Academic journal article The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

Samuel Wiseman's Book of Record: The Official Account of Bacon's Rebellion in Virginia, 1676-1677

Academic journal article The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

Samuel Wiseman's Book of Record: The Official Account of Bacon's Rebellion in Virginia, 1676-1677

Article excerpt

Samuel Wiseman's Book of Record: The Official Account of Bacon's Rebellion in Virginia, 1676-1677 * Michael Leroy Oberg, ed. * Lanham, Md.: Lexington Books, 2005 * vii, 296 pp. * $70.00

Samuel Wiseman served as scribe and compiler of The Book of Record, the royal commission's official report on Bacon's Rebellion of 1676. The royal commission consisted of Herbert Jeffreys, Sir John Berry, and Francis Moryson. Wiseman was a littleknown bureaucrat who hoped his work would give him an opportunity for promotion. In this, he was sorely disappointed-a year after finishing his compilation in 1677, he was destitute. Nevertheless, the resulting, remarkable report, writes Michael Oberg, depicts the "dangers of race war, the crisis of internal rebellion, the repression that immediately followed, and a lengthy campaign to restore order" (p. 1). Oberg's edition of Wiseman's The Book of Record is the first publication of the manuscript compilation, held in the Pepsyian Library of Magdalene College, University of Oxford. It supersedes John Davenport Neville's Bacon's Rebellion: Abstracts of Materials in the Colonial Records Project (n.d.) and a guide that assists scholars' using the CRP's gargantuan microfilm collection, which includes a full copy of the Wiseman compilation.

Oberg graces the report with a twenty-seven-page introduction of the seventy-year history of contentious relations between Indians and the English over land and the royal response. The Indian and land policies of William Berkeley, the governor during the rebellion, understandably receive most of the attention. The record dealing with Berkeley, writes Oberg, "reveals the gaping differences in perception that separated the governor from his enemies" (p. 22). The rebellion's key events and the differing historical interpretations of Thomas Jefferson Wertenbaker, Wilcomb Washburn, Bernard Bailyn, Edmund S. Morgan, and Stephen Saunders Webb are discussed. Unfortunately, Oberg does not explicitly posit his interpretation of Bacon's Rebellion. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.