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Then followed the enactments against idleness, providing that the plantation to which the idler belonged should appoint the idler a master to serve for wages until he show apparent signs of amendment.
Against gaming at dice and cards, providing that the winners should lose their winnings and both winners and losers should forfeit ten shillings a man, one forfeit going to the discoverer and the balance to charitable and pious uses in the plantation where the fault is committed.
Against drunkenness of private persons, providing that for the first offense he be reproved privately by the minister, the second time publicly, the third time to lie "in boltes” twelve hours in the house of the Provost Marshall, paying his fee; and if still obdurate, to undergo such severe punishment as the Governor and Counsell shall inflict. In case the offender was an officer, he was first to receive a reproof from the Governor, the second time an open reproof in the church by the minister and the third time he was first to be committed and then degraded with the power of pardon in the Governor.
Against excess in apparel "that every man be cessed in the Church for all publique contributions, if he be unmarried according to his owne apparell; if he be married, according to his owne and his wives or either of their apparell."
Then follow provisions enjoining the people from too much intimacy with the Indians, but providing for their religious and civil educations. Certain agricultural enactments were then passed looking toward the cultivation of enough corn to provide for the inhabitants and the development of other agricultural industries, such as silk, hemp, flax, anise seed, grapevines, the working of tradesmen for whomever might employ them to be paid according to the quality of their trade and work and the just performance of all contracts made in England between the owners of land and their tenants and servants; against the enticing away of tenants or servants from one plantation to another.
The proceedings of the day wound up with a regulation with reference to the public magazine.
On Tuesday, August 3rd, "a third sorte of lawes (such as might proceed out of every man's private conceipt) were read and referred by halves to the same committees which were irom the beginning."
Capt. William Powell then brought to the notice of the Assembly, the case of a “lewde and trecherous” servant of his, who had not only accused the Capt. of drunkenness, but had also incited fights and insubordination amongst his fellow servants. The Assembly thereupon sentenced this servant, Thomas Garnett, to stand four days with his ears nailed to the pillary and to be publicly whipped each one of those four days.
"Now as touching the neglecte of his works, what satisfaction ought to be made to his master for that it referred to the Governor and Counsell of State."
It is to be hoped that this severe treatment had a good effect upon Thomas for certainly the name of Garnett was an honored one afterwards in the history of Virginia.
The afternoon was spent in discussing the report of the committee concerning the third sorte of lawes. "Except onely the consideration of the petition of Mr. John Rolfes against Capt. John Martine for writing a letter to him wherein (as Mr. Rolfe alledgeth) he taxeth him both unseemingly and amiss of certaine things wherein he was never faulty, and besides casteth some aspersion upon the present government, which is the most temporate and juste that ever was in this country, too milde indeed for many in this Colony whom unwoonted liberty hath made insolente and not to know themselves. This petition of Mr. Rolfe was thought fit to be referred to the Counsell of State."
Wednesday, August 4th, was set as the last day of the Assembly (“by reason of extreme heat both paste and likely to ensue and by that means of the alteration of the healthes of diverse of the General Assembly').
They then passed "A third sorte of Lawes, such as maye issue within every man's privat conceipt.”
These gave every man the right to trade with the Indians except servants; provided against giving to the Indians English dogs, shot, powder or other arms; against any man going about twenty miles from dwelling places or upon any voyage requiring absence for seven days without notice to the Governor or Commander of the plantation; against going purposely to Indian towns, &c., without leave; requiring every man between August 4th and January ist next to register the name of himself and those of his servants with their terms and conditions of service, including new arrivals; requiring all ministers of the Colony to report christenings, burials and marriages and also to read divine service and otherwise act according to the laws of the Church of England and every Sunday afernoon catechize such as are not yet ripe to come to the communion, also to seek to prevent all ungodly disorders with sundry provisions for the prevention and punishment of the sins of incontinency and the "reformation of swearing;" prohibiting the killing of meat cattle without leave; providing against the taking of boats or oars without leave; providing against any one passing up or down the river without touching first at James City to know whether the Governor will command him any service, against trading in the bay without license and without giving security; against any wrong to the Indians; requiring all persons to attend divine service both forenoon and afternoon on Sunday; "and all such as beare armes shall bring their pieces, swordes, poulder and shotte;" against maids or women servants contracting marriage without the consent of their parents or of their masters or mistresses or of the magistrate and minister of the place, both together and prohibiting any servant from foregoing his contract made in England for service in the Colony.
