to plant at his pleasure and for his own use. So long
as industry had been without its special reward, reluctant labor, wasteful of time, had been followed by want.
Henceforward, the sanctity of private property was recognized as the surest guaranty of order and abundance.
Yet the rights of the Indians were little respected; nor did the English
disdain to appropriate by conquest, the soil, the cabins, and the granaries of the tribe of the Appomattocks.
While the colony was advancing in strength and happiness, the third patent for Virginia
granted to the
adventurers in England
the Bermudas and all islands within three hundred leagues of the Virginia
shore—a concession of no ultimate importance in American history, since the new acquisitions were soon transferred to a separate company.
But the most remarkable change effected in the charter, a change which contained within itself the germ of another revolution, consisted in giving to the corporation a democratic form.
Hitherto all power had resided in the council; which, it is true, was to have its vacancies supplied by the majority of the corporation.
But now it was ordered, that weekly or even more frequent meetings of the whole company, might be convened for the transaction of affairs of less weight; while all questions respecting government, commerce, and the disposition of lands, should be reserved for the four great and general courts, at which all officers were to be elected, and all laws established.
The political rights of the colonists themselves remained unimproved; the character of the corporation was entirely changed: power was transferred from the council to the company, and its sessions became the theatre of bold and independent discussion.
A perverse financial privilege was, at the