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In 1664 Maryland passed a law that baptism had no legal effect on a slave so that they would not be freed after baptism, and in September they enacted the first law in the colonies prohibiting marriage between white women and Africans. In 1667 the English Parliament passed the Act to Regulate the Negroes on the British Plantations, prohibiting Africans from carrying weapons and from leaving the plantation on a Sunday or without a pass. For striking a Christian they could be whipped and for the second offense, branded on the face. Owners who punished a slave to death could only be fined £15.
Governor Charles Calvert (1661-76) excluded the poorer classes from voting in 1670, and the Assembly elected passed the tax of two shillings on each hogshead of tobacco exported; half went to the Proprietor and half for defense of the colony. George Fox, founder of the Quakers, visited Maryland in 1672, and he spoke to large gatherings over several days; once he kept Indians attentive for five hours.
In 1674 the Assembly declared that those serving on county grand juries had to pay their own expenses, and the poll taxes applied to everyone over ten years of age except ministers and priests but including servants and slaves. The Council was dominated by the Calverts and their friends. In 1675 Major Thomas Trueman was held responsible for the murder of the five Susquehannock chiefs, and Virginian forces were also involved. He was impeached in the Maryland Assembly, and after a debate Trueman was fined and removed from the Council. During Bacon’s rebellion an anti-proprietary group agitated for reforms in Maryland, and they petitioned for King Charles II to take over Maryland so that the Proprietor would not oppress them. They also wanted Protestant ministers and free schools in every county and the franchise and other rights for all freemen. Governor Calvert accused their leaders of circulating a seditious paper. When sixty armed men gathered in Calvert County, they were arrested for refusing to disperse. William Davyes and John Pate were hanged. To prevent Bacon’s rebellion from infecting Maryland, the Governor ordered fleeing Virginians arrested.
The Maryland Assembly prohibited the importing of English convicts as servants in 1676. Taxes were heavy to pay for the military expenses and the building of the State House in St. Mary’s. When Josias Fendall was elected to the Assembly in 1678, the acting governor Thomas Notley would not let him take his seat. Governor Charles Calvert, the third Lord Baltimore, disallowed all 18 laws passed by the Assembly in 1678. The Burgesses reluctantly agreed to a law limiting the export of tobacco to designated ports when the Council agreed to restore the representation from two back to four delegates from each county; but the Council did not keep their promise.
A group of Labadists came to Maryland in 1680 and were given land by Augustine Herrman in 1683. They were mystics who rejected infant baptism and believed in the obligation of manual labor. Those joining their community put their possessions in the common stock, but they abandoned communal living in 1698 and divided the property among the members. This made the leader Peter Sluyter wealthy, and the colony ended with his death in 1722. Ninian Beall pioneered the manufacture of flour and iron in Maryland, and he supported the Presbyterian church. Reverend Francis Makemie arrived in 1683, and he persuaded other Presbyterian ministers to come to America.
In 1681 Fendall and George Godfrey were convicted of treason. Fendall was fined 40,000 pounds of tobacco and banished, and Godfrey was imprisoned for life. When the Proprietor went back to England to argue his case against Penn on the border dispute, he designated his five-year-old son Benedict Leonard Calvert as governor. The Council of nine acted as deputy governors, and seven of them were Calvert relatives. In 1683 Col. George Talbot became surveyor-general of Maryland. He built a fort near New Castle, but with his soldiers he attacked Indians and bullied settlers in Pennsylvania. In 1684 Talbot quarreled with the hated tax collector, Christopher Rousby, on board a ship and killed him by stabbing his heart. He escaped but surrendered in Virginia and was convicted. King Charles II pardoned him at the request of Baltimore. When James II became king in 1685, he settled the border dispute between Penn and Baltimore by giving the three Lower Counties (Delaware) to Pennsylvania so that it would have better access to the ocean. In 1687 James ordered his attorney general to prosecute a quo warranto writ against Baltimore’s proprietary charter. In 1686 and again in 1688 the members of the Maryland Assembly refused to take an oath of allegiance to the Proprietor.
In April 1689 “an Association in arms for the defense of the Protestant religion and for asserting the right of King William III and Queen Mary to the province of Maryland and all the English dominions” chose John Coode as its leader, and four months later the Association took over the government at St. Mary’s. Their Declaration of reasons for doing so was printed there by William Nuthead. They charged the Proprietor Coode with reducing representatives, disallowing laws, exacting excessive fees, imposing illegal taxes, seizing Protestants without warrants, commandeering men and property, abusing royal customs collectors, disparaging the Crown, favoring Catholics, ignoring the claims of William and Mary, and threatening to form an alliance against Protestants with the French, Indians, and Catholics. They arrested and dispersed their Catholic opponents and summoned a more representative Assembly. King William received the Declaration and proclaimed the province of Maryland a royal colony, appointing Lionel Copley the first governor in August 1691. Baltimore was allowed to keep his private holdings and kept collecting quit-rents.
Governor Copley arrived in 1692 but was ill most of the time until he died in September 1693. Virginia’s lieutenant governor Francis Nicholson was promoted to be governor of Maryland. Despite the new State House in St. Mary’s, in 1694 the Assembly voted to move the capital to the more central Anne Arundell Town which the next year was renamed Annapolis in honor of Princess Anne. Governor Nicholson contributed £50 to build the first free school and £25 a year for its maintenance. The Assembly specified that duties on furs and skins should pay for maintaining free schools. The building for King William’s School next to the State House was completed in 1701. William Bladen began printing legal forms, sermons, and law books in 1700.
Other than some furs and sassafras, tobacco was the main export crop, averaging ten million pounds annually during the 25 years of the royal government 1689-1714. The duty on tobacco was nearly 80% of the price, and after paying about 20% for freight, the merchant and planter made only 15 shillings each per hogshead. Three-fourths of the duty went to the royal governor and one-fourth was used to defend the province, making Maryland’s governor the second highest paid British governor after Jamaica’s. Wine, rum, sugar, molasses, and salt were smuggled in from the Azores and the West Indies, and Maryland traded tobacco for food from New England, New York, and Pennsylvania. Smuggling was allowed by Coode and the Associates from 1689 to 1691, but Governor Nicholson set up an admiralty court to enforce the Navigation Acts.
The Assembly established the Church of England and imposed a poll tax of 40 pounds of tobacco to construct churches and pay clergy, and most turned in their worst tobacco. King William disallowed the establishment law, but Queen Anne accepted it in 1702. That year a law allowed Protestant Dissenters and Quakers to have meeting houses as long as they paid the poll tax for the established church; but Catholics were forbidden to have public meetings, and in 1699 a heavy duty had been imposed on the immigration of Irish Catholics. For a while Catholic lawyers were barred from practicing in Maryland courts. By 1708 Catholics were only 8% of Maryland’s population, about the same as the number of Quakers. The Bishop of London, Henry Compton, had appointed Thomas Bray as Commissary of the Church, and he arrived in 1700. Bray established libraries in most parishes and was the first advocate of public libraries in America. He got a donation from Queen Anne for a library at Annapolis. Bray was in Maryland for only six months, but he also founded the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, and Dr. Bray’s Association for Founding Clerical Libraries and Supporting Negro Schools.
Maryland had 4,478 African slaves in 1704 out of a population of 40,000. By 1720 the total population doubled to 80,000, and the number of slaves increased to about 25,000. In 1705 some debtors, Indians, and Africans tried to overthrow the government by burning the provincial courthouse and some other buildings. The leader Richard Clarke and a few others were arrested and attainted by the Assembly. Clarke was convicted of treason and sentenced to death.
John Hart became governor in 1714 and urged the Assembly to improve the schools. Hart was a friend of Benedict Leonard Calvert, who had converted to the Anglican Church and was given a pension by Queen Anne. Charles Calvert, the third Lord Baltimore, died in 1714, and his heir, Benedict Leonard Calvert, died the following April. His son, Charles Calvert, became the fifth Lord Baltimore at the age of 16. His guardian was Francis Lord Guilford, and his petition to King George successfully restored Lord Baltimore’s proprietorship. Guilford then confirmed Hart as governor. The Assembly of 1715 passed 49 laws with the help of the lawyer Andrew Hamilton from Philadelphia. They provided ways for settling disputes with Indians, banned the sale of alcohol to Indians, and imposed heavy duties on the importation of rum, Africans, and Irish servants.
In 1716 Governor Hart appointed two religious commissaries—Christopher Wilkinson for the Eastern Shore and Jacob Henderson for the Western Shore. The lower house rejected a series of requests that would have involved the state more directly in matters of religion. The contentious Thomas MacNamara and the Proprietor’s agent Charles Carroll criticized Hart and the legislature for persecuting Catholics. Hart disbarred MacNamara from practicing law in Maryland, but MacNamara went to England and persuaded the Proprietor to disallow that law. Hart was afraid that the Catholics would join with the French and destroy the Protestants.
Baltimore and Guilford recalled Governor Hart to England in May 1720 for siding too often with the popular party. His successor was the Proprietor’s cousin, Charles Calvert. The lower house opposed the high fees of officers, and the upper house compromised and agreed to lower some of them in 1720. Five years later the fees were reduced by a quarter, and lawyers were restrained from taking money fees. The Assembly also tried to control the salaries of the Anglican clergy. Taxes for these were especially odious to German settlers of the Lutheran and Reformed denominations in the west.
Governor Charles Calvert died in 1726 and was succeeded by his brother Benedict Leonard Calvert II. The next year the Maryland Gazette became the colony’s first newspaper. In 1730 the Assembly provided that one quarter of the clergy’s stipend should be paid in wheat, barley, corn, and oats instead of in tobacco, the usual currency. In 1731 Benjamin Tasker, Daniel Dulany, Dr. Charles Carroll, and two other Carroll brothers founded the Baltimore Iron Works as each contributed ore, lands, or slaves worth £700 sterling. Governor Benedict Leonard Calvert got Dulany on his side by appointing him a vice admiralty judge, attorney general, receiver-general and then commissary-general, two of the highest paid offices; but the next year the House of Delegates voted to expel Dulany along with three others in proprietary offices.
Charles Calvert became the fifth Lord Baltimore in 1732 and went to Maryland in December for the only visit by a proprietor to the province in the 18th century. He approved the issuing of £90,000 in paper currency for 31 years, renewed the expiring quit-rent system, and fixed the fees for officers. Fees and levies, except those of clergy and officers of the state, could be paid in paper money with ten shillings equaling one hundred pounds of tobacco. After Charles Calvert left the province, Samuel Ogle resumed the governorship, which he held until 1742. Dulany and two others who had been expelled were elected to the Assembly in 1734, and Dulany was chosen speaker. The expanding tobacco crop amounted to inflation, and the legislature reduced the crop by requiring the head of each family to burn 150 pounds of their taxables in 1734 and again in 1735. Some persons were prosecuted for refusing to burn tobacco, and the currency quickly depreciated to half its value. Thomas Cresap had been leading raids and reprisals into Pennsylvania for several years, and he fought off a Lancaster posse in January 1732; but in November 1736 the Lancaster sheriff with an armed posse of 24 men captured Cresap as he was fleeing. Attorney General Dulany tried to free him but only got his chains removed. Eventually the Crown ordered the prisoners on both sides of this “Conojacular War” released.
In 1736 the commissions of the receivers were reduced from 25% to 20%. The Assembly learned that by limiting the operation of laws to three years they would have the power to renew them or not. In 1738 a committee on grievances found that tobacco fees paid to the ministers and officers were excessive for tradesmen, artisans, laborers, and others who made no tobacco and that the fees proclaimed in 1733 were illegal. The knowledgeable Dr. Charles Carroll was elected speaker in 1738, and the next year the lower house criticized the Proprietor for his prerogatives and financial privileges, calling him an enemy. Because the Assembly passed no laws in 1739, Governor Ogle called it a convention rather than a legislative session, extending the arms duty he wanted for the war. The following year the Assembly passed one law issuing £2,562 to encourage voluntary enlistments. In 1741 the Assembly funded the sending of more than 300 Marylanders on the Cartagena expedition. Between 1733 and 1751 the proprietor Charles Calvert sent the governors more than twenty instructions. In 1743 he ordered Governor Bladen (1742-47) to reject any bill that would lower the fees and perquisites of the officers.
