REACTING TO THE PAST GAME IN DEVELOPMENT
BACON’S REBELLION 1676
“This was fair play for fowl gamesters.” Anna Cotton, 1676
By Verdis L. Robinson K;lk,nlm
Bacon’s Epitaph, made by his Man. Death why so cruel! what, no other way To manifest thy spleen, but thus to slay Our hopes of safety; liberty, our all Which, through thy tyranny, with him must fall To its late Chaos? Had thy rigid force Been dealt by retail, and not thus in gross Grief had been silent: Now we must complain Since thou, in him, hast more than thousand slain Whose lives and safeties did so much depend On him their life, with him their lives must end. If it be a sin to think Death bribed can be We must be guilty; say t’was bribery Guided the fatal shaft. Virginias foes, To whom for secret crimes just vengeance owes Disserved plagues, dreading their just dessert Corrupted Death by Parasscellcian art Him to destroy; whose well tried courage such, There heartless harts, nor arms, nor strength could touch. Who now must heal those wounds, or stop that blood The Heathen made, and drew into a flood? Who i'st must plead our Cause? nor Trump nor Drum Nor Deputations; these alas are dumb, And Cannot speak. Our Arms (though never so strong) Will want the aide of his Commanding tongue, Which Conquered more than Caesar: He overthrew Only the outward frame; this Could subdue The rugged works of nature. Souls replete With dull Child could, he'd animate with heat Drawn forth of reasons Limbic. In a word Mars and Minerva both in him Concurred For arts, for arms, whose pen and sword alike, As Catos did, may admiration strike In to his foes; while they confess withal It was there guilt stilled him a Criminal. Only this difference doth from truth proceed: They in the guilt, he in the name must bleed, While none shall dare his Obsequies to sing In disserved measures, until time shall bring Truth Crowned with freedom, and from danger free, To sound his praises to posterity. Here let him rest; while wee this truth report, He’s gone from hence unto a higher Court To plead his Cause: where he by this doth know Whether to Caesar he was friend, or foe.
REACTING TO THE PAST Game in Development
BACONâ€™S REBELLION 1676
By Verdis L. Robinson
About the Author Verdis L. Robinson is the Director for Community College Engagement at Campus Compact. As an advocate of community college civic education, Robinson directs The Democracy Commitment (TDC) initiative as part of his portfolio and continues the work he began two years ago as the national director of TDC, expanding membership, resources, and programming opportunities for community colleges. Before becoming national director of TDC, Robinson was a tenured Assistant Professor of History and African-American Studies at Monroe Community College (MCC) in Rochester, NY, where he taught web-enhanced, writing-intensive, service learning history courses for ten years. Additionally, Robinson is a fellow of the Aspen Institute’s Faculty Seminar on Citizenship and the American and Global Polity, and the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Faculty Seminar on Rethinking Black Freedom Studies: The Jim Crow North and West. He is also a Public Scholar of Humanities New York. Robinson is the author A Charge to Keep, I Have: The Biography of Bishop Charles Campbell (2001), and has co-authored the upcoming Beyond These Gates: Mountains of Hope in Rochester’s African-American History (2018) as well as contributed to Higher Education’s Role in Enacting a Thriving Democracy: Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Theory of Change (2018). Robinson currently serves on the advisory boards for the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge, the Students Learn Students Vote coalition, Bring Theory to Practice, and the Reacting Consortium Board of Reacting to the Past (RTTP). He holds a B.M. in Voice Performance from Boston University, a B.S. cum laude and M.A. in History from SUNY College at Brockport, and an M.A. in African-American Studies from SUNY University at Buffalo.
THIS MANUSCRIPT IS CURRENTLY IN DEVELOPMENT AS PART OF THE “REACTING TO THE PAST” INITIATIVE OFFERED UNDER THE AUSPICES OF BARNARD COLLEGE. Reacting to the Past™ and its materials are copyrighted. Instructors seeking to reproduce these materials for educational purposes must request permission via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Permission requests should indicate the following: (1) Name of Instructor, Institution, and Course in which the materials will be used; (2) Number of copies to be reproduced; and (3) If the printed booklets will be distributed to students at no cost or at cost. For additional information about the “Reacting to the Past” Series, please visit http://barnard.edu/reacting.
Cover Art: The Burning of Jamestown by Howard Pyle. It depicts the burning of Jamestown, Virginia during Bacon's Rebellion (A.D. 1676-77); used to illustrate the article "Jamestown."Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History: from 458 A.D. to 1905, Benson John Lossing, Ed. Vol 5 of 10, (New York: Harper & Brothers 1905).
CONTENTS 1. INTRODUCTION
Brief Overview of the Game Map: The Colony of Virginia in 1676 Prologue: “My Brother’s Keeper?” What is Reacting to the Past? How to Play a Reacting Game Game Setup Game Play Game Requirements Skill Development
1 3 4 9 9 9 10 11 11
2. HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
Chronology “Most Excellent Fruits”: A Historical Overview of Colonial Virginia to 1676 “Great & Ample”: Creating Virginia An “Errand into the Wilderness”: Anglo-Native American Relations in Colonial Virginia “Masterless Men”: Creating Anglo-Virginians “20 or Odd Negroes”: Creating Afro-Virginians The Royal Government of Virginia: Berkeley’s Governance The Social Hierarchy of Colonial Virginia “A Volatile Society”: Social Unrest and Uprising Plots The Current State of Virginia, 1676
3. THE GAME
Major Issues for Debate Rules and Procedures Objectives and Victory Conditions
13 14 15 17 20 22 24 27 28
33 34 34
Proceedings of the Grand Assembly
Rules of the Grand Assembly
Voting in the Assembly
Militias The Smuggler
Basic Outline of Game
First Assembly Session
Subsequent Game Sessions
Debriefing and Postmortem Session
4. ROLES AND FACTIONS Overview of Factions
Overview of Roles
5. CORE TEXTS
Note on the texts
Sir William Berkeley
“Enquiries to the Governor of Virginia from the Lords Commissioners of Foreign Plantations," 1671 Report of King Philip’s War in New England, 1675
Indian Complaints about the English Settlers, 1675
Robert Beverley Royal Commissioners Thomas Mathew Unknown
“Bacon’s Rebellion of 1676,” The History and Present State of Virginia, 1705 (EXCERPT) A True Narrative of the Late Rebellion in Virginia, 1677 “The Beginning, Progress, and Conclusion of Bacon's Rebellion, 1675-1676,” 1705 (EXCERPT) The History of Bacon’s and Ingram’s Rebellion, 1676
62 63 64 65 66
The History of Bacon’s and Ingram’s Rebellion, 1676 (cont’d)
Sir William Berkeley
“The Declaration and Remonstrance of Sir William Berkeley his most sacred Majesties Governor and Captain Generall of Virginia,” May 16, 1676
June 18, 1676
Letter to her sister in London, June 29, 1676
Bacon’s Manifesto Concerning the Present Troubles in Virginia, July 1676 Bacon’s Declaration in the Name of the People, July 30, 1676 Bacon’s Appeal to the People of Accomack, c. August 1676
An Account of the Rebellious Mutiny Raised by Nathanial Bacon, September 3, 1676
Thomas Ludwell & Robert Smith
Proposals for Reducing the Rebels in Virginia to their Obedience, c. October 1676
King Charles II
By the King: A Proclamation for the Suppressing of a Rebellion Lately Raised Within the Plantation of Virginia, October 26, 1676 Excerpt from petition of grievances from citizens of Isle of Wright County, March 1677
“An Account of Our Late Troubles in Virginia,” 1676
Nathaniel Bacon Nathaniel Bacon
Royal Commissioners Anna Cotton
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY APPENDIX: MARCH ASSEMBLY PROPOSAL
INTRODUCTION Brief Overview of the Game Exactly 100 years before the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence, a civil war in Virginia broke out sending shockwaves through the English colonies whose ripples could be felt across the Atlantic and in England herself. Once regarded by early scholars as a precursor to the American Revolution War, Bacon’s Rebellion symbolized and epitomized the patriot’s enlightened revolutionary ideals through a premature uprising against the tyranny of hierarchical rule. However, modern scholars argue against this interpretation in favor of an approach that focuses more on America’s original sin- the terrible transformation from a society with slaves to a slave society. In the early 17th century, the Chesapeake region was a multi-racial society. Native Americans, Africans, and Europeans coexisted in a variety of ways: they worked together, played together, drank together, died together, fought side by side, and procreated with each other. However, as populations began to stabilize and increase in Virginia, colonists began to distinguish themselves through religion and nationality, but most importantly, they were arranged in a hierarchical order in which a few were on top and the majority were on bottom. Those on the top dominated with a majority of the land, servants, profits, and were the local authorities while those on the bottom were landless, regulated to the frontier (land not in possession of the colonial elite), and without influence in colonial governance. With more arrivals and freed men, the frontier became a war zone as displaced Native Americans tribes clashed with their new neighbors. As colonial deaths increased and the push west increased, the security and defense of Virginians became the primary concern and source of tension as blunders, inactions, and assumed collusions with enemies created unrest and a lack of confidence in Virginia governance. In essence, Bacon’s Rebellion was a conflict within the colonial Virginia gentry---the elite planters rewarded for loyalty to the established order, but in disagreement over Virginia’s governance. With a powerful elite class ever-increasing their authority and landholdings, the lower classes of Anglo and Afro-Virginians became increasing restless, difficult, and dangerous. This restlessness extended across race. Even though black and white laborers shared the same plight against the Virginia gentry, and their commiserations are evident, the backlash of Bacon's Rebellion changed that. The threat to the gentry’s power and authority in colonial Virginia warranted a redefinition of the planter class; this game demonstrates that process.
This game is designed to experience the making of the rebellion, the rebellion itself, and the restoration in its aftermath. By the end of the game, you should have learned and be able to do the following: 1. Understand and comprehend the causes of social uprisings including inequality and classism, and apply this understanding through oral presentations, dialogues, and debates. 2. Examine and describe the colonial transformation from a "society with slaves” to a “slave society.” 3. Be able to articulate the institutionalization of American racism. 4. Demonstrate an understanding of perpetual inequality and contemporary relevance through writing. This game is designed to teach historical skills including critical thinking, persuasive writing, oral articulating and debate in an active-learning environment. It is also designed to take you on a historical journey in colonial Virginia and to introduce the Reacting to the Past pedagogy in preparation for longer more complex games. Although you must adhere to the personal and factional objectives as outlined in your role sheets, you are free to not adhere to exact history. It is not a reenactment. In playing this game, you do not reenact the history of Bacon’s Rebellion, you live it.
Part One: Introduction
Map: The Colony of Virginia in 1676 Source: Thomas Jefferson Wertenbaker, Bacon's Rebellion, 1676. Williamsburg: Virginia 350th Anniversary Celebration, Corp., 1957.
Baconâ€™s Rebellion, 1676
PROLOGUE: “MY BROTHER’S KEEPER?” “For the Lord’s sake shoot no more, these are our friends the Susquehannocks!” Colonel George Mason yelled. You stopped reloading your gun and realized what you had done. You had taken an innocent life. You were supposed to be after Doegs who had committed murderous raids along the Virginia frontier, but these were not them. These were friends. Fourteen of them were shot down and now one of them is on the ground still alive with red blood spilling out of the wound caused by the bullet from your gun. He’s struggling to breathe. You bend your knee to see if there is something that you can do, but it is too late. Choking to breath he looks to you, and whispers in your ear. You turn only to see his lifeless eyes staring into nothingness frozen in time. He grabbed your wrist! The grip surprised you, and the shock jolted you awake up from this nightmare. You awake in a cold sweat, but it was not just a dream, it had happened. The look on his dying face still hunts you even back on your farm months later. The only solace that you have is that you were following orders and acting in defense of Virginia. But are these recurring nightmares a message of approaching doom? It is just before dawn on September 11, 1675, and since you cannot sleep anymore, you decide to get an early start on your Wednesday chores on your land in Westmoreland County. Your tobacco plants, standing seven feet high, are ready to harvest. They must be harvested soon as they are almost fully matured and if fully matured, they would be worth far less and not to mention the risk of a frost destroying the entire crop, which happened to you last harvest season. You go through the ritual in your head of cutting the plants with the knife once used by your late father. Your memories of him fill your head as he taught you that you must cut right in-between the bottom leaves and the ground. The weather seems favorable today, so after cutting, you leave the tobacco on the ground for three or four hours to wilt. It has been your experience that this method results in a heavier, moister leaf, which brings a higher profit. You walk into the cooking area of your small farmhouse and bid good morning to your young wife who is expecting a second child. She’s already up, which is her custom. You take a moment to gaze at her while she is preparing breakfast, selfishly praying that she is carrying a son. Hopefully, your service to the militia will ensure a future for your son free from Native American threats. However, a messenger arrives at the door interrupting your prayers. There have been raids on farms further west in Stafford County, Virginia, and Charles County, Maryland. As you had expected, the latest fiasco this past summer alienated the Susquehannocks. You are to report at once to the docks in Jamestown to board a sloop under the command of Colonel John Washington. The plan is to join Major Thomas Truman of Maryland in a combined campaign with Major Isaac Allerton’s militia from Northumberland County to force the Susquehannocks to leave. In fact, the Susquehannocks have erected a fort near the mouth of the Piscataway Creek near the Northern Virginian and Southern Maryland border. The harvest will have to wait. You
Part One: Introduction
eagerly join the campaign as this could ensure the security of your growing family and home. By the time you and your fellow militiamen arrive at the fort that was flanked by swamplands on both sides. Truman’s forces were already surrounding the fort with its palisade walls made from tree trunks with gaps to allow archers to fire in defense, but no one has been able to penetrate its defenses. Since the camp is preoccupied, you take the opportunity to eavesdrop on the officer’s tent overhearing them converse: “So, my good men, what is the status?” Washington sat down to hear the report as Truman turn and him with a smirk and ask. “So, I would have thought that your Governor would have sent Colonel Mason or even Colonel Brent. A least I would know that they would shy from pulling trigger. Nevertheless, the Susquehannocks have learned a trick or two from us, unfortunately.” “Great, first you give them arms then you teach them to build forts?” Major Allerton provoked. “Come, now. Do not be coy, that was a different time. Besides, I was unheard of then,” Truman said will a hearty laugh. “You arrogant Marylanders!” Allerton, to keep the mood light, and Truman returned the gesture saying, “Well, sir, I am offended.” “It was intentional.” Witty Allerton said quickly, but by this time Washington’s short patience was apparent. “Well, I beg your pardons, gentlemen, but we have a task at hand, please, sirs.” He insisted. Truman took his seat at the small make-shift table and gave his report to his Virginian brothers in arms. “The fort is laid out in a large square with raised embankments. These embankments are on all four sides with palisades and a ditch in between. Additionally, there are Bastions on each corner. It looks as though there are one hundred of their warriors guarding the fort, but it also seems as though the entire village is in there---maybe four hundred women, children, and elders. You know, they had the audacity to come out with a piece of paper and a piece of a medal that they claimed to have received from the Governor of Maryland as a ‘pledge of peace.’ I was not convinced. They even tried to blame the Iroquois. We do not have time for this, and we do not have the artillery to batter it down. I would love to go back to my plantation and to tend to my fields, and I’m sure you would, too. We have options. We continue surrounding the fort and starve them out, but no telling when they will surrender. Or we can call a parley.” “Parley?” Allerton questioned Truman. “Yes, parley. Do I really need to give you a lesson on what a parley is?” “Now, who’s being coy?” Washington chimed in. No need for the lesson.” “Good, so, we’ll invite their leaders outside of the fort and charge them with the murders of our people.” “Then what?” Inquired Allerton. “Well, send them a message.” Truman said and noticed you. It was at that point that you decided that it was best to be on your way. That was the last word of the conversation that you heard before obeying Washington and heading back to watch duty.
Bacon’s Rebellion, 1676
The next day, as you were heading to the frontlines, news came in that five “great men” were coming out to parley. “Finally, we can put an end to this,” you thought to yourself. A message was sent all right. To your astonishment, the five emissaries lay dead, bludgeoned to death with blows to the head. One had a paper and a medal still in his hands. One still had a white flag of truce. It further shocked you that Washington, the ranking officer present ordered the executions impatiently and wanted to capture the fort and end this standoff. You know in your heart that whatever message was intended, it was heard loud and clear, and there will be retaliation. The “siege” dragged on for another month. By this time Native Americans allied with Virginia, the Piscataway warriors, and men from the Mattawan nation joined the siege. Together, the forces were able to kill fifty of the Susquehannock warriors, but failed to breach the fort’s walls. Figure 1- Diagram of Susquehannock Fort
It is now November and the militiamen are demoralized not being able to take the fort. You overhear Col. Washington lamenting about his decision to kill the emissaries. Governor Berkeley wanted Major Allerton to investigate and punish the killers, but now word came back from Jamestown that the governor is livid. Col. Washington confides in you that the only way to right this wrong is to take the fort and relieve Virginia of this threat to the colony’s security. As he turned to you and looked to you with honest eyes, a messenger interrupted him stating that the fort was emptied during the night. They have escaped, killing ten men in doing so. Without blinking Washington got ready to pursue, but you knew that it would be futile. ------------It’s been months since you have been home. The weather has turned to winter and by now all of your crops should have been harvested and ready for the long winter. You can only
Part One: Introduction
imagine the loss you have taken since your farm is small and you do not have many workers unlike your superior officers who have hundreds. From a distance you can see black smoke. Your heart begins to beat faster and you enter into a gallop on your horse. Approaching your farm, you realized that it had been raided. Retaliation had come. You are enraged but more worried about your family. What happened to them? There were no human remains on the property. Your tobacco fields were burnt, your vegetable fields burnt, your house in ruins. Everyone…gone. What do you have left? Where is your family? Your worry turns to rage, and you head to the Burgess to get help and some answers. In addition to being your commanding officer in the county militia, Colonel Washington is also your Burgess, and it turns out that he had been called to a meeting of the Grand Assembly in Jamestown to address this issue. His servant also informs you that your farm was not the only one attacked. When asked why the governor is not doing anything about it, the servant said that he had overheard a conversation between Colonel Washington and Colonel Spencer stating that Berkeley chose Sir Henry Chicheley to lead the militia. Washington was offended but expected this treatment after his conduct at the fort that acerbated this conflict. However, another servant tells you that Berkeley called off the mission in order to maintain “peaceful relations” with the Native Americans and to make sure that war and punishment is exacted on the right ones. The servants share your anger--an anger that Washington could possibly not know. His farm remained intact. His lands are vast and protected while yours are vulnerable and much closer to the frontier. His family is safe and yours is gone. Why? And he’s going to Jamestown to do what? Talk? You want action, you want protection, you want security. It is your right as an Englishman and as a landowner on English soil. You decide to head to Jamestown for yourself. Before your fields were burned, you had been able to save up enough tobacco for a couple of weeks stay at the Drummond Inn---they are quite pricey after all but worth it. There you find a temporary answer to your sorrows. You commiserate with others until you start to hear rumors about what the savages were doing to their captives. They used to assimilate them, but now they are torturing. Your wife, daughter, and unborn child weigh heavily on your mind troubling your sleep as money is running out. It is now February 1676 and you still have no word about your family. Washington has been staying at the governor’s mansion near Jamestown, but what can he really do? What would he really do? He’s not suffering like you are, and to top it off, you did not vote for him to represent you in the first place. Finally, a message from him arrives after he received your petition for assistance on the frontier. “These are tense times, and we must handle these matters delicately. I must go, but good day to you,” he wrote. Not promising. You let out a loud sigh in frustration and feel a hand on your shoulder. The man with his hand on your shoulder introduces himself as William Drummond. “You are the owner of this establishment?” You ask him. He laughs. “No, that would be my wife, Sarah. Long story. What ails you?” He inquires. You tell him of you experience of the destruction of your farm.” To your surprise, he responds, “Damn that Berkeley; damn that council; damn them all! See that man sitting over there? He’s new to Virginia, but he’s already on the Council.
Bacon’s Rebellion, 1676
His name is Nathaniel Bacon and is already challenging Berkeley’s actions. He just recently he lost one of his servants to an Indian raid and wants revenge.” Hmmm. Seems like this Bacon could be exactly what we need to gain control of this Indian problem once and for all. If Bacon is recruiting men to fight the invaders and secure Virginia, you want in, even if it means in open rebellion. You see others there with the same look in their eyes as you---some of them landless, all of them tired of the inaction of government. You think to yourself, “The kindle is ready; Bacon’s the spark.”
Part One: Introduction
WHAT IS REACTING TO THE PAST
Reacting to the Past is an innovative classroom pedagogy that teaches history and related subjects through a series of role-immersion games. Students read from specially designed game books that place them in moments of heightened historical tension. The class becomes a public body, or private gathering; students, in role, become particular persons from the period and/or members of factional alliances. Their purpose is to advance an agenda and achieve victory objectives through formal speeches, informal debate, negotiations, vote taking, and conspiracy. After a few preparatory sessions, the game begins, and the students are in charge. The instructor serves as an adviser/arbiter. Outcomes sometimes vary from the history; a debriefing session sets the record straight.
HOW TO PLAY A REACTING GAME The following is an outline of what you will encounter in Reacting and of what you will be expected to do. 1. Game Set-Up The instructor will present the historical context of the game before the game formally begins. During the set-up period, you will read several different kinds of material: • The game book (from which you are reading now), which includes historical background, rules and features of the game, core texts, and essential documents • A role sheet, describing the historical person you will model in the game and, where applicable, the faction to which you belong • Supplementary documents or books, that if assigned will provide additional information and arguments for use during the game Read this material before the game begins (or as much as possible, catching up once the game is underway). And just as important, go back and reread these materials throughout the game. A second and third reading while in role will deepen your understanding and alter your perspective, for ideas take on a different meaning when seen through the eyes of a particular character. Students who have carefully read the materials and who know well the rules of the game will do better than those who rely on general impressions.
