to bring 
Greene to action, compelled the latter to retreat 
towards Virginia. This he safely accomplished, 
notwithstanding the vigorous pursuit of the Bri- 
tish general, who had destroyed his baggage in 
order to effect his movements with more cele- 
rity. The van of the British army arrived just 
after the rear of the American had passed the 
Dan, which forms the dividing line between the 
two states. The next day general Greene wrote 
to Mr. Jefferson, governor of Virginia, and to 
baron Steuben, giving information of his situa- 
tion and requesting reinforcements. The reader 
will find in general Lee's " Memoirs of the 
Southern Campaigns," an interesting and elo- 
quent account of the retreat of Greene to the 


borders of Virginia, as well as of the southern 
war in general. 

Early in December 1780, governor Jefferson 
received a letter from general Washington, in- 
forming him that preparations were making by 
the enemy at New York, for an expedition to 
the south, which was probably designed against 

On the 30th, brigadier. general Arnold, with 
near fifty sail of vessels arrived in the Chesa- 
peake, and embarking in lighter vessels pro- 
ceeded up James river. On receiving news of 
this approaching squadron, Mr. Jefferson des- 
patched general Nelson to collect and arrange a 
force with as much haste as possible, while 
baron Steuben with about two hundred men 
marched to Petersburg. On the 4th of January 
Arnold landed his force, consisting of about 
nine hundred men, at Westover, the seat of 
Mr. Byrd, and marched to Richmond without 
opposition. Thus was the metropolis of Virginia 
exposed to the insult and depredation of a trai- 

* Lee's Mem. South. Camp. Vol. II. 


tor; her stores and archives plundered, and her 
governor compelled to seek security by imme- 
diate flight. 

From Richmond lieutenant colonel Simcoe 
was despatched to Westham, where he des- 
troyed the only cannon foundery in the state. 
At this place, they also destroyed the military 
stores, which had, on the alarm caused by Ar- 
nold's approach, been removed from Richmond. 
After two days spent in pillaging public and 
private property, general Arnold returned to 
Westover, where on the 10th he re-embarked 
his men and descended the river. On his way 
he landed detachments at Mackay's mill and at 
Smithfield, where they destroyed some public 
stores; and on the 20th arrived at Portsmouth. 

Major general Steuben, assisted by general 
Nelson, having collected a considerable force, 
marched in pursuit of Arnold. But the move- 
ments of the latter were too rapid to be inter- 
rupted by the tardy advances of undisciplined 
militia. They were, however, able to prevent 
similar incursions, and by remaining in the 


vicinity of Portsmouth, they confined the ene- 
my to their entrenchments. 

On hearing of the invasion of Virginia by the 
traitor Arnold, and his encampment at Ports- 
mouth, general Washington formed a plan to 
cut off his retreat. He intimated to count Ro- 
ehambeau and admiral D'Estouches, the im- 
portance of an immediate movement of the 
French fleet to the Chesapeake, and at the 
same time detached the marquis De la Fayette 
with twelve hundred men to Virginia. The 
French admiral, not entering fully into the 
views of Washington, detached only a small 
part of his squadron, who from their inability 
to effect the desired purpose, returned to the 
fleet at Rhode Island. 

The situation of Arnold had induced sir H. 
Clinton to detach to his aid major. general Phil- 
lips, to whom the command of the British forces 
in Virginia was committed. The united detach- 
ments under Arnold and Phillips formed a body 
of about three thousand five hundred men. Be- 
ing able to act on the offensive, general Phillips 
left one thousand men in Portsmouth, and pro- 


ceeded with the remainder up James river, for 
the purpose of completing the destruction of 
the internal strength and resources of the state. 
Opposite to Williamsburg he landed, and from 
thence sent to Yorktown a detachment, who 
destroyed the naval stores in that place. Re-em- 
barking they ascended the river to City Point, 
where James river receives the waters of the 
Appamattox. At this place Phillips landed and 
directed his march to Petersburg, which stands 
on the bank of the last mentioned stream, about 
twelve miles from its junction with the former. 
Virginia was at this time in a defenceless 
situation; all the regular force of the state was 
under Greene in South Carolina, and her whole 
reliance was upon militia, of whom about two 
thousand were now in the field. This force, half 
of which was stationed on each side of James 
river, was under the command of baron Steu- 
ben and general Nelson. Steuben directed the 
southern division, on whom the defence of Pe- 
tersburg devolved, and from which place he 
was compelled to retreat by the superior force 
of Phillips. During his stay in Petersburg, 


general Phillips destroyed the warehouses, and 
spread terror and devastation, the constant atten- 
dants of British invasion, through the town. 
Leaving Petersburg, he crossed the Appamat- 
tox into Chesterfield, and detaching Arnold to 
Osborne's to destroy the tobacco at that place, 
he proceeded himself to Chesterfield court- 
house, where he destroyed the barracks and 
stores which had been formed there for the 
accommodation of recruits designed for the 
southern army. The two divisions of the army 
uniting again, marched into Manchester, where 
was renewed the scene of pillage and devasta- 
tion transacted in Petersburg and Chesterfield. * 
The fortunate arrival of the marquis De la Fay- 
ette at Richmond, with a body of regular troops, 
saved the metropolis from a similar fate. From 
Manchester, general Phillips proceeded down 
the river to Bermuda hundred, opposite City 
Point, where his fleet remained during his in- 
cursion. Here he re-embarked his troops, and 
fell down the river, while the marquis followed 

* Marshall's Washington. Lee's Memoirs, &c. 8cc. 


on the north side to watch his movements. He 
soon learned that Phillips, instead of returning 
to Portsmouth, had suddenly re-landed his army 
on the south side of the river, one division at 
Brandon and the other at City Point, and was on 
his march to Petersburg. It immediately occur- 
red to the marquis, that a junction with Corn- 
wallis, who was then approaching Virginia, was 
the object which Phillips had in view, and to 
prevent which he determined to throw himself 
by forced marches into Petersburg before the 
arrival of that general. Phillips however reached 
that place first, and La Fayette halting, re- 
crossed the river and posted himself a few miles 
below Richmond. The death of general Phil- 
lips, soon after his arrival in Petersburg, de- 
volved the command of the army again on gene- 
ral Arnold. 

Cornwallis was now on his way to Peters- 
burg, and having crossed the Roanoke he de- 
tached colonel Tarleton to secure the fords of 
the Meherrin, while colonel Simcoe with the 
rangers was sent for the same purpose to the 
Nottoway. The enemy effected his passage over 



these rivers without interruption, and on the 
20th of May entered Petersburg. 

In addition to this united force, which seem- 
ed fully sufficient to crush every germ of oppo- 
sition in Virginia, general Leslie had again 
made his appearance on the coast, with a rein- 
forcement of two regiments and two battalions, 
part of which was stationed in Portsmouth un- 
der the command of that officer. The marquis 
De la Fayette continued near Richmond with a 
force of about four thousand men, nearly three- 
fourths of whom were militia. 

Steuben, who was on the south side of James 
river, proceeding with about six hundred levies 
to reinforce general Greene, was suddenly re- 
called and ordered to take a position at the 
Point of Fork, where were deposited some mili- 
tary stores. General Weedon was requested to 
collect a force near Fredericksburg, for the pur- 
pose of protecting an important manufactory of 
arms at Falmouth. In addition to these different 
forces, general Wayne* was on his way to Vir- 

* Note VI. Appendix, 


ginia, with a detachment from the northern army 
of about nine hundred men. The strength of the 
enemy was however too great for any force Vir- 
ginia could bring into the field, and her fate, as 
far as superior numbers and discipline could in- 
fluence it, seemed now to be decided. 

Cornwallis, after resting four days in Peters- 
burg, proceeded down the south side of Appa- 
mattox and James river until he came opposite 
Westover, where he determined to cross. La 
Fayette, informed of the enemy's movement, 
left his encampment below Richmond and re- 
treated behind the Chickahomony river, keep- 
ing the direction towards Fredericksburg. The 
enemy pursued him across that stream, anxious 
to bring him to battle before his junction with 
Wayne. La Fayette however escaped the im- 
pending blow, and hastening across the Pa- 
munky and Mattapony, the confluence of whose 
streams form York river, he endeavoured to 
gain the road on which Wayne was approach- 
ing. The British commander, failing in his pro- 
ject of bringing the marquis to battle, thought 
proper to change his course, and determined 


to penetrate with his detachments the interior of 
the state. Lieutenant colonel Simcoe was direct- 
ed to attack baron Steuben at Point of Fork,* 
and destroy the stores at that place; while co- 
lonel Tarleton advanced to Charlottesville, where 
the general assembly was then convened. 

Simcoe succeeded in driving Steuben from 
his post, and destroying the magazines under 
his protection; while Tarleton pushed on to 
Charlottesville, eager to add to his numerous 
exploits the capture of a corps of republican 
legislators. His approach however was disco- 
vered by the assembly in time for the members 
to make their escape. Mr. Jefferson, the gover- 
nor, on hearing of their approach sought an 
asylum in the wilds of the mountain adjacent to 
his house. 

After destroying some military stores, which 
had been deposited in Charlottesville as a place 
of safety, Tarleton proceeded down the Rivan- 
nah, towards the Point of Fork, near to which 
Cornwallis had arrived with the main body of 

* A point of land formed by the junction of the Rivan- 
nan and Fluvannah rivers. 


the army. Uniting with his army the different 
detachments, the British commander marched 
to Richmond, which he entered on the 16th of 
June. Meanwhile La Fayette had formed a junc- 
tion with Wayne, and was watching with a 
cautious eye the movements of the foe. 

After halting a few days in Richmond, Corn- 
wallis resumed his march towards the coast, and 
on the 25th of the month arrived in Williams- 
burg, while the marquis, with a force of between 
four and five thousand men, followed close on 
his rear. From that place the British commander 
detached colonel Simcoe to the Chickahomony, 
for the purpose of destroying some boats and 
stores in that river. Colonel Butler, with a de- 
tachment from the American camp, was imme- 
diately sent against this party, and a severe con- 
flict ensued in which each side claimed the 

After remaining about a week in Williams- 
burg the British commander prepared to cross 
the river, and selected James city island as the 
most eligible place to effect a passage. In the 
mean time La Fayette and the intrepid general 



Wayne pressed close on his rear, with a view to 
strike as soon as the enemy should be weakened 
by the van having crossed the river. Under a 
mistaken belief that the separation of the ene- 
my's force had actually taken place, an attack 
was made on the whole strength of the British 
army drawn up in order of battle. The approach 
of night saved the American army, who effect- 
ed a retreat after losing, in killed, wounded and 
prisoners, upwards of a hundred men. 

From a belief that a grand attack was intend- 
ed on New York by the combined army, sir H. 
Clinton had ordered Cornwall is to take a posi- 
tion near Portsmouth or Williamsburg, on tide 
water, with a view to facilitate the transportation 
of his forces to New York, or such aid as might 
be deemed necessary. In obedience to this com- 
mand, Cornwallis selected York and Gloucester 
as the most eligible situation, where he imme- 
diately concentrated his army. The bold and 
discerning mind of Washington soon formed a 
plan to strike his lordship while encamped at 
York — a plan no less wisely devised than suc- 
cessfully executed. The arrival of the French 


fleet in the Chesapeake at this juncture contri- 
buted essentially to the completion of his de. 
signs. Count De Grasse, on obtaining intelli- 
gence from La Fayette of the situation of the 
enemy, immediately detached four ships of the 
line to block up York river. Washington, fear- 
ful that Cornwallis might attempt to retreat to 
the south, sent orders to La Fayette to take 
effective measures to prevent his escape; and 
also wrote to Mr. Jefferson, who was still go- 
vernor of Virginia, urging him to yield every 
aid which his situation could afford, and which 
the importance of the object required. 

On the 14th of September general Washing- 
ton arrived in Williamsburg, which was now 
the head-quarters of La Fayette, and proceed- 
ing to Hampton, the plan of siege was concert- 
ed with the count De Grasse. 

About the 25th of the month the troops from 
the north arrived and formed a junction with 
those under De la Fayette. The whole regular 
force thus combined, consisted of about twelve 
thousand men. In addition to these there was a 


body of Virginia militia under the command of 
the brave and patriotic general Nelson. 

The trenches were opened by the combined 
forces on the 6th of October, at the distance of 
six hundred yards from the enemy's works. On 
the 19th the posts of York and Gloucester were 
surrendered to the combined forces of America 
and France. 

The fall of Cornwallis laid prostrate the hopes 
of the British ministry, and cheered the war- 
worn soldier with the prospect of a speedy 





Distinguished Characters 



No. I. 

