Among the motives for English colonization of America in the seventeenth century, the desire for free land occupied a prominent place. The availability of land in the New World appealed to all classes and ranks in Europe, particularly to the small landholder who sought to increase his landed estate and to the artisans and tenants who longed to enter the ranks of the freeholder.
mmendation of the committee appointed for Indian affairs, the Assembly in 1662 authorized the Governor to appoint a commission "to enquire into and examine the severall claimes made to any part of our neighboring Indian land, and confirme such persons who have justly invested themselves, and cause all others to remove." The English with rights to land within three miles of the natives were to assist in fencing the Indian corn fields. This was done to prevent harm to the Indian crops by hogs and cattle of the colony. Commissioners appointed were to designate the time and number of English to aid in the construction. Other commissioners were to view annually the boundaries separating the two people.
The commissioners diligently enforced the provisions of these laws which underwent few changes until the outburst of hostilities in Bacon's Rebellion. In 1678 the additional expense of the Indian war led the colony to modify temporarily its former provisions in order to obtain more revenue from land. All terr