Encyclopedia Virginia: Political Issues and Controversies http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/img/EV_Logo_sm.gif Encyclopedia Virginia This is the url http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org The first and ultimate online reference work about the Commonwealth /Virginia_Slavery_Debate_of_1831-1832_The Fri, 25 Aug 2017 11:29:50 EST Virginia Slavery Debate of 1831–1832, The http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Virginia_Slavery_Debate_of_1831-1832_The The Virginia slavery debate occurred in the House of Delegates during its 1831–1832 session and was prompted by a slave insurrection in August 1831 led by Nat Turner. In the months that followed, about forty petitions, signed by more than 2,000 Virginians, urged the General Assembly to engage the problems associated with slavery. Some petitions called for outright emancipation, others for colonization. Many focused on removing from the state free blacks, who were widely seen as a nefarious influence. The House established a select committee, and when the debate finally spilled over into the full body, in mid-January 1832, it focused on two resolutions. One, made by William O. Goode, called for the rejection of all petitions calling for emancipation. Another, made by Thomas Jefferson Randolph, asked the committee to prepare an emancipation plan to go before the state's voters. By taking up these questions, the House, in effect, considered whether to free Virginia's slaves. After vigorous debate, members declined to pass such a law, deciding instead that they "should await a more definite development of public opinion." In fact, pro-slavery, anti-abolitionist opinion hardened in Virginia in the years that followed, buttressed by arguments previewed in the House. Randolph believed that even having such an open debate should be considered a victory, while others lamented how divided the state was on the crucial question of slavery.
Fri, 25 Aug 2017 11:29:50 EST]]>
/West_Virginia_Creation_of Tue, 08 Aug 2017 17:55:53 EST <![CDATA[West Virginia, Creation of]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/West_Virginia_Creation_of West Virginia was recognized by the U.S. government as the thirty-fifth state on June 20, 1863, an event that was the culmination of more than sixty years of heated sectional politics and legislative maneuverings. From the first political rumblings of new-state advocates at the turn of the nineteenth century through the formative sessions of the Wheeling conventions held from 1861 until 1863, the creation of West Virginia was a complex and contentious process that divided the residents, communities, and political leaders of Virginia. Spearheaded by northwestern Virginians, the statehood movement began as an effort to expand western political influence and the region's growing industrial economy. Final approval of West Virginia's statehood was forged amid the chaos and divisiveness of the secession debate and the bloodshed of the American Civil War (1861–1865).
Tue, 08 Aug 2017 17:55:53 EST]]>
/Black_Baptists_in_Virginia_1865-1902 Fri, 03 Mar 2017 14:03:30 EST <![CDATA[Black Baptists in Virginia (1865–1902)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Black_Baptists_in_Virginia_1865-1902 Most religious African Americans after the American Civil War (1861–1865) belonged to Baptist churches. Even prior to the abolition of slavery, Baptists, black and white, came closer to the principle of the equality of all believers than many other religious bodies. Even white Baptists recognized in principle the idea that African Americans were full members of the church, though whites generally did not consent to the ordination of their black counterparts. Once free, African American Baptists became even more assertive in forming churches and organizing independent local and state associations. These groups gave a platform to African American views of the world, from the theological to the political, and an avenue by which connections could be made both domestically and abroad. For instance, black Baptists in Virginia sought educational and humanitarian support from white Baptists in the North while at the same time, in part through the Baptist Foreign Mission Convention, created in 1880, establishing missions in West Africa. This strategy eventually caused a rift between those black Baptists (so-called independents) who balked at asking white Baptists for help, and others (so-called cooperationists) who argued that they should rise above racial differences. Taking advantage of their numbers and influence, Baptist groups also lobbied hard for black civil rights. And for a time black men voted and regularly held office in Virginia. But by 1902, and the ratification of a new state constitution, such rights were effectively eliminated. In the difficult years to come, Virginia's black Baptists relied on their now well-established institutions to pursue their social and political interests.
Fri, 03 Mar 2017 14:03:30 EST]]>
/Baldwin_John_Brown_1820-1873 Thu, 23 Feb 2017 13:30:30 EST <![CDATA[Baldwin, John Brown (1820–1873)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Baldwin_John_Brown_1820-1873 John Brown Baldwin was an attorney, member of the Virginia Convention of 1861, member of the Confederate House of Representatives (1861–1865), and Speaker of the House of Delegates (1865–1867). After attending the University of Virginia, Baldwin studied law in his native Staunton and became politically active on behalf of his law partner and brother-in-law Alexander H. H. Stuart, a Whig Party candidate for presidential elector in 1844. Baldwin served a term in the House of Delegates and, during the secession crisis of 1860–1861, was a staunch Unionist who, as a delegate to the secession convention, voted against leaving the Union, even meeting privately with U.S. president Abraham Lincoln in an attempt to find a compromise. After a brief stint in the Confederate army at the beginning of the American Civil War (1861–1865), he served in the Confederate Congress. After the war, he was a Conservative Party leader and, as Speaker of the House of Delegates, became such an expert on parliamentary law that the rules of the House became known as Baldwin's Rules. He was a moderate who supported limits on the rights of African Americans and, in 1869, as a member of the so-called Committee of Nine, met with U.S. president Ulysses S. Grant to negotiate the end of Reconstruction in Virginia. He died in 1873.
Thu, 23 Feb 2017 13:30:30 EST]]>
/Harrison_Burton_Mrs_1843-1920 Thu, 16 Feb 2017 15:59:00 EST <![CDATA[Harrison, Burton, Mrs., (1843–1920)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Harrison_Burton_Mrs_1843-1920 Mrs. Burton Harrison, also known as Constance Cary Harrison, was a prolific American novelist late in the nineteenth century who came from a prominent Virginia family. As a young woman, she witnessed the destruction of the American Civil War (1861–1865) and nursed the Confederate wounded in Manassas and Richmond. After the war, Harrison toured Europe, eventually married, and settled down in New York City. She was active in elite New York society and produced a large body of work, much of it popular serialized fiction and sentimental romance, in which she recorded the social mores of her time. The author of more than fifty works, including short stories, articles and essays, children's books, and short plays, she is best known for her 1911 autobiography, Recollections Grave and Gay.
Thu, 16 Feb 2017 15:59:00 EST]]>
/Lynching_in_Virginia Mon, 07 Nov 2016 10:09:49 EST <![CDATA[Lynching in Virginia]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Lynching_in_Virginia Lynching involves the extralegal punishment of perceived wrongdoing by a mob. Lynching became pervasive in the American South late in the nineteenth century and, at its height, from 1880 to 1930, killed at least eighty-six men in Virginia, all but fifteen of them African Americans. Many historians believe the term can be traced to Charles Lynch, a Bedford County militia colonel during the American Revolution (1775–1783) who punished captured Loyalists outside the law. Although a regular feature of the Revolution, mob violence spiked during the 1830s in response to immigration and tensions over slavery. In the South, meanwhile, slavery had long encouraged violence against African Americans, implicating even non-slaveholding whites who were often called upon to search for escaped slaves. After the American Civil War (1861–1865), these two traditions—mob violence and violence against African Americans—joined to create an epidemic of lynchings that killed probably as many as 4,000 people from 1880 until the mid-twentieth century; the large majority of those victims were African Americans living in the South. White Virginians, who lynched the fewest number of people of any southern state, justified the practice by demonizing African Americans and arguing that the courts provided insufficient protection against their supposed criminal tendencies. Blacks and whites understood lynching as a means of enforcing white supremacy. Vocal black critics, such as the editor John Mitchell Jr., encouraged armed defense but were ignored by white lawmakers. In the 1920s, after a rash of mob violence, Virginia passed the South's first antilynching law, although no white person was ever convicted under the legislation.
Mon, 07 Nov 2016 10:09:49 EST]]>
/Two_Penny_Acts_1755_1758 Thu, 03 Nov 2016 15:06:52 EST <![CDATA[Two Penny Acts (1755, 1758)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Two_Penny_Acts_1755_1758 The General Assembly adopted the Two Penny Acts of 1755 and 1758 as temporary relief measures in response to the failure of the Virginia colony's tobacco crops. Tobacco was Virginia's principal export, but it also backed the colony's currency, and these crop failures threatened Virginia's system of taxation for support of local and provincial government, including the parishes and clergy of the Church of England. The Two Penny Acts allowed vestries and county courts to collect taxes and pay salaries in money calculated at the usual market price for tobacco rather than in tobacco at windfall rates. Although it reduced their annual salaries, relatively few Virginia clergymen objected to the 1755 act, which expired after ten months. They were less amenable to the second act, however. Reverend Jacob Rowe spoke so vehemently against it that he was forced to apologize to the House of Burgesses. Reverend John Camm, meanwhile, took the protest to London and succeeded in having the act revoked, which set up a conflict between Lieutenant Governor Francis Fauquier and the power of the Crown. When clergymen sued for their back wages, the controversy known as the Parsons' Cause erupted and became a precedent for resistance to English authority.
Thu, 03 Nov 2016 15:06:52 EST]]>
/_quot_The_Perpetuation_of_Our_Political_Institutions_quot_by_Abraham_Lincoln_January_27_1838 Tue, 01 Nov 2016 14:30:47 EST <![CDATA["The Perpetuation of Our Political Institutions" by Abraham Lincoln (January 27, 1838)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/_quot_The_Perpetuation_of_Our_Political_Institutions_quot_by_Abraham_Lincoln_January_27_1838 Tue, 01 Nov 2016 14:30:47 EST]]> /Excerpt_from_the_Virginia_Gazette_December_14_1769 Tue, 11 Oct 2016 10:54:18 EST <![CDATA[Excerpt from the Virginia Gazette (December 14, 1769)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Excerpt_from_the_Virginia_Gazette_December_14_1769 Tue, 11 Oct 2016 10:54:18 EST]]> /_Account_of_Col_George_Mercer_s_Arrival_in_Virginia_and_his_Resignation_of_the_Office_of_Stamp_Distributor_October_31_1765 Tue, 11 Oct 2016 10:15:17 EST <![CDATA["Account of Col. George Mercer's Arrival in Virginia, and his Resignation of the Office of Stamp Distributor" (October 31, 1765)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/_Account_of_Col_George_Mercer_s_Arrival_in_Virginia_and_his_Resignation_of_the_Office_of_Stamp_Distributor_October_31_1765 Tue, 11 Oct 2016 10:15:17 EST]]> /Custalow_George_F_Thunder_Cloud_1865-1949 Fri, 30 Sep 2016 14:24:42 EST <![CDATA[Custalow, George F. "Thunder Cloud" (1865–1949)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Custalow_George_F_Thunder_Cloud_1865-1949 George F. "Thunder Cloud" Custalow was the chief of the Mattaponi tribe from 1914 until his death in 1949. Born in King William County in 1865, Custalow instituted educational and religious reform in his community and helped forge Mattaponi tribal identity. (Prior to his efforts, it was mistakenly believed that the Mattaponi were a branch of the Pamunkey, not a separate Powhatan tribe.) Under his leadership, a Mattaponi school opened on the reservation and tribal members founded the Mattaponi Indian Baptist Church. Custalow also campaigned with Pamunkey chief George Major Cook against legislation that restricted Virginia Indians' civil rights even further than the Virginia Act to Preserve Racial Integrity, which passed in 1924, already did. He died on the Mattaponi Indian Reservation on March 18, 1949.
