"And from this meeting Have grown all congresses and states, All government... for our America."
Tyler, in the "Cradle of the Republic," estimates the of colonists that came to Virginia from December, 1618, to November 1619, as 840, leaving about 900 alive in the colony in December, 1619. Of 1,440 persons accounted as having emigrated from England, five hundred and fort had died.
It was in 1619 that the Puritan refugees in Holland, having, heard through Captain Smith, who visited them, the wonders of the new world, an account of his explorations, and probably having examined his maps, decided to make an attempt to plant a colony, on the southside of the Hudson in Northern Virginia. Permission was secured from the London Company to make their settlement within Virginia territory. One hundred and twenty persons sailed from Plymouth on the Mayflower in 1620, landing at Patuxent (New Plymouth) on December 11. The first landing was at Provincetown but it was not considered as desirable a location as Plymouth.
In 1620, when the Separatists, or Pilgrims, landed at Plymouth there were 2,200 colonists living at or near Jamestown.
Ninety maids voyaged from England to marry Virginia planters. No transportation was charged, provided a maid married a farmer, but should she select a husband with some other trade or profession, transportation fee was to be paid by the one chosen. No maid was permitted to marry a servant, though she was permitted to accept or reject a suitor, the only restriction being that the husband must be a free man and well able to care for her. So successful was this venture, sixty more maids came over the following year, all bringing testimonials of gentle birth and good character. The husbands of the second contingent were required to pay from 120 to 150 pounds of "sweet-scented" tobacco to cover the cost of transportation.
According to Smith's "History of Virginia." twenty-one ships were sent to Virginia in 1620. On them came 1,300 then, women and children. * * * Sir Edwin Sandys, in his report to the London Companv, seated, "With in the year there have been sent out eight ships at the company°s expense, and four other by private adventure." And that "these ships have transported 1,260 persons, wherefore 650 were for the public use, and the other 611 were for private plantations." He reported that "many patents have passed to various adventurers and and their associates, who have undertaken to transport to Virginia great multitudes of people with much cattle." He also reported 150 persons had been seat over to set up three iron works, and directions had been given for making cordage, hemp and flax, from the growing of silk-grass,"which grew there naturally in great abundance, and is found upon experience to make the best cordage and line in the world."
Sufficient then had been sent over to erect sawmills, make pitch, tar, pot and soap ashes; also experts were included in making wine from the excellent grapes found in the colony, and "plenty of silk-worm seed of the best sort," were exported for experiment in silk culture. The last in fact, was a second supply, from His Majesty's own store. Sandys reported the salt works had been restored and there were "Hopes of such plenty, as not only to serve the colony for the present, but also shortly to supply the great fishery on those :American coasts." (New England).
Various contributions were made in England, and in the colony, for the purpose of creating a fund to be used in the education of Indian boys and girls. Salaries of ministers, fixed by law, were to be 1,500 weight of tobacco and sixteen barrels of corn, then estimated at about 200 pounds sterling.
In September, the Earl of Southampton was elected treasurer "without ballot, but general acclamation and erection of hands."
The writer records the above details that the reader may be informed of the condition of the Virginia Colony when the 120 Pilgrims landed at Plymouth.
On July .4, 1621, King James, The First, granted the fourth charter to the London Company. It authorized "two supreme councils, in Virginia, for better government of the said colony." One was designed as "the Council of State," whose office was to assist the Governor with "care, advice and circumspection." The first appointees of the Council of State were Sir Francis Wyatt, Governor of Virginia; Captain Francis `Vest, Sir George Yeardley, knight; Sir William Neuse, knight marshal of Virginia; (after whom Newport News (New Porte Neuse) received its name). George Sandys, treasurer; George Thorpe, deputy of the college; Captain Thomas Neuse, deputy for the company; Rev. Robert Pawlet, Mr. Leech, Captain Nathaniel Powell, Christopher Davidson, secretary; Dr. Pots, physician to the company; Roger Smith, John Berkley, John Rolph, Ralp Hamor, John Pounds, Mitchell Eapworth, 'Mr. Harwood and Samuel Macock. The members of the council were to reside "about or near the Governor" and were to meet quarterly. The other council was to consist of the House of Burgesses and members of the Council of State. This council was to be called "once yearly and no oftener," unless for extraordinary occasion. It was to be called "the General Assembly," a lame still used for our Legislature. This provision in the charter was a confirmation of the Letters Patent under which the House of Burgesses met in 1619.
