Encyclopedia Virginia: Business and Industry http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/img/EV_Logo_sm.gif Encyclopedia Virginia This is the url http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org The first and ultimate online reference work about the Commonwealth /Maggie_Lena_Walker_1864-1934 Mon, 20 Jan 2020 14:03:58 EST Walker, Maggie Lena (1864–1934) http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Maggie_Lena_Walker_1864-1934 Maggie Lena Walker was an African American entrepreneur and civic leader who broke traditional gender and discriminatory laws by becoming the first black woman to establish and become president of a bank in the United States—the Saint Luke Penny Savings Bank in Richmond. As of 2010, when it was known as Consolidated Bank and Trust Company, it was the oldest continually African American–operated bank in the United States. In her role as grand secretary of the Independent Order of Saint Luke, Walker also was indispensable in organizing a variety of enterprises that advanced the African American community while expanding the public role of women. Although as an African American woman in the post–Civil War South she faced social, economic, and political barriers in her life and business ventures, Walker, by encouraging investment and collective action, achieved tangible improvements for African Americans.
Mon, 20 Jan 2020 14:03:58 EST]]>
/Slave_Sales Fri, 14 Dec 2018 14:09:34 EST <![CDATA[Slave Sales]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Slave_Sales Slave sales represented an intricate and economically vital activity in Virginia from late in the eighteenth century through the American Civil War (1861–1865), ending only with the abolition of slavery. Sales in Virginia exceeded those of all other Upper South states, with Richmond doing the most business of any city. The origins of the slave trade date to the end of primogeniture and entail in Virginia, which broke up large estates and their often large communities of slaves. The rise of cotton production in the Lower South and the end of the transatlantic slave trade in 1808 also created a market for Virginia slaveholders, who rushed to sell enslaved people to meet the increasing demand for labor. Throughout Virginia and the Upper South, a large network of traders purchased slaves and transported them to urban centers, where they were confined to so-called jails, usually located on the grounds of large firms. After being held in these facilities, sometimes for weeks at a time, slaves were auctioned, often to another trader. These auctions occurred in sparsely furnished rooms where enslaved people were subject to intrusive physical examinations and the biddings of potential buyers. It was not unusual for such auctions to result in the permanent separation of husbands and wives, parents and children. After the sale, enslaved people were then transported on foot in "coffles," by rail, or by boat to the Lower South. In a contradiction noted by historians, a number of wealthy Virginia slave traders also fathered children and created families with enslaved and non-white women.
Fri, 14 Dec 2018 14:09:34 EST]]>
/Slave_Insurance Fri, 14 Dec 2018 14:06:11 EST <![CDATA[Slave Insurance]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Slave_Insurance Slave insurance involved a contract between a policy holder and an insurance company in which the insurer promised to pay a sum of money upon the death of an enslaved person. In the three decades leading up to the American Civil War (1861–1865), such policies became widespread in southern states. In Virginia, the Baltimore Life Insurance Company of Maryland and later the Virginia Life Insurance Company sold insurance to slaveholders who were worried about the potential deaths of enslaved people performing particularly valuable work, such as blacksmithing, carpentry, and household duties, or dangerous work, such as in factories and mines or on railroads and steamboats. Most policies were concentrated in urban areas, with few plantation owners seeking policies on their field hands. In a few cases people purchased policies as collateral toward the manumission, or freedom, of enslaved people. Hampered by a lack of research on slave mortality, companies tended to charge premiums on black lives at twice the value of those on white lives and regularly reviewed the policies for changes in health or occupation. Baltimore Life did not insure enslaved people beyond two-thirds of their total value and prohibited more than one policy on a single person. Almost 60 percent of the company's policies between 1854 and 1860 covered slaves, with many of those policies being sold out of a Richmond office opened in 1854. The practice suggested a sophisticated understanding of how best to exploit capitalism toward the ends of making a profit on the enslavement of African Americans.