Bacon’s Rebellion, 1676
2. Game Play Once the game begins, usually one student, randomly chosen, elected, or identified by role, will preside over the class sessions. Your instructor then becomes the gamemaster (GM) and takes a seat in the back of the room. While not directing the play of the game, the GM may do any of the following: • Pass notes to individuals or factions • Announce important events, some of which may be the result of student actions, others instigated by the GM • Perform scheduled interventions, sometimes determined by die rolls • Interrupt proceedings that have gone off track • Arbitrate play-related controversies Reacting games usually employ three types of roles: faction roles, mostly the same for all members of the group; individual roles, differentiating otherwise similar faction members; and indeterminate roles, identifying individuals who operate outside the established factions. Generally speaking, you either are in a faction as a differentiated individual, or you are outside the factions as an “indeterminate.” In games where the factions are tightly knit groups with fixed objectives, indeterminates provide the most obvious source of extra support. Cultivating them is, therefore, in the interest of faction members, because never will one faction have the voting strength to prevail without allies. Collaboration and coalition building are at the heart of every game. The classroom may sometimes be noisy with multiple points of focus, because side conversations, note passing, and players out of their seats are common and accepted practices in Reacting. But these practices also are disruptive and can spoil the effect of formal speeches. Nothing is accomplished by trying to talk over the din to persons not listening, so insist upon order and quiet before proceeding. Always assume, when spoken to by a fellow student—whether in class or out of class—that that person is speaking to you in role. If you need to address a classmate out of role, employ a visual sign, like crossed fingers, to indicate your changed status. It is inappropriate to trade on out-of-class relationships when asking for support or favors. Work to balance your emotional investment in your role with the need to treat your classmates with respect. Some specific roles may require you to advocate beliefs with which you personally disagree. While such assignments may seem difficult at first, careful study of your role sheet and the readings should help you develop a greater
Part One: Introduction
understanding of why this person thought and acted as he or she did. In a few cases, you may even need to promote ideas that are viewed as controversial or offensive in today’s society. Again, always go back to the sources: analyze why those ideas made sense for that particular person in that particular time and place, and then advocate those beliefs as persuasively and effectively as you can. If you ever feel uncomfortable or uncertain about your role, you should feel free to speak with your instructor. Remember also that you will have an opportunity during the debriefing session to discuss the differences between your game character and your personal beliefs or values. 3. Game Requirements The instructor will lay out the specific requirements for the class. In general, though, a Reacting game will have students perform three distinct activities: • Reading and Writing. This standard academic work is carried on more purposefully in a Reacting game, since what you read is put to immediate use, and what you write is meant to persuade others to act in preferred ways. The reading load may vary with roles (for that done as research is in addition to that done as preparation); the writing requirement is typically a set number of pages per game. In both cases, the instructor is free to make adjustments. Papers are often policy statements, but also autobiographies, poems, newspaper articles, clandestine messages, or after-game reflections. Papers written provide the bases of speeches delivered. • Public Speaking and Debate. In most games every player is expected to deliver at least one formal speech (the length of the game and the size of the class will affect the number of speeches). Debate occurs after a speech is delivered. Debate is impromptu, raucous, and fast-paced and often results in decisions determined by voting. • Strategizing. Communication among students is a pervasive feature of Reacting games. You will find yourselves writing emails, texting, attending out-of-class meetings, or gathering for meals. The purpose of these communications is to lay out a strategy for advancing your agenda and thwarting the agenda of your opponents, or to hatch plots to ensnare individuals troubling to your cause. 4. Skill Development A Reacting role-immersion game provides students the opportunity to develop a host of academic and life skills: • Effective writing • Public speaking
Bacon’s Rebellion, 1676
• • • • • •
Problem-solving Leadership Teamwork Adaptation to fast changing circumstances Work under pressure Meeting deadlines
Part One: Introduction
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND Chronology 1603 1607 1610-1611 1610-1614 1619 1622 1624 1625 1641 1642-1646 1646 1649 1651 1660 1664 1674
James I becomes king, succeeding his cousin, Queen Elizabeth I. Jamestown founded by the Virginia Company of London, first permanent English settlement in North America The “Starving Time” The First Anglo-Powhatan War Virginia House of Burgesses established, first representative assembly in the English colonies, tobacco becomes the basis of economy, 20 enslaved Africans arrive in Jamestown, recorded by John Rolfe The Second Anglo-Powhatan War King James I revokes Virginia Company’s charter Charles I become king and Virginia becomes a royal colony King Charles I appoints Sir William Berkeley as Governor of Virginia English Civil War and the Third Anglo-Powhatan Wars Treaty ends hostilities between Virginia and the Powhatan Confederacy King Charles I is executed First Navigation Act passed to regulate colonial trade Charles II is restored to the throne and restores Berkeley as Governor of Virginia English conquers New Netherland and New York is founded Nathaniel Bacon settles at the Curles Neck Plantation in Henrico Count
March 3, 1675 Gov. Berkeley appoints Bacon to the Governor’s Council By July September
November March 1676
Skirmishes between frontier settlers and Doeg and Susquehannock Indians spread fear in addition to news of New England’s King Philip’s War Doeg Indians steal hogs from planter Thomas Mathews for not paying them for their trade goods. Colonists killed several Indians and in retaliation, the Doeg killed his herdsman, Robert Hen. The Susquehannocks built a fort and held out until five chiefs came out for parley, the colonists attacked and killed them. “The Long Assembly” convenes and the Grand Assembly meets in Jamestown to prepare for defending the colony.
“Most Excellent Fruits”: A Historical Overview of Colonial Virginia to 1676 Introduction As one of the most populous North American native linguistic groups, the Algonquians stretched from the east coast of North America to the Rocky Mountains, and the members of their tribes numbered in the hundreds of thousands. The Eastern Algonquians included the Massachusett, Narragansett, Mohegan, Delawarean, Piscataway, Nanticoke, and Powhatan peoples. But it was the Powhatan peoples who dominated eastern Virginia and western Maryland calling the region Tsenacommacah or “densely inhabited land.” By the early 17th century, Wahunsenacawh, a Powhatan weronance or chief who previously had inherited around six tribes under his leadership, organized a confederacy of thirty Powhatan tribes through diplomacy and/or force. As a Mamanatowick or paramount chief, Wahunsenacawh’s people numbered around 15,000 people at their height and covered six thousand square miles including lands claimed by England. Following the voyages of Christopher Columbus, Spain created an empire in the wealthiest regions in the Americas. While the powerful Spanish conquered Native American empires, mined gold and silver, and produced sugar, tobacco, and leather, the less powerful English claimed the east coast of North America after the voyage of John Cabot who sailed in 1497. After a failed attempt at colonization on the Island of Roanoke during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, England’s defeat of the Spanish Armada ended Spain’s dominance over the seas providing an opportunity for England to succeed in colonizing the Chesapeake under the reign of King James I with the goal of economic viability. Between 1607 and 1700 more than a half a million people left England. Some settled in Ireland, others to the West Indies, but by the mid-1600s, the majority of emigrants called the eastern seaboard of North America home. The French, the Dutch, and the English all challenged the claims of the Spanish in North America by the mid-seventeenth century. Although the slowest at overseas colonization, the English had proven most aggressive in forming expansive family-based colonies rather than trading posts or military garrisons like those of the French and Dutch. However, it began that way. Permanent English settlement in the western hemisphere began in 1606 with an English joint stock company that was formed to establish settlements on the east coast of North America. This company included the Virginia Company of London (which founded Jamestown) and the Virginia Company of Plymouth (which established Popham, a short-lived settlement in Maine).
Part Two: Historical Background
Table 2.1- North American Colonies, 1565-1670 COLONY Florida New Mexico Virginia New France New Netherlands Plymouth St. Kitts, Barbados, et al. Massachusetts Bay Maryland Rhode Island Connecticut New Haven New Hampshire New York (Formerly New Netherlands)
New Jersey North Carolina South Carolina
FOUNDER(S) Pedro Menendez de Aviles Juan de Onate Virginia Company France Dutch West Indian Company Puritan Separatists European Immigrants
DATE BASIS OF ECONOMY 1565 Farming
Fur trading Fur trading
Puritans Cecilius Calvert Roger Williams Thomas Hooker MA migrants MA migrants James, Duke of York Sir George Cartetet, John Lord Berkeley Carolina proprietors
1630 1634 1636 1636 1638 1638 1664
Farming, fishing, fur trading
Tobacco Farming Farming, fur trading Farming Farming Farming, fur trading
England England England England England England England
Tobacco, forest products Rice, Indigo
By 1670, England’s dominance over the Atlantic seaboard of North American is evident and Virginia is at its center.
“Great & Ample”: Creating Virginia Even before 1606, Richard Haklurt, England’s most leading publicist for overseas expansion, proclaimed: “There is under our noses the great & ample countrey of Virginia.” On paper, this “great and ample” land claimed by the English as Virginia stretched from modern-day Vermont to North Carolina and promised “the most excellent fruits.” Authorized by King James I, the Virginia Company, under its charter, gave the responsibility of colonizing the Chesapeake Bay claim to a group of London-based merchants who financed three ships that set sailed from the Thames River in April 1607 in search of glory and gold. Within months, 105 men named a waterway in the Chesapeake
Bacon’s Rebellion, 1676
Bay the “James River” and established a fortified village along its banks and named it “Jamestown.” Their hopes of quick rewards were diminished, as gold and precious gems were nowhere to be found in the marshy lands of Virginia. Over the next few year, more than 600 people departed England bound for Jamestown and by 1610, scarcely sixty survived. Nearly a failed venture, the survivors gained a profit of a different kind. The “fruits,” in turn, were not in gold but in tobacco. Discouraged by severe dry spells, warfare, and high death rates, the colony only found relief and its raison d’etre through English taste for Orinoco tobacco. Arriving in 1610, John Rolfe, an English merchant and a smoker himself correctly predicted that the West Indian tobacco could flourish in Virginian soil. By the 1630s, tobacco became Virginia’s chief source of revenue, and Virginia became just as important as its newest neighbor to the north, Maryland. With a viable staple crop, plentiful land, and a European demand, early settlers reaped handsomely from the seeds they sowed. Their only limitation was in labor- its scarcity and its high cost. As a repetitious, time-consuming, and labor-intensive task, planting tobacco involved cultivating, harvesting, curing, and transporting the crops, which required a strong and reliable workforce for success. Warfare and diseases steadily reduced Native American populations and their enslavement proved problematic and unreliable. The transatlantic slave trade had already been in existence, but England was not a principal player at the beginning and slave traders scored a higher profit selling enslaved Africans to sugar planters in the Caribbean than to tobacco planters in the Chesapeake. Thus, in the wake of Rolfe’s discovery and to encourage English migration, the Virginia Company offered transportation and 50 acres to tenants, promising them ownership of the land after seven years of work. Men who paid their own way received 50 acres and an additional “headright” of 50 acres foreach household member or laborer they transported. In other words, a planter in the Chesapeake could simultaneously obtain land and labor by importing workers from England. Profits could then be invested in importing more indentured servants in order to gain more land. In return for their passage these servants contracted to work for periods of four to seven years and accounted for 75-85% of immigrants to Virginia. Hence, a planter gentry began to form and social mobility depended upon servants, land, and profits. Opportunities for advancement, for those who managed to survive, were real. Former servants could become independent farmers, or “freeholders,” and live a comfortable lifestyle. Some even assumed positions of political prominence such as county militia officer or justice of the peace prior to the mid-seventeenth century whereas such achievement in England was highly unlikely. However, because tobacco planting depleted the soil rendering dwindling crop yields, additional new fields and new land was essential for productivity and soil recovery. Mother nature wielded devastating results as well from storms to droughts, not to mention the everincreasing threat of Native American hostilities due to decades of tension over the land.
Part Two: Historical Background
An “Errand into the Wilderness”: Anglo-Native-American Relations in Colonial Virginia When the English set up a fort in 1607, Wahunsenacawh, known by the English as “Chief Powhatan,” sent an ambassador to seek peace and allowed food to be delivered to them after the harvest. But it was in the winter of the same year that Wahunsenacawh’s brother, Opechanacanough, captured Captain John Smith and brought to the capital, Werewocomoco, and his daughter, Pocahontas, saved Smith’s life as he would later write. Smith returned to Werewocomoco to negotiate with Wahunsenacawh the following year. An agreement was made that in exchange for food, the colonists would supply the Powhatans with weapons and open trade. With John Smith’s leadership, the English staged an elaborate ceremony granting a copper crown and a scarlet cloak to the Powhatan chief. However, within a couple of years, the colonists began to expand their settlement outside of the fort, which disrupted the arrangement. Algonquian and English concepts of property differed, a difference that led to much bloodshed. Most Algonquian villages held their land communally in which land could not be bought or sold. As colonists settled and took possession of land instead of just erecting trading posts, conflict and a battle over territory was inevitable. In 1608, Pocahontas saved Smith’s life again after warning them that even though her father had invited them on friendly terms; he was planning on killing them. According to Smith, it was because of this warning, their defensive stance in the village, and the lack of surprise, the attack never came. Further encroachment and soiled relations caused Wahunsenacawh to literally distance himself from the English colonists, moving his capital far away from the English especially after attempts of making him become a subject of the Crown. The early settlers depended heavily on the Native Americans for food and the Powhatan confederacy became unable and unwilling to supply them. Relations worsened and at this point, John Smith sustained a leg injury by gunpowder from one of the skirmished with the Powhatans, and he returned to England in October 1609 to heal. As he aspired to maintain control of his territory, Wahunsenacawh invited a group of colonists from Jamestown to his new capital, Orapax, in November 1609. He promised to trade with them, but instead, the Powhatan’s ambushed the invited guests leaving few survivors. Jamestown entered a “starving time” period as the ill-equipped battle-worn colonists scavenged for berries and bark. One was known to have cannibalized the dead before being executed for his desperation. The death toll was catastrophic as colonists were reduced from 500 to 60. A ship arrived with fresh colonists and supplies in the summer of 1610. Restocked and rejuvenated, the English colonists began to take an offensive approach in dealing with their Native American “problem.” First Anglo-Powhatan War Beginning in August 1610, the English under the command of Lord De la Warr, burned the nearest Powhatan villages in suspicion that they was harboring runaway servants, destroying much needed corn in the process. Conflicts rose. It was rumored that one Bacon’s Rebellion, 1676
Powhatan woman elder, taken captive, watched as English colonists threw her children in the James River and shot them in the head before stabbing her to death in Jamestown. Tribes were forced to abandon their villages and most never recovered. By 1611, both sides experienced heavy losses, but the English persevered in colonizing Virginia and the Powhatan chief began to lose authority. The most significant aspect of this war was the kidnapping of Pocahontas by the brother of a rival weronance who delivered her to the English in April 1613. This caused an immediate ceasefire from the Powhatan raids on the English as they continued to expand the colony. To end the war, the governor himself, Sir Thomas Dale, sacked the new Powhatan capital with a large force and Pocahontas in tow in March 1614. The two parties reached a peace agreement sealed by the marriage of Pocahontas and newcomer John Rolfe in hopes of establishing better relations between the Powhatans and the new Virginians. While in captivity, Pocahontas converted to Christianity, learned English, and took the name Rebecca. Their union initiated a brief period of peace cut short by her death in 1616 while traveling with her husband and infant son in England. Tension further escalated upon Powhatan’s death in 1618, which brought his younger brother, Opechanacanough, to power and with increasing immigrations came increasing conflict. Second Anglo-Powhatan War On Friday, March 22, 1622, led by Chief Opechanacanough after the murder of his advisor, Nemattanew, at the hands of a Virginian settler for allegedly slaying another, the Powhatan Confederacy engaged in a series of surprise attacks on the colony killing a third of the English population. At least 31 separate English settlements and plantations were raided that night. Jamestown survived due to a Native American named Chauco who warned a colonist who alerted Jamestown to increase its defenses. As the dawn broke, over 4oo colonists had lost their lives and twenty women were taken captive. Following the attacks, some settlers abandoned their settlements especially in the frontier of Henricus. Believing that the English would pack up and leave, or learn their lesson and respect the power of the Powhatan, Opechanacanough withdrew his warriors. Instead, the colonists took revenge against the Powhatan by: “The use of force, surprise attacks, famine resulting from the burning of their corn, destroying their boats, canoes, and houses, breaking their fishing weirs and assaulting them in their hunting expedition, pursuing them with horses and using bloodhounds to find them and mastiffs to seize them, driving them to flee within reach of their enemies among other tribes, and ‘assimilating and abetting their enemies against them.”1 This tactic worked as Chief Opechanacanough decided to negotiate in a peace parley in which leaders from Jamestown arrived with poisoned liquor for the ceremonial toast and killed over 200 of them. Chief Opechanacanough escaped unharmed. The AngloWilliam S Powell, “Aftermath of the Massacre: The First Indian War, 1622–1632," The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 66, no. 1 (Jan., 1958), pp. 44–75. 1
Part Two: Historical Background
Powhatan conflicts produced many casualties on both sides showing the lack of control and lack of security of the new colony. Settlers’ frustrations increased. In an effort to take greater control of the situation in 1624, King James I dissolved the charter of the Virginia Company and made Virginia into an official crown colony, with Jamestown as its capital. This meant that the Crown took direct authority and exercised its patronage for royal favorites, adding yet another class of English people into Virginia. As a royal colony, Virginia continued to encroach on land of the Powhatan tribes. Third Anglo-Powhatan War Twenty years after Virginia became a royal colony, Opechanacanough, now in his late 80’s, with the remnants of the Powhatan Confederacy, attacked the colony after a period of relative peace with 500 colonists lost their lives on March 18, 1644, but unlike the prior attack, the casualties only made up a tenth of Virginia’s ever-growing population. Nevertheless, in the eyes of the English, it was too much bloodshed and the threat had to be eliminated. By July, Virginians marched against the main tribes of the Powhatan Confederacy: the Appomattoc, Weyanoke, Warraskoyak, Nansemond, Chowanoke, and Secotan. After constructing forts on the frontier for further security, the governor himself led a march to storm Opechancanough’s stronghold, capturing him, and brought him back to Jamestown where he died after being assassinated by a guard. His death ended the Powhatan Confederacy as the tribes became divided and further decimated as the colonists continued their attacks. In October 1646, England entered into a treaty with the Algonquian people; each tribe became tributaries to the Crown and ushered in 30 years of relative peaceful trade relations between the Virginians and the Powhatan. Relieved from the threat of attacks due to the final defeat of the Powhatan Confederacy, the colonists, especially recent immigrants, focused on enlarging their landholdings. However, while Virginia experience peaceful relations with the Algonquian people, other Native American peoples displaced by the creation of other English colonies namely the Susquehannocks and the Doegs, and quickly became a problem. Susquehannocks While exploring the Chesapeake Bay in 1608, Captain John Smith first encountered the Susquehannocks. An Iroquoian-speaking people, the Susquehannock nation was a confederacy of up to 20 smaller tribes who occupied scattered villages along the Susquehanna River. The Susquehannocks remained independent and not part of any confederacy into the 1600s. Ultimately, they were not strong enough to withstand the competition from colonists and other tribes especially during the Beaver Wars. The Beaver Wars took place 1649 to 1656 in which the Iroquois Confederacy vied for a monopoly on the fur trade. The Susquehannocks formed an alliance with Maryland to acquire rifles and successfully fought the much larger Iroquois Confederacy. A brief peace followed until the Susquehannocks again waged war with the Iroquois armed by Maryland and forced to the southern frontier of Maryland and the northern frontier of Virginia. Problems on the frontiers led to the mobilization of the militias of Maryland and Virginia and in confusion, they surrounded the peaceful Susquehannock village. Six Susquehannock
Bacon’s Rebellion, 1676
chiefs went to negotiate and five were murdered. The Susquehannocks slipped out of the fort at night and poised for revenge. The Susquehannocks had been mistaken for Doegs by the English and were in fact trading partners with Virginias. Commiserating with the Doegs, some Susquehannocks found themselves raiding Virginian plantations on the frontier prompting colonial action. The Doegs The Algonquian-speaking peoples, the Doegs, were natives of Virginia. When English colonists began to settle in the Northern Neck frontier, they competed with the Doeg and other tribes for the land. The Doeg were especially aggressive about their claims and harassed the English colonists on the Northern Neck of Virginia. It was allegedly Doeg tribesmen that raided Virginian plantations in particular the one owned by planter Thomas Mathew in retaliation for his not paying them for trade goods. Mathew and other colonists pursued them to Maryland and killed a few Doeg, as well as innocent Susquehannock. A Doeg war party retaliated by killing Mathew's son and two servants on his plantation. This series of skirmishes were all too common on the frontier and it was up to the governor and the assembly to secure the colonial plantations on the frontier and protect them from further Doeg attacks.
“Masterless Men”: Creating Anglo-Virginians Tudor and Stuart England, “working for wages was itself widely associated with servility and the loss of liberty.” According to historian Eric Foner, “Only those who controlled their own labor could be regarded as truly free.”2 The colonies became synonymous with the opportunity to achieve freedom and a place to regain or gain economic independence in acquiring land and making profits. Thus, the biggest lure was the opportunity of land ownership and the possibility of passing it on to heirs. In addition to economic independence, land ownership in Virginia granted the right to vote and those with this right known as “freeholders,” ranged from the gentry- large landowners with hundreds of servants to yeoman farmers- small landowners with no servants. Freeholding families could rise rapidly in social position more so than ever before. The headright system also attracted new colonists to Virginia as it attempted to solve labor shortages due to the growth of the tobacco economy. However, the disproportion that existed between the amount of land available and the population led to a situation with a low supply of labor, resulting in the growth of indentured servitude and of slavery. The growth of the headright system also served increase the division between the wealthy landowners and the working poor. Plantation owners benefited from the headright system when they paid for the transportation of indentured servants and imported slaves. Many families grew in wealth and thus in power in the colonies by receiving large tracts of land when they imported slaves and indentured servants. There are also cases where the secretary's offices that issued the headrights grew lax as more tapped into to this resource and also due to the lack of regulations in place to keep the headright system in check allowing the elite 2
Eric Foner, Give Me Liberty!: An American History. Vol. 1. (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 2014), 43.
Part Two: Historical Background
to take advantage of the lack of governance further dividing Virginia’s social classes.3 In addition to leading to the distribution of too much land at the lax secretary's discretion, the headright system increased tensions between Native Americans and colonists where newly granted land brought colonist in direct on the frontier which was near the natives. This migration produced conflict between the natives and those benefitting from the system. Freemen Laborers, or free men, were landless poor young men who were either unemployed, worked as apprentices, overseers, or other skilled or un-skilled labor. Unlike their landowning counterparts, they did not have the right to vote. Laborers were typically former indentured servants who did not obtain land upon the end of their term and survive as wage laborers. Women in Colonial Virginia Gender is a key component of the social order in colonial Virginia, and women played a key role. Because of the demand for male labor in tobacco fields, women were greatly outnumbered in colonial Virginia four or five to one.4 The majority of women immigrated to Virginia as indentured servants. Many indentures for women prohibited marriage and children at risk of term extension. Therefore, most women began families after completion of their indentures. This resulted in the majority of women having families at older ages, which, in turn, slowed the population growth. Furthermore, this resulted in large numbers of single men, widows, and orphans. Widows in particular played a key role in AngloVirginia as social conditions extended rights of widows unheard of in England as more women inherited land though their husbands’ estates especially with the absence of male family and heirs. However, most women, especially indentured women saw, as Foner puts it, “a life of hard labor in the tobacco fields and early death.”5 Indentured Servants An indenture is a contract in which white men and women agree to work as servants in exchange for transportation to Virginia. Once they arrive, they are provided with food, clothing, and shelter. Adults usually served for five to seven years and children sometimes for much longer with most working in the colony's tobacco fields owned by planters. Terms could be extended if the indenture was violated in any way. Of the indentures, no more than 15% were unskilled. Little more than 1% came from the gentry and most of those were brought as tutors and clerks or indentured to kinsmen already in the colony. At the end of their term of indenture, servants were given some basic clothing and equipment, and they expected to move to the unsettled frontier. They could purchase unimproved land there to "improve" it by cutting down the trees and preparing fields suitable for growing crops such as corn and tobacco. As the forested frontier was converted into farms, indentured servants were transformed into landowners who could provide their children a better opportunity at gaining wealth. However, settling on the frontier tended to yield more risk than profits. Furthermore, though promised land upon the end their terms, former indentures comprised no more than one third of the landholders, partly due to the appalling 3
Edmund S. Morgan, “Headrights and Head Count: A Review Article,” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, July 1972, 80 (3): 361-371. 4 Foner, 51. 5 Foner, 52.
Bacon’s Rebellion, 1676
mortality rate. Casualties were as high as 100,000 in the first 30 years, or 5 of every 6 servants. Some indentured servants ran away. Thus, a push for more servants prompted the Virginia Company to expand their incentives. “Masterless Men” To further entice mostly young untitled men from farming and laboring families to immigrate to Virginia, the company guaranteed that overseas workers would have access to established English freedoms such as the right to trial by jury and a representative form of government. From 1607 to the end of the 1640s, over 6000 English colonists immigrated to Virginia. In population, the English colonies saw more immigration to its colonies than its Europeans rivals. Some thrived, others went back home, and most died. Virginia in the 1640s offered quick wealth and social mobility to only a few. The majority of colonists who owned land held smallholdings of fifty to a few hundred acres. The Virginia colonists worked hard clearing forests for their crops, as tobacco also became legal tender. Virginia’s exports rose from a total weight of 2,000 pounds in 1615 to 500,000 in 1626. By 1640, almost 1.4 million pounds of tobacco was annually shipped to London and even with low prices, Virginia managed to profit greatly from this “most excellent fruit.” Especially after defeating the Powhatans, freeholders still depended primarily on English laborers, but more tobacco planters begin to import small numbers of enslaved Africans as well. Historian Ira Berlin called them “Atlantic Creoles,” noting their presence and significance, but also distinguishing the fact that slavery did not dominate colonial Virginian society but one of a number of coexisting labor systems. Thus deeming early colonial Virginia as a “society with slaves” and not a “slave society.” Furthermore, the introduction of Africans into Virginia society created a community of Afro-Virginians.6
“20 or Odd Negroes”: Creating Afro-Virginians In a 1619, a Portuguese slaver called the Sao Joao Bautista captained by Manuel Mendes da Cunha purchased three hundred enslaved Angolans bound for slave trading posts in the Spanish colonies. They were from Luanda, the recently established capital of the Portuguese colony of Angola. At the time, King Alvaro III Nimi a Mpanzu of Kongo, manikongo of the Kingdom of Kongo just north of Angola, was actively in the transatlantic slave trade, and Portugal had been exporting enslaved West Africans from there for hundreds of years. With the addition of Angola, slavers began to shift their operations southward. The Intercepted and captured by a Dutch warship, the twenty of the recaptured Angolan survivors arrived at Jamestown, as the ship and its crew were in need of provisions and nothing else to trade. John Rolfe himself logged the historic Jamestown exchange in a 1620 letting recalling that “He [Dutch Captain Jope] brought nor anything but 20 and odd Negroes, which the Governor and Cape Merchange bought for victalls (whereof he was in greate need as he portended) at the best and easiest rate they could.” Hence it can be argued that these enslaved Angolans were the “founders” of African America and that their descendants became Afro-Virginians.
