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Introduction


VIRGINIA was but slightly affected by the fall of the Stuart regime in 1688, but in consequence of the overthrow of the Andros government in Massachusetts, the uprising under Leisler in New York, and "great depredations committed by the Indians " in those parts, the Council of Virginia, on the 5th of June, 1690, resolved to send a messenger north ward with instructions "to ascertain the truth of matters in New England and New York." Colonel Cuthbert Potter was forthwith named for the mission and on the 24th of the following month Governor Nicholson announced to the Council that the Colonel had agreed to perform the service for £60. 

Colonel Potter was practicing law in Lancaster County, Virginia, as early as 1653, and three years later his name appears among the justices of the Lancaster County Court. In later years he was one of the large landholders of Middlesex County and was closely associated with Ralph Wormeley, a leading member of the Council. The narrative of his journey to New England shows that he was an advocate of strong government. Shortly after making that journey he removed in his own sloop, the Hopewell, to the Island of Barbados, where, as stated in his will, dated June 20, 1691, he was "suddenly seized and taken with bodily sickness." In return for his ill treatment in Boston the Governor and Council of Virginia warned the Government of Massachusetts that as "contrary to the Acts of Parliament divers goods are imported into New England not directly from England, and that no Collector is in New England, we have ordered that any ships bringing European goods hither from New England must produce their cocquets from England or be proceeded against at law." 

An official copy of this journal has been preserved in the Public Record Office, London: Colonial Office, Class 5, No. 1305, pp. 176-179. 
Source: Travels in the American Colonies

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