Fri, 14 Dec 2018 14:06:11 EST]]>
/Armfield_John_1797-1871 Tue, 20 Nov 2018 14:35:16 EST <![CDATA[Armfield, John (1797–1871)]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Armfield_John_1797-1871 John Armfield, junior partner in the firm Franklin and Armfield of Alexandria, was one of the most prominent slave traders in Virginia. Born in North Carolina, he worked as a stagecoach driver before meeting Isaac Franklin and joining him in the business of selling enslaved men, women, and children for profit. In Alexandria, Armfield operated a slave-jail complex on Duke Street, gathering enslaved people from across the Upper South for shipment south, often on coastal brigs that landed in New Orleans. Many slaves then took Mississippi River paddleboats north to Natchez, Mississippi, where Franklin kept his office. The firm sold an average of 1,200 enslaved people per year, mostly young men and women either without families or separated from them, for profits of as much as $100,000 per year. Both Franklin and Armfield became rich, leaving the business in 1836. Armfield eventually moved to Tennessee, where he established a resort community at Beersheba Springs and became a founding trustee of the University of the South, in Sewanee. The American Civil War (1861–1865) helped destroy his fortune, which shrank from $500,000 in 1850 to less than $60,000 in 1870. He died in 1871.
Tue, 20 Nov 2018 14:35:16 EST]]>
/_Instructions_to_George_Yeardley_by_the_Virginia_Company_of_London_November_18_1618 Wed, 25 Jul 2018 09:38:05 EST <![CDATA["Instructions to George Yeardley" by the Virginia Company of London (November 18, 1618)]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/_Instructions_to_George_Yeardley_by_the_Virginia_Company_of_London_November_18_1618 Wed, 25 Jul 2018 09:38:05 EST]]> /Slave_Ships_and_the_Middle_Passage Mon, 09 Jul 2018 15:33:53 EST <![CDATA[Slave Ships and the Middle Passage]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Slave_Ships_and_the_Middle_Passage The slave ship was the means by which nearly 12.5 million enslaved Africans were transported from Africa to the Americas between 1500 and 1866. Leaving from its home port in Europe, a typical ship made its first passage to the west coast of Africa, trading goods for a full cargo of slaves—people who had been captured in war, convicted of petty crimes, or simply kidnapped. On the second, or "middle," passage, the captain sailed his cargo across the Atlantic Ocean to one or more ports in the New World, where he sold his slaves and purchased or loaded goods such as sugar, rum, and molasses. On the final passage, he returned home. The Portuguese dominated the early slave trade, but at its height, in the eighteenth century, British and American merchants helped bring millions of Africans to the Americas, a very small percentage of whom ended up in Virginia. About 15 percent of all Africans who made the voyage died, most from the accumulation of brutal treatment and inadequate care from the time of their enslavement in the interior of Africa. Others suffocated in the tightly packed holds, while some committed suicide, refused to eat, or revolted. Crew members, meanwhile, died at even higher rates, also mostly from disease. The victims of violence meted out by their officers, sailors in turn dispensed their own brand of terror to the Africans. For Africans who survived, the Middle Passage began with the separation from family and community and ended with a lifetime of enslavement.
Mon, 09 Jul 2018 15:33:53 EST]]>
/Bolling_Samuel_P_1819-1900 Thu, 19 Apr 2018 15:37:42 EST <![CDATA[Bolling, Samuel P. (1819–1900)]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Bolling_Samuel_P_1819-1900 Samuel P. Bolling was a member of the House of Delegates from Cumberland County, the owner of a brickyard in Farmville, and an entrepreneur with enough wealth and success to attract national attention. Born enslaved, Bolling developed skills as a mechanic and manager. He began acquiring property after the American Civil War (1861–1865), purchasing more than 1,000 acres in Cumberland County. A front-page article in the Cleveland Gazette, published in 1886, estimated the value of his brick-making operation and country house at $40,000. Bolling joined the Readjuster Party in 1880 and served in a series of local positions, including the county board of supervisors. In 1885 he won the House of Delegates seat his son Phillip S. Bolling had captured two years earlier. Because of their similar names later works confused the two men. In his later years the elder Bolling sold part of his property to the area's poorer African Americans and contributed land for an industrial school. He died on his Cumberland County farm in 1900.
Thu, 19 Apr 2018 15:37:42 EST]]>
/Dabney_John_ca_1824-1900 Wed, 03 Jan 2018 14:35:51 EST <![CDATA[Dabney, John (ca. 1824–1900)]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Dabney_John_ca_1824-1900 John Dabney was a renowned Richmond-based caterer through much of the nineteenth century. Dabney began acquiring his reputation while enslaved, even serving one of his famed mint juleps to the future Edward VII during the prince's 1860 visit to America. He was in the process of purchasing his own freedom when the American Civil War (1861–1865) and slavery ended. Known for his integrity, he could secure credit from banks, which he and his wife used to purchase several properties and open a restaurant. While outwardly conforming to the expectations of white society, he privately harbored no illusions about his clients' racism. Dabney inwardly experienced the "two-ness" that the sociologist W. E. B. Du Bois described in The Souls of Black Folk (1903), of being "an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings." Exemplifying his popularity, all four of Richmond's daily newspapers reported his death.
