Return with me now, 333 years into the past, and visualize if
you will, a family of four living
in Colonial America during the
late 17th Century. They seem to be enjoying another peaceful evening
inside their Colonial
Hovel, but all that is about to change. The
master polishes his blunder-buster, while the wife tucks her two children
bed, and then returns to her chair and begins knitting. They hear
the sound of rioters off in the distance, and it begins
to grow, and
the sound gets closer, and closer, and louder, AND LOUDER, when
all of sudden, a torch comes crashing
through the window, setting
the hovel ablaze. The master springs to his feet to put out the
flames with a table cloth,
while the wife runs to the nursery to awaken
her two children, and get them out of the hovel to safety. The master
joins the rest of his family out on the street as he is unable
to put out the fire. The now homeless family looks about
they see that all of Jamestown, VA. where they live, is totally
engulfed in flames.
Fellow Toastmasters, honored guests and dignitaries; this
was the burning of Jamestown
VA; in the Year 1676. It was an event
in history which planted a "One Hundred Year Seed," one that
would change the
course of Colonial America's Destiny forever, once
it came to fruition.
Just prior to the burning of Jamestown, VA; in 1676, The American
Colonies, particularly Virginia,
were governed by a self serving
greedy tyrant by the name of Sir William Berkeley. Berkeley played
favorites among the
colonists. He ran things so that he and his
"Chosen ones" would prosper greatly in the new world, while everyone
(who made up the majority) had to struggle greatly just to
make ends meet. They endured unbearable hardships. In fact,
those who were not among Berkeley's chosen ones, were not
even allowed to take up arms against marauding Native Americans
often attacked the homesteads. Finally, the colonists had had a
belly-full of Sir William Berkeley.
Enter Nathanial Bacon, who was the son of the Famous Englishman,
Francis Bacon; and, he was the
cousin to Sir William Berkeley. Bacon
was the most charismatic leader of his day in Colonial America.
He stirred up
a revolt among the struggling colonists, and so Bacon's
Rebellion began. For awhile, Bacon gave his cousin, Sir Billy
fits. One time Sir William Berkeley completely lost it, and he threw
such a tantrum, he ran out towards his Cousin
"Before God and all men, shoot me!" Well, Nathaniel didn't shoot
his cousin, he had other plans;
and, he besieged the Town
of Jamestown instead, running Sir William Berkeley and his
Associates, an all the other members
of his "Clique" out of town.
Knowing that Berkeley would probably be back with reinforcements,
Bacon made sure that
there would be nothing left for Berkeley to
take back, and so that is when Bacon set fire to Jamestown.
now in ashes (but was later rebuilt), and Bacon
now controlled the American Colonies.
But all this was short lived, as Bacon was soon struck down
with Lime's Disease, and he died. Without
leadership, Berkeley was able to turn the tables and Bacon's
Rebellion was quelled in short order.
Now King Charles II of
England sided with Bacon throughout the entire conflict, as he
didn't particularly like the way
Sir William Berkeley ran
things in the colonies either. And so, he pardoned all of Bacon's
Men involved in the uprising.
But tyranny did not yield to royalty
in this case, as Sir William Berkeley completely defied The King's
went on a bloody spree, executing Bacon's men one
by one. Well, now The King had had a belly full, and he summoned
William Berkeley back to England, an order which Sir William
Berkeley could not disobey. There, he was stripped of his
disgraced before his fellow countrymen, and soon he died a broken
man at age 70. U.C. Berkeley up in Northern
is not named after him.
Well, so ended the tyranny in Colonial America for the time
being. But, Bacon's Rebellion planted
a One Hundred Year Seed.
It was the seed of desire for American Colonists to take a stand
against tyranny and self
serving government officials. It was the
seed of desire for American Colonists to take a stand against
Without Representation." It was the seed of
desire for American Colonists to live in a new land which was
"All men are created equal" and there were no
favorites. That seed came to fruition exactly one hundred years
in Philadelphia, PA; on July 4, 1776. The place was
Independence Hall, where the Cracked Liberty Bell rang out
and long from the belfry, as our forefathers were signing,
THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE.