Saturday, July 6, 2013

Oppression by the Mother Country

After the death of Oppechancough, Governor Berkeley made a new peace with the Indians which continued for a long time unviolated.  But he himself did not enjoy this peace, because the unhappy troubles of King Charles I caused a great uncertainty to him and the fate of all the persons in the colony. All of the correspondence with England was interrupted, supplies lessened, and trade was obstructed.  When the king was finally beheaded in 1649, Oliver Cromwell was installed as Protector. Thus, "Captain Dennis, with a squadron of men of war, arrived at Jamestown from the Caribbee islands where they had been subduing Barboes. The country at first held out vigorously against him, and Sir William Berkeley, by the assistance of such Dutch vessels as were then there, made a brave resistance. But at last Dennis contrived a stratagem, which betrayed the country. He had got a considerable parcel of goods aboard, which belonged to two of the Council, and found a method of informing them of it. By this means they were reduced to the delemma, either of submitting or losing their goods. This occasioned factions among them; so that at last, after the surrender of all the other English plantations, Sir William was forced to submit to the usurper on the terms of a general parton." This was the last of all the king's dominions which submitted to the usurpation, and afterwards the first to cast it off. Cromwell had no sooner subdued the plantations than he began to contrive how to keep them under, so that they might never be able for the time to come to give him further trouble. So, he broke off their correspondence. In Parliament, he prohibited the plantations from receiving or exporting any European commodities, but what should be carried to them by Englishmen, and in English built ships.

Perhaps this was the first realitity of tyranny and oppression by the English government suffered by the colonists, especially after the massacre of 1622 and the resulting starvation. The Dutch ships and captains from the caribbean seas were cut off from trading with the needy colonists. The Mother country with its politics, brought desperate times upon its plantations. Thus, we see the first roots of a desire for freedom and equal representation, a feeling which would eventually produce small rebellions, all to lead to the Declaration of Independence

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  7. (Graduates database from ca 1830 to 1925)
  8. (Digitized Wills in counties of: Carter 1794-1830; Jefferson 1802-1810;Johnson 1839-1900;Unicoi 1878-1887; Washington 1779-1800)

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