Wed, 03 Jan 2018 14:35:51 EST]]>
/Taylor_Walter_H_1838-1916 Wed, 20 Dec 2017 11:28:56 EST <![CDATA[Taylor, Walter H. (1838–1916)]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Taylor_Walter_H_1838-1916 Walter H. Taylor served for most of the American Civil War (1861–1865) as adjutant to Robert E. Lee, overseeing the paperwork and administrative functions of the Confederate general's commands. A businessman and banker before and after the war, Taylor is best known for writing books that defended the reputations of Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia, books that today are considered to be important contributions to Lost Cause literature.
Wed, 20 Dec 2017 11:28:56 EST]]>
/Abbott_Charles_Cortez_1906-1986 Tue, 08 Aug 2017 16:20:45 EST <![CDATA[Abbott, Charles Cortez (1906–1986)]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Abbott_Charles_Cortez_1906-1986 Charles Cortez Abbott taught business at Harvard University (1923–1954) before becoming the first dean of the business school at the University of Virginia. Born in Kansas, Abbott was raised in New England and educated at Yale and Harvard. He published several books on business and finance before moving to Virginia, where he served as dean of what became known as the Colgate Darden Graduate School of Business Administration from 1954 until 1972. Abbott built the program into the one of the outstanding business schools in the South. He retired to Connecticut and died in 1986.
Tue, 08 Aug 2017 16:20:45 EST]]>
/Smythe_Sir_Thomas_ca_1558-1625 Mon, 10 Jul 2017 10:26:41 EST <![CDATA[Smythe, Sir Thomas (ca. 1558–1625)]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Smythe_Sir_Thomas_ca_1558-1625 Sir Thomas Smythe was an English merchant who served as the first of three treasurers of the Virginia Company of London. Although his surname is sometimes rendered Smith, he always spelled it Smythe. Like his father, he was a successful haberdasher and investor in trading companies, including the East India Company. He was briefly imprisoned after a rebellion against Queen Elizabeth I, but was knighted by King James I in 1603 and appointed royal ambassador to Russia. In 1609, in conjunction with the company's second charter, he became treasurer (essentially chairperson) of the Virginia Company of London, a joint-stock company that funded the English colony at Jamestown. Smythe's administration was tumultuous and ended with the election of his rival Sir Edwin Sandys as treasurer in 1619. Four years later the Crown opened an investigation into the company for mismanagement and in 1624 revoked its charter. Smythe died in Kent in 1625.
Mon, 10 Jul 2017 10:26:41 EST]]>
/Barret_William_1786-1871 Thu, 06 Jul 2017 14:55:50 EST <![CDATA[Barret, William (1786–1871)]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Barret_William_1786-1871 Thu, 06 Jul 2017 14:55:50 EST]]> /Daniel_Peter_V_Jr_1818-1889 Tue, 16 May 2017 16:19:40 EST <![CDATA[Daniel, Peter V. Jr. (1818–1889)]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Daniel_Peter_V_Jr_1818-1889 Peter V. Daniel Jr. was a railroad executive. Born in Henrico County, he was the son of Peter V. Daniel, a longtime member of the Council of State and later an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, and the grandson of Edmund Randolph, the Virginia governor and U.S. attorney general and secretary of state under George Washington. Daniel was privately educated and studied civil engineering and law. In 1853 he became president of the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad Company and seven years later of the Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac Railroad Company. During the American Civil War (1861–1865), Daniel struggled to keep the strategically important railroad, which connected Washington, D.C., and Richmond, running. The company suffered but remained afloat after the war, and in 1871 Daniel also became president of the Potomac Railroad Company. Daniel died in Richmond in 1889.