The London plague of 1665 prevented the tobacco ships from sailing, and only half of Virginia’s supply of tobacco was shipped the next year at very low prices. Worsening relations with the Indians caused the Virginia General Assembly to set strict boundaries and to repeal the law that allowed the English to sell them guns and ammunition. In 1667 Virginia suffered severe storms that included livestock-killing hail, forty days of rain, and a hurricane that destroyed more than 10,000 houses; about three-quarters of the crops were destroyed. The second Anglo-Dutch War that began in 1665 caused Governor Berkeley to require the ships sailing for England to travel in convoys. In June 1667 four Dutch men-of-war and two fire ships destroyed five English ships and captured 13 others in the James River. Virginians built five new forts, but they proved rather ineffective.
In 1666 the General Assembly required each county to establish cloth works so that clothing would be more available without trade. The Governor, Council, and elected House of Burgesses sent the King 300 pounds of silk in 1668 to show the promise of a new industry, but despite the efforts of Edward Digges the skilled labor to make silk profitable was lacking. In 1669 the number of Indian warriors paying tribute to Virginia was 725. The number of natives still living in the expanding colonial territory was about 2,000, reduced from about 30,000 in 60 years by disease, famine, war, and flight into the wilderness. In 1669 the Assembly passed a law that if any slave resisted his master, the latter could not be charged with a felony if the extremity of his correction resulted in death. The next year emancipated African or Indian slaves were prohibited from owning Christian (European) servants.
Servants trying to run away had the terms of their servitude extended to compensate the government for bounties paid to catch them or for other misdemeanors such as giving birth to a child or killing a hog. In 1670 the General Assembly limited suffrage to freeholders and householders, arguing that indentured servants caused problems at the polls and that those without property were not qualified. The same year the General Court at Jamestown ruled it was unlawful for anyone to permit any “jail birds” to enter Virginia, and this was enforced against a merchant the next year. Governor Berkeley reported that in 1671 Virginia had 48,000 inhabitants including 6,000 indentured servants and 2,000 African slaves. Although it had been argued that Africans could be enslaved because they were heathens, now the courts ruled that baptism did not exempt slaves from bondage.
Governor Berkeley wrote to the Commissioners of Foreign Plantations in 1671 to protest the restrictions on Virginians’ commerce; but in 1673 the Parliament added a penny-a-pound duty on plantations shipping tobacco from one colony to another. That year a plague killed more than half the cattle in Virginia, about 50,000. During the third war against the Dutch they destroyed much of the English tobacco fleet in July 1673. The poverty was so great that Berkeley doubted he could rely on the loyalty of one third of the freeman in a foreign war.
Abraham Wood and others had been exploring the western frontier since 1650. In 1673 James Needham and Gabriel Arthur visited a Cherokee town that had 150 war canoes capable of carrying twenty or more men. They learned that the Spaniards in Florida had recently killed ten Cherokees who then stopped trading with them. Occaneechees attacked the traders and killed Needham.
King Charles II had granted to his friends the Northern Neck in 1669, but in 1673 he granted the rest of Virginia lands to Henry Bennett (Earl of Arlington) and Thomas Culpepper. The next year the General Assembly petitioned the King to withdraw the objectionable patents in order to restore the rights and privileges of the English under the Crown. Arlington turned his claims over to Culpepper in 1681, and three years later Culpepper returned his holdings to the King for a twenty-year annuity paid by a poll tax in Virginia. Governor Berkeley allowed the Assembly to continue for 14 years without an election since 1662 and thus was able to maintain despotic control over the government. Berkeley was even glad that Virginia had neither free schools nor a printing press because he believed that learning brought disobedience. When heavy taxes were imposed in 1674, two mutinies were suppressed with difficulty.
In July 1675 some Doeg Indians in Maryland, upset that the wealthy Thomas Mathew had not paid them, stole some of his hogs. The English pursued them, and while recovering the hogs they killed some of the Doegs. A war party then killed Mathew’s overseer, Robert Hen. Virginia militia led by Col. George Mason and Major George Brent crossed the Potomac into Maryland and captured and killed a Doeg chief. Other Indians were surrounded in two cabins, and ten Doegs were killed in one. Fourteen coming out of the other were shot before Mason realized they were friendly Susquehannocks. On August 31 Governor Berkeley ordered Col. John Washington and Major Isaac Allerton to gather militia officers and investigate. Instead they wrote a letter to the Maryland government asking for militia and a meeting.
Nathaniel Bacon Jr. was born on 2 January 1647 in Suffolk. He withdrew from Cambridge University, and he came to Virginia in 1674 with £1,800. His cousin Nathaniel Bacon Sr. recommended him, and Berkeley appointed him to the Council. Berkeley’s orders were being ignored in the west, and in September 1675 Bacon seized friendly Appomatocks for stealing corn in Henrico County. Berkeley reprimanded him for his unauthorized act.
Col. John Washington with 1,000 soldiers from Virginia and Maryland surrounded a fort containing 100 Susquehannocks and besieged them for seven weeks, but some escaped one night and killed ten English guards who were sleeping. After the English had lost 50 men in such attacks, five starving chiefs came out to negotiate peace. Washington and Allerton accused the Susquehannock chiefs of murder. They claimed that the Senecas were responsible, but the chiefs were killed. Virginians blamed Major Thomas Trueman and the Marylanders, and they blamed the Virginians. The Maryland assembly punished Trueman with a small fine.
In January 1676 Susquehannocks killed or captured 36 people by the falls of the Rappahannock and Potomac rivers, and one of these was Bacon’s overseer. Those captured were tortured to death for having murdered the five chiefs. Then the Susquehannocks sent Governor Berkeley a peace proposal which was rejected, but Berkeley ordered Henry Chicheley to disband his force and had the outlying planters draw together with ten men in each house. He believed that King Philip’s War (Metacom’s War) had begun in New England in 1675 because they kept taking more of the Indians’ land. He feared a general Indian war in the colonies. Many Senecas had moved south and taken refuge in a fort of the Piscataways, and this drove the Susquehannocks into Maryland and Virginia. This war with fewer Indians was worse for the colonists than in 1644 because the Indians had become skilled in the use of firearms. Berkeley and his greedy friends had traded guns and ammunition for valuable beaver and otter skins. By the time the Assembly met in March nearly 300 Virginians had been killed. Berkeley ordered ammunition confiscated from subject Indians, and the Assembly declared war on all Indians who did not provide hostages as security. They decreed the death penalty for anyone selling arms or ammunition to any Indians, and unauthorized trade was prohibited. They raised an army of 500 men, and heavy taxes were imposed to build eight more forts. Some believed that this defensive posture failed to protect the plantations.
Nathaniel Bacon was a trader and resented being excluded, and he blamed Berkeley for favoring his friends. Bacon was not given a commission, but on the frontier many recognized him as the general of the volunteers. He wanted to extirpate the Indians and offered to pay for all the costs of the campaign. The Susquehannocks had moved into southern Virginia where the Occaneechees led by Chief Persicles forced them into two forts. Persicles had been friendly to the English, and the Occaneechees helped Bacon capture and kill some Susquehannocks. He demanded food for his men. When he did not get it, he attacked the Occaneechees. Persicles fought back and was killed. Some criticized Bacon for killing, enslaving, and scaring away friendly Indians. Bacon wanted to exterminate the Indians, and he claimed that his band killed 150 while only losing three men. This made him a hero to the frightened colonists. When people petitioned Berkeley to commission someone to lead the fight against the Indians, the Governor not only refused to do so but also prohibited such petitions with severe penalties.
On May 10 Governor Berkeley declared Bacon a rebel and removed him from the Council, and he dissolved the long Assembly, proclaiming new elections. Bacon led an attack on three Indian forts. At the Henrico County election meeting Bacon would not allow the sheriff to read the proclamations from the Governor and his Council. Bacon and his lieutenant James Crewes were elected as burgesses. In the Assembly that met in June the Governor believed that all but eight of the burgesses were in Bacon’s faction. Bacon arrived with 50 armed men and met with his chief supporters William Drummond and Richard Lawrence in Jamestown. The next morning Berkeley had Captain Thomas Gardner arrest Bacon. This aroused hundreds of people to come to Jamestown to free him.
In the House of Burgesses the rebel Bacon on bended knee asked for a pardon from the Governor who forgave him and those with him and restored his seat on the Council. Bacon later said that the people dispersed because the Burgesses had made him general. Bacon left for Henrico County and came back on June 23 with 600 men, demanding a commission from Governor Berkeley who denounced him as a rebel but then granted him a commission as general of volunteers to fight the Indians. Then Bacon demanded to be general of all the forces in Virginia; but Berkeley refused until Bacon’s men aimed their firearms at the Burgesses. The rebels opposed raising a thousand men by taxation. The Assembly passed several laws that included a wider suffrage to freemen for electing burgesses and vestries. Individuals were prohibited from functioning in more than one office, and some of Berkeley’s friends were imprisoned. A law was also passed enabling Bacon and others who caught enemy Indians to make them slaves for life, and this law was reenacted in 1679.
After the bills were signed, Bacon went out to fight the Indians. He recruited men and supplies, threatening or plundering any magistrates who opposed them. A petition from Gloucester County questioned Bacon’s commission and asked for protection against the Indians; but many suspected the troops raised would be used against Bacon and refused to volunteer. Berkeley summoned recruits from York; but only a hundred showed up, and half favored the rebels. Bacon with 600 infantry and 700 cavalry marched into Middle Plantation on 29 July 1676, and Berkeley fled across Chesapeake Bay to Accomack County. The next day Bacon issued his “Declaration of the People” protesting unjust taxes, favoritism in high places, the Governor’s monopoly of the beaver trade, his countermanding the order in January to have Chicheley fight the Indians, his opposition to Bacon’s command, and his “forging” the Gloucester petition to cause civil war. Bacon ordered Berkeley and his followers to surrender within four days or be declared traitors and have their estates confiscated.
On August 1 Bacon sent Giles Bland and Captain William Carver with 300 men to take over ships in the James River. Bacon held a convention at Captain Otho Thorpe’s house, and everyone there agreed not to help Berkeley; but Bacon also wanted them to resist troops from England until their cause could be heard by the King. A long discussion ensued until a gunner from the fort on York River reported that Berkeley had taken their guns for his ship. Seventy men on August 3 signed a declaration accusing Berkeley of fomenting civil war and opposing Bacon’s efforts against the Indians. Officers were sent out to administer Bacon’s oath to freemen, and newly elected burgesses were to report in September.
Bacon then led his forces against the Indians, but his army got bogged down in the Great Dragon Swamp where the Pamunkeys had taken refuge. The Queen of Pamunkey was a descendant of Opechancanough and the widow of Totopotomoi. She had offered the English only twelve warriors and ordered her people not to fight. Bacon with 1,000 men captured 45 Pamunkeys, but she reported that they killed only eight.
The English Captain Thomas Larrimore, who had been allowed by Bland to stay on his ship, sent a message to Governor Berkeley, and together their forces managed to take over the fleet and capture Bland and Carver. With the fleet and 600 men Berkeley sailed back to Jamestown. He recruited soldiers by promising them the estates of the rebels.
Bacon offered freedom to servants and slaves who would join his army. To provide protection while they built fortifications he had several wives of prominent Virginians captured and placed on the ramparts until the work was done. These included the wife of his cousin Nathaniel Bacon Sr. After Berkeley retreated from Jamestown, Bacon entered the town on September 19 and had it burned that night. Drummond and Lawrence began the conflagration by torching their own homes. Col. Giles Brent in the north had raised a thousand men for the Governor, but now they went home or over to the rebels.
Bacon caught dysentery from exposure and died on 26 October 1676. Joseph Ingram became commander of the rebels, but he was not as skilled at organizing a government with law and order. Many abandoned the rebel cause, but 600 men from Gloucester surrendered to the rebels. Berkeley pardoned most, even offering to pay men for their service under Bacon’s commission, and one by one he captured, tried by court martial, and hanged rebel leaders. Ingram surrendered on 16 January 1677, and by the end of the month the rebellion was over. Eighty slaves and twenty English servants refused to surrender, but they were captured and returned to their owners.
