Notes on the State of Virginia

Topics: Religion, Freedom of religion, Government Pages: 4 (1532 words) Published: August 28, 2013
The first settlers in this country were emigrants from England, of the English church, just at a point of time when it was flushed with complete victory over the religious of all other persuasions. Possessed, as they became, of the powers of making, administering, and executing the laws, they shewed equal intolerance in this country with their Presbyterian brethren, who had emigrated to the northern government.  The poor Quakers were flying from persecution in England.  They cast their eyes on these new countries as asylums of civil and religious freedom; but they found them free only for the reigning sect.  Several acts of the Virginia assembly of 1659, 1662, and 1693, had made it penal in parents to refuse to have their children baptized; had prohibited the unlawful assembling of Quakers; had made it penal for any master of a vessel to bring a Quaker into the state; had ordered those already here, and such as should come thereafter, to be imprisoned till they should abjure the country; provided a milder punishment for their first and second return, but death for their third; had inhibited all persons from suffering their meetings in or near their houses, entertaining them individually, or disposing of books which supported their tenets.  If no capital execution took place here, as did in New England, it was not owing to the moderation of the church, or spirit of the legislature, as may be inferred from the law itself; but to historical circumstances which have not been handed down to us.  The Anglicans retained full possession of the country about a century.  Other opinions began then to creep in, and the great care of the government to support their own church, having begotten an equal degree of indolence in its clergy, two-thirds of the people had become dissenters at the commencement of the present revolution.  The laws indeed were still oppressive on them, but the spirit of the one party had subsided into moderation, and of the other had risen to a degree...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Notes on State of Virginia; Thomas Jefferson Essay
  • notes of the state of virginia Essay
  • Essay about Thomas Jefferson and the Notes on the State of Virginia
  • State Funding For Prisons Notes Essay
  • Single Party States Notes Essay
  • United States History Notes Essay
  • state trooper Essay
  • Essay about Notes

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free