Fri, 30 Sep 2016 14:24:42 EST]]>
/Southern_Horrors_Lynch_Law_in_All_Its_Phases_by_Ida_B_Wells_1892 Thu, 29 Sep 2016 15:13:35 EST <![CDATA[Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases by Ida B. Wells (1892)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Southern_Horrors_Lynch_Law_in_All_Its_Phases_by_Ida_B_Wells_1892 Thu, 29 Sep 2016 15:13:35 EST]]> /_quot_Rev_Dr_Hatcher_apos_s_Surprising_Assertions_quot_Richmond_Planet_June_23_1894 Thu, 29 Sep 2016 15:02:59 EST <![CDATA["Rev. Dr. Hatcher's Surprising Assertions," Richmond Planet (June 23, 1894)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/_quot_Rev_Dr_Hatcher_apos_s_Surprising_Assertions_quot_Richmond_Planet_June_23_1894 Thu, 29 Sep 2016 15:02:59 EST]]> /_quot_Judge_Lynch_and_His_Victims_quot_Richmond_Planet_January_18_1902 Thu, 29 Sep 2016 15:01:17 EST <![CDATA["Judge Lynch and His Victims," Richmond Planet (January 18, 1902)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/_quot_Judge_Lynch_and_His_Victims_quot_Richmond_Planet_January_18_1902 Thu, 29 Sep 2016 15:01:17 EST]]> /_quot_Lynch_Law_quot_excerpt_from_Governor_Philip_W_McKinney_apos_s_Address_to_the_General_Assembly_December_6_1893 Thu, 29 Sep 2016 14:59:57 EST <![CDATA["Lynch Law"; excerpt from Governor Philip W. McKinney's Address to the General Assembly (December 6, 1893)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/_quot_Lynch_Law_quot_excerpt_from_Governor_Philip_W_McKinney_apos_s_Address_to_the_General_Assembly_December_6_1893 Thu, 29 Sep 2016 14:59:57 EST]]> /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.
Thu, 08 Sep 2016 17:11:28 EST]]>
/Confederate_Battle_Flag Wed, 07 Sep 2016 16:11:57 EST <![CDATA[Confederate Battle Flag]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Confederate_Battle_Flag The Confederate battle flag, initially authorized for units of the Confederate armed forces during the American Civil War (1861–1865), has become one of the most recognized, misunderstood, and controversial symbols in American history. Originally designed as a Confederate national flag by William Porcher Miles of South Carolina, it was rejected by the Confederate Congress but subsequently adopted by the Confederate army, which needed a banner that was easily distinguishable from the United States flag. The battle flag transformed into a national symbol as the Army of Northern Virginia, with which it was closely associated, also became an important symbol. It even was incorporated into the Confederacy's second and third national flags. Following the war, proponents of the Lost Cause used the battle flag to represent Southern valor and honor, although it also was implicitly connected to white supremacy. In the mid-twentieth century, the battle flag simultaneously became ubiquitous in American culture while, partly through the efforts of the Ku Klux Klan, becoming increasingly tied to racial violence and intimidation. African Americans conflated the battle flag to opposition to the civil rights movement, while neo-Confederates argued that its meaning had to do with states' rights and southern identity, not racial hatred. The political and social lines of dispute over the flag remain much the same at the beginning of the twenty-first century.
Wed, 07 Sep 2016 16:11:57 EST]]>
/Funders Mon, 29 Aug 2016 13:28:55 EST <![CDATA[Funders]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Funders Funders were Virginians who during the 1870s and very early 1880s supported paying the full principal of the state's pre–Civil War public debt at the 6 percent annual rate that the Funding Act of 1871 established or who were willing to reduce the interest rate by a small amount if necessary. Some Funders were Democrats, some were Republicans, and many identified themselves with the state's Conservative Party that formed late in the 1860s in opposition to Congressional Reconstruction. The opponents of the Funders were called Readjusters because they wanted to refinance the debt—adjust, or readjust it—to reduce the rate of interest as much as possible and also to reduce, or repudiate, a portion of the principal and thereby lessen the expense of paying the debt. By the end of the 1870s, many of the state's African Americans supported the Readjusters and opposed the Funders.
Mon, 29 Aug 2016 13:28:55 EST]]>
/Conference_with_President_Andrew_Johnson_June_16_1865 Mon, 29 Aug 2016 10:21:29 EST <![CDATA[Conference with President Andrew Johnson (June 16, 1865)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Conference_with_President_Andrew_Johnson_June_16_1865 Five prominent African American men from Richmond met with President Andrew Johnson in the White House, in Washington, D.C., on June 16, 1865. Led by Fields Cook, a former slave and a Baptist minister, they complained about "the wrongs, as we conceive them to be, by which we are sorely oppressed." The men explained that, with the end of the American Civil War (1861–1865) and the abolition of slavery in Virginia, they were now at the mercy of former masters and a law code not equipped to deal with the new circumstances. They articulated several specific grievances: their inability to employ African American ministers in their churches; their lack of full civil rights in Richmond; and the conduct of the U.S. Army and of the civilian government under Governor Francis H. Pierpont and Mayor Joseph Mayo. Although Johnson did not make a formal response to the complaints, he informed the petitioners of changes of civil and military leadership in Richmond that eased their concerns.
Mon, 29 Aug 2016 10:21:29 EST]]>
/Callender_James_Thomson_1757_or_1758-1803 Mon, 22 Aug 2016 14:13:42 EST <![CDATA[Callender, James Thomson (1757 or 1758–1803)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Callender_James_Thomson_1757_or_1758-1803 James Thomson Callender was a partisan journalist known for attacking Federalists but also his one-time Republican ally, Thomas Jefferson. Born in Scotland, Callender was a Scottish nationalist who published pamphlets critical of the British government. When a warrant was issued for his arrest, he fled first to Ireland and then, in 1793, to Philadelphia. There he wrote newspaper items critical of the administrations of George Washington and John Adams and a pamphlet that exposed an extramarital affair by Alexander Hamilton. After the passage of the Alien and Sedition Acts in 1798, Callender, who had moved to Richmond by this time, published another pamphlet critical of President Adams. In the spring of 1800 he was tried and convicted of sedition in Richmond and served nine months in jail. When Jefferson was elected president in 1801, Callender expected to be rewarded with a political position. When he was not, he turned on his former ally, accusing the president of having fathered children by his enslaved servant Sally Hemings. Callender purchased part ownership of the Richmond Recorder newspaper, but quit after quarrels with his coeditor. He accidentally drowned in the James River in 1803.
Mon, 22 Aug 2016 14:13:42 EST]]>
/Robinson_John_1825_or_1826-1908 Fri, 05 Aug 2016 16:11:45 EST <![CDATA[Robinson, John (1825 or 1826–1908)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Robinson_John_1825_or_1826-1908 Fri, 05 Aug 2016 16:11:45 EST]]> /Lost_Cause_The Wed, 27 Jul 2016 09:17:55 EST <![CDATA[Lost Cause, The]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Lost_Cause_The The Lost Cause is an interpretation of the American Civil War (1861–1865) that seeks to present the war, from the perspective of Confederates, in the best possible terms. Developed by white Southerners, many of them former Confederate generals, in a postwar climate of economic, racial, and social uncertainty, the Lost Cause created and romanticized the "Old South" and the Confederate war effort, often distorting history in the process. For this reason, many historians have labeled the Lost Cause a myth or a legend. It is certainly an important example of public memory, one in which nostalgia for the Confederate past is accompanied by a collective forgetting of the horrors of slavery. Providing a sense of relief to white Southerners who feared being dishonored by defeat, the Lost Cause was largely accepted in the years following the war by white Americans who found it to be a useful tool in reconciling North and South. The Lost Cause has lost much of its academic support but continues to be an important part of how the Civil War is commemorated in the South and remembered in American popular culture.
Wed, 27 Jul 2016 09:17:55 EST]]>
/Republican_Party_in_Virginia_During_the_Nineteenth_Century Tue, 19 Jul 2016 14:00:28 EST <![CDATA[The Republican Party of Virginia in the Nineteenth Century]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Republican_Party_in_Virginia_During_the_Nineteenth_Century The Republican Party of Virginia was founded in 1856 and by the end of the century had become, with the Democratic Party, one of the state's two main political parties. Most of its earliest members lived in western Virginia. While not necessarily opposing slavery itself, these Republicans opposed both its expansion into the western territories and the political and economic advantages it bestowed on Piedmont and Tidewater Virginians. They also opposed secession in 1861. After the American Civil War (1861–1865), most of antebellum Virginia's Republicans lived in West Virginia. The few who were left had been Unionists but were now divided on questions such as African American civil rights and whether to allow former Confederates back into government. Newly enfranchised African Americans also flocked to the party. In 1869, a coalition of Conservative Party members and moderate Republicans—in opposition to radical Republicans—won all statewide offices. In 1881, 300 African American Republicans met in Petersburg and voted to endorse the Readjuster Party, formed in support of lowering, or "readjusting," the state debt in order to protect services such as free public schools. This alliance gave Readjusters control of the General Assembly, the governorship, and a seat in the U.S. Senate. In an environment of racial tensions, and just days after the Danville Riot of 1883, the Democratic Party (formerly the Conservatives) swept to power. No Republican won statewide office again until 1969.
Tue, 19 Jul 2016 14:00:28 EST]]>
/Readjuster_Party_The Tue, 19 Jul 2016 13:59:19 EST <![CDATA[Readjuster Party, The]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Readjuster_Party_The The Readjuster Party was the shortest-lived and most radical reforming political party in Virginia's history. Founded in February 1879, it won majorities in both houses of the General Assembly in the legislative election that autumn, and its candidates won all the statewide offices in 1881. The party rose to power because of the debt controversy, which involved disagreements about how to pay almost $34 million in state debt accrued before the American Civil War (1861–1865) on internal-improvement projects. By 1871, that number had risen to $45.6 million. The political faction called Funders resisted any reduction on the state debt lest it hurt Virginia's standing with creditors, while the Readjusters, seeing the debt as threatening important state programs such as public schools, sought to "readjust," or reduce the amount of the principal and the rate of interest. With a coalition of white farmers and working men, Democrats, Republicans, and African Americans, and under the leadership of the railroad executive and former Confederate general William Mahone, the party passed the Riddleberger Act of 1882, which reduced the principal of the debt and the interest owed. The next year, however, the Readjuster Party's candidates lost their legislative majorities, and its candidates for statewide office all lost in 1885, after which the party ceased to function.
Tue, 19 Jul 2016 13:59:19 EST]]>
/Disfranchisement Tue, 19 Jul 2016 13:55:25 EST <![CDATA[Disfranchisement]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Disfranchisement Disfranchisement (also called disenfranchisement) is the revocation of the right of suffrage. African American males voted in Virginia for the first time in October 1867, during Reconstruction (1865–1877), when the military governor of the state, John M. Schofield, ordered a referendum on whether to hold a convention to write a new state constitution and to elect delegates to serve in the convention. A majority of white Virginians disapproved of the Fifteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified in 1870, which prohibited states from denying the vote to any man because of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. Ensuring that Virginia elections were set up to express the public opinion rather than suppress it was a task that took decades to complete. It was not until the abolition of the poll tax in the 1960s and adoption of the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 that black men and women registered and voted in appreciable numbers in Virginia outside a few urban precincts and that white men and women began to register and vote in significantly larger percentages than during the first half of the twentieth century.
