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[199] excitement; and when historians, receiving the
Chap. VI.} 1630 to 1635
account, and interpreting tyranny to mean arbitrary taxation, drew the inference that he convened no assemblies, trifled with the rights of property, and levied taxes according to his caprice, they were betrayed into extravagant errors. Such a procedure would have been impossible. He had no soldiers at his command; no obsequious officers to enforce his will; and the Virginians would never have made themselves the instruments of their own oppression. The party opposed to Harvey was deficient neither in capacity nor in colonial influence; and while arbitrary power was rapidly advancing to triumph in England, the Virginians, during the whole period, enjoyed the benefit of independent colonial legislation;1 through the agency of their representatives, they levied and appropriated all taxes,2 secured the free industry of their citizens,3 guarded the forts with their own soldiers, at their own

1 As an opposite statement has received the sanction, not of Oldmixon, Chalmers, and Robertson only, but of Marshall and of Story (see Story's Commentaries, i. 28, ‘without the slightest effort to convene a colonial assembly’), I deem it necessary to state, that many of the statutes of Virginia under Harvey still exist, and that, though many others are lost, the first volume of Hening's Statutes at Large proves, beyond a question, that assemblies were convened, at least, as often as follows:—

1630, March,Hening, i.147—153.
1630, April,ibid.257.
1632, February,ibid.153—177.
1632, Septemberibid.178—202.
1633, February,ibid.202—209.
1633, August,ibid.209—222.
1640,Hening, i.268.
1641, June,ibid.259—262.
1642, January,ibid.267.
1642, April,ibid.230.
1642, June,ibid.269.

Considering how imperfect are the early records, it is surprising that so considerable a list can be established. The instructions to Sir William Berkeley do not first order assemblies; but speak of them as of a thing established. At an adjourned session of Berkeley's first legislature, the assembly declares ‘its meeting exceeding customary limits, in this place used.’ Hening, i. 236. This is a plain declaration, that assemblies were the custom and use of Virginia at the time of Berkeley's arrival. If any doubts remain, it would be easy to multiply arguments and references. Burk, II. App. XLIX. LI.

2 Hening, i. 171, Act 38.

3 Ibid. 172, Act 40.

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