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[232] authority. Virginia had herself, almost unconsciously,
Chap. VI.}
established a nearly independent democracy; and already preferred her own sons for places of authority.1 The country felt itself honored by those who were ‘Virginians born;’2 and emigrants never again desired to live in England.3 Prosperity advanced with freedom; dreams of new staples and infinite wealth were indulged;4 while the population of Virginia, at the epoch of the restoration, may have been about thirty thousand. Many of the recent emigrants had been royalists in England, good officers in the war, men of education, of property, and of condition. The revolution had not subdued their characters; but the waters of the Atlantic divided them from the political strifes of Europe; their industry was employed in making the best advantage of their plantations; the interests and liberties of Virginia, the land which they adopted as their country, were dearer to them than the monarchical principles which they had espoused in England;5 and therefore no bitterness could exist between the firmest partisans of the Stuarts and the friends of republican liberty. Virginia had long been the home of its inhabitants. ‘Among many other blessings,’ said their statute-book,6 “God Almighty hath vouchsafed increase of children to this colony; who are now multiplied to a considerable number; and the huts in the wilderness were as full as the birds-nests of the woods.”

1 Hammond's Leah and Rachel, p. 15.

2 Thurloe, II. 274.

3 Hammond, 8.

4 E. Williams, Virginia, and Virginia's Discovery of Silk-worms, 1650.

5 Clarendon, b. XIII. v. III. p. 466, 467. Walsh's Appeal, p. 31.

6 Hening, i. 336. ‘A very numerous generation of Christian children born in Virginia, who naturally are of beautiful and comely persons, and generally of more ingenious spirits than those of England.’ Virginia's Cure, 5.

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