Declaration of the People of Virginia
The Declaration of the People of Virginia (or simply Declaration of the People) was a list of complaints issued by Nathaniel Bacon on July 30, 1676, in which he proclaims Virginia's colonial governor, William Berkeley, corrupt and expresses his displeasure at what his followers regarded as unjust taxation and the government's failure to provide colonists protection from some tribes of Native Americans—the presumed grievances which brought about the uprising known as Bacon's rebellion. The Declaration cited eight points in its complaint against the governor:
- Taxation (complaint 1). Gov. Berkeley was accused of excessive taxation and having "upon specious pretenses of public works, raised great unjust taxes upon the commonalty for the advancement of private favorites and other sinister ends, but no visible effects in any measure adequate".
- Judicial corruption (complaint 2). "For having abused and rendered contemptible the magistrates of justice by advancing to places of judicature scandalous and ignorant favorites."
- Personal enrichment (complaint 3). Berkeley was said to be "assuming monopoly of the beaver trade".
- Failure to protect English colonists. (complaints 4 through 8). "For having protected, favored, and emboldened the Indians against his Majesty’s loyal subjects" and "... for then having expressly countermanded and sent back our army by passing his word for the peaceable demeanor of the said Indians."
In addition to the governor, the Declaration listed a number of the governor's associates said to be "his wicked and pernicious councilors, confederates, aiders, and assisters against the commonalty in these our civil commotions".
The Declaration was signed "Nathaniel Bacon, General by Consent of the people."
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