Tue, 19 Jul 2016 13:55:25 EST]]>
/Debt_Controversy_The_Virginia Tue, 19 Jul 2016 13:54:13 EST <![CDATA[Debt Controversy, The Virginia]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Debt_Controversy_The_Virginia The Virginia debt controversy involved disagreements about how to pay almost $34 million in state debt accrued between 1822 and 1861. The money had been spent on the construction of canals, toll roads, and railroads, with the expectation that these would contribute toward Virginia's future economic vitality. After the American Civil War (1861–1865) and the creation of West Virginia, Virginia's economy was in tatters. In 1871, the General Assembly passed what came to be known as the Funding Act, which reduced the state debt, held West Virginia responsible for a third of the principal, and allowed interest-bearing coupons on debt bonds to be receivable for taxes. This caused a shortfall in revenue and conflict with West Virginia. In time, two competing parties rose to prominence. The Funders resisted any reduction on the state debt lest it hurt Virginia's standing with creditors, while the Readjusters, seeing the debt as threatening important state programs such as public schools, sought to "readjust," or lower, the principal. With a biracial political coalition, the Readjuster Party captured control of the General Assembly in 1879 and of the governor's office in 1881. In 1882, the assembly passed the Riddleberger Act, which reduced the principal of the debt and the interest owed. The Funders, having reorganized as Democrats, accepted the plan. With prompting from the U.S. Supreme Court, West Virginia agreed in 1919 to pay its third of the debt. Virginia's share of the debt was paid in 1937.
Tue, 19 Jul 2016 13:54:13 EST]]>
/Conservative_Party_of_Virginia Tue, 19 Jul 2016 13:52:29 EST <![CDATA[Conservative Party of Virginia]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Conservative_Party_of_Virginia The Conservative Party of Virginia dominated the state's politics and government for a decade after its founding late in 1867, when it united people who opposed radical Republican reformers in Congress and in the state. In particular, Conservatives opposed giving the right to vote to African American men and denying it to men who had held Confederate political or military office during the American Civil War (1861–1865). Conservatives lost the first battle but won the second, and electoral successes in 1869 gave them the power to enact alternatives to Republican policies. Holding a majority in the General Assembly, the Conservatives helped create the state's first system of free public schools. By the end of the 1870s, however, the party collapsed during the political turmoil about payment of the antebellum state debt, which deeply divided the Conservatives. Some wanted to pay the debt in full, maintaining Virginia's good credit, while others argued for a "readjustment," lest the payments overwhelm other priorities, such as public schools. The party's division allowed a coalition of white and black voters, called Readjusters, and Republicans to gain temporary control of the state government. Following the subsequent collapse of that biracial coalition, many of the white Conservatives joined the reorganized and revived Democratic Party of Virginia.
Tue, 19 Jul 2016 13:52:29 EST]]>
/Clark_Adèle_1882-1983 Thu, 10 Mar 2016 11:31:57 EST <![CDATA[Clark, Adèle (1882–1983)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Clark_Adèle_1882-1983 Adèle Clark was a founding member of the Equal Suffrage League of Virginia, the chair of the Virginia League of Women Voters (1921–1925, 1929–1944), the social director of women at the College of William and Mary (1926), a New Deal–era field worker, and an accomplished artist and arts advocate. A native of Alabama, Clark attended schools in Richmond and later studied art in New York. She taught art in Richmond and established a training studio, while also working as a political activist. In 1909, she helped to found the Equal Suffrage League of Virginia and when women won the right to vote in 1920, she worked to educate women voters and to influence Congress and the General Assembly on issues of special interest to women. During the Great Depression, she served as the state director of the Federal Art Project (1936–1942). In her later years, Clark spoke for the desegregation of public schools and against the poll tax. She opposed the proposed Equal Rights Amendment in 1973. Clark died in Richmond in 1983.
Thu, 10 Mar 2016 11:31:57 EST]]>
/Brodnax_William_H_ca_1786-1834 Thu, 25 Feb 2016 15:53:08 EST <![CDATA[Brodnax, William H. (ca. 1786–1834)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Brodnax_William_H_ca_1786-1834 William H. Brodnax was a member of the House of Delegates (1818–1819, 1830–1833) and of the Virginia constitutional convention of 1829. A native of Brunswick County, he studied and then practiced law in Petersburg and lived on a 1,600-acre plantation in Dinwiddie County. During the constitutional convention, he supported policies that extended white male suffrage while retaining most political advantages enjoyed by eastern Virginians over their western counterparts. As a brigadier general of the state militia, he led the welcoming escort of the marquis de Lafayette in 1824 and, in 1831, commanded the forces that put down Nat Turner's Rebellion. During the debate on slavery in the ensuing session of the General Assembly, he chaired a select committee and proposed a plan to colonize the state's free and enslaved African Americans. A member of the Whig Party and a supporter of states' rights, he died of cholera in 1834.
Thu, 25 Feb 2016 15:53:08 EST]]>
/Bigelow_v_Forrest_December_1869 Mon, 11 Jan 2016 14:55:31 EST <![CDATA[Bigelow v. Forrest (December 1869)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Bigelow_v_Forrest_December_1869 Mon, 11 Jan 2016 14:55:31 EST]]> /_Standing_Interrogatories_Southern_Claims_Commission_1874 Mon, 11 Jan 2016 11:34:26 EST <![CDATA["Standing Interrogatories," Southern Claims Commission (1874)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/_Standing_Interrogatories_Southern_Claims_Commission_1874 Mon, 11 Jan 2016 11:34:26 EST]]> /Depositions_for_the_Claim_of_William_James_March_20_1872 Mon, 11 Jan 2016 11:30:49 EST <![CDATA[Depositions for the Claim of William James (March 20, 1872)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Depositions_for_the_Claim_of_William_James_March_20_1872 Mon, 11 Jan 2016 11:30:49 EST]]> /Depositions_for_the_Claim_of_Benjamin_Summers_February_6_1872 Mon, 11 Jan 2016 11:29:00 EST <![CDATA[Depositions for the Claim of Benjamin Summers (February 6, 1872)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Depositions_for_the_Claim_of_Benjamin_Summers_February_6_1872 Mon, 11 Jan 2016 11:29:00 EST]]> /Resolution_of_the_U_S_House_of_Representatives_January_30_1866 Tue, 05 Jan 2016 14:58:23 EST <![CDATA[Resolution of the U.S. House of Representatives (January 30, 1866)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Resolution_of_the_U_S_House_of_Representatives_January_30_1866 Tue, 05 Jan 2016 14:58:23 EST]]> /_Loyal_War_Claims_New_York_Times_February_3_1879 Tue, 05 Jan 2016 14:55:06 EST <![CDATA["'Loyal' War Claims," New York Times (February 3, 1879)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/_Loyal_War_Claims_New_York_Times_February_3_1879 Tue, 05 Jan 2016 14:55:06 EST]]> /Southern_Claims_Commission_in_Virginia_The Fri, 18 Dec 2015 09:34:32 EST <![CDATA[Southern Claims Commission in Virginia, The]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Southern_Claims_Commission_in_Virginia_The The Southern Claims Commission was created by Congress on March 3, 1871, to compensate southern Unionists for property appropriated by the Union army during the American Civil War (1861–1865). Although claims for reimbursement had been made since early in the war, many in Congress had resisted authorizing their payment. They feared fraud and dismissed the sincerity of Unionism in the South. Once former Confederate states began to be readmitted to the Union, however, pressure mounted and the law passed. The act required the president to appoint three commissioners to "receive, examine, and consider the justice and validity" of claims for "stores and supplies" taken by the Union army in the Confederate states. The commissioners reported their decisions on each claim to Congress for approval and appropriation. Because the Union presence was so extensive in the state, Virginians submitted 3,197 claims, the second largest number after Tennessee. The claims from Virginia suggest the wide diversity of Unionism in the state during the war. White men often expressed their loyalty by opposing secession, while African Americans sought freedom from slavery and women worked within their traditional gender roles to assist the Union war effort. Over time, the Southern Claims Commission lost support and was seen as divisive. It finished its work in 1880.
Fri, 18 Dec 2015 09:34:32 EST]]>
/Teamoh_George_1818-after_1887 Mon, 30 Nov 2015 15:34:53 EST <![CDATA[Teamoh, George (1818–after 1887)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Teamoh_George_1818-after_1887 George Teamoh represented Portsmouth and Norfolk County at the Convention of 1867–1868 and in the Senate of Virginia (1869–1871). Born enslaved, Teamoh secretly learned to read in his youth and worked in Portsmouth's shipyards. After his wife was sold, one of his owners helped him escape from a ship. Teamoh returned to Virginia after the American Civil War (1861–1865), and he quickly became involved in local politics and labor issues. He won election to the Convention called to create a new state constitution, and then served a term in the General Assembly's upper house. Republican Party infighting cost him his political career. He returned to the Norfolk shipyards and died sometime after 1887. His autobiography, God Made Man, Man Made the Slave, was published in 1990.
Mon, 30 Nov 2015 15:34:53 EST]]>
/Pierpont_Francis_H_1814-1899 Thu, 19 Nov 2015 14:38:03 EST <![CDATA[Pierpont, Francis Harrison (1814–1899)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Pierpont_Francis_H_1814-1899 Francis Harrison Pierpont was a lawyer, early coal industrialist, governor of the Restored government of Virginia during the American Civil War (1861–1865), governor of Virginia (1865–1868) during the first years of Reconstruction (1865–1877), and a state senator representing Marion County in West Virginia (1869–1870). Pierpont was an antislavery member of the Whig Party and delegate to the First and Second Wheeling Conventions in 1861, during which Unionist politicians in western Virginia resisted the state's vote to secede by establishing the Restored government of Virginia. The second convention unanimously elected him governor. Although never actually governor of West Virginia, he is still remembered as one of the state's founding fathers.
Thu, 19 Nov 2015 14:38:03 EST]]>
/Kemper_James_Lawson_1823-1895 Thu, 19 Nov 2015 10:39:52 EST <![CDATA[Kemper, James Lawson (1823–1895)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Kemper_James_Lawson_1823-1895 James Lawson Kemper was a Confederate general during the American Civil War (1861–1865), who later served as governor of Virginia (1874–1877). Kemper volunteered in the Mexican War (1846–1848), but returned to his civilian life as a lawyer. He served five terms in the Virginia House of Delegates (1853–1863), including time as Speaker of the House (1861–1863). There he garnered a reputation for honesty and attention to duty. Kemper volunteered for service in 1861, and with his promotion in June 1862 became the Confederacy's youngest brigade commander. Badly wounded at Gettysburg in July 1863, Kemper oversaw the Virginia Reserve Forces for the remainder of the war. He helped found the Conservative Party during Reconstruction (1865–1877). Soundly defeating the Republican candidate in the 1873 gubernatorial race, Kemper found himself, as governor, at odds with previous supporters over his progressive stance on civil rights, prison reform, and public school improvements. Still suffering from his wound, Kemper retired to his law practice, and died in Orange County in 1895.
Thu, 19 Nov 2015 10:39:52 EST]]>
/Petersburg_Convention_of_March_14_1881 Wed, 04 Nov 2015 15:37:55 EST <![CDATA[Petersburg Convention of March 14, 1881]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Petersburg_Convention_of_March_14_1881 On March 14, 1881, almost 300 African American men representing Republicans in a majority of the cities and counties of Virginia met in convention in Petersburg. The purpose of the convention was to decide whether their party should cooperate with or endorse the new Readjuster Party in the important 1881 general election, in which the voters would elect a new General Assembly and a new governor. By day's end, most delegates agreed to a statement of principles that endorsed supporting Virginia's Readjusters while remaining loyal to the national Republican Party. The convention marked an important turning point in the state's political history. With African American support, the Readjusters won majorities in the House of Delegates and the Senate of Virginia and were able to pass reform laws, refinance the debt, and increase funding for public schools.
