[The following important State Papers, being next in order of time to the Acts of 1649, are inserted in this place. In the MS they are arranged among the Revised Acts of 1657; the two first not numbered, but the last marked as Act 86. See also Jefferson’s Notes on Virginia, Query XIII, pa. 119 of 1st edit. pa. 214 of last edit. where the first and third of these papers may be found.]
At The Surrender Of The Countrie.
Articles agreed on and concluded at James Cittie in Virginia for the surrendering and settling of that plantation under the obedience and government of the Common Wealth of England, by the commissioners of the Councill of State, by authoritie of the Parliament of England and by the Grand Assembly of the Governour, Councill and Burgesses of that countrey.
FIRST, It is agreed and cons’ted that the plantation of Virginia, and all the inhabitants thereof, shall be and remaine in due obedience and subjection to the common wealth of England, according to the lawes there established, And that this submission and subscription bee acknowledged a voluntary act not forced nor constrained by a conquest upon the countrey, And that they shall have and enjoy such freedomes and priviledges as belong to the free borne people of England, and that the former government by the comissions and instructions be void and null.
2dly. Secondly, that the Grand Assembly as formerly shall convene and transact the affairs of Virginia, wherein nothing is to be acted or done contrarie to the government of the common wealth of England and the lawes there established.
3dly. That there shall be a full and t0tall remission and indempnitie of all acts, words, or writeings done or spoken against the parliament of England in relation to the same.
4thly. That Virginia shall have and enjoy the antient bounds and lymitts granted by the charters of the former Kings, And that we shall seek a new charter from the parliament to that purpose against any that have intrencht upon the rights thereof.
5thly. That all the pattents of land granted under the collony seale, by any of the precedent Governour shall be and remaine in their full force and strength.
6thly. That the priviledge of haveing fiftie acres of land for every person transported in the collony shall continue as formerly granted.
7thly. That the people of Virginia have free trade as the people of England do enjoy to all places and with all nations according to the lawes of that common-wealth, And that Virginia shall enjoy all priviledges equall with any English plantations in America.
8thly. That Virginia shall be free from all taxes, customes and impositions whatsoever, and none to be imposed on them without consent of the Grand Assembly, And soe that neither fortes nor castles bee erected or garrisons maintained without their consent.
9thly. That noe charge shall be required from this country in respect of this present fleet.
10thly. That for the future settlement of the countrey in their due obedience, the engagement shall be tendred to all the inhabitants according to act of parliament made to that purpose, that all persons who shall refuse to subscribe the said engagement, shall have a yeares time if they please to remove themselves, and their estates out of Virginia, and in the mean time during the said yeare to have equall justice as formerly.
11thly. That the use of the booke of common prayer shall be permitted for one yeare ensueinge with referrence to the consent of the major part of the parishes, Provided that those things which relate to kingshipp or that government be not used publiquely; and the continuance of ministers in their places, they not misdemeaning themselves: And the payment of their accustomed dues and agreements made with them respectively shall be left as they now stand dureing this ensueing yeare.
12thly. That no man’s cattell shall be questioned as the companies unles such as have been entrusted with them or have disposed of them without order.
13thly. That all amunition, powder and arms, other then for private use shall be delivered up, securitie being given to make satisfaction for it.
14thly. That all goods allreadie brought hither by the Dutch or others which are now on shoar shall be free from surprizall.
15thly. That the quittrents granted unto us by the late Kinge for seaven yeares bee confirmed.
16thly. That the comissioners for the parliament subscribing these articles engage themselves and the honour of the parliament for the full performance thereof: And that the present Governour and the Councill and the Burgesses do likewise subscribe and engage the whole collony on their parts.
RICH BENNETT, Seale
Wm. CLAIBORNE, Seale
EDMOND CURTIS, Seale
Theise articles were signed and sealed by the commissionors of the Councill of State for the Common Wealth of England, the twelveth day of March, 1651.
[The Statutes at Large; Being A Collection Of All The Laws Of Virginia, From The First Session Of The Legislature, In The Year 1619. Published Pursuant To An Act Of The General Assembly Of Virginia, Passed On The Fifth Day Of Febuary, One Thousand Eight Hundred And Eight. Volume I. By William Waller Henning. . . . Richmond: Printed By And For Samuel Pleasants, Junior, Prin[ter] To The Commonwealth. 1809.]