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The Southern States of America
The History of Virginia - Chapter II


Government of the Royal Province of Virginia.

After the dissolution of the London Company, affairs were very much depressed in the colony on account of the uncertainty attending land titles and even the form of government. King James declared that he did not intend to disturb the interest of either planter or adventurer, but as he subsequently appointed a commission consisting of opponents to the Company to take charge, temporarily, of Virginia affairs the people did not know exactly what to expect. Serious fears were entertained as to the fate of the representative government, which they had enjoyed under the Company; for while the then governor, Sir Francis Wyatt, and twelve others in Virginia as councillors were authorized to conduct the local government, no summons went out for an assembly. King James, however, died March 27, 1625, and by his death the commission for Virginia affairs in England expired.

Charles I. had all the arbitrary notions of his father, but fortunately he was under personal obligations to Sir Edwin Sandys and Nicholas Ferrar, Jr., and for their sake he dismissed the former royal commissioners and intrusted affairs relative to Virginia to a committee of the Privy Council friendly to the old Company. The Virginians sent George Yeardley to England, and as the result of his representations he was returned as governor; and not long after, on March 26, 1628, under instructions from the King, the regular law-making body again assembled at Jamestown-an event second only in importance to the original meeting in 1619. It seems that the division of the General Assembly into two chambers-the council sitting as an upper house and the representatives of the people sitting as the lower house in imitation of the houses of Parliament-dates from this period. Never again were the regular sessions of the law-making body interrupted, and the Virginians, practically left. to themselves by the King, enjoyed a larger share of free government than could have been possible under the Company.

Claiborne's Struggle for Territorial Integrity.

The question of land titles was kept in uncertainty for a much longer period. Despite the assurances of King James, which were repeated by his son, Charles I., the colonists and those interested in England were soon given to understand that the privileges of the planters and adventurers did not extend to unoccupied lands. On Oct. 30, 1629, the King granted to Sir Robert Heath the province of Carolina in the southern part of Virginia between 31 and 36 degrees. And about the same time Cottington, the secretary of state, in answer to an application from George Calvert, Lord Baltimore, promised him "any part of Virginia not already granted." Soon after on the death of George Calvert, a charter was made out on June 20, 1632, to his son, Cecilius Calvert, for that part of Virginia lying north of the Potomac, which was called Maryland.

It happened, however, that William Claiborne, the secretary of state of Virginia, under the authority of the King, had established within the limits of the proposed province, in 1631, a trading post on Kent Island, which was recognized by the Virginia authorities as a legal occupation. Backed by the Virginia authorities and the members of the old Company, Claiborne disputed the validity of Baltimore's grant, and when this was decided against him by the commissioners for foreign plantations, he contested the point as to Kent Island itself, holding it to be expressly excepted by the terms of the charter, which described the land given to Lord Baltimore as "hitherto unsettled and occupied only by barbarians ignorant of God." The government in England vacillated from one side to the other, and as a result there was a miniature war in which several persons were killed in Chesapeake Bay. Great excitement prevailed in both colonies, and in Virginia much indignation was felt against the governor, Harvey, who upheld the cause of the Marylanders, and in his general conduct reflected the views of the court party in England. He acted in important matters without the consent of his council, which was contrary to his instructions; he attempted to lay taxes and suppressed a petition addressed to the King by the Assembly on the tobacco contract. Matters came to a crisis in April, 1635, when the council turned Harvey out of office and shipped him back to England.

This deposition of a royal governor mightily surprised King Charles, who declared it an act of "regal authority." He restored Harvey to his government, and on April 4, 1638, the commissioners for foreign plantations rendered a report giving Kent Island and the right of trade in Chesapeake Bay wholly to Lord Baltimore, and leaving all personal wrongs between the parties to be redressed by the courts.

