Nathaniel Bacon's Declaration of the People
For haveing upon specious pretences of publiqe
works raised greate unjust taxes upon the Comonality for
the advancement of private favorites and other sinister
ends, but noe visible effects in any measure adequate,
For not haveing dureing this long time of his Gouvernement
in any measure advanced this hopefull Colony either
by fortificacons Townes or Trade.
For haveing abused and rendred contemptable the
Magistrates of Justice, by advanceing to places of Judicature,
scandalous and Ignorant favorites.
For haveing wronged his Majesties prerogative and
interest, by assumeing Monopoly of the Beaver trade,
and for haveing in that unjust gaine betrayed and sold
his Majesties Country and the lives of his loyall subjects,
to the barbarous heathen.
For haveing, protected, favoured, and Imboldned
the Indians against his Majesties loyall subjects, never contriveing,
requireing, or appointing any due or proper meanes of sattisfaction
for theire many Invasions, robbories, and murthers comitted upon us.
For haveing when the Army of English, was just
upon the track of those Indians, who now in all places
burne, spoyle, murther and when we might with ease have
distroyed them: who then were in open hostillity, for
then haveing expressly countermanded, and sent back our
Army, by passing his word for the peaceable demeanour
of the said Indians, who imediately prosecuted theire evill
intentions, comitting horred murthers and robberies in all
places, being protected by the said ingagement and word
past of him the said Sir William Berkeley, haveing ruined
and laid desolate a greate part of his Majesties Country,
and have now drawne themselves into such obscure and
remote places, and are by theire success soe imboldned
and confirmed, by theire confederacy soe strengthned that
the cryes of blood are in all places, and the terror, and
constimation of the peOple soe greate, are now become,
not onely a difficult, but a very formidable enimy, who
might att first with ease have beene distroyed.
And lately when upon the loud outcryes of blood
the Assembly had with all care raised and framed an
Army for the preventing of further mischeife and safeguard
of this his Majesties Colony.
For haveing with onely the privacy of some few
favorites, without acquainting the people, onely by the
alteracon of a figure, forged a Comission, by we know not
what hand, not onely without, but even against the consent
of the people, for the raiseing and effecting civill warr and
distruction, which being happily and without blood shed
prevented, for haveing the second time attempted the
same, thereby calling downe our forces from the defence
of the fronteeres and most weekely expoased places.
For the prevencon of civill mischeife and ruin
amongst ourselves, whilst the barbarous enimy in all
places did invade, murther and spoyle us, his majesties
most faithfull subjects.
Of this and the aforesaid Articles we accuse Sir William
Berkeley as guilty of each and every one of the
same, and as one who hath traiterously attempted, violated
and Injured his Majesties interest here, by a loss of a
greate part of this his Colony and many of his faithfull
loyall subjects, by him betrayed and in a barbarous and
shamefull manner expoased to the Incursions and murther
of the heathen, And we doe further declare these the ensueing
persons in this list, to have beene his wicked and
pernicious councellours Confederates, aiders, and assisters
against the Comonality in these our Civill comotions.
Sir Henry Chichley William Claiburne Junior
Lieut. Coll. Christopher Thomas Hawkins
Wormeley William Sherwood
Phillip Ludwell John Page Clerke
Robert Beverley John Cluffe Clerke
Richard Lee John West
Thomas Ballard Hubert Farrell
William Cole Thomas Reade
Richard Whitacre Matthew Kempe
And we doe further demand that the said Sir William
Berkeley with all the persons in this list be forthwith
delivered up or surrender themselves within fower days after
the notice hereof, Or otherwise we declare as followeth.
That in whatsoever place, howse, or ship, any of the
said persons shall reside, be hidd, or protected, we declaire
the owners, Masters or Inhabitants of the said places, to be
confederates and trayters to the people and the estates of
them is alsoe of all the aforesaid persons to be confiscated,
and this we the Comons of Virginia doe declare, desiering
a firme union amongst our selves that we may joyntly and
with one accord defend our selves against the common
Enimy, and lett not the faults of the guilty be the reproach
of the inocent, or the faults or crimes of the oppressours
devide and separate us who have suffered by theire oppressions.
These are therefore in his majesties name to command
you forthwith to seize the persons above mentioned as
Trayters to the King and Country and them to bring to
Midle plantacon, and there to secure them untill further
order, and in case of opposition, if you want any further
assistance you are forthwith to demand itt in the name of
the people in all the Counties of Virginia.
- Nathaniel Bacon
- Generall by Consent of the people.