Tue, 16 May 2017 16:19:40 EST]]>
/Lewis_Fielding_1725-1781_or_1782 Tue, 20 Dec 2016 13:32:15 EST <![CDATA[Lewis, Fielding (1725–1781 or 1782)]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Lewis_Fielding_1725-1781_or_1782 Fielding Lewis was a merchant, justice of the peace for Spotsylvania County (1749–1781), and member of the House of Burgesses (1760–1769) who helped to found the Fredericksburg Gun Manufactory during the American Revolution (1775–1783). Born at Warner Hall, his family's Gloucester County estate, he moved to Fredericksburg in the 1740s, helping to manage his father's store there. Lewis married George Washington's cousin and, after her death, Washington's sister, serving in the General Assembly and as a justice of the peace. He was known, in particular, for his financial acumen and sometimes advised his brother-in-law on investments. Early in the 1770s Lewis built for his family a large Georgian mansion (later named Kenmore) that was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970. In 1775, the third Revolutionary Convention tasked Lewis and his fellow merchant Charles Dick with establishing a weapons factory in Fredericksburg; by May 1777 the Fredericksburg Gun Manufactory produced about twenty muskets per week. The enterprise cost Lewis £7,000 of his own money, which the state never repaid. He died sometime late in 1781 or early in 1782.
Tue, 20 Dec 2016 13:32:15 EST]]>
/An_Ordinance_for_providing_arms_and_ammunition_for_the_use_of_this_colony_July_1775 Wed, 30 Nov 2016 12:16:11 EST <![CDATA[An Ordinance for providing arms and ammunition for the use of this colony (July 1775)]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/An_Ordinance_for_providing_arms_and_ammunition_for_the_use_of_this_colony_July_1775 Wed, 30 Nov 2016 12:16:11 EST]]> /Letter_from_Fielding_Lewis_to_George_Washington_March_6_1776 Mon, 21 Nov 2016 15:40:50 EST <![CDATA[Letter from Fielding Lewis to George Washington (March 6, 1776)]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Letter_from_Fielding_Lewis_to_George_Washington_March_6_1776 Mon, 21 Nov 2016 15:40:50 EST]]> /Letter_from_Fielding_Lewis_to_George_Washington_November_14_1775 Mon, 21 Nov 2016 15:21:11 EST <![CDATA[Letter from Fielding Lewis to George Washington (November 14, 1775)]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Letter_from_Fielding_Lewis_to_George_Washington_November_14_1775 Mon, 21 Nov 2016 15:21:11 EST]]> /Letter_from_Fielding_Lewis_to_Colonel_George_Brooke_Treasurer_of_Virginia_February_9_1781 Mon, 21 Nov 2016 13:42:00 EST <![CDATA[Letter from Fielding Lewis to Colonel George Brooke, Treasurer of Virginia (February 9, 1781)]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Letter_from_Fielding_Lewis_to_Colonel_George_Brooke_Treasurer_of_Virginia_February_9_1781 Mon, 21 Nov 2016 13:42:00 EST]]> /Dismal_Swamp_Land_Company_Articles_of_Agreement_November_3_1763 Mon, 21 Nov 2016 11:52:34 EST <![CDATA[Dismal Swamp Land Company Articles of Agreement (November 3, 1763)]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Dismal_Swamp_Land_Company_Articles_of_Agreement_November_3_1763 Mon, 21 Nov 2016 11:52:34 EST]]> /Virginia_Company_of_London Thu, 10 Nov 2016 10:59:52 EST <![CDATA[Virginia Company of London]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Virginia_Company_of_London The Virginia Company of London was a joint-stock company chartered by King James I in 1606 to establish a colony in North America. Such a venture allowed the Crown to reap the benefits of colonization—natural resources, new markets for English goods, leverage against the Spanish—without bearing the costs. Investors, meanwhile, were protected from catastrophic losses in the event of the project's failure. The company established a settlement at Jamestown in 1607, and over the next eighteen years, the Crown granted the company two new charters, democratizing its governance and reforming its financial model. What began as an enterprise of investors seeking a dividend was funded a decade later almost exclusively by a public lottery. By 1618 the company had found a way to use its most abundant resource—land—to tempt settlers to pay their own passage from England to the colony and then, after arrival, to pay the company a quitrent, or fee, to use the land. Still, the Virginia Company and the colony it oversaw struggled to survive. Disease, mismanagement, Indian attacks, and factionalism in London all took a toll until, in 1623, the Privy Council launched an investigation into the company's finances. A year later, the company's charter was revoked and the king assumed direct control of Virginia.