The royal commissioners John Berry and Col. Francis Moryson arrived on January 29, and two weeks later came Col. Herbert Jeffries, the third commissioner, whom King Charles II had appointed lieutenant governor to replace Berkeley. The King also sent a thousand soldiers in eleven ships and a letter ordering Berkeley to return to England. The royal proclamation offered all rebels except Bacon a pardon if they surrendered within twenty days. Berkeley reluctantly published it but added his own provision excluding 18 rebels from the pardon. The Assembly was meeting, and Jeffries agreed to let Berkeley govern until he departed at his convenience. The Assembly repealed all the “Bacon laws” that had been passed the previous June. As the Governor had already hanged 14 rebels before the arrival of the commissioners, the Assembly participated in the court martial of nine more who were hanged. Others who had seized property of loyalists were fined, imprisoned, banished, and had their estates confiscated. Berkeley had been seizing goods and refurbished his estate at Green Spring. In April the commissioners complained that he failed to give an account, and the Assembly ordered Berkeley to stop hanging rebels.
Anyone writing or speaking anything “tending to rebellion” could be pilloried, branded, whipped, or fined, and the Assembly prohibited more than five people with arms from meeting. The punishments had a chilling effect on the reporting of grievances that were supposed to be submitted to the commissioners. They complained that Berkeley had not made peace with the Indians, and finally Jeffries announced that he was taking control as governor. Berkeley left Virginia on 5 May 1677 and became so ill that he could not even report to the King before he died.
The commissioners and councilors met with several Indian chiefs, and on May 29, the King’s birthday, they announced a new treaty that recognized the Indians as subjects of King Charles II and granted them legal title to their lands. The two commissioners left in July, and Jeffries suffered illness during the hot summer. After elections the Assembly met at Otho Thorpe’s house in October. The councilors were still suing their enemies to get their property, and they imposed a heavy poll tax that especially burdened the poor. Those seeking redress for grievances were punished. Although the King had revoked Berkeley’s provisions, his royal proclamation of general pardon was not published until October 26.
Charles II had appointed Thomas Culpeper the governor of Virginia in July 1675, and this became effective in July 1677 after Berkeley’s death; but the King’s aristocratic friend did not arrive in Virginia until May 1680. Jeffries died in December 1678 and was succeeded by the elderly Henry Chicheley. He tried to govern impartially, and the elections in the spring of 1679 were considered more honest. Governor Culpeper and the Council approved the Burgesses’ nomination of Major Robert Beverley as clerk of the Assembly even though the King had disqualified him from office. Beverley drafted a law that all trade must pass through a port with a warehouse in all twenty counties. When the ports were not ready, Beverley sued people for loading their cargoes in the usual way, seizing tobacco for himself and the King. Beverley acquired much tobacco before the King suspended the act. In June a law was passed to prevent a slave insurrection. Africans were not allowed on another plantation for more than four hours without permission from the owner or overseer. Culpeper adjourned the Assembly and sailed for England on 11 August 1680 to buy out the other owners of the proprietary charters for Virginia, and he did so the following summer. On the Virginia frontier 4,000 Seneca warriors were troublesome, and the colony had 15,000 indentured servants and 3,000 African slaves.
Because the price of tobacco had fallen so low, the Governor Culpeper joined the Assembly in petitioning the King for a cessation of tobacco planting in Virginia, Maryland, and Carolina in 1681. Major Beverley persuaded acting governor Chicheley to summon the Virginia Assembly in April 1682, but Culpeper sent word not to convene the Assembly until November. The Burgesses wanted to enact a cessation of tobacco planting; but when Chicheley prorogued them, they voted to read the journal to the disappointed people in each county. Tobacco plant cutting began in Gloucester County, and two people were arrested. Even when the militia stopped the cutting in the daytime, it went on at night and spread to New Kent and Middlesex counties. Beverley, who had extra tobacco to sell, was arrested as the instigator and was not released for two years.
Neither King Charles II nor the colony wanted to pay the royal troops, and in June they were disbanded. In November the Assembly ordered the useless forts and garrisons disbanded, but Culpeper did not arrive until December. He had two leading plant cutters hanged but pardoned a third who was only 19 years old. Culpeper had been ordered in June to grant a cessation of planting for the good of the colony; but he did not act on it so that the royal Exchequer could gain another £50,000. When he returned to England without the King’s permission in August 1683, Charles II cancelled his lifetime appointment. Culpeper finally sold his proprietary rights in Virginia to the Crown in May 1684 for a pension of £600 a year. He had doubled his salary to £2,000 and had gained another thousand by excepting himself from the change he made in the currency.
Governor Francis Howard of Effingham arrived in February 1684, and he summoned the Assembly in April. The Burgesses protested after his announcement that King Charles II had repealed the law which allowed judicial appeals to the Assembly. The Burgesses also complained about the King’s veto power over their laws. Effingham went to New York for two months during the heat of the summers, and in July he and New York’s Governor Dongan agreed to a peace treaty with the Five Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy at Albany.
Charles II died and was succeeded by his brother James in February 1685, but the Council of Virginia did not react to the change until May 1686. James II got the Parliament to raise the import duty on tobacco from two pence to five pence per pound. Effingham, like James, was Catholic, and he replaced several officials with Catholics. The 1685 Assembly resisted his attempt to take over their control of taxation, and they refused to repeal the 1662 law that would have quadrupled quit-rents by ending payments in tobacco. In October the Governor forbade all seditious discourses. He reported the “tumultuous” Assembly of 1685 and stopped submitting the petitions from the Burgesses to the King who ordered the Assembly dissolved in November 1686. In April 1687 James II issued his first Declaration of Liberty of Conscience for religious denominations in England, Scotland, and the colonies so that Catholics would be relieved. A year later Effingham informed the Burgesses that the oath of allegiance and supremacy was no longer required, but all the members except one Catholic took the oath of supremacy anyway.
Governor Effingham removed Col. Philip Ludwell from the Council in 1687, but he was elected to the House of Burgesses the next year. The Governor refused to let him take his seat and also removed the clerk Thomas Milner and William Sherwood. The Burgesses sent Ludwell as their agent with a petition to the King, and he would be well received by the new king William III. The Burgesses protested the excessive fees that the Governor had imposed, particularly the 200 pounds of tobacco charged for affixing the royal seal to patents and other documents. Howard of Effingham dissolved the Assembly in May 1688 and left for England the following February. In 1688 James II had granted the Northern Neck to Culpeper, and Philip Ludwell acted as agent for his heirs.
During the oppressive administrations of Culpeper and Effingham, the Assembly had lost its rights to rule on judicial appeals, to elect their own clerk, and to control certain revenues. The news of the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and the accession of King William and Queen Mary was greeted with jubilation in Virginia when acting governor Nathaniel Bacon Sr. made the announcement on 26 April 1689.
King William III kept Howard of Effingham in England and appointed Captain Francis Nicholson lieutenant governor of Virginia. Nicholson had held that office in the Dominion of New England under Edmund Andros; but he had been driven out of New York, and Andros had been imprisoned. Nicholson took the oath of office in June 1690 and called the Assembly to meet the following April. Virginia’s General Assembly passed the Act for the More Effectual Suppressing of Swearing, Cursing, Profaning God’s Holy Name, Sabbath Abusing, Drunkenness, Fornication, and Adultery, and interracial marriages were prohibited. They appointed a committee to plan the College of William and Mary, and the Scottish minister James Blair was sent to London to appeal for funds. Nicholson offered prizes to bachelors for contests in riding, running, shooting, wrestling, and fencing.
In 1692 Effingham resigned and was replaced by Edmund Andros as Governor of Virginia, and Nicholson was transferred to Maryland. Andros arrived in September, and the General Assembly met in March 1693. They gave the Governor and Council the right to raise and equip forces for defense from the public levy in an emergency. In 1695 the Assembly reluctantly agreed to send £500 to aid New York, but a duty on liquor prevented a heavier poll tax. The foundation for the College of William and Mary was laid in August 1695, and the architect Christopher Wren drew up the plans. Governor Andros removed Commissary James Blair from the Council in 1694, and the next year Blair strongly criticized Andros for diminishing the royal revenues and provoking hostility among the Indian chiefs, one of whom cut his own throat in the Governor’s kitchen.
In May 1698 Governor Andros resigned, and he was succeeded by Col. Francis Nicholson in December. The Assembly began meeting at the new college in Williamsburg and extended the benefits of the Act of Toleration to Virginia, though the Governor did not publicly announce it until 1703. In 1699 a law was passed imposing a penalty of five shillings on anyone who did not attend church at least once in two months. In 1700 French Huguenot refugees began settling at the deserted Indian village of Manakin Town. For a generation many continued to speak French, but most of the children married into English families.
In 1703 Governor Nicholson went to New York and gave them his own bills of exchange for £900 they expected from Virginia as their defense quota. Queen Anne later sent the sum from Virginia quit-rents. Nicholson strengthened Virginia’s defenses and fought pirates, being aboard the Shoreham man-of-war in April 1700 when it defeated the pirates on the ship La Paix. He turned the £4,600 debt in the royal revenue to a surplus of £10,000 by 1702 by making government more efficient and eliminating abuses. After the House of Burgesses Speaker Robert Carter was elected to serve as Treasurer as well, that office gave the Assembly more control over the colonial purse. Nicholson had ruled in Morocco with dictatorial methods, and many Virginians resented his hot temper. He was also criticized for his unrequited efforts to win over the daughter of Lewis Burwell and his threats and acts of revenge against other suitors and her relatives. In 1703 James Blair, Philip Ludlow, and four other councilors petitioned Queen Anne to recall Nicholson, but the Governor took his case to the House of Burgesses who voted in his favor. England’s Attorney General Edward Northey ruled that parish vestries have the right to choose their own ministers; but if a parish was vacant for more than six months, the governor could collate a minister.
In March 1705 Queen Anne appointed George Hamilton governor-in-chief, the first of many who collected his salary without entering the colony. Major Edward Nott was sent as lieutenant governor. Nott arrived in August and had Commissary Blair call a convocation of the clergy. Virginia had a church in every parish, but not every church had a minister. Those who preached against the vices of an important man might lose their salary. Tobacco production was still excessive, and in April 1706 nearly 300 ships sailed for England; but the Board of Trade feared that manufacturing in Virginia would cause unemployment in England, and they ordered Governor Nott to discourage the planting of cotton and flax. Nott died of fever in August, and Lt. Col. Robert Hunter was appointed; but he was captured by the French on the high seas and ended up as Governor of New York in 1710. Edmund Jenings as president of the Council acted as governor in Virginia until Col. Alexander Spotswood arrived in June.
Governor Alexander Spotswood (1710-22) brought relief from long imprisonment by bringing Virginians the right of habeas corpus. In gratitude the Burgesses appropriated up to £2,000 pounds to complete the governor’s palace. In July 1711 he sent the militia to help Governor Hyde of North Carolina. They captured Thomas Cary and other rebel leaders and shipped them to England to be tried for treason. Spotswood learned that more than a dozen parishes did not have ministers, and he saw to it that six years later only two lacked a minister. The importation of slaves and the output of tobacco were slowed down by increasing the duty on importing slaves from £1 to £5 a head. In 1713 the Tobacco Act established forty inspectorships worth £250 a year, and 29 of the 51 burgesses plus four close relatives were appointed. By eliminating the trash tobacco, the price of the tobacco went up, increasing the value of public salaries and rents paid in tobacco.
In March 1713 the South Carolina militia drove the Tuscaroras north of the Roanoke River into Virginia. The House of Burgesses appropriated £20,000 for a war against the Tuscaroras even though the Crown was sure to veto the taxes on British imports. The Saponi in Virginia and other tribes related to the Sioux were traditional enemies of the Iroquois. Yet in 1714 Governor Spotswood managed to settle the Saponi group south of the Meherrin River near the Iroquoian Nottoways and the remaining Tuscaroras as a barrier against the Tuscaroras still in North Carolina. The Indian Act of 1714 gave the Virginia Indian Company a monopoly for twenty years on trade south of the James River, and anyone could participate by investing. All the tributary Indians in Virginia were required to sell their goods on the open market at Christanna on the Meherrin River. The Company built a school for Indian children, and Spotswood paid Charles Griffin to teach. In August 1715 Virginia sent 160 muskets and 118 men to help South Carolina fight the Yamasees. South Carolina was supposed to pay them and send as many slaves to replace them in the work force; but because they never did, Virginia ignored a second appeal.