Ira Berlin, Many Thousands Gone (New York: Belknap, Inc, 2000).
Part Two: Historical Background
“No System of Slavery” Myth A common narrative assumes that because the English colony did not have a system of slavery in place prior to the arrival of the enslaved Africans, the Virginians treated them as servants rather than slaves meaning that their service was for a limited term and some of them were able to become landowners upon the end of their service. Some were recorded in Virginian court records as plaintiffs or defendants, and some even won cases against Englishmen in disputes over property, debt, and even freedom. In theory, there was a form of racial equality. However, the first 20 Angolans were enslaved and not indentured. They may have served limited terms, but their terms were longer and involuntary. Even if serving side by side in the tobacco fields with English indentured servants, the Africans were well aware of the color line. Though some increased their social status and challenged European dominance, they were the exception. The Case of Anthony Johnson One such Afro-Virginian was Anthony Johnson. Born in African, presumably Angola, Johnson arrived at Jamestown in 1621 and escaped the Native American attack in following years to serve out a term of service after which his master, John Littleton, released him. By 1652, he was able to receive 250 acres in land through the Headright system after importing five servants, some of them English. His sons, John and Richard even accumulated land through the Headright system. Though not a part of the elite planter class, his 1654 lawsuit against his slave, John Casor, and his neighbor, Mr. Parker, set a precedent in that winning his case, the court awarded him Casor’s service for life. Parker was also ordered to pay the court fees and Johnson proved his rights as a Virginian slave and landowner. After moving to Maryland, with Casor joining them, the Johnsons established their residence there selling their lands in Virginia. It can be assumed that due to Johnson’s victory and others similar to his status and experience if proof of racial equality in early colonial Virginian; however, it is an exaggeration that free people of color during this period had virtually the same opportunities as free white servants. But it must be said that a few industrious ones did achieve high economic and social status, but never equality. Johnson, though a landowner, was not a freeholder and did not vote. He also could not be elected or serve in government due to the simple fact that he was not English. He also was a part of a very small population of free Afro-Virginians, but with an increased presence of people of color and increased threats to the establish authority, courts in Virginia began to reflect a switch in race relations. Beginning with an early court decision in 1640, three Virginia servants - two Europeans and one African - ran away from their masters. Upon recapture, a Virginia judge ordered the European servants to serve their master for one more year; the African servant was ordered to serve his master for the rest of his life. Virginia Statutes Concerning Race In the ensuing years, Virginia passed laws that severely restricted the rights of African slaves and expanded the rights of their owners. As early as 1662, African American women were doubly valued: for their work in the field and in the household, and for their ability to have children, which expanded the labor force with less cash spent up-front. The desire to import women for that dual purpose led the colony of Virginia to pass a law in 1662,
Bacon’s Rebellion, 1676
which stated that the legal status of a child would be determined by the status of the mother. If the mother was a slave, then her child was doomed to slavery. Additionally, Virginia law passed in 1670 that defined as slaves-for-life all non-Christian servants who arrived at the colony "by shipping," which were, almost without exception, Africans. Though not a majority, Africans in Virginia were the subject of much deliberation and concern in colonial Virginia. Hence, we see the beginnings of institutionalized racism in the English colonies.
Table 2.2- Virginia Statues Concerning Race, 1630-1672 YEAR
All persons except black people to be provided with arms and ammunition or be fined at pleasure of the Governor and Council. 1642/3 An act creating the first legal distinction between English and African woman 1644/5 An act counting African women and their descendants were counted among the tithes. 1660/1 An act punishing English servants running away with black people. March 1661/2 An act discouraging white indentured servants from running away with enslaved people. March 1661/2 An act prohibiting trading among indentured servants and enslaved people. Dec 1662 An act applying the status of the mother on children. 1667 An act declaring that baptism did not alter the status of enslaved people. 1668 An act declaring that black women were taxable. 1669 An act legalizing the punishment and killing of enslaved people. October 1670 An act prohibiting free people of color and Native Americans from owning white servants. October 1670 An act creating further additional distinction between black people and Native Americans. September An act requiring all enslaved children to be registered for tithes. 1672 September 1672
An act to suppress the rebellious activities of enslaved people.
The Royal Government of Virginia: Berkeleyâ€™s Governance Regardless of how they arrived and under what condition, the Virginia Company went out of its way to guarantee its colonists access to the established English freedoms such as the right to trial by jury and to form a representative government. This was in an effort to encourage settlers to come to Virginia. In addition to the already established leader of a governor and a governorâ€™s council, civil authority would control the military, and a council 24
Part Two: Historical Background
of burgesses, representatives chosen by the inhabitants of the colony for their government, would be convened as the House of Burgesses. The governor could veto their actions, but the company still had overall control of the colony. On July 30, 1619, the first Europeanstyle legislative assembly in the Americas convened at the church on Jamestown Island, Virginia. A council chosen by the Virginia Company as advisers to the governor, the Virginia Governor's Council, met as a sort of "upper house," while twenty-two elected representatives met as the House of Burgesses. Together, the House of Burgesses and the Council would be the Virginia Grand Assembly. The House's first session of July 30, 1619, accomplished little as it was cut short by an outbreak of malaria. After Virginia became a royal colony, the governor was no longer selected by the company but appointed by the Crown. Table 2.3- Tudor and Stuart Monarchs of England, 1558-1702: Monarch Elizabeth I James I Charles I Charles II James II William & Mary II
Reign 1558-1603 1603-1625 1625-1649 (Executed) 1660-1685 1685-1688 (Deposed) 1688-1702 1688-1694
Relation to Predecessor Half-sister to Mary I Cousin Son Son Brother Son-in-law Daughter
Appointment of Berkeley- First Administration In the past thirty-five years of Sir William Berkeley’s tenure as governor, Virginia has been transformed. In 1641, King Charles I appointed Sir William Berkeley as Governor of Virginia. Arriving at Jamestown in 1642, Berkeley erected Green Spring House on a tract of land west of the capital, where he experimented with alternatives to tobacco. Berkeley’s main initiative when he first became governor was to encourage diversification of Virginia’s agricultural products. He accomplished this through passing laws and by setting himself up as an example for planters. However, before Berkeley, the Grand Assembly was a unicameral system in which the Governor’s Council met and governed with the House of Burgesses. Berkeley changed it to a bicameral system dividing the Governor’s Council from the House of Burgesses. In other words, the General Assembly was divided into an Upper House- the Governor and the Governor’s Council and a Lower House- the House of Burgesses. Both Houses would have separate meetings and rulings, and when necessary, the Upper House would invite the Lower House to join them in passing certain legislation. This virtually disbanded the House of Burgesses, however, they maintained their positions and represented those who elected them into offices and were appeased with deals in land with the governor. After the English Civil War, royalists were defeated and either lost their lives or their positions. English Civil War and Commonwealth When the parliamentarians were successful, Berkeley was offered an asylum in Virginia. Forced to resign his authority, he was permitted to remain on his own plantation in Green Spring as a private person. During the Commonwealth years, Parliament enacted the
Bacon’s Rebellion, 1676
Navigation Acts, which were a series of laws that restricted the use of foreign ships for trade between Britain and its colonies. They reflected the policy of mercantilism, which sought to keep all trade for the benefit of the Empire and to minimize the loss to foreigners. These acts prohibited the colonies from trading directly with other European nations and their colonies greatly impacting Virginian trade. Shortly after the death of Oliver Cromwell, Charles II was invited back from European exile to be king under a restored monarchy. The English Civil War slowed the progress of Virginia, but once the war ended, the colony continued to expand. Especially tobacco planters growing began importing indentured servants to work on their farms in increasing numbers. This only increased as farms developed into plantations. Second Administration as Governor Upon the restoration of King Charles II, Berkeleyâ€™s path towards Virginia's prosperity was fourfold: a diverse economy; free trade; a close-knit colonial society; and autonomy from London. He proceeded to turn this thought into action in various ways. In order to support a diversified economy and free trade, for instance, he used his own plantation as an example. Virginia's autonomy from London was supported in the Grand Assembly's role in the colony's governance. The Assembly was, in effect, a "miniature Parliament. Berkeley also advocated the colonyâ€™s autonomy from London in his efforts against the revival of the Virginia Company of London. However, he divided the Grand Assembly into to two houses: the Upper House and the Lower House. The Upper House met annually and was also the General Court for the colony. The Lower House met as well but separately and somewhat officially. The House of Burgesses since the restoration of Berkeley as governor was never called into the Grand Assembly until the March 1676. The Upper House virtually governed Virginia autonomously, but the governor in lands, tax reliefs, and county offices and authority appeased the Burgesses. The English population of Virginia from 1640-1660 expanded from 8,000 to 30,000 and the number of counties doubled. Berkeley and Council decided to keep same Assembly in session from 1662-1676 without elections. As the governor suspended elections of Burgesses during this period, and the once elected Burgesses maintain their positions and were only removed through resignation or death. This made accountability a problem. Furthermore, very few newcomers after 1660 had an opportunity at political attainment in the Lower House, which caused tensions among the gentry and planters. In fact, no servant who arrived by way of an indenture rose enough in status to become a burgess under Berkeleyâ€™s leadership and most definitely, nor did an enslaved person or free person of color.
Part Two: Historical Background
The Social Hierarchy of Colonial Virginia
KING GOVERNOR Lt. GOVERNOR
COUNCIL OF STATE HOUSE OF BURGESSES FREEHOLDERS HOUSEKEEPERS FREE MEN FREE WOMEN FREE PEOPLE OF COLOR INDENTURED SERVANTS ENSLAVED PEOPLE Colonial Virginia was far from democratic, but voting was commonplace and a longstanding tradition. With the House of Burgesses being the first representative assembly in English America, though derived from English practice, it was shaped by the American experience. Generally, Virginians did not vote for the governor. The British monarch appointed most governors with a few exceptions. Additionally, Virginians did not choose their local officials. The governor of Virginia normally appointed local justices of the peace, sheriffs, coroners, and clerks. However, Virginians could vote for legislators to the lower house of the Grand Assembly, the House of Burgesses- two burgesses per county. Typically, only white male property owners twenty-one or older could vote for burgesses. Afro-Virginians- free or enslaved, Native Americans, poor Anglo-Virginians- propertyless free men, indentured, and all women, were excluded from participation in elections. It was believed that such persons have no will of their own. If these persons had votes or were allowed to hold office, they would be tempted to dispose of them under some undue influence or other. Furthermore, even though the Assembly did not conduct much business, they tended to linger for an exorbitant amount of time. Legislative sessions would last for weeks if not months and the common tradesmen, merchants, and owners of small and medium farms could not afford to neglect work for extended periods. The elite could and were able to hold offices that the lower classes though technically eligible could not. As with most elections, voter turnout was usually low especially in rural areas where voters had to travel long distances to participate in elections which meant that most stayed on Baconâ€™s Rebellion, 1676
their plantations on election day which in turn meant that Burgesses were only reliant on a few voting freeholders and housekeepers representing the needs of a few rather than the needs of all especially freedmen. Problems with Freedmen During the first thirty years of Virginian History, indentured servitude had worked partly due to the fact the mortality was so high. Between 1625-1640, 15,000 immigrants came to Virginia; only 8,000 survived by 1640. Diseases were responsible for the high death rate, and those who survived were able to find land to live and be successful as freedmen. It also worked because it was simply too expensive to buy slaves as the English did not have a direct connection to the Transatlantic Slave Trade. However, after 1640, circumstances changed for the freedmen as death rates declined. By 1662, the population rose to over 25,000, and there were more and more freedmen who had served their terms but who were now unable to afford land of their own except on the frontiers. The elite families of the colony had founded the best areas in the tidewater already holding tens of thousands of acres. However, many became property-less when freed from their indentures. It was estimated that one fourth of Virginia’s freedmen were without land of their own by 1676. Freedmen worked for wages, risked certain danger settling on the frontier, and others became vagabonds and drifters. The plantations were also exposed to attack from Indians by land and from privateers and pirates by sea. The presence of this growing class of poverty-stricken Virginians was frightening to the elite planters who had long made it to the top, and as more and more turned free each year. They were mostly single, young, impatient, armed, and rebellious. Virginia seemed to be becoming a more dangerous place to live.
“A Volatile Society”: Social Unrest and Uprising Plots Young men with promising futures and enticed by the “Most Excellent Fruits” grew impatient with the lack of attention that they experienced by Berkeley’s governance and began to challenge the established authorities. Political office was quite profitable. In addition to access to quality lands, tax breaks, and a wage for service, local power and authority from owning lands and servants became an aspiration that helped to create the “American Dream.” By 1676, some settlers concluded that the Berkeley establishment had taken too much for too long. Instances of local friction increased the level of political tension. County residents resented the Governor's interference with and manipulation of their sheriffs, militias, and justices, and at the same time, the smaller farmers were growing impatient with the domination of local government by a few wealthy families largely interrelated. In the 1660s and 1670s, servant and slave unrest were at dangerous levels. Because of the oppressive levies, depressed tobacco prices, and the hostility of the many toward the excesses of the few wealthy neighbors and colonial government. Many Virginians were
Part Two: Historical Background
irritated that the same men who sold levied tobacco for twice the rate were given the most tax exemptions. The Elite also decided in 1670 to circumscribe the pool of voters by stripping freemen of the right to vote unless they were landowners and housekeepers further disenfranchising servants and former servants. Additional, the new freemen became increasingly bitter for having to pay higher taxes to support the extravagant lifestyles of their burgesses while in assemblies in Jamestown while lacking the right to vote them in and out of office. Indentured servants served longer term of service and were often abused as the difference between rights to an individual’s labor and right’s to an individual’s person became less distinct. Their servitude was much more severe in Virginia than in England. Some tried legal means to ameliorate their plight in suing masters for clothes, lack of proper medical care, breeches of contract, failure to honor an agreement to teach a trade, and physical abuse. Some were successful, others reprimanded with extended terms. This provoked many to seek extralegal means of expressing their political and social discontent. For example, in York County in 1661, a group of indentured servants plotted to rise up against authorities. Led by Isaac Friend and William Clutton, whose indentures belonged to Major James Goodwin, were angered by the lack of meat in their diet, but their conspiracy apparently was revealed before they could act. The county court warned Friend about his behavior and encouraged his overseer to watch him more carefully. Clutton was ordered arrested for delivering "seditious words & speeches," but the result of the county's legal action is not known. Two years later, nine indentured servants in Gloucester County met in the woods and planned to secure arms, ammunition, and a drum from a Councilor’s plantation and, with perhaps as many as thirty recruits, march with the ultimate goal of marching on the governor's mansion at Green Spring to demand release from their indentures. If he refused, they were prepared to kill him. However, a servant named Birkenhead betrayed them; they were ambushed at their meeting place and the captured ones tried by the General Court and hanged for treason. After rewarding Birkenhead with his freedom and 5,000 pounds of tobacco, the Grand Assembly declared that the day of their planned insurrection be celebrated annually, September 13th. Fear of more plots and rebellions with the increasing number of enslaved Africans in the colony lead the Grand Assembly to approve an act in 1672 permitting the killing of enslaved Africans, Indian and mulatto servants for running away or for criminal activity, further dividing treatment of servants with a color line. Nevertheless, punishments were harsher but the plight was similar and worsening with more enslaved African importations.
Bacon’s Rebellion, 1676
Figure 2- The Third Statehouse, Jamestown, ca. 1675
The Current State of Virginia Colony, 1676 Virginia by 1676 was no longer a small transplant of English "civilization" amid a â€œbarbaricâ€? wilderness. Nevertheless, the colony was experiencing all the social stresses and growing pains of an expanding society. After 1670, tobacco prices were depressed due to overproduction and restrictions on exports imposed by the Navigation Acts of the 1660s. It took an even sharper depression in 1675. To the Virginian colonists, expanding into the frontier, into virgin lands, was deemed essential as tobacco cultivation exhausted the soil in only a few years. However, control of these lands remained in the hands of the Crown and really in the hands of the Upper House of the Grand Assembly. Since land was a source of social status as well as wealth, planters in Virginia began to see a threat to their economic and social opportunities especially when King Charles II began to grant massive tracts to court favorites in London or to close friends and relatives of the governor
Part Two: Historical Background
To complicate matters even further, there was an increase of violent conflicts between the white settlers on, or near, the frontier and the Native Americans as the constant push westward in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New York had driven many tribes southward to the Virginia frontier. For the displaced Native Americans, the competition for food and for trade with the English and among themselves led to increased friction between the tribes and their English neighbors. Desperation led to thievery, to raids, to attacks, and to anger on both sides. The retaliations left a vicious cycle of violence, tension, and unease. Naturally, the prime real estate was not at immediate risk, and the colonial government in Jamestown seemed inept and negligent to the majority since their own interest did not warrant an all-out offensive war against the Native Americans. Further, trade relations and networks would hamper income and profits for the elite. Colonial society remained hierarchical within each county and a movement for change and advocacy could only come from one of them: men with status, wealth, and governmental importance. Despite Berkeley's long tenure of almost thirty-five years as governor and the complacency of his political establishment, the colonists were not idle or ignorant.
December 1675 Following their escape from the conflict that saw the loss of five of their leaders in September of 1675, the Susquehannocks fled to the frontier and divided their tribe. By December, one group settled above the James River falls; a second group settled southwest of the Virginia colony; and two other groups settled along the Roanoke River while another group settled north of Maryland. For the moment, though scattered, they are not in direct conflict with the Virginians.
January 1676 Early the following year, Susquehannock men entered Northern Virginia and in a series of attacks, killed between 36-60 colonists on small isolated farms along the Rappahannock River and returned to their settlements satisfied and avenged. A group of raiders on their way back from the Rappahannock raids descended on Baconâ€™s Quarter, Nathanial Baconâ€™s trading outpost and tobacco field close to the James River falls. In the struggle, his overseer was murdered, and the plantation razed and had to be abandoned. The raiders killed and tortured other residents in the area before retreating. The frontier was under attack. Through an interpreter, Monges, the Susquehannock chief, declared his revenge and proposed peace or a war to the death with Virginia. Though Berkeley had entered into peace agreements with the Susquehannocks in the past, this was unacceptable. After an emergency meeting in Jamestown, Berkeley and the Council of State charged the Lieutenant Governor, Sir Henry Chicheley, with tracking down the Susquehannock raiders.
Immediately, Chicheley mustered over 300 men ready to avenge the recent murders of their fellow Virginians. However, Berkeley canceled the mission at the last minute giving no reason and postponing any action until after a meeting with the Grand Assembly. Bacon, unsatisfied and personally insulted by the governorâ€™s actions and inactions, was frustrated and fed up. He was not alone.
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THE GAME MAJOR ISSUES FOR DEBATE Governor Berkeley has called a special session of the Grand Assembly on March 6, 1676, after a 15-year hiatus hence the nickname- “The Long Assembly.” The Governor has a proposal in response to recent rumors, raids, and complaints concerning ‘The Indian Problem.” The main debate that will be deliberated on in this game is on the approach for the safety and defense of Virginia frontier. Because of the Governor’s perceived recent indecisiveness in regard to the conflict with Native Americans, control and authority of Virginia, legitimate or otherwise, is contentious. Every player adheres to certain principles. Some may discover that these provide clear guidance on particular issues and sides of the debate. However, most will find it difficult to decide on them given their own varied needs and agendas. In these cases, they are open to persuasion.
Defensive Approach. Supporters of this approach are unalterably AGAINST any further action that might bring about further conflict with Native Americans. Native American trade and good relations with peaceful Native Americans is essential. The raids on the frontier are not of a collective effort but a handful of natives who should be taken care by other means than full out war and excessive force against all Native Americans. Offensive attacks and indiscriminate slaughter of tribes will only exacerbate tension and violence between the colonists and the native neighbors. Therefore, a defensive approach to the Native American crisis is warranted---secure the borders and prevent any invasions.
Offensive Approach. Supporters of this approach are not satisfied by actions or inactions that have given Native Americans an opening door to attack the frontier plantations without resistance. With increasing violence and rumors of more raids, murders, and tortures along the frontier by Native Americans, immediate action is necessary and long overdue. Therefore, an offensive approach for the safety and defense of frontier is warranted, and only total annihilation of the Native American threat will prevent further raids, murders, and invasions. Furthermore, supporters of this approach are AGAINST continued trade and any relations with Native Americans as only a united and excessive show of force is in order for the overall safety and defense of the colony.
Other Issues for Debate The following is a short list of the issues that come into play in the game:
Bacon’s Rebellion, 1676
Ø Enslaved People. The Assembly has already ruled on slavery making it a lifetime term regardless of conversion to Christianity or being born to a father who is free. Should this be abolished, maintained, or expanded? Should some or all slaves be freed, if so, with what conditions? Ø Free People of Color. Should they be freeholders and allowed to vote even though not ethnically or racially English? Should Freedom mean Equality? Where do they belong in the social hierarchy of English Colonial America? Ø Indentured Servants. Land can no longer be guaranteed upon freedom. What is the place for landless men in colonial Virginia? Ø Free Laborers. Can landless men really be productive and orderly members of colonial society? How to appease them and keep them from upsetting the established order? Ø Women. With risks in a volatile society, there are more orphans and widows. As widows, should women be freeholders as well? Also, should there be a distinction between English and African women in colonial Virginia? These issues are part of personal objectives and can be faction objectives as well. When they do arise, they are part of the game and must not be dismissed without justification. The game helps develop a player’s sense of divisiveness in colonial America. What did it mean in 1676? What did it mean in 1776? What did it mean in 1861? What does it mean now?
RULES AND PROCEDURES Objectives and Victory Conditions Every role includes a different set of objectives. They are outline in each player’s role sheet. Achieving your objectives usually requires securing the cooperation of other players. Some players will share your objectives, while others will seek opposite ends. Still others will be ambivalent about the objectives you are seeking. In other words, in addition to achieving their goals in relation to the major issues for debate, most players are strongly motivated by self-interests though many will not reveal them publicly. When attempting to persuade other players, remember that even those who strongly agree or disagree with you may be open to some degree of compromise. Social and faction sessions where you can engage in behind-the-scenes talks and backroom deals are as important as the assembly session themselves. Take advantage of this time as internal conflict in regard to external threats is inevitable by Spring of 1676 and tensions are already high. Note: Even though outcomes of most debates on the issues are historically predetermined, the game can run contrary to history. Victory is up for grabs. After the final session of the game, the players take their objectives into account and calculate the degree to which they have achieved their objectives relative to their positions 34
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on major issues for debate as well as their more personal concerns detailed in the role sheets. They then prepare a written explanation of their victory or defeat (see p. ___)
Proceedings of the Grand Assembly Once the assembly sessions begin, the classroom becomes the Grand Assembly of Virginia. All meetings of the Grand Assembly will take place in the Statehouse in Jamestown, Virginia, unless predetermined by the governor.
Layout. In the Statehouse, the classroom should be arranged to both resemble a legislature and so that different houses can have separate meetings when allotted. In the front area facing the class should be the Upper House where the Governor and the Speaker of the Assembly along with members of the Council of State will sit. In the front area of the classroom facing toward the Governor and the Speaker should be the Lower House where members of the House of Burgesses will sit. The area in back of the Lower House is considered the Gallery where non-voting Virginians and invited guests are permitted to sit (or stand or walk) as they choose.
The Upper House. The Assembly should operate its sessions openly, allowing anyone to make proposals and petitions in any order without the necessity of resolution with the understanding that any proposal and petition is ultimately under consideration of the Governor and the council. He and the council will have the final vote on all proposals and petitions. In other words, the upper house of the assembly has final rule regardless of the voting of the Grand Assembly. If deemed necessary, the Governor can call for a final vote on a proposal and petition whether approved or rejected by the Assembly and override them, but only with support from the majority of the Upper House.