Thu, 10 Nov 2016 10:59:52 EST]]>
/Campbell_Christiana_ca_1722-1792 Wed, 31 Aug 2016 10:24:05 EST <![CDATA[Campbell, Christiana (ca. 1723–1792)]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Campbell_Christiana_ca_1722-1792 Christiana Campbell was a tavern-keeper in Williamsburg from 1755 until the late 1770s. Campbell, who was raised in Williamsburg, opened her tavern to support herself and her two daughters after her husband died in 1752. For more than twenty years she ran one of Williamsburg's most successful businesses. On the eve of the American Revolution (1775–1783), the colony's leaders periodically met at Campbell's tavern to discuss their connections with England and whether they should seek independence. Campbell evidently closed her tavern in the late 1770s, and, at some point after October 8, 1787, relocated to Fredericksburg, where she died in 1792.
Wed, 31 Aug 2016 10:24:05 EST]]>
/Mahone_William_1826-1895 Tue, 19 Jul 2016 14:02:29 EST <![CDATA[Mahone, William (1826–1895)]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Mahone_William_1826-1895 William Mahone was a Confederate general, Virginia senator (1863–1865), railroad tycoon, U.S. senator (1881–1887), and leader of the short-lived Readjuster Party. Known by his nickname, "Little Billy," Mahone was, in the words of a contemporary, "short in stature, spare almost to emaciation, with [a] long beard, and keen, restless eyes." He attended the Virginia Military Institute on scholarship, worked as a railroad engineer, and eventually became president of the Norfolk and Petersburg Railroad. During the American Civil War (1861–1865), he distinguished himself at the Battle of the Crater (1864), leading a successful counterattack that also involved the massacre of surrendered black troops. After the war, Mahone founded the Atlantic, Mississippi, and Ohio Railroad, which, before it failed, served his business interests in Norfolk and Southside Virginia. In 1881, he was elected to the United States Senate as a member of the Readjuster Party, an unlikely coalition of poor whites and African Americans interested in repudiating a portion of the massive state debt and, in so doing, restoring social services such as free public education. One of the most successful biracial political coalitions in the New South, the Readjusters held power until 1886, when Mahone lost his Senate seat. A gubernatorial bid in 1889 failed, and Mahone died in Washington, D.C., in 1895.
Tue, 19 Jul 2016 14:02:29 EST]]>
/Fitzgerald_H_R_1873-1931 Wed, 27 Apr 2016 12:29:40 EST <![CDATA[Fitzgerald, H. R. (1873–1931)]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Fitzgerald_H_R_1873-1931 H. R. Fitzgerald served as president of the Dan River Mills from 1918 until his death in 1931. Born in Danville the son of T. B. Fitzgerald, one of the company's founders, Fitzgerald was deaf for most of his adult life. By 1908 he had become secretary-treasurer of Dan River Mills; a decade later he was president of one of the largest cotton mills in the United States. Taking over at a time when the company's profits were in decline, Fitzgerald instituted scientific management in sales, helped to found a trade association, the Cotton-Textile Institute, and introduced Industrial Democracy, a representative system for airing worker grievances and giving them a limited voice in mill operations. In 1930, Industrial Democracy ceased and about 4,000 mill workers went on strike. Fitzgerald refused offers of mediation from the state and federal governments, and after four months the strikers gave up. Just three and a half weeks later, however, in February 1931, Fitzgerald died of a heart attack, perhaps from the stress of the strike.
Wed, 27 Apr 2016 12:29:40 EST]]>
/Fitzgerald_T_B_1840-1929 Thu, 31 Mar 2016 18:01:02 EST <![CDATA[Fitzgerald, T. B. (1840–1929)]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Fitzgerald_T_B_1840-1929 T. B. Fitzgerald helped to found and served as the longtime president of the Riverside Cotton Mills, in Danville. Born in Halifax County, he served briefly in the Confederate army during the American Civil War (1861–1865) before being discharged for illness. In 1882, he was a founder of the Riverside Cotton Mills, a company that provided contracts to a construction business Fitzgerald had established a decade earlier. Over the next several decades, the business and Danville both grew rapidly, and Fitzgerald invested in real estate and lumber and helped establish the Danville College for Young Ladies and the Danville Street Car Company. In 1895, he became president of the newly chartered Dan River Power and Manufacturing Company, which merged with the cotton mills in 1909, eventually becoming Dan River Mills. Fitzgerald, who remained on the company board for the rest of his life, died in his Danville home in 1929.