In 1715 only sixteen incumbent burgesses were re-elected, and Spotswood’s opponent Daniel McCarty was chosen as speaker. Spotswood did not transfer the treasurership from Peter Beverley which usually went to the speaker, and some complained that the tax surplus was not in the marketplace. In 1715 Virginia had about 95,000 people, including 23,000 African slaves. In 1716 Governor Spotswood led the adventurers trekking west across the Appalachian Mountains to found Germanna by the Rappahannock River.
In April 1717 some Mohawk warriors killed five of the Christian Indians in Griffin’s school, also wounding two and capturing five. Spotswood compensated the Indians under English protection and blamed those trading illegally with the Tuscaroras for informing the Mohawks that the Indians at the fort were unarmed. The Tobacco Act and the Indian Act were repealed by King George for restraining trade, and Griffin moved the Indian school to the College of William and Mary where the governors and visitors granted £1,000 to teach 77 Indians about Christianity. On September 7 Spotswood offended many when he made a very critical speech to the burgesses and dissolved the Assembly.
In May 1718 Governor Burnet of New York reported that Captain Teach (Blackbeard) and Major Stede Bonnet had four vessels with 700 pirates raiding ships along the coast. Lt. Robert Maynard in November with two vessels attacked and boarded Blackbeard’s sloop, killing Teach and nine of his men while losing eleven men with 23 wounded. Fifteen captives were taken to Williamsburg where thirteen were convicted and hanged. The elections of 1718 were unfavorable to Spotswood, and McCarty continued as speaker. The Burgesses’ advocate William Byrd II returned from England to his position on the Council in 1719. In December 1720 Spotswood persuaded the House of Burgesses to petition King George for a naval force. In 1721 parts of three counties were used to establish Spotsylvania County in the Rappahannock basin in order to secure the frontier. They provided £1,000 for military supplies, £500 for building, and inhabitants were free of taxes for ten years. Witnesses testified before the Board of Trade in July that the lands in settled Virginia were worn out because tobacco can only grow for three years on any land.
Col. Spotswood was removed as governor in April 1722. In the next four months he patented 85,000 acres of land in Spotsylvania for himself and more than that for his friends. He traveled to Albany in August, and the treaty strengthened the covenant chain with the Six Nations and banned the Iroquois from entering Virginia south of the Potomac River or east of the Blue Ridge mountains. The Virginia tribes were required to stay on the other side of these lines unless they got a passport from the Governor of Virginia. Only groups of less than ten Iroquois could travel in western Virginia territory by getting a permit from the Governor of New York. Those violating this treaty could be killed or sold in the West Indies as slaves. After two years developing the ironworks at Germanna, Spotswood went to England in 1724 to secure special tax exemptions on his land. He returned to Virginia as deputy postmaster general in 1730, and he held that office until 1739. Major General Spotswood had volunteered to lead the Cartagena expedition, but he died at Annapolis on 7 June 1740.
Hugh Drysdale became the next governor and arrived in Williamsburg on 25 September 1722. He immediately gained public approval by handling a slave conspiracy that had been uncovered. In May 1723 the Assembly approved a law to transport conspirators, and in trials of slaves for capital crimes they permitted Africans and Indians to testify. Free Africans lost their right to vote. From 1718 to 1727 traders imported 11,051 African slaves into Virginia. In June 1724 pirates led by Don Benito captured three ships including one coming from Africa to Virginia with 175 African slaves.
A stint act in 1723 limited tobacco production to 10,000 plants a year for each householder or 6,000 for each tithable on the same farm. A drought followed by a storm in 1724 ruined the tobacco crop, destroying 34,000 harvested hogsheads, and the next year also provided only a low yield; but Virginia’s tobacco production recovered and averaged about 27 million pounds per year. In May 1726 the Assembly enacted a duty on liquors, except those directly from Britain, in order to reduce the poll tax and support the College of William of Mary.
Governor Drysdale died of illness in July 1727, and William Gooch arrived in September. He would serve as Virginia’s governor for the next 22 years. Gooch continued the system of large land grants, and in 1728 the western county of Goochland was established. When Spotswood came back from England in 1730, a rumor spread that he had a royal order to free all the Christian slaves. An insurrection in Norfolk and Princess Anne counties was suppressed, but six weeks later 200 slaves planned a rebellion on a Sunday. The plot was discovered; four leaders were executed, and many were punished. Virginians also worried about indentured convicts increasing the crime problem, and in 1730 the Assembly enacted the death penalty for unlawfully burning any storehouse or other house or for stealing goods from a warehouse.
In 1730 Governor Gooch got a tobacco bill passed that established public warehouses for inspection and bonding, destroyed the tobacco of poor quality, standardized hogsheads, maintained records to curtail smuggling, and circulated warehouse receipts as legal tender. The law limiting tobacco planting was repealed. Warehouses were built on the land of seven burgesses, and five others resigned from the House to become inspectors. In May 1731 Gooch wrote a memorial arguing that the new law would increase production by encouraging rich and poor farmers to plant more and that the higher quality tobacco would do better in the foreign market. The Board of Trade approved, but their decision did not reach Virginia until August. Farmers in the Northern Neck, where the Orinoco tobacco was of lower quality, rioted by burning five warehouses. Nevertheless its opponents in the Assembly rallied behind the act.
When the Corotoman Creek inspector Joseph Carter was accused of abuses in October 1732, the Lancaster County militia became mutinous; but Governor Gooch investigated and was recognized for making fair decisions. He published a pamphlet called A Dialogue Between Thomas Sweet-Scented, William Orinoco, Planters, both men of good Understanding, and Justice Love-Country, who can speak for himself. The Justice explains that by burning the trash tobacco the quality of the product is improved and will bring more profits for the rich and poor. John Randolph went to London and argued for Robert Walpole’s proposed excise tax on tobacco in order to prevent fraud and increase royal revenue. Gooch reported to the Assembly that he was instructed not to approve any duty on the importation of slaves so as not to reduce the profits from tobacco. In 1733 Virginia recorded that they had a population of 88,000 Europeans and 42,000 Africans. By then tobacco prices had increased to over two pence per pound.
In 1731 the British House of Commons prohibited trade between the American colonies and foreign sugar islands, and Governor Gooch wrote a well argued complaint. The House of Lords rejected the bill, but in 1733 Parliament passed the infamous Molasses Act. William Parks in 1736 began publishing Virginia’s first newspaper, the weekly Virginia Gazette. The elections that year replaced 70% of the burgesses who had voted for the tobacco inspection act. They voted to repeal it and increased the property requirement for the franchise to owning 100 acres or 25 acres with a house and plantation. Speaker John Randolph had died, and John Robinson Jr. was chosen and would hold that office for the next 28 years. He and Isham Randolph worked to bring back delegates to support the tobacco act in the next nine by-elections.
George Whitefield was the most famous of the itinerant preachers who visited Virginia in the late 1730s, and their ideas were often referred to as New Light. A bricklayer named Samuel Morris began reading sermons and religious commentaries by Luther, Whitefield, and others. They were so popular that they established the Morris Reading-House. In 1743 William Robinson organized some of these groups into Presbyterian congregations. Their doctrines included a conviction of being in a sinful state, the experience of conversion, and choosing their own ministers so that they could reject the hypocrites without a true calling.
In May 1740 the Assembly enacted a law that authorized £5,000 and impressing persons for Virginia’s quota of 400 troops in what became King George’s War in 1744. Spotswood proposed an intercolonial American force of 3,000 men. When he died during preparations, Gooch assumed command of the expedition to Cartagena where the entrenched Spaniards and the yellow fever wiped out half their force. Gooch was crippled by a cannon ball and suffered the rest of his life. In 1738 Robert Dinwiddie became surveyor general of customs and was given a place on the Council. The Council objected, but the Board of Trade overruled them in 1741. The next year Governor Gooch sent Captain William Dandridge with some troops to help defend Georgia against a Spanish invasion. The Assembly enacted a law keeping the fees of lawyers within limits.
In 1629 Charles I granted the region between the north latitudes of 36 and 31 to Robert Heath as a refuge for Huguenots; but no major attempt was made to colonize between Virginia and Florida until 1653 when a few settlers began moving into the northern region along the northern shore of Albemarle Sound. On 24 March 1663 Charles II granted the colony of Carolina to eight of his supporters—Edward Hyde (Earl of Clarendon), George Monck (Duke of Albemarle), William Craven, John and William Berkeley, Anthony Ashley-Cooper (later Earl of Shaftesbury), George Carteret, and John Colleton who initiated the project. To annul the Heath charter, the proprietors got another charter two years later extending the boundaries half a degree in the north and two degrees in the south, taking in the Spanish town of San Agustin. A few Spanish missions stretched from St. Helena to San Agustin and westward in the territory of the Guale Indians. The proprietors ordered maps and invited colonists from New England and Barbados to move to Carolina. In the summer Captain William Hilton explored the coast from St. Helena Sound and Parris Island to Cape Fear. In October 1664 Virginia governor William Berkeley appointed William Drummond to govern Albemarle, and he was given a monopoly on the fur trade as compensation.
To encourage colonization the proprietors issued the “Concessions and Agreements” which was later used for New Jersey. John Yeamans and his son William organized 90 Barbadian planters, and in October 1665 they left Barbados and settled at the mouth of Cape Fear. Lt. Col. Robert Sandford explored the southern coast and left Dr. Henry Woodward there to learn the native languages. Spaniards captured Woodward and took him to San Agustin where he lived with a priest and eventually escaped with a pirate. The settlement at Cape Fear was abandoned in 1667.
Ashley had his young secretary, John Locke, draft the “Fundamental Constitutions” for Carolina that were influenced by the writings of James Harrington and were signed in July 1669. Two-fifths of the land was to be owned by the proprietors and hereditary nobility with the rest for the freeholders. No one was allowed to be paid for advocating in court. The right to a jury trial was guaranteed, though the verdict was by majority vote. Freedom of conscience was also protected, but the colony could establish the Church of England. One had to acknowledge God to own property and join a church to be protected by the law, but seven people could form a church. Every freeman had to swear fidelity to the king and the proprietors who promised to preserve the rights of Englishmen. Although people had to sign the “Fundamental Constitutions” to own land, the Assembly never did adopt them despite several efforts over the next thirty years. At the first meeting of the proprietors in October 1669 John Berkeley as the oldest was recognized as Palatine. He deputized former governor Samuel Stephens who died in December and was replaced by Albemarle resident Peter Carteret.
Each proprietor was to have a deputy in the colony and was to contribute £500, and three ships commanded by Joseph West sailed in August 1669. One ship was wrecked, and some of the stranded people died. The Carolina with Governor William Sayle entered the harbor that eventually became Charleston on the last day of March 1670. The Three Brothers landed to the south on St. Catherines Island for water on May 15; eight persons were killed by Indians, and a few men were taken by friars to San Agustin. The others found Sayle’s group on May 23. Sayle sent Captain Joseph Bailey and three vessels, but the Spaniards kept Bailey imprisoned for more than two years.
England and Spain in 1870 agreed to a treaty that territory in America was to be based on effective occupation. Sayle had brought three African slaves to Carolina, and the “Fundamental Constitutions” protected slave ownership. He got their first law passed that regulated the Sabbath. Sayle chose Joseph West as his successor before he died on 4 March 1671. In February 110 Barbadians had arrived, and later in the year 96 settlers came from New York. Woodward helped develop the fur trade at Charles Town. Large numbers of deer were slaughtered for their skins, and Indian captives from tribal wars were traded as slaves.
Charles Town held elections in July 1671, and John Yeamans was chosen as speaker. He tried to replace West as governor; but West refused to quit and called a new election that confirmed him. In April 1672 a commission arrived and proclaimed Yeamans governor. West was removed because he was a commoner; but the proprietors made him a cacique and later a landgrave. The proprietor Ashley urged the councilors to have votes equal to the governor’s, and they held the power as the upper house. The elected Assembly did not allow the proprietors’ deputies a vote. They tried to get along with the Cusabos and Coosas, but the latter stole corn, provoking the Council to declare war on them in September 1671. Captives were sold as slaves for the benefit of the soldiers. The next year the proprietors forbade enslaving Indians, but this was ignored. In 1673 the Council authorized an attack on the Westos and the Coosas; but the next year they made an alliance with the Westos that promoted the trade for deerskins, furs, and Indian slaves. Ashley insisted that they pay the Indians for their lands, and in March 1675 the Coosas ceded territory for cloth, hatchets, beads, and tools. Woodward was so helpful with Indian relations that the proprietors sent him £120 and refused to let him come to England.
