Myths of American History – part 7

The reality of limited land to be given to ex-indentured labourers caused many who had completed their servitude to journey into Indian Territory. There they captured and built on land that by Treaty was granted to the Indians. This led to skirmishes and deaths.Seeking to avoid further conflict, Governor Berkeley of Virginia proposed the construction of fortifications along the frontier. This would clearly demark the border, making it difficult for settlers to plead that they inadvertently encroached on Indian land. Berkeley’s plan to build fortifications was rejected as an excuse to raise tax rates.

This led to various farmers and layabouts from surrounding counties to form an expedition against the Indians. They elected a man called Bacon to lead them.The Governor removed Bacon from the governing council and arrested him. Bacon’s men freed him and forced Berkeley to hold legislative elections.

This is how serious the situation was.

Hundreds of people who had sold themselves into slavery in the expectation that at the end of their period of ‘indenture’ they would gain land and thus gain voting rights, (for land ownership was a prerequisite to full citizenship) ¬†were now told, there was no land.

So they invaded Indian land.


What do you think?

Written by jaylar

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