American Slavery, American Freedom: The Ordeal of Colonial Virginia

By Edmund S. Morgan | Go to book overview

3
IDLE INDIAN
AND LAZY ENGLISHMAN

ROANOKE dispelled some illusions, both among the Indians and among the English. The Indians of the Virginia region would not be likely again to mistake the English for gods. The English, on the other hand, would be wary of expecting to find America divided into good Indians and cannibals, with the good Indians eagerly awaiting English help. From this point we can perhaps date the beginnings of the English disposition to regard all Indians as alike. As yet, however, it did not follow that the only good Indian was a dead one. When the first permanent English settlers arrived in America in 1607, their sponsors had not given up hope of an integrated biracial community, in which indigent Englishmen would work side by side with willing natives, under gentle English government.

The sponsors were closely linked to the Roanoke venture. The Virginia Company of London came into existence in 1606, created by a charter from the king to Richard Hakluyt and "divers others," including one of London's leading merchants, Sir Thomas Smith. 1 Smith, the son of one of Raleigh's backers, became the treasurer of the new company, its principal officer and its moving force. It was a joint-stock company, and its members hoped for a profit, just as Raleigh's backers had. But they were barred, ostensibly at least, from the one source of wealth that had paid off for Raleigh: his only re-

____________________
1
Philip L. Barbour, ed., The Jamestown Voyages under the First Charter, 1606-1609, Works issued by the Hakluyt Society, 2nd ser., CXXXVI, CXXXVII (Cambridge, 1969), I, 24-34; Alexander Brown, The Genesis of the United States (Boston, 1890), 46-63.

-44-

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American Slavery, American Freedom: The Ordeal of Colonial Virginia
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • American Slavery American Freedom - The Ordeal of Colonial Virginia *
  • Contents *
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Book I - The Promised Land *
  • 1 - Dreams of Liberation 3
  • 2 - The Lost Colony 25
  • 3 - Idle Indian and Lazy Englishman 44
  • 4 - The Jamestown Fiasco 71
  • 5 - The Persistent Vision 92
  • 6 - Boom 108
  • Book II - A New Deal *
  • 7 - Settling Down 133
  • 8 - Living with Death 158
  • 9 - The Trouble with Tobacco 180
  • 10 - A Golden Fleecing 196
  • Book III - The Volatile Society *
  • 11 - The Losers 215
  • 12 - Discontent 235
  • 13 - Rebellion 250
  • 14 - Status Quo 271
  • Book IV - Slavery and Freedom *
  • 15 - Toward Slavery 295
  • 16 - Toward Racism 316
  • 17 - Toward Populism 338
  • 18 - Toward the Republic 363
  • Footnote Abbreviations 389
  • Appendix - Population Growth in Seventeenth-Century Virginia 395
  • A Note on the Sources 433
  • Index 443
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