Indentured Europeans could be kept in servitude for seven years and were then given land, tools, and clothes. The Barbadian settlers in Carolina imported more slaves from the West Indies than other colonies. They had to rely on imported food until they had their first good harvest in 1674. They experimented with cotton, indigo, sugar cane, ginger, vines, olive and citrus trees, but only indigo was successful. Cattle multiplied, and they exported meat. From the pine forests they made pitch, tar, and other naval stores as well as lumber.
Governor John Yeamans died in August 1674, and the more capable Joseph West became governor for the next eight years. In 1677 the proprietors claimed a monopoly on the trade with the Westos and Kasihtas. The traders became so angry that they got into a war with the Westos that destroyed their nation and ended the proprietary monopoly. By 1679 the proprietors had invested £18,000, and the debts were large. In 1680 the settlement of Charles Town moved to the present location of Charleston. The religious Dissenter Joseph Morton became governor in May 1682. The proprietors promoted emigration, and in the next three years 500 English Presbyterians and Baptists settled near Charles Town in Colleton County. The Spaniards forced their Indians to move, and in 1684 the Yamasees settled near Port Royal. Those licensed as privateers during wars often turned to piracy after the wars ended, and trading with pirates provided gold and silver.
Scots led by Lord Cardross arrived and lived at Stuart’s Town. They forbade traders from Charles Town to pass through their territory, and Cardross even arrested Woodward on an expedition to the Creeks. The Scots also attacked Spaniards, and Cardross instigated the Yamasees to raid the Timucuan mission. In response 150 Spaniards and Indian allies destroyed Stuart’s Town in August 1686. They marched toward Charles Town, but a hurricane led them to withdraw. Charles Town organized a revenge campaign; but the new governor James Colleton arrived in November and stopped it because England and Spain were at peace. Woodward explored as far west as the Chattahoochee River and had 150 Indians bring back loads of furs, beginning a lucrative trade with Creeks (Muskogees) that soon exported 50,000 deerskins annually. The Creeks numbered about 10,000 and included the Ocheses, Talapoosas, Coosas, and Alabamas. During the reign of James II (1685-88) the proprietors and Colleton tried to stop the piracy and traders’ abuse of the Indians, and more effort was made to enforce the navigation laws by collecting customs. The Barbadians living by Goose Creek formed an anti-proprietary party to protect their profits and oppose efforts to stop trading involving Indian slaves and pirates. The number of Africans in Carolina increased from 200 in 1680 to 1,500 in 1690.
In 1672 Albemarle’s only Quaker resident was visited by the preachers William Edmundson and George Fox. That year the Albemarle Assembly passed 54 laws and limited the sale of rum to 25 pounds of tobacco per gallon; but this was repealed the next year so that traders could make more profit to purchase other needed commodities. Settlers protested their rent being raised to a penny per acre, and they objected to the navigation laws and customs duties. After the Assembly gained control of the Council by adding five new members, Carteret resigned and sailed for England in 1673. Col. John Jenkins became governor in May. Captain Zack Gilliam arrived in a ship with arms in 1676, and they fought the Meherrin Indians for a year. Governor Jenkins had arrested Thomas Miller for sedition, and in May the Assembly deposed Jenkins and imprisoned him. Assembly speaker Thomas Eastchurch and Miller went to England, and in November the proprietors appointed Eastchurch governor. He was delayed by an attractive lady on the island of Nevis and made Miller his deputy. Miller prosecuted the Indian war to victory and appointed deputies in every precinct to collect export taxes.
Miller arbitrarily selected assemblymen, imposed fines, and put a price on wanted men’s heads. George Durant believed that government should be by the consent of the governed, and he rebelled. In December 1677 Durant arrived on the Carolina with Gilliam who refused to pay tax on tobacco from London. Miller went aboard with pistols to arrest Durant, and this provoked a popular revolt led by John Culpeper. With forty armed men they arrested Miller, Timothy Biggs, and two other deputies and put them in irons. They seized the public records and organized a free parliament. Eastchurch had arrived in nearby Virginia, and a force was raised to keep him away. Eastchurch fell ill and died in Virginia, but Biggs escaped and made it to Virginia and England. Culpeper’s government respected the King and the proprietors. Biggs, though a Quaker, wanted the proprietors to use force. They sent the new proprietor Seth Sothel to govern, but Algerian pirates captured him. Then the proprietors appointed John Harvey as governor, but he had sympathy for the popular revolt and made Durant attorney general. Miller escaped, went to England, and got Culpeper arrested for rebellion and embezzling customs, but a London jury acquitted Culpeper.
In February 1681 the proprietors appointed Henry Wilkerson as Governor of Albemarle and instructed him to choose for his Council four men who were not involved in the recent revolt. Sothel was ransomed from the Turks and in 1683 sailed to take over the government at Albemarle. The proprietor John Archdale had become a Quaker and was in Albemarle; he governed in 1686 while Sothel was away. After Archdale left, Sothel became tyrannical, arresting Durant and seizing his estate. During the revolution of 1688 Durant and Thomas Pollock captured Governor Sothel, and in 1689 the Assembly convicted Sothel of oppression, extortion, and taking bribes.
In 1688 the Virginia council referred to Albemarle as North Carolina, and in December 1689 the proprietors commissioned Philip Ludwell as governor of the area north and east of Cape Fear. Captain John Gibbs challenged Ludwell the following June. They both went to London, and the proprietors confirmed Ludwell. The palatine Craven appointed Ludwell governor of all Carolina in November 1691, and he let the acting governor Thomas Jarvis continue and later appointed Thomas Harvey. When Ludwell was in Albemarle, he governed himself. In November 1693 he proclaimed that the Great Deed meant that lands in Albemarle were subject to the same quit-rents as in Virginia, only a farthing an acre. John Archdale became governor in August 1695 and reformed the court system in 1696. He left for England in October and never returned. His deputy Joseph Blake governed until September 1700. Harvey served as his deputy governor until his death in July 1699. The “Fundamental Constitutions” were revised and made more concise in 1698. Harvey was succeeded by Henderson Walker, and he assured the Governor of Virginia that North Carolina did not harbor runaways.
Col. James Moore had also helped govern Carolina from September 1700 to March 1703. During Queen Anne’s War in 1702 he led 500 colonists and 300 natives, and with 14 ships they invaded Spaniards and the missions of the Guale and Mocama near San Agustin (St. Augustine), Florida. In 1704 with 50 English and a thousand Creek, Yamasee, and other Indian allies they killed or captured about 200 Apalachee warriors in western Florida, destroying about five missions. Moore claimed he enslaved over 4,300 who were mostly women and children. Sieur de Bienville, the French governor of Mobile, accused Moore’s raid of killing 2,000 Apalachees and burning alive 17 captured Spaniards.
When Acting Governor Walker died in April 1704, Governor Nathaniel Johnson (1703-09) appointed Major Robert Daniel as deputy governor. Daniel drove the Quakers and other Dissenters from the Assembly by insisting on a formal oath; but the Quakers joined with the Presbyterians and got Daniel removed.
Governor Johnson appointed Col. Thomas Cary deputy governor of North Carolina in 1705. The next year the Meherrin Indians were ordered to stay on the north side of the Meherrin River. John Porter went to England to restore the right of Quakers to hold office. When Cary left Albemarle for more than a year, William Glover administered the government as president of the Council. Porter returned in October 1707 with a commission to suspend the laws requiring Quakers to take an oath and an order suspending Cary as governor. President Glover resisted implementing the commission, and the Council elected Cary as president in July 1708. Both contenders called an election for October 3. Cary’s party won and cancelled the acts of the Glover government.
Queen Anne donated £4,000 to transport German refugees to North Carolina, and Baron de Graffenried led a Swiss colony that founded New Bern in 1710. The proprietors selected Edward Hyde to govern North Carolina, and Cary yielded to him in January 1711. Quakers were still being excluded from the Assembly which charged Cary and Porter with sedition. They escaped custody, and Hyde gathered 150 men but refrained from attacking Cary’s well defended home at Pamlico. Governor Hyde appealed to Governor Spotswood of Virginia and eventually pardoned all those led into violence except the instigators. Cary and some supporters went to Virginia and England, and the charges were dismissed.
Many small tribes lived in North Carolina, but the Tuscaroras were related to the Iroquois in the north and had 1,200 warriors. Hyde supporters accused John Porter of asking the Tuscaroras to fight against them, but they refused. In September 1711 Tuscaroras captured Graffenried who persuaded them to release him, but John Lawson, who wrote a book on Carolina, was burned to death. Southern tribes wanted to preserve their hunting grounds from settlers, and 500 warriors from Cotechney on September 22 made a surprise attack that killed 130 people in two hours including 80 from Graffenried’s colony. After two days they returned to Cotechney with 80 captured women and children. Governor Spotswood offered Indians six blankets for each enemy head, but Upper Tuscaroras remained neutral. Christopher Gale went to Charles Town for aid, and Col. John Barnwell organized 50 Europeans, 218 Cherokees, 79 Creeks, 41 Catawbas, and 28 Yamasees under Carolinian officers. South Carolina had to issue £4,000 in bills of credit to finance the campaign, and they were called “Tuscarora bills.” Above New Bern the Carolinian force killed 300 and captured 100. Reinforced by 250 Carolinians, they attacked Fort Cotechney but were driven off. In April 1712 their cannons terrified the Indians at Cotechney into begging for a truce, and prisoners were released. Governor Hyde criticized the truce as a missed opportunity, but he died in September.
Troops in North Carolina suffered defeats, and Col. Thomas Pollock began negotiating with Tom Blount, king of the Upper Tuscaroras. Col. James Moore led an army of 33 South Carolinians and about 900 Indians, and in March 1713 they attacked Fort Nooherooko, burning the fort with several hundred Indians. They captured 558 Tuscaroras, put 166 men to death, and took the rest to the slave market in Charles Town. The Tuscaroras made peace by releasing all their prisoners and providing 20 chiefs as hostages. Most of the Tuscaroras then migrated to New York where they became the sixth nation in the Iroquois confederation.
A treaty was made with the Cores and other tribes in February 1715, and they were assigned to the territory on Mattamuskeet. The Cores broke the peace, and the North Carolinians fought them for three years until they were assigned territory north of the Roanoke. In 1714 the Assembly established the Church of England in North Carolina. This session revised all the laws and declared English common law in force. Charles Eden governed North Carolina from May 1714 until his death in March 1722.
North Carolina continued to be a proprietary colony until the charter was surrendered to the Crown in 1729. The proprietors appointed George Burrington governor in February 1723, and he arrived at Edenton the following January. The proprietors’ instructions were strongly opposed, and Burrington was quarrelsome. He threatened Chief Justice Christopher Gale and the collector of customs with violence or imprisonment. Gale sailed for England and persuaded the proprietors to appoint Richard Everard to replace Burrington. Everard took the oaths of office in July 1725, and Gale was his chief advisor. Gale’s faction controlled the Council, but the Assembly supported Burrington. The Governor and Council refused to call the Assembly and did not recognize them when they met anyway. In June 1729 King George II paid £22,500 to seven of the eight proprietors, but John Carteret refused to sell and was given North Carolina land along the border of Virginia. That year the Assembly authorized £40,000 in bills of credit, and Everard was given £500 to approve.
Burrington went to England and was eventually appointed governor again in December 1730. When Edward Moseley was elected speaker in the first royal Assembly, they still opposed Burrington’s instructions. Chief Justice William Little was arraigned, and the third Assembly was dissolved in November 1733. Burrington traveled around the province to improve roads, bridges, the militia, and the precinct courts, but his governorship ended in November 1734 without the Assembly enacting any new laws.
Gabriel Johnston was Governor of North Carolina from November 1734 until his death in July 1752. He demanded that quit-rents be paid in silver without asking for the Assembly’s consent. When this proved impractical, he announced that rents could be paid in paper currency at the rate of seven to one. Moseley refused to collect rents in Chowan because he considered them illegal. Chief Justice William Smith was accused of many irregularities and might have been impeached in 1739; but the Assembly avoided gathering a quorum, and after new elections a majority dismissed the case. Smith got revenge by convicting former chief justice Daniel Hanmer of perjury and imprisoned him until 1743. Hanmer complained that Smith wrecked his health, but Smith died the next year. In 1740 Captain Innes led a company of several hundred troops against the Spanish at Cartagena, but this British campaign was disastrous and lost about 20,000 men, mostly from fever.
