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William Travers

Member From: 1677 - 1677

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  • Birth Date: Unknown Birth Place:
  • Death Date: 1679
  • Gender: Male Race: Caucasian
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  • Additional Info: ​On May13, 1676, shortly before Bacon's Rebellion, William Travers wrote a brief letter to his friend Giles Cale of Rappahannock County in which he stated that he suspected Governor Berkeley was not "..Rightley informed" that other Indian tribes besides the Susquehannock had likely "..done us mischife."   Although disagreements with Berkeley's Indian policy ignited the rebellion, Travers' comments were mild and it is assumed that he was not a supporter of Nathaniel Bacon. After the rebellion, in 1677, the General Assembly paid Travers 2,324 lbs. of tobacco, which may have been payment either for military service or for the functions of lawyer and auditor that he occasionally performed. 
  • Bio: WILLIAM TRAVERS was Speaker of the House of Burgesses from 10 October to 10 November 1677. Although he had not previously served in the assembly, he had been sheriff of Rappahannock County. His brother Raleigh Travers had been appointed to the Lancaster County Court in August 1656 or 1657. By 1665 Speaker Travers had acquired some land on the south side of the Rappahannock River, and three years later he acquired 2,650 acres on the north bank. A year before his death in 1679, he patented another 780 acres in Stafford County.
    On 13 May 1676, shortly before Bacon's Rebellion, Travers wrote a brief letter to his friend Giles Cale, of Rappahannock County. Governor Sir William Berkeley thought the Susquehannock Indians had "done us mischife and hopes, that wee will not suffer hallfe of them to Returne," but Travers thought other Indians suspect, too, and lamented that Berkeley "dos not specke at all of the Portobaccoes, which makes me thinke he has not bin Rightley informed.'' Disagreement with Berkeley's Indian policy ignited the rebellion, but Travers' s comments were mild, almost apologetic. According to Bacon's followers the problem was not that Berkeley had "not bin Rightley informed,'' but rather that he planned to continue in friendship with any Indian tribe, peaceful or no. Speaker Travers seems not to have been attracted to Bacon's course. After the rebellion, in February 1677, the General Assembly paid Travers 2,324 pounds of tobacco, which may have been payment either for military service or for the miscellaneous functions of lawyer and auditor that he occasionally performed. Speaker Travers's apparent affinity with Augustine Warner, a firm but civil supporter of Governor Berkeley, probably reveals his attitude toward the rebellion. It may also be that Warner, who left the Speakership for a seat on the Council, was involved informally in Travers's election as Speaker. Speaker Travers died in 1679, probably before April when the assembly next met.
  • Other Notable Service and/or Elected Offices: Sheriff of Rappahannock County
    Speaker of the House of Burgesses: 10 October - 10 November 1677
Session District District Number Party Leadership Committees
1677 Oct Speaker of the House

*The information within this interactive and searchable application has been researched extensively by the House Clerk’s Office. As with any historical records of this age and breadth, there may be discrepancies and/or inconsistencies within records obtained from a variety of credible sources. Any feedback is encouraged at history@house.virginia.gov.

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