The Lower House. The House of Burgesses has been in existence since 1619 and has the legacy of being the first representative government in the colonies. The House of Burgesses is composed of at most two Burgesses per county representing the freeholders (voting landowners) who elected them. They have met separately from the Upper House and have made proposals to them but have not been called on by the Upper House since the 1660s. The members of the House of Burgesses are beginning to consider their own power and authority especially when the Governor and the Upper House have the power to override their decisions. Therefore, the members of the House of Burgesses most use their voting abilities accomplish their goals. Also, to make proposals to the council for consideration and for voting.
The Gallery. Everyone in the game is welcome to attend the deliberations of the Grand Assembly. The members of the gallery (freeholders, free laborers, free people of color, free women, indentured servants, and enslaved people) can add commentary or signal their approval or disapproval of the speeches and rulings by cheering, clapping, or jeering. They may only speak or ask questions from the podium, and they may not vote unless an act is passed allowing them to do so. They should sit apart from members of the assembly to ensure that there is no confusion when it comes to voting
Baconâ€™s Rebellion, 1676
The Speaker. Every Grand Assembly session is chaired by the Speaker. Normally, the Assembly elects the Speaker, but this time is different. Since the Assembly has not met since 1660, and the former speaker has recently died, the Governor has appointed Colonel Augustine Warner, Jr., Speaker of the House of Burgesses, as the Speaker of the Grand Assembly. The Speaker will preside over a full meeting, run it, and keep it on track. The Speaker has the following responsibilities: Ø Make sure that all topics listed on the schedule for each session are addressed and receive equal treatment in terms of debate. Ø Recognize and introduce speakers, including members from the gallery at the podium. Ø Manage debates. Ø Remind all that proposals must be written down and distributed. Ø Manage amendments to acts. Ø Count votes and announce result. The Speaker can vote as well as he is a voting member of the assembly. Additionally, the Speaker can be removed as the result of a majority vote of “no confidence” at any time. If this happens, he cannot cast a vote in that decision and the Grand Assembly can elect a new speaker through nominations and a majority vote. If the speaker is absent, the Governor must appoint a temporary replacement.
Rules of the Grand Assembly The Grand Assembly requires a certain amount of order and decorum and must be adhere to at all times and taken very seriously for the sake of the game. General rules of the Grand Assembly are as follows:
Stay in Character, Stay in the Game. The factions and each character have objectives that cannot be abandoned or changed by anyone in the game. Rather, please understand, act on, pursue, and advocate for them from beginning to end. It is essential that all characters immerse themselves in the role, mastering their identity in pursuit of their character’s objectives. Characters must remain in the game even if objectives are accomplished. Breaking character and intentionally not following objectives will be considered ABANDONMENT and will result in the sudden death of the character.
Arrival of the Upper House. As the Assembly Sessions begin, the Upper House remains outside and when announced by the Speaker, the Governor and the Council of State march in together while the assembly stands and remains standing until the Upper House takes their seats. Following the seating of the Upper House, everyone else can take their seat. When the session is adjourned, all should rise as the Upper House exits in display of deference and respect.
Introductions. When speaking for the first time in the Assembly, speakers should at least identify their names with titles, and the county they reside or represent.
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Respect the Podium. Anyone speaking from the podium has the right to speak. They may go up to the podium to stand in line behind the speaker at the podium and wait for a turn to speak time permitting. Even women and enslaved people are entitled to speak, either to question a speaker or to make points in debate as well as to make a speech in support of a proposal from the podium before the Assembly though not historically accurate in terms of podium access. Because of limited time, speakers representing factions should be chosen strategically to advance goals and objectives. When someone is speaking from the podium, they must be given undivided attention as they have the right to speak. Assembly members (including those in the gallery detailed below) are welcome to hiss, boo, cheer, or shout â€œhere, hereâ€? as the speech proceeds, but the speaker at the podium must also be allowed to continue and finish. Likewise, filibustering is not allowed. Afterwards, the Speaker will yield the floor for questions. Please wait until you are recognized by the Speaker. Only assembly members can ask questions from the floor, everyone else must use the podium.
Drafting Proposals. Proposals must be mainly concerning a solution to the major issue for debate. They can also include other issues but must address the major issue. There two types of legislation in proposals: Acts and Resolutions. Acts are laws which require certain action. Only members of the Upper House of the Grand Assembly can propose acts. Resolutions are nonbinding declarations that do not require certain action. Only one proposal will be considered per assembly session. In order to be considered, proposals must be written down and officially introduced by a member of the Upper House of the Assembly. Utilize the time proceeding the assembly sessions to draft the proposals and plan speakers to support them. Sufficient copies must be provided to voting members of the Assembly so that everyone can easily read the text of any proposed legislation. To avoid confusion, proposals must be written in contemporary language and be concise. In other words, focused on the essentials and not the technical details. During sessions, amendments can to added to the proposals. One Proposal per assembly session.
Questions must be voiced. Questions can only be asked on the floor from Assembly members. Gallery members are not permitted to ask questions of speakers from the floor but can approach the podium to ask their questions. Questions can come from allies or opponents. Plan strategically as questions can either challenge or clarify positions. Remember: Only questions can come from the Assembly floor from Assembly members, speeches and statements must be heard at the podium. The Speaker will enforce this rule.
Voting in the Assembly. Only elected members of the House of Burgesses and appointed members of the Council of State are the voting members. No one else can vote unless an approved legislation changes it. Members of the gallery cannot vote in the assembly, yet still have a large stake in the outcome of votes and can make personal deals to meet their objectives. The Speaker is responsible for calling the votes and ensuring eligibility. Voting is by raised hands and counted by the Speaker and an appointed assistant. No proxy or absentee votes are allowed. Eligible voters may vote Yes, No, or Abstain. The Governor may cast a vote, but only to break a tie. Proposals must be voted on in full with all acts and resolutions proposed and not piecemealed. Baconâ€™s Rebellion, 1676
The Governorâ€™s Veto. Note that the Governor possess the power to veto legislation which has been passed by a majority vote. The Governor can use this power only once and must deliver an explanation. Once this power is used, it stands.
Trust the Gamemaster. The Gamemaster knows other rules beyond these listed here and may announce and enforce them. All rules from the GM are binding.
MILITIAS During colonial America, all able-bodied men of certain ages were members of the militia. Individual towns and counties formed local independent militias for their own defense. At the beginning of the game, each county has a militia led by those in the game with the military title of Colonel. Each Colonel commands a regiment of troops with 1 strength point at the beginning of the game. The higher the strength point, the higher chance of successful actions. Colonels can be assisted by subordinate officers (Majors and Captains) who can also assume command in the case of absence or death. Subordinate officers add a half of strength point each to the regiment. Recruiting male players in the game adds to the strength of the militia and increase the probability of success. At this point, militias are being formed illegally and acting outside of the consent of the Assembly. These are considered Rebel Militias by the Governor. Rebel Militias can be commanded by anyone regardless of status and training. Rebel Militias begin with 0.5 strength points and can increase their strength by recruitment.
Militia Actions Militias can only act outside of the assembly session. Actions must be submitted to the GM using the Militia Action form available from the GM. The following are the only actions available in the game. Recruitment. Since militias are initially relatively small, enlisting more troops will help and increase the strength points which would increase the likelihood of success. Recruitment must be submitted to the GM in writing to determine the strength of the militia. Combination. To increase strength, Colonels and Rebel leaders can combine forces. This must also be submitted to the GM in writing to determine the strength of the militia. Deployment. At least two strength point are required to deploy militias. Deployment to particular locations occupies and defends that location. Deployment can only be to locations where there is no other force present unless combining militias. 38
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Assault. At least two strength points are required to order an assault. Assaults can only be order against occupied locations. The GM determines the results of assaults. Successful assaults may add strength to the victor while capturing the force of the loser. Unsuccessful assaults result in the capture of the assaulting militia.
THE SMUGGLER The game includes a smuggler- one character whose job is to smuggle corn (a small paper cutout of an ear of corn and marked CORN) by hiding it in the classroom. The Smuggler meets objective goals if undiscovered by the end of game. Anyone on the opposing faction who discovers the Smuggler will be handsomely rewarded with a victory regardless of the outcome of the game. To accuse the smuggler, the accuser must inform the GM that the player would like to make an accusation in which the GM will pause the game to allow the accuser to public make the accusation. If successful, the smuggler does fails to meet the objective.
THE GOSSIPER Additionally, the game includes a gossiper- one character whose job is to spread rumors by discreetly distributing the Rumor Mill- a series of rumors that essentially favor one of the factions. The Gossiper meets objective goals if undiscovered by the end of game. Anyone on the opposing faction who discovers the Gossiper will be handsomely rewarded with a victory regardless of the outcome of the game. To accuse the Gossiper, the accuser must inform the GM that the player would like to make an accusation in which the GM will pause the game to allow the accuser to public make the accusation. If successful, the Gossiper does fails to meet the objective.
IN-GAME COMMUNICATION The best way to communicate, recruit, plan, and inquire discreetly and without the risked of fines especially during assembly sessions is to pass notes. Private notes are to be treated as confidential correspondences and are an essential part of the game.
Baconâ€™s Rebellion, 1676
BASIC OUTLINE OF THE GAME The following is a suggested outline for scheduling the readings and game sessions. Some instructors might include more time for discussion or explaining the game mechanics. This schedule is set for seventy-five-minute classes that meet twice weekly, so some session may stretch over more than one class period.
SETUP SESSIONS For several class sessions before the game begins, students will read and discuss the historical background found in this game book and a number of primary documents written or delivered by the historical characters they will be playing along with others as well. Students are assigned their roles and given role sheets. Gamemaster may lecture and familiarize players with general background of colonial American and status of Virginia in 1676 in terms of political, social, and economical factors leading to the Rebellion. It is essential to complete the required reading beforehand in order to have productive sessions. Required Readings: Game book Parts 1-4 Role Sheets Core Texts
SOCIAL SESSION: “THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM” Berkeley Loyalists- Green Springs Plantation Baconian Rebels- Lawrence’s Tavern, Jamestown House of Burgesses- Statehouse, Jamestown Anglo-Virginians- Tower of the Old Brick Church, Jamestown Afro-Virginians- Drummond’s Tavern, Jamestown It is February 1676 and the Governor has called for a meeting of the Grand Assembly after receiving word that new raids by Native Americans had occurred along the frontier. The first session in a long time is scheduled for March 7, 1676. The topic on the agenda for the Assembly is: Safety and Defense of the Colonists, and the Assembly will consider proposals and petitions on this topic and others, time permitting. Once decisions have been made, deliver any proposals and petitions to the GM who will in turn deliver them to the elected Speaker of the General Assembly or will act accordingly. Decisions other than proposals and petitions can be submitted to the GM at any time during the game.
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Note: Participation in factions is not set in stone. Faction-switching is allowed per there term on the individual role sheets. However, you must not deviate from your role.
THE GAME BEGINS
“The Long Assembly” (March 7, 1676) Safety and Defense of Virginia’s Frontier It is March 7, 1676, and Councilors and Burgesses have traveled down the Potomac or the Rappahannock Rivers, and up the James to Jamestown as summoned to the Virginia Grand Assembly by the Governor. This is the first time that the Assembly has met together since 1660. A decision has to be made as nearly 300 colonists have lost their lives on the frontier. The Governor has a proposal that he is summitting for deliberation and a vote. For this session, you are expected to speak for or against the governor’s proposal and plans for the safety and defense of Virginia’s frontier. The members of the Berkeleyan Faction are expected to speak in support of the proposal. After the seating of the Upper House, the Speaker of the Assembly should open the session by announcing the agenda and briefly reiterating the rules for debate. Afterwards, the Speaker should call upon Sir William Berkeley first to summarize his proposal. The full text of the governor’s proposal is found in the Core Texts section of this gamebook. Anyone may speak on this matter, but the following players must address this topic with prepared speeches: • • • • • • • •
Sir William Berkeley, who will speak first at the podium summarizing his proposal and defending it. Nathan Bacon Phillip Ludwell Richard Lawrence Colonel John West II William Drummond Colonel Nicholas Spencer Major Robert Beverley
The Speaker will moderate the questioning and debate for each speaker. The Speaker may also pose questions and interject comments during the debate following each oral presentation. After a period of time predetermined and preannounced by the Speaker, he will call for a vote on the Governor’s proposal.
Bacon’s Rebellion, 1676
THE GAME CONTINUES
SUBSEQUENT GAME SESSIONS Events caused by faction decisions will drive much of the debate and actions in the Assembly and in Virginia. At the beginning each session, the Gamemaster will announce calls for assembly and militia actions and will advance the clock. Consult your Gamemaster for the game days that characters will be expected to speak and when assignments are due. At both the end of a session and at the beginning of a new session, the Gamemaster will announce and write on the board the current game date.
DEBRIEFING AND POSTMORTEM After the game ends, the GM will calculate the results of the rebellion (provided one occurs), direct a discussion indicating any known victors of the game, and conduct a debriefing session during which players have the opportunity to explain their actions without fear of repercussions. The GM will also relate the actual historical events of the period, and if the gameâ€™s outcomes differed from history, the class will discuss how and why. Additionally, this is a great opportunity to reflect on the gaming experience.
ASSIGNMENTS All players will have written assignments detailed on their role sheets. Each play must submit two writing assignments and a postmortem assessment described below. Please see the role sheets for details.
Speeches Most players must give at least one speech. Players must deliver their speeches engagingly and enthusiastically, and extemporaneously avoiding reach from a piece of paper. The fewer the notes the better, but some may be necessary and useful. Speeches that properly
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contextualize historical documents and are influenced by them typically are the strongest and most persuasive ones.
Postmortem Assessment Finally, for the debriefing session at the end of the game, players must prepare a two-tothree-page explanation of the degree to which they have fulfilled the objectives listed on their role sheets.
Grades Each Gamemaster shall inform students beforehand how the various elements of this game correspond to the grading scheme for the course. There are three potential elements that may be considered: writing assignment(s), in-class participation, and game/victory points. The instructor must make clear whether game/victory points will count toward the overall grade in the class.
COUNTERFACTUALS To facilitate the smooth operation of this game and to open debate of some key ideas that might otherwise be submerged, the author has manipulated few elements of the history of Baconâ€™s Rebellion and Virginia in this period. First, the political situation and processes are simplified. Each session of the Grand Assembly lasted for hours and even days. Even though main issues were deliberate, minor and insignificant issues were as well. Furthermore, processes for order and tradition took longer time than this game can afford. Though valuable to gain the full experience of the Grand Assembly, for purposes of meeting the learning objectives in a reasonable time, the game only deals with a few key issues, not everything that was proposed and/or petitioned to the Grand Assembly. Furthermore, due to sheer numbers, not every county can be represented in the Grand Assembly, but due to its design, this fact does not interfere with the outcome of the game. Second, the timing of various events is condensed and somewhat altered, but does not dramatically distort the meaning of historical events. While each event in the game actually occurred in history, some incidents during the rebellion occurred over the course of four months and others will be out of chronological order. These slight alterations improve game flow, discourage reenactments, and allow students to react instead. Lastly, most of the characters reflect real individuals based on historical research, but some characters are either fictional composites or based in history but brought into the conflict without historical evidence of their involvement. In the historical scholarship, independent people of color are not recorded as participants, only their numbers. To aid in the discussion of critical issues prior to the rebellion and in its aftermath especially pertaining
Baconâ€™s Rebellion, 1676
to matters of women, enslaved people, and laborers, I have created characters who did exist but may not have been participants during this period. They represent those who have gone historically unnamed and unrecognized. Thus, enslaved people, free laborers, indentured servants should not be seen in this game as one person, but as representatives of dozens or more Virginians in their same plight. These counterfactuals condense the game rather than change history, allowing you to consider, evaluate, and debate, in a few hours issues that emerged and were decided on over the courses of weeks and months. They also create both an urgency and a contingency around what is decided and reacted to in class. Live it, breath it, react to it!
Part Three: The Game
FACTIONS AND ROLES OVERVIEW OF FACTIONS A faction is a group of individuals united in a common cause. This game has two competing factions: the Berkeleyan and Baconian Factions. Each faction begins as two small circles of associates but seek to enlarge their ranks in order to reach their common objectives. Factions should look with in the pool of Assembly members and members of the Crowd for potential recruits and to increase their numbers throughout the game but without compromising their objectives. The majority of the roles in this game are not members of any faction at the beginning of the game, nor do they function as a faction. On the contrary, they have divergent views and opinions. Therefore, recruitment is essential to the game.
The Baconian Faction The Baconian Faction are supporters of Nathaniel Bacon and are not satisfied by actions or inactions of the Governor and the Assembly. With increasing violence and rumors of more raids, murders, and tortures along the frontier by Native Americans, they believe that immediate action is necessary and overdue, and that Nathaniel Bacon is the one to bring about change seeing that his lands are on the frontier in addition to his seat on the Council of State and his relationship to the governor. Each Baconite has had personal dealings with Sir Berkeley, enough to have no confidence in his leadership. Therefore, they are committed to an offensive approach for the safety and defense of colonists, and are prepared to defend Virginia through annihilating all threats to her security both outside and in. NATHANIEL BACON. A resident of Henrico County since 1674, Bacon served as a militia officer before being appointed to the Virginia Council of State in 1675. Bacon has clashed with Berkeley advocating a more offensive approach to the defense and safety of Virginia. He has been rebuked by the governor for leading unauthorized raids against neighboring Native Americans but remains on the council nevertheless. GILES BLAND. A recent immigrant from London, England, Bland came to Virginia to assume his duties as a customs collector. However, after the death of his uncle,
Theodorick Bland who had managed the family’s Virginia property, he disagreed with his aunt, Anna Bennett Bland, over control of the estate, but she has friends in high places including Governor Berkeley. Somewhat of a free spirit and sharp tongue, he has had numerous confrontations with the Governor and the Council leading to his suspension as customs collector, which he has ignored. CAPTAIN GILES BRENT: Born of Native American, English, and Catholic heritage, Brent became a prosperous young planter and militia captain after inheriting an extensive state after the death of his father, prominent militia officer himself. Having the advantage of learning a Native American language from his mother, an orphan daughter of Native American emperor of the Piscataway, he became invaluable with the current crisis. Even though Brent is half Native American, he eagers for acceptance as a Virginian. COLONEL WILLIAM BYRD. A recent immigrant, Byrd inherited the estate of his uncle who was a wealthy planter in Henrico County. Byrd extended his residence, wealth, and political power. Upon the arrival of Bacon, Byrd become a neighbor, fellow militia officer, and Bacon’s drinking companion. CAPTAIN JAMES CREWS. Crews is a merchant with land in Henrico County known as Turkey Island. As a merchant, he operated a store, participated in the fur trade, and had clients in England. A man with military training, Crews was captain of the Henrico County militia. As a neighbor of Nathaniel Bacon, Crews shares Bacon’s offensive approach to the current crisis and believes Bacon would make a great leader and friend. WILLIAM DRUMMOND. An immigrant from Scotland, Drummond rose from an indentured servant to serving as the first governor of the emerging colony on the Albemarle Sound (North Carolina). After many clashes with Governor Berkeley, Drummond has been seen commiserating with his drinking buddies Nathaniel Bacon and Richard Lawrence. Nevertheless, Drummond is now the Sergeant-atArms of the Grand Assembly. MAJOR THOMAS HANSFORD. A Virginia native born in York County, Hanford is a owner of a small plantation in York County. He also serves as an officer on the York County militia with aspirations of higher leadership. An outspoken proponent to an offensive approach to the current conflict, Hansford is ready to take up arms. RICHARD LAWRENCE. A relative newcomer to Virginia, Lawrence was born in England and educated at Oxford University hence his nickname of “The Scholar.” Though not a solider or planter, Lawrence became a businessman and housekeeper of property in Jamestown frequented by Drummond and Bacon when in town. THOMAS MATHEW. As a merchant in Stafford County, he has been recently elected by his peers to represent Stafford County in the House of Burgesses. Having his farm on the frontier, Mathew has always had issues with his Native American
Part Four: Roles and Factions
“neighbors.” Relations have worsened as raids between the two groups have caused blood shed on both sides.
The Berkeleyan Faction The Berkeleyan Faction are supporters of Sir William Berkeley and staunch defenders of his governance. Conservative, they are committed to the established order and will take up arms when called upon by the Governor. Most are very wealthy planters with their plantations and estates in or near Jamestown and not committed to raiding Native American tribes mostly due to their own interests. Besides, they are the elite class and have Virginia’s best interest at heart and know what is best for Virginia. Tobacco prices have slumped, and new markets are necessary for the growth and survival of Virginia and especially those in power. SIR WILLIAM BERKELEY. Sir Berkeley has served as governor of Virginia from 1641-1652, and from 1660---to date, the longest-serving governor of Virginia. Well after completing his education at Oxford University, Berkeley’s politically career in England culminated in receiving his knighthood by King Charles I. Currently, his primary concerns are diversifying the tobacco-based economy and the effort to secure peace and trade arrangements with neighboring Native American tribes. ARTHUR ALLEN: Son of a wealthy tobacco merchant and educated in England, Allen inherited one of the largest plantations in Surry County. Along with it, his father’s pride and joy, a three-story brick house called the Allen’s Brick House. He increased his holdings to almost 10,000 acres in Surry and the Isle of Wright Counties. Like some of his fellow planters, Allen is beginning to shift his workforce from temporary indentured servants to permanent enslaved Africans. MAJOR ISAAC ALLERTON, JR. A descendant of Mayflower “Pilgrims,” Allerton was educated at Harvard College and is now a planter in Northumberland County. Prior to acquiring over 5,000 acres of land along the Rappahannock River, Allerton served as an officer in the Westmoreland County militia. After representing Westmoreland County in the House of Burgesses, Allerton currently represents Northumberland County where the majority of his land lies. LADY FRANCES CULPEPER STEPHENS BERKELEY. Born as Frances Culpeper, her father was a member of the Virginia Company of London. After the death of her first husband, she received absolute possession of a 1,350-acre plantation in Warwick County called Boldrup. A widow with valuable and substantial property, she married Sir William Berkeley, which increased her prestige while allying the governor with the Culpeper family including her cousins, the Bacons. She is an outspoken supporter of her husband’s government and politically influential.
Bacon’s Rebellion and the Transformation of America, 1676 47
MAJOR ROBERT BEVERLEY. An immigrant from Yorkshire, England, Beverley came to Virginia and settled in Middlesex County. To date, Beverley owns over 28,000 acres in four counties after gaining wealth through marrying a wealthy widow as well as exporting tobacco and importing other goods. In addition to serving as a major in the Middlesex County militia, he serves in the House of Burgesses and has recently been appointed as acting attorney general of Virginia by good friend, Governor Berkeley. SIR HENRY CHICHELEY. Born in Wimpole, England, Chicheley was from a wealthy family and educated at Oxford University. A staunch royalist and military commander, Chicheley was knighted by King Charles I before the king’s execution. Finding refuge in Lancaster County, Chicheley married into Virginia’s gentry and became a supporter of Berkeley’s administration. Chicheley currently serves Virginia as the Lieutenant Governor. COLONEL PHILLIP LUDWELL. Ludwell immigrated to Virginia becoming a planter at a sizable plantation called Rich Neck in the community of Middle Plantation in James City County. He and his older brother Thomas (who is currently visiting England) are the newest members of the Council of State along with Nathaniel Bacon. A relative of the governor, Philip has also become a close friend of the Berkeleys. COLONEL NICHOLAS SPENCER. After immigrating to Westmoreland County to serve as an agent overseeing the investment of his cousins, the Culpeper family, Spencer secured an appointment as a customs collector on the Potomac where he worked closely with Col. John Washington. As cousin to Lady Berkeley, the governor appointed Spencer not only to the Council but as president of the Council. COLONEL JOHN WEST II. A Virginia native and son of a former governor of Virginia, West resides in West Point and has served as commander of the New Kent County Militia for over twenty-five years. As one with decades of militia experience, his presence and command in a conflict is invaluable. Rumor has it that his dealings with Native Americans has led him into a special relationship with the chief of the Pamunkey. Nevertheless, West is a member of the House of Burgesses for New Kent County.
