With the possible exception of the War between the States no episode in American history has been of more interest to the general reader than the early settlement of the frontier. Manakin Town was a small footnote in the epic. Its brief history is of more than passing interest because it is the story of an alien people who attempted to establish on the Virginia frontier, twenty-five miles beyond the line of settlement, a depository of their culture. It is the chronicle of an experiment which failed, but which in failure enriched Colonial Virginia as it could never have done had the plans of its founders been successful. Finally, it is a practical and concrete illustration of the process by which a small minority was absorbed by a much vaster majority and as such forms an interesting chapter in the social history of Colonial Virginia.
On July 23, 1700, the British vessel Mary Ann, some thirteen weeks out of Gravesend, England, cast anchor at Hampton, Virginia. The presence of Lieutenant Governor Francis Nicholson at the head of a welcoming committee indicated that the arrival of this particular ship was an event of more than ordinary interest to the colony, which normally paid little heed to such occurrences. On board the Mary Ann were 207 French Huguenots, who were seeking homes in Virginia, and no less a personage than King William III had requested the Virginia government to grant them all possible aid. 
These men, women, and children were a very few of a considerable number of French Protestants who had fled from the religious persecutions of Louis XIV, which fifteen years earlier had culminated in the well-known revocation of the Edict of Nantes. The tales of cruelty and persecution, which the refugees who succeeded in escaping to England told, shocked and revolted the people of that island, and the British welcomed thousands of the religious exiles to their shores. A considerable number of the dispossessed Frenchmen found permanent homes there, but there were others who could not be assimilated, and the increasing number of exiles placed a heavy strain upon the relief agencies which attempted to provide for them. 
Both the British authorities and the French Huguenot leaders turned to plans of resettlement in the English colonies as the obvious answer to the refugee problem. The latter were not unaware of the advantages which the New World could offer their people: rich and abundant land, a healthful climate, an opportunity to engage in profitable commercial activities, and a much greater measure of freedom than they had enjoyed in absolutist France. Moreover, they found that there were men in both England and Virginia who were interested in helping the oppressed French establish new homes in the British colonies. Some of these prospective benefactors owned land in America, and in addition to their humanitarian motives, and perhaps overshadowing them, was the desire to obtain settlers for their extensive and largely vacant acres. Two of the outstanding men in this group were Dr. Daniel Coxe in England and Colonel William Byrd I in Virginia. The former was a court physician of some distinction who, in common with many of the prominent men of his day, was interested in colonial ventures. His activities centered chiefly in New Jersey, but he held in addition title to land in present day Norfolk County, Virginia, and to a much vaster tract in the region of the Gulf of Mexico.  Believing the Huguenots would make excellent settlers for his tenantless acres in the latter region, Coxe contacted two of their leaders, the Marquis de la Muce and Charles de Sailly.
De la Muce was a Breton nobleman, who had recently been expelled from France after a two-year imprisonment because of his constancy to his Protestant faith.  A man of courage and integrity he seemed to Coxe the ideal person to lead a group of Huguenots to the New World. Both de la Muce and de Sailly were interested in the plans of Dr. Coxe because it would give them the opportunity to recoup in British America the fortunes they had lost by their flight from France. On May 2, 1698, they promised to transport within a period of two years a group of "100 families or 200 persons," and in return were granted a half-million acres of land in the neighborhood of Apalachee Bay on a deferred quit rent basis, with the option of acquiring a second half-million acres within a period of seven years. Each prospective colonist was promised 100 acres of land and "transport and dyet over." To finance the venture a stock company was to be organized, each share of stock to cost £25 and to entitle its purchaser to 400 acres of land. The stockholders were divided into two classes, the "company" which would colonize, govern, and control all matters of land and trade, and a "society" of city merchants which would provide ships and transportation on contract. 
When the Board of Trade refused to sanction the project because it believed a colony on the Gulf of Mexico would be difficult to defend and would probably be attacked if its settlers were French Protestants, Dr. Coxe and de la Muce agreed to found the colony on the former's Norfolk County lands which lay "betwixt Virginia and North Carolina." The Breton nobleman and his lieutenant, de Sailly, petitioned King William III to allow them to settle at this location. The king turned the matter over to the Lords Commissioners of Trade and Plantations. As Dr. Coxe probably exercised considerable influence in this body, it is not surprising that the Lords Commissioners advised the king not only to approve the petition, but to assist the colonials by granting them citizenship and ordering the Virginia government to "give them all possible encouragement upon their arrival." Not only did William III follow the suggestions of this Lords Commissioners, but he further ordered that a portion of the relief fund, which had been collected in England for the benefit of these and other refugees, should be used "for their transportation and for the building [of] a church and for a competent number of Bibles, Common Prayer books and other books of devotion, as also for the necessary accommodation for lodging of two ministers who are to accompany them. 
Daniel Coxe was not alone in his interest in this particular group of Huguenots. On the other side of the Atlantic William Byrd, one of the largest landholders and most powerful men in Virginia, sought for prospective settlers to establish a community on the Virginia frontier a few miles above the fall line of the James River. This area had formerly been occupied by the Monocan Indians, a once powerful confederacy of tribes which had carried on continuous warfare with Powhatan before the white man had displaced both.  The chief village of the Monocans had once occupied the site upon which Byrd desired to settle the French. The Virginia land baron's interest in the Huguenots was not merely altruistic, for he owned large tracts of land in the vicinity to which he wished to attract settlers, and this could better be accomplished if there were a settlement at the old Indian town site to act as a buffer between his lands and the marauding Indian tribes which sometimes descended upon them. Moreover, he would be in a strategic position to trade with the settlement, for he would be its closest contact with the other areas of the colony.
In presenting his scheme to the Lords Commissioners in 1698, Byrd skilfully struck at the vulnerable points in the plan of his rival. The site advocated by Dr. Coxe, he wrote, was for the most part low and swampy ground, unfit for planting and improvement, and the air was moist and unhealthful. On the other hand, land in upper Virginia was as good as any in the country, and the climate as healthful. Moreover, the Norfolk County site was in dispute between Virginia and North Carolina, and the settlers would be under a "perpetual vexation" from both. But if they were sent to Virginia, Governor Nicholson would not only take a personal interest in the immigrants, but would interest the leaders of the colony in their welfare. Furthermore, it was not to the advantage of the king of Kingdom of England to allow the Huguenots to organize a new colony under the lax administration of proprietors. This would mean a delay of several years before they would be able to supply their own wants and a much longer delay before they could be of any advantage of England. To such a colony the criminals and indentured servants in Virginia would flee for protection, and the Huguenots, in their desire for new settlers, would extend a cordial welcome to these refugees. Finally, King William's interest lay in favoring the Royal Colony of Virginia rather than the Proprietary Colony of North Carolina. 
Although the king turned down the proposal of William Byrd and specifically instructed the Virginia governor to aid the Huguenots to settle in Norfolk County and grant them the amount of land there usual to newcomers, the triumph of Dr. Coxe was short lived. For when Governor Nicholson welcomed the followers of de la Muce and de Sailly at Hampton on that July day in 1700, he informed them that they would proceed to the old Monocan Indian area where land would be given them. Certainly the instructions of the English government were definite enough, and the settlers themselves arrived in Virginia thinking they were about to establish a new colony on the Coxe lands. Indeed, as late as July 15, 1702, the governor and Council had to instruct them to cease speaking of their settlement as a "colony."  Yet the influence of Colonel Byrd with the Virginia governor and Council apparently counted for more than the instructions of the king, for insofar as the surviving records show, the change of location was made in defiance of the wishes of William III. This is an interesting fact, for it indicates not only the great power of William Byrd in the colony, but also the independent spirit which even at this date prevailed in Virginia. It should be noted that when Governor Nicholson wrote the Board of Trade on August 12, 1700, to explain why he had directed the Huguenots to settle on the Virginia frontier, the arguments he advanced to justify his action were identical to those used by Colonel Byrd in his petition to the Lords Commissioners two years earlier. It should also be noted that the action of the governor was unanimously endorsed by the Virginia Council four days earlier on the ground that there was "no such land in Norfolk County as was supposed and represented for their settlement there and the land in those parts not as yet actually seated" was "in dispute betwixt Virginia and the proprietors of Carolina." 