Wed, 04 Nov 2015 15:37:55 EST]]>
/Racial_Integrity_Laws_of_the_1920s Wed, 04 Nov 2015 15:27:31 EST <![CDATA[Racial Integrity Laws (1924–1930)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Racial_Integrity_Laws_of_the_1920s Racial integrity laws were passed by the General Assembly to protect "whiteness" against what many Virginians perceived to be the negative effects of race-mixing. They included the Racial Integrity Act of 1924, which prohibited interracial marriage and defined as white a person "who has no trace whatsoever of any blood other than Caucasian"; the Public Assemblages Act of 1926, which required all public meeting spaces to be strictly segregated; and a third act, passed in 1930, that defined as black a person who has even a trace of African American ancestry. This way of defining whiteness as a kind of purity in bloodline became known as the "one drop rule." These laws arrived at a time when a pseudo-science of white superiority called eugenics gained support by groups like the Anglo-Saxon Clubs of America, which argued that the mixing of whites, African Americans, and Virginia Indians could cause great societal harm, despite the fact that the races had been intermixed since European settlement. From his position as the state registrar of vital statistics, Walter A. Plecker micromanaged the racial classifications of Virginians, often worrying that blacks were attempting to pass as white. Virginia Indians were particularly incensed by the laws, and by Plecker in particular, because the state seemed intent on removing any legal recognition of Indian identity in favor of the broader category "colored." After one failed try, lawmakers largely achieved this goal in 1930, drawing negative reaction from the black press. The Racial Integrity Act remained on the books until 1967, when the U.S. Supreme Court, in Loving v. Virginia, found its prohibition of interracial marriage to be unconstitutional. In 2001, the General Assembly denounced the act, and eugenics, as racist.
Wed, 04 Nov 2015 15:27:31 EST]]>
/Labor_in_Virginia_During_the_Twentieth_Century Tue, 27 Oct 2015 16:46:12 EST <![CDATA[Labor in Virginia during the Twentieth Century]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Labor_in_Virginia_During_the_Twentieth_Century The history of labor in Virginia during the twentieth century reflects both the ever-changing nature of the workplace and the endurance of Virginians' long-held ideas about race, culture, and work. These powerful forces profoundly affected the choices and fortunes of workingmen and -women, black and white. They influenced hiring, wages, and seniority. They shaped the organization and evolution of companies and labor unions alike. And, like Virginia, they changed as the twenty-first century approached. One idea proved especially durable. It was the belief that the necessary maintenance of the social, political, and economic status quo depended on a combination of unorganized, low-wage labor and racial segregation, if not outright white supremacy. Employee and employer alike often embraced this antiunion, pro-apartheid approach to the age of industrialization and it shaped the development of the southern workforce. In Virginia, the vestiges of that ideology survived for most of the twentieth century.
Tue, 27 Oct 2015 16:46:12 EST]]>
/Poverty_and_Poor_Relief_During_the_Civil_War Tue, 27 Oct 2015 16:41:24 EST <![CDATA[Poverty and Poor Relief during the Civil War]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Poverty_and_Poor_Relief_During_the_Civil_War Poverty and poor relief, especially in times of acute food shortages, were major challenges facing Virginia and Confederate authorities during the American Civil War (1861–1865). At first, most Confederates were confident that hunger would not be a problem for their nation. Southern farms and black slaves were expected to produce ample quantities of food while white men fought to secure independence. The reality, however, was quite different. The suffering of soldiers' families and the lower classes in cities resulted in a bread riot in the Confederate capital at Richmond, stimulated desertion from the army, and threatened the entire war effort. Governments at the local, state, and federal level responded with unprecedented efforts to control prices, supply provisions, and ease suffering, and yet neither the Confederate government nor the Virginia state government found a way to take effective action against inflation, speculation, or extortion. Direct relief, free markets, city-sponsored stores, and other innovative measures came into being. Nevertheless, these efforts proved inadequate, and the very idea of being dependent on charity was unsatisfactory to the yeoman class. Consequently, the problems of poverty seriously undermined the war effort in Virginia and throughout the Confederacy.
Tue, 27 Oct 2015 16:41:24 EST]]>
/Unionism_in_Virginia_During_the_Civil_War Tue, 27 Oct 2015 16:29:09 EST <![CDATA[Unionism in Virginia during the Civil War]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Unionism_in_Virginia_During_the_Civil_War Unionists in Virginia supported the United States government during the secession crisis, the American Civil War (1861–1865), or both. Representing a minority of white Virginians and an overwhelming majority of both free and enslaved African Americans, Unionists articulated their beliefs through a range of actions. Some explicitly supported the ideals of the Union; others defined their Unionism as a rejection of slavery. Many Virginians feared the economic consequences of secession, while African Americans saw Unionism as an opportunity for personal liberty. Just prior to the war, Unionism had been particularly strong in Virginia, but by the time the question of secession was put to a referendum, Unionist influence had declined sharply. Most Unionists lived in the state's western counties, although their antipathy to secession had less to do with slavery than with the undemocratic political advantages enjoyed by slave owners. Unionists flourished in Union-occupied areas of Northern Virginia and fought guerrilla actions in Southwest Virginia. Ethnicity and religion played an important role in formulating Unionist or anti-Confederate actions, with pacifist Germans sometimes refusing to serve in the Confederate armed forces. In Richmond, Unionists formed a spy network, and across the state slaves deprived the Confederacy of critical labor by running away. All of these efforts contributed to the eventual Confederate defeat.
Tue, 27 Oct 2015 16:29:09 EST]]>
/Confederate_Impressment_During_the_Civil_War Tue, 27 Oct 2015 15:50:39 EST <![CDATA[Impressment during the Civil War, Confederate]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Confederate_Impressment_During_the_Civil_War Impressment was the informal and then, beginning in March 1863, the legislated policy of the Confederate government to seize food, fuel, slaves, and other commodities to support armies in the field during the American Civil War (1861–1865). The tax-in-kind law, passed a month later, allowed the government to impress crops from farmers at a negotiated price. Combined with inflationary prices and plummeting morale following military defeats, impressment sparked vocal protests across the South. Discontent was exacerbated by what was perceived as the government's haphazard enforcement of the law, its setting of below-market prices, and its abuse of labor. As a result, citizens hoarded goods and in some cases even impersonated impressment agents in an effort to steal commodities.
Tue, 27 Oct 2015 15:50:39 EST]]>
/Fifteenth_Amendment_to_the_U_S_Constitution Mon, 26 Oct 2015 08:47:32 EST <![CDATA[Fifteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Fifteenth_Amendment_to_the_U_S_Constitution The Fifteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified on February 3, 1870, and granted the right to vote to African American men. It was the third of three amendments adopted during Reconstruction that profoundly altered American society, government, and politics. The Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished and prohibited slavery in the wake of the American Civil War (1861–1865), was ratified in December 1865, and the Fourteenth Amendment, which defined citizenship and guaranteed the rights of citizens, was ratified in July 1868. Specifically, the Fifteenth Amendment prevented the federal and state governments from using race or former servitude as an excuse not to allow its citizens to vote. At the time of the amendment's ratification in 1870, African Americans had already legally voted in Virginia, but during the next generation, with the use of a poll tax and other methods, that right would be chipped away. In 1901–1902, delegates to the state constitutional convention openly debated the best way to disfranchise blacks while not technically violating the Fifteenth Amendment. They largely succeeded and black voting rights were not fully restored until the 1960s.
Mon, 26 Oct 2015 08:47:32 EST]]>
/Fourteenth_Amendment_to_the_U_S_Constitution Mon, 26 Oct 2015 08:44:33 EST <![CDATA[Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Fourteenth_Amendment_to_the_U_S_Constitution The Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified on July 9, 1868, defined citizenship and guaranteed the rights of citizens. It was the second of three amendments adopted during Reconstruction that profoundly altered American society, government, and politics. The Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished and prohibited slavery in the wake of the American Civil War (1861–1865), was ratified in December 1865, and the Fifteenth Amendment, which granted the vote to African American men, was ratified in February 1870. The Fourteenth Amendment made all native-born men and women citizens and guaranteed them equal protection under the law. It included provisions to protect men's right to vote while abridging the rights of former Confederates. The General Assembly of Virginia refused to ratify the amendment until ratification became a precondition of regaining representation in Congress. The assembly voted in favor of the amendment on October 8, 1869, more than a year after it had become part of the Constitution. In Ex Parte State of Virginia (1880), the U.S. Supreme Court cited the Fourteenth Amendment when ruling that a Danville judge did not have the right to exclude African American men from serving on juries.
Mon, 26 Oct 2015 08:44:33 EST]]>
/African_Americans_and_Politics_in_Virginia_1865-1902 Wed, 21 Oct 2015 13:19:27 EST <![CDATA[African Americans and Politics in Virginia (1865–1902)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/African_Americans_and_Politics_in_Virginia_1865-1902 African Americans were deeply involved in Virginia politics from the American Civil War (1861–1865) until the first years of the twentieth century. Prior to 1865, Virginia law had restricted the vote to adult white men. With the abolition of slavery, African American men began to lobby for their full rights as citizens. In Norfolk, in May 1865, they even cast votes for the first time, although local electoral boards refused to count them. The first election in which black men voted and those votes were counted was for delegates to the Constitutional Convention of 1867–1868, to which they elected two dozen of their own. Beginning in 1869, African Americans began to be elected to the General Assembly, mostly as Republicans and later as members of the biracial Readjuster Party. Some black politicians were more radical than others, but they generally advocated black civil rights, access to free public schools, and a refinancing of the state's large antebellum debt. Although records are scarce to document the fact, African American women were probably active behind the scenes, particularly in campaigns supporting public schools. Formal black participation in Virginia politics after the Civil War may have peaked in 1881, when the Readjusters swept statewide offices and took control of both houses of the assembly. In 1888, John Mercer Langston even won a contested election for House of Representatives, becoming the first African American from Virginia to serve in Congress and the only one prior to 1993. In the years that followed, however, white supremacist Democrats asserted control again, passing various laws to reduce black suffrage, which culminated in the Constitution of 1902 and a 50 percent reduction in the state's voters. African Americans largely did not participate again in formal state politics until after World War II (1939–1945).
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 13:19:27 EST]]>
/Hunnicutt_James_W_1814-1880 Thu, 27 Aug 2015 17:10:40 EST <![CDATA[Hunnicutt, James W. (1814–1880)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Hunnicutt_James_W_1814-1880 James W. Hunnicutt, a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1867–1868, saw his public career shift during the 1860s from a slavery supporter to a prominent Radical Republican to an ally of the Conservative Party. In 1860 Hunnicutt, a minister and newspaper publisher, voiced his concerns that secession would lead to the American Civil War (1861–1865), and would end slavery. He fled Fredericksburg for Philadelphia in 1862, already evolving into an advocate of African American rights. Settling in Richmond after the Civil War, his actions to help organize freedpeople earned him enemies in the white community. He won election to the Convention of 1867–1868 that wrote the state's new constitution but his political power soon declined because of increased scrutiny on his prewar support of white supremacy, disenchantment from blacks outside of Richmond, and estrangement from other party leaders. In 1869 he lost a congressional election as a True Republican, a moderate Republican-Conservative coalition, and retired to Stafford County where he died a decade later.