The anti-proprietary party sent Maurice Mathews to England, and in December 1690 the Assembly in Charles Town banished Governor Colleton and sent him to England for trial. They made Seth Sothel governor of South Carolina, and he permitted trading with pirates; but he granted himself one-third of the duties and fines on furs. The proprietors suspended Sothel and annulled all the laws signed by him. Philip Ludwell was commissioned governor for all of Carolina and arrived in April 1692. He suppressed the Indian slave trade and met with the tribal chiefs. The franchise qualification was lowered to £10, and habeas corpus was confirmed. Ludwell announced that the quit rents would be the same as in Virginia, only a farthing per acre. He resigned in May 1693 and was succeeded by Thomas Smith. He announced that the proprietors would permit the Assembly to originate laws, and the Assembly passed its first rent collection law. Smith had no trouble with the Indian slave trade and suppressed the pirate trade.
Before his death in November 1694 Smith made Joseph Blake a landgrave so that he could succeed him. Blake invested in the Indian trade and promoted western expansion. He also signed a law giving aliens the civil rights of Englishmen. The proprietor Archdale governed for a year. One of his laws forbade the repeal of any law without the consent of the Assembly unless it related to royal prerogatives or the charter rights of the proprietors. The Dissenter Blake became governor again in 1696 and preserved tolerance for all Protestants until his death in September 1700. Dorchester was founded in 1697 by 158 Congregationalists from New England who supported the Dissenters. The next year the Assembly tried to counter the increasing importation of African slaves by offering bonuses for indentured servants from England, but their fear of Catholics excluded Irish servants. French Huguenots were ten percent of the Europeans, but they elected six representatives in Craven County out of thirty in the Assembly. Many of them supported the Anglicans. In 1698 the Assembly passed a law forbidding public support for any church other than the Church of England.
Growing rice turned swamps into productive land, and by 1696 rents could be paid with rice. Slaves were used effectively on rice plantations, and that year South Carolina enacted its first comprehensive slave law based on the 1688 slave code of Barbados. Captive Africans and Indians were to be slaves for life and could be bought and sold like a horse or an ox. They were required to get written permission to leave their masters’ plantation, and those who ran away or struck their masters could be punished by whipping, branding, nose-cutting, or castration. Slaves were not allowed to gather in groups even on the Sabbath. Rice exports increased steadily, reaching 330 tons in 1699. Buccaneers preyed on rice shipments and became unpopular in South Carolina which hanged seven pirates in 1700. Trade with the Creeks increased as the natives desired more European products. In 1698 Thomas Welch marched through Creek and Chickasaw territories to cross the Mississippi River near the Arkansas. The Chickasaws in the Mississippi Valley numbered about 2,000, and they became allies of the English against their enemies the Choctaws who were about 15,000 and allies of the French farther south.
In September 1700 the Council elected Joseph Morton, a moderate Dissenter, as governor, but James Moore, a trader of Indian slaves, accused him of breaking his royal commission as admiralty judge and took his place. During Queen Anne’s War (1702-13) the English fought the Spanish. Moore dissolved the Assembly and held a new election in March 1702 to promote military preparations, but Dissenter John Ash led an investigation into electoral fraud, demanding that 41 voters prove their qualifications. The Assembly authorized an attack on San Agustin, and in September 1702 Governor Moore and Col. Robert Daniel led troops that occupied the town and besieged Fort Castillo de San Marcos. When two Spanish men-of-war arrived, Moore set fire to the town and his ships, leaving his ammunition and supplies for the Spaniards. To pay for the £4,000 debt from this expedition South Carolina issued bills of credit the next year. Creditors were paid 12% interest annually until 1707 when the bills of credit were made legal tender.
The Palatine Granville was an intolerant Anglican, and he appointed Nathaniel Johnson governor in June 1702. Johnson had imported more than a hundred African slaves. In 1703 the Council estimated that South Carolina had 4,220 Europeans, 3,250 African slaves, and 800 Indian slaves. In February the Dissenter John Ash introduced a bill to grant equal rights to the French and other aliens. Rioting went on for four days as Governor Moore watched Dissenters being threatened and beaten. Johnson arrived in Charles Town after the controversial election of 1703. He sent Col. Moore to gather fifty Europeans and a thousand Indians to attack the Apalachees in January 1704. They destroyed Spanish missions, captured Indians as slaves, and moved 1,390 Apalachees to the Savannah River below Augusta.
In May before all the Dissenters from Colleton County arrived, the Assembly by a vote of 12-11 excluded all persons not adhering to the Church of England. The Dissenters sent Joseph Boone to England where Whigs believed this abuse of power forfeited the charter. Queen Anne instructed the proprietors to disallow the exclusion act. The next year the Assembly repealed the law; but the Council vetoed it, and the Anglicans won the elections in February 1706. The Church Act of 1706 divided the colony into ten parishes, and funds were appropriated for Anglican churches. Spanish and French troops from five French privateers invaded near Charles Town in August 1706, but they had forty killed and 230 captured while killing only one South Carolinian.
Thomas Nairne led the Anglicans who intended to reform the Indian trade, but Governor Johnson wanted money for himself and illegally dissolved the Assembly. In the election on 31 May 1707 the Dissenters and Nairne’s dissidents won 25 of 30 seats in the lower house. The Assembly passed bills on the Indian trade, revenue, militia, and elections by appropriating £400 for Johnson. Granville died in 1707, and the tolerant William Craven became palatine. That year the English and several hundred Indian allies burned the town of Pensacola. Nairne was elected Indian agent, and in the spring of 1708 he made peace with the Choctaws. After Nairne prosecuted the Governor’s son-in-law Thomas Broughton for enslaving friendly Cherokees and taking a thousand deerskins from the government, Governor Johnson arrested Nairne for treason and for five months refused him bail as high as £20,000. Traders mistreated the Indians whose debts became larger. Johnson gained control of the Assembly, and the Anglicans defined the parish boundaries.
The proprietors appointed Edward Tynte governor, and he arrived in November 1709. When he died the following June, Robert Gibbes won the election in the Council with a bribe and thus had little authority. Nairne went to England where he was exonerated and appointed judge of vice-admiralty. Charles Craven arrived as the new governor in March 1712. That year the Assembly appropriated £12 for each parish to build a school and £10 a year for a teacher approved by the vestry. South Carolina founded the first land bank in America and loaned £32,000 to individuals at 12.5% interest with land as collateral. In December 1712 South Carolina established a code of laws by approving 167 acts of Parliament that were systematized, annotated, indexed, and compiled with the statutes of the colonial assembly by Chief Justice Nicholas Trott. In 1714 Trott went to England and was given the power to veto any new law, and he was supported by Assembly speaker William Rhett. Others resented their power and petitioned to rescind them, and the proprietors revoked Trott’s powers in 1716.
Slave-owners feared that converting their slaves would lead to their freedom, and so in 1712 the Assembly passed a law that baptism does not free a slave. In 1715 missionary Ebenezer Taylor persuaded only Alexander Skene to allow his slaves to be converted. The number of African slaves in South Carolina increased from 4,100 in 1708 to about 10,000 in 1715. Slave rebellions were put down in 1711 and 1714, and by levying an import duty of £2 per slave the Assembly slowed down importation from 419 in 1714 to 81 in 1715. John Wright had succeeded Nairne as Indian agent, but Nairne had become a vice admiralty judge and charged Wright with misadministration in 1712. The Assembly dismissed Wright and re-appointed Nairne; but by 1714 the licensing system had broken down, and Wright’s accusing Nairne slowed down reform.
In 1715 South Carolina claimed that 26,731 Indians owed them allegiance; 11,530 of these were Cherokees. Abuses by traders and settlers taking their land and debts reaching 100,000 deerskins provoked Yamasees around the Savannah River to revolt. On 15 April 1715 the Yamasees murdered about a hundred settlers near Port Royal. Both Nairne and Wright were captured and tortured to death. Many of the northern Indians except the Cherokees and Chickasaws joined the slaughter. Governor Craven declared martial law and enlisted every man in the militia which drove them beyond the Savannah River by June. That month Indians invaded from the north, and the Assembly organized an army of 600 South Carolinians, 100 Virginians, 400 slaves, and 100 free Indians. The British sent 1,000 muskets, 600 pistols, and 2,000 grenades. Craven made a treaty with the Cherokees in August, but they did not join his attack on the Creeks in November. In the fall Robert Daniel led forces that pushed the Yamasees south into Florida. Maurice Moore, son of the late governor, led 300 troops to urge Cherokee help and discovered a peace party was challenging the pro-English war party. Creek chiefs tried to persuade the Cherokees to help them massacre the English, but on 27 January 1716, some Cherokees killed the Creek chiefs. Four days later the Cherokees signed a treaty with the English, but their joint effort to pursue the Creeks was futile.
In 1716 the English built forts near present-day Augusta and Columbia, Palachacolas Fort on the Savannah River, and Beaufort Fort on Port Royal Sound. The French built Fort Toulouse in Upper Creek country in the summer of 1717, but in November the Creeks ended the Yamasee War by concluding a peace agreement at Charles Town. About 400 colonists had been killed in the war, and the St. Helena and St. Bartholomew parishes were devastated. South Carolina suffered a food shortage; the war cost £116,000 sterling; and loss to the tax base in damages and lost production was estimated at £236,587. Virginia had done little to help, and their traders were accused of arming the Indians. South Carolina adopted the dangerous policy of promoting enmity between the Cherokees and the Creeks. The Assembly abolished private trading with Indians by giving itself a monopoly. By 1716 £90,000 in bills of credit were circulating, and the next year their exchange ratio with silver fell to four to one. The Assembly resented the neglect and lack of support from the proprietors and sent two petitions, and the second one in 1717 was signed by 568 residents.
Governor Craven resigned and left for England in April 1716, appointing the elderly Robert Daniel as deputy governor. Daniel seized the ship Betty for trading with pirates and foolishly had the militia fire on it while William Rhett was aboard. Nathaniel Johnson’s son Robert Johnson arrived as governor in the fall of 1717. Rhett had failed to collect quit rents, but the proprietors blamed the law. The Assembly increased the import duty on African slaves to £30 and tried to restore the colony’s credit by calling in old bills. With little knowledge of the actual situation the proprietors vetoed several laws on import duties, Indian trading, elections, and bills of credit. They claimed Yamasee lands for themselves and their secretary, Richard Shelton, displacing 500 Irish Protestants who had settled there. The Assembly refused to raise estate taxes again and re-enacted the import duties.
Pirates established bases in North Carolina by Cape Fear River and raided the coasts of South Carolina and Virginia. In June 1717 Judge Trott had four pirates executed. Rhett with two vessels in September captured Stede Bonnet. He and 29 others were convicted in a trial and were hanged. Edward Teach was known as Blackbeard and terrorized Charles Town for a week in June 1718, holding merchant ships as ransom and demanding medicine. Governor Johnson led four vessels and defeated Richard Worley’s ship; 24 survivors were put on trial, and 19 were hanged on November 19. Virginia governor Spotswood sent a force that killed Blackbeard on November 22. At Coweta on 23 March 1718 Chief Brims of the Creeks led the effort to unite their nation and avoid entanglements with all the Europeans, and this agreement became known as the Coweta Resolution.
In 1719 the proprietors increased the Council from seven to twelve and removed their opponents. In July they vetoed the new import duties and the new quit-rent law. After hearing rumors that the Spanish were going to invade, the Council appealed to King George for 500 soldiers and two frigates. The anti-proprietary party refused to recognize their vetoes and asked Governor Johnson to join them in taking over the government for King George, but Johnson declined. In December the Commons House of Assembly declared itself “a Convention, delegated by the People, to prevent the Ruin of this Government, if not the Loss of the Province, until His Majesty’s Pleasure be known.”1 They refused to recognize the Council, elected General James Moore Jr. as provisional governor, and petitioned the Board of Trade to be made a royal colony.