The Huguenots halted briefly at Hampton while Governor Nicholson conferred with their leaders and directed the taking of a census to send the Lords Commissioners. The warm welcome of the governor was somewhat offset by his announcement of the change of destination, yet this halt brought the one bright interlude in a journey characterized by dissension, disaster, and a growing despair. Even before the Huguenots reached the Virginia shore the never ending difficulties had begun, for during the voyage over they quarreled with Captain Hawes of the Mary Ann, who "abused them and their goods." 
The journey up the James was broken by a stop at Jamestown. Perhaps as the French walked the streets of the former Virginia capital, they pondered the early history of this town which was once a part of the frontier and wondered if their own experiences in building a village would parallel the hardships and suffering, the slow starvation, and sudden death from Indian attack, which had been the lot of the first citizens of Jamestown. Here the Huguenots first met William Byrd and Benjamin Harrison, two men who would play a leading role in the early history of Manakin Town. These two had been requested by Governor Nicholson to meet the French at Jamestown. Since both lived at the Falls of the James (present day Richmond), they could give needed advice and assistance. After a conference with de la Muce and de Sailly, Byrd agreed to depart immediately for the Falls for the purpose of locating sufficient "houses or sheds" to shelter the French upon their arrival there.  From Byrd and Harrison the Huguenots must have learned more details concerning the nature of the country in which they would settle, and the knowledge further shattered their morale, which had already suffered from the difficulties and monotony of the long ocean voyage and the sudden announcement of the governor. The majority were men who had spent their lives in business, commerce, and industry, and even those who were experienced in agriculture knew nothing of farming under frontier conditions. Thus they felt themselves totally unprepared to wrest a living from the forest. Used to the social intercourse and economic interdependence of urban life, they anticipated the loneliness, barrenness, and crudeness which was an inescapable part of frontier existence.
The necessity of hiring boats to transport their goods up the James to the Falls heightened the apprehensions of the Huguenots. De la Muce, believing his followers would settle in Eastern Virginia, had contracted for passage only as far as Hampton, and the unexpected necessity of further depleting the slender common fund, upon which the French depended to purchase supplies until their first harvest, was a serious matter. Its adverse effect on morale caused Governor Nicholson to suggest to the Board of Trade that future groups be sent in ships destined for the upper James. Indeed, the settlers had sufficient cause to fear the future. From a total common fund of £1,443 12s 6p the Huguenots would expend £1,422 3s 11p by the end of 1700. With only £21 8s 7p to carry them through nearly six months of waiting for the first harvest, the situation of the settlers would be nothing short of desperate. Even before they arrived at the Falls, the realization of the rapidity with which the funds were being exhausted must have caused increasing anxiety. As though to emphasize the approaching crisis, one of the boats which the French had engaged sank in the vicinity of Jamestown, sending goods of some £300 value to the bottom of the river.  Increasing illness further adversely affected morale. The inadequate diet, close confinement and crowded conditions of the long ocean voyage, and the landing in the summer which was the sickly season in Virginia made the Huguenots ready victims of dysentery, malaria, and other fevers which afflicted so many new arrivals to the colony.  Thus they reached the Falls in the late summer of 1700 unfit both mentally and physically to travel the last stage of their journey and begin the construction of their wilderness village.
The Falls of the James was in 1700 the last outpost of western settlement in Virginia. Between that point and the site of the Monocan Indian village lay some twenty-five miles of virgin and virtually trackless forests, a green and silent wall of loneliness which would separate the French from their closest neighbors. A company of soldiers accompanied the Huguenots to their new home, emphasizing the exposed position of the site.  Although the danger from Indians was probably slight, for no tribe lived in the immediate neighborhood, the fear of possible plunder and murder died slowly. As late as June of 1702 the council ordered the Henrico County military officers to "visit the French Settlement . . . once every week to charge them not to leave their habitation nor to straggle into the woods any distance from their settlements." Manakin Town was never attacked, but at least one of its citizens was slain by the Indians.
Only 120 men, women, and children followed William Byrd and the soldiers into the forests -- the remainder were too ill to travel further. They were led not by de la Muce, who decided to remain in his comfortable lodging at the Falls while his followers endured the hardships of building the new town, but by de Sailly. The proud Breton nobleman was fast losing the confidence of the majority of his company, and although he remained technically in control, de Sailly now became the real leader. De la Muce was a man of undoubted courage and integrity, and one who had remained constant to his Protestant faith under conditions which would have caused a weaker man to retreat, but he had neither the qualities nor the experience necessary for leadership. In his enthusiasm to take advantage of Dr. Coxe's offer to recoup his fortunes in the New World, he had selected his colonists too hastily and too uncritically. Some compared favorably with any group of American pioneers and exemplified under the most trying conditions a valor and fortitude which was unsurpassed, but there were others who were definitely below the required calibre. Moreover, neither de la Muce nor his followers were aware of the difficulties involved in planting a new colony. They had taken too literally the rosy propaganda of Dr. Coxe and had apparently expected to resume their accustomed activities in Virginia without undue inconvenience. The social gap between de la Muce and the majority of his followers, and the increasing evidence of the Marquis' lack of experience in the business details necessary for the success of the venture bred a distrust in his leadership which resulted in increasing criticism. The contrast between the actual and expectant conditions was naturally if unjustly blamed on de la Muce. Instead of rising to the emergency, renewing the confidence of his followers by positive action which would restore hope and determination in place of despair, the Marquis became increasingly embittered and dismayed. The fact that he refused to share the discomforts of his followers is a telling indictment of his leadership.
Charles de Sailly was superior to de la Muce, but he can hardly be classified as an ideal leader. He was contentious, arbitrary, narrow-minded, and a man of excessive ambition, and soon many of his followers were complaining of his "hard-heartedness" and his "odious and insupportable" conduct.  Like de la Muce his chief interest in the proposed settlement seems to have been the personal gain he hoped to derive from it, and he too planned to return to England once the construction of the village was completed. Yet he at least had the necessary determination and stamina to carry out the objective of establishing a town, and he inspired a like determination in those of his followers who were able to walk the twenty-five miles from the Falls to the old Indian village. He at least was willing to undergo the hardships he demanded of his followers. And during the critical months of the late fall and winter, when actual starvation stalked the streets of the village, de Sailly unsparingly used every resource at his command to obtain supplies until illness struck him down in February of 1701.  Eventually his followers turned to the abler Benjamin de Joux, whose character and influence held the settlement together during the first difficult year, but Charles de Sailly too deserves a portion of the credit for the survival of Manakin Town.
The sight which greeted the Huguenots upon their arrival at the designated spot was hardly one to lift their spirits. The half ruined huts, the brush filled fields which the forests were fast reclaiming, and a "red rough stone" which had played a part in the Monocan religious rites,  were the only evidences of earlier human habitation. North of them the James flowed silently by; to the east, south, and west lay the forests. De Sailly did not give his followers time to meditate long upon their situation. He put them to work cutting underbrush, patching the decaying Indian huts and building crude shacks as temporary shelters, laying off streets, clearing the old Monocan fields, and cutting a rough road through twenty miles of forest to a mill on Fall Creek owned by William Byrd. Some were assigned the tasks of cooking, baking, or fishing, while others cut wood, hauled supplies from the Falls, or dug "a little store in ye ground." Each received a modest wage from the common fund. From their closest English neighbors de Sailly purchased corn, meal, vegetables, tools, nails, and "10 cowes and a calfe." Finally, he organized a government for the community, the primary purpose of which seems to have been the perpetuation of his own control. 
No season of the year is more lovely in Virginia than fall, but it is doubtful if the Huguenots appreciated its beauty. Through the lingering warmth of Indian summer and the damp chill which signalled the approach of winter, they fought a grim struggle for survival. The inadequate supplies and the meagre funds were approaching exhaustion as the year drew to a close, and the settlers were forced to sell their "arms, clothes and other goods" in order to purchase food. De la Muce and de Sailly requested and received aid from the English at the Falls. William Byrd, already the chief patron of the village, appealed to his neighbors in the surrounding counties for money and supplies and opened his own mill and storehouse to the French. But even though generous, the aid which the limited population of the western counties could give was pitifully insufficient. The arrival of cold weather emphasized the inadequacy of the flimsy shacks which furnished the only shelter. The lack of adequate food and shelter caused an increase in sickness. Six persons died and about twenty left "some for libertinage and laziness, and some for want of bread, being not able to suffer hunger and take patience when we meet with disappointments."  The arbitrary conduct of de Sailly created unnecessary dissatisfaction. Finally, internal strife arose to divide the population at a time when unity and common effort were essential to survival. The darkest hour had indeed arrived, and there was in the late fall of 1700 no sign of an approaching dawn upon the horizon.
