Page images

The cruelty of these laws lay in their entirely ignoring any obligation on the part of the colonies to protect and become identified with those Indians who placed themselves in the attitude of friends. If an Indian tribe should fall upon and kill all chance visitors from other tribes that happened not to be friendly to English methods of dealing with the natives, who was to protect the tribe from the vengeance of the kindred of those slain while trusting to the usual hospitality of Indians ? This war was planned to be, as it proved to be, a war of extermination, for the rules laid down were such as to make it difficult for an Indian to be true to his sense of honor and to be anything but an enemy." All such we have seen were subject to death or slavery.

The act of Bacon's Assembly concerning enslaving the Indians was confirmed in 1676, and again enacted in 1679.2 About this time the following law declared who were to be accounted slaves :

Whether Negroes, Moors, Molattoes or Indians, who and whose parentago and dative country are not Christians at the time of their first purchase of such servant by some Christian, although afterwards, and before such their importation and bring. ing into this country, they shall be converted to the Christian faith, and all Indians which shall hereafter be sold by our neighboring Indians, or any other traficing with us as for slaves are hereby adjudged, deemed and taken, and shall be atljudged and taken to be slaves to all intents and purposes, any law, usage, or custome to the contrary notwithstanding.'

In order to prevent any harm done to friendly neighboring Indians by the various garrisons, four Indians were to be stationed at each fort. Friendly Indians were instructed not to fly, “but to stand peaceably and discourse the English, and give true account who and what they are, and upon their approaching lay down their arms, that then they shall be civilly treated and no harm shall be offered or be done unto them." 4

All trade had been prohibited with Indians, but this was found to be disadvantageous to the colonial merchant, and in 1677 trade was opened with friendly Indians, and marts or fairs established for the natives north and south of the James River. These fairs were held for forty days twice a year, the governor receiving a revenue and the clerks a percentage on all sales. The Indians were bade to come to the marts unarmed, and no one was to entertain an Indian without the governor's license.

Fourteen years later, in 1691, all former laws restricting trade were repealed, and it became lawful to trade at all times and all places with all Indians whatsoever." This law became the basis of the decision of the Supreme Court in 1898: “That no native American Indian brought into Virginia since the year 1691 could, under any circumstances, be lawfully made a slave. Although the law of 1691 by implication asserted that the Indian was not a slave because he was made capable of trading, it remained inoperative, so far as the Indian's freedom was concerned, for he continued to be held and bought as a slave for more than a hundred

Hening: Statutes of Virginia, Vol. II, p. p. 404. *Ibid., p. 440. 3 I bid., Vol. II, pp. 491-412. * Ibid., p. 439. Ibid., p. 336. 6 Ibid., p. 410.

' Ibid., Vol. III, p. 60. * Pallas vs. Hill (2 Hening and Mumford Reports, 149).

years afterward, as is attested by the case in which the above decision was rendered in the year 1808.

At this time (1691) the Assembly authorized the employment of a lieu. tenant, eleven soldiers, and two Indians to scout at the head of each of the great rivers in the colony. The Indians employed were to receive as pay eight yards of duffels and two barrels of Indian corn per year, for a less term of service a proportionate amount; and each one was to be furnished with a horse, bridle, and saddle. This act was repeated each year until 1696, when the employment of Indian scouts seems to have been abandoned.?

In 1691 the Assembly made the marriage between a white person and an Indian punishable by perpetual banishment.?

In the following year the tribunal for the trial of slaves was first established by law. The governor was empowered to issue a commission of oyer and terminer to such persons as he thought fit. The offenders to be indicted by the oaths of two witnesses or by the oath of one with pregnant circumstances, and without the solemnity of jyry, “judgment to be executeil in the manner the law provides." 4

Four years later the Assembly declared that children should follow the condition of the mother, bond or free.

The century opened with the declaration of the charter of 1606, that it was one of the desires of the colony to bring the savages living in Virginia to “human civility,” and “unto the true worship of God and Christian religion.” The last years of the seventeenth century found but a remnant of the natives who welcomed the English to their " waste lands," and these were enslaved, degraded by law, impoverished by the loss of their homes and by the greater loss of their own rude laws and government, while they were excluded from almost every benefit of civilization. The Indians were mainly tolerated as furnishing a revenue for government officials and enterprising traders, and as a scourge to wolves."

