Encyclopedia Virginia http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/img/EV_Logo_sm.gif Encyclopedia Virginia This is the urltopfeed http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org The first and ultimate online reference work about the Commonwealth /Slave_Housing_in_Virginia Tue, 20 Sep 2016 13:15:07 EST Slave Housing in Virginia http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Slave_Housing_in_Virginia Slave housing in Virginia varied widely depending on the context: whether it was rural or urban, whether it was on an elite plantation or a small farm, and even whether it was located close to or far from the slaveholder's main house. Many of the first Africans who came to Virginia lived in barracks-style housing and other, less-than-permanent accommodations. As the enslaved population grew, however, houses were designed and constructed specifically for black laborers and, in particular, those living in family units. Most slave quarters were constructed of wood, and many were log and earthfast structures with no foundations. Those located closest to elite plantation houses were generally better built, with wooden frames and masonry chimneys and foundations. Separate one or two-room structures, designed to accommodate one- or two-family units, were the most popular house type, although many enslaved laborers slept where they worked—in kitchens, laundries, and stables. Slaves who were hired out in cities sometimes resided in separate "shanty towns." Few intact slave quarters exist in the twenty-first century—likely fewer than 300—and most of those are relatively large and well-built.
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/_On_the_Beauty_and_Fertility_of_America_chapter_14_of_A_Huguenot_Exile_in_Virginia_by_Durand_de_Dauphine_1687 Tue, 20 Sep 2016 11:31:17 EST <![CDATA["On the Beauty and Fertility of America"; chapter 14 of A Huguenot Exile in Virginia by Durand de Dauphiné (1687)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/_On_the_Beauty_and_Fertility_of_America_chapter_14_of_A_Huguenot_Exile_in_Virginia_by_Durand_de_Dauphine_1687 Tue, 20 Sep 2016 11:31:17 EST]]> /The_Confessions_of_Nat_Turner_by_Thomas_R_Gray_1832 Wed, 14 Sep 2016 14:21:31 EST <![CDATA[The Confessions of Nat Turner by Thomas R. Gray (1832)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/The_Confessions_of_Nat_Turner_by_Thomas_R_Gray_1832 Wed, 14 Sep 2016 14:21:31 EST]]> /The_Confessions_of_Nat_Turner_by_William_Styron_1967 Wed, 14 Sep 2016 14:03:45 EST <![CDATA[Confessions of Nat Turner, The (1967)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/The_Confessions_of_Nat_Turner_by_William_Styron_1967 The Confessions of Nat Turner, a novel by William Styron, was published in 1967 and won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1968. The title character is based on the historical Nat Turner, a slave preacher and self-styled prophet who, in August 1831, led the only successful slave revolt in Virginia's history, which in just twelve hours left fifty-five white people in Southampton County dead. (A slave named Gabriel conspired to revolt in 1800, but his plans were discovered before he could carry them out.) The historical Nat Turner, in turn, is largely the product of "The Confessions of Nat Turner, as fully and voluntarily made to Thomas R. Gray," a pamphlet published shortly after Turner's trial and execution in November 1831. Although it played a crucial role in shaping perceptions of the event around the central figure of Turner, the pamphlet itself only reached a small portion of the reading public. The story awaited the Virginia-born Styron, who translated the historical record into a popular medium that commanded the full attention of the reading public and the national media. Despite its awards, however, that attention was not always positive. Published at the height of the Black Power movement and after a long summer of race riots in the United States, Styron's novel was labeled by some civil rights activists as racist, especially because of the author's depiction of Turner lusting after white women, one of whom he eventually kills.
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/_The_Confessions_of_Nat_Turner_1831 Wed, 14 Sep 2016 13:58:52 EST <![CDATA["Confessions of Nat Turner, The" (1831)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/_The_Confessions_of_Nat_Turner_1831 The Confessions of Nat Turner, the leader of the late insurrection in Southampton, Va., as fully and voluntarily made to Thomas R. Gray" is a pamphlet published shortly after the trial and execution of Nat Turner in November 1831. The previous August, Turner, a slave preacher and self-styled prophet, had led the only successful slave revolt in Virginia's history, leaving fifty-five white people in Southampton County, Virginia, dead, the slaveholding South convulsed with panic, and the myth of the contented slave in tatters. His confessions, dictated from Turner's jail cell to a Southampton lawyer, have provided historians with a crucial perspective missing from an earlier planned uprising, by Gabriel (also sometimes known as Gabriel Prosser) in 1800, as well as fodder for debate over the veracity of Turner's account. Meanwhile, the book arguably is one of two American literary classics to come from the revolt, the other being The Confessions of Nat Turner, the Pulitzer Prize–winning novel by Virginia-native William Styron, published at the height of the Black Power movement in September 1967. Each of these texts has demonstrated the power of print media to shape popular perceptions of historical fact, even as each raised critical questions of accuracy, authenticity, and community control over historical interpretations of the past.
