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Bacon's Rebellion

Nathaniel Bacon and Bacon's Rebellion


Bacon’s Rebellion occurred in the Virginia Colony in 1676. In the 1670’s, escalating violence between Native Americans and farmers was occurring in Virginia. Sir William Berkeley, the royal governor of Virginia, refused to act against the Indians. Therefore, farmers led by Nathaniel Bacon organized a militia and destroyed a band of raiders in 1676. They continued to raid numerous villages against Berkeley’s orders. Berkeley responded by naming Bacon a traitor. However, many colonists, especially servants, small farmers, and even some slaves, backed Bacon and marched with him to Jamestown, forcing the governor to respond to the Native American threat.

Once Bacon left Jamestown, Berkeley ordered the arrest of Bacon and his followers. Bacon turned back and attacked Jamestown, eventually seizing control of the government. Not too long after this, Bacon died. Governor Berkeley returned to Jamestown, arrested numerous individuals and had them hanged. However, Berkeley lost his governorship when King Charles II heard of his harsh measures against the colonists. An additional result of the rebellion was the Treaty of 1677 which made peace with the Native Americans and set up reservations that are still in existence today.

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