1676: Among the romantically pro-Bacon histories written during the antebellum years was the chapter in Charles Campbell’s “History of the Colony and Ancient Dominion of Virginia,” first published in Richmond in 1859. Campbell was a Petersburg historian (and Princeton graduate) who obviously loved and promoted the “cavalier” myth. His depiction of Bacon’s heroic qualities is quite over the top. A taste from the early section of his account of the roots of the Rebellion:
In that time of panic, the more exposed and defenceless families, abandoning their homes, took shelter together in houses, where they fortified themselves with palisades and redoubts. Neighbors banding together, passed in co-operating parties, from plantation to plantation, taking arms with them into the fields where they labored, and posting sentinels, to give warning of the approach of the insidious foe. No man ventured out of doors unarmed. Even Jamestown was in danger. The red men, stealing with furtive glance through the shade of the forest, the noiseless tread of the moccasin scarce stirring a leaf, prowled around like panthers in quest of prey. At length the people at the head of the James and the York, having in vain petitioned the governor for protection, alarmed at the slaughter of their neighbors, often murdered with every circumstance of barbarity, rose tumultuously in self-defence, to the number of three hundred men, including most, if not all the officers, civil and military, and chose Nathaniel Bacon, Jr., for their leader.
The full text of Campbell’s book is available as a PDF:
Charles Campbell, History of the Colony and Ancient Dominion of Virginia
…in 1713, in new hampshire paper, bounty 4 dollars
for scalp of squaw and child. bacon’s well-named after
I met a very old lady down in “Bacon Country” last year, who told me that her husband always said of Bacon, “He was the meanest man in America.”