Weathly Nathaniel Bacon was born on January 2, 1647. His untimely death on October 26, 1676 marked the end of Bacon's Rebellion.
Leaving Suffolk, England
Nathaniel Bacon was an impoverished colonial planter of the Virginia Colony. A graduate of Cambridge University, he left his hometown in 1673 to escape disputes with his wife, Francis Culpeper. Bacon settled along the James River and was appointed to the council of Governor William Berkeley.

Leading up to Bacon's Rebellion
The backcountry settlements were in constant danger of attack from Indians since many of their settlements intercepted treaty-protected Native American lands. They fought for these Indians to be killed or driven out of their lands. In 1675, an armed mob under Colonel John Washington took action and besieged a fortified Susquehannock village, killing the chiefs whom Berkeley had persuaded to negotiate. The Susquehannocks retaliated in force, attacking plantations and killing sixty settlers.

The Governor's Role
Seeking to avoid war, Berkeley advocated a policy of containment that proposed construction of forts for protection. Dismissing the plan as expensive and inadequate, Bacon and other settlers questioned the plan as a possible excuse to raise tax rates. Actually, one of Berkeley's main motivations in this decision was that he was invested in a private fur trading business with the Native Americans. Bacon's discontent grew as he became excluded from the inner circle of the governor's council; the Green Spring's members enjoyed special access to patronage.

Bacon had emerged as a rebel leader when Berkeley denied Bacon a piece of the Indian fur trade. Bacon gathered a group of almost five hundred men and attacked the innocent Doeg and Pamunkey tribes. Berkeley had Bacon removed from his governing council and arrested, but Bacon's men soon broke him out of prison. Berkeley fled to the Eastern Shore. The elected officials that replaced Berkeley enacted a number of sweeping reforms limiting the powers of the governor and restoring suffrage rights to landless freemen.
"Generall by the consent of the People" -Nathaniel Bacon, The Declaration of the People of Virginia

On July 30, 1676, Bacon and his army issued a Declaration of the People of Virginia, demanding that natives in the area be killed or removed. The declaration also criticized Berkeley's administration, accusing him of levying unfair taxes, of appointing friends to high positions, and of failing to protect outlying farmers from Indian attack. On his first trip to Jamestown, Bacon received a temporary pardon. On his second trip, Bacon's forces would burn Jamestown to the ground (September 1676).

The End of Bacon
Before an English naval squadron could arrive, Bacon died in October 1676 from dysentery, causing the rebellion to collapse. Governor Berkeley returned to power, seizing the property of several rebels and hanging 23 men. After an investigative committee returned its report to King Charles II, Berkeley was removed from office and returned to England. Nathaniel Bacon was succeeded by his lieutenant general, Ingram.

Bacon's Mark
In 1677, the Indians reluctantly signed a new treaty that opened additional lands to white settlement.
The rebellion highlighted the sharp class differences between wealthy planters and poor farmers, as well as the strength of the colonies' resistance to royal authority. These problems would continue even as conditions of the Chesapeake colonies improved in the years to follow.
Unintentionally, Bacon gathered an army of mainly former indentured servants, propertyless, and unemployed men. They became a large, unstable population after Bacon's death. Officials would thus look to African slaves for their labor, leading to the growth and dependence on the slave trade by the 1700s.

AMSCO: Page 24-25
A Survey of American History: Page 39-40