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to a courtier to secure an exclusive pat- was " one of the best of the early gov-

ent for him. See Royal Historical Man- ernors." Dale, however, was only carry-

uscripts Commission's Reports, iv, 288. ing out promises which had been made

The date of the petition is March 23, years before, although possibly not in

1613. that precise form.



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1616] POPULATION OF VIRGINIA 189

from Indian attacks. This Dale secured by entering into
an arrangement with the natives that upon the yearly
payment to the Englishmen of two and one half bushels
of corn for each Indian they should be free from further
exactions. This arrangement secured peace for eight
years, and was, to use Rolfe's words, " the foundation and
groundwork of their thrift and happiness." l

In 1616 Sir Thomas Dale followed Sir Thomas Gates to
England. George Yeardley remained in Virginia in com-
mand of the colony, but he was soon succeeded in that
position by Sir Thomas Smythe's young kinsman, Samuel
Argall. Dale entered the service of the East India Com-
pany, fought a successful action in the East Indies with
his old employers, the Dutch, and succumbed to an attack
of the fever in 1619. 9 Up to the time of his departure
from Jamestown, 1650 persons had sailed from England
for Virginia, three hundred of whom had probably re-
turned home. There were then living in the colony three
hundred and fifty-one white persons, including sixty-five
women and children. It follows from this computation
that about one thousand persons had perished in Virginia
or on the voyage thither. As the world views the acqui-
sition of colonies, this was not an excessive price to pay
for the overturn of Spain's title to one of the most valu-
able bits of land to be found anywhere on the surface of
the earth.

Sir Thomas Smythe was no longer young and vigorous.
He desired to be relieved of some of his burdens and
turned over the management of the Virginia Company to
Sir Edwin Sandys, 8 who was chosen treasurer in May, 1619.

1 Rolfe's description of Virginia in *On Dale, see Brace's Economic

1616 is in Virginia Historical Register, i, History, i, 215.

107; Southern Literary Messenger for 8 There is no good life of Sandys.

1839, etc. A. F. Pollard's article in the Dictionary



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190 THE COLONY OF VIRGINIA [Ch. VII

Son of that "obstinate and conscientious Puritan" 1 Edwin
Sandys, Archbishop of York, the new treasurer of the
Virginia Company was at the head of the reformers in
Parliament. Edward Winslow, the Pilgrim, terms the
younger Edwin « a religious gentleman." Taken in connec-
tion with other facts, this remark makes it seem probable
that the new treasurer was a Nonconformist. He cer-
tainly was a radical by instinct, and this natural propen-
sity had been fostered by his intercourse with his tutor at
Oxford, Richard Hooker, the famous author of The Ecclesi-
astical Polity? This great work was written to justify
the existence of the State Church in England ; but into it,
in one way or another, crept many ideas which savored of
republicanism. As Hooker completed the several parts of
the manuscript, he submitted them to Sandys and his friend
George Cranmer for criticism, and some of the books were
completed practically under their editorship. Indeed, it is
sometimes difficult to determine whether The Ecclesiastical
Polity reflects most strongly the views of master or of pu-
pils. The modernity of these ideas may easily be seen by
the perusal of the following sentences which were quoted by
Locke in his second Essay on Government, — a work which
powerfully influenced the course of American history.

of National Biography is the best thing * The best edition of Hooker's great

yet printed ; but Alexander Brown's note book is Church and Paget's The Works

in the biographical portion of his Genesis of that Learned and Judicious Divine,

of the United States is very good. Other Mr. Richard Hooker. 7th ed., 3 vols,,

material is enumerated at the close of the Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1888. This edi-

first of these articles. A vivid view of tion contains Sandys's " Notes to the

Sandys's career can be gained by reading Sixth Book " and a learned dissertation

the passages noted under " Sir Edwin on the authorship of that part of the

Sandys " in the Index to the Journals work. Sidney Lee's article on Hooker

of the House of Commons and all the in the Dictionary of National Biography

references to Sandys in Alexander will meet the needs of most students.

Brown's First Republic. S. R. Gardiner, At the end of this article is a critical

in his History of England, necessarily note on the biographical works descrip-

gives a good deal of space to Sandys. tive of Hooker's life.