This territorial question at last seemed settled, but in the vicissitudes of English politics King Charles soon found it wise to once more turn a favorable ear to the friends of the old Company, and on Jan. 16, 1639, Sir Francis Wyatt, who had governed in Virginia acceptably once before, was commissioned to succeed Harvey. The agitation for a renewal of the charter was resumed and George Sandys was sent to England as agent for the colony to present to the King the wishes of the people. But soon another change in politics ensued by the breach between King and Parliament, and Sandys, despairing of success with the King, appealed to the Parliament, and the Virginia patent was taken out again "under the broad seal of England."

To offset these proceedings the King commissioned Sir William Berkeley, a vehement royalist, as successor to the popular Wyatt, and he arrived in Virginia in January, 1642. Under his influence the General Assembly changed views, and a petition against the restoration of the Company was presented to Charles at his headquarters in York on July 5, 1642. He returned a gracious reply that "he had not the least intention to consent to the introduction of any Company."

The civil war between the King and Parliament greatly influenced affairs in America. The inhabitants of Kent Island were Protestants and were restless under the new authority of Lord Baltimore, who was a Catholic. As a consequence civil war ensued in Maryland between the Protestant and Catholic factions. In Virginia the Indians, encouraged by the rumors of war in England, attacked the colonists and killed over 300. Nevertheless, Lord Baltimore in Maryland and Sir William Berkeley in Virginia managed to assert their authority over Indians and Parliamentarians alike. In Maryland the chief agitator, Ingle, was expelled, and in Virginia the savages, by the activity of Claiborne and other officers, were driven far away into the forests. Old Opechancanough, the Indian chief, was captured, and peace was not long after made with Necotowance, his successor, by which the Indians agreed to retire entirely from the peninsula between the York and James rivers, and from the south side of James River as far as the Black Water.

In 1649 Maryland was the gainer by an emigration from Virginia of over 1,000 Puritans, who would not accept the forms of the Church of England; but Virginia did not feel the drain because of the much larger accession to her numbers through the civil war in England. These new people were not like many of the old settlers, servants who went thither to make tobacco, but English yeomen, merchants and gentlemen, frequently of great estates and influential family connections, who crossed the seas to make homes. Tobacco planting was, in fact, no longer much of a temptation, as the price had fallen from 10 shillings a pound in 1612 to one penny a pound in 1642.

Commonwealth Period in Virginia.

The execution of King Charles in 1649 caused much excitement in Virginia, and under the influence of the immigrant cavaliers Sir William Berkeley denounced the murder, and the General Assembly declared it treason either to defend the late proceedings or to doubt the right of his son, Charles II., to succeed to the crown.

This was bold talk, but the challenge thus tendered was not unnoticed by Parliament very long. In October, 1651, was passed the first of the navigation acts which limited the colonial trade to England, banishing from Virginia the Dutch vessels which hitherto carried abroad most of the exports. About the same time having taken measures against Barbadoes, the council of state ordered a squadron to be prepared to reduce Virginia and Maryland. Thomas Stegge, Richard Bennett and William Claiborne, members of Berkeley's council, were made commissioners, and the result was that in March, 1652, when the fleet appeared before Jamestown the assembly and council overwhelmed Berkeley to make an accommodation. The Virginians recognized the authority of the commonwealth of England, and promised to pass no statute contrary to the laws of Parliament. On the other hand the commissioners acknowledged the submission of Virginia "as a voluntary act not forced nor constrained by a conquest upon the country." They conceded to the General Assembly the sole right to lay taxes, and promised to secure to her the ancient limits granted by the former royal charter. Bennett was made governor, and Claiborne secretary of state, and Berkeley retired to Green Spring, near Jamestown, where his home was the favorite resort of fugitive cavaliers.

The commissioners then proceeded to St. Mary's, the capital of Maryland, where they met with even less resistance than at Jamestown.

During the next six years the Virginians had pretty much the control of their own affairs. Despite the navigation act they renewed their trade with Holland and prospered accordingly, and in 1654 there were fifteen counties inhabited by about 22,000 people. Benjamin Symes founded a free school in 1635 and Thomas Eaton one in 1659, and the General Assembly required the churchwardens to see that all poor children were taught to read and write.