NATHx\NIEL BACON, an insurgent in Vir. 
ginia, was educated at the inns of court in Eng- 
land, and after his arrival in this country was 
chosen a member of council. He was a young 
man of fine accomplishments, of an interesting 
countenance, and of impressive eloquence. The 
trade with the Indians in 1676 being somewhat 
interrupted, the people complained, and were 
disposed to throw the blame on the govern- 
ment. These murmurings were echoed by Ba- 
con, and while he complimented the people for 
their discernment of the causes of their troubles, 
he suggested that better measures might be 
adopted, and that he could open again the ave- 
nues of trade. He proposed to lead them against 


the Indians. The ears of the multitude were 
soothed by his promises and delighted with his 
oratory, and they unanimously elected him their 
general. American Biography. 

No. II. 
Edmund Andros, governor of New Eng- 
land, had some command in New York in 1672, 
and in 1674 was appointed governor of that 
province. He continued in this office until 1682, 
exhibiting in his government but little of that 
tyrannical disposition which he afterwards dis- 
played. He arrived at Boston, December 20th 
1686, with a commission from king James for 
the government of New England. He made 
high professions of regard to the public good, 
directed the judges to administer justice accord- 
ing to the custom of the place, ordered the 
established rules with respect to taxes and rates 
to be observed, and declared that all the colonial 
laws, not inconsistent with his commission, 
should remain in full force. By these profes- 
sions he calmed the apprehensions which had 


agitated the minds of many; but it was not long 
before the monster stood forth in his proper 

Andres' administration was most oppressive 
and tyrannical. The press was restrained, exor- 
bitant taxes were levied, and the congregational 
ministers were threatened to be deprived of their 
support for nonconformity. Sir Edmund, know. 
ing that his royal master was making great pro- 
gress towards despotism in England, was very 
willing to keep equal pace in his less important 
government. It was pretended, that all titles to 
land were destroyed, and the farmers were 
obliged to take new patents for which they 
paid large fees. He prohibited marriage, except 
the parties entered into bonds with sureties, to 
be forfeited in case there should afterwards 
appear to have been any lawful impediment. 
There was at this time but one episcopal cler- 
gyman in the country; but sir Edmund indulged 
the hope of receiving a supply; and he wrote to 
the bishop of London, intimating for the en- 
couragement of those who might be persuaded 
to come to this country, that in future no mar- 



r iage should be deemed lawful, unless celebrated 
by ministers of the church of England. With 
four or five of his council he laid what taxes he 
thought proper. The fees of office were raised 
to a most exorbitant htight. The whole of his 
proceedings were such as to show that he was 
perfectly disposed to follow all the capricious 
and arbitrary measures of his weak and bigoted 
master, king James II. At length the spirit of 
the people could no longer brook submission. 
Having sought in the wilds of America the se- 
cure enjoyment of that civil and religious liberty, 
of which they had been unjustly deprived in 
England, they were not disposed to see their 
dearest rights wrested from them without a 
struggle to retain them. Animated with the 
love of liberty, they were also resolute and 
courageous in its defence. They had for several 
years suffered the impositions of a tyrannical 
administration, and the disaffection and indigna- 
tion which had been gathering during this pe- 
riod, were blown into a flame by the report of 
an intended massacre by the governor's guards. 
On the morning of the 18th of April, 1689, the 


inhabitants of Boston took up arms, the people 
poured in from the country, and the governor, 
with such of the council as had been most ac- 
tive, and other obnoxious persons, about fifty 
in number, were seized and confined. The old 
magistrates were restored, and the next month 
the joyful news of the revolution in England 
reached this country, and quieted all apprehen- 
sions for the consequences of what had been 
done. After having been kept at the castle till 
February following, sir Edmund was sent to 
England for trial. The general court about the 
same time despatched a committee of several 
gentlemen to London, to substantiate the charges 
against him. 

The government was reduced to a most per- 
plexing dilemma. If they condemned sir P2d- 
mund's administration, the sentence might be 
drawn into a precedent, and they might seem 
to encourage insurrection and rebellion in future 
periods, when circumstances did not render so 
desperate an expedient necessary. On the other 
hand, if they should approve of the administra- 
tion of Andros and censure the proceedings of 
the colonists, it would imply a reprobation of 


the very measure which had been pursued in 
bringing about the revolution in England. It 
was therefore considered prudent to dismiss the 
business without coming to a final decision. 
The people were accordingly left in the full en* 
joyment of their freedom, and sir Edmund, in 
public estimation guilty, escaped without cen- 

In 1692 he was appointed governor of Vir- 
ginia, as successor to lord Effingham. This 
event was very surprising, and it was account- 
ed for only on the supposition that the English 
ministry was composed of tories. He is not, 
however, represented as a bad governor in Vir- 
ginia. He died in London, February 1714, at a 
very advanced age. American Biography. 

No. III. 
A declaration of rights made by the repre- 
sentatives of the good people of Virginia, as- 
sembled in full and free convention; which rights 
do pertain to thrm and their posterity, as the 
basis and ibundation of government. 


I. That all men are by nature equally free 
and independent, and have certain inherent 
rights, of which when they enter into a state of 
society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive 
or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoy- 
ment of life and libertv, with the means of ac- 
quiring and possessing property, and pursuing 
happiness and safety. 

II. That all power is vested in, and conse- 
quently derived from, the people; that magis- 
trates are their trustees and servants, and at all 
times amenable to them. 

III. That government is, or ought to be, in- 
stituted for the common benefit, protection and 
security of the people, nation, or community. 
Of all the various modes and forms of govern- 
ment, that is best which is capable of producing 
the greatest degree of happiness and safety, 
and is most effectually secured against the dan- 
ger of mal- administration; and that when any 
government shall be found inadequate or con- 
trary to these purposes, a majority of the com- 
munity hath an indubitable, unalienable and 
indefeasible right to reform, alter, or abolish it, 



in such manner as shall be judged most condu- 
cive to the public weal. 

IV. That no man or set of men are entitled 
to exclusive or separate emoluments or privi- 
leges from the community, but in consideration 
of public services, which not being descendable, 
neither ought the offices of magistrate, legislator 
or judge be hereditary. 

V. That the legislative and executive powers 
of the state should be distinct from the judiciary; 
and that the members of the two first may be 
restrained from oppression, by feeling and parti- 
cipating the burthens of the people, they should* 
at fixed periods, be reduced to a private station j 
return into that body from which they were 
originally taken, and the vacancies be supplied 
by frequent, certain, and regular elections, in 
which all, or any part of the former members, 
to be again eligible, or ineligible, as the laws 
shall direct. 

VI. That elections of members to serve as re- 
presentatives of the people, in assembly, ought 
to be free; and that all men, having sufficient evi- 
dence of permanent common interest with, and 


attachment to, the community, have the right 
of suffrage, and cannot be taxed or deprived of 
their property for public uses, without their own 
consent, or that of their representatives so elect- 
ed, nor bound by any law to which they have 
not, in like manner, assented, for the public 

VII. That all power of suspending laws, or 
the execution of laws, by any authority, without 
the consent of the representatives of the people, 
is injurious to their rights, and ought not to be 

VIII. That in all capital or criminal prosecu- 
tions, a man hath a right to demand the cause 
and nature of his accusation, to be confronted 
with the accusers and witnesses, to call for evi- 
dence in his favour, and to a speedy trial by an 
impartial jury of his vicinage, without whose 
unanimous consent he cannot be found guilty, 
nor can he be compelled to give evidence, 
against himself; that no man be deprived of his 
liberty except by the law of the land, or the 
judgment of his peers. 

IX. That excessive bail ought not to be re- 


quired, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel 
and unusual punishments inflicted. 

X. That general warrants, whereby an officer 
or messenger may be commanded to search 
suspected places without evidence of a fact 
committed, or to seize any person or persons 
not named, or whose offence is not particularly 
described and supported by evidence, are griev- 
ous and oppressive, and ought not to be granted. 

XL That in controversies respecting pro- 
perty, and in suits between man and man, the 
ancient trial by jury is preferable to any other, 
and ought to be held sacred. 

XII. That the freedom of the press is one of 
the greatest bulwarks of liberty, and can never 
be restrained but by despotic governments. 

XIII. That a well regulated militia, com- 
posed of the body of the people, trained to 
arms, is the proper, natural and safe defence of 
a free state; that standing armies in time of 
peace should be avoided, as dangerous to li- 
berty; and that in all cases the military should 
be under strict subordination to, and governed 
by, the civil power. 


XIV. That the people have a right to uni- 
form government; and therefore, that no go- 
vernment separate from, or independent of, the 
government of Virginia, ought to be erected or 
established within the limits thereof. 

XV. That no free government, or the bles- 
sing of liberty, can be preserved to any people 
but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, 
temperance, frugality, and virtue, and by fre- 
quent recurrence to fundamental principles. 

XVI. That religion, or the duty we owe to 
our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, 
can be directed only by reason and conviction, 
not by force and violence; and therefore all men 
are equally entitled to the free exercise of reli- 
gion, according to the dictates of conscience; 
and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice 
christian forbearance, love, and charity towards 
each other. 



The Constitution, or Form of Government, 
agreed to and resolved upon by the Delegates 
and Representatives of the several Counties 
and Corporations of Virginia, in a General 
Convention held at Williamsburg, on the 6th 
of May, and continued by adjournments to the 
5th of July, 1776. 

WE, the delegates and representatives of the 
good people of Virginia, do declare the future 
form of government of Virginia, to be as fol- 
io weth: — 

The legislative, executive, and judiciary de- 
partments, shall be separate and distinct, so that 
neither exercise the powers properly belonging 
to the other; nor shall any person exercise the 
powers of more than one of them at the same 
time, except that the justices of the county 
courts shall be eligible to either house of the 


The legislative shall be formed of two dis. 
tinct branches, who, together, shall be a com- 
plete legislature. They shall meet once, or 
oftener, every year, and shall be called, the 
general assembly of Virginia. One of these shall 
be called, the house of Delegates, and consist 
of two representatives, to be chosen for each 
county, and for the district of West- Augusta, 
annually, of such men as actually reside in, and 
are freeholders of the same, or duly qualified, 
according to law, and also of one delegate or 
representative, to be chosen annually for the 
city of Williamsburg, and one for the borough 
of Norfolk, and a representative for each of 
such other cities and boroughs, as may here- 
after be allowed particular representation by the 
legislature; but when any city or borough shall 
so decrease, as that the number of persons, 
having right of suffrage therein shall have been, 
for the space of seven years successively, less 
than half the number of voters in some one 
county in Virginia, such city or borough 
thenceforward shall cease to send a delegate or 
representative to the assembly. 


The other shall be called the Senate, and 
consist of twenty-tour members, of whom thir- 
teen shall constitute a house to proceed on busi- 
ness; for whose election, the different counties 
shall be divided into twenty-four districts; and 
each county of the respective district at the time 
of the election of its delegates, shall vote for 
one senator, who is actually a resident and free- 
holder within the district, or duly qualified ac- 
cording to law, and is upwards of twenty-five 
years of age; and the sheriffs of each county, 
within five days at farthest, after the last county- 
election in the district, shall meet at some con- 
venient place, and from the poll so taken in 
their respective counties, return as a senator, 
the man who shall have the greatest number of 
votes in the whole district. To keep up this as- 
sembly by rotation, the districts shall be equally- 
divided into four classes, and numbered by lot. 
At the end of one year, after the general elec- 
tion, the six members, elected by the first divi- 
sion, shall be displaced, and the vacancies 
thereby occasioned, supplied from such classes 
or division, by new election, in the manner 

aforesaid. This rotation shall be applied to each 
division, according to its number, and conti- 
nued in due order annually. 

The right of suffrage in the election of mem- 
bers for both houses, shall remain as exercised 
at present; and each house shall choose its own 
speaker, appoint its own officers, settle its own 
rules of proceeding, and direct writs of election, 
for the supplying intermediate vacancies. 

All laws shall originate in the house of dele- 
gates, to be approved of or rejected by the sen- 
ate, or to be amended, with consent of the house 
of delegates; except money bills, which in no 
instance shall be altered by the senate, but 
wholly approved or rejected. 