Indeterminates Indeterminates are not members of any faction at the beginning of the game, nor do they function as a faction. On the contrary, they may well have divergent views and opinions. Indeterminates can join a faction at any time. Indeterminates can alter the outcome of the game greatly. COLONEL NATHANIEL BACON (THE ELDER). Bacon is the cousin of his namesake, Nathaniel Bacon. Bacon has lived in Virginia since 1653 and now resides in York
Part Four: Roles and Factions
County. Through his marriages and his own acquisitions of land, he quickly became a prosperous planter and part of the early gentry class in Virginia. He has served terms representing York County in the House of Burgesses, and upon the 1660 return of Sir Berkeley, he was appointed to the Council of State and is now longest serving member of the Council. COLONEL THOMAS BALLARD. A Native Virginian and born in Warwick County, Ballard started his political career as clerk of York County where he owned land. He also owned land in Gloucester County and spent most of his adult life buying and selling land for profit. He even sold land to Nathaniel Bacon. After serving in the House of Burgesses representing James City County, he became a close associate with the governor who, in turn, appointed him to the Council. Recently, Ballard purchased a 330-acre farm in Middle Plantation where he resides with his wife, Anna. ANNA BENNETT BLAND. Daughter of a former governor of Virginia, Richard Bennett, Anna was the wife of the late Theodorick Bland, prominent planter, Speaker of the House of Burgesses in 1660 and a member of the governor’s Council (1662-1672). A widow with three children, Anna Bland is involved in an ongoing court case concerning her late husband’s estate due to the fact that her nephew Giles Bland has been sent to Virginia by her brother-in-law to take control of the property including Westover in Charles City County. She enlisted powerful allies including the governor himself. COLONEL JAMES BRAY. Formerly a member of the House of Burgesses representing James City County and after becoming an acquaintance of the governor, Berkeley appointed him to the Council. Residing at Head of Queen’s Creek farm in Middle Plantation, Bray’s knowledge of the law has become invaluable to the Council. MAJOR EDMUND CHISMAN. A Virginia native, Edward Chisman was born and raised in York County. After marrying a woman by the name of Lydia, Chisman owned 200 acres of land in York County and became a justice of the peace. Eventually he became a major in the York County militia, Chisman’s father had marched against the Pamunkey Indians in 1644 and greatly respected and honored his father’s memory. COCKACOESKE. Also known as the “Queen of the Pamunkey,” Cockacoeske became a Pamunkey (Powhatan) chief after the death of her husband, Chief Totopotomo. Since the Treaty of 1646, the Pamunkey were tributaries to the English Crown. Sir Berkeley has had a trade and military relationship with the Pamunkey but many of them have been caught in the crossfires. COLONEL JOHN CUSTIS. Custis immigrated to the Eastern Shore of Virginia where family members had already settled. He also became Colonel of the Northampton County militia and eventually accumulated over 10,000 acres of land with the Bacon’s Rebellion and the Transformation of America, 1676 49
largest workforce of indentured servants and enslaved people on the eastern shore. His prize possession is his three-story brick mansion that he named Arlington rivaled only by Berkeley’s mansion in Green Spring. Ambitious, his imperious manner and lordly estates has granted him the nickname of “King Custis.” EMMANUEL. Formerly enslaved by a “Mr. Reginald,” in Elizabeth City County, Emmanuel fled his enslavement, but was captured and sentenced to a lifetime of slavery. Currently, is his owned by Augustine Warner and resides in Warner in Gloucester County. COLONEL THOMAS GODWIN. A former indentured servant, Godwin partnered with another former indentured servant to patent land in York County and became a successful planter. He also purchased a tract in Chuckatuck parish in the recently formed Isle of Wight County. He has represented Nansemond County in the House of Burgess in the past but has recently been elected to represent the Isle of Wight County. SARAH GRENDON. A native Virginian and a widow of the late Councilor Thomas Stegge, Jr., is currently married to Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Grendon, Jr., of the Charles City County militia. Living in the parish of Westover in Charles City County, her husband has vast estates in Virginia and in England. Being in merchant, her husband is currently in England oversee his holdings there. She has been known to frequent Lawrence Tavern in Jamestown. ELIZABETH KEY GRINSTEAD, “BLACK BESS”. The illegitimate daughter of an enslaved women and the late Thomas Key, “an ancient planter” and member of the House of Burgess who had land on Warwicksqueake River. Black Bess is an AfroVirginian woman who had petitioned for freedom in Northumberland County and won though overturned by a higher court. Her lawyer, William Grinstead, eventually won her freedom by marrying her, fathering two of her children, and bringing her case to the General Assembly. Since his death, her freedom and the status of her children are at risk due the recent laws passed by the Grand Assembly. WILLIAM HATCHER. Born in Lincolnshire, England, Hatcher immigrated to Henrico County with his wife and two sons. Through the headright system, he has accumulated a little over 1200 acres. In additional to be a planter, he has served in the House of Burgesses for Henrico County before Berkeley’s second term and is disheartened by the changes. He is outspoken and headstrong, so much so that he has an outstanding fine for insulting and accusing Colonel Edward Hill (Speaker of the Assembly at that time) as “Blasphemous and an atheist.” He has established a reputation and his lack of consideration for decorum can be problematic. COLONEL EDWARD HILL II. Born in Virginia to a wealthy planter family, Hill purchased the Shirley Plantation and became the master of his father’s extensive landholdings upon his death. Like his father, Hill served as Colonel of the Charles
Part Four: Roles and Factions
City County Militia and is currently representing the county in the House of Burgesses. JOSEPH INGRAM: A former indentured servant, Ingram loiters around Jamestown in search for wealth and opportunity. When he can afford it, Ingram loves to frequent Drummond’s Tavern. JOHN JOHNSON. Son of Anthony Johnson, former enslaved Angolan who moved to Maryland prior to his death. Johnson inherited his father’s land in Northumberland County and has sold it in order to join his family in Maryland. His plans were complicated by an affair in which a white indenture servant of Major Isaac Allerton, Hannah Leach became pregnant with his child violating her indenture and disrupting her service. He remains in Virginia to resolve this affair. COLONEL RICHARD LEE II. Born at “Paradise” in Northumberland County, Virginia, Lee was the son of Richard Lee I “The Immigrant” and inherited the estate of his birth upon the death of his father. Educated at Oxford University and nicknamed “Richard the Scholar,” Lee also inherited his brother’s estate, “Machodoc,” where Lee relocated and resided. Marrying the daughter of a Councilor brought Lee to leadership and became a member of the House of Burgesses. Shortly after the death of his father-in-law, Berkeley appointed Lee to the Council. COLONEL GEORGE MASON. Born in Worcestershire, England, Mason became a Cavalier, a wealthy Royalist supporter of King Charles I and his son, Charles II during the English Civil War. A Royalist and against the King’s execution, Mason was forced to leave when his forces were defeated at the Battle of Worcester. Arriving in Virginia with other Royalists, he settled in Westmoreland County and helped to establish Stafford County. Mason is representing Stafford County in the House of Burgesses and as an active defender against Native Americans, Mason serves as a Colonel of the Stafford County’s Militia. THOMAS MIDDLETON. An indentured servant of Sir Henry Chicheley of Lancaster County, Thomas is coming on the last year of his term. He has become skillful in tobacco planting, but a firsthand witness to the plight of fellow indentured servants. Middleton witnessed one of his fellow servants commit suicide which has deeply affected him. ARTHUR MOSELEY. Born in England, the son of William Moseley, an English merchant of Rotterdam, Moseley immigrated to Virginia as a teenager. Representing Lower Norfolk in the House of Burgess, Arthur Moseley is a successful planter and resides at Greenwich, a sizable plantation, which he inherited from his father. FRANCIS PAYNE. A former enslaved African on Eastern Shore now a free man of color and a successful planter. Although a planter and landowner, he is not a Bacon’s Rebellion and the Transformation of America, 1676 51
freeholder. However, he is well known utilizing his social status in the courts and being victorious. Payne currently resides at this plantation in Northampton County. “UNCLE” PETER. As the oldest enslaved African on the Curles Plantation, Nathaniel Bacon, his master, relies on Peter’s experience to keep the plantation in order and the tobacco fields prosperous. He accompanies Bacon on trips in to Jamestown often and this is not an exception. JOHN PUNCH. Born to enslaved parents on a Virginian plantation in Northumberland County, Punch has a limited term of servitude, but well into his adult life. In his youth, Punch had run away from the plantation with two white indentured servants and made it to Maryland before being captured and transported back to the Eastern Shore. Serving a sentence of lifetime enslavement, he is currently enslaved on Colonel Nicholas Spencer’s plantation in Westmoreland County. JAMES REVEL. Arriving as an indentured servant from England to Rappahannock County, Revel is serving an extraordinary long term in exchange for his passage over and only hopes to gain the prosperity of his master. His indenture is over soon, and he is deeply concerned about the future and safety of Virginia’s frontier. AUGUSTINE WARNER, JR. A Virginia native, Warner was the only son to the early Virginia settler who patented the plantation called “Austin’s Desire” in Gloucester County. Warner, educated in London, became a prominent planter and landowner and was elected to the House of Burgesses representing Gloucester County. He has recently been selected by Governor Berkeley as the Speaker of Grand Assembly of Virginia. GREGORY WALKLATE. A former indentured servant, Walklate is a friend and drinking buddy of Joseph Ingram. Like Ingram, Walklate is frequently seen working odd tasks exchange for tobacco and is in search for wealth and opportunity. COLONEL JOHN WASHINGTON. Washington became merchant in London and through investing in a merchant ship engaged in the tobacco trade from the colonies. He eventually settled in Virginia where he married Anne Pope and received 700 acres on Mattox Creek in Westmoreland County of the Northern Neck. A successful planter, Washington relies on enslaved labor and indentured servants, and he also serves as a Burgess for Westmoreland County in additional to serving as a colonel in the Virginia militia. JOHN WEST. Is rumored to be the illegitimate son of Cockacoeske and Colonel John West II. He accompanies his mother when she is summoned to Jamestown as he has a better command of the English language and serves as her interpreter. A strapping man in his twenties, there is a hope that he could bridge the relationship between Native and English Virginians. He is often referred to as “Captain West.”
Part Four: Roles and Factions
OVERVIEW OF ROLES Every character in this game represents a person who actually lived in Virginia during the time of Bacon’s Rebellion and/or played a role in it. The Gamemaster will make the role assignments and will deliver the role sheets prior to the first game session. Your role sheet is a confidential document--- it cannot be safely shared with any classmate (some of whom have secret motives and interests of their own). Learn your role well and stick to it. The game is played “in character” meaning that you can share certain elements of your role sheet only by articulating it and explaining it in your own words but it character. In other words, you speak and react as your character and according to your role but use contemporary language to do so.
Bacon’s Rebellion and the Transformation of America, 1676 53
CORE TEXTS NOTE ON THE TEXTS In order to play the game well, one must have a grasp of the documents that follow. Please keep the chronology in mind as you read through these documents. Many of the documents were composed during Bacon’s Rebellion. They are not meant to encourage a reenactment of the past but must be used to inform possible arguments to persuade others and to inspire your own writings, speeches, and arguments based on your character and objectives outline in the role sheets. Please note that many of the documents have been silently modernized to ease understanding and interpretation.
SIR WILLIAM BERKELEY “Enquiries to the Governor of Virginia from the Lords Commissioners of Foreign Plantations,” 1671 The "lords commissioners of foreign plantations " sent a set of questions to the governor of Virginia, Sir William Berkeley, in 1670. He sent his answers to England the following year. In one of the more famous passages from this document, Berkeley reveals his distaste for education and printing, but also complains of the religious instruction being provided in the colony " Enquiries to the Governor of Virginia." submitted by the lord commissioners of foreign plantations, with the governor's answers to each distinct head. SOURCE: Hening, ed., The Statutes at Large, II:517 [From a book in the office of the General Court labelled "Inquisitions, &c. 1665 to 1676," pa. 239.] These enquiries were propounded in the year 1670, and received their answers in 1671, while Sir William Berkeley was governor of Virginia. A more correct statistical account of Virginia, at that period, cannot, perhaps, anywhere be found. The answers appear to have been given with great candor and were from a man well versed in everything relating to the country, having been for many years governor. As it respects the inhabitants of Virginia, Sir William Berkeley seems to have been well qualified to rear them up as food for despots, since, in his answer to the last enquiry, he thanks God that there are no "freeschools or printing," and "hopes that we shall have none these hundred years." 1. What councils, assemblies and courts of judicature are within your government, and of what nature and kind? Council, Assembly and Courts.
Answer. There is a governor and sixteen counsellors, who have from his sacred majesty, a commission of Oyer and Terminer, who judge and determine all causes that are above fifteen-pound sterling; for what is under, there are particular courts in every county, which are twenty in number. Every year, at least the assembly is called, before whom lay appeals, and this assembly is composed of two burgesses out of every county. These lay the necessary taxes, as the necessity of the war with the Indians, or their exigencies require. 2. What courts of judicature are within your government relating to the admiralty? Answer. In twenty-eight years there has never been one prize brought into the country; so that there is no need for a particular court for that concern. 3. Where are the legislative and executive powers of your government seated? Answer. In the governor, council and assembly, and officers substituted by them. 4. What statute laws and ordinances are now made and in force? Answer. The secretary of this country every year sends to the lord chancellor, * or one of the principal secretaries, what laws are yearly made; which for the most part concern our own private exigencies; for, contrary to the laws of England, we never did, nor dare make any, only this, that no sale of land is good and legal, unless within three months after the conveyance it be recorded in the general court, or county courts. 5. What number of horse and foot are within your government, and whether they be trained bands or standing forces? Answer. All our freemen are bound to be trained every month in their particular counties, which we suppose, and do not much mistake in the calculation, are near eight thousand horse: there are more, but is too chargeable for poor people, as wee are, to exercise them. 6. What castles and forts are within your government, and how situated, as also what stores and provision they are furnished withal? Answer. There are five forts in the country, two in James river and one in the three other rivers of York, Rappahannock and Potomac; but God knows we have neither skill or ability to make or maintain them; for there is not, nor, as far as my inquiry can reach, ever was one engineer in the country, so that we are at continual charge to repair unskillful and inartificial building of that nature. There is not above thirty great and serviceable guns; this we yearly supply with powder and shot as far as our utmost abilities will permit us. 7. What number of privateers do frequent your coasts and neighboring seas; what their burthens are; the number of their men and guns, and the names of their commanders?
Baconâ€™s Rebellion and the Transformation of America, 1676 55
Answer. None to our knowledge, since the late Dutch war. 8. What is the strength of your bordering neighbors, be they Indians or others, by sea and land; what correspondence to you keep with your neighbors. Answer. We have no Europeans seated nearer to us than St. Christophers or Mexico that we know of, except some few French that are beyond New England. The Indians, our neighbors are absolutely subjected, so that there is no fear of them. As for correspondence, we have none with any European strangers; nor is there a possibility to have it with our own nation further than our traffic concerns. 9. What arms, ammunition and stores did you find upon the place, or have been sent you since, upon his majestyâ€™s account; when received; how employed; what quantity of them is there remaining, and where? Answer. When I came into the country, I found one only ruinated fort, with eight great guns, most unserviceable, and all dismounted but four, situated in a most unhealthy place, and where, if an enemy knew the soundings, he could keep out of the danger of the best guns in Europe. His majesty, in the time of the Dutch war, sent us thirty great guns, most of which were lost in the ship that brought them. Before, or since this, we never had one great or small gun sent us, since my coming hither; nor, I believe, in twenty years before. All that have been sent by his sacred majesty, are still in the country, with a few more we lately bought. 10. What monies have been paid or appointed to be paid by his majesty, or levied within your government for and toward the buying of arms or making or maintaining of any fortifications or castles, and how have the said monies been expended? Answer. Besides those guns I mentioned, we never had any monies of his majesty towards the buying of ammunition or building of forts. What monies can be spared out of the public revenue, we yearly lay out in ammunition. 11. What are the boundaries and contents of the land, within your government? Answer. As for the boundaries of our land, it was once great, ten degrees in latitude, but now it has pleased his majesty to confine us to half a degree. * Knowingly, I speak this. Pray God it may be for his majesty's service, but I much fear the contrary. 12. What commodities are there of the production, growth and manufacture of your plantation; and particularly, what materials are there already growing, or may be produced for shipping in the same? Answer. Commodities of the growth of our county, we never had any but tobacco, which in this yet is considerable, that it yields his majesty a great revenue; but of late, we have begun to make silk, and so many mulberry trees are planted, and planting, that if we had skillful men from Naples or Sicily to teach us the art of making it perfectly, in less than
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half an age, we should make as much silk in an year as England did yearly expend three score years since; but now we hear it is grown to a greater excess, and more common and vulgar usage. Now, for shipping, we have admirable masts and very good oaks; but for iron ore I dare not say there is sufficient to keep one iron mill going for seven years. 13. Whether salt-petre is or may be produced within your plantation, and if so, at what rate may it be delivered in England? Answer. Salt-petre, we know of none in the country. 14. What rivers, harbors or roads are there in or about your plantation and government, and of what depth and soundings are they? Answer. Rivers, we have four, as I named before, all able, safely and severally to bear an harbor a thousand ships of the greatest burthen. 15. What number of planters, servants and slave; and how many parishes are there in your plantation? Answer. We suppose, and I am very sure we do not much miscount, that there is in Virginia above forty thousand persons, men, women and children, and of which there are two thousand black slaves, six thousand Christian servants, for a short time, the rest are born in the country or have come in to settle and seat, in bettering their condition in a growing country. 16. What number of English, Scots or Irish have for these seven years last past come yearly to plant and inhabit within your government; as also what blacks or slaves have been brought in within the said time? Answer. Yearly, we suppose there comes in, of servants, about fifteen hundred, of which most are English, few Scotch, and fewer Irish, and not above two or three ships of negroes in seven years. 17. What number of people have yearly died, within your plantation and government for these seven years last past, both whites and blacks? Answer. All new plantations are, for an age or two, unhealthy, 'till they are thoroughly cleared of wood; but unless we had a particular register office, for the denoting of all that died, I cannot give a particular answer to this query, only this I can say, that there is not often unseasoned hands (as we term them) that die now, whereas heretofore not one of five escaped the first year. 18. What number of ships do trade yearly to and from your plantation, and of what burthen are they? Answer. English ships, near eighty come out of England and Ireland every year for tobacco; Baconâ€™s Rebellion and the Transformation of America, 1676 57
few New England ketches; but of our own, we never yet had more than two at one time, and those not more than twenty tons burthen. 19. What obstructions do you find to the improvement of the trade and navigation of the plantations within your government? Answer. Mighty and destructive, by that severe act of parliament which excludes us the having any commerce with any nation in Europe but our own, so that we cannot add to our plantation any commodity that grows out of it, as olive trees, cotton or vines. Besides this, we cannot procure any skillful men for one now hopeful commodity, silk; for it is not lawful for us to carry a pipe stave, or a barrel of corn to any place in Europe out of the king's dominions. If this were for his majesty's service or the good of his subjects, we should not repine, whatever our sufferings are for it; but on my soul, it is contrary for both. And this is the cause why no small or great vessel are built here; for we are most obedient to all laws, whilst the New England men break through, and men trade to any place that their interest lead them. 20. What advantages or improvements do you observe that may be gained to your trade and navigation. Answer. None, unless we had liberty to transport our pipe staves, timber and corn to other places besides the king's dominions. 21. What rates and duties are charged and payable upon any goods exported out of your plantation, whither of your own growth or manufacture, or otherwise, as also upon goods imported? Answer. No goods either exported or imported, pay any the least duties here, only two shillings the hogshead on tobacco exported, which is to defray all public charges; and this year we could not get an account of more than fifteen thousand* yearly, with which I must maintain the port of my place, and one hundred intervening charges that cannot be put to public account. And I can knowingly affirm, that there is no government of ten years settlement, but has thrice as much allowed him. But I am supported by my hopes, that his gracious majesty will one day consider me. 22. What revenues doe or may arise to his majesty within your government, and of what nature is it; by whom is the same collected, and how answered and accounted to his majesty? Answer. There is no revenue arising to his majesty but out of the quit-rents; and this he hath given away to a deserving servant, Col. Henry Norwood. 23. What course is taken about the instructing the people, within your government in the Christian religion; and what provision is there made for the paying of your ministry?
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Answer. The same course that is taken in England out of towns; every man according to his ability instructing his children. We have forty-eight parishes, and our ministers are well paid, and by my consent should be better if they would pray oftener and preach less. But of all other commodities, so of this the worst are sent us, and we had few that we could boast of, since the persecution in Cromwell's tyranny drove divers worthy men hither. But, 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. God keep us from both!
EDWARD RANDOLPH Report of King Philipâ€™s War in New England, 1675 Edward Randolph was an emissary of King James II, sent to colonies to investigate the violations of the Crown's colonial laws (i.e., the Navigation Acts) and the overall state of colonial affairs, especially in New England. The selection below is Randolph's account of the war between the New England colonists and the American Indians in that region, led by Metacom (or Metacomet, who was called King Philip by the English) SOURCE: Albert Bushnell Hart, ed., American History Told by Contemporaries (New York, 1898), volume 1, 458-60. *Some spelling has been modernized. Eighth Enquiry. What hath been the original cause of the present war with the natives. What are the advantages or disadvantages arising thereby and will probably be the End? Various are the reports and conjectures of the causes of the present Indian war. Some impute it to an imprudent zeal in the magistrates of Boston to christianize those heathen before they were civilized and injoyning them the strict observation of their lawes, which, to a people so rude and licentious, hath proved even intolerable, and that the more, for that while the magistrates, for their profit, put the lawes severely in execution against the Indians, the people, on the other side, for lucre and gain, entice and provoke the Indians to the breach thereof, especially to drunkenness, to which those people are so generally addicted that they will strip themselves to their skin to have their fill of rum and brandy, the Massachusets having made a law that every Indian drunk should pay 10s. or be whipped, according to the discretion of the magistrate. Many of these poor people willingly offered their backs to the lash to save their money; whereupon, the magistrates finding much trouble and no profit to arise to the government by whipping, did change that punishment into 10 days worke for such as could not or would not pay the fine of 10s. which did highly incense the Indians. Some believe there have been vagrant and jesuiticall priests, who have made it their businesse, for some yeares past, to go from Sachim to Sachim, to exasperate the Indians against the English and to bring them into a confederacy, and that they were promised supplies from France and other parts to extirpate the English nation out of the continent of Baconâ€™s Rebellion and the Transformation of America, 1676 59
America. Others impute the cause to some injuries offered to the Sachim Philip; for he being possessed of a tract of land called Mount Hope, a very fertile, pleasant and rich soyle, some English had a mind to dispossesse him thereof, who never wanting one pretence or other to attain their end, complained of injuries done by Philip and his Indians to their stock and cattle, whereupon Philip was often summoned before the magistrate, sometimes imprisoned, and never released but upon parting with a considerable part of his land. But the government of the Massachusets (to give it in their own words) do declare these are the great evills for which God hath given the heathen commission to rise against the: The wofull breach of the 5th commandment, in contempt of their authority, which is a sin highly provoking to the Lord: For men wearing long hair and perewigs made of women's hair ; for women wearing borders of hair and for cutting, curling and laying out the hair, and disguising themselves by following strange fashions in their apparell: For profaneness in the people not frequenting their meetings, and others going away before the blessing be pronounced: For suffering the Quakers to live amongst them and to set up their threshholds by Gods thresholds, contrary to their old lawes and resolutions. With many such reasons, but whatever be the cause, the English have contributed much to their misfortunes, for they first taught the Indians the use of armes, and admitted them to be present at all their musters and trainings, and shewed them how to handle, mend and fix their muskets, and have been furnished with all sorts of armes by permission of the government, so that the Indians are become excellent firemen. And at Natick there was a gathered church of praying Indians, who were exercised as trained bands, under officers of their owne; these have been the most barbarous and cruel enemies to the English of any others. Capt. Tom, their leader, being lately taken and hanged at Boston, with one other of their chiefs. That notwithstanding the ancient law of the country, made in the year 1633, that no person should sell any armes or ammunition to any Indian upon penalty of ÂŁ10 for every gun, ÂŁ5 for a pound of powder, and 40s. for a pound of shot, yet the government of the Massachusets in the year 1657, upon designe to monopolize the whole Indian trade did publish and declare that the trade of furrs and peltry with the Indians in their jurisdiction did solely and properly belong to their commonwealth and not to every indifferent person, and did enact that no person should trade with the Indians for any sort of peltry, except such as were authorized by that court, under the penalty of ÂŁ100 for every offence, giving liberty to all such as should have licence from them to sell, unto any Indian, guns, swords, powder and shot, paying to the treasurer 3d. for each gun and for each dozen of swords; 6d. for a pound of powder and for every ten pounds of shot, by which means the Indians have been abundantly furnished with great store of armes and ammunition to the utter ruin and undoing of many families in the neighbouring colonies to enrich some few of their relations and church members. No advantage but many disadvantages have arisen to the English by the war, for about 600 men have been slain, and 12 captains, most of them brave and stout persons and of loyal principles, whilest the church members had liberty to stay at home and not hazard their persons in the wildernesse.
