ePub 版

residing in and about Jamestown, he marched in pursuit of Bacon, with the proclaimed intention of suppressing the rebellion. Bacon continued his march to the frontier, defeated the Indians, drove them far into the interior, and was returning homeward when he heard of the action of the governor. Leaving the greater part of his army, he continued by forced marches towards Jamestown, to which place the governor had fallen back; but he was made prisoner by one Gardiner, and carried before Berkeley. He was finally pardoned and allowed to take his seat in the assembly on condition that he would confess the impropriety of his conduct, and promise obedience for the future. His soldiers, however, were not satisfied with the humility to which their leader was subjected, and marched to Jamestown and compelled the governor to give him a commission, and he again marched to the frontier. But no sooner was he gone than Berkeley retired into Gloucester and a second time declared Bacon a rebel; who when he heard the news, fell back towards Gloucester, and forced the governor with his forces to retreat into Acomac. This county, located on the eastern shore, was considered a distinct territory, although tributary to Virginia. Bacon once more marched up the Potomac, and Berkeley crossed the bay and entered Jamestown. No sooner had Bacon heard of the governor's movements, than he wheeled his van and shortly appeared in front of Jamestown, attacked the place and drove Berkeley on board the ships in the river. The torch was applied, and in twelve i. the oldest town in British America was in ruins. We know little of Bacon after this, more than that he died of disease contracted during his campaigns. With him died the cause for which he fought. The patriots disbanded, and Berkeley's authority was soon restored, and his vengeance glutted by hanging twenty-three of the followers of Bacon. Thus ended Bacon's rebellion. The only difference between that struggle and the one of a hundred years later being that the first was an effort to establish a free government subject to Great Britain, which could not be done; and the second was an effort to establish a free government independent of Great Britain, which was done. Berkeley resigned his commission and went to England, where he found his actions towards the colony universally disapproved, even by the king himself. This the governor could not withstand, and he soon sank beneath his load of crime, and died, despised in England and execrated in Virginia. From this time onward, for a period of nearly fifty years, there is little of interest in the history of Virginia, save the succession of governors, and a desultory Indian war carried on upon her western frontier.

Sir Herbert Jeffries came over as the successor of Berkeley, but was in a short time relieved by Sir Henry Chichely. In 1678 Lord Culper, who, together with Lord Arlington, held a patent for the entire State, came over and assumed the government, made many fair promises, one of which was to secure the redress of grievances demanded by the colony; then leaving the government in the hands of Chichely, he returned to England. In 1683 Arlington surrendered his claim to Culper, who thus became sole proprietor of Virginia. He came over and |. his government on the principle that he owned Virginia, and the Virginians were his slaves; but before his acts could accomplish much mischief, Charles II. revoked his charter because of a failure to comply with its terms. Thus, in 1684, Virginia again became a royal province, with Lord Howard of Effingham as royal governor. James II. came to the throne in 1685, but there was no change in the overnment of the colony for the next three years, when William, #. of Orange, drove jmo from the English throne and mounted it himself. He referred all complaints of the Virginians to his privy council, with orders that they should receive prompt attention. Sir Francis Nicholson came over and assumed the government. By his mild and . administration of the affairs of the colony he became more popular than any of his predecessors.


In the year 1698 the seat of government was removed from Jamestown to Williamsburg, seven miles distant from the old metropolis. The historian of that day assigns as the reason of the removal the fact that Williamsburg was “in a healthier and more convenient location, and freer from moschetoes.”

Nicholson was succeeded in 1693 by Sir Edmund Andros, but was restored in 1698, and served until 1705, when Edward Nott became governor. He died shortly after receiving his commission, and the government devolved upon Edward Jennings, the president of the council, until the king's pleasure became known. }. Earl of Orkney received the commission, but sent out Brigadier-General Hunter to rule in his stead. He was captured by the French while on his way to America, and the illustrious


became governor. He was the most distinguished individual that controlled the destinies of Virginia prior to the Revolution. He had won distinction on many bloody fields during the campaigns of Marlborough, and thus secured the appointment of colonial governor of Virginia.


