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whereon to build a real Interest in their Mother Country, & the certain Means to acquire Riches without Envy.

On the Other Hand where the Government of a Provincial Colony is well regulated, & all its business & Commerce truly adapted to the proper End, & design of its First Settlement; Such a Province like a Choice Branch, springing from the Main Root ought to be carefully nourish'd, & its just Interest well guarded. ...

For such is the End of all Colonies, & if this Use cannot be made of them, it wou'd be much better for the State to be without them.

From what has been said of the Nature of Colonies & the restriction that ought to be laid on their Trade, is in [it is] plain that none of the English Plantations in America can with any reason or good sence pretend to claim an Absolute Legislative Power within themselves; so that let their several Constitutions be founded on Ancient Charters, Royal Patent, Custom, Prescription or what other Legal Authority You please, yet still they cannot be possessed of any rightfull Capacity to contradictor evade the force of any Act of Parliament wherewith the Wisdom of Great Britain may think fit to effect them from time to time, & in discoursing of their Legislative Power (improperly so called in a dependant Government) we are to consider them only as so many Corporations at a distance invested with Ability to make Temporary By Laws for themselves agreeable to their Respective Situations & Clymates, but no ways interfering with the Legal Prerogative of the Crown or the true Legislative Power of the Mother State.

If the Governors & General Assemblys of the Several Colonies wou'd be pleas'd to consider themselves in this Light, one wou'd think it was impossible that they wou'd be so weak as to fancy, they represented the King, Lords & Commons of Great Britain within their little Districts.

It is generally acknowledged in the Plantations that the Subject is entituled by Birth & Right unto the benefit of the Common Law of England, but then as the common Law has been altered from time to time, & restricted by Statutes it is still a Question in many of the American Courts of Judicature wether any of the English Statutes which do not particularly mention the Plantations can be of Force there until they brought it over by some Act of Assembly in that Colony where they are pleaded; And this creates such Confusion, that according to the Act or influence of the Lawyers, before Judges who by their Education are but indifferently Qualified for that Service, they allow the Force of the particular Statutes, and at other times reject the whole especially if the Bench is inclinable to be partial, which too often happens in those new & unsettled Countries; & as Mens Liberties & Properties in

any Country chiefly depend on an impartial and Equal Administration of Justice, this is one of the most Material Grievances which the Subjects of America have just Cause to complain of; But while for the want of Schools & other proper Instructions, in the Principles of Moral Vertue, their People are not so well Qualified even to serve upon Juries, & much less to Act on a Bench of Judicature. ...

A Militia in an Arbitrary & Tyrannical Government may possibly be of some Service to the Governing Power, bụt we learn by Experience that in a free Country, 'tis of little Use; the People in the Plantations are so few in proportion to the Lands, which they possess, that Servants being scarce, & Slaves so excessively dear, the Men are generally under a necessity there to work hard themselves in Order to provide the common necessary's of Life for their Families, so that they cannot Spare a days time without great loss to their Interest.

• The Wisdom of the Crown of Britain therefore by keeping its Colonies in that Situation is every (very] much to be applauded while they continue so; it is morally impossible that any dangerous Union shou'd be form’d among them, because their Interest in Trade & all manner of Business, being entirely seperated by their Independancy, every Advantage that is lost or neglected by one Colony is immediately picked up by another, & the Emulation that continually subsist: between them in all manner of Intercourse 8 Traffick, is ever productive of Envys, Jealousie: & Cares how to gain upon each others Conduct ir. Government or Trade, Every one thereby endeavoring to magnifie their Pretentions to the Favour of the Crown by becoming more usefull than their Neighbours to the Interest of Great Britain. ...

William Byrd, The History of the Dividing Line, between Virginia and North Carolina, etc. (edited by Thomas H. Wynne, 1866), II. 215-227 passim.

1. Hopes of Iron Making in Virginia


The ablest and richest Virginia planter of his time and founder of Richmond.

AFTER Breakfast the Colo, and I left the Ladys to their Domestick Affairs, and took a turn in the Garden, which has nothing beautiful but 3 Terrace Walks that fall in Slopes one below another. I let him understand, that besides the pleasure of paying him a Visit, I came to be instructed by so great a Master in the Mystery of Making of Iron, wherein he had led the way, and was the Tubal Cain of Virginia. He corrected me a little there, by assuring me he was not only the first in this Country, but the first in North America, who had erected a regular Furnace. That they ran altogether upon Bloomerys in New England & Pennsilvania, till his Example had made them attempt greater Works. But in this last Colony, they have so few Ships to carry their Iron to Great Britain, that they must be content to make it only for their own use, and must be oblig'd to manufacture it when they have done. That he hoped he had done the Country very great Service by setting so good an Example. That the 4 Furnaces now at work in Virginia circulated a great Sum of Money for Provisions and all other necessarys in the adjacent Countys. That they took off a great Number of Hands from Planting Tobacco, and employ'd them in Works that produced a large Sum of Money in England to the persons concern'd, whereby the Country is so much the Richer. That they are besides a considerable advantage to Great Britain, because it lessens the Quantity of Bar Iron imported from Spain, Holland, Sweden, Denmark and Muscovy, which used to be no less than 20,000 Tuns yearly, tho' at the same time no Sow Iron is imported thither from any Country but only from the Plantations. For most of this Bar Iron they do not only pay Silver, but our Friends in the Baltick are so nice, they even expect to be paid all in Crown Pieces.

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