Tales from a Revolution: Bacon's Rebellion and the Transformation of Early America

By James D. Rice | Go to book overview

FOREWORD

WHAT’S IN A NAME? ONE OF THE MOST FREQUENTLY REcounted stories of early American history concerns the armed uprising that took place in 1676 in the English settlements of Chesapeake Bay. A Virginian, Nathaniel Bacon, demanded permission from the governor to lead an expedition against Indians in the backcountry and when that was denied, turned his ragtag army against Jamestown, the colony’s seat of government. His name has been permanently attached to the events, now known as Bacon’s Rebellion.

Certainly Bacon commands the center of the story, and James Rice provides a gripping narrative of the rebel’s progress. But to label the proceedings “Bacon’s Rebellion” is a bit like being content to illustrate the revolt with a portrait of the man, and have done. The gilt frame, centering our attention on Bacon, walls out entirely too much of the story, as Rice makes clear.

Consider: If the rebellion was truly Bacon’s, why did it continue after his ignominious death, with rebel forces still raiding plantations, harassing English patrol ships, and refusing to surrender for several months? And if it is Bacon’s Rebellion, why did

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Tales from a Revolution: Bacon's Rebellion and the Transformation of Early America
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • New Narratives in American History ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Foreword xi
  • Acknowledgments xv
  • A Note on Language and Documentation xix
  • Part One - "The Uproars of Virginia" 1
  • One - Doegs! Doegs! 3
  • Two - The Susquehannocks’ Dilemma 29
  • Three - The Governor and the Rebel 42
  • Four - "I Am in over Shoes, I Will Be in over Boots" 54
  • Five - Jamestown Burning 76
  • Six - "The Uproars of Virginia Have Been Stupendious" 97
  • Seven - ‘A Seasonable Submission’ 118
  • Part Two - "The Second Part of the Late Tragedy" 135
  • Eight - Strange Indians and Popish Plots 137
  • Nine - "An Itching Desire" 152
  • Ten - Tales of a Revolution 170
  • Eleven - Bacon’s Heirs 183
  • Afterword 203
  • Abbreviations 225
  • Notes 227
  • Select Bibliography 241
  • Index 245
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