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groes is comparatively mild, and that the debasing effects of slavery are less seen on the character of the whites here, than in any other place where it prevails. *
The tables of the rich would satisfy a European epicure, in the variety and delicacy of meats. The wines in general use are Madeira, Bourdeaux, and Port, with toddy, punch, and cider. The chief food of the blacks is Indian corn; when bruised and boiled, it is called homminy; and hoe cake, when ground into meal, kneaded, and baked before the fire, a name which it received from the circumstance of the negroes baking it on the hoe with which they work. With this grain, they have an allowance of salted herrings, and sometimes flesh.
Amusements.—The amusements of the Virginians are hunting the deer and the fox, also horse-racing, ball-playing, fowling, and dancing. The races of Petersburg and Norfolk, which take place in spring and in fall, continue about a week. There is generally a considerable concourse of people, and a great display of carriages. The horrible practice of gouging, or putting out the eye, by an artful exertion of the thumb, has entirely ceased. A favourite diversion is shooting at a mark, at which the riflemen are so expert, that they will hold the board at arm's length, and even place it between their legs for another to fire at. Marriages are generally made from inclination, and at an early age, from fifteen to twenty in females, and twenty to twenty-five in males.
■ . * BirkbeCK s Notes, p. 21. 28.
Indians.—The Indians of this country are reduced to thirty or forty of the Notaway nation, who live on the river of the same name; and about an equal number of Pamunkeys, who dwell on the Pamunkey branch of York river. By an act of the legislature of 1792, they are not allowed to sell their lands to other persons than those of their own nation. Their rights and privileges are secured and defended.
History.—The English attribute the discovery of this part of the American continent to John Cabot, the French to Verrazam, who took possession of it in the name of Francis T.; but the first settlements were made by Sir Walter Raleigh, in the year 1587, by a company of English merchants, under the auspices of that celebrated person, who, in 15S4, had obtained a grant from Queen Elizabeth, for all remote, barbarous, and heathen lands he should discover and settle. Landing on an island, between the bay of Chesapeak and Cape Fear, he trafficked with the natives, some of whom he brought to England, along with tobacco, furs, and other productions of the country. In 1585 seven vessels arrived, under the command of Sir Richard Grenville, who left 108 men in the island. From a variety of causes, this establishment did not succeed. In the year 1606 a company of adventurers, composed of London merchants, having obtained a patent from James I. sent two vessels under the command of Captain Newport, with a number of men, who laid the foundation of James Town, on the peninsula which advances into the river of the same name. In 1609 two little colonies, of 120 persons each, proceeding from James Town, established themselves, the one at Nansemond, the other at Powhattan, an Indian town which had been purchased from the king of the country whose name it bore. The Indians, with whom they were for some time on friendly terms, not only supplied them with victuals and provisions, but also aided in the construction of their towns. This alliance was strengthened by the marriage of Mr Rolf with Pocachantas, the daughter of Powhattan, an Indian chief. The Indians being afterwards disturbed in their possessions, waged an active war against the new colonists, who, reduced by famine from 500 to sixty persons, with no more provisions than would necessarily be consumed in fifteen days, were on the point of departing for Newfoundland, when the arrival of Lord Delaware, with three vessels containing provisions and stores, induced them to remain. In 16l 1 Lord Delaware, owing to bad health, returned to Europe, leaving about 200 men. He was replaced, as governor, by Sir Thomas Dale, who brought with him three vessels, containing provisions and new settlers. He encouraged agriculture, and built, at his own expence, the town of Dale's Gift. In the autumn of the same year six vessels, commanded by Sir Thomas Gates, brought a supply of new inhabitants and provisions to James Town, which enabled the colony to extend itself, and to build Annapolis, fifty miles farther up. In the following year two other vessels, under the command of Captain Argalt, brought provisions of every kind. In 1619 the Company of Virginia sent thither a fleet laden with cattle, provisions, and about 1300 men. From this time new emigrants continued to arrive yearly; and the colony, feeling its strength, neglected proper means of defence, which encouraged the Indians to plot its destruction. This they did in so artful a manner, that, owing to the dispersed situation of the inhabitants, all would have been destroyed in one night, if they had not been informed of the plan, a few hours before the time appointed for its execution. The Indians succeeded, however, in putting to death 334 persons, and destroying several establishments; among others, the forge of Falling Creek. Under the governorship of George Hardby the culture of tobacco was encouraged, and a council and general assembly were instituted, in imitation of the English form of government. About the same period 100 single young women were brought from England as wives for the bachelors, and the price of each was about 120 pounds of tobacco. Three years afterwards the concession made by the Company at London was revoked, and the province was placed under the immediate government of the crown. The tract south of 36° 80' was separated from Virginia in 16 JO, and called Carolina; and Maryland was taken from it two years afterwards. In 1661 the laws of England were adopted as provincial laws. The colonists suffered great injury, in 1673, from a Dutch squadron which ravaged the coast, and also from insurrections, which broke out in 1675 and I676; the last of which, called Bacon's rebellion, cost the province 100,000 pounds currency. In 1754 Colonel
Washington surprised and took Fort du Quesne, but was afterwards obliged to yield to superior force. Virginia showed great opposition to the arbitrary measures of the British government, in 1765 and 1/ 69; in 1781 it became the theatre of war. Norfolk, the most opulent and commercial town of the state, was consumed to ashes by a British squadron, under the orders of the Earl of Dunmore, in his quality as governor, and the valuable mills and iron works were also destroyed by fire, by the expedition under the command of the well-known Arnold. The capture of the British army at Yorktown, under Lord Cornwallis, decided the contest.
Constitution.—The present constitution, or form of government, adopted in 1776, establishes two houses of assembly, a house of delegates and a senate. The former is composed of two freeholders from each county, and one from each of the cities or boroughs of Norfolk, Williamsburgh, Richmond, and Petersburgh, chosen annually by citizens who are proprietors of a life estate of 100 acres of uninhabited land, or 25 acres, with a house or lot thereon, or a house or lot in some town. Slaves enter into the scale of representation, in the proportion of three fifths of their number; so that, in the repartition of votes,, 501)0 slaves are counted equivalent to 3000 freemen. The Senate consists of twenty-four members, who must not be under twenty-five years of age. They are chosen in districts for the term of four years, and are divided into four classes, one of which is renewed each year. The Executive power is vested in a governor and