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[223] as Virginians might carry into effect; for they con-
Chap VI.} 1651
stituted them the pacificators and benefactors of their country. In case of resistance, the cruelties of war were threatened.1 If Virginia would but adhere to the commonwealth, she might be the mistress of her own destiny.

What opposition could be made to the parliament, which, in the moment of its power, voluntarily pro-

1652 Mar.
posed a virtual independence? No sooner had the Guinea frigate anchored in the waters of the Chesapeake, than ‘all thoughts of resistance were laid aside,’2 and the colonists, having no motive to con tend for a monarch whose fortunes seemed irretrievable, were earnest only to assert the freedom of their own institutions. It marks the character of the Virginians, that they refused to surrender to force, but yielded by a voluntary deed and a mutual compact. It was agreed, upon the surrender, that the ‘people of Virginia’ should have all the liberties of the freeborn people of England; should intrust their business, as formerly, to their own grand assembly; should remain

1 Let the reader consult the instructions themselves, in Thurloe, i. 197, 198, or in Hazard, i. 556—558, rather than the commentary of Chalmers.

2 Clarendon, b. XIII. 466, 467. It is strange how much error has been introduced into Virginia history, and continued, even when means of correcting it were abundant and easy of access. Clarendon relates the matter rightly. See also Strong's Babylon's Fall, 2, 3, and Langford's Refutation, 6, 7. These are all contemporary authorities. Compare also the journals of the Long Parliament for August 31, 1652. So, too, the Act of Surrender, in Hening, i. 363—365, which agrees with the instructions from the Long Parliament. Compare also Ludlow, 149: ‘This news being brought to Virginia, they submitted also,’&c. Clarendon, Strong, Langford, the public acts, Ludlow, all contemporary, do not disagree. Beverley wrote in the next century; and his account is, therefore, less to be relied on. Besides, it is in itself improbable. How could Dutch merchantmen have awaited an English squadron? The Netherlands had no liberty to trade with Virginia; and Dutch ships would at once have been seized as prizes. Virginia had doubtless been ‘whole for monarchy;’ but monarchy in England seemed at an end. Of modern writers, Godwin, History of the Commonwealth, III. 280, discerned the truth.

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