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Subj: Re: QRe: Mutual Cooperation, Inter-relationships Roger, Richard of KW, and Ri.
Date: 4/28/98 10:03:22 PM Central Daylight Time
From: (Karen L. Salisbury)
To: (RJohns24)

RJohns24 wrote:

> Dear Michael, > > Suddenly the email has become overwhelming. Here's an attempt to > answer your > questions on the RogRich document. > > I did err in my statement regarding age requirements, in fact I made > up a rule > that seemed to fit most of the cases that I was aware of. Bad idea. I > was > under some pressure to get the job done for the February Johns Group > Meeting. > I'll go with 12 years or no age limit. There was a lot of chicanery > about the > headrights anyhow. > > In that regard I am am attaching a copy of the Headright statement > from the > first volume of Nell Nugent's Cavaliers and Pioneers. I have used > this, or my > interpretation of it, to make my judgements on headright situations. > > It appears that Roger Johns probably resided on his Nassawattox > property, > although he may have also had rented quarters in town? (what town I'm > not > sure?) John Majors threw him and his friend Wyatt out of rented > quarters, > even after he had paid the rent in advance. This seemed likely to > have been > the act of a Church of England landlord persecuting a Puritan.

Or maybe they had a drunken brawl and Majors didn't want nary to do with them. Conjecture is a dangerous pastime.

> There is no > indication that Wyatt had any blood or legal relationship with Roger. > Puritans did always address or refer to each other as brothers and > sisters. I > have just finished reading "Of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647" by > William > Bradford. This book abounds with brother this and that and brethren > in > plural. It also contains some interesting information relative to the > same > times we are researching. Page 235 commences chapter 20 ANNO DOM: > 1629. The > footnote at the bottom of this page "This was the begining of the > Great > Puritan migration to Massachusetts". If they migrated to MA they > undoubtedly > did to VA as well.

There is a major difference in the northern and southern immigrant. Don't lump them. Most of those in the Jamestown area were hardly puritans. Religion was not a major factor for the southern immigrant. They came here as a penal colony, second or latter sons of landed gentry with no propects in England, adventurers and the like. There were probably some of religious leanings, but that was not the impetus as in New England.

> In fact the Pilgrim fathers first planned to go to VA and > ended up near Cape Cod because they were blown off course and nearly > shipwrecked. Page 236 has a footnote, "The cost of trasatlantic > passage in > 1629-30, complained the Rev.Francis Higginson of Salem, was "wondrous > dear at > Lb 5 a man and Lb 10 a horse and commonly of Lb 3 for every tun of > goods." > This would seem to indicate that the value of a headright was then > about Lb 5 > for 50 acres or Lb .1/acre. > > On the above basis the cost of Roger Johns' 250 acres at Nassawattock > Creek > was abt. Lb 25. But there was something quite unique about that > location on > the creek. It shows on my map as being fairly protected from storms > or winds > coming from any direction but west and it is also isolated from James > City and > the major colonial ports of early tidewater Virginia across the Bay. > An ideal > place to drop off passengers who might not want to pass through the > authorities at the major tidewater ports. Those old square riggers > were > impossible to handle in close quarters, such as sailing up the > Chesapeake.

Seeing as this whole area was a major shipping point, as it still is today, I think they would be interested in learning this. I don't believe they exactly had cusoms agents. This whole shoreline is riddled with waterways and tributaries, which today still makes it ideal for drug smuggling. Going to the eastern shore, may also have had something to do with the grabbing of land on the 'mainland' and the lack thereof.

> It > appears that Northampton might have been the destination of many of > those who > desired to slip into Virginia or Maryland without being too closely > scrutinized. This was true of both the Puritans and later of the > Quakers.

I don't believe the Quakers ever had problems in MD. Calvert came first to Jamestown and establish a Quaker settlement and was just about run out of town on a rail. It had not so much to do with the religion, than he was powerfully connected back in England and there was fear he would try to take over and claim everything for himself. It was more greed, if I remember correctly.

> > > I'm going to let this go to press now, although there is a lot more > proof that > Roger Johns may have been one of the founding fathers of the Quaker > movement > in Virginia. I believe that Richard Johns of KW was a Quaker when he > arrived > in Northampton and remained one until some time before he swore the > oath of > allegiance to King William III in 1702. The swearing of the oath of > allegiance was the test a presumed Quaker was always put to. If he > failed to > swear, he was presumed to be a Quaker because their religion forbade > them to > swear oaths. This then lead to imprisonment or fines, or whippings or > other > punishment.

I have seen nothing to suppose that Roger was a Quaker. The Quaker histories are rather well documented and he never shows up. If he were a founding father, he would be there somewhere. I think this is a great leap of wishful thinking. K

> > > Until later, Rob

Subj: Karen's critique of Rob's revisions on RogRich doc.
Date: 4/29/98 6:59:14 PM Central Daylight Time
From: (Michael Elwood Pollock)
CC: (RJohns24),,,,,, (Ben Johns)

Greetings, Other than Georgia, the only instances in which I am aware of "penal" colonies existing in British America were the occasional mass exiling of "undesirables" to America, the most notable of which was that which followed the crushing of an attempted coup by Scottish Jacobites in the early 1700s. Most ended up in Maryland according to the literature I recall seeing on the subject. That does not sound much like "penal"-izing--sending Scottish Catholics to a Catholic colony. True, a large number of those who emigated to Virginia were from the "undesirable" classes, but they went willingly, both to escape a life in England that did not hold out much promise of a better future, and to seek a life in America that did not just hold out the promise of a beter future, but even the prospects of wealth. While recent (a public announcement was made within the past week, in fact) discoveries of a severe drought during the period 1607-1615 already is leading historians and others to revised their theories as to why Jamestown struggled so during the same, no doubt a large part of the same was that many of the colonists were men of privelege, unaccustomed to having either to do for themselves or to face insubordination, exacerbated by the fact that those in the best position to ratify their perception of their status and/or able to affect the same in a "positive" manner were an ocean away.

