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the colony, and they must have perished had not assistance reached them. But just as the last ray of hope was yielding to despair, Sir Thomas Gates and his crew, who had been wrecked in the West Indies, arrived at Jamestown; but what must have been their feelings, when, instead of finding the colony in a happy and prosperous condition, they met only a few famished wretches begging for bread! Gates supplied their wants from his store-ship and assumed the government.
The few survivors had, however, resolved to abandon Jamestown at the first opportunity, and thus forever bid adieu to a place which promised nothing but death. In vain did the governor remonstrate. Four pinnaces lay at anchor in the river. It was the intention to sail for Newfoundland, and there the remnant of the Virginia colony should remain among the fishermen until some vessel would carry them to England. Thus, the efforts of the London Company, as had those of Raleigh and Gosnold before, ended in failure. The colonists crowded on board the pinnaces, and on the 8th of June dropped down the river. But Lord Delaware was already within the bay, and ere the disheartened colonists had reached the mouth of the James, his ships hove in sight, bearing new emigrants, plentiful supplies, and a governor who gave a promise of better things. The hitherto discouraged but now rejoicing colonists were taken on board and all returned to the deserted village, where, before nightfall, all was happiness and contentment. • Lord Delaware's administration was characterized by justice and mildness; he endeared himself to the colonists and inspired them with hope, but he did not long remain; in the early autumn his health failed, and he delegated his authority to Percy—the same who had relieved Smith— and sailed for England. Sir Thomas Dale was already under sail to Virginia bearing a governor's commission, and upon his arrival he assumed the government and made martial law the basis of his administration. He was a soldier by profession, and had served with distinction in the Danish wars. Jamestown needed a strong government, and there was, therefore, very little complaint against his military rule. During his administration the population was augmented by the arrival of three hundred emigrants *. England. he last act of Governor Dale marks an era in the history of Virginia. This was nothing less than a division of property. Ever since the founding of the colony, all property had been held in common, after the manner of the primitive eastern nations; the colonists had worked together and the products of the harvest had been deposited in one common store-house, where all was under the control of the council. Governor Dale changed all this, and caused the lands to be laid out into lots of three acres each, one of which was to be given to each of the colomists—to hold forever—upon which he might plant orchards and cultivate grain with the understanding that no one had the right to gather but himself. Thus the right of property in land was, for the first time, recognized in the New World. The colonists saw the advantage of individual labor, and the good results were soon apparent in the general improvement of the colony.
ale now surrendered the government to Sir Thomas Gates, and by his (Gates') permission selected three hundred men and began a settlement on a narrow neck of land, nearly surrounded by water, which he called Henrico in honor of Prince Henry. Other settlements were made on both sides of the river at considerable distances from the parent town, and the foundation of the first American State was thus securely laid.
VIRGINIA UNDER THE THIRD CHARTER.
It was now the year 1612, and King James, who made “change” the rule of his reign, granted a third charter to the company, under which many important changes were made. By it the privileges and immunities were greatly increased; their jurisdiction was extended over all the territory within a radius of three hundred miles from Jamestown; they were permitted to elect their own officers, to decide all questions of law and right—in fact, to govern the colony on their own responsibility. This was the germ from which sprang democratic government in America.
MARRIAGE OF ROLFE AND POCAHONTAS.
In the year 1613, Captain Samuel Argall, then cruising in the Chesapeake, made a voyage up the Potomac, when he learned of the presence of Pocahontas, whom he succeeded in enticing on his boat and then carried her to Jamestown. The authorities detained her with expectation that her father, Powhatan, would pay a ransom for her, but the old chief became highly enraged and at once prepared for war; but before hostilities began a M. John Rolfe, a highly respected young planter, struck by her beauty and fascinated by her manners, wooed and won her affections and the promise of her hand.
Powhatan gave his consent to the union, and sent her uncle and two brothers to witness the ceremony, which was celebrated with great pomp, according to the rites of the English Church. In 1616 she accompanied her husband to England, but was very unhappy. Captain Smith, who was then in London, called to see her, but appeared to be somewhat reserved in his manner. This added to her burden of grief, and she wept like a child. Smith inquired the cause of her grief. “Did I not save thy life in America?” said she. “Didst thou not promise that if I went into thy country thou wouldst be my father, and I shouldst be thy daughter? Thou hast deceived me; behold her now a stranger and an orphan.” Pocahontas was warmly received. Lady Delaware introduced her to Queen Anne, and many families of distinction paid every attention to the modest daughter of this western wilderness; but nothing could be done to dispel the gloom which surrounded her, and in a short time she fell a victim to the dread disease, the small-pox, and died just as she was about to re-embark for America.
One son, the issue of this union, became a man of prominence in the affairs of the colony, and to him many of the first families of Virginia, among whom were the Randolphs and the Bollings, trace their ancestry.
Early in the year 1616, Gates and Dale both sailed for England, and left the government in the hands of Sir Thomas Yeardley, whose administration was similar to those of his predecessors—Dale and Gates. The colony increased in numbers, the social condition improved; obedience on the part of the colonists and respect on the part of the savages brought about a feeling of security and confidence hitherto unknown in the history of the colony.
In 1617, Yeardley was succeeded by Captain Argall, who proved himself to be the most tyrannical governor that had yet swayed the scepter over Virginia. e was a sailor by profession, and accustomed to the rigid discipline of the seas, where he had long held despotic sway over the decks of his own vessel. Naturally tyrannical, cruel and covetous, he was entirely unfit to administer the government as it then existed in Virginia, and, as might have been expected, his administration became a synonym for fraud, corruption and violence. When the news of his high-handed oppression .. England, the London Company requested. Delaware to return to Virginia and again assume the government. He yielded to their importunities and sailed for Virginia, but died on the way. Argall continued his oppressive sway until 1619, when he was o by Sir George Yeardley, who, through the influence of Sir Edwyn Sandys, treasurer of the London Company, was appointed to fill his place.
THE ESTABLISHMENT OF REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT.
With Sir George Yeardley governor, and important changes in the London Company, the colonists, expected a period of prosperity, and their expectations were fully realized. Martial law was abolished; the