lay in the oppression of the navigation acts,
indignation at colonial tyranny, and the rising passion for self-government.
Hardly had Bacon
begun to march against the In-
dians, when Berkeley
, yielding to the instigations of an aristocratic faction, proclaimed him and his followers rebels, and levied troops to pursue them.
‘Those of estates obeyed’1
the summons to disperse.
, with a small but faithful band, continued his expedition, while a new insurrection compelled Berkeley
to return to Jamestown
The lower counties had risen in arms, and, directing their hatred against the old assembly, to which they ascribed their griefs, demanded its ‘immediate dissolution.’2
With the whole mass of the people against him, the haughty Cavalier was constrained to yield.
The assembly, which had become odious by its long duration, the selfishness of its members, and its diminution of popular freedom, was dissolved; writs for a new election were issued; and Bacon
, returning in triumph from his Indian warfare, was unanimously elected a burgess from Henrico county
In the choice of this assembly, the late disfranchisement of freemen was little regarded.4
A majority of the members returned were ‘much infected’ with the principles of Bacon
and their speaker, Thomas Godwin
, was notoriously a friend to all ‘the rebellion and treason which distracted Virginia
In the midst of contradictory testimony on the character of the insurgents,