1 This is Pollard's phrase, in the Dic-
tionary of National Biography.



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1618] SIR EDWIN SANDYS 191

To Hooker the natural equality of man was so evident
that he scarcely tried to justify it ; " seeing those
things which are equal must needs all have one measure.
. . . My desire, therefore, to be loved of my equals in
nature as much as possible may be, imposeth upon me a
natural duty of bearing to themward fully the like affec-
tion. From which relation of equality between ourselves
and them that are as ourselves, what several rules and
canons natural reason hath drawn for direction of life, no
man is ignorant." Political society was formed to sup-
ply those defects which were inherent " in us living singly."
Society demanded government and government demanded
law. As to the law, it must be obeyed unless "the law
of reason, or of God, doth enjoin the contrary." Some
years later, in 1614, the Journals of the House of Com-
mons attribute to Sandys the assertion that monarchy was
elective, for he said, " No successive king, but first elected.
Election double of person and care ; but both come in by
consent of people, and with reciprocal conditions between
king and people." * In these disjointed notes of the clerk
of the Commons, one finds the whole thesis of "govern-
ment by compact." In truth, Sandys and those nearest
to him were the forerunners of the radicals of the New
Model Army 2 who demanded a « law paramount," or con-
stitution. In all the parliaments of James there was no
more active reformer than he. In his Swrvey of Religion in

* Journals of the Commons, i, 403; especially vol. iii, Jenks's Puritan

Gardiner's History of England, ii, 240. Experiments, and Borgeaud's Rise of

See also ch. viii of the present work, Modern Democracy should be read by

Note IV. all who wish to trace the rise of the

s On this whole subject of the politi- modern state. Gardiner's Introduc-

cal theories of the Puritans, see the tion to his Constitutional Documents

Clarke Papers in the publications of the of the Puritan Revolution shows the

Camden Society (now included in those points of resemblance between the " law

of the Royal Historical Society). Mr. paramount 1 ' of the Protectorate and the

Firth's introduction to that volume is full Constitution of the United States,
of instruction. Gardiner's Civil War,



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192 THE COLONY OF VIRGINIA [Ch. VH

the Western Parts of the World he had argued for fairness
toward Roman Catholics. He now endeavored to retain
the Nonconformists in the Established Church by granting
to them the substance of the demands which they had put
forward in the " Millenary Petition " and at the Hampton
Court Conference. But the bills which he introduced for
that purpose were so mutilated in the Lords that he with-
drew them. Spurred on possibly by this disappointment,
he declared in the House that " matters were carried, by
the cunning of lawyers, clean contrary to the meaning of
the House in matters ecclesiastical." l This statement met
with general approval, for the Speaker, when he sought to
free the lawyers of this charge, was interrupted and not
allowed to speak. Sandys had been a student at the
Middle Temple, but he seems to have had a poor opinion
of the law, or at least of the way in which it was admin-
istered. On one occasion he even had the temerity to
suggest in the Commons that all persons accused of crime
should be permitted to employ counsel in their defense ;
but this proposition was rudely brushed aside on the
ground that granting it would "shake the corner stone
of the law."*

Many things in England besides religion were crying
aloud for reformation, and to these Sir Edwin also ad-
dressed himself. Among them few attract the attention
of the modern student more certainly than wardships. 8
Like other relics of feudalism, in their time and place
wardships were fitting enough, but in the reign of James

1 For Sandys as a religions reformer, Law, i, 324-357; Reeves's History of Eng-
see Journals of the Commons, i, 265, 311, lish Law, iii, 806-811.

etc., and Spedding's Life and Letters of 8 Memoirs of the Verney Family, i,

Francis Bacon, iii, 264. 113. 8ee also Gardiner's History of Eng-

2 See Gardiner's History of England, land, i, 171, 174; Spedding's Bacon, iii,
1,123-127, 12^-132,339; Pike's History of 176-180, 210; and the Journals of the
Crime, ii, 89-96; Stephen's Criminal House of Commons.



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1618] SIR EDWIN SANDYS 193

they were a public and private scandal. To free England
from the curse of wardships, feudal tenures, and purvey-
ance was Sir Edwin Sandys's ambition. He failed to
effect his object, for James, with his Scottish obstinacy,
refused to give way except on terms which could not be
accepted. It is noteworthy, however, that these incidents
of feudalism scarcely ever prevailed in the colonies.

