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Synopsis

More than two hundred years ago, when America was chiefly inhabited by Indians two brothers, in England, John and Lawrence Washington, resolved to remove hither. As they were not poor, doomed to eke out a miserable existence from a reluctant soil, it is supposed that politics was the immediate cause of their removal. It was during the reign of Cromwell, and he made it hot for his enemies. In 1655 a general insurrection was attempted, and the vengeance of Cromwell descended upon the heads of all the participants and not a few of their friends, making their land an uncomfortable place for a residence. There is no evidence that these brothers were engaged in the insurrection; but there is quite sufficient proof that the political situation was stormy, subjecting the Washington family to frequent molestation. Edward Everett says: "There is no doubt that the politics of the family determined the two brothers, John and Lawrence, to emigrate to Virginia; that colony being the favorite resort of the Cavaliers, during the government of Cromwell, as New England was the retreat of the Puritans, in the period which preceded the Commonwealth." We suspect that these brothers did not understand Indians as well as they did Cromwell, or they would not have been so willing to exchange the latter for the former. However, English colonists had settled in the wilderness of Virginia, and, possibly, some of their own acquaintances were already there. They knew somewhat of that particular portion of the new world, and what they knew was generally favorable. Being young men, too, unmarried, intelligent, adventurous and fearless, life in America appeared to them romantic rather than otherwise. Be this as it may, John and Lawrence Washington removed to this country in 1657, and settled in Westmoreland County, Virginia.

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