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[155] which they claimed no right ‘to correct or con-
Chap. IV.} 1619.
trol;’ yet they kept the way open for seeking redress, ‘in case they should find ought not perfectly squaring with the state of the colony.’

Leave to propose laws was given to any burgess, or by way of petition to any member of the colony; but for expedition's sake, the main business of the session was distributed between two committees, while a third body, composed of the governor and such burgesses as were not on those committees, examined which of former instructions ‘might conveniently put on the habit of laws.’ The legislature acted also as a criminal court.

The church of England was confirmed as the church of Virginia; it was intended that the first four ministers should each receive two hundred pounds a year; all persons whatsoever, upon the Sabbath days, were to frequent divine service and sermons both forenoon and afternoon; and all such as bore arms, to bring their pieces or swords. Grants of land were asked not for planters only, but for their wives, ‘because, in a new plantation, it is not known whether man or woman be the most necessary.’ Measures were adopted ‘towards the erecting of a university and college.’ It was also enacted, that of the children of the Indians, ‘the most towardly boys in wit and graces of nature should be brought up in the first elements of literature, and sent from the college to the work of conversion’ of the natives to the Christian religion. Penalties were appointed for idleness, gaming with dice or cards, and drunkenness. Excess in apparel was taxed in church for all public contributions. The business of planting corn, mulberry trees, hemp, and vines was encouraged.

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1619 AD (1)
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