Sir Edwin Sandys was also interested in the overthrow
of monopolies and the introduction of freedom of trade.
For years he struggled, and always unsuccessfully, for at
every turn the king's prerogative and the royal will ap-
peared and proved insurmountable. Each rebuff drove
Sandys farther away from the position of an upholder of
monarchical institutions, until it is possible that the form
of the Genevan state, as it had been worked out by Calvin
and his immediate successors, may have secured some hold
on his imagination and desire, but the subject is by no
means clear. What is clear now and should have been in
1619 was the unfitness of Sir Edwin Sandys for the position
of chief administrator of the Virginia Company. For if
there was one position in England which should have been
occupied by one who had the confidence of the king, that
place was the executive head of the colonizing enterprise
whose success depended in very great measure upon the
good will of the reigning monarch.

Another man with whom the student of colonial his-
tory becomes familiarly acquainted is Robert Rich, who
became successively Lord Rich and Earl of Warwick. 1
His mother was Penelope Devereux, sister of Elizabeth's
favorite, Walter Devereux, Earl of Essex ; his brother,

1 For an appreciative account of War- lows : " He lived in times of transition

wick, see F. E. Greville's (the Countess and confusion, and he played a promi-

of Warwick) Warwick Castle and its nent and, upon the whole, a creditable

Earls, i. She sums up his career as fol- part in them."

vol. i. — o



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194 THE COLONY OF VIRGINIA [Ch. VII

Henry Rich, Earl of Holland, in later years became the
favorite of Henrietta Maria, Queen of Charles I, and his
kinsman, Nathaniel Rich, played an important part in the
founding of Virginia. Warwick's son, moreover, married
Sir Thomas Smythe's daughter, without the latter gentle-
man's knowledge or consent and rather to his dismay.
Warwick early became interested in the Virginia Com-
pany. Fond of maritime matters, he seems to have set on
foot trading expeditions to Virginia in cooperation with
prominent members of the corporation, and probably with
the consent of that body, although no documents justifying
this statement have been preserved to the present time.
Warwick, following the example of Ralegh and Drake,
also sought to make spoil of the Spaniard. To save
himself from charges of piracy, he secured commissions
from the Duke of Savoy which authorized his captains to
prey on the Spaniards. The operations of his ships inter-
fered with the trade of the East India Company and ended
in the seizure of two of them by the company's captains.
For this Warwick demanded twenty thousand pounds, a
claim which Sir Thomas Smy the regarded as " altogether
impertinent." 1 In this way began an estrangement be-
tween the two fathers-in-law which was soon complicated
by a curious turn in the fortunes of Samuel Argall, « that
ingenious and forward " young kinsman of Smythe. For
some years Argall had been employed by De la Warr and
Warwick and others as commander of the ship Treasurer.
In 1617 he was sent to Virginia as governor, in succession
to George Yeardley, who was administering the govern-
ment after the retirement of Sir Thomas Dale.

Like all these early governors, Argall found everything
in confusion in the colony. The buildings, fortifications,

1 Calendar* of State Papers, East Indies, 1617-1621, No. 781 and fol.



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1618] WAKWICK AND AEGALL 195

and boats belonging to the company he described as " much
ruined," * while the colonists appeared to be cheerful, al-
though "many have scarce rags to cover their naked
bodies." Similar sights met each succeeding governor,
and such travelers as returned to England and recounted
their Virginia experiences said the same thing. Probably
their eyes, fresh from English trimness, failed to make due
allowance for the inevitable rudeness of colonial conditions.
" James Citty " was a small collection of hovels, defended
by a stockade, and remained so for years, notwithstanding
the efforts of company and king.

Argall seems to have come out with some intention of
securing repayment of the money which his patrons had
put into Virginia by getting possession of whatever public
property had a pecuniary value. In this endeavor he
had a measure of success, if one can judge from the
complaints of the non-participating members of the cor-
poration. Besides doing this, Argall ruled the Virginians
as might be expected from an arbitrary and successful
naval captain. In 1617, for instance, he sentenced one
man to death for stealing a calf and running away to
the Indians, and another, a certain John Hudson, to be
" exiled and banished, and if he returns to be put to death
without further judgment." What John Hudson's offense
was is not known, but the moral condition of the colo-
nists certainly needed a strong curb, if one may judge by
a perusal of Conway Robinson's notes from the Virginia
records. Either his severity or his successful financial
dealings or both in combination procured the filing of
charges against Argall ; but warned in time, 2 he left Vir-

