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if any controversy should arise concerning their fees, it was to be settled by the courts respectively. In 1657–8, the law against mercenary attornies, was again revived.

Ân inspection of the different fee bills will shew the simplicity of judicial proceedings, and the small compensation allowed to the officers of court. The first officers whose fees were established by law, were the secretary who was clerk of the quarter court, and the marshall, who executed the same duties which devolved upon the skeriff, after the appointment of that officer, which was not until the year 1634. The fees of clerks and sheriffs embraced but few objects, and were very moderate.

Clerks of county courts were, at one time, appointed by the governor, but afterwards by the courts themselves. Commissioners of county courts, (the same as justices of the peace) were formerly appointed by the governor, afterwards by act of assembly; but at the commencement of the commonwealth they were appointed by the house of bur zesses; afterwards they were recommended by their courts, and commissioned by the governor and council, and finally their appointment was confirmed by the assembly. During the same period the county courts recommended three or more to the governor and council, out of which they made a selection for sheriffs, who were to continue in office for one year only.

No representative government was ever instituted in which the principles of naiversal suffrage, and of full representation, were carried further than in Virginia. The right of suffrage was originally exercised by all freemen; who were not compellable to go from their plantations to vote for burgesses; but might give their suffrages by subscribing a paper. This mode having been attended with considerable inconveni. ence, it was provided that all future elections should be by plurality of voices present; and a fine was imposed on all free men, who should fail to attend at the time and place appointed for the election. The number of burgesses to a plantalion or settlement (be. fore the formation of counties) was unlimited;

nor does it appear that, at that time, any particular qualifications were necessary. After counties were laid off, the number of representatives to a county remained without limitation, until November, 1645, when they were reduced to four to each county, except James City county, which might send five, and the city itself one; and the election was direeted to be held wbere the county courts were, except in those places which were specially authorised by act of assembly to hold elections. These were certain parishes to which that privilege was granted; and it was afterwards extended to all parishes, they paying the expenses of their burgesses, as the counties in general were compelled to do in relation to theirs. At the March session, 1660-1, the number of burgesses was limited to two for each county, and one for James City, it being the metropolis.

The first act which in the smallest degree abridged the right of suffrage, or prescribed the qualifications of the members, passed at the March session, 1654–5. By this act it was declared, that the persons who should be elected to serve in assembly be such, and no “other than such, as were persons of known integrity and of good “conversation, and of the age of one and twenty years." That all house keepers, " whether freeholders, lease-holders,' or otherwise tenants, should only be capable to ele et burgesses;" provided that the term " house-keepers should extend no further than "to one person in a family.” At the next session, however, so much of this aet as excluded ANY FREEMAN from voting was repealed: the assembly declaring" that they conceived it something hard and unagreeable to reason that any persons should pay "equal taxes, and yet have no votes in election. In the revisal of 1657–8, the same principle is preserved ; the right of suffrage being extended to "ALL persons inhabiting is in the colony, that are FREE MEN.” By an act of 1670, that right was, for the first time, confined to pREE HOLDERS only; and the necessity of this qualification was fur: ther enforced by instructions from king Charles II, to sir Wm. Berkeley, governor, in 1676 : “ You shall take care,” says the second article of the instructions, " that the “members of the assembly be elected, only by FREE HOLDERS, as being more agreeable “ to the custome of England, to which you are as nigh as conveniently you can lo conform yourselle.

Bridges and ferries were at first established and maintained at public expense; but this being considered burthensome to the inhabitants of many of the counties, espeeially the poor, who seldom used them; the law, as to ferries, was repealed, and the county courts vested with power to establish ferries on the application of individuals, and fix their rates. The exclusive right of establishing ferries was afterwards resumed by the assembly; and having exercised it for a series of years, to the great interruption of other public business, the legislature at the session of 1806, restored to the-county courts the power exercised by them so long ago as the year 1647.

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CHAPTER V.

BACON'S REBELLION-HOSTILE DESIGNS OF THE FRENCH.

- Indifference to change in England --Navigation act, -Convicts --Con

spiracy detected,- Discontents,-Cessation from tobacco planting for one year,

,-Royal grants, Virginia's remonstrance,—Success of depų. ties, - Indian hostilities, — Army raised and disbanded by governor,People petition for an army,--elect Bacon commander;—he marches without commission and defeats Indians-pursued by governor, who retreats on hearing of rising at James Town,-- Governor makes concessions,- Bacon prisoner,-is pardoned.-- People force commission from governor,-- Bacon marches to meet Indians, -hears he is declared a rebel by Berkeley,-marches to meet him,-he flees to Accomac, -Convention called and free government established.-Bacon defeats the Indians, Berkeley obtains possession of the shipping, and occupies James Town,-is beseiged by Bacon, and driren oul-James Toron burnt-Death of Bacon,-character of his enterprise. -Predatory warfare,-treaty between governor and his opponents --Cruelty of Berkeley,-King's commissioners, -Departure of Berkeley and his death. -- Acts of Assembly passed during Bacon's influence.-Conduct of king's commissioners -Culpeper governor, - Discontents,—Conduct of Beverly.--Howard governor-General conduct of Virginia and progress of affairs.-Plan of Callier for dividing the British colonies.