A governor, or chief magistrate, shall be 
chosen annually by joint ballot of both houses 
(to be taken in each house respectively) depo- 
sited in the conference-room; the boxes examin- 
ed jointly by a committee of each house, and the 
numbers severally reported to them, that the ap- 
pointments may be entered (which shall be the 
mode of taking the joint ballot of both houses in 
all cases) who shall 4 not continue in that office 



longer than three years successively, nor be eligi- 
ble until the expiration of four years after he shall 
have been out of that office. An adequate, but 
moderate salary, shall be settled on him, during 
his continuance in office: and he shall, with the 
advice of a council of state, exercise the execu- 
tive powers of government, according to the 
laws of this commonwealth; and shall not, un- 
der any pretence, exercise any power or prero- 
gative, by virtue of any law, statute, or custom 
of England. But he shall, with the advice of the 
council of state, have the power of granting re- 
prieves or pardons, except where the prosecu- 
tion shall have been carried on by the house of 
delegates, or the law shall otherwise particularly 
direct; in which cases, no reprieve or pardon 
shall be granted, but by resolve of the house of 

Either house of the general assembly may 
adjourn themselves respectively. The governor 
shall not prorogue or adjourn the assembly dur- 
ing their sitting, nor dissolve them at any time; 
but he shall, if necessary, either by advice of 
the council of state, or on application of a majo- 


rity of the house of delegates, call them before 
the time to which they shall stand prorogued or 

A privy council, or council of state, consist 
ing of eight members, shall be chosen by joint; 
ballot of both houses of assembly, either from 
their own members, or the people at large, to 
assist in the administration of government. They 
shall annually choose, out of their own mem- 
bers, a president, who, in case of death, inabi- 
lity, or absence of the governor from the go- 
vernment, shall act as lieutenant-governor. Four 
members shall be sufficient to act, and their 
advice and proceedings shall be entered on re- 
cord, and signed by the members present (to 
any part whereof, any member may enter his 
dissent) to be laid before the general assembly, 
when called for by them. This council may ap- 
point their own clerk, who shall have a salary 
settled by law, and take an oath of secrecy, in 
such matters as he shall be directed by the 
board to conceal. A sum of money, appropriat- 
ed to that purpose, shall be divided annually 
among the members, in proportion to their at* 


rendance; and they shall be incapable, during 
their continuance in office, of sitting in either 
house of assembly. Two members shall be re- 
moved, by joint ballot of both houses of assem- 
bly, at the end of every three years, and be 
ineligible for the three next vears. These va- 
cancies, as well as those occasioned by death or 
incapacity, shall be supplied by new elections, 
in the same manner. 

The delegates for Virginia to the continental 
congress shall be chosen annualiy, or superseded 
in the mean time, by joint ballot of both houses 
of assembly. 

The present militia officers shall be continued, 
md vacancies supplied, b) T appointment of the 
governor, with the advice of the privy council, 
on recommendations from the respective county 
courts; but the governor and council shall have 
a power of suspending any officer, and ordering 
a court martial, on complaint of misbehaviour 
or inability, or to supply vacancies of officers, 
happening when in actual service. 

The governor may embody the militia with the of the privy council; and when embodied 


shall alone have the direction of the militia, un- 
der the laws of the country. 

The two houses of assembly shall, by joint 
ballot, appoint judges of the supreme court of 
appeals, and general court judges in chancery, 
judges of admiralty, secretary, and the attorney 
general, to be commissioned by the governor, 
and continue in office during good behaviour. 
In case of death, incapacity, or resignation, the 
governor, with the advice of the privy council, 
shall appoint persons to succeed in office, to be 
approved or displaced by both houses. These 
officers shall have fixed and adequate salaries, 
and, together with all others, holding lucrative 
offices, and all ministers of the gospel, of every 
denomination, be incapable of being elected 
members of either house of assembly or the 
privy council. 

The governor, with the advice of the privy 
council., shall appoint justices of the peace for 
the counties: and in case of vacancies, or a 
necessity of increasing the number hereafter, 
such appointments to be made upon the recom- 
mendation of the respective county courts. The 



present acting secretary in Virginia, and clerks 
of the county courts, shall continue in office. In 
case of vacancies, either by death, incapacity, 
or resignation, a secretary shall be appointed, as 
before directed: and the clerks, by the respec- 
tive courts. The present and future clerks shall 
hold their offices during good behaviour, to be 
judged of, and determined in the general court. 
The sheriffs and coroners shall be nominated by 
the respective courts, approved by the gover- 
nor, with the advice of the privy council, and 
commissioned by the governor. The justices 
shall appoint constables; and all fees of the 
aforesaid officers be regulated by law. 

The governor, when he is out of office, and 
others, offending against the state, either by 
mal- administration, corruption, or other means, 
by which the safety of the state may be endan- 
gered, shall be impeachable by the house of 
delegates. Such impeachment to be prosecuted 
by the attorney general, or such other person or 
persons as the house may appoint, in the gene- 
ral court, according to the laws of the land. If 
found guilty, he or they shall be forever dis- 



abled to hold any office under government, or 
be removed from such office pro tempore, or 
subjected to such pains or penalties, as the laws 
shall direct. 

If all or any of the judges of the general court 
should, on good grounds (to be judged of by 
the house of delegates) be accused of any of the 
crimes or offences above mentioned, such house 
of delegates may in like manner, impeach the 
judge or judges so accused, to be prosecuted in 
the court of appeals; and he or they, if found 
guilty, shall be punished in the same manner as 
is prescribed in the preceding clause. 

Commissions and grants shall run, " In the 
name of the commonwealth of Virginia" and 
bear test by the governor, with the seal of the 
commonwealth annexed. Writs shall run in the 
same manner, and bear test by the clerks of 
the several courts. Indictments shall conclude, 
" against the peace and dignity of the common* 

A treasurer shall be appointed annually, by- 
joint ballot of both houses. 

All escheats, penalties, and forfeitures, here- 


tofore going to the king, shall go to the com- 
monweaiih, save only such as the legislature 
may abolish, or otherwise provide for. 

The territories, contained within the charters, 
erecting the colonies of Maryland, Pennsylva- 
nia, Nonh and South Carolina, are hereby ceded, 
released, and loiever confirmed to the people of 
these colonies respectively, w ith all t rights of 
property, jurisdiction, and government, and all 
other rights whatsoever, which might, at any 
time heretofore, have been claimed by Virginia, 
except the free navigation and use of the rivers 
Potomaque and Pokomoke, with the property 
of the Virginia shores and strands, bordering on 
cither of the said rivers, and all improvements, 
which have been or shall be made thereon. The 
western and northern extent of Virginia shall, 
in all other respects, stand, as fixed by the 
charter of king James I. in the year one thou- 
sand six hundred and nine, and by the public 
treaty of peace, between the courts of Britain 
and France in the year one thousand seven 
hundred and sixty-three; unless by act of this 
legislature, one or more governments be esta- 


biished westward of the Alleghany mountains. 
And no purchases of lands shall be made of the 
Indian natives, but on behalf of the public, by 
authority of the general assembly. 

No. IV. 

John Bar tram, an eminent botanist, was 
born near die village of Darby in Chester coun- 
ty, Pennsylvania, in the year 1701. His grand- 
father of the same name, accompanied William 
Perm to this country in the year 1682. 

This self-taught genius early discovered an 
ardent desire for the acquisition of knowledge, 
especially in the science of botany; but the in- 
fant state of the colony placed great obstacles in 
his way. He however surmounted them by in- 
tense application and the resources of his mind. 
By the assistance of respectable characters he 
obtained the rudiments of the learned languages, 
which he studied with extraordinary success. 
He acquired so much knowledge of medicine 
and surgery, as to administer great assistance to 



the indigent and distressed in his neighbour- 
hood. He cultivated a farm as the means of sup- 
porting a large family; but while laboriously 
employed in rural avocations, he was still push- 
ing his inquiries into the operations of nature. 

Mr. Bartram was the first American who 
conceived and carried into effect the design of a 
botanic garden, for the cultivation of American 
plants as well as exotics. He purchased an eli- 
gible situation on the banks of the river Schuyl- 
kill, about five miles from Philadelphia, where 
he laid out with his own hands a large garden. 
He furnished it with a variety of the most rare 
and beautiful vegetables, collected in his excur- 
sions from Canada to Florida. These excursions 
were principally made in autumn, when his pre- 
sence at home was least demanded by his agri- 
cultural pursuits. His devotion to the science of 
botany was such, that at the age of seventy he 
made a journey into East Florida to explore its 
natural productions. 

His travels among the Indians were frequently 
attended with danger and difficulty. By his 
means the gardens in Europe were enriched 


with elegant flowering shrubs, and plants and 
trees collected in dine ent parts of our country, 
from the shore of Lake Ontario to the source 
of the river St. Juan. Such was his proficiency 
in his favourite pursuit, that Linnaeus pro. 
nounced him " the greatest natural botanist in 
the world." 

Mr. Bartram's eminence in natural history 
attracted the esteem of the most distinguised 
men in America and Europe, and he corres- 
ponded with many of them. By means of the 
friendship of sir Hans Sloane, Mr. Catesby, and 
Dr. Hill, Linnaeus and others, he was furnished 
with books and apparatus which he much need- 
ed, and which greatly lessened the difficulties of 
his situation. He in turn sent them what was 
new and curious in the productions of America. 
He was elected a member of several of the most 
eminent societies and academies abroad, and 
was at length appointed American botanist to 
his Britannic majesty George III., in which ap- 
pointment he continued till his decease in Sep- 
tember 1777, in the seventy-sixth year of his 


Mr. Bartram was an ingenious mechanic. The 
house in which he lived, he built himself; he 
was often his own mason, carpenter, blacksmith, 
'&c, and generally made his own farming uten- 
sils. His stature was rather above the middle 
size; his body was erect and slender; his com- 
plexion was sandy; his countenance was cheer- 
ful, though there was a solemnity in his air. 
His gentle manners corresponded with his amia- 
ble disposition. He was modest, liberal, charita- 
ble, a friend to social order, and an advocate 
for the abolition of slavery. He gave freedom 
to a young African whom he had brought up, 
but who in gratitude to his master continued in 
his service. Though temperate, he kept a plen- 
tiful table; and annually on new year's day, he 
made an entertainment, consecrated to friend- 
ship and philosophy. He was born and educated 
in the society of friends. The following distich 
was engraved by himself, on a stone in the wall, 
over the front window of his own apartment: 

'Tis God alone the Almighty Lord, 
The Holy One, by me adored. 

John Bartram, 17f0. 

24 i 

He left several children. John, his youngest son, 
succeeded him as proprietor of his botanic gar. 
den; but it is now chiefly under the superinten- 
dance of another son, Mr. William Bartram, 
who accompanied his father in many of his bo- 
tanical tours, and who is well known by his 
book, entitled " Travels through North and 
South Carolina, East and West Florida," &c, 
published in the year 1791. 

Several of Mr. Bartram 's communications in 
zoology were published in the Philosophical 
Transactions, between the years 1743 and 
1749. He published observations on the inha- 
bitants, climate, soil, &c, made in his travels 
from Pennsylvania to Onandago, Lon-'on 1751. 

American Biography. 

No. V. 
Frederick William, baron de Steu- 
ben, a major-general in the American army, 
was a Prussian officer who served main vears 
in the armies of the great Frederick, was one 



of his aids, and had held the rank of lieutenant- 
general. He arrived in New Hampshire from 
Marseilles, in November 1777, with strong re- 
commendations to congress. He claimed no 
rank, and only requested permission to render 
as a volunteer what services he could to the 
American army. He was soon appointed to the 
ofiice of inspector-general, with the rank of 
major-general. He established an uniform sys- 
tem of manoeuvres, and by his skill and perse- 
vering industry effected, during the continuance 
of the troops at Valley Forge, a most important 
improvement in all ranks of the army. He was 
a volunteer in the action at Monmouth, and 
commanded in the trenches of Yorktown on 
the dav which concluded the struggle with 
Great Britain. He died at Steubenville, New 
York, November 28th, 1794,- aged sixty- one 
years. He was an accomplished gentleman and 
a virtuous citizen; of extensive knowledge and 
sound judgment. An abstract of his system of 
discipline was published in the year 1779, and 
in 1784, he published a letter on the subject 
of an established militia and military arrange- 
roents. America?! Biography. 