The internal conflict was caused by the arrival of a second group of some 150 persons in late October. These men, women, and children reached Jamestown on October 6 and proceeded overland to Manakin, probably because of the unfortunate experience of the first group with river transportation. One hundred and sixty-nine had disembarked from the Peter and Anthony at the former Virginia capital, but the second group, like the first, left some of its members ill at the Falls. In Jamestown the new arrivals learned of the fertile tract of land which had been assigned their predecessors, and they somewhat naively expected to find upon their arrival a settled and contented community. Thus it is not difficult to imagine their dismay because of the "great disorder" and "distressed condition" which prevailed at Manakin.  This second group was as a whole undoubtedly superior to the first, and its minister, Benjamin de Joux, would soon emerge as the ablest leader of the frontier settlement. Little is known of this Huguenot priest before his appearance at Manakin. He and his family had escaped to England sometime before October 10, 1688, for they were naturalized in London on that date. Nothing further is known of his wife and children, save the fact that they did not accompany him to Virginia. This lack of information is regrettable, for it would be interesting to know his background, his career in France before his flight, the hardship and poverty which must have been his lot in England, the experiences which developed the characteristics of leadership which enable him almost singlehanded to guide the town through the first critical year. Evidently the Bishop of London recognized him as a man of superior character and talents, for the Bishop administered Anglican ordination to de Joux and commissioned him to take charge of the spiritual life of the whole settlement.
No sooner had the second group arrived than de Sailly informed its members that there was no "bread nor sustenance" for them in the village. Not only were they ordered to turn over all the public money and supplies which they had bought, but de Sailly further demanded that the new arrivals take an oath of allegiance to the justices or local magistrates which he had appointed. The refusal of his demands would mean the exclusion of the newcomers from any portion of the common fund and any share of land in the neighborhood of the village. Convinced the de Sailly had already proved his inability as a leader and protesting the legality of his attempt to withhold land and supplies which had been contributed for the benefit of all the French, the majority of the second group withdrew from the village. They settled on a tract of land beside the James River about four or five miles east of Manakin and immediately began the task of clearing the land and erecting temporary shelters. The group request de Joux to become its temporal as well as its spiritual leader, "having had sufficient tryall" of his "integrity and affection toward them," and asked him to "use his utmost care and diligence in procuring some sustenance of 'em and some lands, which they might labour, sow and improve in hopes that God's blessings upon their endeavours [might] give 'em some subsistence for ye future without being burdensome of ye country." De Joux departed for Williamsburg to request aid for his followers. Not only was he successful in obtaining supplies from the Virginia government, but he also received the permission of Governor Nicholson to occupy the tract of land upon which the second group had settled as squatters. Returning to the new village, which bore no other name than "the lower settlement," de Joux divided the land among his followers to the "common satisfaction of all."  He, however, settled not at the lower settlement, but at Manakin Town, and immediately assumed charge of the spiritual affairs of both groups in accordance with the instructions of the Bishop of London.
By the end of November conditions in the village had become so critical that it was obvious to all that only substantial aid from the Virginia government would prevent its disintegration. The severe shortage at Manakin of such necessities as seed, tools, cattle, and clothing was serious enough, but the increasing scarcity of food made the situation of its inhabitants even more perilous. Two petitions were sent to the governor and Council, one signed by de la Muce and de Sailly, the other by thirty-five persons from the lower settlement. Both groups of petitioners requested the support of the government in the internal conflict which was then at its height. De la Muce and de Sailly complained of the "malice and tricks" employed by the followers of de Joux, and requested the governor and Council to grant them authority over both settlements. This could be accomplished by ordering de Joux to confine his activities to his spiritual duties and forcing his followers to move to Manakin and turn over all of their supplies. The Marquis and his lieutenant requested "corn, clothes, seed, tools and some cattle." The petitioners from the lower settlement also asked for food and subsistence until they could provide for themselves. They further requested a "comfortable subsistence" for their minister, an audit of de Sailly's accounts, the appointment of commissioners to administer any remaining portion of the common fund, and an order forcing de Sailly to turn over to de Joux the portion of the fund which had been set aside for building a church. These petitioners accused de Sailly of withholding funds, causing disaffection among his followers, and bringing distress and disorder to the village. Both petitions requested the issuance of an executive order requiring the French to remain at the village to prevent its disintegration. 
From the day of their arrival the Virginia officials had taken a sympathetic interest in the French refugees. This attitude was due in part to the request of the king, in part to the natural sympathy engendered by an oppressed people, in part to the belief that the successful establishment of a village on the upper James would be an added defense of the frontier. A few weeks after the arrival of the first ship the Council designated a committee to "consider of the most proper method to be used for the naturalization, settlement, and civil government of the French refugees" and to make recommendations at the next meeting of the General Assembly (Council and House of Burgesses). On November 14, probably just after it had received the petition from the lower settlement, the Council requested de Sailly to "render an account . . . what French were carried up . . . , in what state and condition they now are, what money he hath received in England for their use, and how it hath been disposed of." 
Even before the petitions of de Joux and de Sailly revealed the critical condition of the Manakin settlement, the governor and Council had begun to doubt the wisdom of isolating the French in a separate group on the extreme edge of the colony. When a third ship arrived on October 20 with additional refugees, it was decided to disperse the newcomers among the settled areas of Virginia. Not only would they be able to support themselves more easily, but they would be more quickly absorbed into the general life of the colony. Neither the name of the ship nor the number of its passengers is known. Although the original intention of these immigrants was to settle at Manakin, probably not over fifteen or twenty went there, the majority remaining in the Jamestown area. [Many in this group settled on the Mattaponi, a head river of the York River.]  A fourth ship, the Nassau, arrived on March 5, 1701, bringing 191 refugees under the leadership of Louis Latané, the founder of a well known Virginia family. As the destination of this ship was the York rather than the James River, it was probably not the intention of its passengers to settle at Manakin. It is possible that they had learned of conditions in the village and felt that the economic advantages to be gained from dispersal among the English residents outweighed the cultural advantages which they would derive from settling among their countrymen. They would have made a valuable addition to the frontier community as some of them were men of means. The majority must have been more comfortably fixed than earlier groups, for they made no request for aid from the Virginia Council which had not even been informed of their coming. After the arrival of the Nassau, the Council voted to extend aid both to those who wished to go to Manakin and those who decided to "disperse among the inhabitants of the country." Approximately half a hundred decided to settle at Manakin Town, and a few of the remainder established a separate settlement at the head of the York [Rappahannock] River. 
The decision of the Council to send no more large groups to the frontier village did not, however, alleviate the necessity of assisting those who were already there. The House of Burgesses took the first positive action in meeting this necessity by approving on December 21 a measure to exempt the Manakin settlers from the payment of all public and county levies for a period of seven years. The same act included a provision establishing a separate parish at Manakin Town.  Although this was certainly a generous concession on the part of the government, it was hardly the answer to the basic question of how the Huguenots were going to be kept alive until they could harvest their first crops the following summer. The Council therefore requested the appointment of a joint committee of the two legislative houses for the purpose of seeking a solution. The three members of the Council and the five members of the House of Burgesses who met together in the Williamsburg Court House on December 21 decided that the colony would have to use public funds to aid the Huguenots, a conclusion which the governor and Council had reached earlier. The House of Burgesses, however, refused to adopt the recommendation of the joint committee, believing the French to be under no "such pressing necessity or want as to be accounted objects of public charity."
The future of Manakin never appeared bleaker than on that Saturday afternoon when the members of the lower house, unaware of the gravity of the situation in the frontier community, declined further aid. But once again, as on that July morning when they first landed at Hampton, Lieutenant Governor Nicholson stood forth as the friend of the Huguenots. No sooner had the House of Burgesses convened on Monday morning than the clerk of the Council appeared to demand the attendance of its members on the governor. After they reassembled in his presence, Nicholson rose to address them:
In short Nicholson stated that if public funds could not be used to insure the survival of the settlement, he would be forced to depend on private contributions from the people of Virginia, and he requested the House to rescind its earlier action to the extend of endorsing this appeal. The members of the House of Burgesses readily agreed, declaring themselves "well satisfied from his Excellency's information of the present necessity of the French Refugees without any further inquiry." Indeed, several members of their body had already expressed their intention of making contributions. This response brought a note of thanks from the governor, who assured the Burgesses that he would "never endeavor to impose anything upon . . . [them which might] seem either burdensome of chargeable." 
