arrive in Virginia
had withdrawn, having pre-
viously, by fraudulent devices, preserved for himself and his partners the fruits of his extortions.
The London company suffered the usual plagues of corporations—faithless agents and fruitless suits.
, for twelve years after its settlement, had languished under the government of Sir Thomas Smith
, treasurer of the Virginia
company in England
The colony was ruled during that period by laws written in blood; and repeatedly suffered an extremity of distress too horrible to be described.
In April, 1619, Sir George Yeardley
Of the emigrants who had been sent over at great cost, not one in twenty then remained alive.
‘In James citty were only those houses that Sir Thomas Gates
built in the tyme of his government, with one wherein the governor allwayes dwelt, and a church, built wholly at the charge of the inhabitants of that citye, of timber, being fifty foote in length and twenty in breadth.’
, now Richmond
, there were no more than ‘three old houses, a poor ruinated church, with some few poore buildings in the islande.’
‘For ministers to instruct the people, only three were authorized; two others had never received their orders.’
‘The natives were upon doubtfull termes;’ and the colony was altogether ‘in a poore estate.’
From the moment of Yeardley
's arrival, dates the real life of Virginia
Bringing with him ‘commissions and instructions from the company for the better establishinge of a commonwealth,’ he made proclamation, ‘that those cruell lawes, by which the ancient planters had soe longe been governed, were now abrogated, and that they were to be governed by those free lawes, which his majesties subjectes lived ’