Champ Effingham, the foppish, Oxford-educated son of a wealthy Virginia planter. Infatuated with Beatrice Hallam, he wounds his rival for her love and then flees to Europe. When he returns, two years later, he has lost his foppish ways and is a moody young man. His mental health is finally restored, and he marries his original fiancée, Clare Lee.
Beatrice Hallam, a beautiful young actress, supposedly the daughter of the manager of The Virginia Comedians, a traveling drama company. She despises Champ Effingham but loves Charles Waters. She turns out to be her beloved’s cousin and not Hallam’s daughter. She and Charles are married, but she lives only a few years after the event.
Charles Waters, a poor young man. He rescues Beatrice from drowning and wins her love. He recovers from the sword wound inflicted by his rival for her love and marries her. After his wife’s death and the passage of the Stamp Act, he becomes a leader in the revolutionary movement in the Virginia Colony.
Mr. Hallam, Beatrice’s supposed father, the manager of The Virginia Comedians. He wants Beatrice to marry Champ so that she will be rich and respected. He also sees her marriage into a wealthy family as a source of money and ease for himself.
Mr. Effingham, Champ’s planter father. He is against his son’s courting of Beatrice Hallam, the actress.
Clare Lee, Champ’s cousin and fiancée. Though spurned for a while by Champ, she continues to love him and finally is married to him.
Captain Ralph Waters
Captain Ralph Waters, Charles’s brother. When Champ loses his foppish ways, the captain becomes his close friend. Ralph marries Clare Lee’s sister.
Jack Hamilton, Champ Effingham’s friend.