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Bacon's Rebellion

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126         NARRATIVES OF THE INSURRECTIONS       [1676

destroying the Heathen, and that he would be with them with
all possible Speede.

      Now Bacon’s high Pretences raised the People’s hopes to
the highest pitch and at the same time put him on a necessity
of doing Something before he returned, which might not alto-
gether fall short of his own Vaunting, but being hitherto dis-
appointed, his army tyred, Murmuring, impatient, half starved,
dissatisfied, he gives liberty to as many as would to return in
with the foot he had ordered to march in before him, giving
them two days’ provisions to reach (if they could) the English
Plantations; those that were dismissed being the Northern
forces commanded by Colo. Brent. (The whole being now
400 men) with the rest he moves on hunting and beating the
Swamps up and down, at last meets with an opening of a tract
upon high land, which he follows so long that almost all his
Provisions were spent, and forced to come to quarter allow-
ances, and having led them far into the woods he makes a
short halt and speaks thus to them:

Gentlemen,

     The indefatigable Paines which hitherto wee have taken doth
require abundantly better successe than as yett wee have mett with.
But there is nothing soe hard, but by Labour and Industry it may bee
overcome, which makes me not without hope of obtaining my desires
against the heathen in meeting with them to quit Scores for all their
Barbarous crueltyes done us.

      I had rather my carcase should lye rotting in the woodes, and
never see English mans face againe in Virginia, than misse of doing
that service the country expects from me, and I vowed to performe
against these heathen, which should I returne not succesfull in some
manner to damnifie and affright them wee should have them as much
animated as the English discouraged, and my adversaryes to insult
and reflect on mee; that my Defence of the country is but Pretended
and not Reall and (as they already say) I have other Designs and
make this but my Pretense and cloke. But that all shall see how
devoted I am to it, considering the great charge the country is at in
fitting mee forth and the hopes and expectation they have in mee,
All you gentlemen that intend to abide with mee must resolve to
undergoe all the hardshipps this wilde can afforde, dangers and suc-
cesses and if need bee to eate chinkapins1 and horsflesh before hee

1The chincapin is the dwarf chestnut.

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