In a moving appeal for funds, which he sent to each county, Nicholson described the distressing condition of the French and the circumstances which had brought them to Virginia. The generous response to this appeal enabled William Byrd and Benjamin Harrison, the appointed administrators of the relief fund, to provide for 250 persons, at least sixty-six of whom were children. By the latter part of February, 1701, Byrd was distributing corn from his mill at Falling Creek and supplies from his storehouse at the Falls. [See list of recipients] Each Manakin citizen shared equally in the distribution. 
During the course of the six months which had passed since the establishment of Manakin Town, the government and people of Virginia had assumed an increasing responsibility for the welfare of the French. The liberal policy of the government in granting the Huguenots a fertile if remote area for their settlement, and a seven-year exemption from taxation was matched by the generous response of the Virginia people to the appeals of de Sailly and de Joux for temporary aid. The colony had for the most part assumed this responsibility willingly, not only because of sympathy for an oppressed minority, but also because its people believed the Huguenots to be a desirable addition to the Virginia population. Yet it was no easy task to feed so large a number of people settled on a remote frontier, and the Virginia government had no desire to add to the burden by encouraging new groups of refugees to emigrate to the colony. Therefore, on December 27, 1700, the Council requested Governor Nicholson to inform King William III of the "poverty and disability" of the French and to suggest that no more be sent to Virginia. 
Spring is for most men a season of hope and optimism. The first warm days which signal the approaching end of the dreariness of winter and the annual rebirth of nature bring renewed confidence in the future. In the spring of 1701 the citizens of Manakin for the first time since their arrival could speak with confidence of the survival of their village. The promise which the governor's appeal in their behalf held forth had at last been translated into the reality of supplies. Crops were beginning to grow in the fields, illness was rapidly decreasing, the long days ahead guaranteed time to build new homes before the return of another winter. Improved conditions would mean the arrival of additional settlers. 
The improvement of morale and the change of attitude from despair to optimism came none too soon, for the hour was already late and the disintegration of the village had begun. Approximately 391 persons had departed from Jamestown with the intention of settling at Manakin. In May of 1701 Byrd stated that he was issuing supplies to approximately 250 persons, and presumably this was the major part of the population. Even assuming that some of those who left Jamestown changed their minds and settled elsewhere before reaching Manakin, the settlement must have suffered a rather startling loss of population during the first six months of its existence. Since comparatively few died, a considerable number must have departed for other parts of the colony. Evidently the present conditions and future prospects of the settlement seemed so discouraging that they decided to abandon the experiment.
Yet the French are by nature a volatile and buoyant people, and those who remained at Manakin to continue the struggle against cold and hunger and despair reverted to their normal attitudes once the crisis had passed. During the summer and autumn of 1701 the permanent homes were built, increasing acres cleared, and the crops harvested. William Byrd, who with three neighbors from the Falls, visited the town in May of 1701, reported that "thought these people are very poor, yet they seem very cheerful and are (so far as we could learn) very healthy, all they seem to desire is that they might have bread enough." Byrd and his companions inspected--
A comparison of this description with that of the Swiss traveller, Francis Louis Michel, who visited the town a year later, reveals the progress made within that short period.
Once the grim struggle for survival was over, the Huguenots turned to the long range problem of insuring the permanency of their village. One of the more important aspects of this problem was the security of title to the land they occupied. Although the governor and Council had assigned the French the area upon which they settled, no steps had been taken to transfer the actual title of ownership. On March 5 and 6, 1702, Governor Nicholson visited Manakin Town, and during his stay he evidently discussed this problem with the Huguenot leaders and advised them to petition the Council for a division of the area into individual allotments. The governor, probably anticipating a favorable response to the petition, started surveyors to work on a preliminary survey. They probably proceeded on the basis of the fifty acres per individual which King William III had requested for the French. The Council received the suggested petition on March 12, 1702, but for some reason delayed taking any action. On May 21 the French send a second petition complaining of the unequal laying out of the land and requesting additional land. A third petition informed the Council that there were other French refugees in Virginia who were desirous of settling at Manakin, and asked that they be granted land on the same basis as the original inhabitants.
Upon the receipt of these requests the Council referred the whole problem to the House of Burgesses, and asked for their recommendations on the policy which should be adopted in regard to the quantity of land to be allowed the Huguenots, the manner in which they could qualify to hold this land, the number of French who should be located at Manakin, and the attitude which the government should assume toward newcomers to the settlement. Later, de Sailly and several other Frenchmen arrived in Williamsburg to lobby for the adoption of a liberal policy. They were invited to attend the meeting of the Council in which the recommendations of the House of Burgesses were read. The members of the lower legislative body suggested that the Manakin settlers be granted land in accordance with the recommendations of the king, that the Council should determine the number who should be permitted to settle in the neighborhood of the town, that the French should hold their land "as the rest of the country do," that newcomers should be granted the same privileges as the original inhabitants, and that no one should be granted any land until he had petitioned for naturalization. 
Yet neither the House of Burgesses nor the Council determined the total number of acres which should be reserved for the French. As the months passed, the need for a definite decision grew constantly greater. Within two year fifteen persons had applied for a total of 8,360 acres in the neighborhood of Manakin, but the patents had to be held up until the extent and definite location of the French grant could be determined. Finally, on May 3, 1704, the House of Burgesses decided to reserve 10,000 acres for the use of the Manakin settlers, and to allow each family, regardless of its size, 133 acres. Both the lower settlement and the village itself were to be included in the grant, which would extend along the south bank of the James River for a minimum distance of some five miles and run "so far back into the woods as will give the quantity of ten thousand acres." After giving its approval to the measure, the Council appointed William Byrd to direct the survey "according to the directions of the House of Burgesses." 
On October 26, 1704, Byrd informed the Council that he had completed the survey, and produced "two plats of the tracts of land now laid out which, with what was laid out formerly for them, amounts in all to ten thousand and thirty-three acres, three rood, and nineteen pole all lying contiguous upon James River." 
In contrast to the promptness with which the grant was surveyed, the division into individual tracts proceeded at a rather leisurely pace. On June 26, 1705, Claude Philipe de Richebourg,  who was at this time the leader of the impatient French, informed the Council that the "small quantity of land allowed them is not sufficient for their subsistence and the range of their stock," and asked that "the fifty acres of land per pole allowed them by his late Majesty King William may be laid out for them." Since the Virginia government had probably decided upon equal allotments because the French had complained about the "unequal laying out of the land," this new request for an individual allotment of fifty acres in addition to the 133 acres per family already granted must have caused some irritation. The Council replied that the Manakin settlers should receive their proportion of land "according to the number of their families," and that any family which had not taken up its full allotment was free to do so at any time. If the ten-thousand-acre grant proved too small, the French would be given additional land "adjacent to their settlement, provided it was not already patented." The request for an additional fifty acres for each individual was denied.
Richard Ligon, the Henrico County surveyor, surveyed the individual allotments. He completed this job by May 23, 1706, at which time he petitioned the Council for an "allowance." His fee was paid from the Henrico County quitrents, and the county was later reimbursed from the "two shillings per hogshead" tax which was levied on all Virginia tobacco. 
Evidently not all the Manakin settlers took up their full allotment, and the Council probably intentionally set aside more land than necessary anticipating the arrival of newcomers. Only 5,040 of the 10,000 acres granted were distributed in 1705 and 1706. Within four years the Huguenots, who were slowly increasing in number, were in need of a division of the remainder. On November 16, 1710, Abraham Sallé, a justice of the peace and leading citizen in the community, visited William Byrd II, who had assumed his father's position as chief patron of Manakin upon the death of the latter in December, 1704. Sallé requested Byrd's assistance in persuading the Council to authorize the apportionment of the unallotted land.  Two days later Sallé and Richebourg presented a similar request to the governor and Council. They pointed out that the first division had not been made "so as to give every man the proportion allowed him adjoining to his house" and proposed "that a more equal distribution . . . be made and that those who have not received their full proportion in the first five thousand acres may have the same made up but out of the last five thousand acres." The Council assented, giving first priority to the original settlers, second to the later settlers who had remained at Manakin Town since their arrival, and third to those who had deserted the settlement and later returned. The surveyor of Henrico County was to lay out the lots upon request of the persons desiring them, taking care that the "breadth of the said several shares of land bear a due proportion to the length," and that no vacant land be left between the allotments, which would not be "useful or fit to be taken up by any other person." If any man had more than 133 acres from the first allotment and his neighbor had less, the two portions were to be equalized, but if the former had made any improvements, he was to be paid for them. If any man had bought part of his neighbor's land, he was confirmed in his purchase and was allowed his full allotment in addition to the land he had purchased. No man who had sold his first allotment, however, was entitled to a second 133 acres. If any person had already settled on the second 5,000 acre tract, he was to be allowed to remain there if there was sufficient land over and above that due the others, and if not, to be fully reimbursed for the ground he had cleared and the houses he had built. A man's land was to pass to his heirs, but if he died without heirs or other representatives, his portion was to be given to those who had no land. Colonel William Randolph and Richard Cocke would judge any disputes arising from the new divisions, and if they were unable to resolve the difficulty, the case was to be decided by Lieutenant Governor Alexander Spotswood. 
