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Alexander Spotswood

(1676—1740) army officer and colonial governor


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(1676–1740), colonial governor of Virginia (1710–22), was at first popular because of the favorable concessions he acquired from the Indians, his introduction of the writ of habeas corpus, and his improvement of trade conditions. He was removed from office (1722) because of difficulties over ecclesiastical patronage. His Official Letters (2 vols., 1882–85) is a valuable source for students of the economic and social problems of 18th-century Virginia, and his career is the basis of W.A. Caruthers's novel The Knights of the Horseshoe (1845).

From The Oxford Companion to American Literature in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Literature.



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