liberties of their plantation.
No intimidations, not
even threats of blood, could deter Sir Edwin Sandys
, the new treasurer, from investigating and reforming the abuses by which its progress had been retarded.
At his accession to office, after twelve years labor, and an expenditure of eighty thousand pounds by the company, there were in the colony no more than six hundred men, women, and children; and in one year he sent over twelve hundred and sixty-one persons.
Nor must the character of the emigration be overlooked.
‘The people of Virginia
had not been settled in their minds,’ and as, before the recent changes, they retained the design of ultimately returning to England
, it was necessary to multiply attachments to the soil.
Few women had dared to cross the Atlantic
; but now the promise of prosperity induced ninety agreeable persons, young and incorrupt, to listen to the advice of Sandys
, and embark for the colony, where they were assured of a welcome.
They were transported at the expense of the company, and were married to its tenants, or to men who were able to support them, and who willingly defrayed the costs of their passage, which were rigorously demanded.
The adventure which had been in part a mercantile speculation, succeeded so well, that it was proposed to send the next year another consignment of one hundred;
but before these could be collected, the company found itself so poor, that its design could be accomplished only by a subscription.
After some delays, sixty were
actually despatched, maids of virtuous education, young, handsome, and well recommended.
The price rose from one hundred and twenty to one hundred and fifty pounds of tobacco, or even more; so that all the