Thus, ten years after they had settled in the Virginia wilderness, the lands set aside for the French were fully distributed to them. Since it had been the intention of the government to encourage the French to remain at Manakin as a protection to the frontier, both the total grant and the individual allotments were too small. The Huguenots were already raising a considerable number of cattle, and they would soon be turning to tobacco as their principal crop. The former required a large grazing area, and the latter a constant addition of land. More important the policy of granting an equal amount of land to each family worked a hardship on those who had several children. For as these children grew to maturity, married and required farms of their own, they were forced to move away or see the parental acres divided into minute portions. Once the division was made, no land was held in reserve for future allotments. By 1710 there was no opportunity to rectify this error because the surrounding lands had already been patented. But by this date it probably made little difference, for the frontier was already moving beyond Manakin and the preservation of the village was becoming less important with each passing year.
Since no Manakin settler could obtain his 133 acre allotment until he applied for citizenship, the matter of naturalization was of primary concern to the Huguenots. Quite apart from the material gain, however, there was a natural desire on the part of the inhabitants to identify themselves as completely as possible with their adopted country. Some of them--the percentage is unknown--were granted English citizenship before they left for Virginia under the instructions issued by William III on March 18, 1700. But others were still French aliens when they arrived at Manakin, and these were soon requesting naturalization. Upon receipt of a petition on March 22, 1702, embodying this request the Council once again called on the House of Burgesses for thee formulation of a policy. The latter passed an act naturalizing en masse the Manakin settlers, but established no machinery to administer the oaths of naturalization. For a little over a year nothing further was done. But on April 3, 1703, the House augmented its previous action by authorizing the governor "to commisionate so many persons as he shall think fit to administer the oaths and test to the French Refugees . . . in order to their naturalization." 
A second year passed before the machinery for administering the oath was actually set up. The governor and Council received several petitions from the inhabitants of the village "praying for naturalization," but they seemed in no hurry to accommodate the Huguenots until the outbreak of the War of the Spanish Succession forced them to take a more active interest in the refugees on their western frontier. For in the spring of 1704 rumors reached Williamsburg that Frenchmen from Canada and their Indian allies were invading the northern Colonies.  Now that England and France were at war an appeal by the latter to the French in Virginia seemed a distinct possibility to the Council and members of the House of Burgesses. Perhaps the ties of national origin would prove stronger than the memory of past oppression. It was by no means impossible for the French and Indians to reach Manakin Town, and the village would prove an ideal base from which to ravage the frontier and invade the western part of the colony. The memories of the horrors of Indian attack were too recent to allow this matter to be shrugged off. Governor Nicholson and his Council must have earnestly discussed this possibility with the leaders of the House of Burgesses. All agreed that it was "of very great consequence that that settlement be established on a right foot." For even if the probability of a successful appeal to the Huguenots by their fellow countrymen was unlikely, still the village would form an important link in the Virginia defense system, should the French attempt an invasion or stir up the Indians. It should not be forgotten that it was in May of 1704 that the House of Burgesses passed the act granting each Manakin family 133 acres of land and setting aside 10,000 acres for this purpose. On April 26 of that same year the House of Burgesses passed a second bill of naturalization. The French who had settled at the head of the York River in King William County as well as those at Manakin were included in this act. The following day the governor and Council ordered the justices of the counties of Henrico and King William to administer the oaths appointed by law, and on May 4 the attorney general finally prepared the draft of a commission for administering the necessary oaths, which commission required approval by the House of Burgesses. The lower house, however, delayed approval until May 3, 1705.  Thus, it was nearly five years after the first group of Frenchmen founded Manakin Town that all of its inhabitants became citizens of Virginia.
In granting virtual religious autonomy to the Manakin settlers the Virginia adopted a wise and liberal solution to an extremely delicate problem. For this alien people had left their native France solely because they were denied freedom of worship, and the great apostle of their Protestant faith was John Calvin. As followers of Calvin they were much closer to the Presbyterian than to the Anglican form of worship. Yet the Anglican Church was established by law in Virginia, and theoretically every citizen was required to be a member. It is possible, but by no means certain, that the Virginia government was aware of the fact that the Huguenots would adopt the Anglican ritual and form of church government. A majority of the French Protestant clergy and a considerable proportion of the laity who had escaped to England had joined the Anglican Church.  This is not surprising, for the basic doctrine of the two churches, in contrast to their forms of worship and government, were very similar. Moreover, the Huguenots were grateful for the kindnesses they had received in England and wished to identify themselves with the nation which had given them refuge. When William III sent some of their number to Virginia, he ordered that a portion of the relief fund collected for them in England be used to build a church in Virginia, and to purchase "a competent numbers of Bibles, Common Prayer books, and other books of devotion, as also for the necessary accommodation for lodging of two ministers who are to accompany them."  This would seem to indicate that many at least had either already adopted or had promised to adopt the Anglican faith. An ordained Anglican clergyman, Benjamin de Joux, accompanied the second group, bringing with him the commission of the Bishop of London authorizing de Joux to assume charge of the spiritual affairs of all the Huguenots. On the other hand, Claude Philipe de Richebourg, the minister of the first group, did not received Anglican ordination, and his subsequent actions showed that he was not fully in sympathy with the practices of the Established Church of England and Virginia.
Although the Virginia government had no positive proof that the Huguenots would not establish their own church in Virginia as they did in New York and South Carolina, it established a separate parish at Manakin in December of 1700 without requiring assurance that the Anglican ritual and form of church government would be adopted. By granting the French virtual autonomy in the conduct of their religious affairs, allowing them to conduct services in their own language under the guidance of their own ministers, the Virginia officials hoped to establish a common bond which would encourage the Huguenots to settle and remain together at or near Manakin Town. The adoption of this liberal policy reacted to the benefit of the establishment, for from the very beginning the services were those of the Church of England. The settlers immediately set up the usual machinery of church government and elected a vestry of twelve men as any other new parish would have done. Soon King William Parish was indistinguishable from any other small rural subdivision of the Virginia church.
De Richebourg continued in charge of spiritual affairs at Manakin for only a few weeks. He remained in the village, however, apparently becoming de Joux's assistant. Upon the latter's death in 1704 Richebourg resumed the spiritual leadership of the settlement until his departure for the Trent River Settlement in North Carolina in 1711. His successor, Jean Cairon, became the last regular rector of King William Parish. After his death in 1716 the vestry was unable to find a successor, and the Huguenots were forced to depend upon the clergy of neighboring parishes. The vestry drew up annual contracts with these clergymen paying a specified amount of tobacco for a stated number of services which varied from as few as four to as many as twenty-six. On the intervening Sundays the Common Prayer was read by lay readers appointed by the vestry. The fact that the Virginia establishment was inadequately staffed with clergy made it impossible for a small parish with comparatively few members and a limited budget to compete for the services of the limited number available. Yet, in spite of the absence of a regular rector, the parish continued to grow in numbers in the years after 1716 as additional French Huguenots and a growing number of English settled in the neighborhood of Manakin.
Benjamin de Joux constructed the first church building at Manakin, a small, octagon frame structure, with money furnished by King William III out of funds collected in England. The increasing size of the congregation made necessary the construction of a larger house of worship in 1710. Within twenty years this second building was in need of repair, and the removal of a majority of the parishioners from the village into the surrounding country made it desirable to construct a new building at a different location. As a result the second church was torn down and a third erected near the junction of the Manakin Ferry Road (now abandoned) and the River Road (present Huguenot Highway), some distance from the village. Eventually this building proved too large for the diminished congregation, and in 1895 it was replaced by a smaller building. The fourth church still stands and services are still held in the Parish of King William, the sole surviving link with the town which once existed beside the James.
