One  Hundred Year Seed.

 

      One night in the year 1676, in the colonial settlement of Jamestown, Virginia; Benjamin Peabody and his wife, Abigail, were enjoying what seemed to be a peaceful evening in their colonial cabin. Abigail was making a quilt, while Benjamin was polishing his blunder buster rifle. Their two daughters, Ann and Elizabeth, were sound asleep in their bedroom. The Peabody’s were ignoring all the noise that was going on outside. Suddenly, a torch came crashing through the front window of the cabin, setting the homestead on fire. Ben and Abigail quickly rose to their feet. Abigail rushed into Ann’s and Elizabeth’s room where she awakened them and brought them safely out into the front yard where Ben was waiting. Soon, the Peabody’s cabin was totally engulfed in flames. As the family looked around them, they saw that all of Jamestown had been set ablaze. Ben turned to his family and said, “We must camp out in the woods tonight, and then after a good night’s sleep, we can discuss what we are going to do.” But then a voice came out of nowhere: “No, it’s too dangerous!” A man stepped out of the shadows’ and into the light created by the burning town. His name was Nathaniel Bacon. “It’s not safe for you and your family to spend the night here. Come, my men will escort you to a safe place for you to spend the night,” said Nathaniel Bacon. So, it was done. This was the burning of Jamestown in the year, 1676. It was part of an event in U.S. History which planted a “One hundred year seed.” It was one which would change the course and destiny of Colonial America forever, once it came to fruition.

 

          In 1676, prior to the burning of Jamestown, the Virginia Colony had fallen into hard times. The colony was governed by a self-centered, self-serving greedy tyrant by the name of Sir William Berkeley. Berkeley played favorites among various friends and fellow colonists in the Virginia Colony. He governed things so that he and his "Chosen ones" would prosper greatly in the colony, while everyone else, including the Peabody Family, had to struggle just to make ends meet. He also prohibited the colonists, who were not part of his “Chosen few,” from taking up arms to defend their homes and property from local Native Americans, who were often attacking the colonist's homesteads. This would have interfered with Governor Berkley's avarice ventures.

 

         So Nathaniel Bacon, the Cousin of Sir William Berkeley, as well as the Son of the famous Englishman, Francis Bacon; rose up against the Governor's tyranny. Bacon gathered all the struggling colonists together, and Bacon's Rebellion began. Nathaniel Bacon began to give the Virginia Governor fits. One time Governor Berkeley threw such a tantrum, he ran out towards Bacon, threw open his hairy chest, yelling, "Before God and all men shoot me!” Finally, Bacon and his men besieged the Town of Jamestown, chasing Berkeley and his officials out of the village. Anticipating the fact that Berkeley would probably return with reinforcements, Bacon and his men made sure there would be nothing left for Berkeley and his men to take back. And so, that is why Bacon and his men burned Jamestown to the ground. This left the odds in the rebel's favor, and Nathaniel Bacon now controlled the Virginia Colony.

 

          But Nathaniel Bacon was soon struck down with a rare illness, and died. Without Bacon's charismatic leadership, Bacon's Rebellion was quelled in short order. King Charles II of England heard about Berkeley’s antics in the Virginia Colony, and he had sided with Bacon in this conflict. So, the king pardoned Bacon's men. But Tyranny did not yield to royalty in this case, as Berkeley defied The King, and went on a bloody vengeance spree, and captured and executed as many of Bacon's men as he could. This displeased The King greatly. The King, who finally had a belly full of the Virginia Governor, summoned Berkeley back to England, an order he could not disobey. Back in England, Sir William Berkeley was stripped of his power, disgraced, and he soon died a broken man at the age of 70. After the burning of Jamestown and Sir William Berkeley’s disgrace, Ben Peabody and his family went on to live  joyful and productive lives in Colonial America.

 

            Bacon's Rebellion had planted a One Hundred Year Seed. It was the seed of desire for American Colonists to take a stand against tyranny. It was the seed of desire for American Colonists to take a stand against self-serving Government Officials. It was the seed of desire for American Colonists to take a stand against unfair Taxation without Representation. It was the seed of desire for the American Colonists to form a new nation--a nation based on freedom, democracy, and equality for all men. That seed came to fruition 100 Years later on July 4th, 1776. The City was Philadelphia, and the place was Independence Hall, where the Second Continental Congress signed The Declaration of Independence.