1 Rolfe to Sandys, Virginia Magazine 1619, says of Argall 's arrival there, " It

of History, x, 136. seemeth he came secretly." On Argall

3 Robert Cushman (Cushman Gene- and his career, see Dictionary of Na~

alogy), writing from London, May 8, Hanoi Biography, Brown's Genesis, ii,



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196 THE COLONY OF VIRGINIA [Ch. VII

ginia and returned unharmed to England. Once there,
he courted the fullest investigation, but nothing was ever
proved against him. It is not at all impossible that the
evil name which has been given to Argall was due largely
to the machinations of the Spanish ambassador and to
Yeardley's desire to justify himself for his hasty charges
against his rival. In 1620 Argall became a member of
the Council for New England, and two years later was
knighted by King James. In the first year of Charles's
reign he sailed against the French at the head of a fleet of
twenty-four vessels, and disappears from recorded history.
Warwick at the moment seems to have thought that Sir
Thomas Smythe was disposed to sacrifice Argall, and
warmly espoused the latter's cause. It was in wranglings
like this over personal and pecuniary matters, and not
over political theories, that the disputes between the
leaders in the Virginia Company originated. 1

Sir Edwin Sandys and his friends were now in con-
trol of the company. Smythe and Warwick had sunk
enough money in the enterprise. If Sandys and his
friends wished to undertake the impossible, let them do
so, — at least, that is the way the case seems to stand
in those records which have survived accident and human
design. The new rulers of the company breathed fresh
life into the venture and conducted it on a new basis.
Sandys and Southampton turned to Virginia as a field for

and, above all, Massachusetts Historical 1 Alexander Brown (First Republic,

Society's Collections, Fourth 8eries, ix, 557 note) says, "The parties in the com-

11-59, notes. It is noteworthy that Sandys pany had originated in disputes over

thought it necessary to clear himself of business matters, auditing accounts, the

the charge of setting the Spanish ambas- magazine, the tobacco contracts, etc.,

sador against Argall (Virginia Company and not in opposition to the popular

Records, i, 72). The cases of severe charters." It is unfortunate that he

punishment given in this paragraph are uses the word " parties " to describe these

from Conway Robinson's abstract of the factions.
Court Records, i, 138, 143 (Ms. in the
Virginia Historical Society at Richmond).



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1618] SANDYS'S POLICY 197

social and philanthropic experiment, in which, perhaps, re-
ligion may have had some slight part. It is not unlikely
that they expected that groups of colonists in different
parts of Virginia would become practically self-governing,
each group managing its religious concernments, as well
as its civil affairs, in its own way.

The second part of the plan which Sandys and his
friends seem to have had in mind was the establishment
of landed proprietors in Virginia. The general idea was
to give fifty acres of land to every one who should
transport one person to the colony. The instructions
embodying this provision were issued while Smythe was
still treasurer, and this arrangement remained the basis of
the Virginia land system throughout the colonial period.
In making provision for the future, the company also pro-
posed to do justice to the survivors of the first colonists
by giving them larger quantities of land. Finally, in the
requital of services rendered or to encourage emigration,
the company also granted considerable tracts of land to
groups of persons or to individuals. They also gave the
holders of these large grants power in the way of gov-
ernment, and made them independent of the company's
officers at Jamestown. Cases of this kind, which will
be noticed hereafter, were the grants to the Pilgrims, to
Captain John Martin, and to John Smith of Nibley 1 and
his associates.

The third part of the scheme was the securing a mo-
nopoly of the tobacco market of England to the company,
or to some of its members. A fourth part of the plan
contemplated that the company, or some of its members,

1 Among other proposed colonists was dnoed In facsimile by A. 8. Clark) . Wal-

a body of Walloons. See "Agreement loon emigrants later (1623) songht New

signed at The Hague, 19 July, 1621," in Netherland, but none came to Virginia,
the form of a "Bound Robin" (repro-



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198 THE COLONY OF VIRGINIA [Ch. VH

should enjoy the whole trade of the colony. This was to
be done by sending out " magazine ships " from which the
settlers could obtain their supplies and to which they could
sell their tobacco. The scheme in its entirety possessed
great possibilities. Practical freedom of government,
practical freedom of religion, and practical monopoly of
the English tobacco trade were offset by the necessity of
paying a small quit-rent on the land obtained from the
company and of confining buying and selling to the maga-
zine ships. The scheme, however, failed. Warwick and
Smythe made up their feud ; they and their friends turned
on the Virginia Company and brought about its overthrow
in the hope, perhaps, that from the wreckage they might
get back a part of the money which they had sunk in the
enterprise.

