1. William Berkeley (pg 68): The governor of Virginia around the time of Bacon’s Rebellion in 1676. His policy of friendliness towards the Native Americans, who held greatly in the profitable fur trade that the governor was trying to monopolize, was criticized by many of the colonists, especially the small farmers and landless laborers on the frontiers. All of this resentment came to a breaking point when Berkeley refused to retaliate against a series of brutal Indian attacks on frontier settlements. Taking matters into their own hands, the frontiersmen counterattacked against all the Indians in the area without mercy. After crushing the Indian opposition and driving the natives even further to the west, the riotous group turned on the capital of Jamestown and Berkeley himself. The group managed to chase Berkeley from Jamestown and burn down parts of the capital before Berkeley assembled a force strong enough to crush the uprising. King Charles II later referred to the more than twenty hangings that Berkeley carried out to deal with this rebellion, saying, “That old fool has put to death more people in that naked country than I did here for the murder of my father.”
2. Nathaniel Bacon (pg 68): a twenty-nine-year-old planter that led an uprising in 1676 that was known as Bacon’s Rebellion. By 1670, there were many discontented and impoverished wandering laborers in the Chesapeake region, many of whom were former indentured servants. There personal struggles were coupled with attacks from the Indians in the region, attacks that Governor William Berkeley refused to retaliate against because he favored friendly relations with the natives, who greatly aided him in his mission to monopolize the profitable fur trading business. As a result, Bacon and his followers were forced to take matters into their own hands and crushed the Indians without mercy before turning to attack the capital. Bacon’s group seemed to have the upper hand when they were able to chase Berkeley from the capital of Jamestown and even set fire to parts of the city. However, Bacon himself mysteriously died, most likely to disease, and the mob quickly fell apart without its leader, leaving Berkeley easy opportunities to pick them apart.
3. Yarrow Mamout (pg 75): An African-born Muslim who was brought into slavery in Maryland in 1731. He was owned by the Bell family as a brick maker and eventually was freed from their control. Relying on his business ventures and hard-working character, Mamout was able to carve himself a place in society as a free African Muslim, quite a rare anomaly at the time. By 1820, Mamout had acquired a house and was noted in the census as having family. By all accounts, he was a devout Muslim, even though there were extremely few others who practiced the same religion as he did. Eventually, he gained recognition by befriending the painter Charles Wilson Peale, who painted a portrait of Mamout in his older age (he is believed to be 112 in the painting). Today, Mamout serves as one of the pioneering examples of a former slave who was able to become a successful and integral part of American society after being emancipated.
4. William Bradford (pg 66): Bradford was among the initial Pilgrim settlers to settle Plymouth colony and was elected governor of the colony thirty times. Bradford is believed to have been the first to make mention of the first Thanksgiving with the Indians and is best known for his book Of Plymouth Plantation. The book was essentially a journal that he kept over a number of years from 1620-1647, and provided an in depth look at the initial stages of colonial establishment in the New World, specifically the Puritanical New England area. He is quoted at the beginning of the chapter, providing a brief synopsis of the mindset and lives that people had when immigrating to the American colonies.
5. Matthew Hopkins (pg 80): Hopkins was an influential figure in the Salem witch trials. After a few young