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chapTER they were to receive from the public for every house

built a reward of ten thousand pounds of tobacco, with

1662. exclusive rights to build stores, and lots to build them

on. To meet the expenses of this scheme, a general
poll tax of thirty pounds of tobacco was imposed. All
persons settling in the town were to be privileged from
arrest for two years; and all tobacco made in the three
neighboring counties was to be brought to Jamestown,
and stored there for shipment. It was designed to es-
tablish, by a similar process, other towns on the York
River, the Rappahannoc, the Potomac, and the eastern
shore. . - -
At this same session an act was passed, the first stat-
ute of Virginia which attempts to give a legislative ba-
sis to the system of hereditary servitude. The right
to hold heathen Africans and their posterity as slaves
would seem to have been thought so fully sanctioned by
the English law as to require no special colonial legis-
lation. But mulatto children had been born in the col-
ony. Their parentage, on one side or the other, must
be Christian. What should be their condition ? The
English courts had held, in relation to serfdom, that the
condition of the child must be determined by that of the
father; and that all children not born in lawful wedlock
must be esteemed free, as having no legal fathers—doc-
trines which had gone far to bring serfdom to an end.
By a very questionable exercise of authority, hardly to
be reconciled with their late professions of reverence for
the law of England, the Virginia Assembly saw fit to
adopt the rule of the civil law, so much more convenient
for slaveholders, by enacting that children should be
held bond or free, “according to the condition of the
mother.” -

1663. The subject of slavery attracted, also, the attention of the Maryland Legislature. It was provided, by the chosen first section of an act now passed, that “all negroes and other slaves within this province, and all negroes and 1663. other slaves to be hereafter imported into this province, shall serve during life; and all children born of any negro or other slave, shall be slaves, as their fathers were, for the term of their lives.” The second section recites that “divers free-born English women, forgetful of their free condition, and to the disgrace of our nation, do intermarry with negro slaves;” and for deterring from such “shameful matches,” it enacts that, during their husbands' lives, white women so intermarrying shall be servants to the masters of their husbands, and that the issue of such marriages shall be slaves for life. Shortly after Berkeley's return, a conspiracy among some indented servants—betrayed, however, by one of the conspirators in season to prevent mischief—occasioned a great alarm in Virginia. A guard was appointed for the governor and council; and the Assembly voted to observe the 13th of September, “the day this villainous plot should have been put in execution,” as a perpetual holiday, in memory of the escape of the colony. -- The severe persecuting laws against the Quakers, left out of the new code, were now again re-enacted. By an act of the previous session, all who refused, “out of averseness to the orthodox established religion, or the new-fangled conceits of their own heretical inventions,” to have their children baptized by “the lawful minister,” had been subjected to a fine of two thousand pounds of tobacco. One of the burgesses, accused of Anabaptist and Quaker opinions, was expelled the house. This re'ligious persecution seems to have occasioned an emigration to the banks of the Chowan, where a few noncon

chapter formist settlers from Virginia, founders of North Caro



lina, had already established themselves.
Another curious old law, originally, passed during
Berkeley's former administration, was now re-enacted:
“Whereas it is frequent with divers inhabitants of this
country to entertain strangers, with their horses, without
making any agreement with the party what he shall pay
for his accommodations, which, if the party live, causeth
many litigious suits, and, if the stranger die, lays a
gap open to many avaricious persons to ruin the estate
of the person deceased—for remedy for the future, be it
enacted, that no person not making a positive agreement
with any one he shall entertain into his house for diet
or storage, shall recover any thing against any one so
entertained, or against his estate, but that every one
shall be reputed to entertain those of courtesy with
whom they make not a certain agreement.”
To raise the price of tobacco by some legislative inter-
ference had long been a favorite theory in Virginia.
The means proposed was a “stint” or “cessation,” an
omission, that is, to plant for a year or more. But, to
carry out this scheme, it was necessary to get Maryland
to come into the arrangement. After much negotiation,
that province passed an act for the purpose, and a “cessa-
tion” for a year was arranged, during which debtors were
to have the privilege of paying only one half of their
tobacco debts, for which grain and other produce were
also made a legal tender. Before this act came into oper-
ation, the whole scheme was defeated by the proprietary
of Maryland, who objected to it as injurious to the poorer
planters, and to the king's revenue as well as his own.
The “nakedness of the country,” occasioned by the low
price of tobacco and the defeat of this scheme for rais-
ing its price, led to new legislative efforts for the intro-

duction of manufactures. Every county was to set up chosen a loom at its own expense, and to provide a weaver. Not having been found to produce the desired effect, the 1666. requirement to plant mulberry trees, in force since the early days of the colony, was now at last abandoned. The rewards hitherto offered for silk, cloths, and the building of vessels, were also withdrawn. It was about this time that Berkeley sent out an exploring party, the first that crossed the Blue Ridge and penetrated into the valley beyond—an enterprise not again repeated for near fifty-years. The breaking out of the Dutch war had occasioned considerable alarm in Virginia. James River was entered by Dutch privateers, and trading vessels were seized there. Under the influence of this alarm, forts were built at Nansemond-and James City, and on the York, Rappahannoc, and Potomac, on which were mounted some thirty pieces of cannon, partly purchased by the colony, and the rest sent out by the king. But the expense of keeping up these forts proved a heavy burden to the colony. The lawfulness of holding Africans as slaves was supposed to rest, in part at least, on the fact that they were heathen. But of the negroes brought to Virginia, some had been converted and baptized, and this was the case to a still greater extent with those born in the colony. By what right were these Christians held as slaves? This question having been raised in Virginia, the Assembly came to the relief of the masters by enacting that 1667. negroes, though converted and baptized, should not thereby become free. At the same session, in remarkable deviation from the English law, it was also enacted, that killing slaves by extremity of correction should not be esteemed felony, “since it can not be presumed that prepense malice should induce any man to destroy his own

chorn estate.” The prohibition against holding Indians as


slaves was also relaxed as to those brought in by water,
a new law having enacted “that all servants, not being
Christians, imported by shipping, shall be slaves for life.”
About this period, and afterward, a considerable number
of Indian slaves seem to have been imported into Virginia
and New England from the West Indies and the Spanish
Main. -
As a necessary pendent to the slave code, the system
now also began of subjecting freed slaves to civil disa-
bilities. It had already been enacted that female serv-

ants employed in field labor should be rated and taxed



as tithable. Negro women, though free, were now subjected to the same tax. Free negroes and Indians were also disqualified to purchase or hold white servants. While the slave code was thus extended, the privileges and political power of the poorer whites underwent a corresponding diminution. During the period of the Commonwealth, the Virginia Assemblies had been chosen for only two years; but this privilege of frequent elections was no longer enjoyed. The Assembly of 1661 was still in existence, such vacancies as occurred being filled from time to time by special elections. Even this small privilege was begrudged to the poorer freemen; and, on the usual pretexts of tumultuous elections, and want of sufficient discretion in the poorer voters, it was now enacted that none but householders and freeholders should have a voice in the election of burgesses—a principle maintained in Virginia to this day. Some replies of Berkeley to a series of questions submitted to him by the plantation committee of the Privy Council give quite a distinct picture of the colony as it then was. The population is estimated at 40,000, including 2000 “black slaves,” and 6000 “Christian

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