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Notes

      William and Mary College. -- The second college founded in America was William and Mary, Harvard alone preceding it. The father of this college was the Rev. Dr. James Blair. and the object was to train young men for the ministry. Blair was sent to England in 1691 to secure funds. He met with fair success until he approached Sir Edward Seymour, the treasury commissioner. When Blair declred that the people of Virginia had souls to save as well as the people of England, Seymour exclaimed: "Souls! damn your souls. Grow tobacco!" The good doctor, however, succeeded. He returned in 1698 with the charter, became the first president of the college, and held the position for fifty years. The college was located at Williamsburg. Next to Blair its best friend was Governor Nicholson.

      Two Virginia Love Stories. -- Governor Francis Nicholson was one of the best governors Virginia had but on one occasion he lost his dignity. He fell madly in love with a daughter of Major Burwell near Williamsburg, but the young lady refused him. Nicholson raved about the matter in public and declared that if any one else married the girl, he would cut the throats of three men the bridegroom, the minister, and the justice who issued the license." Suspecting that a brother of Dr. Blair was the favored one, he threatened vengeance on the whole family of Blairs. In fact the governor made such a fool of himself that he was called to England (1705) at the instance of Dr. Blair. (Fiske's Old Virginia," Vol.11, p.122.)

      The other love story ended more happily. The Rev. Professor Camm, the last president of William and Mary before the Revolution, was a middle-aged bachelor. He had a young friend who was desperately in love with a Miss Betsey Hansford. But his wooing was fruitless. He then begged Professor Camm to intercede for him. Camm did so; he bombarded Betsey with Scripture texts to prove that matrimony is a duty, but without avail. At length the young woman suggested that the professor go home and look up II Samuel xii.7. He did so and found the text "Thou art the man," -- and, well, Camm himself married Betsey. (Ibid. p.127.)

      Governor Berkeley's Report to the Commissioners of Plantations (1671). Extracts.

      15. What number of planters, servants, and slaves?

      Answer. -- We suppose, and I am very sure we do not much misco~t, that there is in Virginia above forty thousand persons, men, women, and children, and of which there are two thousand black slaves, six thousand Christian servants. for a short time, the rest are born in the country or have come in to settle and seat, in bettering their condition in a growing country.

      17. What number of people have yearly died within your plantation and government for these seven years last past, both whites and blacks?

      Answer. -- All new plantations are, for an age or two, unhealthy, until they are thoroughly cleared of wood but unless we had a particular register office, for the denoting of all that died, I cannot give a particular answer to this query, only this I can say, that there is not often unseasoned hands (as we term them) that die now. whereas heretofore not one of five escaped the first year.

      23. What course is taken about instructing the people within your government in the Christian religion?

      Answer. -- The same course that is taken in England out of towns; every man according to his ability instructing his children. We have forty-eight parishes, and our ministers are well paid, and by my consent should be better if they would pray oftener and preach less.

      But of all other commodities, so of this, the worst are sent us, and we had few that we could boast of, since the persecution in Cromwell's tyranny drove divers worthy men hither. But, I thank God, there are no free schools nor printing, and I hope we shall not have these hundred year's; for learning has brought disobedience and heresy and sects into the world, and printing has divulged them, and libels against the best government. God keep from both!


Source: "History of the United States of America," by Henry William Elson, The MacMillan Company, New York, 1904. Chapter IV pp. 74-75. Transcribed by Kathy Leigh.




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