Hardly less important than the problem of establishing an acceptable church organization was the necessity for creating a satisfactory local government. In civil as in religious affairs the Virginia officials allowed the Huguenots the necessary freedom to seek their own solution, and not until its aid was requested did the Council intervene in the government of Manakin Town. Charles de Sailly appointed the first officials of the village shortly after its establishment, but these magistrates were his creatures and the real power remained in his hands. On December 2, 1700, de Sailly and de la Muce informed the Council of their intention to return to England and suggested that "Captain Webb or some other" be appointed "with power and authority to rule and command" the French in the frontier village. 
When the second group withdrew from Manakin and established the lower settlement, its members requested Benjamin de Joux to become their local governor. In contrast to de Sailly, however, de Joux had no desire to wield arbitrary authority over his followers, and he suggested a plan of local representative government as a substitute for his own rule. De Joux decided to draw up a list of candidates which he would submit to Governor Nicholson for approval. From this approved list the settlers would elect magistrates who would be given the authority to determine all civil cases, with an appeal to the Henrico County Court in all cases involving as much as three pounds. This plan was embodied in a petition which was submitted to the Virginia government for its approval. The thirty-five signers justified the request on the basis of their isolated position which made it impossible for them to depend on the Henrico County officials for the maintenance of order. 
The Council, seeking some plan to settle the controversy between the two groups, decided to reject the petition of the de Joux group and appoint impartial outsiders in the hope that they would be accepted by both factions. Lieutenant Colonel William Randolph and Captain Giles Webb, both of whom lived at the Falls, were commissioned to inquire and report form time to time on the condition of the Manakin settlers and to "exhort them to live in unity, peace, and concord." These men would be able to dispense impartial justice, but the fact that they were non-residents of the village made it difficult for them to keep in constant contact with local affairs. Moreover, for the transaction of legal matters the Huguenots were forced to depend on the Henrico County Court, and the remoteness of the village caused considerable inconvenience.
By May of 170 Benjamin de Joux had assumed the unofficial leadership of both groups, but his reluctance to exercise civil authority and the fact that this authority had no legal basis created a situation which was not entirely satisfactory. Thus on October 24, 1701, the citizens of Manakin again petitioned the Council to appoint magistrate "to rule and govern them in all causes and upon all occasions." In answer to this request the Council wisely selected two of the prominent members of the village, Stephen Chastain and Abraham Nicod, as magistrates, and authorized them to judge all cases "both civil and military and according to such rules, orders and methods as his Excellency shall think fit, consonant and agreeable to the laws of England and of this, His Majestie's Colony and Dominion of Virginia."  For some reason neither of these gentlemen had been commissioned by March, 1702, when the governor visited the town. During his visit Governor Nicholson received several requests to settle private differences among the inhabitants, and upon his return to Williamsburg urged the Council to draw up the required commissions. Later in the same year, when Michel visited Manakin Town, Chastain and Nicod were acting as magistrates.  Abraham Sallé, one of the leading citizens of the community, was appointed magistrate on November 28, 1705, and was still serving in 1707. By 1718 Captain Thomas Randolph held the office.  Evidently in the early years at least, the Council generally selected Frenchmen or men of French descent as magistrates, but occasionally Englishmen who had settled in the neighborhood held the office. The other law enforcement official, the village constable, was also one of the local inhabitants.
One of the more important agencies of local government was the parish vestry. It determined and collected the annual tithe, and disbursed the funds thus collected. In addition, the vestry and its two executive officers, the church wardens, performed a multitude of varied duties. They kept the church and glebe in repair, provided for the poor, the aged, and the orphans of the community; looked after the morals of the parishioners; and at stated intervals processioned or resurveyed the land boundaries. 
Since one of the basic reasons for sending the French to Manakin was the belief that they would be an additional defense for the frontier, the Virginia government desired to establish a military company there as soon as possible. On November 28, 1705, Lieutenant Governor Nott issued the necessary instructions for the formation of an infantry company and ordered Colonel William Randolph to Manakin to advise with the leaders of the village regarding officers for the company. On September 23, 1710, Abraham Sallé being at that time its commander, the Manakin company "was exercised and performed very well" before Governor Spotswood at Westover. The governor "made out of them a troop of dragoons with orders that Mr. Sallé should command them as well as the foot." 
Even after the questions of land distribution, naturalization, and religious and civil organization had been satisfactorily settled one basic problem remained, the solution of which would determine the future of the town. For if the settlement was to survive and prosper, some economic basis must be found which would provide a comfortable living for the citizens of the area and attract new settlers. Agriculture was not as obvious a solution as it might at first appear to be, for the majority of the Huguenots possessed neither the experience nor the inclination necessary to promise them success as farmers. Until they arrived in Virginia, the French believed that they would settle in the eastern part of the colony where they would be able to engage in commerce and manufacturing as they had done in France. The sudden announcement that they were being sent to the frontier was a heavy blow to their plans as well as their morale. Yet, although the new location greatly increased the difficulty of successfully converting their dream of a commercial village into reality, apparently neither the Virginia government nor the Huguenots considered the idea an impossibility. Governor Nicholson informed the king in August of 1700 that he felt the French might be "prejudicial to his Majesty's interest and Service . . . by going upon such manufactures, and handicraft Trades as we are furnished with from England," but promised that he would "endeavor to regulate these affairs." After their arrival at Manakin the second group of settlers requested the governor to protect and assist the new industries they expected to set up until they could become productive. 
Although the reality of their frontier location forced the Huguenots to turn to subsistence agriculture as their one means of survival, the plans were merely postponed, not forgotten. Robert Beverley, writing in 1705 of the French at Manakin, declared: "They now make many of their own Cloaths, and are resolved, as soon as they have improv'd that Manufacture, to apply themselves to the making of Wine and Brandy, which they do not doubt to bring to Perfection." Moreover, the traveller, John Lawson, in his journey through North Carolina in 1708, visited the French Huguenot colony on the Trent River to which some of the Manakin settlers had recently come. His observations there would probably also be descriptive of the Manakin French: "At present they make very good LInnen-Cloath and Thread, and are very well versed in cultivating Hemp and Flax, of both which they raised very considerable Quantities; and design to try an Essay of the Grape for making of Wine." 
Indeed, if hemp and flax could be successfully grown and manufactured into rope and cloth, and if the transportation problem could be satisfactorily solved, the Huguenots might well have the basis for the industrial community they desired to found. The manufacture of wine appeared to offer an even brighter prospect. For when the French arrived, but little attention was paid to the culture of the grape in any part of the colony, the great majority of people being content with the fruit of the wild vines when grew in great quantities in the forests. Moreover, the few vines which were under cultivation were rarely improved, either by the process of pruning or grafting. Aware of the bounty which the English government offered for the production of wine, the French saw in the cultivation of grapes and the manufacture of wine their best opportunity of converting their plans to reality. Michel noted the beginning of this industry at Manakin as early as 1702. "There are several kinds of grapes," he wrote in his journal, "the best are as large as a small nut. They make very good wine; a beginning has been made to graft them, the prospects are fine." Beverley also commented on the prospects of this activity:
Although the grape-raising experiment was still progressing in a healthy manner several years later, it was never successful as a commercial venture. Nor was the manufacture of cloth carried beyond a domestic basis. For the task of reproducing the productions and manufactures of France on the extreme western edge of Virginia was too great for any group of colonists, even had they possessed wealth and skill in much greater measure than did the Manakin settlers, and failure was inevitable. Thus necessity drove the Huguenots to agriculture, and the economic and geographic facts of life which the passing months impressed upon them sealed the alliance. For a time they were forced to depend largely on their own skill and energy to supply the basic necessities, but eventually their surplus products were exchanged for the manufactures which they had once dreamed of producing in their wilderness home.