In this time there was but one serious setback. Maryland was, until 1657, practically ruled from Virginia by the commissioners Bennett and Claiborne, who vigorously asserted against Lord Baltimore the rights of Virginia to all territory claimed by him in Maryland. But Lord Baltimore paid such court to Oliver Cromwell and made to him such exaggerated statements of his devotion to the commonwealth that the Virginia representatives, seeing that they could accomplish nothing, hastened to make an accommodation. They recognized his Lordship's authority in Maryland, and sought only in return to guarantee to the Protestant inhabitants of Maryland their individual land titles and the maintenance of the toleration act of 1649.

During the anarchy in England following the resignation of Richard Cromwell from his office as Lord High Protector, the Assembly of Virginia assumed the supreme power, and, on the death of Gov. Samuel Matthews, recalled Sir William Berkeley to the government in March, 1660. Two months later General Monk proclaimed Charles II. in London, and his example was joyfully followed at Jamestown by Sir William Berkeley, September 20.

Bacon's Rebellion.

Claiborne's struggle to preserve the integrity of the domain of Virginia was at an end, and a new era identified with the name of Nathaniel Bacon commenced. The rebellion which broke out sixteen years after the restoration was mainly produced by the long continued exercise of prerogative conflicting with the rights of the people. Thus against the protest of the colonists the navigation act was reenacted by Charles II. in 1663, and by its strict enforcement caused a great depression in the sale of tobacco. Then titles to lands were rendered very uncertain by extensive grants to Lord Culpeper and other court favorites, and there was a heavy burden of taxation due to the extravagance of officials in Virginia. The Assembly called in 1662, composed of the friends of the governor, continued for fourteen years, and by it taxes were imposed for towns that never flourished, and for public utilities that exceeded the needs of the people and cost three times as much as they were worth. To all these impositions on the people by government were added other misfortunes-invasions in 1667 and 1673 by Dutch fleets, which destroyed the shipping in the river, and the ravages of a great storm in the former year which blew down 15,000 houses (principally tobacco barns) in Virginia and Maryland. At length, in 1676, matters were brought to a crisis by troubles with the Indians, who committed many murders on the frontiers of the settlements, which stretched at that time to the falls of the different rivers. The people begged Nathanial Bacon, Jr., of Curls, in Henrico county, to protect them; and he, after petitioning Governor Berkeley in "vain for a commission, went out against the Indians on his own authority. He won a great victory over the Occaneechees on an island in the Roanoke River, and on his return home was elected to the new Assembly which convened at Jamestown June 5, 1676. Berkeley resented Bacon's fighting without his authority and, when the latter came to the Assembly, he had him arrested for high treason; but as Bacon's friends were very numerous, Berkeley soon let him go and restored him to his seat in the council.

The conciliation was not cordial, and after a few days Bacon, fearing that his life was in danger, secretly left Jamestown and hurried home to Henrico. Here his neighbors thronged around him and begged him to lead them down to Jamestown. Bacon consented, and on June 23 he was again at the island, this time with 500 men at his back. Yielding to force, the governor gave him a commission and the legislature passed some very wholesome laws, correcting many long-standing abuses, and among them was one making the bounds of "James City" include the whole island as far as Sandy Bay, and giving the people within those limits the right for the first time of making their own local ordinances.

Bacon returned to Henrico and was on the eve of going out for a second time against the Indians, when news arrived that Berkeley was over in Gloucester county, endeavoring to raise forces to surprise and capture him. This caused him to give up his expeditions and to direct his march to Gloucester, where, having arrived, he found that the governor had fled to Accomac. Bacon thus left supreme, summoned the leading men of the colony to Middleton Plantation, and there on August 1 made them swear to stand by him even against soldiers sent from England, saying "500 Virginians might beat 2,000 redcoats." After this his next move was to lead his troops against the Pamunkeys, whom he discovered and defeated in the recesses of the Dragon Swamp, somewhere in King and Queen county. But his troubles did not end, and when he returned to the settlement he found the governor once more established at Jamestown.

