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Bacon's Rebellion

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1676]        NARRATIVE OF THE COMMISSIONERS       113

can doe it, for there was never any open or free Trade among
us that we might know them, But the whole Trade monopo-
lized by the Governour and Grandees.

      Soe the common cry and vogue of the Vulgar was, away
with these Forts, away with these distinctions, wee will have
warr with all Indians which come not in with their armes, and
give Hostages for their Fidelity and to ayd against all others;
we will spare none. and1 wee must bee hang’d for Rebells
for killing those that will destroy us, let them hang us, wee
will venture that rather than lye at the mercy of a Barbarous
Enemy, and be murdered as we are etc. Thus went the ruder
sort raging and exclaiming agt. the Indians, expressing the
calamity that befell New England by them.2 While the
Governour was in the Upper Parts to wait Bacon’s returne
the people below began to draw into armes, and to declare
against the Forts. Hee to appease the comotions of the
People leaves off that designe and comes immediately back
to his own house, and caused at his returne the Surry and
other Forts to be forthwith dismantled, and dissolving the
assembly3 that enacted them, gave the country a free new
election, which new assembly were to be for the Settlement
of the then distracted condition of Virginia.

      At this new election (such was the Prevalency of Bacon’s
Party) that they chose instead of Freeholders, Free men that
had but lately crept out of the condition of Servants4 (which
were never before Eligible) for their Burgesses and such as
were eminent abettors to Bacon, and for faction and ignorance
fitt Representatives of those that chose them.

      At the Same time Bacon being come back from his Indian
march with a thousand braging lyes to the credulous Silly
People of what feats he had perform’d, was by the Inhabitants

    1 The old “an,” meaning “if.”

     2King Philip’s War, 1675 – 1676.

      3This assembly was dissolved March 7, 1676. The new assembly met on
June 5. After it broke up on June 25, Bacon planned to call another to meet
September 4, but this plan he never carried out.

      4 Until 1670 all freemen had a right to vote, but in that year the franchise
was restricted to freeholders. and housekeepers. Before 1676 a few indentured
servants, having served their time and acquired a small property, had become
freeholders and sat in the House of Burgesses, so that the statement in the text
is incorrect.

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