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/Rosenwald_Schools Tue, 13 Sep 2016 13:47:27 EST <![CDATA[Rosenwald Schools]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Rosenwald_Schools Rosenwald schools were educational facilities built with the assistance of the Rosenwald rural school building program, an initiative to narrow racial schooling gaps in the South by constructing better, more-accessible schools for African Americans. They are called Rosenwald schools because they were partially funded by grants from the Rosenwald Fund, a foundation established by Julius Rosenwald, an Illinois businessman and philanthropist. Between 1912 and 1932, the program helped produce 5,357 new educational facilities for African Americans across fifteen southern states, providing almost 700,000 African American children in rural, isolated communities with state-of-the-art facilities at a time when little to no public money was put toward black education. In Virginia, the initiative helped fund 382 schools and support buildings in seventy-nine counties. Most of these buildings remained in operation until Virginia was forced to comply with the United States Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. Board of Education (1954), which outlawed racial segregation in public schools. In 2002, the National Trust for Historic Preservation placed all surviving Rosenwald schools on its list of America's most endangered historic sites.
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/Virginia_Convention_of_1864 Thu, 08 Sep 2016 17:11:28 EST <![CDATA[Constitutional Convention, Virginia (1864)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Virginia_Convention_of_1864 The Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1864, called by the loyal Restored government meeting in Alexandria during the American Civil War (1861–1865), adopted the Constitution of 1864, which finally accomplished a number of changes that reformers had agitated for since at least the 1820s. It abolished slavery, provided a way of funding primary and free schools, and required voting by paper ballot for state officers and members of the General Assembly. It also put an end to longstanding friction over regional differences by recognizing the creation of West Virginia as a separate state. Members of the convention proclaimed the new constitution in effect, rather than submitting it to voters for approval in a popular referendum. Initially only the areas of northern and eastern Virginia then under Union control recognized the authority of the Constitution of 1864, but after the fall of the Confederacy in May 1865 it became effective for all of Virginia and remained in effect until July 1869.
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/Army_of_Northern_Virginia Thu, 08 Sep 2016 16:59:46 EST <![CDATA[Army of Northern Virginia]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Army_of_Northern_Virginia The Army of Northern Virginia was the most successful Confederate army during the American Civil War (1861–1865). With Robert E. Lee at its head, Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson commanding one of its corps, and J. E. B. Stuart leading its cavalry, the army won important victories at Fredericksburg (1862) and Chancellorsville (1863) while the Union Army of the Potomac shuffled through a series of commanders and crises of morale. Lee's army numbered 90,000 at its strongest and was organized into state-specific regiments and brigades, with about 55 percent of its men coming from the Upper South. Most of these soldiers were farmers and the vast majority had direct contact with slavery. By implementing a strategy of aggressively confronting Union armies and inflicting casualties, the army itself suffered high casualties, with more than 30,000 killed in action. In part because of this high toll, which placed it at the center of the South's fight for independence, the Army of Northern Virginia—like its battle flag and its commander—became a symbol of the Confederate nation. One woman lamented, after the army's surrender on April 9, 1865, that "we have depended too much on Gen Lee[,] too little on God, & I believe God has suffered his surrender to show us we can use other means than Gen Lee to affect his ends."
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/Jefferson_Thomas_as_Governor_of_Virginia Thu, 08 Sep 2016 16:31:48 EST <![CDATA[Jefferson, Thomas as Governor of Virginia]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Jefferson_Thomas_as_Governor_of_Virginia Thomas Jefferson served as the second governor of Virginia under the Constitution of 1776, holding office for two terms, from June 2, 1779, until June 3, 1781. Jefferson already was a seasoned politician, having served in the House of Burgesses (1769–1776), the Second Continental Congress (1775–1776), and the House of Delegates (1776–1779). He had no military experience, though, and his tenure was dominated by repeated British invasions of Virginia during the American Revolution (1775–1783). Hampering his efforts to respond was the state constitution, which had relegated little power to the state's chief executive. Faced with calls to provide the struggling Continental army with troops and the need to reinforce the militia against possible invasion, Jefferson presided over draft lotteries that were met with stiff resistance. Then, when the British general Benedict Arnold raided Richmond in January 1781, the governor was slow to call up the militia. By May, thousands of British troops had entered Virginia and many citizens were in near open revolt against the Patriot government. Jefferson was perceived as, and often felt himself to be, powerless to do anything. In June 1781 British cavalry chased the General Assembly out of Charlottesville and nearly captured Jefferson at Monticello. Having already decided not to run for a third term, he followed his family to Poplar Forest instead of going with the assembly to Staunton. For that reason Virginia went without an elected governor for eight days and Jefferson's reputation was tarnished.
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/C_S_S_hi_rend_italic_Virginia_hi Wed, 07 Sep 2016 17:38:38 EST <![CDATA[CSS Virginia]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/C_S_S_hi_rend_italic_Virginia_hi The CSS Virginia was an ironclad ship in the Confederate navy during the American Civil War (1861–1865). The first American warship of its kind—prior to 1862, all navy vessels were made of wood—it was constructed in order to attack the ever-tightening Union blockade on the Confederacy's major Atlantic ports and harbors. The CSS Virginia's launch in March 1862 provided one of the first truly unmistakable signs of a revolution in naval warfare that would transform the conduct of war at sea during the nineteenth century. It quickly met its match, however, in a hastily constructed, Swedish-engineered Union ironclad, the USS Monitor, at the Battle of Hampton Roads (1862). By April 1862, the Confederacy's 3,500 miles of coastline were largely lost (only Wilmington, North Carolina, and Charleston, South Carolina, remained under Confederate control), and in May of that year, the Virginia was intentionally destroyed.
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