Bacon made straight for his antagonist, and having arrived on September 13 in "Paspahegh Old Fields" across from the island found that Berkeley had fortified the isthmus on the island side. He caused his men to throw up some earthworks, and in an engagement on the neck soon after killed some of Berkeley's soldiers, which so disheartened the rest that they took ship and abandoned Jamestown. Bacon, thereupon, entered the town and, supposing that Berkeley would soon return, gave orders for its destruction, setting the example by applying a torch to the church, while Lawrence and Drummond, his two most important supporters, fired their own houses. In the general conflagration the state house and church perished with the other buildings, but Drummond did a good deed in saving the public records.

Berkeley, driven from Jamestown, made the house of Col. John Custis in Northampton county his headquarters, while Bacon, after pillaging Green Spring, marched to Gloucester and encamped at Major Pate's house, near Poropotank Creek, where he was taken sick, and died Oct. 26, 1676. The rebellion being without a real leader soon collapsed. It continued, however, for a few months longer under Ingram and Walklate, but they soon made haste to ensure their own safety by surrendering West Point in January, 1677. Lawrence, who was at the "Brick House" opposite, was informed of the treachery, fled to the forest and was never heard of again, but Drummond was taken and presented to Berkeley at King's Creek, Jan. 19, 1677, the day he first set foot on the western shore after the flight from Jamestown in September previous.

Berkeley hanged Drummond and about forty other of the insurgents, and would have hanged more had his hand not been stayed by the royal commissioners sent over by the King to enquire into and report upon the disturbances. They brought a summons from the King for his return, and there was great rejoicing among the people when he finally departed, May 5, 1677, for England, where he died soon after his arrival.

Sir Herbert Jefferys, one of the commissioners, succeeded Berkeley as lieutenant-governor, but the spirit of the late troubles dominated politics during his administration and for several years later. The excesses of Berkeley and his adherents turned the sympathies of Jefferys and the other commissioners
against them, and for the next twelve years "the Green Spring" faction, as the friends of Berkeley were called, were found in opposition to the government.

Despite the suppression of the rebellion the work of Bacon was not in vain; for, as a consequence of his stout measures, the colonists got rid of Berkeley and the rule of the aristocracy, and obtained through the commissioners an opportunity to state their grievances, and many of the abuses were remedied by the express command of the King. Thus Lord Culpeper surrendered his more extensive grant of the whole of Virginia and retained only his title to the Northern Neck, and no similar grants were ever again made by the Kings of England. Moreover, the punishment inflicted by Bacon upon the Indians removed any trouble from that source for many years. Finally, as we have seen, the political tables were reversed and the friends of Berkeley learned to have more sympathy with the rights of man. Under the form of the government Robert Beverley and Philip Ludwell, who had upheld Berkeley in his contest with Bacon, became the representative of the dearest rights of the people which they had at one time despised. As a punishment for their resistance to the attempts of governors Jefferys, Culpeper and Howard to tamper with the journals of the house, to suppress the writ of habeas corpus, to assume the right to lay taxes, and to exercise the right of a double negative on the acts of the Assembly, Beverley and Ludwell were deprived of their respective offices as clerk of the House of Burgesses and member of the council. These jealousies inherited from Bacon's rebellion entered into the restlessness of the people in 1682, when the low price of tobacco seemed to portend another rebellion.

The people clamored for a law to limit the amount of tobacco to be raised, and when the General Assembly adjourned without taking any action the people in the counties of Gloucester and Middlesex ran from one plantation to another and cut down the growing plants. The governor sent a military force against them, and the disturbances were speedily suppressed. Several of the ringleaders were hanged, and Beverley was much persecuted because of his professed sympathies with the plantcutters.

Other commotions ensued when the governor and his council delayed to recognize the revolution in England, in the winter of 1688-1689. Roman Catholics were believed to be concerting with the Indians to murder the Protestants. There was great excitement in the Northern Neck, where the people were boldly harangued by a preacher named John Waugh. Finally in April, 1689, fears were quieted by orders received from England to proclaim the new sovereigns, and "with unfeigned joy and exultation" William and Mary were declared sovereigns of England and her dominions.

The English Revolution Ushers in a New Era.

