Governor William Berkeley on Bacon’s Rebellion, 19 May 1676

Governor William Berkeley on Bacon’s Rebellion, 19 May 1676

  • In 1660, Governor Mathews died & Berkeley was given the post as a “Thank You” for having fought Indians so successfully in the past.
    • He felt like he acted justly in his position to preserve men’s property & to protect them from enemies
    • One fault he had was in how he handled Bacon’s Rebellion
      • Bacon felt a zealous desire to defend the land from Indian attack. But how he responded to my refusal was treason: taking up arms against the royally appointed governor & the assembly elected by the people was the textbook definition of treason
      • Berkeley felt in the right in his cases against Bacon both legally & morally
      • In order for Bacon to be given any pardon, he ought to show just one instance where anything like what he’d been doing was tolerated. In fact, all instances show men being put to death for such behavior
      • Indians have been more helpful than harmful
      • Berkeley had offered 3 pardons to Bacon in exchange for dropping the Indian excursion, which he rejected. This left Berkeley no choice in proceeding against Bacon

Author: knowit68

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