The Board of Trade persuaded the Privy Council to take over the colony of South Carolina in August 1720, and they appointed General Francis Nicholson the first royal governor. The rebel James Moore Jr. acted as governor, and the acting assembly passed a law to regulate the provincial courts. Rice was made legal tender, and they issued £25,000 in credit, planning to retire the “rice bills” by taxing rice. On 9 May 1721 the deposed Governor Robert Johnson with 120 armed men tried to regain control of the government, but three cannon shots persuaded him to avoid bloodshed. Nicholson was sworn in as the new governor on May 30. Nicholson had been Governor of New York, Virginia, and Maryland, and was chosen for his experience. He sought reconciliation and persuaded the Board of Trade to select a Council that represented the major political and economic groups, and he allowed them to elect their own president, the wealthy rebel leader Arthur Middleton.
Nicholson allowed the laws passed by the rebel government to stand, and he confirmed the Assembly’s right to elect provincial officers. Rents were nearly ten years in arrears. The 1721 Suffrage Act gave tax-paying freemen the vote, but one had to own 500 acres and ten slaves or have £1,000 to serve in the Assembly. Elections were to be held every three years, and no more than six months could elapse between legislative sessions. The Commons House of Assembly elected the provincial officers and was involved in administration. Five precinct courts were established outside the city for petty cases. Col. Barnwell supervised the building of Fort King George on the Altamaha River despite the swamp and the mosquitoes, and 100 soldiers were the first British garrison in South Carolina.
Governor Nicholson opposed Dissenters, and he persuaded the Council to require all Assemblymen to swear a formal oath. The Assembly reluctantly agreed, and this prevented conscientious Dissenters from serving in the Assembly. Anglicans tried to stop other ministers from performing weddings; but in September 1722 the Presbyterian Archibald Stobo challenged this based on the Act of Union that guaranteed equal rights for Scotland, and the Governor yielded. That year South Carolina issued £120,000 in bills of credit, £80,000 of it to retire the existing bills. When 28 merchants petitioned that this would cause inflation, the Assembly had them imprisoned in December until each one apologized to the house. London merchants and Richard Shelton persuaded King George to veto the credit bills; but much new money had been issued before the Assembly pledged to retire the debt.
In 1724 Nicholson tried to avoid an election, but the Assembly upheld the election law by dissolving itself. That year Chipacasi (Seepeycoffee) became chief of the Creeks. He pretended to be hostile to the Yamasees but drank himself to death. Brims then chose his brother Chigelly as the Creeks’ chief diplomat. In 1725 George Chicken was appointed Indian trade commissioner; he traveled to various tribes and appointed agents to live with the major tribes. South Carolina imported 1,751 Africans in 1726, though in the previous five years they had imported a total of 1,881 slaves. In 1724 the British Parliament stopped paying bounties for Carolina naval stores made from rotting trees because they preferred the Swedish products made from living trees.
When Nicholson left in May 1725, Council president Arthur Middleton became acting governor; but he proceeded to sell several offices. In August a court overruled a law of the Assembly in Dymes v. Ness. In December the Commons asserted its exclusive right to amend money bills by canceling without a conference the Council’s amendments to a tax bill. By 1725 the currency exchange ratio to sterling had risen to seven to one, but it stabilized there for many years. Creditors raised interest rates to 30%. By 1727 the naval stores market had dried up. When the Council refused to approve more paper money, Commons leader Thomas Smith led protests and was arrested in April 1727. Two weeks later about 200 armed men presented a petition to the Council. President Middleton had Smith’s father, a Landgrave, arrested at night and summoned the militia, but they sided with the people and threatened to arrest two councilors.
When a Creek war threatened, the Assembly re-issued £20,000 in notes that were to be burned. Middleton wrote to England urging them to send British troops and funds with the new governor, but the Board of Trade allowed £106,355 in paper to be continued for seven years. Farmers and naval stores producers refused to pay taxes and used force so that writs were not served on debtors. Charles Town suffered an epidemic of yellow fever in 1728, and South Carolina had little government for three years. In 1730 some planters even issued their own notes at the legal rate of 10% interest to offer relief for those who were paying 15% then.
Middleton invited Cherokee and Creek chiefs to Charles Town, and on 26 January 1727 the Cherokee Long Warrior of Tunissee, Chigelly of Coweta, and the Abika chief Hobotatchey agreed to end the eleven-year feud. Lower Creeks became angry after a band of Cherokees and Chickasaws attacked them with a flag they got from Middleton. They joined the Yamasee raids led by Spaniards, but on 9 March 1728 Col. John Palmer led about a hundred Carolinians and a hundred Indians in an attack that defeated the Yamasees near San Agustin, killing 30, capturing 15 men, and burning the main Yamasee village. The Scotch scientist Alexander Cuming was guided by a dream to make a peace treaty with the Cherokees on the southwest frontier. Two chiefs and five warriors went with him to England in 1730, and they returned and persuaded others that an alliance with the powerful English was in their interest.
Col. Robert Johnson began his second term as governor in December 1730. Parliament allowed direct rice exports to Spain and Portugal at half the previous duties, and this helped South Carolina’s rice exports to nearly double in the next few years. Alexander Parris had been Treasurer since 1712, but he used funds to pay off his creditors and owed the colony £40,000. An appropriations act planned to pay off the £59,500 public debt in seven years while Parris paid back his debts. An act enabled plaintiffs to bring all debt suits in Charles Town, and the precinct courts were no longer used. Johnson negotiated a compromise that helped settle land disputes by passing an effective quit-rent law in August 1731. He managed to limit most but not all of the land speculation by refusing to recognize baronial patents. Most of the land grants were for less than a thousand acres, but a few wealthy men were allowed to claim land without paying quit-rents. More than a million acres became taxable in the next seven years while 15,600 Africans were imported. Many Africans were already skilled in growing rice and taught the Carolinians. Planters could buy Africans on credit, and the government gave them 50 acres for each one.
In 1731 South Carolina regulated trade with the Indians and prohibited giving them credit which was a temptation that led to increasing debt and war. The Government promoted eleven new townships by providing new settlers with transportation, tools, and food for a year. Most were located by garrisons for protection from the Indians. Jean Pierre Purry started a Swiss colony with 61 immigrants in 1732 and persuaded 700 more Swiss to join them in the next three years. Timothy Whitmarsh founded the South-Carolina Gazette in 1732, and he allowed both sides to publish their views. The Assembly continued to arrest critics, and in April 1733 they ruled that habeas corpus did not apply to these cases during their sessions. Robert Johnson died on 3 May 1735, and his brother-in-law, Lieutenant Governor Thomas Broughton, succeeded him. He lacked Johnson’s ability to negotiate and compromise and came into conflict with Georgia over licenses for Indian trading. A theater was built in Charles Town in 1736. The township fund was so bankrupt that no help was given to the Irish immigrants who arrived in 1737. Broughton died in November.
While the new governor, James Glen, remained in England for more than five years, Oglethorpe’s friend William Bull Sr. served as Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina. Assembly speaker Charles Pinckney helped Bull increase the military budget and reorganize the militia. Delegates from the Choctaws came to Charles Town in 1738 and discussed a trade agreement and a possible alliance. In April 1739 the Council refused to allow the acting governor to attend its meetings. The Council recognized the Assembly’s right to initiate all money bills, but they could still suggest amendments.
The utopian reformer Christian Gottlieb Priber came from France to South Carolina about 1736 and tried to transform the Cherokees into a socialist society. He learned the language and became the prime minister for the Cherokee emperor Moytoy whom he established at Great Tellico. He taught communistic sharing and living by the laws of nature without marriages. Priber sent a letter that alarmed the South Carolina government in 1739, but the Cherokees would not allow Col. Fox to arrest him. In 1743 while he was with the Creeks, Georgia authorities captured Priber with his manuscript on the ideal republic and a Cherokee dictionary; they kept him imprisoned at Frederica for the rest of his life.
Early on Sunday morning 9 September 1739 the literate slave Jemmy led about 20 slaves in an attack on a store at Stono near Charles Town. They seized weapons and ammunition and ravaged the countryside, increasing their numbers to about 80. Lt. Governor Bull escaped an attack on the road and called out the militia, ending the largest slave rebellion on the mainland during the colonial period. In the fighting 30 Europeans and 14 Africans were killed; 30 rebel slaves were captured and executed while more than 30 Africans escaped.
In 1740 South Carolina had only 20,000 Europeans but 39,000 Africans. That year a new slave code prohibited slaves from being worked on Sundays or for more than 15 hours on other days in the spring and summer or more than 14 hours during the fall and winter. Owners were required to provide sufficient clothing and food, and anyone killing or maiming a slave could be tried and fined up to £100 sterling. The code prohibited assemblies of slaves, selling them alcohol, and slaves learning to write. During the 18th-century colonial period more than 40% of all Africans imported into North America came through Charles Town and the quarantine at Sullivan’s Island. In the 1730s African slaves had worked hard bringing more land into cultivation than in the previous 40 years, and in 1740 rice exports reached about 43 million pounds.
After England declared war on Spain in October 1739, South Carolina authorized £119,000 for the military and 400 men for an attack on San Agustin; but Georgia’s General Oglethorpe ordered a withdrawal after the British navy abandoned the blockade because of the start of the hurricane season on July 5. When Spaniards from Havana invaded St. Simon’s harbor in Georgia two years later, the South Carolina Assembly authorized unlimited funds and a thousand men from North Carolina on a fleet of twelve ships; but British commander Charles Hardy delayed sailing, failed to make contact with the enemy, and returned to Charles Town.
The Cherokees had gone to war with the Creeks in 1741, but delegates from South Carolina mediated a truce in the fall and promised the Cherokees protection against the French. George Clark of New York wanted the English to have a Covenant Chain of alliances with the Indians, and he wrote to Bull and Oglethorpe. In 1742 Bull persuaded the Cherokees and Catawbas to accept a treaty with the Iroquois. In 1743 the Assembly refused to let some Charles Town merchants operate a silver mine in the Appalachian Mountains because it might cause trouble with the Cherokees.
Royal commissioner Henry McCulloh arrived in 1741 and spent two years in the Carolinas trying to solve the quit-rents problems; but he was involved in land speculation and offended the assemblies of both colonies before he departed. Soon after Governor Glen arrived in December 1743, South Carolina settled the land question by requiring immediate registration of deeds. South Carolina was not as religious as other colonies. By 1742 the average European family owned property worth £600 sterling, and the low country had the highest per capita income in America. Slaves were not counted. The Assembly refused to spend money on schools, but Charles Town and a few rural parishes had free grammar schools. Rich planters and merchants hired tutors or sent their children to England. In September 1743 Dr. Alexander Garden with help from the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (SPG) opened a grammar school for 50 African boys in Charles Town. On 21 January 1744 Andrew Ruck and other shipwrights submitted a petition to the South Carolina Assembly complaining that African slaves were being used to repair ships. They were concerned that their losing this work would make them and their families poor. Four days later five ship carpenters wrote a remonstrance arguing that such jobs were still available even though they had trained slaves to do that work.
In 1673 the Spaniards garrisoned Santa Catalina and began making a fort of stone at San Agustin (St. Augustine) which was completed in 1687. By then attacks by the Yuchis, Creeks (Muskogees), and Cherokees, who were allied with the English, forced the Spaniards to abandon their missions in Guale, which was in the northern coastal region between Florida and Carolina that the Spaniards named after a native chief. South Carolina’s Governor James Moore captured San Agustin from the Spaniards temporarily in 1702. After the Yamasee War of 1715 South Carolinians became more interested in controlling the territory south of the Savannah River. In 1717 Scottish Robert Montgomery published a pamphlet in London suggesting a new colony south of Carolina, and in 1720 he described golden islands that he called Azilia. Royal authorities approved, but funds were lacking. Jean Pierre Purry was a Swiss wine merchant, and in 1724 he proposed a British settlement for 600 poor Swiss who would work and protect it as soldiers. He also needed financing, but in 1732 he founded Purrysburg on the north side of the Savannah River.
