A Publication of Virginia Foundation for the Humanitites
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Indians in Virginia
A broad overview of the history and culture of Virginia's Indians
. Our entry includes information on the languages, religions, and politics of Indians at the time Jamestown was founded. It explains where such information comes from. And, finally, it follows the tribes into the twenty-first century, from assimilation and near cultural annihilation to, for a number of tribes, state recognition. (Image courtesy of The Mariners' Museum, Newport News, Virginia)
St. George Tucker
Prominent jurist, part-time poet.
St. George Tucker led a remarkable life: he smuggled goods during the Revolution and served under Washington at Yorktown. He became one of the English-speaking world's first professors of law and wrote the first treatise on American law. Plus he wrote gobs of poetry. Find the text of one, "To Sleep," that recalls falling asleep with his beloved wife, who had just died. (Image courtesy of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.)
Age of Exploration
Sailing the seven seas.
The English weren't the first Europeans to visit Virginia. Our entry on the Age of Exploration carefully connects the dots between Christopher Columbus and Christopher Newport, sprinkling the narrative with remarkable primary documents. Readers won't believe the story of one Frenchman, left behind in America by the Huguenot Jean Ribault. (Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.)
Confederate Battle Flag
A potent and controversial symbol.
The Confederate battle flag began as a symbol of the Confederate army, but over time has also come to represent everything from states' rights to southern pride and white racial identity. Our entry considers this long and bumpy journey and what the flag means at the beginning of the twenty-first century. And check out the image of one of the very first battle flags, sewn by Constance Cary. (Image courtesy of the Museum of the Confederacy.)
The president's footman.
Paul Jennings was the enslaved footman of James Madison during the Virginian's two terms in the White House. Our entry contains a link to the entire text of Jennings's memoir of his experience in Washington and his subsequent path to freedom. Perhaps most interesting, though, is his unheralded role in helping Dolley Madison save that portrait of Washington as the British marched on the capital. (Image courtesy of the family of Sylvia Jennings Alexander.)
Women in Colonial Virginia
Behind every successful colony …
Women in colonial Virginia played every role imaginable. Some white women were the iconic plantation mistresses, while others worked out in the fields. Black women, meanwhile, played a crucial role in the legal establishment of slavery. Our entry tracks how women shaped the young colony and how the law attempted to regulate them in turn. One of the most important women you've never heard of? Probably Cockacoeske. (Image courtesy of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.)