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[230] the vindictive Berkeley, he disdained to shrink from
Chap. XIV.} 1676
the malice of destiny, and Berkeley condemned him to be hanged. Neither at his trial nor afterwards did he show any diminution of fortitude. He demanded no favor, but that ‘he might be shot like a soldier, and not hanged like a dog.’ ‘You die,’ it was answered, ‘not as a soldier, but as a rebel.’ During the short respite after sentence, his soul was filled with the prospect of immortality. Reviewing his life, lie expressed penitence for every sin. What was charged on him as rebellion, he denied to have been a sin. ‘Take notice,’ said he, as he came to the gibbet, ‘I die a loyal subject and a lover of my country.’ That country was Virginia. Hansford perished, the first native of America on the gallows, a martyr to the right of the people to govern themselves.1 Taking advantage of their naval superiority, a party of royalists entered York River, and surprised the troops that were led by Edmund Cheesman and Thomas Wilford. The latter, a younger son of a royalist knight, who had fallen in the wars for Charles I., a truly brave man, and now by his industry a successful emigrant, lost an eye in the skirmish. ‘Were I stark blind,’ said he, ‘the governor would afford me a guide to the gallows.’ When Cheesman was arraigned for trial, Berkeley demanded, ‘Why did you engage in Bacon's designs?’ Before the prisoner could frame an answer, his wife, a young woman, stepped forward:—‘My provocations’ —such were her words—‘made my husband join in the cause for which Bacon contended; but for me, he had never done what he has done. Since what is ’

1 Burwell Account, 62. Cotton, 9. Hening, III. 567

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