The accession of the new sovereigns was the beginning, politically, educationally, religiously and territorially, of a new era in Virginia. The population had reached 85,000, and an immense increase of negro slaves placed white people above dependence on tobacco and rendered them prosperous. From this period also dates the complete ascendency in colonial affairs of the popular House of Burgesses, though after all but two of the attacks made by the Stuart Kings upon public and private rights had the character of permanency. These exceptions were the navigation law and the suffrage restrictions, though in the latter case the political rights of the people were not so greatly affected as one might suppose.

Down to 1670 everyone above the condition of a servant had the right of suffrage for members of the House of Burgesses. In that year the suffrage was limited by Berkeley's long parliament to householders and freeholders. This law was repealed by Bacon, but reestablished under orders from the King by the Assembly which met after Bacon's rebellion. And yet the limitation was more in words than in reality, for as the law did not define the freehold manhood suffrage remained practically the constitution of Virginia till 1736, when the first real restriction on the suffrage was made. Nevertheless, even after that time the proportion of voters in Virginia was greater than in Massachusetts.

Educationally also, the colony took a new turn for the better. Free schools were established in most of the counties, and in 1693 a college was erected at Middle Plantation which took the names of the reigning monarchs-William and Mary. This institution served the purpose of educating most of the leading characters of Virginia during the War of the Revolution. The transfer of the capital to Williamsburg, in 1699, emphasized the onward march of events.

In a religious significance there was also a great, change during this era. Hitherto the uniformity of worship according to the rules of the English church had been very little disturbed, but the end of the period witnessed more than half of the people of Virginia turned dissenters.

Greatly affecting all the tendencies of Virginia life was the train of events which marked the long contest between England and France for dominion on the continent. The effect of this quarrel was to bring the different colonies into closer affiliation with one another and to prepare the way for the American Revolution. Though the government of Virginia after 1697 was directed by a line of lieutenant-governors, while the chief office was a sinecure for somebody in England, it was vigorously managed, and there were fewer abler executives anywhere than Francis Nicholson, Alexander Spotswood, William Gooch and Robert Dinwiddie. They were singularly active in asserting the English title to America and resisting the French and Indians. Nicholson, who was lieutenant-governor from 1690-92 and from 1697-1705, followed up and carried yet further a suggestion made by Lord Culpeper for a confederation of the colonies, under the supremacy of the loyal colony of Virginia. He was a warm friend of the college, promoted the building of a capitol at Williamsburg, at the close of the century had a census made of the inhabitants, schools, churches and property in the colony, and reported the urgent need of reform in the militia and military defenses. His hot, peppery temper, however, got him into trouble with Dr. James Blair, president of the college, and the members of his council, and in 1705 he was recalled to England.
Western Movement and Settlements.

Two important events were connected with the administration of Edward Nott, his successor-the burning of the college in October, 1705, and the passage of an act shortly after for the erection of a governor's house or palace. In 1710 Alexander Spotswood, one of the most active men of the age, became governor. He bestowed much attention upon the improvement of Williamsburg and assisted in building a new brick church in Williamsburg and in restoring the college. He purged the coast of pirates, built an armory in Williamsburg, encouraged innocent social gatherings and promoted the iron industry, but his largeness of view was more especially seen in his plan of preventing the French design of connecting Canada with Louisiana by wedging the frontiers of the colony in between these northern and southern possessions of France.

He got the legislature to lay out two new counties -Brunswick and Spotsylvania-to act as buffers against invasion, and established a fort respectively in each, Christanna and Germanna. In 1716 he led from Williamsburg to the valley of the Shenandoah an expedition which blended romance with politics. He claimed the country for King George, and upon his return to Williamsburg he presented every one of his company with a golden horseshoe bearing the inscription Sic Juvat Transcendere montes.