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The losse to the English in the severall colonies, in their habitations and stock, is reckoned to amount to £150,000 there having been about 1200 houses burned, 8000 head of cattle, great and small, killed, and many thousand bushels of wheat, peas and other grain burned (of which the Massachusets colony hath not been damnifyed one third part, the great losse falling upon New Plymouth and Connecticot colonies) and upward of 3000 Indians men women and children destroyed, who if well managed would have been very serviceable to the English, which makes all manner of labour dear. The war at present is near an end. In Plymouth colony the Indians surrender themselves to Gov. Winslow, upon mercy, and bring in all their armes, are wholly at his disposall, except life and transportation; but for all such as have been notoriously cruell to women and children, so soon as discovered they are to be executed in the sight of their fellow Indians. The government of Boston have concluded a peace upon these terms. 1. That there be henceforward a firme peace between the Indians and English. 2. That after publication of the articles of peace by the generall court, if any English shall willfully kill an Indian, upon due proof, he shall dye, and if an Indian kill an Englishman and escape, the Indians are to produce him, and lie to passe tryall by the English lawes. That the Indians shall not conceal any known enemies to the English, but shall discover them and bring them to the English. That upon all occasions the Indians are to aid and assist the English against their enemies, and to be under English command.
JOHN EASTON Indian Complaints about the English Settlers, 1675 Metacom or King Philip, leader of the Wampanoags near Plymouth colony, led many other Indians into a widespread revolt against the colonists of southern New England in 1675. The conflict had been brewing for some time over a set of longstanding grievances between Europeans and Indians. In that tense atmosphere, John Easton, Attorney General of the Rhode Island colony, met Philip in June of 1675 in an effort to negotiate a settlement. Easton recorded Philip’s complaints, including the steady loss of Wampanoag land to the Europeans; the English colonists’ growing herds of cattle and their destruction of Indian crops; and the unequal justice Indians received in the English courts. This meeting between Easton and Metacom proved futile, however, and the war (which became the bloodiest in U.S. history relative to the size of the population) began late that month.
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SOURCE: John Easton, “A Relation of the Indian War” in A Narrative of the Causes Which Led to Philip’s Indian War (Albany: J. Munsell, 1858), 5–15. So Philip kept his Men in Arms. Plymouth Governor required him to disband his men and informed him his Jealousy was false. Philip answered he would do no harm and thanked the Governor for his Information. The three Indians were hungry, to the last denied the Fact; but one broke the Halter as it is reported, then desired to be saved, and so was a little while, then confessed they three had dun the Fact; and then he was hanged. And it was reported Saussomon before his death had informed of the Indian Plot, and that if the Indians knew it they would kill him, and that the Heathen might destroy the English for their Wickedness, as God had permitted the Heathen to destroy the Israelites of old. So the English were afraid and Philip was afraid, and both increased in Arms. But for forty-years’ time, Reports and jealousies of War had been very frequent, that we did not think that now a War was breaking forth; but about a Week before it did, we had Cause to think it would. Then to endeavor to prevent it, we lent a Man to Philip, that is he would come to the Ferry we would come over to speak with him. About four Miles we had to come; thither our Messenger come to them; they not aware of it behaved themselves as furious, but suddenly appeased when they understood who he was and what he came for, he called his Counsel and agreed to come to us; came himself unarmed, and about 40 of his Men armed. Then 5 of us went over, 3 were Magistrates. We sate very friendly together. We told him our business was to endeavor that they might not receive or do wrong. They said that was well; they had done no wrong, the English wronged them. We said we knew the English said the Indians wronged them, and the Indians said the English wronged them, but our Desire was the Quarrel might rightly be decided, in the best Way, and not as Dogs decided their Quarrels. The Indians owned that fighting was the worst Way; then they propounded how Right might take Place. We said, by Arbitration. They said that all English agreed against them, and so by Arbitration they had had much wrong; many Miles square of Land so taken from them, for English would have English Arbitrators; and once they were persuaded to give in their Arms, that thereby Jealousy might be removed, and the English having their Arms would not deliver them as they had promised, until they consented to pay a 100po, (100 pounds)and now they had not so much Sum or Money; that they were as good be Idled as leave all their Livelihood. We said they might choose a Indian King and the English might choose the Governor of New Yorke, that nether had Case to say either were Parties in the Difference. They said they had not heard of that Way, and said we honestly spoke, so we were persuaded if that Way had been tendered they would have accepted. We did endeavor not to hear their Complaints, said it was not convenient for us now to consider of, but to endeavor to prevent War; said to them when in War against English, Blood was spilt, that engaged all Englishmen, for we were to be all under one King; we knew what their Complaints would be, and in our Colony had removed some of them in sending for Indian Rulers in what the Crime concerned Indians Lives, which they very lovingly accepted, and agreed with us to their Execution, and said so they were able to satisfy their Subjects when they knew an Indian suffered duly, but said in what was only between their Indians and not in Townships,
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that we had purchased, they would not have us prosecute, and that that they had a great Fear to have any of their Indians should be called or forced to be Christian Indians. They said that such were in everything more mischievous; only Dissemblers, and then the English made them not subject to their Kings, and by their lying to wrong their Kings. We knew it to be true, and we promising them that however in Government to Indians all should be alike, and that we knew it was our King’s will it should be so, that although we were weaker than other Colonies, they having submitted to our King to protect them, Others dared, not otherwise to molest them; so they expressed they took that to be well, that we had little Case to doubt, but that to us under the King they would have yielded to our Determinations in what any should have complained to us against them. But Philip charged it to be dishonesty in us to put off the Hearing the just Complaints, therefore we consented to hear them. They said they had bine the first in doing Good to the English, and the English the first in doing wrong; said when the English first came, their King’s Father was as a great Man, and the English as a little Child; he constrained other Indians from wronging the English, and gave them Corn and shewed them how to plant, and was free to do them any Good, and had let them have a 100 Times more Land than now the King had for his own People. But their King’s Brother, [Massasoit] when he was King, came miserably to die by being forced to Court, as they judge poisoned. And another Grievance was, if 20 of their honest Indians testified that a Englishman had done them wrong, it was as nothing; and if but one of their worst Indians testified against any Indian or their King, when it pleased the English it was sufficient. Another Grievance was, when their King sold Land, the English would say, it was more than they agreed to, and a Writing must be proven against all them, and some of their Kings had done wrong to sell so much. He left his people none, and some being given to Drunkenness the English made them drunk and then cheated them in Bargains, but now their Kings were forewarned not for to part with Land, for nothing in Comparison to the Value thereof. Now home the English had owned for King or Queen, they would disinherit, and make another King that would give or sell them these Lands; that now, they had no Hopes left to keep any Land. Another Grievance, the English Cattel and Horses still increased; that when they removed 30 Miles from where English had anything to do, they could not keep their Corn from being spoiled, they never being used to fence, and thought when the English bought Land of them they would have kept their Cattel upon their own Land. Another Grievance, the English were so eager to sell the Indians Lickers, that most of the Indians spent all in Drunkenness, and then ravened upon the sober Indians, and they did believe often did hurt the English Cattel, and their King could not prevent it. We knew before, these were their grand Complaints, but then we only endeavored to persuade that all Complaints might be righted without War but could have no other Answer but that they had not heard of that Way for the Governor of Yorke and an Indian King to have the Hearing of it. We had Cause to think in that had bine tendered it would have bine accepted. We endeavored that however they Should lay down the War, for the English were too strong for them; they said, then the English should do to them as they did when they were too strong for the English.
ROBERT BEVERLY Bacon’s Rebellion and the Transformation of America, 1676 63
Excerpt of The History and Present State of Virginia, 1705 The history Bacon’s Rebellion as told by Robert Beverly, ca. 1673-1722, son of the Robert Beverly referred to in some of these documents – the Beverly family was an influential family in Virginia in the early eighteenth century. SOURCE: Beverley, Robert, Susan Scott Parrish, and M. Kathryn Burdette. The History and Present State of Virginia: A New Edition with an Introduction by Susan Scott Parrish. Edited by Atias Daphna and Rountree Helen C. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2013. doi:10.5149/9781469607955_beverley. The occasion of the Rebellion is not easy to be discovered. But 'tis certain that there were many things that concurred towards it. For it cannot be imagined, that upon the Instigation of Two or Three Traitors, as some pretend to say, the whole Country would have fallen into so much distraction; in which People did not only hazard their Necks by Rebellion: But endeavored to ruin a Governor, whom they all entirely loved and had unanimously chosen; a Gentleman who had devoted his whole Life and Estate to the Service of his Country; and against whom in Thirty Five Years’ Experience there had never been one single Complaint... So that in all Probability there was something else in the Wind, without which the Body of the Country (would have) never been engaged in that Insurrection. Four things may be reckoned to have been the main Ingredients towards this intestine Commotion. First, the extreme low Price of Tobacco, and the ill usage of the Planters in the Exchange of Goods for it, which the Country, with all their earnest Endeavors, could not remedy. Secondly, the Splintering [of] the Colony into [numerous] Proprieties, contrary to the original Charters; and the extravagant taxes [many colonists] were forced to undergo, to relieve themselves from those Grants. Thirdly, the heavy restraints and Burdens laid upon their Trade by Act of Parliament in England. Fourthly, the Disturbance given by the Indians. Nathanial Bacon had received a good education in England] and had a moderate fortune. He was young, bold, active, of an inviting aspect, and powerful elocution. In a word, he was every way qualified to head a giddy and unthinking multitude. Before he had been three years in the colony, he was, for his extraordinary qualifications, made one of the council. And in great honor and esteem among the people. This addition of mischief [Indian attacks on white frontier settlements] to minds already full of discontent, made people ready to vent all their resentment against the poor Indians. There was nothing to be got by Tobacco; neither could they turn any other manufacture to advantage; so that most of the poorer Sort were willing to quit their unprofitable employments, and go volunteers against the Indians… …At first they flocked together tumultuously, running in Troops from one Plantation to another without a Head; till at last the seditious humor of Colonel (sic) Nath. Bacon, led
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him to be of the Party. . . .[He] berated them publicly (sic). He aggravated the Indian mischiefs, complaining, that they were occasioned for want of due regulation of the trade. He recounted particularly the other grievances and pressures they lay under; and pretended that he accepted their command with no other Intention, but to do them and the country service, in which he was willing to encounter the greatest difficulties and dangers. He farther assured them, he would never lay down his arms, till he had revenged their sufferings upon the Indians, and redressed all their other grievances.
A True Narrative of the Late Rebellion in Virginia, By the Royal Commissioners, 1677, excerpt. In September 1676 news of Bacon's uprising reached England. The Crown immediately dispatched a force of soldiers to suppress the rebellion and a royal commission to investigate it. The King also ordered that Gov. Berkeley be removed from office and recalled him to London. In February 1677 the commissioners, their assistants, and several hundred royal troops arrived in Virginia. The commissioners received petitions of grievances, sworn testimony from private citizens, and reports from local officials. The final report entitled, A True Narrative of the Late Rebellion in Virginia, By the Royal Commissioners 1677, was presented to the King's Privy Council in October 1677.] SOURCE: A True Narrative of the Rise, Progresse, and Cessation of the Late Rebellion in Virginia, Most Humbly and Impartially Reported by His Majestyes Commissioners Appointed to Enquire into the Affaires of the Said Colony Narratives of the Insurrections, 1675-1690. In Charles M. Andrews, ed., (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1915), pp. 129-36. …in July, 1675, certain Doegs and Susquehannock Indians on the Mary-land side, stealing some hogs from the English at Potomac, on the Virginia shore (as the River divides the same), were pursued by the English in a boat, beaten or killed and the hogs retaken from them; whereupon the Indians repairing to their Towne, report it to their Superiors, and how that one Mathew (whose hogs they had taken) had before abused and cheated them, in not paying them for such Indian truce as he had formerly bought of them, and that they took his hogs for satisfaction. Upon this (to be revenged on Mathews) an Indian war Captain, with some Indians, came over to Potomac and killed two of Mathew’s servants, and came also a second time and killed his son. [In September 1675, Col. Mason and a thousand Virginians trapped the Susquehannocks in an Indian fortress across the Potomac river in Maryland and laid siege to it.] … the Indians sent out 5 great men to Treaty of Peace, who were not Permitted to return to the Fort, but being kept prisoners some time were at last murdered by the English… Bacon’s Rebellion and the Transformation of America, 1676 65
At length (whether through negligence or cowardice) the Indians made their escape through the English, with all their wives, children and goods of value, wounding and killing some at their sally and going off… But about the beginning of January 1675 – 6, a Party of those abused Susquehannocks in Revenge of the Maryland business came suddenly down upon the weak Plantations at the head of Rappahannock and Potomac and killed at one time 36 persons and then immediately (as their custom is) ran off into the woods. Noe sooner was this Intelligence brought to the Governor [William Berkeley] but he immediately called a court and ordered a competent force of horse and foot to pursue the Murderers under the Command of Sir Henry Chicheley and some other Gentlemen of the County of Rappahannock, giving them full Power by Commission to make Peace or War. But the men being ready to march out upon this Service the Governor on a sudden recalls this commission, Causes the men to be disbanded, and without any effectual course being taken for present Preservation, refers all to the next assembly; in the meantime, leaving the poor inhabitants under continual and deadly fears and terrors of their Lives.
THOMAS MATHEW “The Beginning, Progress, and Conclusion of Bacon's Rebellion, 16751676,” 1705 The beginning, progress and conclusion of Bacon's Rebellion in Virginia in the years 1675 & 1676 was written thirty years after the event. In the preface, Mathew informs Lord Oxford that he wanted to present the facts with accuracy, but notes that the lapse of thirty years led to inevitable shortcomings in recollection: “Beseeching yo'r hono'r will vouchsafe to allow, that in 30 years, divers occurrences are lapsed out of mind, and others imperfectly retained.” Despite drawing from memory and hearsay, Mathew was wellsuited to write the narrative, having been an eye-witness to many of the events he describes. SOURCE: “The Beginning, Progress, and Conclusion of Bacon’s Rebellion, 1675-1676, ,” in Narratives of the Insurrections, 1675-1690. Edited by Charles M. Andrews. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1915. In August 1675, Col. George Mason and Capt. George Brent went searching for the Doegs who attacked the Mathew plantation. Upon finding a group of Indians across the Potomac river in Maryland, Capt. Brent] speaking the Indian Tongue, Called to have a Matchacomicha Weeship (i.e., a Council) Such being the usual manner with Indians. The King came Trembling forth, and would have fled, when Capt. Brent, Catching hold of his twisted lock (which was all the Hair he
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wore) told him he was come for the Murderer of [Virginians on the Mathew plantation], the King pleaded ignorance and slipped loose, whom Brent shot dead with his pistol. The Indians shot two or three guns out at the door and fled, the English shot as many as they could, so that they killed ten, as Capt. Brent told me, and brought away the kings son of about 8 years old, concerning whom is an observable passage, at the end of this expedition; the noise of this shooting awakened th' Indians in the Cabin which Col. Mason had Encompassed, who likewise rushed out and fled, of whom his Company (supposing from what Noise of Shooting Brent's party to be Engaged) shot (as the Col. informed me) Fourteen before [a friendly] Indian Came, who with both hands shook him (friendly) by an arm Saying Susquehanougs Neoughs [i.e. these are Susquehannocks, our friends], and fled, Whereupon [the Col.] ran amongst his Men, Crying out, "For the Lords sake shoot no more, these are our friends the Susquehannocks.”
The History of Bacon’s and Ingram’s Rebellion in Virginia, and in 1676 The author of The History of Bacon’s and Ingram’s Rebellion is unknown, but he was certainly a Virginia resident at the time of the rebellion and was familiar with the course of the rebellion from first hand observations. The manuscript is probably contemporary with the events described, and it was discovered in the 18th century. SOURCE: The History of Bacon's and Ingram's Rebellion in Virginia, and in 1676. Cambridge, MA: Press of J. Wilson and Son, 1867. https://lccn.loc.gov/rc01002779. For in a very short time [in January 1676, the Susquehannocks] had, in a most inhumane manner, murdered no less then 60 innocent people, no ways guilty of any actual injury done to these ill disarming, brutish heathen… [Then] these Indians draw in others (formerly in subjection to the Virginians) to their aides: which being conjoined (in separate and united parties) they daily committed abundance of unguarded and unrevenged murders, upon the English; which they perpetrated in a most barbarous and horrid manner. By which means abundance of the frontier plantations became either depopulated by the Indians cruelties, or deserted by the planters fears, who were compelled to forsake there abodes, to find security for their lives; which they were not to part with, in the hands of the Indians, but under the worst of torments. For these brutish and inhumane brutes, least their cruelties might not be thought cruel enough, they devised a hundred ways to torture and torment those poor souls with, whose reached fate it was to fall in to their unmerciful hands. For some, before that they would deprive them of their lives, they would take a grate deal of time to deprive them first of their skins, and if that life had not, through the anguish of their pain, forsaken there tormented bodies, they [with] their teeth (or some instrument,) tear the nails of [their fingers and their] toes, which put the poor sufferer to a woeful condition.
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SUPPLEMENTAL TEXTS The following documents are for inspiration and not reenactment.
The History of Baconâ€™s and Ingramâ€™s Rebellion, 1676 At last it was concluded [in March 1676], as a good expedient for to put the country in to some degree of safety, for to plant Forts upon the Fronteres,1 thinking thereby to put a stop unto the Indians excursions: which after the expense of a great deal of time and charge, being finished, came short of the designed ends. For the Indians quickly found out where about these mouse traps were set, and for what purpose, and so resolved to keep out of there danger; which they might easily enough do, without any detriment to their designs. For though here by they were compelled (tis possible) to go a little about, yet they never thought; much of their labor, so long as they were not debarred from doing of mischief; which was not in the power of these forts to prevent: For if that the English did, at any time, know that there was more ways in to the wood then one, to kill deer, the Indians found more than a thousand out of the wood, to kill men, and not come near the danger of the forts neither.
SIR WILLIAM BERKELEY The Declaration and Remonstrance of Sir William Berkeley his most sacred Majesties Governor and Captain General of Virginia, May 16, 1676 When Bacon's Rebellion erupted with surprising and stunning swiftness, William Berkeley had been governor of Virginia for more than thirty years. During the early years of his administration, Berkeley was considered a stalwart and reliable friend of the planters. Through the years he introduced more rigidity in the use of power while, at the same time, aging deprived him of a recognition of the economic, political, and social transition that Virginia, as well as other settled colonies, was undergoing. Berkeley saw Bacon's action as a direct challenge to his own authority - which it was. Bacon, in the governor's opinion, was guilty of treason. SOURCE: Library of Virginia, Historic Virginia Documents Showeth That about the year 1660 Col. Mathews the then Governor died and then in consideration of the service I had done the Country, in defending them from, and destroying great numbers of the Indians, without the loss of three men, in all the time that
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war lasted, and in contemplation of the equal and uncorrupt Justice I had distributed to all men, Not only the Assembly but the unanimous votes of all the Country, concurred to make me Governor in a time, when if the Rebels in England had prevailed, I had certainly dyed for accepting it, `twas Gentlemen an unfortunate Love, shewed to me, for to show myself grateful for this, I was willing to accept of this Government again, when by my gracious Kings favor I might have had other places much more profitable, and less toilsome then this hath been. Since that time that I returned into the Country, I call the great God Judge of all things in heaven and earth to witness, that I doe not know of anything relative to this Country wherein I have acted unjustly, corruptly, or negligently in distributing equal Justice to all men, and taking all possible care to preserve their proprieties, and defend the from their barbarous enemies. But for all this, perhaps I have erred in things I know not of, if I have I am so conscious of human frailty, and my own defects, that I will not only acknowledge them, but repent of, and amend them, and not like the Rebel Bacon persist in an error, only because I have committed it, and tells me in diverse of his letters that it is not for his honor to confess a fault, but I am of opinion that it is only for devils to be incorrigible, and men of principles like the worst of devils, and these he hath, if truth be reported to me, of diverse of his expressions of Atheism, tending to take away all Religion and Laws. And now I will state the Question betwixt me as a Governor and Mr. Bacon, and say that if any enemies should invade England, any Councilor Justice of Peace or other inferior officer, might raise what forces they could to protect his Majesty’s subjects, But I say again, if after the Kings knowledge of this invasion, any the greatest peer of England, should raise forces against the king’s prohibition this would be now, and ever was in all ages and Nations committed treason. Nay I will go further, that though this peer was truly zealous for the preservation of his King, and subjects, and had better and greater abilities then all the rest of his fellow subjects, do his King and Country service, yet if the King (though by false information) should suspect the contrary, it were treason in this Noble peer to proceed after the King’s prohibition, and for the truth of this I appealed to all the laws of England, and the Laws and constitutions of all other Nations in the world, And yet further it is declared by this Parliament that the taking up Arms for the King and Parliament is treason, for the event showed that whatever the pretense was to seduce ignorant and well affected people, yet the end was ruinous both to King and people, as this will be if not prevented, I do therefore again declare that Bacon proceeding against all Laws of all Nations modern and ancient, is Rebel to his sacred Majesty and this Country, nor will I insist upon the swearing of men to live and die together, which is treason by the very words of the Law. Now my friends I have lived 34 years amongst you, as uncorrupt and diligent as ever Governor was, Bacon is a man of two years amongst you, his person and qualities unknown to most of you, and to all men else, by any virtuous action that ever I heard of, And that very action which he boasts of, was sickly and foolishly, and as I am informed treacherously carried to the dishonor of the English Nation, yet in it, he lost more men than I did in three-years war, and by the grace of God will put myself to the same dangers and Bacon’s Rebellion and the Transformation of America, 1676 69
troubles again when I have brought Bacon to acknowledge the Laws are above him, and I doubt not but by God’s assistance to have better success than Bacon hath had, the reason of my hopes are, that I will take Council of wiser men then myself, but Mr. Bacon hath none about him, but the lowest of the people. Yet I must further enlarge, that I cannot without your help, do anything in this but die in defense of my King, his laws, and subjects, which I will cheerfully do, though alone I do it, and considering my poor fortunes, I cannot leave my poor Wife and friends a better legacy then by dying for my King and you: for his sacred Majesty will easily distinguish between Mr. Bacon’s actions and mine, and Kings have long arms, either to reward or punish. Now after all this, if Mr. Bacon can show one precedent or example where such acting in any Nation whatever, was approved of, I will mediate with the King and you for a pardon, and excuse for him, but I can show him hundred examples where brave and great men have been put to death for gaining Victories against the Command of their Superiors. Lastly my most assured friends I would have preserved those Indians that I knew were wholly at our mercy, to have been our spies and intelligence, to find out our bloody enemies, but as soon as I had the least intelligence that they also were treacherous enemies, I gave out Commissions to destroy them all as the Commissions themselves will speak it. To conclude, I have done what was possible both to friend and enemy, have granted Mr. Bacon three pardons, which he hath scornfully rejected, supposing himself stronger to subvert than I and you to maintain the Laws, by which only and God’s assisting grace and mercy, all men must hope for peace and safety. I will add no more though much more is still remaining to Justify me and condemn Mr. Bacon, but to desire that this declaration may be read in every County Court in the Country, and that a Court be presently called to do it, before the Assembly meet, That your approbation or dissatisfaction of this declaration may be known to all the Country, and the King’s Council to whose most revered Judgments itt is submitted, Given the 29th day of May, a happy day in the 25th year of his most sacred Majesty’s Reign, Charles the second, who God grant long and prosperously to Reign, and let all his good subjects say Amen.
