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[219] as the charters of Gilbert and of Raleigh had contained
Chap VI.}
little but concessions, suited to invite those eminent men to engage with earnestness in the career of western discoveries, so the first charter for Virginia ex-
pressly admitted strangers to trade with the colony on payment of a small discriminating duty.1 On the enlargement of the company, the intercourse with for-
signers was still permitted; nor were any limits assigned to the commerce in which they might engage.2 The last charter was equally free from unreasonable
restrictions on trade; and, by a confirmation of all former privileges, it permitted to foreign nations the traffic, which it did not expressly sanction.3

At an early period of his reign, before Virginia had

1604 Oct. 17.
been planted, King James found in his hostility to the use of tobacco a convenient argument for the excessive tax which a royal ordinance imposed on its consumption.4 When the weed had evidently become the staple of Virginia, the Stuarts cared for nothing in the colony so much as for a revenue to be derived from an impost on its produce. Whatever false display of zeal might be made for religion, the conversion of the heathen, the organization of the government, and the establishment of justice, the subject of tobacco was never forgotten. The sale of it in England was
1619 May.
strictly prohibited, unless the heavy impost had been paid;5 a proclamation enforced the royal decree;6
and, that the tax might be gathered on the entire consumption, by a new proclamation,7 the culture of to-
Dec. 30
bacco was forbidden in England and Wales, and the plants already growing were ordered to be uprooted.

1 Charter, s. 13, in Hen. i. 63.

2 s. 21, Hening, i. 94, 95.

3 Third Charter, s. 21, ib. 109.

4 Hazard, i. 49, 50.

5 May 25. Hazard, i. 89.

6 Nov. 10. Ibid. 90.

7 Hazard. i. 93.

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