Hitherto, the king had, fortunately for the colony,
found no time to take order for its government.
His zeal for an exclusive contract led him to observe and to sanction the existence of an elective legislature.
The assembly, in its answer, acquiesced
in the royal monopoly, but protested against its being farmed out to individuals.
The independent reply of the assembly was signed by the governor, by five members of the council, and by thirty-one burgesses.
The Virginians, happier than the people of England
, enjoyed a faithful representative government, and, through the resident planters who composed the council, they repeatedly elected their own governor.
When West designed to embark for Europe
, his place was supplied by election.1
No sooner had the news of the death of Yeardley
, than the king proceeded to issue a commission2
to John Harvey
The tenor of the instrument offered no invasions of colonial freedom; but while it renewed the limitations which had previously been set to the executive authority, it permitted the council in Virginia
, which had common interests with the people, to supply all vacancies occurring in their body.
In this way direct oppression was rendered impossible.
It was during the period which elapsed between the appointment of Harvey
and his appearance in
America, that Lord Baltimore visited Virginia
The zeal of religious bigotry pursued him as a Romanist;3
and the intolerant jealousy of Popery led to memorable results.
Nor should we, in this connection, forget the hospitable plans of the southern planters; the people