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not feel safe. They renewed their attacks until they had not merely hewn down the tree, but had torn it up by the roots, and had destroyed the last germ from which it might be reproduced. It will not be necessary any longer to separate the history of religion from the general narrative of Virginia's fortunes. The time was soon to come when absolute religious liberty was to be enjoyed by her people. We may be startled in view of a state in which civil government grants the same rights and the same protection to the Christian, the Mohammedan, the Jew, the disciple of Brahma, and the Bhoodist from Siam; yet such is the case in Virginia, and such should be the case in every nation pretending to be free. On the soil of the "Ancient Dominion," the believer in the Koran has the same right to build his mosque, to preach his creed, and to exercise civil functions, that the believer in the Scriptures claims for his own privileges. All are at liberty; all are protected. But while this is so, let it not be supposed that Christianity has ceased to be the religion of our people, or that any of her divine claims have been forgotten. Never has she been cherished with zeal so ardent, and with love so devoted as since the divorce was declared between church and state. She is now sustained, not by legal establishment, but by the voluntary offerings of people who feel that they depend upon her for happiness in time and eternity. She has been restored to that position intended for her by her Author, who declares that his "kingdom is not of this world." Her weapons are no longer the penal

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statutes made by human governments; they are more noble, more powerful, more holy. Her defence is THE TRUTH. With this, her advocates may meet error in its worst forms, and with the certainty of ultimate success. The victory thus gained will be permanent and glorious; it will not have been achieved by bloodshed and oppression, but by the silent march of that power which is destined at last to conquer evil, and to establish the reign of the Prince of Peace.


Changes required by the principles of the Revolution-Law-State of the Law in Virginia-Entails―Their progress in England-Docked by fine and recovery-Rigour of entails in Virginia-Aristocracy-Evils of the system-Mr. Jefferson's bill-Entails abolished-Proposed revisal of the whole legal system of the state-Revisors appointed-Their laboursTheir report partially adopted-Review of their suggested reforms— Events of 1776-A dictator proposed-Patrick Henry and Archibald Cary-Progress of the Revolutionary War-Scientific association-Aid to Hampden Sydney College-Lafayette and De Kalb-General Thomas Nelson-Legislation as to British debts-Consequences thereof-Virginia accedes to confederation-Josiah Phillips-Dismal Swamp-Bill of attainder-Phillips captured, regularly tried, condemned, and exe cuted-Further importation of slaves forbidden-English Commissioners -Their disgraceful conduct-Virginia refuses to hear them-Settlement of the west-Magnificence of the country-Daniel Boone in KentuckyManners of the western pioneers-English Governor Hamilton-George Rogers Clarke-Capture of Kaskaskia-Of Fort Vincennes-Hamilton sent a prisoner to Williamsburg-His rigorous treatment-General Matthew's incursion-Suffolk burned-Thomas Jefferson, governor-Defeat of Gates at Camden-Leslie's incursion-Saratoga prisoners-Arnold's incursion-Proceedings in Richmond-Arnold enters-Simcoe destroys stores at Westham-Baron Steuben-Skirmishes with the enemy-General Phillips takes command of the English—Marches to Petersburg— Lafayette appointed to defend Virginia-Phillips, after descending the river some distance, returns to Petersburg-His death-Cornwallis advances from North Carolina-Pursues Lafayette-Caution and skill of the Marquis-Simcoe drives Steuben from the Point of Fork-Tarleton seeks to capture the Legislature and Mr. Jefferson-Narrow escape— Masterly movement of Lafayette-Cornwallis retires to the seaboard— Takes post on York and Gloucester Points-Washington advances from the north with the combined French and American armies-French fleet enters the Chesapeake-Siege of Yorktown-Surrender of CornwallisEnd of the Revolutionary War.

VIRGINIA had boldly opened the work of the




Revolution. The changes she had wrought may not have been sensibly felt by her citizens for years, but they went to the very foundations of national happiness. Her conduct had been directed by reason. That enthusiasm had been felt in her bosom, is true; but it was enthusiasm which neither blinded her eyes, nor misguided her arm. Her statesmen were already looking to the future; they saw before them a singular crisis; such a concurrence of events favourable to human freedom, as had never before existed; and they hastened to seize its advantages. They prepared to carry their reforms into every department of life in which they were required, and to establish them upon a basis broad as the welfare of the people.

It was natural that the system of Law proper for the new Commonwealth should have been one of the first objects of their attention. Virginia had brought from her mother country the English Common Law, and early Statutes, and these were held to be binding wherever they were applicable to the circumstances of the Colony. In addition, her own Assemblies had enacted several volumes of statutes, and, frequently, the English Parliament had expressly extended to her the effect of their legislation. These sources furnished to her the law which bound her people when the Revolution commenced. It ought not to surprise us that many of her most accomplished citizens had learned to revere this time-honoured system, under which they had so long lived. The Common Law and the general current of early English enactments, had much to

commend them even beyond the venerated memories of the past, which encircled them. They breathed a sturdy and honest spirit; they loved the trial by jury; they fostered a temper of independence and moral purity. Yet with their acknowledged merits, they combined vices, rendered only the more dangerous by their inveteracy, and wholly incompatible with the principles which had been already announced in Virginia. To these vices her law-makers turned their thoughts, and, while they retained the general system as the basis of their jurisprudence, they laboured to take from it every rule inconsistent with freedom.

It would not be proper, in this work, to review the laws of the state in detail, and to trace with minuteness the various changes through which they have passed in assuming their present form. This would be the province of the professed jurist, rather than of the historian. Yet the laws of every people constitute a most important part of its history; they mould its character, and, in turn, are shaped by its dispositions. They act and react upon it, and often furnish the soundest test of its welfare. And there are some laws which, in their very nature, are inseparable from the destinies of their subjects; they do so entwine themselves around the social interests of man, and so constantly affect his practice, that he cannot be impartially considered without them. Upon such laws it is the duty of history to bestow due attention. And of this character were some which engaged the thoughts of Virginia's sages, in

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