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 17:10:40 EST]]>
/Vagrancy_Act_of_1866 Tue, 25 Aug 2015 15:14:14 EST <![CDATA[Vagrancy Act of 1866]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Vagrancy_Act_of_1866 The Vagrancy Act of 1866, passed by the General Assembly on January 15, 1866, forced into employment, for a term of up to three months, any person who appeared to be unemployed or homeless. If so-called vagrants ran away and were recaptured, they would be forced to work for no compensation while wearing balls and chains. More formally known as the Act Providing for the Punishment of Vagrants, the law came shortly after the American Civil War (1861–1865), when hundreds of thousands of African Americans, many of them just freed from slavery, wandered in search of work and displaced family members. As such, the act criminalized freedpeople attempting to rebuild their lives and perhaps was intended to contradict Governor Francis H. Pierpont's public statement discouraging punitive legislation. Shortly after its passage, the commanding general in Virginia, Alfred H. Terry, issued a proclamation declaring that the law would reinstitute "slavery in all but its name" and forbidding its enforcement. Proponents argued that the law applied to all people regardless of race, but the resulting controversy, along with other southern laws restricting African American rights, helped lead to military rule in the former Confederacy and congressional Reconstruction. It is unknown to what degree it was ever enforced, but the Vagrancy Act remained law in Virginia until 1904.
Tue, 25 Aug 2015 15:14:14 EST]]>
/Speech_by_William_B_Preston_to_the_House_of_Delegates_January_16_1832 Wed, 12 Aug 2015 10:09:34 EST <![CDATA[Speech by William B. Preston to the House of Delegates (January 16, 1832)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Speech_by_William_B_Preston_to_the_House_of_Delegates_January_16_1832 Wed, 12 Aug 2015 10:09:34 EST]]> /Speech_by_William_H_Brodnax_to_the_House_of_Delegates_January_19_1832 Wed, 12 Aug 2015 10:05:58 EST <![CDATA[Speech by William H. Brodnax to the House of Delegates (January 19, 1832)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Speech_by_William_H_Brodnax_to_the_House_of_Delegates_January_19_1832 Wed, 12 Aug 2015 10:05:58 EST]]> /Speech_by_James_H_Gholson_to_the_House_of_Delegates_January_12_1832 Tue, 07 Jul 2015 08:33:39 EST <![CDATA[Speech by James H. Gholson to the House of Delegates (January 12, 1832)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Speech_by_James_H_Gholson_to_the_House_of_Delegates_January_12_1832 Tue, 07 Jul 2015 08:33:39 EST]]> /Danville_Riot_1883 Mon, 29 Jun 2015 15:52:26 EST <![CDATA[Danville Riot (1883)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Danville_Riot_1883 Mon, 29 Jun 2015 15:52:26 EST]]> /American_Civil_War_and_Virginia_The Fri, 26 Jun 2015 14:08:21 EST <![CDATA[Civil War in Virginia, The American]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/American_Civil_War_and_Virginia_The The American Civil War was fought from 1861 until 1865. It began after Virginia and ten other states in the southern United States seceded from the Union following the election of Abraham Lincoln as U.S. president in 1860. Worried that Lincoln would interfere with slavery and citing states' rights as a justification, Southern leaders established the Confederate States of America with Jefferson Davis as its president and Richmond as its capital. After Confederates fired on Fort Sumter, South Carolina, the war moved to Virginia. Union forces made several failed attempts to capture Richmond, and Confederate general Robert E. Lee twice invaded the North, only to be defeated in battle. Most, but not all, Virginians supported the Confederacy. In 1863, Unionists in the western part of the state established West Virginia. On the home front, both white and African American families suffered food shortages or were forced to flee their homes. The Confederate government instituted a draft, or conscription law, and in some cases impressed, or confiscated, private property. By the time Lee surrendered in 1865, much of the state had been ravaged by war. But the end of fighting also meant emancipation, or freedom, for enslaved African Americans. In the years that followed, many white Virginians saw their fight for independence as the Lost Cause, while black Virginians struggled to overcome institutionalized white supremacy and earn full citizenship rights.
Fri, 26 Jun 2015 14:08:21 EST]]>
/Virginia_Ordinance_of_Secession_April_17_1861 Thu, 25 Jun 2015 14:01:19 EST <![CDATA[Virginia Ordinance of Secession (April 17, 1861)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Virginia_Ordinance_of_Secession_April_17_1861 Thu, 25 Jun 2015 14:01:19 EST]]> /Affidavit_of_Powhatan_Bouldin_November_14_1883 Thu, 25 Jun 2015 12:11:35 EST <![CDATA[Affidavit of Powhatan Bouldin (November 14, 1883)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Affidavit_of_Powhatan_Bouldin_November_14_1883 Thu, 25 Jun 2015 12:11:35 EST]]> /_The_Danville_Riot_Richmond_Dispatch_November_4_1883 Thu, 25 Jun 2015 11:53:11 EST <![CDATA["The Danville Riot," Richmond Dispatch (November 4, 1883)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/_The_Danville_Riot_Richmond_Dispatch_November_4_1883 Thu, 25 Jun 2015 11:53:11 EST]]> /_The_Danville_Massacre_New_York_Times_November_10_1883 Thu, 25 Jun 2015 11:38:39 EST <![CDATA["The Danville Massacre," New York Times (November 10, 1883)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/_The_Danville_Massacre_New_York_Times_November_10_1883 Thu, 25 Jun 2015 11:38:39 EST]]> /_The_Riot_in_Danville_Staunton_Spectator_November_6_1883 Thu, 25 Jun 2015 11:37:06 EST <![CDATA["The Riot in Danville," Staunton Spectator (November 6, 1883)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/_The_Riot_in_Danville_Staunton_Spectator_November_6_1883 Thu, 25 Jun 2015 11:37:06 EST]]> /States_Rights Wed, 24 Jun 2015 15:13:41 EST <![CDATA[States' Rights]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/States_Rights States' rights is a political philosophy that emphasizes the rights of individual states to fight what proponents believe to be the encroaching power of the United States government. Although the discourse around states' rights dates from the American Revolution (1775–1783) and the writings of Thomas Jefferson, it became critically important first during the Nullification Crisis (1828–1832), when South Carolina attempted to overrule a federally imposed tariff, and then during the Secession Crisis (1860–1861), when South Carolina and a number of other Southern states, including Virginia, seceded from the Union rather than accept the election of Abraham Lincoln as U.S. president. In theory, states' rights generally favors state and local control over federal control. During the 1850s, however, it was a malleable political philosophy that both Northerners and Southerners employed to advance their sectional interests. Deep South politicians acquiesced to federal power when it protected slavery but cited states' rights when questioning federal attempts at regulating the spread of slavery into new territories. During the American Civil War (1861–1865), the philosophy served both as a pillar of Confederate propaganda and, at times, as a drag on Confederate unity. Ironically, Confederate president Jefferson Davis had little trouble expanding the central government in order to prosecute the war.
Wed, 24 Jun 2015 15:13:41 EST]]>
/Cornerstone_Speech_by_Alexander_H_Stephens_March_21_1861 Wed, 24 Jun 2015 14:43:48 EST <![CDATA[Cornerstone Speech by Alexander H. Stephens (March 21, 1861)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Cornerstone_Speech_by_Alexander_H_Stephens_March_21_1861 Wed, 24 Jun 2015 14:43:48 EST]]> /_The_Danville_Massacre_Chicago_Tribune_February_16_1884 Tue, 23 Jun 2015 16:28:50 EST <![CDATA["The Danville Massacre," Chicago Tribune (February 16, 1884)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/_The_Danville_Massacre_Chicago_Tribune_February_16_1884 Tue, 23 Jun 2015 16:28:50 EST]]> /_Coalition_Rule_in_Danville_October_1883 Tue, 23 Jun 2015 16:10:15 EST <![CDATA["Coalition Rule in Danville" (October 1883)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/_Coalition_Rule_in_Danville_October_1883 Tue, 23 Jun 2015 16:10:15 EST]]> /Testimony_of_Charles_D_Noel_November_13_1883 Tue, 23 Jun 2015 15:48:07 EST <![CDATA[Testimony of Charles D. Noel (November 13, 1883)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Testimony_of_Charles_D_Noel_November_13_1883 Tue, 23 Jun 2015 15:48:07 EST]]> /Testimony_of_Robert_J_Adams_February_19_1884 Tue, 23 Jun 2015 15:33:43 EST <![CDATA[Testimony of Robert J. Adams (February 19, 1884)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Testimony_of_Robert_J_Adams_February_19_1884 Tue, 23 Jun 2015 15:33:43 EST]]> /Testimony_of_Hense_Lawson_February_18_1884 Tue, 23 Jun 2015 15:18:15 EST <![CDATA[Testimony of Hense Lawson (February 18, 1884)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Testimony_of_Hense_Lawson_February_18_1884 Tue, 23 Jun 2015 15:18:15 EST]]> /Testimony_of_George_A_Lea_February_15_1884 Tue, 23 Jun 2015 14:06:05 EST <![CDATA[Testimony of George A. Lea (February 15, 1884)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Testimony_of_George_A_Lea_February_15_1884 Tue, 23 Jun 2015 14:06:05 EST]]> /Testimony_of_R_W_Glass_February_15_1884 Mon, 22 Jun 2015 15:53:14 EST <![CDATA[Testimony of R. W. Glass (February 15, 1884)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Testimony_of_R_W_Glass_February_15_1884 Mon, 22 Jun 2015 15:53:14 EST]]> /_The_Richmond_Freedmen_from_theNew-York_Tribune_June_17_1865 Mon, 22 Jun 2015 14:18:24 EST <![CDATA["The Richmond Freedmen," New-York Tribune (June 17, 1865)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/_The_Richmond_Freedmen_from_theNew-York_Tribune_June_17_1865 Mon, 22 Jun 2015 14:18:24 EST]]> /John_E_Massey_Debts_and_Taxes_or_Obligations_and_Resources_of_Virginia_1875 Mon, 22 Jun 2015 13:55:13 EST <![CDATA[Debts and Taxes, or Obligations and Resources of Virginia by John E. Massey (1875)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/John_E_Massey_Debts_and_Taxes_or_Obligations_and_Resources_of_Virginia_1875 Mon, 22 Jun 2015 13:55:13 EST]]> /_amp_Kemper_s_Address_to_the_Senate_and_House_of_Delegates_amp_December_5_1877 Mon, 22 Jun 2015 13:50:17 EST <![CDATA[Address to the General Assembly by Governor James L. Kemper (December 5, 1877)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/_amp_Kemper_s_Address_to_the_Senate_and_House_of_Delegates_amp_December_5_1877 Mon, 22 Jun 2015 13:50:17 EST]]> /Funder_Governor_Frederick_William_Mackay_Holliday_s_message_vetoing_the_Barbour_Bill_February_27_1878 Mon, 22 Jun 2015 13:46:03 EST <![CDATA[Governor Fred W. M. Holliday's message vetoing the Barbour Bill (February 27, 1878)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Funder_Governor_Frederick_William_Mackay_Holliday_s_message_vetoing_the_Barbour_Bill_February_27_1878 Mon, 22 Jun 2015 13:46:03 EST]]> /Extract_from_Readjuster_Governor_William_Evelyn_Cameron_s_annual_message_to_the_General_Assembly_December_5_1883 Mon, 22 Jun 2015 13:35:51 EST <![CDATA[Extract from Readjuster Governor William Evelyn Cameron's annual message to the General Assembly (December 5, 1883)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Extract_from_Readjuster_Governor_William_Evelyn_Cameron_s_annual_message_to_the_General_Assembly_December_5_1883 Mon, 22 Jun 2015 13:35:51 EST]]> /_The_Press_on_the_Danville_Riot_Richmond_Dispatch_November_6_1883 Fri, 19 Jun 2015 16:49:25 EST <![CDATA["The Press on the Danville Riot," Richmond Dispatch (November 6, 1883)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/_The_Press_on_the_Danville_Riot_Richmond_Dispatch_November_6_1883 Fri, 19 Jun 2015 16:49:25 EST]]> /Letter_to_Fields_Cook_and_the_Colored_State_Convention_1865 Mon, 15 Jun 2015 15:46:29 EST <![CDATA[Letter to Fields Cook and the Colored State Convention (1865)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Letter_to_Fields_Cook_and_the_Colored_State_Convention_1865 Mon, 15 Jun 2015 15:46:29 EST]]> /Speech_by_Samuel_McDowell_Moore_to_the_House_of_Delegates_January_11_1832 