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Bacon's Rebellion

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12                NARRATIVES OF THE INSURRECTIONS

touched very closely a people among whom poverty and igno-
rance widely prevailed, owing to normal frontier conditions,
the falling price of tobacco, and disasters that resulted in heavy local losses.

     The burden of England's commercial policy was undoubt-
edly a grievance temporarily and in certain particular quarters,
but it was in no sense a cause of the insurrection. Virginia
had been living under the limitations of a restricted market
for thirty years, and neither before nor after 1660 had the
colonists protested against the requirement that they send
their tobacco directly to England. Such protests as exist were individual and not general. Even after 1676, when the people
at large had a chance to say what they thought, they scarcely mention this requirement among their grievances. They
speak of the bad government of heavy taxes, of dangers from the Indians, and of the oppressive conduct of individuals, but
only in a very few instances of the navigation acts. They
ascribed the low price of tobacco to heavy customs dues in
England and to excessive planting in the colony.

     There are many accounts of Bacon's Rebellion, of which
the three selected for insertion here cover in an authoritative
and fairly impartial fashion the entire movement.

      There are many accounts of Bacon's Rebellion, of which
the three selected for insertion here cover in an authoritative
and fairly impartial fashion the entire movement.

     The narrative of The Beginning, Progress, and Conclusion
of Bacon's Rebellion
was written in 1705 by "T.M." at the
request of Secretary Harley, and must have remained for
many years in the Harleian library. Though the Harleian
collection of manuscripts was sold in bulk to the British
Museum in 1764, this particular documents, which bears the
library numbering, feel in some way into the hands of the
trader and was bought, in November, 1801, at a sale of the
stock of Collins, bookseller of London, by Rufus King, Minis-
ter plenipotentiary of the United States at the court of St.
James. In December, 1803, he sent it to Present Jeffer-
son. The original is now in the Library of Congress. The

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