« PreviousContinue »
June 10 pro- signed the Monday following (this was Saturday) DiUed a Com- ^ General! for the Indian warr, to the universal satisfaction of the people, who passionately desired the same; witnessed by the generall acclamations of all then in towne.
And here who can do less than wonder at the mutable and impermenent deportments of that blind Godes fortune, who in the mornin^ leades men with disgraces, and ere night crowns him with honours; sometimes depressing, and again ellevating, as her fickle humer is to smile or frown, of which this Gentlemans fate was a kind of epittemy in the several vicissitudes and changes he was subjected in a very few days. For in the morning, before his tryall, he was in his enemys hopes, and his friends feares, judged for to receive the Gurdean due to a Rebell (and such he was proclaimed to be) and ere night crowned the Darling of the peoples hopes and desires, as the only man fitt in Verginia to put a stop to the bloody resolution of the Heathen. And yet againe, as a fuller manifestation of Fortunes inconstancye, within _ _ two or three days, the peoples hopes, and his
nour refuses desires, were both frustrated by the Governours to tyne tha refusing to singe the promised commission. At Commiisioo. which being disgusted, though he dissembled the
Bacon dii- same so well as he could, he beggs leave of the *uste Governour to dispense with his servis at the coun
cell table, to visit his Wife, who, as she had informed him, was indisposed, which request the Governour (after som contest with his own thoughts) granted, contrary to the advice of som about him, who suspected Bacons designes, and that it was not so much his lady's sickness as the troubles of a distempered mind t»hich caused him to withdraw to his own house, and that this was the truth, which in a few days was manifested, when that he returning to towne with 500 men in arms.
The Governour did not want intelligence of Bacons designes,
and therefore sent out his summons for Yorke traine bands to
reinforce his gards then at towne. But the time was so short,
not above 12 howers warning) and those that ap
Bacno r«- peared at the Rendezvous made such a slender
turnes to town number, that under 4 Ensignes there was not mus
«t the neon nf d above Jqq soulders and „ot Qne ha]f Qf ti]em
500 men. and 7 ' . , . .
ibrceath a sure neather, and all so sluggish m their march,
Commission. that before they could reach towne, by a grate deale, Bacon had entered the same, and by force obtained a commission, calculated to the hight of his own desires. With which commission, being invested, (such as it was,) he makes redy his provisions, fills up his companies to the designed number (500 in all) and so applies himselfe to those services the country expected from him. And, first, for the securing the same against the excursions of the Indians, in his absence (and such might be expected) he commissionated several persons, (such as he could confide in) in every respective county, with select companies of well armed men, to ravage the forests, thickets, swamps, and all such suspected places where Indians might have any shelter for the doing of mischiefe. Which proseedings of his put so much courage into the planters, that they begun to apply themselves to their accustomed employments in their
Elantations: which till now they durst not do, for fear of being nock'd in the head, as God knows too many were before these orders were observed.
While the Generall (for so was Bacon now denominated by virtue of his commission) was sedulous in these affaires, and fitting Tiis provissions, about the head of Yorke river, in order to his advance against the Indians; the Governour was steareing quite different courses. He was once more persuaded (but for what reasons not visible) to proclaim Bacon a Rebell againe. And now since his absence afforded an advantage to raise the country upon him, so soone as he should returne tired and exhausted by his toyle and labour in the Indian war. For the putting this councel in execution, the Governour steps over in Gloster county, (a place the best replenished for men, arms, and affection of any County in Verginia,) all which the Governour summons to give him a meeting at a place and day assigned, where being met according to summons the Governours proposalls was so much disrelished, by the wholl Convention, that they all disbanded to their owne aboades, after their promise past to stand by and assist the Governour against all those who should go about to rong his person or debase his authority; unto which promise they annexed or subjoined severall reasons why they thought it not convenient at present, convenient to declare themselves against Bacon, as he was now advancing against the common enemy, who had in a most barbarous maner murthered som hundreds of their deare brethren and countrymen, and would, if not prevented by God, and the endeavours of good men, do their utmost for to cut off the wholl Collony.
Therefore did they think that it would be a thing The Gin-ter inconsistent with right reason if that they in this TM"" Prote"adesperate conjuncture of time, should go and ingage themselves one against another; from the result of which proseedings, no thing could be expected but ruine and destruction unto both, to the one and other party, since that it might reasonably be conceived, that while they should be exposing their breasts against one anothers wepons, the barbarous and common enemy (who would make his advantages by our disadvantages) should be upon their backs to knock out their brains. But if it should so hapen (as they did hope would never hapen) that the Generall after the Indian war was finished, should attempt any thing against his Honers person or Government, that they would rise up in arms, with a joint consent, for the preservation of both.
Since the Governour could obtaine no more he was at present to rest himselfe contented with this, while those who had advised him to these undertakings, was not a little dissatisfied to find the event not answer their expectations. But he at present, seeing there was no more to be don, since he wanted a power to have that don, which was esteemed the maine of the affaires, now in hand to be don, namely, the gaineing of the Gloster men, to do what he would have done, he thought it best to do what he had
a power to do, and that was once more to proclame Earon pro- J3acon a tfatour, which was performed in all pubTraiour. lick places of meetings in these parts. The noise
of which proclameation, after that it had passed the admiration of all that were not acquainted with the reasons that moved his Honer to do what he had now don, soone reached the Generalls ears not yet stopt up from lisning to apparent dangers.
This strange and unexpected news put him, and som with him, shrodely to their trumps, believing that a few such deales, or shuffles (call them which you please) might quickly ring the cards and game too out his hand. He perceved that he was falne (like the corne between the stones) so that if he did not looke the better about him, he might chance to be ground to powder. He knew that to have a certaine enemy in his frunt, and more than uncertaine friends in his reare, portended no grate security from a violent death, and that there could be no grate difference betwene his being wounded to death in his breast with bows and arrows, or in the back with guns and musquet bullets. He did see that there was an absolute necessity of destroying the Indians for the prisarvation of the English, and that there was some care to be taken for his owne and souldiers safety, otherways that worke must be ill don where the laberoures are made criples, and compeld insteade of a sword to betake themselves to a crutch.