Thu, 31 Mar 2016 18:01:02 EST]]>
/Cabell_Joseph_C_1778-1856 Thu, 24 Mar 2016 08:08:30 EST <![CDATA[Cabell, Joseph C. (1778–1856)]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Cabell_Joseph_C_1778-1856 Joseph C. Cabell was member of the House of Delegates (1808–1810, 1831–1835) and the Senate of Virginia (1810–1829) and served as president of the James River and Kanawha Company (1835–1846). He also served as rector of the University of Virginia from 1834 to 1836 and again from 1845 to 1856. Born in Amherst County, Cabell studied law, including under St. George Tucker, whose stepdaughter he later married. Rather than practice, he embarked on a political career as a Jeffersonian Republican. He made little mark in the General Assembly, however, until in 1815 his friend Thomas Jefferson tapped him to lead the legislative fight to charter and fund Central College, or what later became the University of Virginia. Cabell successfully argued both for the need of a state university and for its establishment near Charlottesville. After his retirement from the assembly, Cabell leveraged his interest in economic development into leadership of the James River and Kanawha Company, which sought to build a canal between Richmond and the Ohio River. The canal reached only as far as Buchanan, in Botetourt County, and Cabell resigned the company's presidency in 1846. He died at his plantation in Nelson County a decade later.
Thu, 24 Mar 2016 08:08:30 EST]]>
/Blackwell_James_Heyward_ca_1864-1931 Tue, 01 Mar 2016 16:37:03 EST <![CDATA[Blackwell, James H. (ca. 1864–1931)]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Blackwell_James_Heyward_ca_1864-1931 James H. Blackwell served as a principal of and helped develop the high school curriculum for Manchester's first African American school. Blackwell was raised in the city (later annexed by Richmond) and worked under the tutelage of Anthony Binga, a prominent pastor. He was one of three teachers selected when Binga was named principal of the school, and Blackwell ultimately succeeded his mentor. After Richmond absorbed Manchester in 1910, city rules stipulated that no African American could serve as principal. Blackwell also helped create two financial service companies, though they met with limited success. He died in 1931. In 1951 the school where he taught was named for him, and in turn the institution gave its name to the Richmond neighborhood of Blackwell.
Tue, 01 Mar 2016 16:37:03 EST]]>
/Chenery_Christopher_T_1886-1973 Mon, 07 Dec 2015 14:32:35 EST <![CDATA[Chenery, Christopher T. (1886–1973)]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Chenery_Christopher_T_1886-1973 Christopher T. Chenery was a public utilities executive and horse breeder, whose thoroughbred Secretariat won the Triple Crown (the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes) in 1973. Born in Richmond, Chenery grew up riding horses before working as an engineer in the West and in Chicago. He founded and served as president of the Federal Water Service Corporation and when it was superseded by the board of the Southern Natural Gas Company, served as the company's chairman. He also formed and led the Offshore Company, which drilled for oil in the Gulf of Mexico. Chenery's passion, however, was thoroughbred horses. In 1955, he helped to found the Greater New York Association to promote racing and bought a family farm in Caroline County to breed horses. Between 1939 and 1972 his thoroughbreds won more than $8.5 million on the track, but his most famous was Secretariat. Horse of the Year in 1972 and 1973, Secretariat won the Triple Crown in the latter year, just after Chenery's death. In 1985, Chenery was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame.
Mon, 07 Dec 2015 14:32:35 EST]]>
/Charlottesville_During_the_Civil_War Thu, 19 Nov 2015 10:20:34 EST <![CDATA[Charlottesville during the Civil War]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Charlottesville_During_the_Civil_War Charlottesville provided the Confederate war effort with swords, uniforms, and artificial limbs during the American Civil War (1861–1865). It was also home to a 500-bed military hospital that employed hundreds of the town's residents, cared for more than 22,000 patients, and was superintended by Dr. J. L. Cabell, a professor of medicine at the nearby University of Virginia. In the summer of 1861, the 19th Virginia Infantry Regiment was organized, recruiting most of its members from Charlottesville and Albemarle County. The unit served with the Army of Northern Virginia all the way through to the Appomattox Campaign (1865), including at Pickett's Charge (1863), where it lost 60 percent of its men. African Americans, both enslaved and free, who composed a majority of the town and county's population, were the subject of heightened white fears of violence, their movements controlled by a curfew. In 1863, black members of the biracial First Baptist Church established the Charlottesville African Church. Although the war's fighting stayed mostly to the east and west, a raid led by Union general George A. Custer was stopped just north of the city in the spring of 1864. Early the next year, town leaders surrendered Charlottesville to Custer, preventing the community's destruction.