No. VI. 
Anthony Wayne, major-general in the 
army of the United States, was born in Chester 
county, Pennsylvania, in the year 1745. In 
1773 he was appointed a representative to the 
general assembly, where, in conjunction with 
John Dickinson, Thomas Mifflin, Charles 
Thompson, and other gentlemen, he took an 
active part in opposition to the claims of Great 
Britain. In the year 1775 he quitted the coun- 
cils of his country for a command in her army, 
which he entered as a colonel, and at the close 
of the year accompanied general Thomson to 
Canada. When this officer was defeated in his 
enterprise against the Three Rivers in June 
1776, and taken prisoner, he himself received a 
jlesh wound in the leg. His exertions were use- 
ful in the retreat. In the same year he served at 
Ticonderoga under general Gates, by whom he 
was esteemed both for his courage and military 
talents, and for his skill as an engineer. At the 
close of the campaign he was made a brigadier- 
general. In the campaign of 1777, in the mid- 
die states, he took a very active part. In the 


battle of Brandywine he distinguished himself, 
'hough he was a few days afterwards surprised 
and defeated by major-general Grey. He fought 
also in the battle of German town, as well as in 
the battle of Monmouth in June 177(3. In his 
most daring and successful assault upon Stoney 
Point, in July 1779, while he was rushing for- 
ward with his men under a tremendous fire of 
musketry and grapeshot, determined to carry 
the works at the point of the bayonet, he was 
struck by a musket ball upon his head. He was 
for a moment stunned; but as soon as he was 
able to rise so as to support himself on one 
.knee, believing that his wound was mortal, he 
cried to one of his aids, " Carry me forward, 
and let me die in the fort." When he entered it 
he gave orders to stop the effusion of blood. In 
the year 1781 he was ordered to march with the 
Pennsylvania line from the northward, and form 
a junction with La Fayette in Virginia. On the 
6th of July, after receiving information that the 
main body of the enemy under Cornwallis had 
crossed James river, he pressed forward with 
eieht hundred men to attack the reaf-euarcL 
Bui to his utter astonishment, when he reached 


tiie place, he found the whole British army, con- 
sisting of four thousand men, drawn up ready 
to receive him. At this moment he conceived 
of but one way to escape. He rushed towards 
the enemy until he came within twenty -five 
yards, when he commenced a gallant attack, 
which he supported for a few minutes, and then 
retreated with the utmost expedition. The Bri. 
tish general was confounded by this movement, 
and appprehensive of an ambuscade from La 
Fayette, would not allow of a pursuit. After the 
capture of Cornwallis, he was sent to conduct 
the war in Georgia, where with equal success 
he contended with British soldiers, Indian sa- 
vages, and American traitors. As a reward for 
his services the legislature of Georgia presented 
him with a valuable farm. At the conclusion of 
the war he retired to private life. In the year 
1787 he was a member of the Pennsylvania con- 
vention, which ratified the constitution of the 
United States. In 1792 he succeeded general 
St. Clair in the command of the army to be 
employed against the Indians. In the battle of 
the Miamas, August 20th, 1794, he gained a 



complete victory over the enemy; and after- 
Wards desolated their country. On tht 3d of 
August, 1795, he concluded a treaty with the 
hostile Indians north-west of the Ohio. While 
in the service of his country he died in a hut at 
Presque Isle, aged about fifty -one years, and 
was buried on the shore of Lake Erie. 

American Biography. 

No. VII. 
Lord Jeffrey Amherst, commander in 
chief or the British army at the conquest of 
Canada in the year 1760, was born in Kent, 
England, January 29th, 1717. Having early dis- 
covered a predilection for a military life, he re- 
eeived his first commission in the year 17 1, 
and was aid-de-camp to general Ligonier in 
1741, in which character he was in the battles 
of Dettengin, Fontenoy, and Rocoux. He was 
afterwards aid de-camp to his royal highness, 
the duke of Cumberland, at the battle of Laf- 
feldt. In the year 1758 he received orders to 


return to England, being appointed for the 
American service. He sailed from Portsmouth, 
March 16'h, as a major-general, having the 
command of the troops destined for the siege 
of Louisburg. On the z6th of July following 
he captured the place, and without farther diffi- 
culty took possession of the island of Cape Bre- 
ton. After this event he succeeded Abercrombie 
in the command of the army in North America. 
In the year 1759, the vast design of the entire 
conquest of Canada was formed. Three armies 
were to attack, at near the same time, all the 
strong holds of the French in that country. 
They were commanded by Wolfe, Amherst, 
and Prideaux. General Amherst in the spring 
transferred his head-quarters from New York 
to Albany; but it was not till the 22d of Jul) that 
he reached Ticonderoga, against which place 
he was to act. On the 27th this place fell into 
his hands, the enemy having deserted it. He 
next took Crown Point, and put his troops in 
winter quarters about the last of October. In 
the year 1760 he advanced against Canada, em- 
barking on Lake Ontario, and proceeding down 


the St. Lawrence. On the 8th of September 
M- cle Vandreuil capitulated, surrendering Mon- 
treal and all other places within the government 
of Canada. He continued in the command in 
America till the latter end of 176 J, when he re- 
turned to England. 

In the ) ear 1771, sir Jeffrey Amherst was 
made governor of Guernsey, and in 1776 he 
was created baron Amherst of Holmsdale, in the 
county of Kent. In 1778 he had the command 
of the army in England. In 1782 he received 
the gold stick from the king; but on the change 
of the administration, the command of the army 
and the lieutenant-generalship of the ordnance 
were put into other hands. In 1787 he received 
another patent of peerage, as baron Amherst 
of Montreal. On the 23d of January, 1793, he 
was again appointed to the command of the 
arm\ in Great Britain; but on the 10th of Feb- 
ruary, 1795, this veteran and very deserving 
officer was superceded by his royal highness 
th 'tike of York, the second son of the king, 
who was only in the thirty -first year of hii> age, 
and hud never seen any actual service. The 


government upon this occasion, with a view to 
sooth the feelings of the venerable general, of- 
fered him an earldom, and the rank of Field 
Marshal, both of which he at that time rejected. 
The office of Field Marshal, however, he ac 
eepted on the 30th of July, 1796. He died at his 
seat in Kent, August 3d, 1797, aged eighty 
years. American Biography. 

No. VIII. 
Samuel Argal, deputy governor of Virgi- 
nia, came to that colony in the year 1609, to 
trade, and to fish for sturgeon. The trade was 
in violation of the laws, but as the wine and 
provisions which he brought were much want- 
ed, his conduct was connived at, and he conti- 
nued to make voyages for his own advantage 
and in the service of the colony. In the year 
161 he arrived at the island now called Mount 
Desert, in the district of Maine, for the purpose 
of fishing, and having discove»ed a settlement 
of French, which was made two years before, 


he immediately attacked it and took most of the 
settlers prisoners. Gilbert de Thet, a Jesuit fa- 
ther, was killed in the engagement. This was the 
commencement of hostilities between the French 
and English colonists in America. Captain Ar- 
gal soon afterwards sailed from Virginia to 
Acadie, and destroyed the French settlements 
®f St. Croix and Port Royal. 

The pretext for this hostile expedition in 
time of peace, was the encroachment of the 
French on the rights of the English, which 
were founded on the prior discovery of the 
Cabots. Argal on his return subdued the Dutch 
settlements at Hudson's river. In the year 1614 
he went to England, and returned in 1617 as de- 
puty governor. On his arrival he found the pub- 
lic buildings at Jamestown fallen to decay, the 
market place and streets planted with tobacco, 
and the people of the colony dispersed in places 
which they thought best adapted for the cultiva- 
tion of that pernicious weed. To restore pros- 
perity to the colon}', Argal introduced some 
severe regulations. He prohibited all tr^de or 
familiarity with the Indians. Teaching them the 

25 i 

use of arms was a crime to be punished with 
death. He ordered that all goods should be sold 
at an advance of twenty-five per cent., and fixed 
the price of tobacco at three shillings per pound. 
None could sell or buy it at a different price 
under the penalty of three years imprisonment. 
No man was permitted to fire a gun before a 
new supply of ammunition, except in self de- 
fence, on pain of a year's slavery. Absence from 
church on Sundays or holy days was punished 
by confinement for the night and one week's 
slavery to the colony, and on a repetition of the 
offence the punishment was increased. 

The rigorous execution of these laws ren- 
dered Argal odious to the colony, and the re- 
port of his tyranny and his depredations upon 
the revenues of the company reaching England, 
it was determined to recal him. Lord De la War 
was despatched to Virginia, with directions to 
send the delinquent home to answer the charges 
brought against him; but as his lordship died 
on the passage, his letter of instructions fell into 
the hands of Argal. Perceiving from it that the 
rich harvest which he was gathering would be 


soon ended, he redoubled his industry. He mul- 
tiplied his acts of injustice, and before the ar- 
rival of a new governor in 1619, set sail in a 
vessel loaded with his effects. He was the part- 
ner in trade of the earl of Warwick, and by this 
connexion was enabled to defraud the company 
of the restitution which they had a right to ex- 
pect. Nothing more of Argal is known, except 
that in the year 1620 he commanded a ship of 
war in an expedition against the Algerines, and 
that in 1623 he was knighted by king James. 

His character, like that of most who were 
concerned in the government of Virginia, is 
differently drawn; by some he is represented as 
a good mariner, a man of public spirit, active, 
industrious, careful to prov de for the people, 
and to keep them constantly employed; and by 
others he is described as negligent of the public 
business, selfish, rapacious, passionate, arbitrary 
and cruel; and harassing the colonists by every 
species of extortion and oppression. He was 
without question a man of talents and art, for 
he so foiled and perplexed the company, that 
they w-ere never able to bring him to any ac- 
count or punishment. American Biography. 


No. IX. 
William Berkeley, governor of Virginia, 
was born of an ancient family near London, and 
was educated at Merton college, Oxford, of 
ifhich he was afterwards a fellow. He was ad- 
mitted master of arts in the vear 1629. In 1630 
he travelled in different parts of Europe. He 
succeeded sir John Hervey in the government 
of Virginia, about the year 1639. This gentle- 
man had conducted in so arbitrary a manner, 
that the inhabitants of Virginia seized him and 
sent him home a prisoner. King Charles re- 
stored him, but very soon afterwards recalled 
him, and appointed in his stead a more just and 
worthy man, sir William Berkeley. On his ar- 
rival he found the country engaged in an Indian 
war, which much interrupted its prosperity. The 
war was occasioned by the encroachments of 
governor Hervey, in the grants of land which 
he had given. The natives had massacred about 
five hundred of the colonists, and were still car- 
rying on the w r ork of destruction; but sir Wil- 
liam, with a party of horse, surprised the aged 
Opechancanough, and brought him prisoner to 



Jamestown. The Indian emperor was a man of 
dignified sentiments. One day, when there was a 
large crowd in his room gazing at him, he called 
for the governor and said to him, " If it had 
been my fortune to have taken sir Willialn 
Berkeley prisoner, I should have disdained to 
have made a show of him to my people." 
About a fortnight after he was taken, a brutal 
soldier shot him through the back, of which 
wound the old man soon died. A peace was 
soon afterwards made with the Indians. 

During the civil war in England, governor 
Berkeley took the side of the king, and Virginia 
was the last of the possessions of England which 
acknowledged the authority of Cromwell. Se- 
vere laws were made against the puritans, though 
there were none in the colony; commerce was 
interrupted, and the people were unable to sup- 
ply themselves with implements of agriculture. 
It was not till the year 1651, that Virginia was 
subdued. The parliament had sent a fleet to re- 
duce Barbadoes, and from this place a small 
squadron was detached under the command of 
captain Dennis. The Virginians, by the help of 


some Dutch vessels which were then in the 
port, made such resistance that he was obliged 
to have recourse to other means besides force. 
He sent word to two of the members of the 
council, that he had on board a valuable cargo 
belonging to them, which they must lose, if the- 
protector's authority was not immediately ac- 
knowledged. Such dissensions now took place 
in the colony, that sir William and his friends 
were obliged to submit on the terms of a gene- 
ral pardon. He however remained in the colony, 
passing his time in retirement at his own plan- 
tation, and observing with satisfaction that the 
parliament made moderate use of its success, 
and that none of the Virginia royalists were per- 
secuted for their resistance. 

After the death of governor Matthews, who 
was appointed by Cromwell, the people applied 
to sir William to resume the government; but 
he declined complying with their request, unless 
they would submit themselves again to the au- 
thority of the king. Upon their consenting to do 
this, he resumed his former authority in January 
1659; and king Charles 11. was proclaimed in 


Virginia before his restoration to the throne of 
England. The death of Cromwell, in the mean 
time, dissipated from the minds of the colonists 
the fear of the consequences of their boldness. 

After the restoration governor Berkeley re- 
ceived a new commission, and was permitted tc 
go to England and pay his respects to his 
majesty. During his absence, the deputy go- 
vernor whom he had appointed in obedience to 
his orders, collected the laws into one body. The 
church of England was made the established re- 
ligion, parishes were regulated, and besides a 
mansion-house and glebe, a yearly stipend in to- 
bacco to the value of eighty pounds, was settled 
on the minister. In the year 1662 governor 
Berkeley returned to Virginia, and in the fol- 
lowing year the laws were enforced against the 
dissenters from the establishment, by which a 
number of them were driven from the colony. 

