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The Cavaliers of Virginia, vol. 1 of 2 or, The Recluse of Jamestown; An historical romance of the Old Dominion   By: (1802-1843)

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THE CAVALIERS OF VIRGINIA,

OR, THE RECLUSE OF JAMESTOWN.

AN HISTORICAL ROMANCE OF THE OLD DOMINION.

BY WILLIAM A. CARUTHERS

THE AUTHOR OF "THE KENTUCKIAN IN NEW YORK."

IN TWO VOLUMES. VOL. I.

NEW YORK: PUBLISHED BY HARPER & BROTHERS, NO. 82 CLIFF STREET, AND SOLD BY THE PRINCIPAL BOOKSELLERS THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES. 1834.

Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1834, by HARPER & BROTHERS, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Southern District of New York.

THE CAVALIERS OF VIRGINIA.

CHAPTER I.

The romance of history pertains to no human annals more strikingly than to the early settlement of Virginia. The mind of the reader at once reverts to the names of Raleigh, Smith, and Pocahontas. The traveller's memory pictures in a moment the ivy mantled ruin of old Jamestown.

About the year 16 , the city of Jamestown, then the capital of Virginia, was by no means an unapt representation of the British metropolis; both being torn by contending factions, and alternately subjected to the sway of the Roundheads and Royalists.

First came the Cavaliers who fled hither after the decapitation of their royal master and the dispersion of his army, many of whom became permanent settlers in the town or colony, and ever afterwards influenced the character of the state.

These were the first founders of the aristocracy which prevails in Virginia to this day; these were the immediate ancestors of that generous, fox hunting, wine drinking, duelling and reckless race of men, which gives so distinct a character to Virginians wherever they may be found.

A whole generation of these Cavaliers had grown up in the colony during the interregnum, and, throughout that long period, were tolerated by those in authority as a class of probationers. The Restoration was no sooner announced, however, than they changed places with their late superiors in authority. That stout old Cavalier and former governor, Sir William Berkley (who had retired to the shades of Accomack,) was now called by the unanimous voice of the people, to reascend the vice regal chair.

Soon after his second installation came another class of refugees, in the persons of Cromwell's veteran soldiers themselves, a few of whom fled hither on account of the distance from the court and the magnitude of their offences against the reigning powers. It will readily be perceived even by those not conversant with the primitive history of the Ancient Dominion, that these heterogeneous materials of Roundheads and Cavaliers were not the best calculated in the world to amalgamate in the social circles.

Our story commences a short time after the death of Cromwell and his son, and the restoration of Charles the Second to the throne of his fathers.

The city of Jamestown was situated upon an island in the Powhatan, about twenty leagues from where that noble river empties its waters into those of the Chesapeake Bay.

This island is long, flat on its surface, and presents a semicircular margin to the view of one approaching from the southeast; indeed it can scarcely be seen that it is an island from the side facing the river the little branch which separates it from the main land having doubtless worn its way around by a long and gradual process.

At the period of which we write, the city presented a very imposing and romantic appearance, the landscape on that side of the river being shaded in the back ground by the deep green foliage of impenetrable forests standing in bold relief for many a mile against the sky. Near the centre of the stream, and nearly opposite the one just mentioned, stands another piece of land surrounded by water, known to this day by the very unromantic name of Hog Island, and looking for all the world like a nest for pirates, so impenetrable are the trees, undergrowth, and shrubbery with which it is thickly covered... Continue reading book >>




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