Elucation.-At the first Assembly held in James City, July 30, 1619, “ workmen of all soris für the erecting of the university and college” were called for ;8 and it was also enacted that “the most towardly [In. dian boys in wit and graces of nature should be brought up in the first elements of literature, and sent from the college to the work of con. version"9 of the natives to Christianity. The action of the colonists was in accord with the purposes of the company in England. Sir Edwin

1 Hening: Statutes of Virginia, Vol. III, p. 82. ? I bid., p. 164. 3 Ibid., p. 87. *Ibid., p. 102. 6 Ibid., p. 140. This enactment and the one preceding bore more directly upon the negroes, since by far the larger proportion of slaves were of that race; but as Indians were also held in slavery they were governed by these laws until the court decided upon their freedom in 1808. There were Indians in the Virginia colony who never were slaves, as they were never captured or tempted to bind themselves to the English npon unequal terms. 6 lbid., Vol. II, pp. 20, 124, 140. "Ibid., Vol. III, p. 141. 8 Perry: Hist. American Episcopal Church, Vol. I, p. 6.

• Bancroft: Hist. of U. S., Vol. I, p. 155.


Sandys, the president, bad authorized an endowment of ten thousand acres' to the proposed university at Henrico (near the present site of Richmond), and King James issued a letter to the archbishops of Can. terbury and York to take up four collections throughout their provinces for “the erecting of some churches and schools for the Education of the children of those Barbarians." About £1,500 was received, and the money invested until such time as the building should be erected. We read that in 1620 “ for the better procuring and retaining the Indian children, the Company ordered a Treaty and Agreement to be made with Opechancanough, and authorized Sir George Yardley to make such presents out of the Magazine as would be most grateful to him and best promote the Design.” Mr. Nicholas Farrar bequeathed £300 for "converting infidel children in Virginia,” this money to be paid to Sir Edwin Sandys and Mr. John Farrar when it should appear by certificate that ten Indian children were placed in the college, the money then to be disposed of according to the true intent of the gift. Meanwhile 8 per cent on the money was to be given to those Virginians of " good life and fame," who should bring up one of the Indian children in the Christian, religion.

In 1621 the company allotted 1,000 acres, with five servants and an overseer, and received a subscription of £125 to endow a school at Charles City, to be called the East Indian School. This name was given because Mr. Copeland, to whom the school was offered, had recently returned from missionary work in the East Indies. While these efforts were in progress for the erection of schools, the following recommendations were made for securing scholars from among the native tribes:

It would be proper to draw the best disposed among the Indians to converse and labour with our people for a convenient reward that they might not only learn a civil way of life, but be brought to a knowledge of religion and become instruments in the conversion of their countrymen. Each town, Burrough and Hundred ought to procure by just means a certain pumber of [Indian) children to be brought up in the first elements of literature that the most towardly of these should be fitted for college, in the building of which they proposed to proceed as soon as any profit arose from the estate appointed to that use.?

On March 22, 1622, Mr. George Thorpe, a gentleman of His Majesty's privy chamber, who had come over as superintendent of the college, together with a number of the college tenants, were put to death dur. ing the sudden uprising of the Indians to rid the land of the dangerous white man.

Although the larger part of the colony owed their safety to the warning of Christian Indians (and bad bints given by friendly Indians been taken by different settlers even more would have been saved), still tho

Catalogue College of William and Mary, in Virginia, 1859. * Perry: Hist. American Episcopal Church, Vol. I, p. 69. 3 Ibid., p. 70. 4 Stith: Hist. of Virginia, p. 172. * Catalogue College of William and Mary, 1859. 6 Perry: Hist. American Episcopal Church, Vol. I, p. 73. ? Stith : Hist. of Virginia, p. 195. 8 I bid., p. 217; Catalogne College of William and Mary, 1859.

S. Ex. 95 3

1:79; HARVARD 1656

[ocr errors]

company in England were unable to start any educational projects in bebalf of the Indians. Subscriptions continued to be received by the company from philanthropic persons, and a few Indians were sent to England for education ; but, except in individual instances, there was no further attempt to establish an Indian school recorded until the bequest of the Hon. Robert Boyle, in 1691, became known.

The charter of the College of William and Mary, in Virginia, given in 1693, declares one of the objects of the institution to be, “ that the Christian faith may be propagated amongst the Western Indians." The Hon. Robert Boyle had left, in 1691, directions in his will that the residue of bis estate, after debts and legicies were paid, be disposed of by his executors for such charitable and pious uses as they in their discretion should think fit. Five thousand four hundred pounds were set apart and Brassertou Manor purchase. The court having decreed upon the purchase on December 21, 1697, the Earl of Burlington and the Bishop of London laid down the following rules 6 for the settlement of said charity in Virginia”:

First. That all the yearly rents and profits of the said manor of Brasserton, as well as those incurred due since the purchase thereof, as which should there after grow due, after the deduction thereont of £90 a year to the college for propagating the gospel in New England, and other necessary or incident charges, should be, by the present or future receivers of the rents thereof paid into the hands of Micajah Perry, of London, merchant, agent in London for the president and masters of the College of William and Mary, in Virginia, and to all future agent and agents in England, for said college, for the time being, for the purposes thereafter mentioned, and such agent or agent's receipts and acquittances should be sufficient discharges to such receiver or receivers for what should be so paid.