NATHANIEL BACON June 18, 1676 SOURCE: Library of Virginia, Historic Virginia Documents. By an Act of State [in March 1676], it was provided for the better security of the country, That no Trade should be held with the Indians, notwithstanding which our present Governor monopolized a trade with the Indians and granted licenses to others to trade with them for which he had every 3rd skin [beaver or fox pelt], which trading with the Indians has proved so fatal to these parts of the world, yet I fear we shall be all lost for 70
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this commerce having acquainted the Indians ... with our manner of living and discipline of war, has also brought them generally to the use of Fire Arms with such dexterity, that ourselves often hire them to kill Deer.... Things standing in this posture, they have entered into general bloody war... the murders and depredations they have committed here are horrible and continual, laying a great part of the country desolate, and forcing the inhabitants to fly from their dwellings to their ruin; the Governor, who from the Neighbor Indians receives this tribute and benefit by the trade, still protecting them for these many years against the people and tho the complaints of their murders have been continual yet he hath connived at the great men's [Indian chiefs?] furnishing them with ammunition (which by the Law is death) and the sad effects thereof. Now the Governor having placed me here in a place of trust, I thought it my duty to discharge my conscience in it, by introducing a looking after the welfare of the people here, they being poor, few, and in scattered habitations on the Frontiers and remote part of the country, nigh these Indians ... ; I sent to the Governor for a commission to fall upon them, but being from time to time denied, and finding that the country was basely for a small and sordid gain betrayed, and the lives and fortunes of the poor inhabitants wretchedly sacrificed, resolved to stand up in this ruinous gap, and rather expose my life and fortune to all hazards than basely desert my post and by so bad an example make desolate a whole country in which no one dared to stir against the common Enemy... Upon this I resolved to march out upon the Enemy with which volunteers I could then get, but by so doing found that I not only lost the Governor's favor, but exposed my very life and fortune at home as well as abroad... ; but considering the necessity, I still proceeded, and returned with a greater victory from sharper conflict than ever yet has been known in these parts of the world....
ELIZABETH BACON Letter to her sister in London, June 29, 1676. SOURCE: Library of Virginia, Historic Virginia Documents. Dear Sister, I pray God keep the worst Enemy I have from ever being in such a sad condition as I have been in since my (previous letter to you), occasioned by the troublesome Indians, who have killed one of our Overseers at an outward plantation which we had, and we have lost a great stock of cattle, which we had upon it, and a good crop that we should have made there, such plantation Nobody durst come nigh, which is a very great loss to us.
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If you had been here, it would have grieved your heart to hear the pitiful complaints of the people, the Indians killing the people daily, the Governor not taking any notice of it for to hinder them, but let them daily do all the mischief they can; I am sure if the Indian were not cowards, they might have destroyed all the upper plantations and killed all the people upon them; the Governor so much their friend, that he would not suffer any body to hurt one of the Indians; the poor people came to your brother to desire him to help against the Indians, and he being very much concerned for the loss of his Overseer, and for the loss of so many men and women and children's lives every day, he was willing to do them all he good he could; so he begged of the Governor for a commission in several letters to him, that he might go out against them, but he would not grant one, so daily more mischief done by them, so your brother not able to endure any longer, he went out without a commission. The Governor being very angry with him put out high things against him, and told me that he would most certainly hang him as soon as he returned... The fight [with the Indians] did continue nigh a night and a day without any intermission. They did destroy a great many of the Indians, thanks be to God, and might have killed a great many more, but the Governor were so much the Indians' friend and our enemy, that he sent the Indians word that Mr. Bacon was out against them that they might save themselves.
NATHANIEL BACON Baconâ€™s Manifesto Concerning the Present Troubles in Virginia, July 1676 Perhaps one reason the revolt in Massachusetts succeeded was because there was a great deal of unity among its inhabitants; indeed, there was some sort of majority rule (or at least majority dissent). That had not been the case over a decade earlier in Virginia when the colonists there split between those who supported Governor William Berkeley's Indian policies and defended his administration, and those who favored Nathaniel Bacon's ideas. Bacon's Rebellion (1676), which was ultimately a battle over who was to rule at home, showed that aggressive Indians were not just an external threat to colonial life, but that their actions could create reactions from the colonists that consequently produced violent schisms within settler communities. Bacon was a recent immigrant to Virginia and a young man still in his twenties when he challenged Governor William Berkeley's authority. Representing the small farmers of the frontier who had been battling the natives, he called for the extermination of the Indians so as to secure the territory. When Berkeley appeared to be more interested in subduing the frontiersmen than the Indians, Bacon and his adherents marched against the government in Jamestown to force the issue. Having been declared a rebel, pardoned, and then condemned again, Bacon rebutted the charges against him and other rebels in a public declaration that outlined their motivation and purpose. SOURCE: British National Archives, Colonial State Papers. Catalogue Reference: CO 1/37, No. 51; Calendar Reference: Item 1031, Vol 9 (1675-1676), p. 448-449.
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If to plead the cause of the oppressed, if sincerely to aim at his Majesty’s honor and the public good without any reservation or by interest, if to stand in the gap after so much blood of our dear brethren bought and sold, if after the loss of a great part of his Majesty’s Colony deserted and dispeopled, freely with our lives and estates to endeavor to save the remainder, be treason, God Almighty judge, and let the guilty die.” Cannot in our hearts find one single spot of rebellion or treason, or that we have in any manner aimed at the subverting the settled government or attempting the person of any. The people in all places where we have yet been can attest our civil, quiet, peaceable behavior, far different from that of rebellion or tumultuous persons. “Let the truth be told and let all the world know the real foundations of pretended guilt. We appeal to the country itself what and of what nature their oppressions have been, or by what cabal and mystery the designs of many of those whom we call great men have been transacted and carried on.” Let us trace these men in authority and favor, let us observe the sudden rise of their estates or the reputation they have held here, and see whether their extraction and education have not been vile, and by what pretense they could so soon step into employments of great trust and consequence, and let us consider whether any public work for our safety and defense or for the advancement of trade, liberal arts or sciences, is here extant in any way adequate to our vast charge, let us compare these things and see what sponges have sucked up the public treasure, unworthy favorites, and juggling parasites, whose tottering fortunes have been supported. Let all people judge what can be of more dangerous import than to suspect the so long safe proceedings of our grandees. Another main article of our guilt, our manifest aversion of all not only foreign but the protected and darling Indians, which we are informed is rebellion of a deep dye, as both the Governor and Council are by Colonel Coles’ assertion bound to defend the Queen and the Appannatocks with their blood. Declares them enemies to the King and country, robbers and thieves, and invaders of his Majesty’s rights, yet have they by the Governor been pardoned and indemnified with encouragement and favor, and their firearms restored. Another main article of our guilt is our design not only to ruin and extirpate all Indians in general, but all manner of trade with them, since the Governor by commission warrants this trade, who dare oppose it, although plantations be deserted, and the blood of our brethren spilt on all sides, our complaints continually murder upon murder. Who dare say that these traders at the heads of the rivers buy and sell our blood, and do still, notwithstanding the late Act to the contrary. Another article of our guilt is to assert all those neighbor Indians, as well as others, to be outlawed, wholly unqualified for the protection of the law, for that the law doth reciprocally protect and punish. But the Indians cannot, according to the tenure or form of any law to us known, be prosecuted, seized, or complained against.
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The very foundation of all these disasters is the grant of the beaver trade to the Governor, but to say the grant is illegal, were not this to deserve the name of rebel and traitor. â€œBut to manifest our zeal and loyalty to the world, and how much we abhor those bitter names, may all the world know that we do unanimously desire to represent our sad and heavy grievance to his most sacred Majesty as our refuge and sanctuary where we do well know that all our causes will be impartially heard and equal justice administered to all men.
Nathaniel Bacon Baconâ€™s Declaration in the Name of the People, July 30, 1676 SOURCE: Library of Virginia, Historic Virginia Documents. The Declaration of the People: 1. For having upon specious pretenses of public works raised great unjust taxes upon the Commonality for the advancement of private favorites and other sinister ends, but no visible effects in any measure adequate, For not having during this long time of his Government in any measure advanced this hopeful Colony either by fortifications Townes or Trade. 2. For having abused and rendered contemptable the Magistrates of Justice, by advancing to places of Judicature, scandalous and Ignorant favorites. 3. For having wronged his Majesties prerogative and interest, by assuming Monopoly of the Beaver trade, and for having in that unjust gain betrayed and sold his Majesties Country and the lives of his loyal subjects, to the barbarous heathen. 4. For having, protected, favored, and Emboldened the Indians against his Majesties loyal subjects, never contriving, requiring, or appointing any due or proper means of satisfaction for their many Invasions, robberies, and murders committed upon us. 5. For having when the Army of English, was just upon the track of those Indians, who now in all places burned, spoiled, murder and when we might with ease have destroyed them: who then were in open hostility, for then having expressly countermanded, and sent back our Army, by passing his word for the peaceable demeanor of the said Indians, who immediately prosecuted their evil intentions, committing horrid murders and robberies in all places, being protected by the said engagement and word past of him the said Sir William Berkeley, having ruined and laid desolate a great part of his Majesties Country, and have now drawn themselves into such obscure and remote places, and are by their success so emboldened and confirmed, by their confederacy so strengthened that the cries of blood are in all places, and the terror, and constimation of the people so great, are now become, not only a difficult, but a very formidable enemy, who might att first with ease have been destroyed. 6. And lately when upon the loud outcries of blood the Assembly had with all care raised and framed an Army for the preventing of further mischief and safeguard of this his Majesties Colony.
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7. For having with only the privacy of some few favorites, without acquainting the people, only by the alteration of a figure, forged a Commission, by we know not what hand, not only without, but even against the consent of the people, for the raising and effecting civil war and destruction, which being happily and without bloodshed prevented, for having the second time attempted the same, thereby calling down our forces from the defense of the frontiers and most weekly exposed places. 8. For the pretension of civil mischief and ruin amongst ourselves, whilst the barbarous enemy in all places did invade, murder and spoil us, his majesties most faithful subjects. Of this and the aforesaid Articles we accuse Sir William Berkeley as guilty of each and every one of the same, and as one who hath traitorously attempted, violated and Injured his Majesties interest here, by a loss of a great part of this his Colony and many of his faithful loyal subjects, by him betrayed and in a barbarous and shameful manner exposed to the Incursions and murder of the heathen, And we do further declare these the ensuing persons in this list, to have been his wicked and pernicious councilors Confederates, aiders, and assisters against the Commonality in these our Civil commotions. Sr: Henrie Chicekly Wm: Cole Coll: Chritopr: Wormly Rich: Whitecar Jon. Page: Clerke Phillip Ludwell Rich: Spencer Jon: Cuffe: Clerk Robert Beverlie Joseph Bridges Hub: Farrill Richard Lee Wm. Claybourne Thomas Ballard Thom: Hawkins John: West Wm. Sherwood. Math: Kemp Tho: Readmuch
And we do further demand that the said Sir William Berkeley with all the persons in this list be forthwith delivered up or surrender themselves within four days after the notice hereof, Or otherwise we declare as followed. That in whatsoever place, house, or ship, any of the said persons shall reside, be hid, or protected, we declare the owners, Masters or Inhabitants of the said places, to be confederates and traitors to the people and the estates of them is also of all the aforesaid persons to be confiscated, and this we the Commons of Virginia do declare, desiring a firm union amongst ourselves that we may jointly and with one accord defend ourselves against the common Enemy, and let not the faults of the guilty be the reproach of the innocent, or the faults or crimes of the oppressors divide and separate us who have suffered by their oppressions. These are therefore in his majesties name to command you forthwith to seize the persons above mentioned as Traitors to the King and Country and them to bring to Middle Baconâ€™s Rebellion and the Transformation of America, 1676 75
Planation, and there to secure them until further order, and in case of opposition, if you want any further assistance you are forthwith to demand it in the name of the people in all the Counties of Virginia. Nathaniel Bacon, General by Consent of the people.
NATHANIEL BACON Bacon’s Appeal to the People of Accomack, c. August 1676 SOURCE: British National Archives, Colonial State Papers. Catalogue Reference: CO 5/1371, pp. 254-263; Calendar Reference: Item 969, Vol 9 (1675-1676), p. 417-418. Of part of our victory and the misery of your own and Sir Wm. Berkeley’s condition yourselves are judges how unjust your cause was, how unheard of his and your manner of proceeding against your neighbors and friends to invade this poor colony . . . for hopes of plunder . . . how you have been deluded and gulled by that abominable juggler, whose cheats and base actions you are all acquainted with, and whose oppressions you have a long time groaned under.” What Bacon has done has been in defense of his Majesty’s interest (by a power derived from his Majesty) being a Commission signed by Sir. W. Berkeley at the request of the Assembly, and ratified by an Act of Assembly, so that no reasonable man can imagine compulsion otherwise than a ridiculous evasion. In taxing Bacon contrary to the tenor of his Commission Berkeley taxeth himself of treason, for it is not to be supposed his Majesty would trust either a coward or a fool, so it follows if Bacon’s Commission were granted for reasonable grounds then this complaint against us is unjust and abominable, or if I were what he pretends, he at once confesses himself both a coward and a traitor, which he very well knows, and it is on that score by his folly and passion that he hath involved himself and this poor Colony in such a labyrinth of ruin that he well knows he never can answer what he has done before his Majesty, who must needs count him unfit to be Governor who neither had the principle to do what was just nor the courage to oppose what was unjust. Invites them within fifteen days after the arrival of this paper to send discreet persons to make satisfaction for our losses sustained by your piracies, and to deliver up the ringleaders to be sent into England, there to have their trial, that is Custis, Stringer, Foxcraft, Littleton, and to send back what persons of Bacon’s party are there detained as prisoners, then that the Colony may not be ruined by their rashness he will rather treat with them as brothers and friends, and endeavor that their sad differences may be composed. If through the seducement of that abominable juggler Sir they deny this, appeals to themselves if they can justly blame Bacon if he prosecutes them with all extremity of war to the utmost of his powers.
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PHILIP LUDWELL An Account of the Rebellious Mutiny Raised by Nathanial Bacon, September 3, 1676 Philip Ludwell to Secretary Sir Joseph Williamson, an account of the rebellious mutiny raised by Nathanial Bacon. SOURCE: British National Archives, Colonial State Papers. Catalogue Reference: CO 1/37, No. 16; Calendar Reference: Item 964, Vol 9 (1675-1676), p. 414-415. Account of the distressed condition of this poor country both from the Indians and the rebellious mutiny raised by Nathaniel Bacon, which has come “to that prodigious height that indeed I think no story either ancient or modern can out-do, blood only excepted.” Has not yet been two days out of durance, where the Governor, Council, and Burgesses, with divers others were strictly kept by Bacon and about 500 of the scum of the country three days until he had obtained his most unreasonable and illegal demands. Relates the proceedings of the Assembly in March last to take the best means to destroy their Indian enemies by erecting forts at the head of each river until an army could be raised, but while this was in action, Bacon, “a man of little above one year’s experience in the country,” infused into the people the vast charge this would bring on them, and gathered about him a rabble of the basest sort, and with them began to stand at defiance against the Government. Being “pleasant and sympathetic with the humors,” in an instant he infected almost every corner of the country. The Governor perceiving the disease to grow dangerous and by its spreading the cure difficult used all possible means to reclaim Bacon from his mutinous ways, but he still proceeded contrary to positive order and command. His first exploit was to seize two Indians who had always lived in friendship with the English, these he put to death with much horror and cruelty without examining their crime, and drove our neighbor friendly Indians away, who are as necessary to us as dogs to hunt wolves. Hardly 100 friendly Indians on all our borders, and at least 1,500 enemies who continually prey upon our frontier plantations. Bacon’s march with about 300 to the Occaneeches who live on an island 150 miles from the falls of James River, the march of the Occaneeches and assault of a fort of the Susquehanna’s which they destroyed and brought back six Mannakin Indians and seven Indians prisoners and the plunder to Bacon who tortured the prisoners to death. Dispute between Persicles, King of the Occaneeches, and Bacon as to division of the plunder, which ended in a fight in which Persicles and 40 or 50 of his Indians were killed, and 16 or 17 of Bacon’s men. Bacon then made a hasty retreat, and on his return the Governor again ordered him to lay down his arms, and then was forced to publicly declare him a rebel; but Bacon with 40 Bacon’s Rebellion and the Transformation of America, 1676 77
armed men came to the Court House and commanded the Sheriff to forbear publishing the Governor’s declaration, threatening him terribly if he proceeded, and being the day of election of Burgesses, Bacon was by his ruling party chosen a burgess. On 5th June the Assembly were to meet at James City, and the next day Bacon came down the river in a sloop with about 50 armed men and in the night landed at Sandy Bay, half-a-mile off, where he held a private conference with one Lawrence and one Drummond about three hours and then went to their boats. But they were discovered; an alarm was given and armed boats sent in pursuit, and about three in the afternoon Bacon was taken and brought to town with his men, who were kept guarded, but Bacon released on his parole. After which in open Court he made a full and free submission to the Government and engaged his honor and estate never to do the like, but to use his utmost endeavors to allay the commotions. He was again sworn of the Council and promised a Commission to raise volunteers against the Indians, but instead of performing his obligations he raised new and heightened the old commotions, got at several places about 500 men, “whose fortunes and inclinations were equally desperate,” and with these marched towards the town, which on 23rd June he entered, there being no force to resist him, and drew up his men before the State House, where the Governor, Council, and Burgesses were sitting. After sending out his guards to secure all parts, the Governor sent two of the Council to know what they came for, Bacon replied for a Commission; account of what took place, his refusing the Governor’s Commission to be “Commander-in-Chief of all the volunteer soldiers to go against the Indians” and his demand to be “General of all the forces in Virginia against the Indians,” the Governor’s reply that he would rather have both his hands cut off than grant such a Commission, and challenge to Bacon to decide the controversy with the sword; Bacon’s refusal and threats to the Burgesses in the State House where 100 guns ready cocked were presented at them, saying that he would pull down the house and have their blood, with such dreadful new coined oaths “as if he thought God was delighted with his ingenuity in that kind.” The House demanded a little respite and supplicated the Governor to grant the commission in Bacon’s form, which was done, and other propositions and demands, very hard ones, were granted, having upon us the expectation of having all our throats cut and the fear of the Indians. The laws of Assembly were sent out to the people to be read, but they rose up like a swarm of bees and swore they would hear no laws nor have any but what they pleased. On Sunday 25th June news came that the Indians had murdered eight of our people, in two places. The Governor sent to call the House together, and desired Sir Henry Chicheley to see Bacon and demand what he intended, that either he should march away to secure the people from the Indians or suffer us to go to our respective countries that a force might be immediately raised to suppress these Indians. The Assembly was then dissolved, but Bacon refused to let the Governor go home to see his family until the next morning, when Bacon marched out of town, “by which all were released from their durance.” They have marched to where the last mischief was done, but doubts not they will soon hear of him again. Entreats him to be as he doubts not these
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agents will be a mediator to the King for this poor languishing country. 6 pp. Closely written. Endorsed by Williamson, “Rec. 3 Sept.”
THOMAS LUDWELL AND ROBERT SMITH Proposals for Reducing the Rebels in Virginia to their Obedience, c. October 1676 SOURCE: British National Archives, Colonial State Papers. Catalogue Reference: CO 1/38, No. 18; Calendar Reference: Item 1098, Vol 9 (1675-1676), p. 479. Proposals, most humbly offered to his most sacred Majesty by Thomas Ludwell and Robert Smith, for the reducing the Rebels in Virginia to their obedience. It being evidently true that that Colony has always been and in the worst of times eminently loyal to the Crown of England, they cannot believe that the present disorders have their beginning from disaffection to his Majesty or his government either here or there, or that the infection hath seized upon any of the better or more industrious sort of people, but from the poverty and uneasiness of some of the meanest, whose discontents render them easy to be misled, and, as they believe this to be the sole cause of these troubles, so are confident that, upon the first appearance of his Majesty’s resentment of their disobedience and commands on all his subjects to return to their duty, there will be a speedy separation of the sound parts from the rabble, and many who now follow Bacon, out of opinion that they do his Majesty and the country service against the Indians, will quit the party when they understand it to be rebellion, and the hands of those who abhor the present disaffection will be strengthened by his Majesty’s resolution of vindicating his authority and punishing the principal offenders against it. To effect which they suggest two ways: either to send a force superior to any that can be brought against it, or a smaller number of men to assist those ready to obey his Majesty’s commands. Also, that it will be for his Majesty’s service that his Majesty’s authority be justified in the person of Sir W. Berkeley before his removal from the government, for the reasons given. That a frigate proceeds directly to James Town able to land 200 men. Suggestions for taking or killing Bacon, and the prevention of further mischiefs by him or his assistants. And that the Lords Proprietors of Maryland be commanded not to receive any inhabitants of Virginia. Offer for consideration, as the most effectual means to reduce Virginia to a lasting obedience, that those grants which have and still do so much disturb their minds may be taken in, and their just privileges and properties settled for the future on a solid foundation, the fear of forfeiting which would keep them in perpetual awe. 2 pp. Signed.
KING CHARLES II Bacon’s Rebellion and the Transformation of America, 1676 79
A Proclamation for the Suppressing of a Rebellion Lately Raised Within the Plantation of Virginia, October 26, 1676 SOURCE: British National Archives, Colonial State Papers. Catalogue Reference: CO 1/38, Nos. 7-9 also CO 5/1355, pp. 129-132 and CO 389/6 pp. 140-144; Calendar Reference: Item 1087, Vol. 9 (1675-1676), p. 476. Whereas Nathaniel Bacon, the younger, of the Plantation of Virginia, and others his adherents and accomplices, being persons of mean and desperate fortunes, have lately in a traitorous and rebellious manner levied war within the said Plantation against the King, and more particularly being assembled in warlike manner to the number of about 500 persons, did, in June last, besiege the Governor and Assembly, and by menaces and threats of present death compel said Governor and Assembly to pass divers pretended Acts. To the end that said Nathaniel Bacon and his accomplices may suffer such punishment as they justly deserve, his Majesty doth declare that said Nathaniel Bacon and all his Majesty’s subjects as have taken arms under and assisted or shall hereafter take arms or assist said Nathaniel Bacon in carrying on the war shall be guilty of high treason. And his Majesty strictly commands his loving subjects to use their utmost endeavors to secure the persons of the said Nathaniel Bacon and his accomplices in order to bring them to their legal trial. And his Majesty doth declare that such person or persons as shall apprehend said Nathaniel Bacon shall have a reward from his Majesty’s royal bounty of 300L. sterling, to be paid in money by the Lieutenant-Governor. And because many of Bacon’s adherents may have been seduced by him into this rebellion by false pretenses, his Majesty doth declare that if within twenty days of the publishing this Proclamation any such adherent submits himself to his Majesty’s government, and takes the oath of obedience and gives security for his future good behavior, such person is hereby pardoned: but those who shall not accept this offer of pardon, but persist in said rebellion, their servants or slaves as shall take arms under his Majesty’s Governor or Commander-in-Chief shall have their liberty and be forever free from the service of said offenders. And that his Majesty’s loving subjects may understand how careful his Majesty is to remove all just grievances, he hath not only given instructions to reduce the salaries of the Members of the Assembly to such moderate rates as may render them less burthensome to the country, but hath also sent Herbert Jeffreys, Sir John Berry, and Francis Moryson, his Majesty’s Commissioners, to inquire into and report to his Majesty all such other grievances as his Majesty’s subjects within said Plantation do at present lie under, to the end such redress and relief may be made as shall be agreeable to his Majesty’s royal wisdom and compassion. And his Majesty hereby declares that the pretended Acts and Laws made in the Assembly held at James city in June last shall be null and void. Bacon died of a bloody flux, 26th October, the day before the date of this Proclamation. Printed. Two copies, also MS. copy, 6 pp.
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Royal Commissioners Narrative: Excerpt from petition of grievances from citizens of Isle of Wight County, March 1677. SOURCE: Library of Virginia, Historic Virginia Documents. ... We having a long time lain under great oppressions, and every year being more and more oppressed with great taxes, and still do load us with greater and unnecessary burdens; it was enacted by the Governor and assembly for the building of forts back in the woods upon several great men's Lands, under pretense of security for us against the Indians, which we perceiving and well knowing that their pretense was no security for us, but rather a ruin to the country, which was the cause of our [up]rising with intents to have our taxes Lowered, not that we rose in any ways of Rebellion against our most [dear] Sovereign Lord the King as by our actions may appear, for we no sooner rose. But we sent in a petition our grievance to Sir William Berkeley, who was not at home but the Lady Berkeley promised that she would acquaint his Honor with our business, and by her request or command, we every man returned home...