During Bacon's rebellion he exhibited a suit- 
able regard to the dignity of his station and a 
firm resolution to support his authority. Peace 
was afterwards preserved, not so much by the 
removal of grievances which awakened discon~ 


tent, as by the arrival of a regiment from Eng- 
land, which remained a long time in the country. 
In the year 1677, sir William was induced on 
account of his ill health to return to England, 
leaving colonel Jeffries deputy governor. He 
died soon after his arrival, and before he had 
seen the king, after an administration of near 
forty years. He was buried at Twickenham, 
July 13th, 1677. The assembly of Virginia de- 
clared he had been an excellent and well de- 
serving governor. The following extract from 
his answer, in June 1671, to inquiries of trie 
committee for the colonies, is a curious speci- 
men of his loyalty: " We have forty- eight pa- 
rishes, and our ministers are well paid, and by 
my consent should be better, if they would pray 
oftener and preach less; but as of all other com- 
modities so of this, the worst are sent us, and 
we have few that we can boast of since the per- 
secution in Cromwell's tyranny drove divers 
worthy men hither. Yet I thank God there are 
no free schools, nor printing; and I hope we 
shall not have these hundred years. For learning 
has brought disobedience and heresy and sects 



into the world, and printing has divulged them, 
and libels against the best government.'' 

He published the Lost Lady, a tragi-comedy, 
1639; and a discourse and view of Virginia,- 
166S. American Biography. 

No. X. 

Nor borne Berkeley, baron de Botetourt, 
one of the last governors of Virginia while a 
British colony, obtained the peerage of Bote- 
tourt in the year 1764. In July, 1768, he was 
appointed governor of Virginia, in the place of 
general Amherst. He died at Williamsburg on 
the 15th of October 1770, in the fifty -third year 
$f his age. At his death the government, in con- 
sequence of the resignation of the honourable 
John Blair, devolved upon the honourable Wil- 
liam Nelson, until the appointment in Decem- 
ber of lord Dunmore, then governor of New 

Lord Botetourt seems to have been highly 
3n4 deservedly respected in Virginia. His ex.- 


ertions to promote the interests of William and 
Mary college, were zealous and unremitted. He 
instituted an annual contest among the students 
for two elegant golden medals of the value of 
five guineas; one for the best Latin oration on a 
given subject, and the other for superiority in 
mathematical science. For a long time he sanc- 
tioned by his presence morning and evening 
prayers in the college. No company nor avoca- 
tion prevented his attendance on this service. 
He was extremely fond of literary characters. 
No one of this class who had the least claims to 
respect, was ever presented to him without re- 
ceiving his encouragement. 

American Biography. 

No. XI. 
R. Beverly, a native of Virginia, published 
a history of that colony at London in the year 
1705, in four parts, embracing the first settle- 
ment of Virginia and the government thereof 
to the time when it was written; the natural pro- 


ductions and conveniences of the country, suited 
to trade and improvement; the native Indians, 
their religion, their laws and customs; and the 
state of the country, as to the policy of the go- 
vernment and the improvements of the land. 
Another edition was published with Gribelin's 
cuts, 8vo. 1722. This work in the historical 
narration is as concise and unsatisfactory, as the 
history of Stith is prolix and tedious. 

No. XII. 
James Blair, first president of William and 
Mary college, Virginia, and a learned divine, 
was born and educated in Scotland, where he 
obtained a benefice in the Episcopal church. 
On account of the unsettled state of religion, 
which then existed in that kingdom, he quitted 
his preferments and went into England near the 
reign of Charles II. The bishop of London pre- 
vailed on him to go to Virginia as a missionary, 
about the year 1685; and in that colony, by his 
exemplary conduct and unwearied labours in 


the work of the ministry, he much promoted re- 
ligion and gained to himself esteem and reputa- 
tion. In the year 1689 he was appointed by the 
bishop ecclesiastical commissary, the highest 
office in the church which could be given him 
in the province. This appointment did not how- 
ever induce him to relinquish the pastoral office, 
for it was his delight to preach the gospel of sal- 

Perceiving that the w r ant of schools and semi- 
naries for literary and religious instruction would 
in a great degree defeat the exertions which 
were making in order to propagate the gospel, 
he formed the design of establishing a college 
at Williamsburg. For this purpose he solicited 
benefactions in this country, and by direction of 
the assembly made a voyage to England, in the 
year 1691, to obtain the patronage of the go- 
vernment. A charter was procured in this year, 
with liberal endowments, and he was named in 
it the first president; but it does not appear 
that he entered on the duties of his office before 
the year 1729, from which period till 1742, he 
discharged them with faithfulness. The college, 


however, did not flourish very greatly during 
his presidency, nor for many years afterwards. 
The wealthy farmers were in the habit of send- 
ing their sons to Europe for their education. 
After a life of near sixty years in the ministry, 
he died in a good old age, on the first of Au- 
gust 1743, and went to enjoy the glory for 
which he was destined. 

Mr. Blair was for some time president of the 
council of the colony, and rector of Williams- 
burg. He was a faithful labourer in the vineyard 
of his master, and an ornament to his profession, 
and to the several offices which he sustained. 

He published " Our Saviour's divine sermon 
on the mount explained, and the practice of it re- 
commended, in divers sermons and discourses, " 
4 vols. 8vo. London 1742. This work is spoken 
of with high approbation by Dr. Doddridge, and 
by Dr. Williams in his Christian Preacher. 

American Biography. 


No. XIII. 
John Blair, one of the associate judges of 
the supreme court of the United States, died at 
Williamsburg in Virginia, on the 31st of August 
1800, in the sixty- ninth year of his age. He was 
a judge of the court of appeals in Virginia, in 
the year 1787, at which time the legislature of 
that state, finding the judiciary system inconve- 
nient, established circuit courts, the duties of 
which they directed the judges of the court of 
appeals to perform. These judges, among whose 
names are those of Blair, Pendleton and Wythe, 
remonstrated, and declared the act unconstitu- 
tional. In the same year, 1787, he was a mem- 
ber of the general convention, which formed 
the constitution of the United States. To that 
instrument the names of Blair and Madison are 
affixed as the deputies from Virginia. In Sep- 
tember 1789, when the government which he 
had assisted in establishing had commenced its 
operation, he was appointed by Washington an 
associate judge of the supreme court, of which 
John Jay was chief justice. 


Judge Blair was an amiable, accomplished, 
and truly virtuous man. He discharged with 
ability and integrity the duties of a number of 
the highest and most important trusts; and in 
these, as well as in the several relations of pri- 
vate life, his conduct was so upright and blame- 
less, that he seldom or never lost a friend or 
made an enemy. Even calumny, which assailed 
Washington, shrunk from his friend, the unas- 
suming and pious Blair. Through life he in a 
remarkable manner experienced the truth of our 
Saviour's declaration, " Blessed are the meek, 
for thev shall inherit the earth;" and at death he 
illustrated the force of the exclamation, " let 
me die the death of the righteous, and let my 
last end be like his." American Biography. 

No. XIV. 

Theoderick Bland, a worthy patriot and 
statesman, was a native of Virginia, and de- 
scended from an ancient and respectable family 
in that state. He was bred to the science of 


physic, but upon the commencement of the re- 
volution he quitted the practice, and took an 
active part in the cause of his country. He soon 
rose to the rank of colonel, and had the com- 
mand of a regiment of dragoons. While in the 
army he frequently signalized himself by bril- 
liant actions. In the year 1779 he was appointed 
to the command of the convention troops at 
Albemarle barracks in Virginia, and continued 
in that situation till some time in 1780, when 
he was elected to a seat in congress. He conti- 
nued in that body three years, the time allowed 
by the confederation. After the expiration of this 
term he again returned to Virginia, and was 
chosen a member of the state legislature. He op- 
posed the adoption of the federal constitution, 
believing it to be repugnant to the interests of 
his country, and was in the minority that voted 
against its ratification. But when it was at length 
adopted, he submitted to the voice of the majo- 
rity. He w T as chosen to represent the district in 
which he lived, in the first congress under the 
constitution. He died at New York on the 1st 



of June 1790, while attending a session of con- 
gress, in the forty-ninth year of his age. 

American Biography, 

No. XV. 
Edwasd Br ad dock, major-general and 
commander in chief of the British forces in 
America, arrived in Virginia with two regi- 
ments from Ireland, in February 1755. The 
plan of military operations having been settled 
in April, by a convention of the several gover- 
nors at Alexandria, he undertook to conduct in 
person the expedition against Fort Du Quesne. 
Meeting with much delay from the necessity of 
opening roads, the general determined to ad- 
vance with rapidity at the head of twelve hun- 
dred men, leaving the heavy baggage to the care 
of colonel Dunbar, who was to follow bv slow 
and easy marches. He reached the Monongahela 
on the 8th of July. The succeeding day he ex- 
pected to invest the fort. He accordingly made 
his dispositions in the morning. He was advised 


to advance the provincial companies in front, for 
the purpose of scouring the woods, and disco- 
vering airy ambuscade which might be formed for 
him. But he held both his enemy and the pro- 
vincials in too much contempt to follow this 
salutary counsel. Three hundred British regu- 
lars composed his van, which was suddenly at- 
tacked, at the distance of about seven miles 
from the fort, by an invisible enemy, concealed 
by the high grass. The whole army was soon 
thrown into confusion. The brave general ex- 
erted his utmost powers to form his broken 
troops, under a galling fire, upon the very 
ground where they were first attacked; but his 
efforts were fruitless. With such an enemy, in 
such a situation, it was necessary to have ad- 
vanced or retreated. All his officers on horse- 
back, except his aid the late general Washing- 
ton, were killed; and after losing three horses, 
he received a mortal wound. 

The defeated army fled precipitately to the 
camp of Dunbar, near forty miles distant, where 
Braddock, who was brought off the ground in a 
tumbril, expired of his wounds. Sixty-four out 


of eighty-five officers, and about half the pri- 
vates were killed and wounded, making in the 
whole about seven hundred men. This disaster 
resulted from the contempt of good advice. 

American Biography. 

Xo. XVI. 

William Byhd, a native of Virginia, died 
about the middle of the last century. He was 
liberally educated in Great Britain, and pos- 
sessed a very ample estate. Few persons in 
America ever collected so large and valuable a 
library, as he left. He was a very ardent friend 
to the diffusion of knowledge, and freely opened 
his library to the use of all who sought informa- 
tion. He published several small tracts. 

American Biography. 


No. XVII. 
George Calvert, baron of Baltimore, 
founder of the province of Maryland, was de- 
scended from a noble family in Flanders, and 
was born at Kipling in Yorkshire, England, in 
the year 1582. After taking his bachelor's de- 
gree at Trinity college, Oxford, in 1597, he 
travelled over the continent of Europe. At his 
return to England, in the beginning of the reign 
of James L, he was taken into the office of sir 
Robert Cecil, secretary of state, by whose fa- 
vour he was made clerk of the privy council, 
and received the honour of knighthood. In 1619 
he was appointed one of the principal secretaries 
of state, in the room of sir Thomas Lake. His 
great knowledge of public business, and his 
diligence and fidelity, conciliated the regard of 
the king, who gave him a pension of a thousand 
pounds, out of the customs. 

In the year 1624 he became a Roman catho- 
lic, and having disclosed his new principles to 
the king, resigned his office.* He was continued 
however a member of the privy council, and 
was created baron of Baltimore in the king- 

Z 2 


Join of Irelaud in 1625, at which time he re- 
presented the university of Oxford in parlia- 

While secretary of state he was constituted, 
by patent, proprietor of the south-eastern penin- 
sula of Newfoundland, which he named the 
province of Avalon. He spent twenty-five thou- 
sand pounds in advancing his plantation, and 
visited it twice in person; but it was so annoyed 
by the French that, though he once repulsed 
and pursued their ships and took sixty prisoners, 
he was obliged to abandon it. Being still in- 
clined to form a settlement in America, whither 
he might retire with his family and friends, of 
the same religious principles, he made a visit to 
Virginia, the fertility and advantages of which 
province had been highly celebrated, and in 
which he had been interested as one of the ad- 
venturers. But meeting with an unwelcome re- 
ception on account of his religion, and observing 
that the Virginians had not extended their plan- 
tations beyond the Potowmack, he fixed his 
attention upon the territory northward of this 
river, and as soon as he returned to England, ob- 


tained a grant of it from Charles I; but owing 
to the tedious forms of public business, before a 
patent was completed, he died at London/on the 
15th of April 1632, in the fifty-first year of his 
age. After his death the patent again was drawn 
in the name of his eldest son, Cecil, who suc- 
ceeded to his honours, and it passed the seals 
on the 20th of June 1632. The country was 
called Maryland, in honour of Henrietta Maria, 
the queen consort of Charles I. From the great 
precision of this charter, the powers it confers 
on the proprietor, and the privileges and ex- 
emptions which it grants to the people, it is 
evident it was written by sir George himself. 
The liberal code of religious toleration which it 
established, is very honourable to him, and was 
respected by his son, who carried his design 
into execution. 

Sir George was conspicuous for his good 
sense and moderation. All parties were pleased 
with him. Not being obstinate in his opinions, 
he took as much pleasure in hearing the senti- 
ments of others, as in delivering his own. In 
his views of establishing foreign plantations, he 


thought that the original inhabitants, instead of 
being exterminated, should be converted and 
civilized; that the governors should not be in- 
terested merchants, but gentlemen not concern- 
ed in trade; and that every one should be left to 
provide for himself by his own industry, with- 
out dependence on a common interest. 