Wed, 10 Jun 2015 15:01:45 EST <![CDATA[Speech by Samuel McDowell Moore to the House of Delegates (January 11, 1832)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Speech_by_Samuel_McDowell_Moore_to_the_House_of_Delegates_January_11_1832 Wed, 10 Jun 2015 15:01:45 EST]]> /Petition_from_Women_of_Fluvanna_County_November_24_1831 Wed, 10 Jun 2015 14:59:52 EST <![CDATA[Petition from Women of Fluvanna County (November 24, 1831)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Petition_from_Women_of_Fluvanna_County_November_24_1831 Wed, 10 Jun 2015 14:59:52 EST]]> /Petition_from_Citizens_of_Hanover_County_December_11_and_14_1831 Wed, 10 Jun 2015 14:58:11 EST <![CDATA[Petition from Citizens of Hanover County (December 11 and 14, 1831)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Petition_from_Citizens_of_Hanover_County_December_11_and_14_1831 Wed, 10 Jun 2015 14:58:11 EST]]> /Petition_from_Inhabitants_of_Fauquier_County_December_7_1831 Wed, 10 Jun 2015 14:56:46 EST <![CDATA[Petition from Inhabitants of Fauquier County (December 7, 1831)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Petition_from_Inhabitants_of_Fauquier_County_December_7_1831 Wed, 10 Jun 2015 14:56:46 EST]]> /Loudoun_County_Anti-Slave_Resolution_December_30_1831 Wed, 10 Jun 2015 14:54:40 EST <![CDATA[Loudoun County Anti-Slave Resolution (December 30, 1831)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Loudoun_County_Anti-Slave_Resolution_December_30_1831 Wed, 10 Jun 2015 14:54:40 EST]]> /Petition_from_Citizens_of_Culpeper_County_December_9_1831 Wed, 10 Jun 2015 14:52:51 EST <![CDATA[Petition from Citizens of Culpeper County (December 9, 1831)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Petition_from_Citizens_of_Culpeper_County_December_9_1831 Wed, 10 Jun 2015 14:52:51 EST]]> /Excerpts_from_Governor_John_Floyd_s_Message_to_the_General_Assembly_December_6_1831 Wed, 10 Jun 2015 14:48:29 EST <![CDATA[Excerpts from Governor John Floyd's Message to the General Assembly (December 6, 1831)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Excerpts_from_Governor_John_Floyd_s_Message_to_the_General_Assembly_December_6_1831 Wed, 10 Jun 2015 14:48:29 EST]]> /Petition_from_the_Society_of_Friends_Charles_City_County_December_14_1831 Wed, 10 Jun 2015 14:45:52 EST <![CDATA[Petition from the Society of Friends, Charles City County (December 14, 1831)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Petition_from_the_Society_of_Friends_Charles_City_County_December_14_1831 Wed, 10 Jun 2015 14:45:52 EST]]> /Petition_from_Women_of_Augusta_County_January_19_1832 Wed, 10 Jun 2015 14:44:09 EST <![CDATA[Petition from Women of Augusta County (January 19, 1832)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Petition_from_Women_of_Augusta_County_January_19_1832 Wed, 10 Jun 2015 14:44:09 EST]]> /Petition_from_Inhabitants_of_Washington_County_December_17_1831 Wed, 10 Jun 2015 14:41:50 EST <![CDATA[Petition from Inhabitants of Washington County (December 17, 1831)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Petition_from_Inhabitants_of_Washington_County_December_17_1831 Wed, 10 Jun 2015 14:41:50 EST]]> /Petition_from_Citizens_of_Northampton_County_December_6_1831 Tue, 09 Jun 2015 14:18:43 EST <![CDATA[Petition from Citizens of Northampton County (December 6, 1831)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Petition_from_Citizens_of_Northampton_County_December_6_1831 Tue, 09 Jun 2015 14:18:43 EST]]> /Harris_Alfred_W_1853-1920 Thu, 21 May 2015 17:16:03 EST <![CDATA[Harris, Alfred W. (1853–1920)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Harris_Alfred_W_1853-1920 Alfred W. Harris introduced the bill that chartered Virginia Normal and Collegiate Institute (later Virginia State University) during his time in the House of Delegates (1881–1888). Born enslaved in Fairfax County, during the American Civil War (1861–1865) his family moved to Alexandria, where he attended a school operated by the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands and later the city's first segregated public schools. He won a seat on the Alexandria common council as a twenty-year-old and became a lawyer. Harris relocated in Petersburg and in 1881 won the first of four consecutive terms term in the House of Delegates, representing Dinwiddie County. He played key roles in Virginia Normal and Collegiate Institute's first years, serving as its de facto treasurer and the first secretary of the board of visitors. Harris strongly supported the Readjuster and later Republican Party leader William Mahone, even backing his candidate in the 1888 congressional election against John Mercer Langston. After leaving the House of Delegates, Harris served as a Newport News specials customs inspector and a Petersburg census enumerator. He resigned his post after being arrested and exonerated twice on charges of theft. Following a stroke, Harris died in his Petersburg home in 1920.
Thu, 21 May 2015 17:16:03 EST]]>
/Constitutional_Convention_Virginia_1901-1902 Wed, 20 May 2015 10:57:45 EST <![CDATA[Constitutional Convention, Virginia (1901–1902)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Constitutional_Convention_Virginia_1901-1902 The Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1901–1902 produced the Virginia Constitution of 1902 and is an important example of post-Reconstruction efforts to restore white supremacy in the American South by disenfranchising large numbers of blacks and working-class whites. Remaining in effect until July 1, 1971, the constitution did much to shape Virginia politics in the twentieth century—a politics dominated by a conservative Democratic Party that fiercely resisted the New Deal, the New Frontier, the Great Society, the civil rights movement, and, with special fervor, federally mandated public school desegregation. Yet the significance of the 1901–1902 convention extends beyond Virginia in that it demonstrates the irony of how Progressive Era reforms nationwide often resulted in state legislation that was far from progressive.
Wed, 20 May 2015 10:57:45 EST]]>
/Jefferson_Davis_s_Imprisonment Thu, 14 May 2015 14:05:48 EST <![CDATA[Jefferson Davis's Imprisonment]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Jefferson_Davis_s_Imprisonment Union cavalrymen arrested former Confederate president Jefferson Davis near Irwinville, Georgia, on May 10, 1865. Davis was taken into custody as a suspect in the assassination of United States president Abraham Lincoln, but his arrest and two-year imprisonment at Fort Monroe in Virginia raised significant questions about the political course of Reconstruction (1865–1877). Debate over Davis's fate tended to divide between those who favored a severe punishment of the former Confederate political leaders and those who favored a more conciliatory approach. When investigators failed to establish a link between Davis and the Lincoln assassins, the U.S. government charged him instead with treason. U.S. president Andrew Johnson's impeachment hearings delayed the trial, however, and in the end the government granted Davis amnesty.
Thu, 14 May 2015 14:05:48 EST]]>
/_The_Appeal_from_Proceedings_of_the_Convention_of_the_Colored_People_of_VA_Held_in_the_City_of_Alexandria_1865 Mon, 11 May 2015 14:54:47 EST <![CDATA["The Appeal" from Proceedings of the Convention of the Colored People of VA., Held in the City of Alexandria (1865)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/_The_Appeal_from_Proceedings_of_the_Convention_of_the_Colored_People_of_VA_Held_in_the_City_of_Alexandria_1865 Mon, 11 May 2015 14:54:47 EST]]> /Interview_with_Allen_Wilson_July_16_1937 Mon, 11 May 2015 13:19:04 EST <![CDATA[Interview with Allen Wilson (July 16, 1937)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Interview_with_Allen_Wilson_July_16_1937 Mon, 11 May 2015 13:19:04 EST]]> /_The_Passing_of_John_Robinson_from_the_Richmond_Planet_January_25_1908 Mon, 11 May 2015 12:50:22 EST <![CDATA["The Passing of John Robinson" from the Richmond Planet (January 25, 1908)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/_The_Passing_of_John_Robinson_from_the_Richmond_Planet_January_25_1908 Mon, 11 May 2015 12:50:22 EST]]> /Remarks_by_William_Williams_August_11_1865 Mon, 27 Apr 2015 14:56:12 EST <![CDATA[Remarks by William Williams (August 11, 1865)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Remarks_by_William_Williams_August_11_1865 Mon, 27 Apr 2015 14:56:12 EST]]> /_The_Sun_Do_Move_by_John_Jasper_1878 Fri, 17 Apr 2015 14:40:23 EST <![CDATA["The Sun Do Move" by John Jasper (1878)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/_The_Sun_Do_Move_by_John_Jasper_1878 Fri, 17 Apr 2015 14:40:23 EST]]> /Dew_Thomas_R_1802-1846 Tue, 27 Jan 2015 16:41:45 EST <![CDATA[Dew, Thomas R. (1802–1846)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Dew_Thomas_R_1802-1846 Thomas R. Dew spent a decade as president of the College of William and Mary (1836–1846), but is also known for his works supporting slavery and opposing protective tariffs. While a professor of political law at William and Mary, Dew achieved national prominence when he attacked the tariff of 1828. He backed free trade, believing export taxes hindered southern planters at the expense of northern manufacturers. He favored state banks over a national bank, fearing that the latter would provide the government with too much power over the economy. His commentary on Virginia's debate to end slavery in 1831–1832 showed him an ardent supporter of the institution, even opposing gradual emancipation because it would deprive the state of its wealth. Dew also argued that denying suffrage to women was appropriate because devotion to family hindered their capacity to understand politics. William and Mary's board named him its president in 1836. During his administration the college became an important wellspring of southern thought as sectional tension heightened. Dew died of bronchitis in 1846.
Tue, 27 Jan 2015 16:41:45 EST]]>
/Carlile_John_S_1817-1878 Thu, 08 Jan 2015 16:10:14 EST <![CDATA[Carlile, John S. (1817–1878)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Carlile_John_S_1817-1878 John S. Carlile was a member of the Convention of 1850–1851, the U.S. House of Representatives (1856–1858), the Convention of 1861, the First and Second Wheeling Conventions of 1861, and the United States Senate (1861–1865). As an active and outspoken participant in the Convention of 1850, he supported democratic reforms that invested western Virginia with more political power. In Congress, he supported the rights of slave owners, but as a delegate to the state convention during the secession crisis of 1861, he vehemently opposed leaving the Union, calling secession "a crime against God." The convention voted to secede anyway, and during the American Civil War (1861–1865), Carlile became a U.S. senator representing the Restored government of Virginia. In Washington, D.C., he helped shepherd the West Virginia statehood bill through Congress, only to vote against it in 1862, citing the bill's requirement that the new state adopt a plan of gradual emancipation. While Carlile remained in the Senate until 1865, he had so angered—and confused—his new West Virginia constituents that his political career was largely over. He died on his farm near Clarksburg in 1878.
Thu, 08 Jan 2015 16:10:14 EST]]>
/Thirteenth_Amendment_to_the_U_S_Constitution_The Wed, 03 Dec 2014 16:52:31 EST <![CDATA[Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, The]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Thirteenth_Amendment_to_the_U_S_Constitution_The The Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution abolished and permanently prohibited the reintroduction of slavery throughout the country. Congress submitted it to the states on January 31, 1865, and it was ratified on December 6, 1865. It was the first of three amendments adopted during Reconstruction that profoundly altered American society, government, and politics. The Fourteenth Amendment that defined citizenship and guaranteed the rights of citizens was ratified in July 1868, and the Fifteenth Amendment that granted the vote to African American men was ratified in February 1870.
