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Jamestown

Jamestown

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Nathaniel Bacon in Jamestown

Nathaniel Bacon (ca. 1640-1676) was a Virginia planter and the leader of the insurrection against Virginia Governor William Berkeley subsequently labeled Bacon's Rebellion. He was born in England, educated at Cambridge, and moved to Jamestown in 1673. He purchased land on Jamestown's northern frontier, and he was named to the governor's ruling council; some believe Bacon was related to Berkeley's wife.

In 1676, Bacon requested authorization from Berkeley to raise a militia to pacify the Indians on the colony's frontier. Suspicious of Bacon, Berkeley refused to grant the commission. When Bacon proceeded without governmental authorization, Berkeley accused him of treason. The ensuing battle between the two men culminated in Bacon's burning of Jamestown in September 1676. Shortly after Bacon's death from dysentery on 26 October, the rebellion ended.

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