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land forces to reduce the colony. This arma-, ment arrived in the Chesapeake, in the year 1651, under the command of sir G. Aiskew, who summoned the colony to surrender to the commonwealth. Virginia at this time contained a population of nearly twenty thousand persons, and was able to bring into the field a force neither contemptible as to numbers nor valour. She had also at her head a man of loyalty and courage, who had not neglected to prepare for any attack that might be made. Several Dutch ships, then lying at Jamestown, were mounted with cannon and arrayed in defence of the colony.
When the forces of the commonwealth arrived at Jamestown they were surprised to find their summons rejected, and preparations made for a vigorous defence. Terms were however proposed, for the settlement of matters without appeal to arms, and agreed to by the colonists, who without relinquishing any of their former privileges transferred their allegiance from the king to the commonwealth. In consequence of this change, it became necessary to appoint a
provisional government until the regular appointments could be made by the council of state in England. Accordingly, in the year 1652, an assembly was convened at Jamestown, when Richard Bennet was chosen governor, and a council consisting of thirteen members elected to assist in the administration.
THE hostility of the Indians, although sus. pended by the death of Opechancanough, was far from being entirely extinguished. The Rappahannocks first began to make inroads, destroying as they proceeded the property and lives of the colonists. To repel these aggressions an expedition was set on foot in the year 1654 against that nation, and a body of troops under the command of general Carter marched to the Rappahannock towns. Little however is known of the events that occurred in that ex. pedition, although it is supposed that the In. dians of this tribe were destroyed or driven from their homes, as the name of Rappahannock, in the following year, appears on the list of counties.
Bennet was succeeded by Edward Digges, during whose administration a body of six or
seven hundred Indians, having removed from the mountains and settled about the falls of James river, began to excite the attention of the government. The assembly, who were at this time in session, despatched a company of about one hundred men under the command of captain Hill, for the purpose of repelling the invaders. In this attempt Hill was defeated, and Totopotomoi, king of the Pamunkies, whom he had engaged to assist him, with a number of his warriors were killed.
The affairs of Virginia at this period afford little worthy of record. The royal government was re-established in the mother country, and the colony in Virginia felt much joy at the restoration, notwithstanding their recent submission to the commonwealth. s
The assembly testified their satisfaction by many expressions of attachment to a throne which they had lately abjured, and from which they had not always received the most conciliating treatment. .'
During the short administration of Samuel
Matthews nothing of importance can be found to relate. *
In the year 1659 the assembly elected sir William Berkeley governor of Virginia, and accompanied his commission with a body of instructions, and permission to return to Eng. land. During his absence in England, Francis Moryson, by the appointment of the council, acted as governor.
The spirit of persecution which reigned so long in Europe began at length to show itself in America. The quakers, a sect in whose opinions and practice it is difficult to find any thing offensive to public peace or injurious to social happiness, became the subjects of male. volent censure and intemperate zeal. If their tenets appear whimsical to some and unrea. sonable to others, their innocence of life and simplicity of manners might silence the cen.
* During the existence of the commonwealth, the governors of the colony were elected by the assembly, and not appointed by the government in England, as stated by Robertson and others.