He published Carmen Funebre in D. Hen. 
Untonum, 1596. Parliamentary Speeches; va- 
rious letters of state; the Answer of Tom Tell 
Troth; the Practice of Princes; and the Lamen- 
tation of the Kirk, 1642. He also wrote some- 
thing respecting Maryland, but it is thought it 
was never printed. American Biography. 

William Darke, a brave officer during 
the American war, was born in Philadelphia 
county in the year 1736, and when a boy, ac- 
companied his parents to Virginia. In the nine- 
teenth year of his age he joined the army under 
general Braddock, and shared in the dangers of 


his defeat, in 1755. In the beginning of the war 
with Great Britain he accepted a captain's coin- 
mission, and served with great reputation till 
the close of the war, at which time he held the 
rank of major. In 1791 he received from con- 
gress the command of a regiment in the army 
under general St. Clair, and bore a distinguished 
part in the unfortunate battle with the Indians 
on the 4th of November in the same year. In 
this battle he lost a favourite son, and narrowly 
escaped with his own life. In his retirement 
during his last years, he enjoyed the confidence 
of the state which had adopted him, and was 
honoured with the rank of major-general of the 
militia. He died at his seat in Jefferson county, 
November 26th, 1801, in the sixty-sixth year 
of his age. American Biography \ 

No. XIX. 

William Grayson, a senator of the United 
States, was a native of the state of Virginia, and 
was appointed a representative to congress from 


that state in the year 1784, and continued a 
number of years. In June 1788, he was a mem- 
ber of the Virginia convention which was called 
for the purpose of considering the present con- 
stitution of the United States. In this assembly, 
rendered illustrious by men of the first talents, 
he was very conspicuous. His genius united 
with the eloquence of Henry, in opposing the 
adoption of the constitution. While he acknow- 
ledged the evils of the old government, he was 
afraid that the proposed government would des- 
troy the liberty of the states. His principal ob- 
jections to it were, that it took from the states 
the sole right of direct taxation, which was the 
highest act of sovereignty; that the limits be- 
tween the national and state authorities were 
not sufficiently denned, that they might clash, 
in which case the general government would 
prevail; that there was no provision against rais- 
ing such a navy, as was more than sufficient to 
protect our trade, and thus would excite the 
jealousy of European powers, and lead to war; 
and that there were no adequate checks against 
the abuse of power, especially by the president, 


who was responsible only to his counsellors and 
partners in crime, the members of the senate. 

After the constitution was adopted, Mr. 
Grayson was appointed one of the senators 
from Virginia, in the year 1789; his colleague 
was Richard Henry Lee. He died at Dumfries, 
whither he had come on his way to the con- 
gress, March 12th, 1790, and his remains were 
deposited in the family vault at the reverend 
Mr. Spence Grayson's. 

His great abilities were united with unim- 
peached integrity. American Biography, 

No. XX. 
Richard Henry Lee, president of con- 
gress, was a native of Virginia, and from his 
earliest youth devoted his talents to the service 
of his country. His public life was distin- 
guished by some remarkable circumstances. 
He had the honour of originating the first re- 
sistance to British oppression in the time of the 
stamp act in 1765. He proposed m the Virginia 


house of burgesses, in 1773, the formation of a 
committee of correspondence, whose object was 
to disseminate information, and to kindle the 
flame of liberty throughout the continent. He 
was a member of the first congress, and it was 
he who proposed and ably supported the mo- 
tion for declaring the colonies free and inde- 
pendent, on the 7th of June, 1776. After the 
adoption of the articles of the confederation, he 
w r as under the necessity of withdrawing from 
congress, as no representative was allowed to 
continue in congress more than three years, in 
any term of six years; but he was re-elected in 
the year 1784, and continued till 1787. It was 
in November 1784, that he was chosen presi- 
dent of congress. When the constitution of the 
United States was submitted to the considera- 
tion of the public, he contended for the neces- 
sity of amendments, previously to its adoption. 
After the government was organised, he and 
Mr. Grayson were chosen the first senators 
from Virginia, in the year 1789. This station 
he held till his resignation in 1792, when John 
Taylor was appointed in his place. Mr. Lee 


died at his seat at Chantilly, in Westmoreland 
county, Virginia, June 22d, 1794, in the sixty- 
third year of his age. He supported through life 
the character of a philosopher, a patriot, and a 
sage; and he died as he had lived, blessing his 
country. The petition to the king, which was 
adopted by the congress in the year 1774, and 
was admirably well drawn up, has been gene- 
rally attributed to his pen. A letter, which he 
wrote against Deane, is published in the Virginia 
Gazette of January 1st, and the Independent 
Chronicle of February 11th, 1779. 

He is supposed to have been the author of 
" Observations leading to a fair examination of 
the system of government proposed by the late 
convention, in letters from the federal farmer to 
the republican." American Biography. 

2 A 


No. XXI. 

Arthur Lee, M. D., minister of the United 
States to the court of Versailles, was a native 
of Virginia, and the brother of Richard Henry- 
Lee. He was educated at the university of Edin- 
burg, where he also pursued, for some time, the 
study of medicine. On his return to this coun- 
try, he practised physic four or five years in 
Williamsburg. He then went to London, and 
commenced the study of the law in the Temple. 
During his residence in England he kept his 
eye on the measures of government, and ren- 
dered the most important services to his coun- 
try, by sending to America the earliest intelli- 
gence of the plans of the ministry. When the 
instructions to governor Bernard were sent over, 
he at the same time communicated information 
to the town of Boston respecting the nature of 
them. He returned, it is believed, before 1769, 
for in that year he published the Monitor's Let- 
ters, in vindication of the colonial rights. In 1775 
he was in London, as the agent of Virginia; and 
he presented, in August, the second petition of 
congress to the king. All his exertions were now 


directed to the good of his country. When Mr. 
Jefferson declined the appointment of a minis- 
ter to France, Dr. Lee was appointed to his 
place, and he joined his colleagues, Dr. Frank- 
and Mr. Deane, at Paris, in December 1776, 
He assisted in negotiating the treaty with France. 
In the year 1779, he and Mr. Adams, who had 
taken the place of Deane, were recalled, and 
Dr. Franklin was appointed sole minister to 
France. His return had been rendered neces- 
sary by the malicious accusations with which 
Deane had assailed his public conduct. 

In the preceding year Deane had left Paris; 
agreeably to an order of congress, and came to 
this country in the same ship with the French 
minister Gerard. On his arrival, as many sus- 
picions hovered around him, he thought it ne- 
cessary to repel them, by attacking the character 
of his colleague Dr. Lee. In an inflammatory 
address to the public he vilified him in the 
grossest terms, charging him with obstructing 
the alliance with France, and disclosing the 
secrets of congress to British noblemen. He 
at the same time impeached the conduct of his 


brother, William Lee, Esq., agent for con- 
gress at the courts of Vienna and Berlin. Dr. 
Lee also was not on very good terms with Dr. 
Franklin, whom he believed to be too much 
under the influence of the French court. Firm 
in his attachment to the interest of his country, 
honest, zealous, he was inclined to question 
the correctness of all the commercial transac- 
tions in which the philosopher had been en- 
gaged. These dissensions among the ministers 
produced corresponding divisions in congress; 
and Monsieur Gerard had so little respect for 
the dignity of an ambassador, as to become a 
zealous partisan of Deane. Dr. Lee had many 
friends in congress, but Dr. Franklin more. 
When the former returned to America in the 
year 1780, such was his integrity, that he did 
not find it difficult to reinstate himself fully in 
the good opinion of the public. In 1784 he was 
appointed one of the commissioners for holding 
a treaty with the Indians of the Six Nations. 
He accordingly went to Fort Schuyler, and 
executed this trust in a manner which did him 
much honour. In February 1790 he was ad- 


mitted a counsellor of the supreme court of the 
United States, by a special order. After a short 
illness, he died, December 14th, 1792, at Ur- 
banna, in Middlesex county, Virginia. He was 
a man of uniform patriotism, of a sound under- 
standing, of great probity, of plain manners, and 
strong passions. 

During his residence for a number of years 
in England, he was indefatigable in his exer- 
tions to promote the interests of his country. 
To the abilities of a statesman he united the 
acquisitions of a scholar. He was a member 
of the American Philosophical Society. Be- 
sides the Monitor's Letters, written in the year 
1769, which have been mentioned, he pub- 
lished " Extracts from a letter to congress in 
answer to a libel by Silas Deane," 1780; and 
" Observations on certain commercial transac- 
tions in France," laid before congress 1780. 

American Biography. 

2 A 2 


No. XXII. 
John Mitchell, M.D. F.R.S.,-a botanist 
and physician, came from England to Virginia 
in the former part of the last century. His resi- 
dence was chiefly at Urbanna, a small town on 
the Rappahannock, about seventy-three miles 
from Richmond. He appears to have been a 
man of observation, acuteness, and enterprise, 
as well as learning. He was a great botanist, 
and seems to have paid particular attention to 
the Hybrid productions. He wrote, in the year 
1743, the causes of the different colours of 
people in different climates, which was pub- 
lished in the Philosophical Transactions, Vol. 
43. He attributes the difference of the human 
complexions to the same causes which have 
been assigned by the reverend Dr. Smith, viz. 
the influence of climate and modes of life; and 
he thinks that the whites have degenerated 
more from the original complexion in Noah 
and his family, than the Indians or even ne- 
groes. The colour of the decendants of Ham, 
he considers a blessing, rather than a curse, as 
without it they could not well inhabit Africa. 



He also published an essay on the preparations 
and uses of the various kinds of potash, in the 
Philosophical Transactions, Vol. 45; a letter 
concerning electrical cohesion in Vol. 51; and 
a useful work on the general principles of 
botany, containing descriptions of a number 
of new genera of plants, 4to. 1769. It is be- 
lieved that he was also the author of the map 
of North America, published in the year 1755, 
which was accompanied by a large pamphlet, 
entitled " The contest in America;" and fol- 
lowed by another, " The present state of Great 
Britain and America," 1767. His manuscripts 
on the yellow fever, as it appeared in Vir- 
ginia in the year 1742, fell into the hands of 
Dr. Franklin, by whom they were communi- 
cated to Dr. Rush. 

.American Biography, 


Thomas Nelson, governor of Virginia, 
was a distinguished patriot of the revolution, 
and uniformly attached to liberty. When Vir- 
ginia was threatened to be made the theatre 
of war, he was appointed general by the legis- 
lature, and he took the field at the head of his 
countrymen. He was chosen governor in the 
year 1781. The officers at the siege of York 
witnessed his merit, and his attachment to civil 
religious liberty. He died in February 1789, 

American Biography. 

No. XXIV. 
Peyton R a n d o l p h , first president of con- 
gress, was a native of Virginia, of which colo- 
ny he was attorney- general as early as the year 
1756. In that year he formed a company of a 
hundred gentlemen, who engaged as volunteers 
against the Indians. He was afterwards speaker 
of the house of burgesses. Being appointed 
one of the deputies to the first congress, in 


1774, he was on the 5th of September elected 
its president. He was also chosen president of 
the second congress, May 10th, 1775; but on 
the 24th, as he was obliged to return to Vir- 
ginia, Mr. Hancock was placed in the chair. 
Mr. Randolph afterwards took his seat again 
in congress. He died at Philadelphia of an 
apoplectic fit, October 22d, 1775, aged fifty- 
two years. American Biography. 










J. HE following sketch of the ecclesiastical history of 

Virginia, is from the pen of the present learned and 
venerable president of Hampden Sydney college. I re- 
gret that it did not come to hand in time to be inserted 
in the body of the work. The affairs of the church make 
an important part of the history of most nations, and 
afford no less a subject of meditation to the philosopher, 
than a lesson of instruction to the christian. Religion, 
unrestrained by law, and untrammelled by superstition, 
promotes the best interests of the government, and se- 
cures the real happiness of the subject. Its doctrines 
derive not their influence from the aid of civil authority, 
nor can the arm of secular power impede their progress 
or prevent their efficacy. It belongs to government to 
protect the religion of every sect, without wishing to 
control the opinions of any. 

2 B 


Such is the present happy state of our country, where 
no monopoly of civil rights or religious privileges be- 
longs to any sect, or is the reward of any tenets. Here 
the church may flourish, careless of the flattery of her 
friends, and fearless of the frowns of her enemies. 

May 24tli, 1813. 
Dear Sir, 

In the history of Virginia which you are about to pub- 
lish, a brief sketch of the affairs of the church may, I 
think, with propriety be allowed a place. And this 
sketch I shall, agreeably to your request, undertake to 
furnish. But so very defective are my materials for a 
work of this nature, that it will not be in my power to 
do justice to the interesting subject. 