As Virginia had provided for herself a government substantially free, the political changes in England could have little effect upon her repose, provided no attempt was made to interfere with the freedom of her trade, or her local government. She seemed content to be under the protection rather than control, of whatever posver the people of England thought proper to place at the head of affairs, provided that power did not seek to extend the conceded authority. In this mood she had adhered to Charles I. until the Parliament by its commissioners promised a preservation of all her privileges; she acknowledged Cromwell upon a similar promise, and his son Richard under the same idea; upon his resignation she held herself aloof, thus proving how perfect and how independent was her own local government, until the voice of England should declare who should rule; and upon the accession of Charles II. she gave in her allegiance to him. As in all these British changes she remained unconcerned and unmoved, so the last caused neither extraordinary joy or regret. The colonists thus free from external sources of uneasiness, proceeded to legislate upon internal matters ; providing rewards for the encouragement of silk and other staples; negociating with Carolina and Maryland for the adoption of uniform measures for the improvement of tobacco, and diminishing its quantity; and providing for the erection of public buildings, the improvement of James Town, and other subjects of general utility.

Whilst the colonists were proceeding in this useful occupation they were 1663.

alarmed by the intelligence of the reenaction of the navigation act, odious with new prohibitions, and armed with new penalties. The

Virginians had long enjoyed a very beneficial trade with other countries besides England, and had early perceived its advantages, often urging the propriety of its continuance, and contending that "freedom of trade was the life of a commonwealth.” But the object of the navigation act was to confine its trade exclusively to England, for the encouragement of English shipping and the emolument of English merchants, as well as the promotion of the king's revenue ; without regard to the gross injury done to the colony by depriving her of the benefit of competition in her hårbors. The colony remonstrated in vain, and continued boldly her trade with all such foreigners as would venture to encounter the risque of being taken by the English cruisers and encountering the penalties of the act.

It appears to have been for some time the practice to send felons and other obnoxious persons to the colony, to expiate their offences by serving the planters for a term of years. Ai the restoration many of the Feieran soldiers of Cromwell to whom it was anticipated the return of the ancien regime would not be particularly palatable, were shipped to Virginia to work off their spleen in the cultivation of tobacco. It appears that this new business was not as agreeable to them as they had found the psalmsinging and plundering of the royalists under the command of their devout leader; and they accordingly quickly organized an insurrection, by the operation of which they were to change places with such of their masters as were left alive by the process. But this out-breaking which seems 10 have been well planned and extensively organized, was prevented by the compunction of one of their associates, who disclosed the whole-affair to the governor the evening before it was to have gone into effect; and adeFeb. 13. quate means were taken to prevent the design. Four of the cen

spirators were executed. But this evil of importing jail-birds as they were called, increased to such an extent that it was prohibited by the General Court in 1670, under severe penalties.

The increase in the amount of tobacco raised by the increase of the colony June 5, 1666,

and the settlement of Maryland and Carolina, far outstripped the

increase of taste for it, rapid as that was, and caused such a glut of the commodity that its price fell to an amount utterly ruinous to the planter. In this the exclusive privilege of purchase which England enjoyed, notwithstanding the extensive contraband trade, no doubt largely contributed; but this the planters could not prevent, and their only remaining resource was in diminishing the amount of tobacco raised. To effect this various schemes had been devised, but they were all liable to be evaded, and were if successful, too partial in their operation to effect the object desired Nothing could be efficient, short of a total cessation from planting for ene year, and this was at last accomplished after long negotiations with Maryland and Carolina.

Many other staples had been recommended from time to time to the planters, and even encouraged by bounties and rewards, and this year it was thought would give them more leisure to attend to the subject. But it is not probable that many engaged in the occupations proposed, which required the investment of capital

, the acquisition of skill, and the aid of time to render them profitable; and the year's leisure only served to increase the growing discontent, especially as towards its end Maryland began to be suspected of bad faith.

•Hening, v. II. p. 510.

There were other causes of discontent which probably prevailed-between different classes of society. Loud complaint was made of the manner in which taxes were levied, entirely on persons without regard to property, which as there must have been a very large class of poor free persons now existing from the frequent emancipation, and expiration of the terms of those who came over as servants, besides those who were free but poor when they came to the country, must have created considerable excitement. An effort was made to remedy this evil by laying a tax on property but ineffectually; the only result being a small export duty on tobacco, in aid of the general revenue.

