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ing and determining grievances. The joy that diffused itself through the colony, when the nature of their commission was known, was equal to the gloom that pervaded the public mind before their arrival. The assembly, which met about this time, concurred with the commissioners, and even remonstrated against the conduct of the governor. Soon afterwards sir William Berkeley sailed for England, leaving the affairs of government in the hands of Herbert Jeffries, as lieutenant governor, whose appointment is dated 11th November 1676.
The colony having been for some time free from the inroads of the Indians, began at length to be alarmed by the frequent incursions of the Six Nations. This confederacy of savage tribes was very extensive. The terror of their arms was felt from the Carolinas to New England, and as far as the Mississippi on the west. Both French and English were anxious to procure their friendship, and fearful to provoke their vengeance. Fortunately, for the peace of the colony, a treaty was formed with this powerful coalition. The terms were settled at
Middle Plantation, where deputies from the several tribes met those of Virginia. By the death of Jeffries in 1678, the government devolved on sir H. Chicherly, who in 1680 was succeeded by lord Culpeper. This nobleman brought with him several new laws, which the king had thought proper to recommend to the general assembly. He also published an act of general indemnity for all offences committed during the rebellion. The prudent administration of Culpeper entitled him to the friendship of the colony, which could not have been bet. ter expressed than by making an addition of one thousand pounds to his salary.
On the departure of this nobleman for England, the government once more devolved upon sir H. Chicherly. The affairs of Virginia exhibit nothing worthy the attention of the historian, until the arrival of lord Howard, who was ap. pointed in the year 1684 to administer the government of the colony. During his administration the Indians of the Six Nations renewed their depredations on the frontiers of Virginia, and those tribes who continued in alliance with
the colonists suffered equally from their incursions. ,
The governor had the good fortune to stop their inroads, by a treaty which he concluded with the chiefs of those warlike nations, at Albany. On his return from this place, he sent a body of militia to the head of the Chesapeake bay against a nation of Indians, who had attacked the frontiers in his absence.
During the year 1684, died Charles II., a monarch neither famed for the wisdom of his public, nor the virtues of his private life. Dur. ing his exile at the court of France, he ac. quired habits of licentiousness and debauchery which he brought with him, and rendered fashionable in his native land. He was succeeded in the throne of England by James the Second, who, as well as his predecessor, had been forced to seek in France an asylum from the rage of his enemies.
At the restoration James had been declared admiral of England, and in the year 1665 he obtained a celebrated victory over Opdam, the Dutch admiral. James however, did not carry
with him to the throne those virtues which had distinguished him while duke of York. He was a bigoted and selfish monarch, and seemed to have lost that courage which had marked his early life. As soon as his appointment was known in Virginia, the governor and council made a humble address to his majesty, congratulating him on his accession to the throne, and tendering their lives and fortunes in his defence whenever he should demand them. The spirit of discontent however which began to rise in England soon found its way into her colonies.
The governor in order to check these seditious appearances, published a proclamation forbidding all inflammatory discourses, and factions tending to disturb the peace of government. Several persons were also apprehended and brought before the council for treasonable proceedings. The dread of popery, so strong in the mother country, operated also on the minds of the colonists. The discontents on this side the ocean almost kept pace with those in England.
At length the unfortunate monarch, finding the popular current too strong to be resisted, with a timidity that perhaps saved him from the fate of his father, resolved to abdicate his throne.
When this event was known in Virginia, and it was formally announced that William and Mary were recognised as sovereigns by the British nation, a general joy was diffused amongst the colonists. The council, who had so lately pledged their lives and fortunes in defence of James, naturally felt some embarrassment on the occasion. Their hatred to the catholic religion, however, which was not diminished by their security from its influence, overcame every obstacle, and, a few months after the accession of William and Mary was made known, they were publicly proclaimed in Virginia.
In the year 1689 sir Francis Nicholson was appointed governor in the absence of Howard who returned to England. It was during the administration of Nicholson, that the establishment of a post office was first proposed; and a