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Facts

The gender biases within colonial Virginia were so great that it was virtually impossible for a woman to successfully accuse a man of rape. In one remarkable case, a seven year old girl was reprimanded when she was molested by an adult male. The man that assaulted her was convicted. But the girl's mother was also ordered to punish the young victim in order to increase the child's "grief for her offense."30

In 1762, the Virginia Assembly passed a measure specifying the size of a house needed to meet the colony's property requirement for voting. The Assembly's action was prompted by Thomas Paynes' claim that his "house" measuring 4 feet by 3 feet made him eligible to vote. The 1762 law stated that in order to meet the colony's property requirement a house must be at least 12 feet by 12 feet.31

The colonial capital at Jamestown was forced to relocate to Williamsburg in 1698 hen the state house burned down. It is believed that the fire was set by a death-row convict, imprisoned in the statehouse jail, apparently willing to speed up his execution.32

The Virginia Assembly passed a law in 1748 forbidding slaves to offer medical treatment to other slaves. Slave owners worried about slaves poisoning one another, but according to one historian, they also did not want to relinquish their complete control over the bodies of their slaves. When one slaved treated, and perhaps cured, another, the slave owner's authority and dominion over his slaves bodies was challenged.33

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