One hundred and three years had passed away since the founding of Jamestown, and the little colony of one hundred and five souls had grown to nearly one hundred thousand. Hardy pioneers had extended the domain of civilization far into the interior. There were now twentyfour counties in Virginia, and settlements were approaching the eastern base of the Blue Ridge, but of the country i...] the “rocky barrier” nothing whatever was known, The most daring adventurer had not dared to penetrate this unknown wilderness. But the conquest of the wilderness was the mission of those determined spirits who had fled from oppression in the Old World to find a home of freedom on the shores of the New. Governer Spotswood determined to know something more of this region, and accordingly ...]". a company of horsemen, and head. it in person began his march from Williamsburg through a dense wilderness inhabited by wild beasts and savage men. Toiling on for several days, the expedition at last reached the base of the Alleghanies, and pushing othrough the narrow defiles the intrepid governor and his little o reached the summit and stood upon one of the loftiest peaks of the Appalachian range. What a spot! Never before, perhaps, had the footsteps or the voice of civilized man been heard amid this mountain fastness. As that little band stood there gazing westward into an illimitable wilderness, they there resolved that its vast extent should be peopled, redeemed from the sway of savage men, and the forest be made to blossom as the rose. How well that resolution has been carried into effect, let the fifteen millions of happy and prosperous people who now throng the great valley of the Mississippi answer.

The party returned to Williamsburg and gave the most glowing description of the country which they had visited. Amid forests of fragrant trees and perfumed alcoves, spots more enchantingly beautiful than were ever graced by Calypso and her nymphs, they had discovered those mysterious hygeian fountains from which flowed these life-giving waters which have since obtained a world-wide fame. In order to induce emigration to the West, the governor established the “Transmontane Order, or Knights of the Golden Horseshoe,” giving to each of those who accompanied him a miniature golden horseshoe bearing the inscription, “Sie Jurat transcendere Montes” (thus he swears to cross the mountains). These were given to whoever would accept them, with the understanding that he would comply with the inscription. (See De Hass, page 35.)

By the Colonial Authorities of Virginia.


FIRST SETTLEMENTS WEST OF THE MOUNTAINS-‘‘WESTWARD THE STAR of EMPIRE TAKEs ITs way.” Many daring adventurers crossed the rocky barrier during the succeeding years, but it was not until the year 1732 that a permanent setlement was made west of the mountains. In this year sixteen families from Pennsylvania came over and began a settlement near where Winchester now stands. They were guided to the location by a gentleman named Joist Hite, and to them is due the credit of having first planted the standard of civilization in Virginia, west of the mountains. (Kerchevel, page 65.) The second settlement was made in 1734 by Benjamin Allen and three others on the north branch of the Shenandoah, about twelve miles south of the present town of Woodstock. Other adventurers pushed on and settlements gradually extended west, crossing the Capon river, North Mountain and the Alleghany range, until finally they reached the tributaries of the Monongahela §§ volume of Dr. Ruffner). For twenty years after the settlement about Winchester, the natives inhabiting the mountains and intervening vales remained in a state of comparative quiet; but about this time a circumstance occurred which led to a much better acquaintance with the vast and unexplored regions of the West. Two men, Thomas Morlen and John Salling, determined to explore those unknown regions, and accordingly set out from Winchester. They journeyed up the Shenandoah, crossed the James river near the Natural Bridge, and had progressed as far as the Roanoke, when they were attacked by a party of Cherokees, and Salling was made prisoner. Morlen made his escape from them and returned in safety to the settlement. Salling was carried captive into what is now called Tennessee, where he remained with them for several years. While on a hunting expedition with some of his tribe, they were attacked by a party of Illinois Indians, who were the deadly enemies of the Cherokees, and Salling was a second time borne off a prisoner. This occurred in what is now the State of Kentucky, which was at that time the favorite hunting-ground of all the tribes of the Mississippi Valley. Salling was taken by his new captors to Kaskaskia, and was afterward sold to a company of Spanish traders on the Lower Mississippi, who in turn sold him to the governor of Canada, and he transferred him to the Dutch authorities at Manhattan; thence he succeeded in reaching Williamsburg, after an absence of more than six years. (De Hass, page 38.) About the time that Salling returned to Williamsburg, a considerable addition was made to the population of Virginia by the arrival of emio: at Jamestown, among whom were John Lewis and John Mackey, th of whom were desirous of securing land in the West. Struck with Salling's description of the country which he had traversed, where mighty rivers, flowing from unknown sources amid the icy fountains of the far North, rolled their transparent waters in majestic grandeur to the South; where stretched away vast plains fringed with primeval for

[ocr errors]
« 上一頁繼續 »