Capt. Henry Spelman was then called to the bar and found guilty of the charge of having said to Opcchancano, the Indian king, that within a year there would come a Governor greater than this that now is in place, was condemned to be degraded of his title of Captain and to perform seven years' service to the Colony in the nature of Interpreter to the Governor.
“This sentence being read to Spelman (he is one that had in him more of the Savage then of the Christian) muttered certaine wordes to himselfe, neither shewing any remorse for his offenses nor yet any thankfulness to the Assembly for theire so favourable censure, which he at one time or another (God's grace not wholly abandoning him) might with some one service have been able to have redeemed.”
After disposing of several other matters including a gratuity to the officers of the Assembly for their service, the Assembly presented their humble excuse to the Company in England "for being constrained by the intemperature of the weather and the falling sick of diverse of the Burgesses, to break up so abruptly," and "that in so short a space they could bring their matter to no more perfection” and while they conceited that it belonged to the Company to allow or to advocate any laws which they should make, and that it was their right so to do, they humbly beseeched the Company not to take it in ill part if the laws just passed be of force until the pleasure of the Company was ascertained; "for otherwise this people (who nowe at length have got the raines of former servitude into their owne swindge) would in shorte time growe so insolent as they would shake off all government and there would be no living among them.”
“Their last humble suite is that the said Counsell and Company would be pleased so soon as they shall finde it convenient to make good their promise, sett downe at the conclusion of their Commission for establishing the Counsel of Estate and the General Assembly, namely that they will give us power to allowe or disallowe of their orders of Courte, as his Maty hath given them power to allowe or reject our lawes.”
The Governor then prorogued the Assembly until the first of March, 1620.
Thus ended the prototype of every other parliamentary body that ever sat in Virginia and in this country. When the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock the following year, a second Assembly had met and the way had been clearly blazed in the Colonies to the assertion and maintenance of popular rights through deliberative bodies, selected by the people themselves.
The type was thus set for the form and substance of our present National and State governments. The Governor corresponding to the State and National Executive, the Council to the Senates, and the Burgesses to the lower houses.
It is indeed true that the planting of the Colonies was simply sowing the seed of the Revolution.
We could wish that this remarkable year had borne nought but good to the Colonists and their posterity, but it was not so. Witness less than one month after the adjournment of the General Assembly a Holland vessel under Captain Kerby with a letetr of Marque from the Prince of Orange, sailed up from the South where it had been ravaging the Spanish West Indies, and dropped anchor at Jamestown. It was freighted with negroes, who were sold as slaves to the Colonists. John Rolfe records this momentous and fatal fact with laconic brevity: “About the last of August came in a Dutch Man of War that sold us twenty negars." No special notice was taken of it either by the Quaker Courts or the local officials. It was mentioned indeed, but merely as a piece of news, of no moment, however, one way or the other. For six years there was no increase, but after that the evil gained rapidly until it became an institution characterizing the whole social and economic fabric of Virginia, as well as the other colonies, but Virginia most of all.
We will draw the curtain here, however, and in the bidding farewell to the year 1619, I dare say you will agree with me in thinking it has about it after all, "that older fashion yet of immortality.”
HOWARD R. BAYNE.
THE SPIRIT OF MARYLAND BEFORE
The express object of the Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution being “to foster true patriotism and love of country” and “to perpetuate the memory and the spirit of the men and women who achieved American independence, by the encouragement of historical research in relation to the Revolution," the members of the Maryland Line Chapter, wishing to be as foremost in their memorial work as their ancestors were in the active cause of liberty, have desired, for their inspiration, to review the annals of a period which made of separate and dependent provinces a nation. In the broad field which this history opens before us, and which we hope