Oppressive Government Neglects Important Documents
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Sir Edmund Andros was sent over as governor of Virginia in February of 1692. His first unpleasant act was to overthrow the design of the ports and towns when the dissatisfied London merchants complained against the plan. Also he had the issue of the college charter for which subscriptions had been made. A duty was placed upon the exportation of skins and furs, for the more plentiful college endowment, and the foundation of the college was laid. Sir Andros was a great encourager of manufactures. The former business of the colony had been neglected, where many original land patents, records of deeds of land and other matters of great consequence, were thrown loose about the office. Documents were dirtied, torn and eaten by moths and other insects. Sir Andros immediately directed a reform of business and caused the old and torn documents to be transcribed. But almost as soon as this project was complete, these conveniences were burnt, along with the State House, in October of 1698. Apparently, this governor had exhibited great improvements. He made several efforts to rebuild the State House in the same area. During that time, Sir Edmund was in the country in Stafford County and called upon a poor man's house for water. There came out to him an elderly woman and with her a lively brisk lad of about twelve years of age. His excellency questioned the lad who told him that he was the son of that elderly woman. His excellency, smiling at the improbability, enquired what sort of man had been his father? To this, the good man made no reply, but instantly ran and led her husband to the door, who was then above 100 years of age. He confirmed all that the woman had said about the lad. The governor was so impressed that he left them 20 pounds.