Wed, 03 Dec 2014 16:52:31 EST]]>
/Cook_George_Major_1860-1930 Thu, 14 Aug 2014 16:24:22 EST <![CDATA[Cook, George Major (1860–1930)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Cook_George_Major_1860-1930 George Major Cook, also known as Wahunsacook or Wahansunacoke, served as chief of the Pamunkey Indians from 1902 until his death in 1930. Born on the Pamunkey Reservation in King William County in 1860, Cook had become one of the headmen of the tribe by 1888 and was elected chief in 1902. In 1917 he obtained rulings from the state attorney general that Virginia had no right to tax Indians living on the reservation or to draft members of the tribe for military service, thus reaffirming Pamunkey status as wards of the state. During the 1920s he opposed the Virginia Act to Preserve Racial Integrity, which effectively classified Virginians as either black or white. In speeches, newspaper articles, and visits to legislative committees and successive Virginia governors, Cook argued for the right of Virginia's Indians to maintain their distinct heritage and be correctly classified as Indians in official records. During the final year of his life, Cook led opposition to a proposal to exempt Indians on reservations from being classified as black because it did not protect those who lived off the reservations. He died at his home on the reservation on December 16, 1930.
Thu, 14 Aug 2014 16:24:22 EST]]>
/Aulick_John_H_ca_1791-1873 Thu, 24 Jul 2014 15:11:49 EST <![CDATA[Aulick, John H. (ca. 1791–1873)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Aulick_John_H_ca_1791-1873 Thu, 24 Jul 2014 15:11:49 EST]]> /Chilton_Samuel_1805-1867 Thu, 10 Jul 2014 17:10:40 EST <![CDATA[Chilton, Samuel (1805–1867)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Chilton_Samuel_1805-1867 Samuel Chilton was a lawyer, a member of the House of Representatives (1843–1845), and a member of the Convention of 1850–1851, the purpose of which was the revision of the Virginia constitution. He is best known for sitting on a committee appointed during the convention to report on the apportionment of the General Assembly. Chilton supported calculating legislative representation on the basis of population and property holding, but proposed a key compromise with western delegates who held opposing views. His plan for apportionment passed, and on July 31, 1851, Chilton voted with the majority in favor of the final version of the state constitution. Chilton moved to Washington, D.C., by 1853, when he joined the American (Know Nothing) Party. In 1859 he and Hiram Griswold represented John Brown for the final two days of the treason trial that followed Brown's 1859 raid on Harpers Ferry. Though Chilton tried to appeal the guilty verdict, he was unsuccessful, and ultimately was forced to testify before a Senate committee about the circumstances surrounding his hiring and subsequent payment. After the trial, Chilton reportedly was offered and refused a position on Abraham Lincoln's administration. He died in Warrenton on January 7, 1867.
Thu, 10 Jul 2014 17:10:40 EST]]>
/Poll_Tax Wed, 02 Jul 2014 14:08:18 EST <![CDATA[Poll Tax]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Poll_Tax A poll tax is a tax levied as a prerequisite for voting. After Reconstruction (1865–1877)—the twelve-year period of rebuilding that followed the American Civil War (1861–1865)—many southern states passed poll taxes in an effort to keep African Americans from voting. As a result, many African Americans (and other impoverished citizens) who could not afford to pay the poll tax were disfranchised and deprived of their rights as citizens. In 1870 the Fifteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was adopted, stipulating that an individual's right to vote could not be denied by any state on the basis of race or color. Southern state legislators, however, soon looked for other ways to keep the vote from African Americans, which inevitably, and perhaps by design, blocked some white Americans. In response, many state legislatures drew up grandfather clauses to ensure that non–African American constituents were included in the voting process. The U.S. Supreme Court declared grandfather clauses unconstitutional in 1915 and again in 1939, but poll taxes had greater longevity and remained in effect into the era of the civil rights movement. The Twenty-fourth Amendment, ratified in 1964, outlawed the use of this tax (or any other tax) as a pre-condition in voting in federal elections, and the 1966 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections extended this ruling, stating that the imposition of a poll tax in state elections violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Wed, 02 Jul 2014 14:08:18 EST]]>
/Virginia_Constitutional_Convention_of_1861 Fri, 20 Jun 2014 13:10:39 EST <![CDATA[Virginia Convention of 1861]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Virginia_Constitutional_Convention_of_1861 The Virginia Convention of 1861, also known later as the Secession Convention, convened on February 13, 1861, on the eve of the American Civil War (1861–1865), to consider whether Virginia should secede from the United States. Its 152 delegates, a majority of whom were Unionist, had been elected at the behest of the Virginia General Assembly, which also directed that their decision be ratified by a statewide referendum. Several states in the Deep South, beginning with South Carolina, had already left the Union in response to the election in November 1860 of Abraham Lincoln as United States president. Virginia, however, hesitated, and debate raged on for months. On April 4, secessionists badly lost a vote but prepared for the possibility of war nevertheless. Former Virginia governor Henry A. Wise worked behind the scenes and outside the legal process to secure the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry by military means, a move that prompted a furious objection from Unionist delegate John Baldwin of Staunton. After the fall of Fort Sumter on April 13 and Lincoln's call for 75,000 volunteers on April 15, the momentum turned toward secession, and the convention voted on April 17 to leave the Union. Virginians expressed their agreement at the polls on May 23. The state had joined the Confederacy.
Fri, 20 Jun 2014 13:10:39 EST]]>
/The_Humble_Petition_of_Sarah_Drummond_1677 Wed, 04 Jun 2014 11:18:09 EST <![CDATA[The Humble Petition of Sarah Drummond (1677)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/The_Humble_Petition_of_Sarah_Drummond_1677 Wed, 04 Jun 2014 11:18:09 EST]]> /_Miss_Mary_Johnston_A_Suffrage_Worker_June_11_1911 Mon, 12 May 2014 09:23:32 EST <![CDATA["Miss Mary Johnston: A Suffrage Worker" (June 11, 1911)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/_Miss_Mary_Johnston_A_Suffrage_Worker_June_11_1911 Mon, 12 May 2014 09:23:32 EST]]> /_A_Feminist_Novel_Miss_Johnston_s_Hagar_a_Tale_and_a_Theory_by_Helen_Bullis_November_2_1913 Fri, 25 Apr 2014 08:37:39 EST <![CDATA["A Feminist Novel: Miss Johnston's 'Hagar' a Tale and a Theory" by Helen Bullis (November 2, 1913)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/_A_Feminist_Novel_Miss_Johnston_s_Hagar_a_Tale_and_a_Theory_by_Helen_Bullis_November_2_1913 Fri, 25 Apr 2014 08:37:39 EST]]> /A_Summary_View_of_the_Rights_of_British_America_by_Thomas_Jefferson_1774 Tue, 22 Apr 2014 11:03:14 EST <![CDATA[A Summary View of the Rights of British America by Thomas Jefferson (1774)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/A_Summary_View_of_the_Rights_of_British_America_by_Thomas_Jefferson_1774 Tue, 22 Apr 2014 11:03:14 EST]]> /Wise_Henry_A_1806-1876 Mon, 24 Mar 2014 10:15:25 EST <![CDATA[Wise, Henry A. (1806–1876)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Wise_Henry_A_1806-1876 Henry A. Wise was a lawyer, a member of the United States House of Representatives (1832–1844), U.S. minister to Brazil (1844–1847), governor of Virginia (1856–1860) during John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry, and a brigadier general in the Confederate army during the American Civil War (1861–1865). Born in Accomack County on Virginia's Eastern Shore, Wise rose to national prominence during the political turmoil of the late antebellum period. A fiery politician and gifted orator with a mercurial temperament, he advocated a number of progressive positions, including capital improvements in western Virginia, broadening Virginia's electoral base through constitutional reform, and public funding for universal elementary education. Wise also was a stout defender of slavery and eventually became an ardent secessionist. Perhaps best known for being governor when Brown attempted to spark a slave rebellion at Harpers Ferry, Wise had the authority to commute Brown's death sentence. Instead, he allowed the execution to take place, making possible the radical abolitionist's ascension to martyrdom. After Virginia's secession in 1861, Wise served in the Confederate army. In 1872, he supported U.S. president Ulysses S. Grant, the former Union general-in-chief, in his campaign for reelection.
Mon, 24 Mar 2014 10:15:25 EST]]>
/Jaffé_Louis_Isaac_ca_1888-1950 Sun, 23 Mar 2014 09:11:48 EST <![CDATA[Jaffé, Louis I. (ca. 1888–1950)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Jaffé_Louis_Isaac_ca_1888-1950 Louis I. Jaffé was the longtime editor of the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot (1919–1950) who earned renown for his sponsorship and promotion of Virginia's antilynching law. A lifelong liberal and civil rights activist, Jaffé championed reforms that sought to improve the daily lives of African Americans, especially those in Hampton Roads. In 1929, he became Virginia's first Pulitzer Prize winner, receiving the award for Distinguished Editorial Writing for the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot's antilynching advocacy.
Sun, 23 Mar 2014 09:11:48 EST]]>
/Mason_George_1725-1792 Thu, 06 Mar 2014 08:32:00 EST <![CDATA[Mason, George (1725–1792)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Mason_George_1725-1792 George Mason was a wealthy planter and an influential lawmaker who served as a member of the Fairfax County Court (1747–1752; 1764–1789), the Truro Parish vestry (1749–1785), the House of Burgesses (1758–1761), and the House of Delegates (1776–1780). In 1769, he helped organize a nonimportation movement to protest British imperial policies, and he later wrote the Fairfax Resolves (1774), challenging Parliament's authority over the American colonies. In 1775, Mason was elected to the Fairfax County committees of public safety and correspondence. He represented Fairfax County in Virginia's third revolutionary convention (1775) and in the fifth convention (1776), where he drafted Virginia's first state constitution and its Declaration of Rights, which is widely considered his greatest accomplishment. As a member of the House of Delegates, he advocated sound money policies and the separation of church and state. Mason represented Virginia at the Mount Vernon Conference (1785) on Potomac River navigation and at the federal Constitutional Convention (1787). Although Mason initially supported constitutional reform, he ultimately refused to sign the Constitution, and he led the Anti-Federalist bloc in the Virginia convention (1788) called to consider ratification of the Constitution. After Virginia approved it, Mason retired to his elegant home, Gunston Hall, on the Northern Neck, where he died in 1792.
Thu, 06 Mar 2014 08:32:00 EST]]>
/Robb_Charles_S_1939- Sun, 05 Jan 2014 13:27:07 EST <![CDATA[Robb, Charles S. (1939– )]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Robb_Charles_S_1939- Charles S. "Chuck" Robb served as lieutenant governor (1978–1982) and governor of Virginia (1982–1986) and for two terms as U.S. senator (1989–2001). The son-in-law of U.S. president Lyndon B. Johnson, Robb entered Virginia politics as a "celebrity" without the customary résumé of serving in lower office. A Democrat, Robb was instrumental in reviving his party's fortunes in the state after a period of Republican dominance. His election in 1981 ushered in the first of three consecutive Democratic governorships. A moderate, Robb also played a role in national politics, moving his party to the center but never seeking national office himself. His promising career was tarnished by a series of scandals and he was ultimately defeated for reelection in 2000.