Thus it was not the skills which they had so carefully learned in France nor the industries which they so ardently longed to establish that brought the modest prosperity which the French sought. Rather it was the fertile virgin soil of Piedmont Virginia. True the majority were ignorant of farming and had to acquire their education by trial and error methods in the hard school of experience. True they were in the beginning awkward and bungling in their attempts to exploit the soil, as William Byrd's description of his visit in 1701 so clearly illustrates. Yet, if they had much to learn, they learned quickly. Profiting from the instruction of men like Colonel Byrd and from their own mistakes, they eventually became as competent as their more experienced neighbors. Each family had been assigned an equal portion of the fertile river bottom land which yielded abundant crops and excellent pasturage. For a time the French practiced a more diversified type of farming than most of their Virginia neighbors, planting a considerable acreage in corn and wheat, setting out orchards, breeding cattle, cultivating the vine, and raising sheep to provide wool for their looms. Soon they obtained a local reputation for certain of their products, for Michel in 1702 found Englishmen coming from a distance of thirty miles to get fruit for which they exchanged cattle. Three years later Beverley wrote that the French were beginning to have "Stocks of Cattle, which are said to give abundantly more Milk, than any other in the Country." He further reported their intention of surmounting the inconvenience caused by a shortage of horses by domesticating the buffalo " to which end they lie in wait for their Calves, that they may tame, and raise a Stock of them: in which if they succeed, 'twill in all probability be greatly for their Advantage; for these are much larger than other Cattle, and have the benefit of being natural to the Climate."  But as the years passed--it was perhaps inevitable--the diversification became less apparent, and the concentration on tobacco more noticeable. The trend was hastened by the refusal of the Council in 1715 to allow the settlers to pay their quitrents and public levies in any other commodity.  Yet, in the final analysis, soil, climate, and economics all conspired together to make tobacco the basis of their economy. The increasing emphasis on this crop hastened the concentration of land holding and the introduction of slavery.
Once the difficulties of the first few years lay behind them, the French frontiersmen settled down to the routine of planting their fields, raising their families, and enjoying the fruits of their labors. After the first crops were harvested, they neither requested nor received further financial aid from the people of Virginia. In March of 1702, however, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of London sent to Virginia a cargo of goods to the value of some £506 11d to be used for the benefit of the Manakin settlers. The proceeds from the sale of these goods were used to purchase hogs, cattle, clothing, agricultural implements, and building supplies which were distributed to those of the community who were in need. Again in the early days of 1704 William Byrd received a "parcel of course goods" of some £200 value sent by "several charitable persons in England for the relief of the French Refugees." After consultation with the House of Burgesses, Byrd and the other members of the Council decided to request the men appointed to administer the oaths of naturalization to distribute the cargo among the Manakin citizens. It was especially stipulated that only those who expected to remain permanently at the village should benefit from the distribution. 
While engaged in the task of running the boundaries of the Manakin grant, the surveyors drew a plat of the village, not as it then existed, but as the Huguenots expected it to one day develop.  It is a document of unusual interest for it reveals a plan to build the town on a pattern familiar in France and not uncommon in seventeenth century New England, but almost unique in Virginia. Manakin was to be constructed around a central square upon the four corners of which would be placed the church, the minister's house, the town house and school, and the hospital. Two main streets would bisect the square at right angles to each other. One row of houses, each with the same size lot, would face these streets; a second row, separated from the first by gardens, would face streets which ran around the outside of the town and separated it from the outlying farms and forests. The James River would form the northern boundary of the town, while the farms of the inhabitants would lie to the east and west, each containing an equal frontage along the river According to the original plan the settlers were to live together in the village and go to and from their respective farms each day. For some years they all did live at Manakin Town or in the lower settlement, but once the danger of Indian attack was passed and the land had been surveyed and divided, the majority found it more convenient to live outside the village. The town itself probably never contained more than a few houses, two or three stores and a church. Although from the day of its founding the settlement had at least one doctor,  the hospital was never built. Nor was the school ever constructed, an omission difficult to understand on the part of a people who knew the value of education. As late as 1716 Abraham Sallé was complaining that the impossibility of procuring an instructor for his children was denying them the benefit of an education.  Yet there is one bright glimmer in the darkness of the cultural picture. When Jean Cairon arrived at Manakin in 1711 to succeed de Richebourg as rector of King William Parish, he brought with him one of the first of the parochial libraries which the noble Dr. Thomas Bray and his associates were distributing in the American colonies. Of the total of forty volumes which the library contained, thirty-seven were in English, three in Latin.  The absence of any books in French is interesting, indicating perhaps that Dr. Bray and his associates wished to discourage the continued use of their native language by the French at Manakin. The Huguenots were not unique in the difficulties they experienced in obtaining an education for their children, proper medical attention, and a sufficient income for their parish. These were difficulties which the plantation economy and extensive land grant system of Virginia made inevitable, and they were shared by many other sections of the colony.
In general the industriousness, frugality, and self-reliance which seem to have characterized the majority of the Manakin settlers, brought them a modest prosperity and in time a large measure of contentment. True the years of peace were occasionally interrupted by periods of dissension, the most serious of which came in 1707 over the question of the proper method of selecting the parish vestry.  But the most notable fact in the history of the village was neither the modest prosperity which followed the early period of tribulation, the occasional conflicts which threatened its future, nor the rural nature of its economy, but rather the gradual assimilation of its French inhabitants by their English neighbors.
The four ships that crossed the Atlantic in the summer and fall of 1700 and the winter of 1701 brought between 700 and 800 French Protestants to Virginia.  Of this number between 200 and 300 settled at Manakin Town or in the immediate neighborhood. It is difficult to trace the population trend in the village, but the surviving evidence furnishes some indication. At the end of the first winter approximately 250 Huguenots were living in the vicinity of the town.  The number of persons resident in the area apparently remained fairly stable during the early years with enough new arrivals to take the place of those who left. There is a list extant which shows that 203 people were living at Manakin in November of 1701, but there is some evidence to indicate that this list is incomplete.  Earlier that same year Byrd mentions visiting seventy huts there, while Michel speaks of finding about sixty families in the community in 1702.  In 1714 the settlement numbered 291 in spite of the recent exodus of de Richebourg's partisans to the Trent River region; in 1717 Governor Spotswoood wrote the Bishop of London that thirty of forty French families lived in King William Parish; while in 1744 the population of the parish numbered 239.  By studying the number of tithables of the parish between 1707 and 1750, the only period for which data is available, the population trend during those years can be charted. In 1707 there were ninety-six tithables. This number gradually decreased to a low of seventy-two in 1709. From that year with slight variations there was a gradual increased until 1750, at which time the record ends with 276.  Since tithables were persons assessed for taxation, the list includes only men and boys over sixteen years of age, and all slaves, both male and female, above that age.  It includes also some English names, for Englishmen began to infiltrate the area around Manakin very soon after the village was built. Yet, even as late as 1750 the English residents of King William Parish were comparatively few, for the parish included only the 10,000 acres granted to the French. The village continued to receive Huguenots in small numbers throughout its existence. Some of these were men and women who had first settled in other parts of the colony, but the majority were probably new arrivals in Virginia.
For several years the settlement preserved its individuality, its people using their own language, enjoying their own customs, directed spiritually by their own ministers, and governed by their own magistrates. Yet, the French were unable to carry out their original purpose of establishing a colony in Virginia where their French culture would be perpetuated, and only a few years after their arrival the process of absorption into the larger English whole began. One illustration of this process was the growing predominance of the English language. Although French continued to be used for perhaps a generation, yet as early as 1728 the vestry was writing the Bishop of London to request his aid in finding a minister who was familiar with both the English and the French languages. "Many of our Parishioners understand no English," declared the vestry, "but for the sake of our children and the English families settled amongst us, we should be heartily glad to have the Common Prayers and Sermons in English as well as French."  Soon the visiting clergymen were preaching one-fourth of their sermons in English. By 1747 one-half and within four years two-thirds of the sermons preached in the King William Parish church were in the English language.  Thus gradually at first and more rapidly as the years passed and a new generation grew to maturity, English supplanted the mother tongue of the Huguenots. Both an evidence and a cause of the process was the infiltration of the English. Even before the French had a clear title to their lands, the English began buying their farms. The Council attempted to half this trend to prevent the disintegration of the settlement. When a certain John Woodson of Henrico County purchased a tract of land from one of the French citizens of Manakin, he was informed by the Council that this land had been given the French to encourage them to settle in the area in order that they might strengthen the frontier. Therefore, because this transaction tended to destroy the unity and strength of the town which the government had at so great trouble and expense established, the purchase was void. At the same time the Council informed the Huguenots that they could not sell any of the land which had been assigned them except to other Huguenots who actually lived at the settlement. 
