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[241] grew up in all the British settlements. The insurrec-
Chap. XIV.}
tion of Bacon found friends north of the Potomac, and a rising was checked only by the prompt energy of the government.1 But the vague and undefined cravings after change, the tendency toward more popular forms of administration, could not be repressed. The assembly which was convened during the absence of
1678
proprietary shared in this spirit; and the right of suffrage was established on a corresponding basis.2 The party of ‘Baconists’ had obtained great influence on the public mind. Differences between the proprietary and the people became apparent. On his return to the province, he himself, by proclamation,
1681 June 27
annulled the rule which the representatives of Maryland had established respecting the elective franchise, and, by an arbitrary ordinance, limited the right of
Sept. 6.
suffrage to freemen possessing a freehold of fifty acres, or having a visible personal estate of forty pounds. No difference was made with respect to color. In Virginia, the negro, the mulatto, and the Indian, were first disfranchised in 1723; in Maryland, they retained by law the right of suffrage till the time when the poor-
1802
est white man recovered his equal franchise. These restrictions, which, for one hundred and twenty-one years, successfully resisted the principle of universal suffrage among freemen of the Caucasian race, were introduced in the midst of scenes of civil commotion. Fendall, the old republican,3 was again planning schemes of insurrection, and even of independence. The state was not only troubled with poverty, but

1 T. M.'s Account, p. 21. Lord Baltimore to the earl of Anglesey, in Chalmers, p. 376. ‘In the time of Bacon's rebellion, he [Fendall] tried to raise a rebellion here.’

2 Bacon, 1678, c. III. McMahon, 445.

3 Documents, in Chalmers, 376. The letter is from Lord Baltimore,—of course, an ex parte statement.

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