Sun, 05 Jan 2014 13:27:07 EST]]>
/Ruffin_Edmund_1794-1865 Sat, 04 Jan 2014 17:08:40 EST <![CDATA[Ruffin, Edmund (1794–1865)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Ruffin_Edmund_1794-1865 Edmund Ruffin was a prominent Southern nationalist, noted agriculturalist, writer and essayist, and Virginia state senator (1823–1827). After dropping out of college and serving briefly in the Virginia militia during the War of 1812, Ruffin began a long career farming along the James River and studying the soil. He published the results of his experiments and founded a journal, the Farmers' Register, in 1833. During these years, Ruffin's politics also became radicalized, first around banking issues, and then around states' rights, slavery, and secession. After John Brown's failed raid on Harpers Ferry, Virginia, in October 1859, Ruffin began speaking out against what he considered to be Northern aggression, and he even joined cadets from the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington so he could attend Brown's execution. Ruffin continued to agitate for secession during the United States presidential election of 1860, and he is erroneously credited with firing the first shot on Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, starting the American Civil War (1861–1865). A popular hero in the South, Ruffin nevertheless suffered financial setbacks during the war, as well as declining health, and in 1865, following the Confederates' defeat, he killed himself.
Sat, 04 Jan 2014 17:08:40 EST]]>
/Cocke_Edmund_R_1841-1922 Thu, 05 Sep 2013 10:19:47 EST <![CDATA[Cocke, Edmund R. (1841–1922)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Cocke_Edmund_R_1841-1922 Edmund R. Cocke was a veteran of the American Civil War (1861–1865) who, after the war, became a Populist Party leader, running unsuccessful campaigns for Virginia governor (1893) and lieutenant governor (1897). After being wounded at Gettysburg (1863) and captured at Sailor's Creek (1865), Cocke, a staunch Democrat and white-supremacist, chaired Cumberland County's electoral board beginning in 1884. He told a friend that Republicans "putrefy every thing they touch," but he never was accused of being unfairly partisan in his position. Around the same time, Captain Cocke, as he was known, became involved in populist politics through the Farmers' Assembly of the State of Virginia, which he cofounded, and his disagreement with Democrats over the gold standard led to his defection to the People's Party in 1892. Although intellectually gifted, he was considered by his peers to be an uninspiring speaker, and he was soundly defeated in his run for governor in 1893 and, four years later, for lieutenant governor. This latter defeat effectively ended Populism in Virginia. In 1898, Cocke's wife died, in 1900 his plantation burned, and in his last few years he experimented with making gold through alchemy and lashed out at Prohibition Democrats. He died of kidney failure in 1922.
Thu, 05 Sep 2013 10:19:47 EST]]>
/Blake_or_The_Huts_of_America_1859 Wed, 19 Jun 2013 15:43:05 EST <![CDATA["Blake; or, The Huts of America" (1859)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Blake_or_The_Huts_of_America_1859 Wed, 19 Jun 2013 15:43:05 EST]]> /_Sambo_and_the_Ass_by_Basil_L_Gildersleeve_April_5_1864 Wed, 27 Feb 2013 10:25:48 EST <![CDATA["Sambo and the Ass" by Basil L. Gildersleeve (April 5, 1864)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/_Sambo_and_the_Ass_by_Basil_L_Gildersleeve_April_5_1864 Wed, 27 Feb 2013 10:25:48 EST]]> /_Miscegenation_by_Basil_L_Gildersleeve_April_18_1864 Wed, 27 Feb 2013 10:12:03 EST <![CDATA["Miscegenation" by Basil L. Gildersleeve (April 18, 1864)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/_Miscegenation_by_Basil_L_Gildersleeve_April_18_1864 Wed, 27 Feb 2013 10:12:03 EST]]> /Letter_from_Ellen_Wayles_Randolph_Coolidge_to_Joseph_Coolidge_October_24_1858 Tue, 27 Nov 2012 14:49:05 EST <![CDATA[Letter from Ellen Wayles Randolph Coolidge to Joseph Coolidge (October 24, 1858)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Letter_from_Ellen_Wayles_Randolph_Coolidge_to_Joseph_Coolidge_October_24_1858 Tue, 27 Nov 2012 14:49:05 EST]]> /Progressive_Movement Wed, 19 Sep 2012 16:01:21 EST <![CDATA[Progressive Movement]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Progressive_Movement The Progressive movement in Virginia was a series of efforts by early-twentieth-century residents to correct what they perceived as problems or deficiencies in government, business, and society. Their work was part of a national reform movement that existed from late in the 1890s until the United States entered World War I in 1917. Progressive reform in Virginia had many parallels with its national counterpart, but like the rest of the movement's southern manifestation, it also varied from it in important ways. Nationally, Progressives sought to expand democracy, aid victims of industrialization, bring order and efficiency to government and business, and impose morality. State reformers, by contrast, showed little interest in social uplift or racial justice, or in increasing democracy or furthering workers' rights. Instead, they focused on adjusting government and society in ways that both safeguarded the existing social and racial hierarchy and provided order, stability, and economic progress. In Virginia, the movement's participants were predominately urban white professionals, businessmen, educators, church leaders, and politicians; or their wives and daughters. Although the state's reformers had a variety of aims, they worked primarily on restructuring the electorate; improving public education; modifying cities in ways that made them more healthful, efficient, and orderly; upgrading roads; and enacting prohibition of alcohol. They achieved these and other reforms by successfully lobbying government officials for new laws, oversight agencies, and funding measures. While Virginia's Progressives more often than not worked together on their various causes, like reformers elsewhere in the nation, they also occasionally disagreed about the practicality of specific solutions. Those being reformed—typically poor white and African American residents—opposed many of the movement's efforts but lacked the political power to block them.
Wed, 19 Sep 2012 16:01:21 EST]]>
/Pistole_Fee_Dispute_The Mon, 17 Sep 2012 16:43:25 EST <![CDATA[Pistole Fee Dispute, The]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Pistole_Fee_Dispute_The The pistole fee dispute of 1753–1754 was a political battle between the House of Burgesses and Virginia lieutenant governor Robert Dinwiddie over Dinwiddie's decision to charge a fee of one pistole (approximately 18 shillings) for each land patent to which he attached the colony's seal. Though royal policy gave colonial governors the right to establish officers' fees with the consent of the governor's Council, the practice was not enforced in Virginia, where fees were usually determined by the General Assembly. The controversy over the pistole fee was so heated that Dinwiddie and the House of Burgesses sent representatives to London to argue their cases before the Privy Council. The Privy Council upheld the fee and Dinwiddie's right to establish it, but imposed certain restrictions on the fee to conciliate the House of Burgesses—a compromise that was accepted by the opposing parties but did not address the constitutional issue of whether colonial legislatures had the right to defeat local taxes proposed by the British government. The questions that were raised by opponents of the fee (including Richard Bland and Landon Carter) regarding British authority and the rights of Virginians would resurface in 1765 with the passage of the Stamp Act.
Mon, 17 Sep 2012 16:43:25 EST]]>
/The_Virginia_Declaration_of_Rights_First_Draft_1776 Wed, 28 Mar 2012 09:47:57 EST <![CDATA[The Virginia Declaration of Rights, First Draft (1776)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/The_Virginia_Declaration_of_Rights_First_Draft_1776 This transcript is of a copy, made in an unknown hand, of the first draft of the Virginia Declaration of Rights, which was written by George Mason. The final version of the declaration was incorporated into the state constitution of 1776 and was retained in all subsequent state constitutions. Some spelling has been modernized.
Wed, 28 Mar 2012 09:47:57 EST]]>
/Bread_Riot_Richmond Fri, 10 Feb 2012 09:12:46 EST <![CDATA[Bread Riot, Richmond]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Bread_Riot_Richmond The Richmond Bread Riot, which took place in the Confederate capital of Richmond on April 2, 1863, was the largest and most destructive in a series of civil disturbances throughout the South during the third spring of the American Civil War (1861–1865). By 1863, the Confederate economy was showing signs of serious strain. Congress's passage of an Impressment Act, as well as a tax law deemed "confiscatory," led to hoarding and speculation, and spiraling inflation took its toll, especially on people living in the Confederacy's urban areas. When a group of hungry Richmond women took their complaints to Virginia governor John L. Letcher, he refused to see them. Their anger turned into a street march and attacks on commercial establishments. Only when troops were deployed and authorities threatened to fire on the mob did the rioters disperse. More than sixty men and women were arrested and tried, while the city stepped up its efforts to relieve the suffering of the poor and hungry.
Fri, 10 Feb 2012 09:12:46 EST]]>
/Civil_Rights_Act_of_1964 Tue, 31 Jan 2012 14:15:46 EST <![CDATA[Civil Rights Act of 1964]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Civil_Rights_Act_of_1964 The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a landmark piece of national legislation, not only for the civil rights movement but for the emerging women's movement of the 1960s. It officially outlawed discrimination in public accommodations and employment and established the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission to enforce those provisions. In contrast to earlier civil rights measures, it included a ban on employment discrimination on the basis of gender, as well as race, color, and religion, making it the most comprehensive civil rights bill in American history and giving the revived women's movement new legal—and moral—weight. Yet, in an ironic twist, the legislation banned gender discrimination only because of the efforts of Howard W. Smith, U.S. representative from Virginia, a leader of the Conservative Coalition in Congress, and an opponent of civil rights. His tireless attempts to defeat the bill—including adding "sex" as grounds for illegal discrimination, which he believed would guarantee the bill's failure—resulted in a more expansive bill passing.
Tue, 31 Jan 2012 14:15:46 EST]]>
/United_States_Presidential_Election_of_1860 Tue, 05 Apr 2011 09:58:08 EST <![CDATA[United States Presidential Election of 1860]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/United_States_Presidential_Election_of_1860 The United States presidential election of 1860 was perhaps the most pivotal in American history. A year after John Brown's attempted slave revolt at Harpers Ferry, Virginia, the national debate over slavery had reached a boiling point, and several Southern states were threatening to secede should the Republican Party candidate, Abraham Lincoln, win. Along with its Upper South neighbors, Virginia struggled with both the perceived threat of Northern abolitionism and the fear that secession would trigger war. The four major candidates, meanwhile, reflected a political system in chaos. At its convention, the Democratic Party split into two factions, with the Northern Democrats nominating U.S. senator Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois, a moderate on slavery, and the Southern Democrats nominating the U.S. vice president, John C. Breckinridge of Kentucky, on a proslavery, states' rights platform. After the demise of the Whig Party, many of its former members went to the Constitutional Union Party, which nominated John Bell of Tennessee and advocated compromise. The Republicans, who opposed the expansion of slavery into the western territories, best exploited the circumstances, winning 180 electoral votes and 39.8 percent of the popular vote. Reflecting Virginia's moderation, however, the state was one of only three to favor Bell. In the end, Lincoln's election led directly to South Carolina's secession and the American Civil War (1861–1865).
Tue, 05 Apr 2011 09:58:08 EST]]>
/Hampton_Roads_Conference Tue, 29 Mar 2011 11:25:41 EST <![CDATA[Hampton Roads Conference]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Hampton_Roads_Conference The Hampton Roads Conference convened on February 3, 1865, in an attempt to find a negotiated settlement to the American Civil War (1861–1865). As Confederate prospects for survival deteriorated, leaders on both sides met aboard the River Queen at Union-controlled Hampton Roads, Virginia. They included U.S. president Abraham Lincoln and Secretary of State William H. Seward, as well as Confederate vice president Alexander H. Stephens, Assistant Secretary of War John A. Campbell, and Confederate Senator Robert M. T. Hunter of Virginia. In spite of such high-level participation, the meeting lasted only four hours and accomplished little.
Tue, 29 Mar 2011 11:25:41 EST]]>