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[202] of the colony, during his administration, was con-
Chap. VI.}
trolled by a party which pursued him with implacable hostility. In April, 1642, two months only after the accession of Berkeley, a public document declares the comparative happiness of the colony under the royal government; a declaration which would hardly have been made, if Virginia had so recently and so long been smarting under intolerable oppression.1

At length he was superseded, and Sir Francis

1639. Nov.
Wyatt2 appointed in his stead. Early in the next year, he convened a general assembly. History has
1640. Jan.
recorded many instances where a legislature has altered the scale of debts: in modern times, it has frequently been done by debasing the coin, or by introducing paper money. In Virginia, debts had been contracted to be paid in tobacco; and when the article rose in value, in consequence of laws restricting its culture, the legislature of Virginia did not scruple to provide a remedy, by enacting that ‘no man need pay more than two thirds of his debt during the stint;’ and that all creditors should take ‘forty pounds for a hundred.’3 The artificial increase of the value of tobacco seemed to require a corresponding change in the tariff of debts.4

After two years, a commission5 was issued to Sir

1641. Aug. 9
William Berkeley. Historians, reasoning, from the revolutions which took place in England, that there had been corresponding attempts at oppression and corresponding resistance in Virginia, have delighted

1 Hening, l. 231.

2 Rymer, XX. 484. Hazard, i. 477. Savage on Winthrop, II. 160, 161. Hening, i. 224, and 4. Campbell, 61. But Keith, and Beverly, and Chalmers, and Burk, and Marshall, were ignorant of such a governor as Wyatt, in 1639, and represent Berkeley as the immediate successor of Harvey.

3 Hening, i. 225, 226.

4 Brockenbrough's Virginia, 586.

5 Hazard, i. 477—480. Rymer XX. 484—486.

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