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

By James D. Rice | Go to book overview

Nine
‘AN ITCHING DESIRE’

THE WATERWAYS NEAR THOMAS MATHEW’s HOME WERE alive with dugout canoes in the spring of 1681 as Indians from as far away as the Rappahannock River and the Eastern Shore traded, tended to their spring fisheries, and found temporary work with English planters. One party of three women, three men, and two children worked at making dugout canoes for English planters that spring, living on each client’s property for two or three weeks while the men toiled over a “great tree” they had felled, stripped of its branches, and hollowed out with slow fires.

The canoe-makers spent several weeks working for the powerful Nicholas Spencer, secretary of the Virginia Council and customs collector for the Potomac River. Spencer provided a small house for them to sleep in. The women gathered berries and cooked; occasionally the men hunted with guns borrowed from the English. A passing canoe of Indians coming from the Eastern Shore visited one day, but otherwise the canoe-makers had little contact with outsiders. Thus they had no way of realizing that a horrific murder had taken place at Point Lookout, just a few miles away near the mouth of the Potomac. Indians, it

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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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