Spotswood's opinion of the significance of his exploration is exhibited in a letter to the Board of Trade. In recent years, he says, the French have built fortresses in such positions "that the British plantations are in a manner Surrounded by their Commerce w'th the numerous Nations of Indians seated on both sides of the Lakes; they may not only Engross the whole Skin Trade, but may, when they please, Send out such Bodys of Indians on the back of these Plantations as may greatly distress his Maj'ty's Subjects here, And should they multiply their settlem'nts along these Lakes, so as to joyn their Dominions of Canada to their new Colony of Louisiana, they might even possess themselves of any of these Plantations they pleased. Nature, 'tis true, has formed a Barrier for us by that long Chain of Mountains w'ch run from back of South Carolina as far as New York, and w'ch are only passable in some few places, but even that Natural Defence may prove rather destructive to us, if they are not possessed by us before they are known to them: To prevent the dangers w'ch Threaten his Maj'ty's Dominions here from the growing power of these Neighbours, nothing seems to me of more consequence than that now while the Nations are at peace, and while the French are yet uncapable of possessing all that vast Tract w'ch lies on the back of these Plantations, we should attempt to make some Settlements on ye Lakes, and at the same time possess our selves of those passes of the great Mountains, w'ch are necessary to preserve a Communication w'th such Settlements."

Unfortunately Spotswood's haughty carriage and impatience of contradiction involved him, as Nicholson had been, in quarrels with the council and Dr. Blair, president of the college, and he was removed in 1722.

However, Spotswood's visit to the valley of Virginia was soon to bear valuable fruit. During the administration of Sir William Gooch the immigration to Virginia was so great that population doubled, being, in 1749, upwards of 292,000. In the eastern section there was a large addition of negroes, which aroused serious fears and called forth repeated legislative acts to restrict the importation, which were always vetoed by the home government. But the greatest changes ensued in the western portion of the colony. Starting with the year 1726 the great valley between the Blue Ridge and the Alleghany Mountains began to fill up with large numbers of German and Scotch-Irish settlers, who soon carried the English frontier against the French line of advance.

This made the contest more realistic to Virginians, for hitherto the scene of actual hostilities was along the Canadian border, and the colonies to the south of New York were not directly involved.

Intercolonial Affairs and Indian Wars.

In 1739 England declared war against Spain, of whom France was secretly an ally, and in 1740 Virginia cooperated with the other colonies and the mother country in sending an expedition against Carthagena-a city of Central America. The Virginia troops were under the command of the late governor, Alexander Spotswood, who died at Annapolis just as they were ready to embark, and thereupon Governor Gooch assumed command of the colonial contingent. In the attack upon Carthagena Gooch was severely wounded, and the expedition proved a fail-Lire. Four years later England declared war against France, and the General Assembly appropriated 4,000 to the raising of Virginia's quota of troops for an invasion of Canada by a joint British and colonial army. They sailed from Hampton in June, but the British auxiliaries failed to appear and the Virginians returned home not long after. Governor Gooch was again offered the command of the colonial soldiers but declined. Nevertheless, in recognition of his services at Carthagena, he was made a major-general the next year. At length in 1749, after a long and popular administration, he returned with his wife-Lady Rebecca Stanton Gooch-to England, where he died, Dec. 17, 1751.

In the meantime the settlement of the valley had been accomplished, and many enterprising spirits were looking to the country beyond the Alleghanies. In 1748 some of the valley settlers crossing the Alleghanies made a settlement at Draper's Meadows upon Greenbrier River. The next year 500,000 acres of land, lying west of the Alleghanies and south of the Ohio River, were granted to a company of planters and merchants called the Ohio Company for the purpose of settlement. Christopher Gist, as agent for the Company, was promptly dispatched to explore the country, and he visited what are now the states of West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio. While he was absent on this business the Company constructed a trading house at Wills' Creek, now Cumberland, Maryland, near the head of the Poto. mac, and in 1752 they built another stockade on the Monongahela.

And neither were the French idle during this time. In 1749 they sent an expedition to the Ohio River under Celeron de Bienville, who was charged with the double purpose of taking possession by planting leaden plates graven with the French claim, and of driving out the English traders who were found already swarming into the country.