At the first settlement of this country by the English, 
the Episcopal church was established by law; and se- 
vere penalties were enacted against non-conformists to 
the established worship. 

That there is a very intimate connexion between the 
civil and religious interests of any government, will 
readily be conceded. The duties which we owe to the 
country in which we live, we also owe to God from 
whom we have derived our existence. Nor is it possible 
for any one to conduct himself as it becomes a christian, 
without being at the same time a good citizen of the 
commonwealth. But these great interests ought always 
to be preserved entirely distinct. 

As a sense of religious obligation is eminently condu- 


dve to the well-being of civil society, h is certainly the 
duty of the civil magistrate to cherish that sense by all 
proper means. But he has no right to select as the fa- 
vcj&rhes of government any denomination of the clergy, 
and to provide for their support at the common expense. 
Mych less can he have a right to require any one to 
worship the Creator in a way that does not accord with 

.it - 

th£ dictates of his own conscience. Instead of such in- 
vidious distinctions, the civil magistrate ought to be the 
common protector of all, without distinction, who de- 
mean themselves as good citizens of the commonwealth. 
A$d such is, at present, the case in our highly favoured 

•At the American revolution the Episcopal establish- 
vh&pt was abolished, and religious liberty suffered to re- 
itta$ upon its own proper base. 

This reverse in the state of the Episcopal church was, 
it is affirmed by a respectable writer of that communion, 
attended with some very serious disadvantages. Ulti- 
majjely however it will, we have reason to believe, be 
highly conducive to the interests of genuine religion. 
Already hate we seen a new and striking proof that the 
gospel of Christ is not dependent upon the arm of civil 
government for its support. Truth, when left thus^bjpe: 
to a free and impartial investigation, will, it may ^jjyi?- 
sumed, prevail. And now that all just ground of enVv 
and. j^.^lousy among the different denominations has been 
remo\ed, it may reasonably be expected that they will 


follow with more attention and success the things that 
make for peace. 

It is not uncommon for ecclesiastical historians to 
obtrude upon the world, and that under the imposing 
name of church history, a pompous account of the pride, 
the luxury, and other vices of faithless ecclesiastics, to- 
gether with the contests and wars which they are said 
to have engendered or fomented. This however is, in 
my opinion, neither candid nor just. In this way many 
groundless prejudices have, there is reason to believe, 
been excited against the religion of Jesus Christ. For 
the faults of real members the church is indeed account- 
able. But the crimes of such as are christians only in 
name, belong to a very different class — to the world, and 
not to the church. — The proper subject of church his- 
tory is the kingdom of Jesus Christ upon earth, and not 
the kingdoms of this world, or the lives or opinions of 
the children of this world, by what name soever they 
may choose to be distinguished. 

The earliest authentic account in my possession of the 
state of vital piety in our country, is contained in a letter 
from the Rev. Samuel Davis, then minister of the gos- 
pel at Hanover, to Dr. Bellamy of New England. This 
interesting communication is dated June 28th, 1751; 
and from it I have taken the liberty to make the follow- 
ing extracts. 


Reverend and Dear Sir, 
If the publication of the rise, progress, and present 
situation of religion in Virginia may not only gratify 
good people, but (as you give me reason to hope) ani- 
mate their prayers for us, and encourage preachers to 
come into these parts, I should charge myself with a 
criminal neglect if I refused to publish the marvellous 
works of the Lord among us. I hope I may observe 
without the umbrage of calumny, what is but too evident 
among serious people of all denominations among us, 
that religion has been, and in most parts of the colony 
still is, in a very low state. A surprising negligence in 
attending public worship, and an equally surprising 
levity and unconcernedness among those that attend. 
Family religion a rarity, and a solemn concern about 
eternal things a greater. Vices of various kinds tri- 
umphant, and even a form of godliness not common.— 
But universal fame makes it needless for me to enlarge 
upon this disagreeable subject. Before the revival in 
1743, there were a few who were awakened, as they 
have told me, either by their own serious reflections, 
suggested and enforced by divine energy, or on reading 
some authors of the last century, particularly Bolton, 
Baxter, Flavel, Bunyan. — There was one Mr. Samuel 
Morris, who had for some time been very anxious about 
his own salvation, who after obtaining blessed relief in 
Christ, became zealous for the salvation of his neigh- 

2 B 2 


hours, and very earnest to use means to awaken them, 
This was the tendency of his conversation; and he also 
read to them such authors as had been most useful to 
himself, particularly Luther on the Galatians, and his 
table discourses, and several pieces of honest Bunyan's. 
By these means some of his neighbours were made 
more thoughtful about their souls; but the concern was 
not very extensive. I have prevailed on my good friend 
just now named, who was the principal private instru- 
ment of promoting the late work, and therefore well ac- 
quainted with it, to write me a narrative of its rise and 
progress, and this, together with what he and others 
have told me, I shall present to you without any mate- 
rial alteration. — In the year 1740, Mr. Whitefield had 
preached at Williamsburg at the invitation of Mr. Blair, 
our late commissary. But we being sixty miles distant 
from Williamsburg, he left the colony before we had an 
opportunity of hearing him. But in the year 1743, a 
young gentleman from Scotland had got a book of his 
sermons, preached in Glasgow, and taken from his 
mouth in short hand, which after I had read with great 
benefit, I invited my neighbours to come and hear it; 
and the plainness and fervency of these discourses being 
attended with the power of the Lord, many were con- 
vinced of their undone condition, and constrained to seek 
deliverance with the greatest solicitude. A considerable 
number met to hear these sermons, every Sabbath, and 
frequently on week days. The concern of some was so 


passionate and violent, that they could not avoid crying 
out and weeping bitterly, Sec; and that when such indi- 
cations of religious concern were so strange and ridicu- 
lous, that they could not be occasioned by example or 
sympathy, and the affectation of them would be so un- 
profitable an instance of hypocrisy, that none could be 
tempted to it. My dwelling house at length was too 
small to contain the people, whereupon we determined 
to build a meeting-house, merely for reading. And hav- 
ing never been used to social extempore prayer, none of 
us durst attempt it. By this single mean severals were 
awakened; and their conduct ever since is a proof of the 
continuance and happy issue of their impressions. When 
the report was spread abroad, I was invited to several 
places to read these sermons, at a considerable distance, 
and by this means the concern was propagated. About 
this time our absenting ourselves from the established 
church, contrary, as was alleged, to the laws of the land, 
was taken notice of, and we were called upon by the 
court to assign our reasons for it, and to declare what 
denomination we were of. As we knew but little of any 
denomination of dissenters, except Quakers, we were at 
a loss what name to assume. At length recollecting that 
Luther was a noted reformer, and that his books had 
been of special service to us, we declared ourselves Lu- 
therans; and thus we continued until Providence sent 
us the Rev. Mr. William Robinson. This Mr. Robinson 
was a zealous laborious minister of Christ, who by the 


permission of the presbytery took a journey through 
the new settlements of Pennsylvania, Virginia, and 
North Carolina. — His labours were extensively blest. — 
On the sixth of July, 1743, he preached his first sermon 
to us from Luke xiii. 3, and continued with us preaching 
four days successively. The congregation was large the 
first day, and vastly increased the three ensuing. It is 
hard for the imagination to form an image of the condi- 
tion of the assembly on these glorious days of the Son 
of Man. Such of us as had been hungering for the word 
before, were lost in an agreeable surprise and astonish- 
ment. We were overwhelmed with the thoughts of the 
unexpected goodness of God, in allowing us to hear the 
gospel preached in a manner that surpassed our hopes. 
Many that came through curiosity were pricked to the 
heart, and but few in the numerous assemblies on these 
four days appeared unaffected. They returned alarmed 
with apprehensions of their dangerous condition, con- 
vinced of their former entire ignorance of religion, and 
anxiously inquiring what they should do to be saved. And 
there is reason to believe there was as much good done 
by these four sermons, as by all the sermons preached 
in these parts before or since. Before Mr. Robinson left 
us, he successfully endeavoured to correct some of our 
mistakes, and to bring us to carry on the worship of God 
more regularly at our meetings. After this we met to 
read good sermons, and began and concluded with prayer 
and singing psalms, which till then we had omitted- 


The blessing of God remarkably attended these more 
private means, and it was really astonishing to observe 
the solemn impressions begun or continued in many by 
hearing good discourses read. Soon after Mr. Robinson 
left us, Mr. John Blair paid us a visit, and truly he came 
to us in the fulness of the gospel of Christ. Former im- 
pressions were refined, and new ones made on many 
hearts. One night in particular a whole houseful of peo- 
ple were quite overcome with the power of the word, 
particularly of one pungent sentence. 

Some time after this the Rev. Mr. Roan was sent us 
by the presbytery of Newcastle. He continued with us 
longer than any of the former, and the happy effects of 
his ministrations are still apparent. He was instrumental 
in beginning and promoting a religious concern in seve- 
ral places where there was little appearance of it before. 
This, together with his speaking pretty freely about the 
degeneracy of the clergy in this colony, gave a general 
alarm, and some measures were concerted to suppress 
us. To incense the indignation of the government the 
more, a perfidious wretch deposed that he heard Mr. 
Roan utter blasphemous expressions in his sermons. An 
indictment was therefore drawn up against Mr. Roan 
(though by that time he had departed) and some who 
had invited him to preach at their houses were cited to 
appear before the general court, and two of them were 
fined. Six witnesses were cited to prove the indictment 
against Mr. Roan, but their depositions were in his 


favour. And the witness who accused him of blasphemy, 
when he heard of the arrival of Messrs. Tennent and 
Finley, fled, and has not returned since, so that the in- 
dictment was dropped. But I had reason to fear being 
banished from the colony, and all circumstances seemed 
to threaten the extirpation of religion among the dis- 
senters in these parts. In these difficulties, having no 
person of a public character to appear in our favour, we 
were determined to acquaint the synod of New York 
with our case. Accordingly four of us went to the synod, 
May 1745, when the Lord favoured us with success. The 
synod drew up an address to our governor, the honoura- 
ble sir William Gooch, and sent it with Messrs. Tennent 
and Finley, who were received by the governor with 
respect, and had liberty granted them to preach among 
us. By this means the dreadful cloud was scattered for a 
while, and our languid hopes revived. They continued 
with us about a week, and though the deluge of passion 
in which we were at first overwhelmed, was by this time 
somewhat abated, yet much good was done by their 
ministry. The people of God were refreshed, and several 
careless sinners were awakened. Some that had trusted 
before in their moral conduct, and religious duties, were 
convinced of the depravity of their nature, and the ne- 
cessity of regeneration, though indeed there were but 
few unregenerate persons among us at that time, that 
could claim so regular a character, the most part in- 
dulging themselves in criminal liberties, being remiss 


in the duties of religion, which, alas! is too commonly 
the case still in such parts of the colony as the late re- 
vival did not extend to. After thev left us we continued 
vacant for a considerable time, and kept up our meetings 
for reading and prayer in several places, and the Lord 
favoured us with his presence. I was again repeatedly 
presented and fined in court for absenting myself from 
church, and holding unlawful meetings, as they were 
called; but the bush flourished in the flames. The next 
that were appointed to supply us, were the Rev. Messrs. 
William Tennent and Samuel Blair. They administered 
the Lord's supper among us; and we have reason to re- 
member it as a most glorious day of the Son of Man. 
The assembly was large, and the novelty of the manner 
of the administration did peculiarly engage the attention. 
It appeared as one of the days of heaven to some of us; 
and we could hardly help wishing we could, with Joshua, 
have delayed the revolutions of the heavens, to prolong 
it. After Messrs. Tennent and Blair were gone, Mr. 
Whitefield came and preached for us five days, which 
was the happy means of giving us farther encourage- 
ment and engaging others to the Lord, especially among 
the church people, who received the gospel more readily 
from him than from ministers of the presbyterian deno- 
mination. After his departure we were destitute of a 
minister, and followed our usual method of reading and 
prayer at our meetings, till the Rev. Mr. Davis, our pre- 
sent pastor, was sent us by the presbytery, to supply us 


a few weeks in the spring of 1747, when our discourage- 
ments from the government were renewed and multi- 
plied; for upon a Lord's day a proclamation was set up 
at our meeting-house, strictly requiring all magistrates 
to suppress and prohibit, as far as they lawfully could, 
all itinerant preachers, See, which occasioned us to for- 
bear reading that day, until we had time to deliberate 
and consult what was expedient to do. But how joyfully 
were we surprised before the next Sabbath; we unex- 
pectedly heard that Mr. Davis was come to preach so 
long among us, and especially that he had qualified him- 
self according to law, and obtained the licensing of four 
meeting houses among us, which had never been done 
before. Thus, men's extremity is the Lord's opportunity. 
For this seasonable interposition of Divine Providence, 
we desire to offer our grateful praises, and we impor- 
tune the friends of Zion to concur with us. 