Greed--and I do not regard that as a pure negative, recalling Ayn Rand's description of a greedy man as one who treats others as well as he himself wishes to be treated in the self-serving recognition that people are most likely to respond to any given act with an act of the same nature--was the primary motivator of the typical Virginia settler.

Obviously, I am inclined to agree with Karen's position that the Quaker or Puritan presence in Virginia was at worse almost impossible to document, and at best, quite minimal, given their motivations for emigrating (it does not make sense for someone wishing greater freedom of religious expression to go to some other place where the best he/she could expect is a lesser probability of persecution so long as there exists a place where the lack of persecution seems certain.

Taking that though further, I suspect a large part of the basis for Rob's interpretations are the result of the historical accounts of Plymouth Colony noting that the Puritans had intended to settle in "Virginia" but decided to remain at Plymouth when they were driven off course. I would argue, based upon my experiences are a researcher, that the Puritans had used "Virginia" as a generic term that referred not to the current boundaries of the state of Virginia but to the entire zone of English interest in North America--recall that Sir Walter Raleigh was the one who coined the designation, yet his colony was not only located in what is North Carolina today, but also Virginia made no attempt to expand its sphere of influence into what is now North Carolina until after the point at which North Carolina existed as a separate entity (some of the Virginia grants in the counties then bordering NC in the period 1690-1710 contain property descriptions which establish they were in North Carolina, and the property descriptions of some grants in North Carolina counties bordering Virginia during the same period also show the land was actually located in Virginia--the reason for this is that there were tribes of Indians along the Virginia/North Carolina border which fiercely resisted English settlement, so Virginia's response was to forbid English settlement in the area except for a few military outposts such as Fort Christiana. The way this was circumvented was a prospective settler sought a grant from NC which saw such settlement as a means of providing a buffer between those Indians and the coastal settlements in Carolina. As the threat from these Indians diminished by a combination of internal warfare, lack of Indian resistence to diseases introduced into their population by the English, and deaths as a result of the underground warfare between the Indians and whites who chose to violate Virginia's ban on settlement in that area, so, too, did the reluctance of Virginia authorities to allow settlement there. Ultimately the lack of a clearly defined border between Va & NC necessitated one be established, which was done by William Byrd of Westover in the 1720s).

To further illustrate that we risk mistakened conclusions if we base those conclusions on assumption colored by our own values, until the point when the majority of our population became urban/suburban rather than rural, one was unlikely to identify one's residence by the name of the nearest town, using instead the name of a closer landmark, such as a mill, general store, etc. In the majority of instances, when the owner of that landmark changed, the name of the landmark changed to reflect that change of ownership--those who patronized the same were almost invariably a captive market, so there was no good-will benefit to be realized in retaining the old name. Many people fail to appreciate that through most of the history of our postal system, the name of a post office and the town in which is was located were frequently different, and ultimately it was the name of the post office which won out. One notable exception is the town of Petersburg, WV, which has existed since before the Revolution. When it sought a post office, it was denied the use of Petersburg out of concern it might be confused with the Petersburg which is part of the modern Richmond metropolitan area, so was given the name of Lunice Creek (name of the stream on which it is located). After West Virginia became a separate state, the name of the post office was changed to Petersburg, and such it has remained ever since.

Much as the name of a business might change with the change of owners, its physical location could change without a change in its name if the owner moved. An example of this was the post office of Holton, WV. When it was first established, it was located in Morgan County 5 miles west of the Berkeley County line. Over a period of about 20 years, it moved eastward 3 times, ultimately ending up in Berkeley County 7 miles east of the Morgan County line!

My remarks, such as finding the marriage of a couple from Powhatan County, VA, recorded in Charles County, MD in the 1780s, that our ancestors could be far better traveled than we are often willing to concede may seem to support Rob's thesis of Roger Johns as a Quaker/Puritan, but I do not see any tangible evidence to support it, such as a reference in the account of Roger's eviction where any of the parties involved "affirmed" their testimony as Quakers, for example, believe it blasphemy to swear an oath to God. Of course, that is not as good an illustration as I would like since Karen has pointed out that the Quaker movement did not exist as a known entity in the 1640s, but it does provide an illustration of the sort of collaborating evidence I would want before concluding that Roger was a "Dissenter".

Karen is correct that the terrain of the Eastern Shore is ideal for smuggling, though it has managed to avoid that reputation unlike the Outer Banks of NC.

Rob makes too much, I feel, of the possibility that one might wish to elude "emigration authorities". Until it, along with the rest of the original 13 colonies, declared its independence in 1776, Virginia was considered part of England. A trip from London or Bristol to "Nassawaddox" was no different from a trip from Stratford-on-Avon to Oxford except in terms of the distance and manner in which the destination was reached, and thus not subject to any regulation unless the intent was to escape debts. Given the shortage of labor in Virginia, there was absolutely no desire to prevent migration there, even from other countries. However, it was in the best interest of such individuals to make themselves known to authorities by renouncing their allegiance to their former country since they would otherwise have no right to own property, and the latter was presumably the primary motivator in their migration.


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