Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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DRUMMOND, William, colonial governor, born in Scotland ; died in Virginia, 20 January 1677. In 1663, when a charter to the territory extending from the 36th degree of latitude to the St. John's River in Florida was granted by Charles II. to the Duke of Albemarle, Lord Clarendon, Lord Ashley Cooper, Lord Berkeley, and his brother, Sir William, the settlement on the Chowan, near Edenton, N.C., established ten years before by Roger Green, was organized as the Albemarle County Colony, with Drummond for governor. He received his appointment from Sir William Berkeley, governor of Virginia and joint proprietary of Carolina, who, according to instructions from his associates, instituted a simple form of government and an easy tenure of lands. In order to encourage settlement, dissenters were tolerated in the new colony, Drummond himself being a Presbyterian.
He afterward returned to Virginia, where he enjoyed esteem and popularity. In the great rebellion of 1676 he bore a prominent part. When Berkeley, after being frightened into issuing a commission to Bacon to fight the Indians, proclaimed the general and his followers rebels, and endeavored to raise a force to surprise them, Drummond brought the news to the camp. When the governor fled before Bacon's returning forces he proposed that Berkeley should be deposed, asserting that he could find precedents in the ancient records of Virginia. The leading planters, meeting at Middle Plantation, now Williamsburg, agreed to support Bacon against the governor. When Sir William Berkeley returned with a band of hirelings, collected at Accomack, and occupied Jamestown, Drummond prepared for defense, and sent for Bacon, who had returned from an expedition against the Indians, and had disbanded his men. After the recapture of Jamestown he counseled the burning of the capital, removed the records to a place of safety, and with his own hand applied the torch to his dwelling, one of the best houses in the town. After the death of Bacon the insurgents were conquered through the ability of Robert Beverley, and Berkeley wreaked his vengeance by having all the principal offenders summarily executed. " I am more glad to see you," he said when Drummond was brought into his presence, "than any man in Virginia; you shall be hanged in half an hour." Drummond avowed before the court martial that condemned him the part that he had taken in the rebellion.
His wife, Sarah, was as zealous a patriot as himself, and was denounced as a wicked and notorious rebel. " The child that is unborn," she declared, "shall have cause to rejoice for the good that will come by the rising of the country." After the execution of her husband she was driven from her home with her children, and compelled to depend on the charity of the planters.
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