Thus far Mr. Morris's narrative. Then the Rev. Mr. 
Davis proceeds to give account of the state of their af- 
tairs since he came among them, in April, 1747. 

Upon my arrival, I petitioned the general court to 
grant me a license to officiate in and about Hanover, at 
four meeting-houses, which after some delay, was grant- 
ed, on my qualifying according to the act of toleration. I 
preached frequently in Hanover and some of the adja- 
cent counties, and though the fervor of the late work 
was considerably abated, and my labours were not bless- 
ed with success equal to those of my brethren, yet I 


have reason to hope they were of service in several in- 
stances. The importunities they used with me to settle 
with them were invincible, and upon my departure they 
sent a call for me to the presbytery. 

After I returned from Virginia, I spent near a year 
under melancholy and consumptive languishments, ex- 
pecting death. In the spring of 1748, I began slowly to 
recover, though I then looked upon it only as the inter- 
mission of a disorder that would finally prove mortal. But 
upon the arrival of a messenger from Hanover, I put my 
life in my hand, and determined to accept of their call, 
hoping that I might live to prepare the way for some 
more useful successor, and willing to expire under the 
fatigues of duty rather than in voluntary negligence. 
The honourable sir William Gooch, our late governor, 
always discovered a ready disposition to allow us all 
claimable privileges, and the greatest aversion to perse- 
cuting measures; but considering the shocking reports 
spread abroad concerning us by officious malignants, it 
was no great wonder that the council discovered conside- 
rable reluctance to tolerate us. Had it not been for this, I 
persuade myself they would have shown themselves the 
guardians of our legal privileges, as well as generous 
patriots to their country, which is the general character 
given of them. 

My congregation is very much dispersed. Were they 
all compactly situate in one county, they would be suffi- 
cient for three congregations. Many of the church people 

2 C 


also attend. This I looked upon at first as mere curiosity 
after novelty, but as it continues, and in some places 
seems to increase, I cannot but look upon it as a happy 
token of their being at length thoroughly engaged. And 
I have the greater reason to hope so now, as experience 
has confirmed my former hopes; fifty or sixty families 
having thus been happily entangled in the net of the 
gospel by their own curiosity, or some such motive. 
There are about three hundred communicants in my 
congregation, of whom the greatest number are, in the 
judgment of rational charity, real Christians. Besides 
some, who, through excessive scrupulousness, do not 
seek admission to the Lord's Table. There is also a 
number of negroes. Sometimes I see an hundred and 
more among my hearers. I have had as satisfying evi- 
dences of the sincere piety of severals of them, as ever 
I had from any person in my life; and their artless sim- 
plicity, their passionate aspirations after Christ, their in- 
cessant endeavours to know and do the will of God, have 
charmed me. But alas! while my charge is so extensive 
I cannot take sufficient pains with them for their in- 
struction, which often oppresses my heart. There have 
been instances of unhappy apostacy among us, but bless- 
ed be God, not many in proportion to the number brought 
under concern. At present there are few under promis- 
ing impressions, but, in general a lamentable security 
prevails. Oh for a little reviving in our bondage! 

I might have given you a particular account of the 


conversion of some persons here, as indeed there are 
some uncommon instances of it; but I shall only ob- 
serve in general, that abstracting from particular cir- 
cumstances, the work of conversion has been carried on 
in such steps as are described by experimental divines, 
as Allein, Shepherd, Stoddard, Flavel, Sec. And nothing 
confirms me more in the truth of their opinion concern- 
ing experimental piety, than this agreement and unifor- 
mity as to the substance, in the exercises of those who 
can make the fairest claim to saving grace. 

There is one Isaac Oliver here, whose history, could 
I write it intelligibly to you, would be very entertaining. 
He has been deaf and dumb from his birth, and yet I 
have the utmost reason to believe he is truly gracious, 
and also acquainted with most of the doctrines, and 
many of the historical facts of the Bible. I have seen 
him represent the crucifixion of Christ in such signifi- 
cant signs, that I could not but understand them. I have 
seen him converse in signs about the love and sufferings 
of Christ, till he has been transported into earnestness^ 
and dissolved in tears. 

Thus, dear sir, I have given you a brief account of 
what I am persuaded you will readily own to be a 
work of the Lord. We claim no infallibility, but we 
must not fall into scepticism. If we could form no judg- 
ment of such a work, why should we pretend to promote 
the conversion of men, if we cannot have a satisfying 
knowledge of it when it appears. Indeed the evidence of 


its divinity here is so irresistible, that it has extorteil 
an acknowledgment from some, from whom it would 
scarcely have been suspected. Were you, sir, a narrow 
bigot, you would, no doubt, rejoice to hear that there 
are now some hundreds of dissenters in a place, where, 
a few years ago there were not ten; but I assure myself 
of your congratulations on a nobler account, because a 
considerable number of perishing sinners is gained to 
the blessed Redeemer, with whom, though you may 
never see them here, you may spend a blissful eternity. 
After all, poor Virginia demands your compassion, for 
religion at present is but like the cloud which Elijah's 
servant saw. Oh that it may spread and cover the land. 

On the west side of the Blue Ridge, a large proportion 
of the first settlers were dissenters. Nor did they, as far 
as I can learn, ever meet with any serious obstructions 
from government. The Rev. Messrs. John Hoge, John 
Craig, and John Brown were, I think, the first Presbytc- 
lian ministers who settled there. You do not however, I 
believe, cither expect or wish from me a detail of the 
churches of this description with an account of the state 
of religion in each. 

About twenty-five years ago, there was among the 
churches of that denomination, a very considerable re- 
vival, the fruits of which are still visible in our country. 
In promoting this work, Mr. John Smith, in whose 
charge it is said to have taken its rise, was the most 
distinguished instrument. Mr. William Graham also. 


with several others still living, laboured with good suc- 
cess in this great harvest. 

It is, we have reason to conclude, seldom, if ever, the 
case that the gospel of Christ is faithfully preached in 
vain. It is, however, too common for preachers, and the 
people committed to their care, to sink into a state of 
very culpable remissness. And such, in many instances, 
appears to have been the case with the Presbyterian 
churches in Virginia, for some time previous to the pe- 
riod just mentioned. But then the scene was happily re- 
versed. The importance of everlasting realities was 
deeply felt both by preachers and hearers. Sinners were 
convinced of their guilt and danger. And slumbering 
Christians were awakened, revived, and comforted. The 
assemblies for public worship were large, attentive and 
solemn. Nor was it uncommon for the tokens of the divine 
presence to be so evident as to extort from some of the 
most obstinate gainsayers, the ingenuous acknowledg- 
ment, "God is in this place, and I know it not." In Cum- 
berland, Prince Edward, Charlotte and Bedford, a great 
reformation was in a short time effected. Nor was this 
good work confined to the counties on the east side of 
the Blue Ridge. It was not long before Mr. Graham, 
having heard a favourable account of it, undertook a 
journey to Prince Edward, accompanied by a number of 
his young people that they might be spectators of the 
gracious visitation. And they were, I believe, more than 
spectators. Mr. Graham returned to his sacred charge, 

2 C 2 


full in the fulness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ* 
And the general assembly's theological professor, with 
several others of the youth in company, returned with a 
firm determination to seek first the kingdom of God, 
and his righteousness. When the celebrated Dr. Bu- 
chanan, author of Christian researches in Asia, first 
heard the pious Mr. John Newlon preach, he was led 
to conclude, " This man has something which I want." 
And such I have been assured, was the impression 
which was made upon a number of Mr. Graham's sacred 
charge, upon hearing him relate what he had seen in 
Prince Edward. Nor was it long before a happy change 
was observed in the religious state of that people and 
several neighbouring congregations. In the counties of 
Frederick, Berkley and Jefferson, also, considerable ad- 
ditions were made to the church. There were indeed, I 
believe, few, if any, Presbyterian congregations in our 
state, where this revival did not in a greater or less de- 
gree prevail. 

At a Synodical meeting at Lexington, in the year 
1802, the word of the gospel was attended with more 
than ordinary efficacy. And this solemn occasion was 
succeeded by considerable additions to the churches of 
Kockbridge and Augusta. And would my limits admit 
of it, other instances of a similar nature, and of a more 
recent date, might be mentioned. Nor has the Episcopal 
church been altogether destitute of successful labourers 
in the vineyard cf Jesus Christ. Mr. Whitefield's visit 
to this country has been already mentioned. And the Rev. 


Messrs. Devereaux, Jarratt, and Archibald M'Robert,* 
are entitled in this view to very respectful notice, as 
will appear from the following extracts, from the life of 
the former. 

" The genuine doctrines of the gospel, when preached 
in due order,and inculcated with any justdegreeof anima- 
tion and pathos^ seldom fail in producing good effects, 
more or less. I had the exquisite pleasure of seeing this 
realized among the people of my charge, before I had 
laboured very long. The religious concern among the 
people of Bath, soon enlarged the bounds of my labours. 
Such a work could not be confined to a corner. It gives 
me pleasure now to review these happy times, and the 
many precious reviving seasons, when the spirit was 
poured out from on high, and such a number of souls 
was gathered into the fold of the Great Sheperd. Seve- 
ral such seasons took place between the years 1764 and 
1772. In the course of these years a great many souls 
were, in the judgment of charity, savingly converted to 
God, and obtained remission of sins by faith in Jesus 
Christ. Thus commenced the enlargement of my bounds 
of preaching, which in process of time extended to the 
circle of five or six hundred miles east, west, north, and 

" It has been intimated already, that at my first set- 
tlement in this parish, I knew of no minister of the 


* Mr. Holt also, it is probable, ought to be added to this cata- 
logue, but I am not acquainted with his history. 


established church, who was like minded with myself, the doctines I prrached, and my manner of 
preaching them. I stood alone for some time. But in a 
few years I became acquainted with a neighbouring 
clergyman,* in whom some good thing was found. He 
had great gifts for the pulpit, and spoke with a degree 
animation very unusual in his time. 

" In him I found a dear brother, and a faithful fellow- 
labourer in the Lord. We frequently travelled together, 
and preached in each other's churches, especially on 
sacramental occasions. Our joint labours on these and 
many other occasions, I trust, were not in vain in the 

"Religion revived on all hands and spread abundantly. 
The number of communicants increased to nine hundred 
or one thousand. "t 

As the Baptists and Methodists have published to the 
world, histories of their respective churches, it may be 
sufficient in this place just to acknowledge their im- 
portant services in the cause of genuine religion. Of 
them it may be truly affirmed that they have gone out 
in the highways and hedges, and compelled many a 
profligate transgressor to come into the fold of Christ. 

From this review, we are naturally led to conclude, 
that God is not a respecter of persons or denominations, 
as the bigots of all parties are apt to suppose. No: whe^ 

* Mr. M' Robert. 

t See Jarratt's Life, p. 90—102. 


ther we offer up our homage to the Great Creator and 
Governor of the universe by a form, or without a form, 
as the spirit helpeth our infirmities; whether we devote 
our infant offspring to God in the ordinance of baptism, 
or only in the way of prayer and supplication; whether 
we believe in the doctrine of predestination without hav- 
ing it in our power to comprehend that doctrine, or set 
ourselves in opposition to it, without any very distinct 
conceptions of what it is we oppose; and whatever form 
of church government w r e prefer, Episcopal, Presbyte- 
rian, or Congregational; — in all these cases, the doc- 
trines of the cross, when faithfully preached, become the 
power of God, and the wisdom of God to the salvation 
of perishing sinners. 

Upon the whole, notwithstanding the strenuous oppo- 
sition which has lately been made to the gospel of Christ 
and the powerful obstructions it has still to meet, I am 
disposed to consider the great interests of vital piety in 
a progressive state in our country. And when party zeal 
and unprofitable disputations about the circumstantials 
of religion shall cease to molest the peace of the church; 
when antinomial licentiousness on the one hand, and 
pharisaic self-righteousness on the other, shall give 
place to a faith that worketh by love; when professors of 
the Christian faith shall no longer mistake the fervors 
of a heated imagination, or the cold and heartless suf- 
frages of the understanding in favour of religion, for 
vital piety; when, instead of misrepresenting the doc- 


trines and depreciating the characters of one another, 
they shall honestly endeavour to preserve the unity of 
the spirit in the bond of peace: — In a word, when the dif- 
ferent denominations shall employ as much zeal and 
union of exertion to promote the great interests of 
genuine religion, as its opponents do to obstruct its pro- 
gress, then may we confidently expect to 9ee much bet- 
ter times in the churches of Virginia. 



Th " b ° 0k t " u Un ^^u mstances to be 
taken fr„ m tne Building 

Leijox Library 

Bancroft Collection. 
Torch itseo in l$$3.