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Bacon's Rebellion

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                                   INTRODUCTION                              13

Virginia Historical Society has a copy of one of the two
transcripts which Jefferson caused to be made; the other was
given by him to the American Antiquarian Society and is
now in its possession.

     The authori, "T.M." is undoubtedly Thomas Mathew, of
Cherry Point, in the parish of Boutracy,1 Northumberland
County, in the Northern Neck, Virginia. Mathew was a
merchant-planter, having extensive landholdings in Virginia,
particularly in those counties where the troubles with the
Indians first began, Northumberland and Stafford, at the
lower and upper waters of the Potomac. Although he was
not interested in the politics of the colony and preferred to
restrict himself to mercantile pursuits, yet he served as a
county justice in 1672 and 1676, and at his house in 1677-
1678 the county court of Northumberland sat as a "court
maritime" to try a shipmaster guilty of a breach of the navi-
gation acts. In 1676, though a resident of Northumberland
County, he was chosen, with Colonel George Mason, to rep-
resent Stafford County in the House of Burgesses, and sat as
a member of the Reforming or Baconian Assembly of that
year. He took an active part in the work of the session and,
as his own accunt testifies, was a member of influence. But
he was not a party man and politcal responsibilities were
irksome to him. He disliked controversy, though he could
not avoid it altogether, and he tried to steer a path between
the two extremes, committing himself to neither party. He
was twice offered a lietenancy by Bacon, but each time
refused.

     After the rebellion was over Mathew returned to his mer-
cantile interests, experiemented with the manufacture of linen,
and came in frequent contact with William Fitzhugh, the
well-known planter and letter-writer, who also had lands in

     1 Boutracy has long since disappeared as the name of a parish in Virginia,
but it is mentioned in the early Northumberland records.

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