While the taxes bore thus hard upon the poorer portion of the community they also had just reason to complain of exclusion from the right of suffrage by an act of 1670, and from the Legislature, to which none but freeholders could be chosen ; as well as of the enormous pay which the Burgesses appropriated to themselves, of one hundred and fifty pounds of tobacco per diem, and one hundred for their horses and servants. The forts were also complained of as a source of heavy expenditure without any benefit; their chief use indeed being rather injurious, as they kept off traders who violated the navigation acts. - But these evils in domestic legislation were trivial compared with those produced by the criminal prodigality of Charles, who wantonly made exorbitant grants to his favorites of large tracts of lands, without a knowledge of localities, and consequently without regard to the claims or even the settleinents of others. To cap the climax of royal munificence the gay monarch in perhaps a merry mood, granted to Lords Culpeper and Arlington the whole colony of Virginia for thirty-one years, with privileges effectually royal, as far as the colony was concerned, only reserving some mark of homage to himself. This might be considered at court perhaps as a small bounty to a favorite, but was taken in a very serious light by the forty thousand people thus unceremoniously transferred. The Assembly in its extravagance only took from them a great proportion of their profits; but the king was filching their capital, their lands, and their homes which they had inherited from their fathers, or laboriously acquired by their own strenuous exertion.

The Legislature sent three deputies to England to remonstrate with the king against these intolerable grants, to endeavor to procure his assent to some charter which might secure them against such impositions for the future; and if they should fail in the first of these objects to endeavor to buy out the rights of the patentees. To bear the expense of these ihree deputies, Mr. Ludwell, Mr. Morryson, and Mr. Smith, the enormous annual tax of fifty pounds of tobacco was laid upon every tithable person for two years, which, though it was for a popular object, was considered as of itself an intolerable grievance, at which we cannot wonder when we reflect that many who had to pay this tax did not own a foot of land. The amourt can only be accounted for by supposing much of it was to be used as secret service money, with such of his majesty's minions as could oply sce, justice through a golden medium.

These deputies exerted themselves with remarkable success, and procured from the king an order for a charter, precisely in conformity to the petition which they presented, and providing against the grievances of which they complained; especially grants from the crown irithout information from the governor and council in Virginia that such giant would

be of no injury; dependence immediately upon the crown of England and not on any subfeudatory; and exemption from taxation without consent of the Grand Assembly. His majesty ordered the solicitor general and attorney general to prepare a bill embodying these and the other matters embraced in their petition in due legal form for his signature; but the matter, notwithstanding the most assiduous attention of the deputies, was so long delayed in going through the official forms that it was finally stopped, be fore its completion, in the Hanaper office, by the news of Bacon's Rebellion.*

Soon after the deputies left Virginia, the difficulties of the colony had been increased by the addition of an Indian war; which although not now as formerly a matter causing danger of destruction to the whole colony, and requiring all its strength to repel it, was yet a subject of great terror and annoyance to the frontier. A standing army of five hundred men, one-fourth of which was to consist

of cavalry, was raised by the Legislature, and every provision Mar. 7. 1675.

made for their support and regulation ;t but after it was raised and in a complete state of preparation to march against the Indians, it was suddenly disbanded by the govemor without any apparent cause. I This was followed by earnest petitions to the governor from various quarters of the country, to grant a commission to some person to chastise the Indians, the petitioners offering to serve in the expedition at their own expense. This reasonable request was refused, and the people seeing their country left defenceless to the inroads of a savage foe, assembled of themselves in their primary capacity, in virtue of their right of self-defence, to march against the enemy. They chose for their leader Nathaniel Bacon, junior, a young genteman of highly respectable family and education, who although he had Tetarned to Virginia but three years before, from the completion of his studies in England, had already received the honor of a colonel's rank in the militia and a seat in the Legislature for Henrico, in which county his estate lay-exposed by its situation to the fury of the Indians. He stood high in the colony, and was possessed of courage, talent and address which fitted him well for such an enterprise. · After Bacon had been selected by this volunteer army as their leader, his first step was to apply to the governor for a commission, in order if possible to have the sanction of the legitimate authorities for his conduet. The governor evaded this rational and respectful request, by saying that he could not decide upon so important a matter without his council, which he summoned to consult, at the same time artfully hinting to Bacon the injury which he might probably do himself by persevering in his course. Bacon despatched messengers to James Town to receive the commission which he did not doubt would be ultimately granted, and as public impatience would not ahide the dilatory proceedings of the governor, and he was probably nettled at the insinuations addressed to his selfishness, in the governor's communication, he proceeded on his expedition, authorized only by the will of the people, the danger of the country, and the anxious wish of those who trusted their lives to his control.

* Hening, vol. II. p. 531.

. Hening, vol. II. 327. # Breviare and Conclusum in Burke v. II.

p.

250. $ Ancient Records quoted by Burk, vol. II. p. 163.

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