ANNA COTTON “An Account of Our Late Troubles in Virginia,” 1676 One of the earliest personal accounts of Bacon's Rebellion is contained in this eleven-page tract entitled "An Account of Our Late Troubles in Virginia. Written in 1676, By Mrs. An. Cotton, of Q. Creeke." Ann Cotton was the wife of John Cotton, an attorney who, for a time, owned a plantation on Queen's Creek in York County; he also wrote an account of the rebellion which his wife shortened and to which she added a good many parenthetical references. Ann Cotton's highly personal version of events was contained in a letter that was intended for a friend in England. That letter was first published without a note on its provenance on September 12, 1804, in the Richmond Enquirer; it was subsequently reprinted in 1835 and included in the first volume of Peter Force's influential compendium Tracts and Other Papers, Relating Principally to the Origin, Settlement, and Progress of the Colonies in North America. SOURCE: Published from the original manuscript, in the Richmond (VA.) Enquirer, of 12 Sept. 1804. Washington, DC. Printed by Peter Force, 1835.
OUR LATE TROUBLES. To Mr. C. H. at Yardley in Northamptonshire.
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Sir, I having seen yours directed to--------------and considering that you cannot have your desires satisfied that way, for the aforementioned reasons, I have by his permission, adventured to send you this brief account, of those affaires, so far as I have been informed. The Susquehanians and Marylanders of friends being engaged enemies (as hath by former letter bin hinted to you) and that the Indians being resolutely bent not to forsake there forte; it came to this pointe, yet the Marylanders were obliged (finding themselves too weak to do the work themselves) to supplicate (too soon granted) aide of the Virginians, put under the conduct of one Colonel Washington (him whom you have sometimes seen at your house) who being joined with the Marylanders, invests the Indians in there forte, with a negligent siege; upon which the enemy made several salleys, with as many losses to the besiegers; and at last gave them the opportunity to desert the Fort, after that the English had (contrary to ye law of arms) beat out the brains of 6 great men sent out to treaty a peace: an action of ill consequence, as it proved after. For the Indians having in the dark, slipped through the Legure, and in their passage knocked 10 of the besiegers on the head, which they found fast asleep, leaving the rest to prosecute the siege, (as Scoging's Wife brooding the Eggs which the Fox had sucked) they resolved to employ there liberty in avenging their Commissioners blood, which they speedily effected in the death of sixty innocent souls, and then send in their Remonstrance to the Governor, in justification of the fact, with this expostulation annexed: Demanding what it was moved him to take up arms against them, his professed friends, in the behalf of the Marylanders, there avowed enemies. Declaring their sorrow to see the Virginians, of friends to become such violent enemies as to pursue the Chase in to anotherâ€™s dominions. Complains that their messengers sent out for peace were not only knocked on the head but the fact countenanced by the governor; for which (finding no other way to be satisfied) they had revenged themselves, by killing ten for one of the English; such being the disproportion between there men murdered, and those by them slain, thereâ€™s being persons of quality, the other of inferior Ranke: Professing that if they may have a valuable satisfaction, for the damage they had sustained by the English, and that the Virginians would with-draw their aides from the Marylanders quarrel; that then they would renew the league with Sir William Berkeley 1 other ways they would prosecute ye war to the last man; and the hardest fend off. This was fair play, from fowl gamesters. But the proposals not to be allowed of as being contrary to the honor of the English, the Indians proceeds, and having drawn the neighboring Indians into their aid, in a short time, they commit abundance of unguarded and unrevenged murders; by which means a great many of the outward plantations were deserted; the doing whereof did not only terrify the whole colony, but supplanted those esteems the people had formerly for Sir William Berkeley whom they judged too remiss in applying means to stop the fury of the Heathen; and to settle their affections, and expectations, upon one Esqr. Bacon, newly come into the Country, one of the Council, and nearly related to your late wives father-in-law, whom they desired might be commissioned General, for the Indian war; Which Sr. William (for some reasons best known unto himself) denying, the Gent: man (without any scruple) accepts of a commission from the peoples affections, signed by the emergences of affairs and the Countryâ€™s danger; and so forth with
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advanced with a small party (composed of such that own his authority) against the Indians; on whom, it is said he did signal execution: In his absence he and those with him, were declared Rebels to the State, May 29, and forces raised to reduce him to his obedience; at the head of which the Governor advanced, some 30 or 40 miles to find Bacon out, but not knowing which way he was gone, he dismissed his army, retiring himself and council, to James Towne, there to be ready for the assembly, which was now upon the point of meeting: Whether Bacon, some few days after his return home from his Indian march, prepared to render an account of his service; for which himself and most of those with him in the expedition, were imprisoned; from whence they were freed by a judgment in court upon Bacon's trial, himself readmitted into the council and promised a commission the Monday following (this was on the Saturday) against the Indians; with which deluded, he smothers his resentments, and begs leave to visit his Lady (now sick, as he pretended) which granted, he returns to Towne at the head of 4 or 5 hundred men, well-armed: reassumes his demands for a commission. Which, after some howlers struggling with the Governor, being obtained, according to his desire, he takes order for the countryâ€™s security, against the attempts of skulking Indians; fills up his numbers and provisions, according to the gage of his commission; and so once more advanced against the Indians, who hearing of his approaches, calls in their runners and scouts, be taking themselves to be there subterfuges and lurking holes. The General (for so he was now denominated) had not reached the head of York River, but that a Post overtakes him, and informs, that Sir William Berkeley was a raising the Trained-bands in Gloucester, with an intent, either to fall into his rear, or otherways to cut him off when he should return weary and spent from his Indian service. This strange news put him, and those with him, shrewdly to their triumphs, believing that a few such deals or shuffles (call them what you will) might quickly ring both cards and game out of his hands. He saw that there was an absolute necessity of destroying the Indians, and that there was some care to be taken for his own and Armyâ€™s safety, other-ways the work might happen to be wretchedly done, where the laborers were made cripples, and be compelled (instead of a sword) to make use of a crutch. It vexed him to the heart (as he said) to think, that while he was a hunting Wolves, tigers and bears, which daily destroyed our harmless and innocent Lambs, that he, and those with him, should be pursued in the rear with a full cry, as more savage beasts. He perceived like the corn, he was light between those stones which might grind him to powder; if he did not look the better about him. For the preventing of which, after a short consult with his officers, he countermarched his Army (about 500 in all) down to the Middle Plantation: of which the Governor being informed, ships himself and adherers, for Accomack (for the Gloucester men refused to own his quarrel against the General) after he had caused Bacon, in these parts to be proclaimed a Rebel once more, July 29. Bacon being sat down with his Army at the Middle Plantation, sends out an invitation unto all the prime Gent: men in these parts, to give him a meeting in his quarters, there to consult how the Indians were to be proceeded against, and himself and Army protected against the designs of Sir William Berkeley against whose Papers, of the 29 of May, and his Proclamation since, he puts forth his Replication and those papers upon these dilemmas. Baconâ€™s Rebellion and the Transformation of America, 1676 83
First, whether persons wholly devoted to the King and country, haters of sinister and byrespects, adventuring their lives and fortunes, to kill and destroy all in Arms, against King and country; that never plotted, contrived, or indevoured the destruction, detriment or wrong of any of his Majesties subjects, their lives, fortunes, or estates can deserve the names of Rebels and Traitors: secondly he cites his own and solders peaceable behavior, calling the whole country to witness against him if they can; he upbraids some in authority with the meanness of their parts, others now rich with the meanness of their estates, when they came into the country, and questions by what just ways they have obtained there wealth; whether they have not been the sponges that hath sucked up the public treasury: Questions what arts, sciences, schools of Learning, or manufactories, have been promoted in authority: Justifies his aversions, in general against the Indians; upbraids the Governor for maintaining there quarrel, though never so unjust, against the Christians rights; his refusing to admit an English manâ€™s oath against an Indian, when that Indians bare word should be accepted of against an Englishman: said something against the Governor concerning the Beaver trade, as not in his power to dispose of to his own profit, it being a Monopoly of the crown; Questions whether the Traders at the heads of the Rivers being his Factors, do not buy and sell the blood of their brethren and country men, by furnishing the Indians with powder, shot and fire arms, contrary to the laws of the colony: He arraigns one Colonel Cowells assertion, for saying that the English are bound to protect the Indians, to the hazard of their blood. And so concludes with an Appeal to the King and Parliament, where he doubts not but that his and the peoples cause will be impartially heard. To comply with the Generals invitation, hinted in my former letter, there was a great convention of the people met him in his quarters; the result of whose meeting was an engagement, for the people (of what quality so ever, excepting servants) to subscribe to consisting of 3 heads. First to be aiding, with their lives and estates, the General, in the Indian war: secondly, to oppose Sr. Williams designs, if he had any, to hinder the same: and lastly, to protect the General, Army and all that should subscribe this engagement, against any power that should be sent out of England, till it should be granted that the countries complaint might be heard, against Sr. William before the King and Parliament. These 3 heads being methodized, and put in to form, by the Clerk of the Assembly, who happened to be at this meeting, and read unto the people, held a dispute, from almost no one, till midnight, pro and con, whether the same might, in the last Article especially, be without danger taken. The General, and some others of the chief men was Resolute in the affirmative, asserting its innocence, and protesting, without it, he would surrender up his commission to the Assembly, and let them fined other servants, to do the countryâ€™s work: this, and the news, that the Indians were fallen down in to Gloucester county, and had killed some people about Carterâ€™s Creek; made the people willing to take the engagement. The chief men that subscribed it at this meeting, were coll. Swan, coll. Beale, coll. Ballard, Esq. Bray, (all four of the council) coll. Jordan, coll. Smith, of Purton, coll. Scarsbrook, coll. Miller, coll. Lawrane, and Mr. Drummond, late Governor of Carolina; all persons, with whom you have been formerly acquainted. This work being over, and orders taken for an Assembly to sit down the 4 of September (the writs being issued out in his majesties name, and signed by 4 of the Council, before named) the General once more sits out to find the Indians: of which Sr. William have
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gained intelligence, to prevent Bacons designs by the Assembly, returns from Accomack, with a bout 1000 solders, and others, in 5 ships and 10 sloops to James town; in which was some 900 Baconians (for soe now they began to be called, for a mark of distinction) under the command of coll. Hansford, who was commissioned by Bacon, to raise Forces (if need were) in his absence, for the safety of the country. Unto these Sr. William sends in a summons for a Rendition of ye place, with a pardon to all that would decline Bacons and entertain his cause. What was returned to this summons I know not; but in the night the Baconians forsake the Towne, by the advice of Drummond and Lawrence (who were both excepted, in the Governors summons, out of mercy) every one returning to their own abodes, excepting Drummond, Hansford, Lawrence, and some few others, who goes to find out the General, now returned to the head of York River, having spent his provisions in following the Indians on whom he did sum execution, and sent them packing a great way from the Borders. Before that Drummond and those with him had reached the General, he had dismissed his Army, to their respective habitations, to gather strength against the next intended expedition; accepting some few reserved for his Guard, and persons living in these parts; unto whom, those that came with Hansford being joined, made about 150 in all: With these Bacon, by a swift march, before any news was heard of his return from the Indians, in these parts, comes to Towne, to ye consternation of all in it, and there blocks the Governor up; which he easily effected by this unheard of project. He was no sooner arrived at Towne, but by several small parties of Horse (2 or 3 in a party, for more he could not spare) he fetched into his little League, all the prime menâ€™s wives, whose Husbands were with the Governor, (as coll. Bacons Lady, Madm. Bray, Madm. Page, Madm. Ballard, and others) which the next morning he presents to the view of their husbands and friends in town, upon the top of the small work he had cast up in the night; where he caused them to tarry till he had finished his defense against his enemies shot, it being the only place (as you do know well enough) for those in towne to make a salley at. Which when completed, and the Governor understanding that the Gentle women were withdrawn in to a place of safety, he sends out some 6 or 700 hundreds of his solders, to beat Bacon out of his Trench: But it seems that those works, which were protected by such charms (when a raising) that plugged up the enemies shot in their gains, could not now be stormed by a virtue less powerful (when finished) then the sight of a few white Aprons: otherways the service had been more honorable and the damage less, several of those who made the salley being slain and wounded, without one drop of Blood drawn from the enemy. Within two or three days after this disaster, the Governor reships himself, solders, and all the inhabitants of the town, and their goods: and so to Accomack a gain; leaving Bacon to enter the place at his pleasure, which he did the next morning before day, and the night following burns it down to the ground to prevent a future siege, as he said. Which Flagrant, and Flagitious Act performed, he draws his men out of town, and marched them over York River, at Tindells point, to find out Colonel Brent, who was advancing fast upon him, from Potomac, at the head of 1200 men, (as he was informed) with a design to raise Bacons siege, from before the town, or other ways to fight him, as he saw cause.
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But, Brentâ€™s shoulders no sooner heard that Bacon was got on the north-side Yorke River, with an intent to fight them, and that he had beat the Governor out of the town, and fearing, if he met with them, that he might beat them out of their lives they basely forsake there colors, the greater part adhering to Bacons cause; resolving with the Persians to go and worship the rising sun, now approaching near there Horizon: of which Bacon being informed, he stops his proceedings that way, and begins to provide for another expedition against the Indian, of whom he had heard no news since his last March, against them: which while he was a contriving, Death summons him to more urgent affairs in to whose hands (after a short siege) he surrenders his life, leaving his commission in the custody of his Lieut. General, one Ingram, newly coming to the country. Sr. William no sooner had news that Bacon was Dead but he sends over a party, in a sloop to Yorke who snapped Colonel Hansford, and others with him, that keep a negligent guard at Colonel Reades house under his command: When Hansford came to Accomack, he had the honor to be the first Virginian born that ever was hanged; the solders (about 20 in all) that were taken with him, were committed to Prison. Capt. Carver, Capt. Wilford, Capt. Farloe, with 5 or 6 others of less note, taken at other places, ending their days as Hansford did; Major Cheesman being appointed (but it seems not designated to the like end, which he prevented by dying in prison through ill usage, as it is said. This execution being over (which the Baconians termed cruelty in the abstract) Sr. William ships himself and solder for York River, casting Anchor at Tindells point; from whence he sends up a hundred and 20 men to surprise a Gard, of about, 30 men and boys, kept at coll. Bacons house under the command of Major Whaley; who being fore-warned by Hansford fate, prevented the designed conflict with the death of the commander in chief, and the taking some prisoners: Major Lawrence Smith, with 600 men, meeting with the like fate at coll. Pates house, in Gloucester, against Ingram, (the Baconian General) only Smith saved himself, by leaving his men in the lurch, being all made prisoners; whom Ingram dismissed to their own homes; Ingram himself, and all under his command, within a few days after, being reduced to his duty, by the well contrivance of Capt. Grantham, who was now lately arrived in York River: which put a period to the war, and brought the Governor ashore at Col. Bacons, where he was presented with Mr. Drummond; taken the day before in Chickahominy swamp, half famished, as himself related to my Husband. From Col. Bacons, the next day, he was conveyed, in Irons to Mr. Brays (whither the Governor was removed) to his trial, where he was condemned within half an hour after his coming to Esqr. Brays, to be hanged at the Middle Plantation, within 4 hours after condemnation; where he was accordingly, executed, with a pitiful French man. Which done, the Governor removes to his own house, to settle his and the countries repose, after his many troubles; which he effected by the advice of his council and an Assembly convened at the Greene Spring; where several were condemned to be executed, prime actors in ye Rebellion; as Esqr. Bland, coll. Cruse, and som other hanged at Bacons Trench; Capt. Yong, of Chickahominy, Mr. Hall, clerk of New-Kent court, James Wilson (once your servant) and one Leift. Colonel Page, (one that my Husband bought of Mr. Lee, when he kept store at your house) all four executed at coll. Reads, over against Tindells point; and Anthony Arnell (the same that did live at your house) hanged in chains at West point,
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besides several others executed on the other side James River: enough (they say in all) to outnumber those slain in the whole war; on both sides: it being observable that the sword was more favorable then the Halter, as there was a greater liberty taken to run from the sharpness of the one, then would be allowed to shun the dull embraces of the other: the Hangman being more dreadful to the Baconians, then their General was to the Indians: as it is counted more honorable, and less terrible, to dye like a solder, then to be hanged like a dog. Thus Sr. have I rendered you an account of our late troubles in Virginia, which I have performed too wordishly; but I did not know how to help it; Ignorance in some cases is a prevalent overture in pleading for pardon, I hope mine may have the fortune to prove so in the behalf of Sr. your friend and servant, ANNA COTTON. From Queenâ€™s Creek
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SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY BIBLIOGRAPHY AND RECOMMENDED READINGS (1900) “Bacon's Rebellion.” William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 9, No. 1. Retrieved from: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1914836 Berlin, Ira. Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1998. Berry, J. Moryson, F. (1896) “Narrative of Bacon's Rebellion.” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Volume 4. Number 2. Retrieved from: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4241946 Boles, John B. Black Southerners, 1619-1869. Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 1984. Breen, T.H. and Innes, Stephen. "Myne Owne Ground": Race and Freedom on Virginia's Eastern Shore, 1640-76. New York: Oxford University Press, 1980. Brown, Kathleen M. Good Wives, Nasty Wenches, and Anxious Patriarchs: Gender, Race, Power in Colonial Virginia. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1996. Carson, Jane. Bacon’s Rebellion, 1676-1976. Jamestown: The Jamestown Foundation, 1976. Davis, David Brion. The Problem of Slavery in Western Culture. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1966. Foner, Eric. Give Me Liberty!: An American History. Vol. 1. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 2014.
Force, Peter, ed. A List of Those that have been Executed for the Late Rebellion. by Sir William Berkeley. Washington, D.C., 1835. Galenson, David W. White Servitude in Colonial America: An Economic Analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981. Giersbach, Walter. Bacon's Rebellion: America's First Revolutionary? SUNY Plattsburgh, 21 Jan. 2009. Web. 26 Oct. 2012. Jordan, Winthrop D. The White Man's Burden: Historical Origins of Racism in the United States. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1974. McCulley, Susan. Bacon's Rebellion. Ed. Jen Loux, June 1987. Web. 25 Oct. 2012. Morgan, Edmund S. American Slavery. American Freedom. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1975. Parent, Jr., Anthony S. Foul Means: The Formation of Slave Society in Virginia, 16601740. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003. Rice, James D. Bacon's Rebellion (1676–1677). SUNY Plattsburgh, 25 Aug. 2012. Web. 26 Oct. 2012. Rice, James D. Tales from a Revolution: Bacon’s Rebellion and the Transformation of Early America. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012. Stanard, Mary Newton. The Story of Bacon's Rebellion. Washington: The Neale Publishing Company, 1907. Tarter, B. (2011). “Bacon's Rebellion, the Grievances of the People, and the Political Culture of Seventeenth-Century Virginia.” Virginia Magazine Of History & Biography, 119(1), 1-41. Washburn, Wilcomb E. The Governor and the Rebel: A History of Bacon's Rebellion in Virginia. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: The University of North Carolina Press, 1957. Webb, Stephen Saunders. 1676: The End of American Independence. Syracuse, New York: Syracuse University Press, 1995. Wertenbaker, Thomas Jefferson. Bacon's Rebellion, 1676. Williamsburg: Virginia 350th Anniversary Celebration, Corp., 1957.
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Appendix: March Assembly Proposal (Summary of the Proposal to the Virginia Grand Assembly, March 1676) Summary of Berkeley’s Proposal/Plan to be voted as Law in the March Meeting of the Virginia Grand Assembly
ACT I An Act for the safeguard and defense of the country against Indians Whereas this grand assembly hath taken into sad and serious consideration the sundry murders, rapes, and many depredations lately committed and done by Indians on the inhabitants of this country, and the great danger the frontier counties are exposed to by the frequent incursions of Indians, for prevention whereof, and discovering the murders, their aiders and abiders for a full and effectual satisfaction to be taken for them and the future security of the country, Be it enacted and ordained by the governor, council, and burgess of this grand assembly and the authority thereof, that: • • • • • • • • •
War be declared against Indians who are notoriously known or discovered to have committed the murders, rapings and depredations. And against all other suspect Indians who shall refuse to deliver us such sufficient hostages. Charge of war to be borne by the whole country. Commission a standing army of 500 men (1/4 horsemen) to be placed at heads of rivers and garrisons at forts Towns must send arms and provisions for four months Each fort captain has the power of impressment for the necessity of the fort. Men of military rank in the Assembly also have power to impress. Only defense. No offensive attack of Indians shall be make without orders from the governor. Arm can be carried to church and courts in times of danger The Governor has the power to disband the army by timely victory over the enemy
ACT II An Act prohibiting trade with Indians. Whereas the country by sad experience have found that the traders with Indians by their avarice have so armed the Indians with powder, shot and guns, that they been thereby emboldened, not only to fall upon the frontier plantations murdered many of our people and alarmed the whole country, but to throw us into chargeable and most dangerous war, and though good laws have been made for prohibiting the trade with Indians for arms and
ammunition, yet great quantities have been yearly vended amongst them, for prevention where of for the future… Be it enacted and ordained by the governor, council, and burgess of this grand assembly and the authority thereof, that: •
• • •
If any person or persons whatsoever with this colony from and after 10 days after this present session of assembly shall presume to trade, truck, barter, sell or utter, directly or indirectly, to or with any Indian any powder, shot or arms, except only such as in, and by one proviso hereafter in this act to be appointed and be thereof lawfully convicted shall suffer death without benefit of clergy, and shall forfeit his or their whole estates. Felony to be found with them in any Indian town with arms But sober representatives nominated and authorized by courts can trade other goods with neighboring Indians. It is permitted that five persons from each county chosen by the proper authority to trade with the Indians, except arms. Penalty on others not authorized by the assembly- 1000 lbs of tobacco, suffered one month imprisoned
Act III An act prohibiting the exporting of Corn Whereas the country’s preparation for war in likelihood may cause a more than ordinary experience of provision, it is there thought fit, it be enacted, and it is by the governor, council, and burgesses of this grand assembly and the authority thereof, enacted and ordained, that no corn or provisions from and after the 5th day of April next, shall be exported out of this colony under the penalty of two hundred pounds of tobacco for every barrel of corn and double the price of any other provision to be paid by the party exporting it. Signed by Sir William Berkeley, Governor \
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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS For all of my Reacting to the Past colleagues who have expressed interest and who have reviewed the game, my thanks for your support and consideration. However, special thanks to Professor Nick Proctor, Simpson College, for his encouragement, close readings, and thoughtful suggestions. I thank you for all of the time that you have put into reviewing rough drafts and correcting silly typos. Your keen insight into this pedagogy has been a learning experience for me and has motivated me so much. Many, many thanks. Also, to Professor Betsy Powers, Lonestar College, for her careful reading and editing as well- many thanks. My appreciation also goes out to Professors Betsy Powers and Zachary Smith, Lane Community College, for testing out the earliest version of this game with their history classes and for the feedback that have helped mold the game to make it playable and effective. Also, to those thirty souls who bravely played the 90-minute version of the game during the 2016 Game Development Conference that has helped me tremendously to further shape it and expose more students to this essential episode of American history. Additional, a special thank you to Paul Otto, Kerry Dobbins, and Bill Offuit who review version 2.4 whose insights, feedback, and critiques informed this version ahead of its consideration for level 3.0. Thank you all for your time and attention to detail! Also, to Professor James Rice whose recent scholarship on Baconâ€™s Rebellion provided historical context and a deep understanding that influenced this game tremendously, and for his interest in this game that inspired me to keep at it. Thank you. I cannot thank enough the first players of the game- the ultimate Guinea pigs: my history students of Monroe Community College and SUNY College at Brockport who helped create most of the roles and experiment with them. They bravely dove into Reacting to the Past head first and with a game that was still in development. Kudos and bravo! Furthermore, to Mark Carnes for his mentorship and scholarship--- that infectious passion, and to the Reacting Board for their leadership and promotion of this effective way of teaching. I will never teach the same way again. With all of my appreciation,
August 13, 2018