In the spring of 1753 the French erected a log stockade called Fort Le Boeuf, upon French Creek, a northern tributary of the Alleghany River, and soon after another outpost was established by them at the Forks of the Ohio, 120 miles to the south. The English trading post at Venango, at the junction of French Creek and the Alleghany, was seized and occupied by a small detachment from Le Boeuf.

It was fortunate that at this juncture the government of Virginia was in the hands of such an active man as Lieut.-Gov. Robert Dinwiddie. He was a Scotchman and came over in 1751. He was an able man, a hard worker, and by his alertness in detecting a fraud in the collection of the customs was appointed "surveyor-general of the customs of the southern part of the continent of America," and afterwards chief magistrate of the colony of Virginia.

Dinwiddie resented the intrusion of the French, and in October, 1753, sent Maj. George Washington, adjutant-general of the colonial militia, guided by Mr. Gist, to remonstrate with them against occupy ing a district "so notoriously known to be the property of the crown of Great Britain." Washington, then only 21 years of age, was already a man of mark. After a dreary and hazardous voyage Washington and his small party of attendants arrived late in November, first at Venango and then at Le Boeuf. The French commandant read Dinwiddie's letter, but returned word that he would hold his ground till ordered off by his superior, Marquis Duquesne, the governor of Canada. Washington thereupon set out for Williamsburg, where he arrived Jan. 15, 1754, after an absence of eleven weeks and a journey of 1,500 miles.

Upon receiving Washington's report, Governor Dinwiddie authorized William Trent, of Lexington, to march with a small company to build a log fort at the Forks of the Ohio. Another company was to rendezvous at Alexandria and proceed to the same point, and Washington was to take command of both as major. In February the Assembly voted 10,000 to support the governor's purposes, and he was thereby enabled to increase his force to a regiment of 300, making Joshua Fry colonel and George Washington lieutenant-colonel. On April 2, 1754, Washington began his march from Alexandria with about fifty men to help Captain Trent, but on the 20th news reached him that the fort was taken by a force of French and Indians of more than twenty times the number of the garrison. Trent's command of thirtythree men joined Washington at Wills' Creek, and the latter, undaunted by the report of superior force before him, marched with about 300 men through the mountain passes to within a short distance of the Forks of the river, where the French had converted Trent's little work into a stronghold which they called Fort Duquesne. Here Washington, at the head of a scouting party, came in contact with a scouting party of French commanded by the Count de Jumonville. The Virginia commander promptly attacked and defeated the French with the loss of their commander and about twenty men. This was, the first regular battle of the war, and greatly in censed the French at Fort Duquesne who, on receipt of the news, sent a large force to attack the Virginians. Washington, after proceeding as far as Gist', plantation, thought it prudent to retreat, and at the Great Meadows erected a stockade which he called Fort Necessity. Here on July 3, sorely distressed for provisions and ammunition, he was closely be sieged by the enemy possessed of double his numbers. Finding that he could not hold out successfully Washington listened to terms of accommodation The fort was surrendered and he was allowed to march his troops back to their homes. The French had now complete possession of the west, but the behavior of the Virginia troops met with the warn applause of their countrymen, and Washington was more highly thought of than ever.

Dinwiddie, more than any of the colonial authorities, realized the gravity of the situation and was not idle under defeat. He persistently appealed for assistance to the home authorities, who at last were moved to the importance of regaining the country back from France.

The war proved at first very disastrous, however under the weak administration of the Duke of New Castle in England. In 1755 Gen. Edward Braddock sent with a strong force of British regulars to capture Fort Duquesne, was caught in an ambush and slain with many of his men. Indeed, Washington and his Virginians alone saved the army from complete destruction. In the North the French under General Montcalm captured Oswego and Fort William Henry, and the torch of their Indian allies enveloped the frontiers with fire. For four years the evil days followed one another, and amid all these disheartening scenes Washington and his 1,500 Virginia, riflemen presented the only bright and redeeming picture. Theirs was the task of protecting 350 miles of frontier and they performed their duty well. The arduous work of supporting and directing these troops fell to Gov. Robert Dinwiddie, and that on the whole he met the varied and onerous duties of his trust with ability is attested by the repeated commendations which he received from the English ministry, and the General Assembly and people of Virginia. In 1758 he was relieved from the post of governor of Virginia at his own request, and sailed for England in January. After his departure Hon. John Blair, as president of the council, was acting governor till relieved by Francis Fauquier, who arrived as lieutenant-governor on June 17, 1758.