Second. All sum and sums of money already or that should thereafter be received out of the said manor, subject to the deductions aforesaid, should be thereafter remitted to the said president and masters for the time being.

Third. That the said president and masters, and his and their successors, should thereout expend so much as should be necessary toward fitting and furnishing lodg. ings and rooms for such Indian children as should be thereafter brought into the said college.

Fourth. The said president and masters, and his or their successors, should keep at the said college so many Indian children in sickness and health, in meat, drink, washing, lodging, clothes, medicines, books and education, from the first beginning of letters till they should be ready to receive orders, and be thought sufficient to be sent abroad to preach and convert the Indians, at the rate of £ 14 per annum for every such child as the yearly income of the premises, subject to the deduction aforesaid should amount to.

Fifth. That the care, instruction and education of such children as should be thereafter placed in said college, should be left to the president and masters thereof, for the time being, but yet subject therein as they were for all their trusts to the visitations and inspections of the rector and governors of the said college, for the time being

Sixth. That the said president and masters, and his and their successors, should once every year transmit to the Earl of Burlington and lord bishop of London, for the time being, a particular account of wliat sum and sums of money they should hereafter receive by virtue of the said decree, as also to lay out or expend on all or any of the matters aforesaid, and the occasion or occasions thereof, as also the number and names of the Indian childreu that should thereafter be brought into the said college,

together with their progress or proficiency in their studies and of all other matters relating thereto.

Seventh. That the laying out of the money from time to time thereafter, to be remitted, as also the manner and method of educating and instructing such children, and all other matters relating to this charity or the executing of it, should be subject to such other rules and methods as should from time to time thereafter be transmitted to the said president and masters and his and their snccessors, by the Earl of Burlington and the lord bishop of London, for the time being, and in default thereof to such rules and methods as the rectors and governors of the said college, for the time being, should make or appoint. But until such other and further rules were made, the rules and directions thereby given were to take place.

Eighth. That the name of the benefactor might not be forgotten, the said Earl of Burlington and bishop of London did direct and appoint that the said charity should thereafter be called “The charity of the Honorable Robert Boyle, esq., of the city of London, deceased.”?!

The preceding rules, slightly altered, were ratified by the lord high chancellor of England on June 9, 1098. During the delay incident to founding the college the rents accumulatell, and a “convenient building of brick” was erected out of the fund. This building was known as“ Brasserton," being named after the estate in England which yielded the income for the support of the Indian school. The rents amounted to about £370 per annum. The master of the Indian school was deemed the "sixth master or professor of the said college." 3

The statute reads: There is but one master in this [Indian) school, who is to teach the Indian boys to read and write, and vulgar arithmetic. And especially he is to teach them thoroughly the catechism and the principles of the Christian religion. For a yearly sal. ary let him have forty or fifty pounds sterling, according to the ability of that school, appointed by the honorable Robert Boyle, or to be further appointed by other benefactors. And in the same school the master may be permitted to teach other scholars from the town, for which he is to take the usual wages of twenty shillings a year." +

It would seem that there had been difficulty in obtaining Indian pupils for this school. Governor Spotswood, in a letter to the London council of trade, under date of November 17, 1711, says:

It has hitherto been judged a matter so impracticable that the governors of the college have thought it in vain to attempt it, and have chosen rather to be at a great expense for buying Indians of remote nations taken in war to be educated in pursuance of a dovation left for that purpose by Mr. Boyle.5

In a letter to Lord Dartınouth, dated November 11, 1711, Governor Spotswood indicates the cause of this difficulty:

They (the Indiar s] urged the breach of a former compact made long ago by this government, when, instead of their children receiving the promised education, they were transported (as they say) to other countrys and sold as slaves.

Under the same date the governor writes to the bishop of London : The little care that hath hither been taken for converting the Indians of this Country to the Christian faith, or so much as endeavouring in any manner to Civilizo them, seems to be no small reproach both to our Religion and politicks after above

1 Statutes and charter of the College of William and Mary, 1855, p. 30. Catalogue of College of William and Mary, 1855, p. 5. 3 Statutes and charter of the College of William and Mary, 1855, p. 32. * Ibid., p. 37. 6 Spotswood Letters, Virginia Hist. S.)c., Vol. I, p. 122. 6 Ibid., p. 125.

« PreviousContinue »