James Edward Oglethorpe was born on 22 December 1696, and he was educated at Eton and Oxford. He joined the army in 1712 and fought the Turks for the Austrians in 1717. He was elected to the House of Commons by Haslemere in Surrey in 1722. In England any debtor could be seized by his creditor and held in prison until the debt was paid. His friend Robert Castell was put in Fleet Prison for debt in 1728 and died of smallpox that he caught there. In February 1729 Oglethorpe was working as the chairman of a committee investigating jails that led to several notorious wardens being prosecuted, and the Parliament released about 10,000 prisoners in two years. Dr. Thomas Bray, who founded the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, proposed a charity colony in America, but he died in 1730. Oglethorpe and his friend John Percival took up the idea that the poor and unemployed could work and prosper in America. In November 1728 Percival and others had petitioned for a grant to settle a charitable colony in South Carolina.
The Privy Council approved a charter in January 1732 that George II signed in April and which was promulgated in June. The Georgia charter was unusual in that no trustee would be allowed to own land or profit by any office. The charter protected religious freedom for Protestants and Jews but not Roman Catholics. The design was to help the poor rather than let the rich get richer, and the altruistic motto of Georgia is Non sibi, sed aliis, which means “Not for themselves but for others.” The 21 trustees elected Percival president, and Oglethorpe was appointed to publicize the colony. Benjamin Martyn had already published a brochure urging the employment of the poor in order to benefit people and trade.
Oglethorpe wrote An Essay on Plantations and was the prime mover behind A New and Accurate Account of the Provinces of South Carolina and Georgia. In 1732 he became the deputy governor of the Royal African Company, but in December he sold his stock and resigned. The next year he helped emancipate the Gambian slave Job Jalla. The Parliament contributed £10,000 for Georgia, and the colony was promoted as a charitable enterprise. Each male inhabitant of Georgia was trained to be a soldier as well as a farmer. Not allowing the re-sale or leasing of land discouraged speculators, but anyone bringing ten servants was granted 500 acres.
Oglethorpe left England with about a hundred settlers who accepted him as the leader. They reached Charles Town in January 1733, and in February they settled on the south side of the Savannah River. John Musgrove already had a trading post, and his wife Mary was half Creek. About a hundred Yamacraws lived there peacefully in exile from the Creek nation with their respected chief Tomochichi. Oglethorpe promised to pay Mary Musgrove £100 a year as an interpreter, and she helped him become friends with Tomochichi. Oglethorpe met with 55 Creeks in May. Chief Yahoulakee of Coweta traveled 25 days even though he had never gone to Charles Town. Chief Long King of the Oconas said that he believed the Great Spirit had sent the English to instruct them. The Creeks granted Georgia most of the land between the Savannah and Altamaha rivers except for the islands of Ossabaw, Sapelo, and St. Catherines. They agreed on a schedule of prices for deerskins and English trading goods. Oglethorpe and Col. William Bull laid out the town of Savannah. A Cherokee visited Oglethorpe without fear. The next year the Choctaw chief Red Shoes proposed a commercial relationship with Georgia because the French were building forts. The Common Council of 15 Trustees made the laws and appointed magistrates, a recorder, constables, and tithing-men.
In the first few months many settlers died of disease including the only doctor. About sixty people were ill when a ship brought some Jews in July. Dr. Samuel Nunis treated the sick, and none of his patients died. Oglethorpe believed that drinking rum caused idleness and sickness, and he also sent African sawyers back to South Carolina. He planned out-settlements around Savannah, but the land was unable to support most of them. A few hundred Lutheran refugees from Salzburg led by 30-year-old John Martin Bolzius came to Savannah in the spring of 1734, and they founded Ebenezer 22 miles away where they planted mulberry trees and worked on silk production. Bolzius thanked Oglethorpe for taking care of them and regulating the land, and Governor Johnson of South Carolina praised Oglethorpe for helping the poor.
Oglethorpe sailed to England in April 1734 with Chief Tomochichi, his wife and nephew, and five other Creek chiefs. Tomochichi met King George II and was impressed by the permanence of London houses. The chiefs were given fine presents and returned to Georgia with a favorable view of the English. Oglethorpe resumed his seat in Parliament and got three bills approved on 3 April 1735 that regulated trading with Indians by a special license, banned slavery in Georgia, and prohibited the importation and sale of rum and other liquor. Georgia was praised for its humanitarian plan as Oglethorpe and the Trustees refused to make the “horrid crime” of slavery legal.
Oglethorpe was made Indian commissioner, and he appointed Captain Patrick Mackay as the agent to the Creeks and Roger Lacy as the agent to the Cherokees. The Trustees commissioned Lt. Hugh Mackay to recruit from the Highlands of Scotland. The production of raw silk had been encouraged in Georgia, and they gave Queen Caroline a silk dress. Oglethorpe and the Trustees met with Count Zinzendorf in London, and they agreed to excuse Moravians from military service. The Parliament granted Georgia £25,800 to settle colonists and build 20 forts. This enabled ten Moravians led by August Gottlieb Spangenberg to emigrate, and they established the first school in Georgia at Irene for the Yamacraws. Bishop David Nitschmann came over in 1736 as a missionary to the Indians with John and Charles Wesley, bringing two dozen more Moravians. As war against Spain was threatening, pacifists became unpopular. By 1740 most of the Moravians had moved to Pennsylvania.
In October 1735 the Trustees hired John Wesley as a minister, and his brother Charles became Oglethorpe’s secretary. They sailed with Oglethorpe on rough seas and reached Tybee Island in February 1736. That month Charles Delamotte started a school in Savannah. Charles Wesley resigned as Oglethorpe’s private secretary in July. John Wesley fell in love with Sophia Hopkey, but she married William Williamson. Several minor charges were brought against John Wesley. He was also disappointed that his missionary work with the Indians did not go well, and in December 1737 he left his position as pastor of Christ Church in Savannah to be ordained by the Church of England.
Augusta was founded in 1735 by the falls of the Savannah River on the Upper Creek Path to Charles Town, and it grew rapidly. While Oglethorpe was in England, Captain Patrick Mackay ruled arbitrarily against Carolinian traders, causing resentment. They complained to the Board of Trade, and the Privy Council eventually ruled in July 1738 that Georgia could not charge the licensed Carolinian traders a fee. Oglethorpe founded Frederica on St. Simon’s Island in February 1736 and then traveled along the coast of Georgia. He applied the name George’s Island to the island in the mouth of the Rio de San Juan (St. John’s River). In July he conferred with Chickasaws at Savannah. Captain Charles Dempsey and Antonio de Arrendondo in October negotiated a treaty at Frederica. Oglethorpe evacuated George’s Island, and he and Florida’s Governor Francisco de Moral Sanchez agreed to control their own Indian allies and let boundary disputes be settled by the home governments. While Oglethorpe was in England again, Spain rejected the treaty and recalled Sanchez.
Oglethorpe went to England again in 1737, and he was commissioned a colonel and commander of the force defending Georgia and South Carolina. In the summer of 1738 he sailed with 600 soldiers in a convoy with five transports and two warships. When he returned to Georgia in October, Oglethorpe closed the Trustees’ store that supplied the charity colonists whose debt to the store was up to £5,000. In the next 14 years the Trustees sent more than a thousand indentured servants who were mostly Scots, Germans, Swiss, and Irish as well as English. William Stephens and other planters complained that the servants were inadequate and often ran away. Oglethorpe refused requests to allow slavery, declaring that if African slaves were introduced into Georgia, he would have no further concern for the colony. Oglethorpe lacked funds to pay his troops in Georgia, and in November they mutinied. One soldier even fired at Oglethorpe singeing his cheek. The ringleaders were court martialed and shot.
In 1739 Georgia was so short of food that Oglethorpe offered a bounty on corn and potatoes. In August he traveled 300 miles to Coweta by the Chattahoochee River. The Creek nation promised to provide Oglethorpe with a thousand warriors, and they confirmed Georgia’s land grant to the sea coast. Prices of trading goods to the Creeks were lowered.
In October a rumor from Rhode Island that war with Spain had been declared caused Georgia to make the declaration 16 days before England did. Tomochichi had just died and was given an honorable funeral, but Mary Musgrove helped Oglethorpe raise a thousand Indian warriors. Spaniards killed two men on Amelia Island in November. Oglethorpe led his troops south in December and captured Fort San Francisco de Pupa at Rio de San Juan. In March 1740 Oglethorpe went to Charles Town, and the South Carolina Assembly voted to provide £120,000, a regiment, cavalry, and warships. Oglethorpe led the combined army of 900 English plus 1,100 Indian allies, and they took Fort San Diego in May. The initial attack on San Agustin on June 13 was not successful, and they settled down to a siege. Twelve days later Spaniards lost a hundred men while killing 25 and capturing as many from a scouting party. The British navy abandoned the coast on July 5 because of the coming hurricane season. Oglethorpe was ill, and he raised the siege on July 20. The Spaniards had lost 400 men and four forts.
George Whitefield had been appointed to replace John Wesley, and he reached Savannah in May 1738. Whitefield traveled and drew large crowds listening to his preaching. In July 1740 South Carolina’s commissary Alexander Garden put him on trial in Charles Town for ignoring Anglican ritual, but Whitefield said that the Bishop of London had no authority over a resident of Georgia. The same month the Georgia Trustees removed him from his ministry at Savannah. In 1738 James Habersham had replaced Delamotte at the Trustee school in Savannah, and by 1740 they had taken in 61 orphans. Whitefield was raising money for an orphanage, and the Trustees granted 500 acres; but he resigned the Trustees’ commission because he did not want to be under their authority. In November the orphanage was moved to Bethesda ten miles from Savannah. Whitefield modeled the Bethesda Orphanage on August Francke’s orphan house at Halle. In addition to basic education students were also taught a trade.
By 1741 the Scottish Highlanders had found a home in Darien by the mouth of the Altamaha River. In April the Trustees divided Georgia into the counties of Savannah and Frederica, and Georgia secretary William Stephens became president of Savannah. The Trustees’ secretary Benjamin Martyn estimated that 1,200 German Protestants had settled in Georgia. Dr. Francke of Halle sent Heinrich Melchior Mühlenberg to minister to the Lutherans in 1742.
That spring Cuba launched a massive expedition with 56 ships and 7,000 men; but a storm dispersed most of them before the others reached San Agustin. The Spanish fleet attacked St. Simons Island on June 22, and Oglethorpe’s forces retreated from Fort St. Simon to Frederica. About 4,000 Spaniards landed and marched on Frederica on July 7, but they were rebuffed by the Scottish Highlanders at the battle of Bloody Marsh. Oglethorpe led 500 men in a surprise attack at night, but a French deserter had informed the Spaniards. Oglethorpe countered by releasing a prisoner with a letter to the Frenchman in order to confuse the enemy. The Spaniards burned Fort St. Simon and left the island on July 15.
While Oglethorpe was preoccupied fighting the Spaniards, Thomas Stephens and other malcontents severely criticized him. In May 1741 three disappointed settlers from the St. Andrews Club had published at Charles Town the satirical True and Historical Narrative of the Colony of Georgia. Egmont earl Percival and other Trustees wrote pamphlets to counter its arguments and those by Thomas Stephens. In 1742 the Trustees removed the restrictions on female inheritance and the leasing of land, and in July they repealed the ban on alcohol. Petitions were also being sent to revoke the ban on the importation of slaves, and Thomas Stephens pleaded their case before Parliament. In 1743 he published A Brief Account of the Causes that have retarded the Progress of the Colony of Georgia in America which was considered so false and malicious by his father William Stephens that he disowned Thomas.
Oglethorpe attacked San Agustin again in February 1743 with Indians, but they could not penetrate the fort and instead devastated the surrounding land. John Percival had become the Earl of Egmont, and he resigned from the Georgia Common Council on June 7. Savannah president William Stephens succeeded Oglethorpe in 1743 as the Savannah government was extended to Frederica and all of Georgia. Lt. Col. William Cooke accused Oglethorpe of making the regiment pay him for their provisions; but in 1744 this and other charges were found to be frivolous and malicious, and Cooke was dismissed from the service. Oglethorpe left Georgia on July 23, never to return. He gave Mary Musgrove a diamond ring and £200, promising her more back pay. After John Musgrove had died in 1736, she had married Jacob Matthews. He died in 1742, and in July 1744 Mary married Thomas Bosomworth. Oglethorpe claimed that he had spent £91,705 on the colony but had received only £25,595. On 20 March 1744 the British Parliament granted him the remaining £66,110.
1. Colonial South Carolina by M. Eugene Sirmans, p. 127.
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