Whatever the intention of the Virginia Council, however, it was unable to do more than slow down the process of integration. For, as the years passed, the frontier moved ever farther west, leaving behind the Manakin area. Farms and plantations replaced the virgin wilderness which had once surrounded the village, and the French, now settled on their own farms, became increasingly indistinguishable from their neighbors, accepting fully the life of Virginia with its civilization and culture based on the land which made it possible.  Soon they were intermarrying with their English neighbors, and their sons were growing up to move elsewhere while their daughters often selected English husbands. Fewer and fewer inhabitants continued to live in the village itself until by 1750 or thereabouts it was completely deserted. Yet, according to one authority, as late as 1783 in the Manakin area sixty-four percent of the names on the census rolls were French, and a century and half later Powhatan had a larger percentage of French names than any other county in the state. 
Today only the King William Parish church remains, and this is neither the original building nor is it on the original location. The site of the village is indistinguishable from the surrounding country. Few descendants remain on the ancestral farms, and usually their very names have become Anglicised. Thus the plans to establish a settlement on the Virginia frontier which would perpetuate an alien culture failed. The industries and manufactures, trade and commerce, which were envisioned as the road to economic prosperity never materialized. The necessary of raising their own food forced the French into agriculture, and the soil and climate, plus the slave labor system and tobacco culture inherited from their Virginia neighbors, caused the adoption of the plantation economy. The French language and the distinctive French characteristics gradually disappeared.
In the final analysis it was probably fortunate that Manakin Town did not remain as the center of an alien culture. For in the process of assimilation into the larger English population, the French Huguenots enriched the civilization of Virginia. That this was done by the French as individuals upon other individuals, rather than as a minority group upon a much larger majority does not alter the fact. It was the influence which their descendants exerted on many phases of Virginia life rather than in any enduring memorial that their contributions lay.
In spite of its brief existence and its failure to develop in accordance with the plans of its French Huguenot founders, the story of Manakin Town is worthy of notice by the students of Colonial Virginia history. For behind its founding lay the struggle of a religious minority to find in Virginia the freedom which was denied them in their own nation. It illustrates the essentially sound policy adopted by the Virginia government toward a group of refugees from a nation which was traditionally hostile to England. It is an interesting incident in the peopling of the Colonial Virginia frontier. It illustrates the force of economic necessity in altering the plans and intent of a group unfamiliar with the reality of frontier conditions. Finally, it shows the way in which a foreign minority was absorbed by the colony within the brief span of a little over half a century.
3. Robert A. Brock, ed., Documents, Chiefly Unpublished, Relating to the Huguenot Emigration to Virginia and to the Settlement at Manakin Town, With an Appendix of Genealogies (Richmond, 1886), pp. 9-10 ff., 52-54; Verner W. Crane, The Southern Frontier, 1670-1732 (Durham, N. C., 1928), pp. 48-60.
9. Brock, Documents, p. 50; Noel W. Sainsbury, ed. Calendar of State Papers; Colonial Series, America and the West Indies, 1574-1718 (London, 1860-1939), II, 472. Hereafter cited as Cal. of State Papers, Col.
10. Brock, Miscellaneous Papers, pp. 63-65; Henry R. McIlwaine and Wilmer L. Hall, eds. Executive Journals of the Council of Colonial Virginia (Richmond, 1925-1945), II, 101. Hereafter cited as Exec. Jour. of the Council. It is of course possible that the Virginia government did not recognize Coxe's title to his Norfolk County lands and therefore there was no such land "as was supposed and represented." The author, however, believes the above interpretation to be correct. An abstract to Coxe's title will be found in Brock, Documents, p. 54.
14. Brock, Documents, p. 50; Wyndham B. Blanton, Medicine in Virginia in the Seventeenth Century (Richmond, 1930), pp. 37-41; Wyndham B. Blanton, Medicine in Virginia in the Eighteenth Century (Richmond, 1931), pp. 66-68
23 Brock, Documents, p. 16; Cal. of State Papers, Col., XVIII, 449-450; William S. Perry, The History of the American Episcopal Church (Boston, 1885), I, 431; Richard L. Maury, The Huguenots in Virginia (n.p., n.d.), p. 94; Philip A. Bruce, History of Virginia, Volumes I--Colonial Period, 1607-1736 (Chicago and New York, 1924), p. 272.
29 The Council approved the measures on December 27. William W. Hening, ed., The Statutes at Large (Richmond, New York, Philadelphia; 1809-1832), III, 201, hereafter cited as Hening; John P. Kennedy and Henry R. McIlwaine, eds. Journals of the House of Burgesses of Virginia, 1619-1776 (Richmond, 1905-1915), 1695-1702, pp. 212, 216, 218, 223-224, 227, 230, 233, 236, hereafter cited as Jour. of the H. of B.; Henry R. McIlwaine, ed. Legislative Journals of the Council of Colonial Virginia, 1680-1776 (Richmond, 1918-1919), I, 283, 284, 286, 289, hereafter cited as Leg. Jour. of the Council. On June 4, 1706, an act was passed extending the exemption period until December 25, 1708. However, in the extension bill it was provided that the minister's salary, which had been paid from public funds, would have to be assumed by the parish. Hening, III, 478-479; Jour. of the H. of B., 1702-1712, pp. 211, 212; Leg. Jour. of the Council, I, 464, 465-466.
31. Leg. Jour. of the Council, I, 284-285; Exec. Jour. of the Council, II, 122, 123, 127-128; Brock, Documents, p. 43. There is a list of 218 persons who were to receive corn from the mill at Falling Creek, dated February 15, 1701, ibid., pp. 26-28.
33. In December de la Muce and de Sailly had informed the Council that several of the French who were then living in other parts of the colony would move to Manakin "if they were sure of a peck of meal a head weekly, of a bushell of pease and a peck of salt once for all, and of some blankets to cover in cold weather such as have none." Brock, Documents, p. 50.
36. Cal. of State Papers, Col., XX, 155, 340; Exec. Jour. of the Council, II, 227, 246-247; Jour. of the H. of B., 1695-1702, pp. 353, 357. The Committee on Propositions and Grievances handled the whole matter of the Huguenots for the House of Burgesses.
43. Leg. Jour. of the Council, I, 367; Jour. of the H. of B., 1702-1712, pp. 11, 21; Hening, III, 228; Cal. of State Papers, Col., XXI, 311. The usual method of obtaining naturalization in Virginia at this period was as follows: The person to be naturalized went before the governor and took the oath of allegiance, which was administered by the governor. He was then given a certificate of naturalization. Robert Beverley, The History and Present State of Virginia (Chapel Hill, 1947), p. 281.
48. The history of King William Parish between 1707 and 1750 may be traced in "The Vestry Book of King William Parish, 1707-1750." Translated from the French by R. H. Fife. This book is printed in VMHB, XI, XII, XIII, passim. [It is available for purchase as a hard-bound book from the Huguenot Society of Manakin.]
59. Philip A. Bruce, Economic History of Virginia in the Seventeenth Century (New York, 1896), I, 470, 471; "Journey of Francis Louis Michel," VMHB, XXIV, 123; Beverley, History and Present State of Virginia, p. 282.
64. This was Estienne Chastain. "The Cocke Family," VMHB, IV, 432. A second physician, La Sosee, came over in the third ship and was supposed to go to Manakin, but settled elsewhere in the colony. This was a serious amtter for the Huguenots, for he had been intrusted with the medicines and surgical instruments, and he kept these with him. The de Joux group petitioned Governor Nicholson to order La Sosee to settle at Manakin and bring his medicine and instruments with him, but there is no indication that such an order was ever issued. Brock, Documents, p. 59.
69. This is the number given by William Byrd. There is a list in Brock, Documents, pp. 26-28, containing the names of 218 persons which was sent to the miller at Falling Creek in February of 1701.
70. Brock, Documents, pp. 45-48. This indicates that 81 Manakin citizens had arrived on the first ship, 35 on the second, 9 on the third, and 29 on the fourth. Two had come from New York. Forty-seven were living in the Lower settlement.
72. Perry, ed., Historical Collections Relating to the American Colonial Church, I, 193; Bishop William Meade, Old Churches, Ministers and Families of Virginia (Philadelphia, 1910), I, 466; Alexander Spotswood, The Official Letters of Alexander Spotswood, Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, 1710-1722, Now First Printed From the Manuscripts of the Virginia Historical Society (Richmond, 1882), II, 254; Brock, Documents, pp. 112-115. Spotswood's figures are undoubtedly a rough approximation and are probably too conservative. Campbell, History of Virginia, p. 370, puts the population in 1714 at 300.
74. The proportion of the slave population in the period between 1722 and 1755 can be roughly estimated by the record of baptisms. In this period 142 boys were baptized, 115 girls, 73 negro boys and 85 negro girls. Brock, Documents, pp. 77-110.