Shortly after Fauquier's coming the war with France, under the guidance of the great William Pitt at the head of affairs in England, took a course of uninterrupted British success. In July, 1758, Wolfe captured Louisburg, the famous stronghold of the French on Cape Breton Island; in August Fort Frontenac fell before Bradstreet, and in November Gen. John Forbes, assisted by Washington, captured Fort Duquesne. The next year Quebec, the very centre and heart of the French power in America, fell before the assault of the intrepid Wolfe. The fall of Quebec was sealed with the death of the great general, Montcalm, who had been the soul of the French resistance. The next year Montreal surrendered, and as a result a peace was made, by the terms of which all the possessions of France on this continent passed into the hands of England. Then France, by defeats in other quarters of the globe, also lost extensive holding in Asia and the West Indies. Great Britain never appeared half so imperial as at the conclusion of this war, but out of this triumph were to grow domestic difficulties which avenged France for her misfortunes and ultimated in the independence of her American colonies.

Social Conditions, 1760.

The period of Fauquier's administration has been called the golden age of colonial Virginia. The people in the old settled portions were in possession of many of the comforts that dignified the life of the higher classes in England. In contrast to the log cabin of the early settlers the majority of the homes were comfortable wooden structures of a story and a half, while the wealthy planters lived in large square brick houses with handsome paneling and superior furniture. As to the means of getting about, the country was interlaced with roads which were good nine months of the year and very bad the other three. In the earliest days the only means of travel was by horse; carts were introduced about 1618. At the close of the Seventeenth century carriages were in use, and at the time of which we speak the chariots of Virginia were as costly as the best in England. It was generally conceded that the horses of Virginia were the finest in America.

In table diet the mode of living was distinctively higher than in the northern colonies. There was a great display of plate and variety of eatables, and the gentry had their "victuals dressed and served up as nicely as if they were in London." As to learning, the county court and vestries saw to the education of the poor, and the sons of the well-to-do had the benefit of private teachers, public schools, the College of William and Mary and the European colleges. Jefferson wrote to Joseph C. Cabell, in 1820, that "the mass of education in Virginia before the Revolution placed her among the foremost of her sister states." Domestic commerce was extensive, and the rivers and the creeks swarmed with small craft, all of which were made in Virginia; as early as 1690 ships of 300 tons were built, and afterwards trade to the West Indies was conducted in ships of Virginia make.

BIBLIOGRAPHY. - Andrews: Colonial Self Government; Beverley, Robert: History of Virginia (1722); Bruce: Social and Economic History of Virginia; Burke, John D.: History of Virginia; Campbell, Charles: History of the Colony and Ancient Dominion of Virginia; Doyle, J. A.: British Colonies in America; Letters of Alexander Spotswood (2 vols.); Letters of Robert Dinwiddie (2 vols.); Fiske, John: Old Virginia and Her Neighbors, Calendar o f State Papers; Force: Tracts; Greene: Provincial America (Vol. VI. of Hart's American Nation); Hening: Statutes at Large; Howison, R. R.: History of Virginia; Hartwell, Blair and Chilton: An Account of the Present State of Virginia; Jones, Hugh: Present State of Virginia; Neill: The Virginia Company (1868), Virginia Carolorum (1886), Virginia Vetusta (1885), Virginia and Virginiola (1878); Stith, William: History of Virginia (1747); Thwaites: France in America (Vol. VII. of Hart's American Nation); Tyler: England in America (Vol. III. of Hart's American Nation), Cradle of the Republic, Jamestown and James River; Virginia Historical Magazine (15 vols.); William and Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine (16 vols.); Virginia Historical Register.

President William and Mary College; editor Narratives of Early Virginia; author The Cradle of the Republic, Williamsburg, The Old Colonial Capital, etc.

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