On one of the last days of April, 1619, Sir George
Yeardley landed at Jamestown. Soon after his arrival,
in conformity with his instructions, he issued a procla-
mation * directing the inhabitants of each place and plan-
tation to elect two burgesses to a general assembly to be
held at Jamestown. On July 30 the assembly 9 met in
the wooden church at Jamestown. There were present
the governor, the councilors, and twenty-two burgesses,
representing eleven places, three of which were denomi-
nated cities. The session was opened with prayer, and
all the burgesses, " none staggering at it," took the Oath
of Supremacy. The House of Commons in England had
wrested from the king the right to judge of the quali-

1 Brown's First Republic, 312. The first paper in this volume is " A Re-

2 Colonial Records of Virginia [edited port of the Manner of proceeding. in the
by T. H. Wynne and W. S. Oilman]. General Assembly con vented at James
This is sometimes cited as Senate Docu- Citty in Virginia, July 30, 1619." See
ment (Extra) , 1874, as it was printed also Sainsbury in the Antiquary for
by the general assembly of Virginia. July, 1881.

Bruce, for instance, cites it in this way.



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1619] THE FIRST ASSEMBLY 199

fications and elections of its own members. So here
the assembly at once proceeded to exercise the privileges
which in England belonged to the Commons, and ques-
tioned the right of the burgesses from Captain Ward's
and Captain Martin's plantations to sit in the House. It
appeared that Captain Ward had " squatted " on the com-
pany's land ; on promising to obtain a regular title he and
the other burgess from his plantation were permitted to
remain.

The case of Captain John Martin was more complicated.
He had been one of the first comers to Virginia and a mem-
ber of the first council, and had powerful connections in
England, as his brother-in-law, Sir Julius Caesar, was
Master of the Rolls and a much trusted member of the
Privy Council. Although Martin's sister had been dead
many years, and Caesar, in the interval, had had two other
wives, he continued to manifest a strong interest in the
colonizing captain and his affairs. In its grant to Captain
Martin, 1 the Virginia Company had authorized him to
govern and command all persons whom he should trans-
port to Virginia or who should be sent to him, free from
any control by the colony except it be to assist against
any foreign or domestic enemy. The assembly voted that
Captain Martin should either give over that part of his
patent, or the burgesses from his plantation should with-
draw from the assembly. He refused to abandon his
peculiar privileges, and his representatives were dismissed.
These preliminaries arranged, the assembly proceeded to
legislative business. As the laws which they passed were
the first to be made by a legislative body in America, it
will be well briefly to notice them.

* Documents and discussions relating to this case are in Virginia Magazine of
History, vii, 136, 268.



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200 THE COLONY OP VIRGINIA [Ch. VII

In general, it may be said that the assembly sought to
adapt English practice to Virginian conditions without
much regard for "Dale's Laws." As to religion, for ex-
ample, it was provided that all clergymen should read
divine service and perform their ministerial functions ac-
cording to the laws and orders of the Church of England.
Every one in the colony should attend divine service on
Sundays, both forenoon and afternoon, or forfeit three shil-
lings for each absence, which should go to the use of the
Church ; servants, however, in case their absence were due
to disobedience of their master's commands, should suffer
bodily punishment. Idleness, gambling, drunkenness, and
"excess in apparel" were vigorously reprobated. The
idler might be bound to serve for wages until he showed
signs of amendment ; the gambler should pay ten shillings
and forfeit his winnings, if any ; the drunkard for the first
offense should be privately reprimanded by the minister ;
for the second offense he should lie in the bolts, or bilboes ;
for the third offense he should undergo such severe punish-
ment as the governor and council might determine. The
legislators' attention was directed to excess in apparel by
the appearance of a freed servant in a beaver hat with a
band of pearls. To curb this tendency to wasteful display,



Online LibraryEdward ChanningA history of the United States, Volume 1 → online text (page 16 of 46)