The General Assembly was granted "free power to treat, consult and conclude as well of all emergent occasions, concerning the public weal of the said colony, and every part thereof, as also to make, ordain and enact such general laws and orders for the behoof of the said colony and every part thereof. * * *"
The General Assembly was instructed to follow the "policy of the form of government of the realm of England," but the said laws were to be confirmed by the General Quarter Court of the London Company. It was stipulated that this would not be required (report to the General Court) after the "Government of the colony shall once have been well framed."
The Virginia lottery, by which 29,000 pounds sterling had been received, now being at an end, it was found necessary to raise additional revenue for use of the company in its Virginia enterprise. To assist in creating interest and revenue, Captain John Smith was requested to write a "History of Virginia" for the "effect which such a general history, deduced to the life, would have throughout the kingdom," and also because "a few years would consume the lives of many whose memories retained much and might also devour those letters and intelligences, which yet remained in loose and neglected papers."
Captain Smith accepted the commission. His history of Virginia was published and found circulation not only throughout England, but in the Virginia colony. Copies, or reprints, of this work are treasured heirlooms in some of the old Virginia families.
Sir Francis Wyatt arrived in Virginia, October, 1621, with a fleet of nine ships, a number of colonists and a commission as Governor to succeed Sir George Yeardley. He assumed the office on November 18. It is said that his instructions from the company contained forty-seven articles, among them being orders to suppress gaming, drunkenness and "excess in apparel." No person, "except the Council, Heads of Hundreds and Plantations, with their wives and children, should wear gold on their clothes, or any apparel of silk, except such as had been raised by their own industry." Smith reports that the Governor and council answered to this by asserting "they knew of no excess in apparel except in the price of it."
One article suggested that the "best disposed" of the Indians should be employed by the, planters in order to reconcile them to a "Civil Way of Life," and that a certain number of Indian children should be, "Brought up in the first elements of Literature," and "the most towardly of these should be fitted for the; College; in the building of which they proposed to proceed as soon as any Profit arose from the Estate appropriated for that use."
They were commanded to make only 100 pounds of tobacco per head, per year, and take all possible care to, "Improve that proportion in Goodness." In order to assist in overcoming the deficiency in the Treasury, the company issued a number of Rolls (permits) for sale to the planters. One roll was a permit to buy from the Cape Merchant (Storekeeper) at such a moderate price as would justify the money advanced. Another roll granted subscribers an allotment of land, according to the number of maids sent over to marry the colonists. The land was to be laid off and formed into a town to be known as "Maidstown." Another roll was a permit to establish a glass furnace to make beads to be used as currency in trading- with the Indians. The fourth roll permitted the holder to voyage age among the Indians and purchase skins and furs.
The population in Virginia at this time was given as near 4,000.
Rev. Mr. Copeland, chaplain of the "Royal James," on a voyage from East India to England, raised a sum of £70, among the ship's company, to be used in building a free school in Virginia. Two anonymous subscribers later made gifts to increase the fund to £125. It was decided to use this fund to build a school in Charles City to he known as East India School, in recognition of the gift having- been started on an East India ship. One thousand acres of land, five servants and an overseer ",ere allotted by the company to support a Master and usher. The graduates of the school were to be admitted to the college at Henricopolis (Dutch Gap). Rev. Mr. Copeland was appointed master, and carpenters were sent over the following year to construct the school building.
The first negroes, bought into the colony arrived in 1619, on a Dutch ship (?-the Treasurer) and were distributed among the planters to assist them in raising tobacco. It is said that Opecancanough, seeing them for the first time in 1621, thought that God had shown displeasure at some of the planters by turning them black.
It was in 1621 that Captain Gookin arrived from Ireland (Newse Towne) with the first Irish immigrants. They were eighty in number, and settled at Newport News, of which mention has been made. This same year Lieutenant Jabez Whitaker erected a Guest House at Jamestown, for accommodation of visitors and newcomers. It is reported that the Planters contributed 11500 towards the venture. This may be said to have been the first traven or hotel in America.
Great distress was suffered by the planters, on the adoption of the method of Garbling by the officials of the Crown in England. "Garbling" was so called from the fact that an officer was appointed to examine tobacco stored in English warehouses and throw out all garble or trash. Advantage was taken of this law, to such extent, much tobacco was confiscated to the Government, though of fine quality, and. after the tax on the balance was paid, there was ofttimes a loss instead of gain. In consequence of this practice the tobacco trade of Virginia was virtually ruined. Notwithstanding the protests of the company and colonists the practice continued. In order to gain relief the commodity was diverted to Holland, until the King, learning of it, interfered.