Thu, 19 Nov 2015 10:20:34 EST]]>
/Chappell_John_Taylor_1845-1915 Mon, 02 Nov 2015 09:48:31 EST <![CDATA[Chappell, John T. (1845–1915)]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Chappell_John_Taylor_1845-1915 John T. Chappell was a labor leader who helped guide the Knights of Labor during the organization's peak in Richmond. He served in the Confederate army and navy during the American Civil War (1861–1865) and later recounted his wartime experiences in a nonheroic style that focused on the common soldier. While working as a carriage painter after the war Chappell joined both fraternal and labor organizations. By the mid-1880s he emerged as a leader of the Knights of Labor in Richmond. Elected a city alderman in 1886, he and other white progressives allied themselves with African Americans whose interests were increasingly associated with the Knights of Labor. He was also instrumental in opening membership in the Knights' building association to African Americans. The labor union's power eventually declined locally and nationally, however, as the Knights divided along lines of race, occupational skill, and religion. Chappell remained with the Knights until the local withdrew from the national organization and became the Socialist Educational Club of Richmond in 1898. Chappell died suddenly of an aneurysm in 1915.
Mon, 02 Nov 2015 09:48:31 EST]]>
/Brooks_Albert_Royal_c_1817-1881 Mon, 02 Nov 2015 09:13:41 EST <![CDATA[Brooks, Albert R. (c. 1817–1881)]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Brooks_Albert_Royal_c_1817-1881 Albert R. Brooks was a Richmond businessman who thrived before the American Civil War (1861–1865) despite his enslavement. In the antebellum years Brooks took advantage of the common though illegal practice of earning wages for his work, which he then invested in an eating house and a prosperous hack and livery stable. Between 1862 and 1865 Brooks managed to purchase his freedom, his wife's, and that of most of their children. After the war Brooks became a community leader. He helped halt the revival of slavery-era pass laws that governed African American movement in the city and sat on the racially mixed jury that considered Jefferson Davis's treason charges. He was also active in the state's nascent Republican Party. Brooks retreated from political activity in 1868, possibly worried that his white customers would boycott his businesses, but continued to support universal suffrage, equal justice, public education, black uplift, and civil rights. Brooks died in 1881 and is probably buried in Richmond's Union Mechanics Cemetery.
Mon, 02 Nov 2015 09:13:41 EST]]>
/Braxton_Carter_Moore_1836-1898 Mon, 02 Nov 2015 09:05:20 EST <![CDATA[Braxton, Carter M. (1836–1898)]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Braxton_Carter_Moore_1836-1898 Carter M. Braxton was a civil engineer, businessman, and a Confederate artillery officer during the American Civil War (1861–1865). A Norfolk native, he fought in the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia's major campaigns, from the Seven Days' Battles outside Richmond in 1862 to the Gettysburg Campaign in 1863 and the Overland Campaign in 1864. One account claimed that he had seven horses shot from under him, but he was never wounded in the fighting. Following the war, he published a map of the battlefield at Fredericksburg. In June 1866 Braxton became president of the Fredericksburg and Gordonsville Railroad, and later formed his own engineering construction firm, Braxton, Chandler, and Marye, in Newport News. Braxton also founded a railway company and was vice president of both a bank and a gas company. He died of Bright's disease in Newport News in 1898.
Mon, 02 Nov 2015 09:05:20 EST]]>
/Anderson_Joseph_Reid_1813-1892 Mon, 02 Nov 2015 08:17:17 EST <![CDATA[Anderson, Joseph R. (1813–1892)]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Anderson_Joseph_Reid_1813-1892 Joseph R. Anderson was an iron manufacturer and Confederate army officer during the American Civil War (1861–1865). In 1848 he purchased the Tredegar Iron Company, the largest producer of munitions, cannon, railroad iron, steam engines, and other ordnance for the Confederate government during the Civil War. One of Anderson's most notable decisions was to introduce slaves into skilled industrial work at the ironworks, and by 1864, more than half the workers at Tredegar were bondsmen. Anderson served as a brigadier general for the Confederate army, and fought and was wounded during the Seven Days' Battles. He resigned his commission in the Confederate Army in 1862 to resume control of the ironworks, and after the war, Anderson was a strong proponent for peace, hoping to keep the Union army from taking possession of the ironworks. He failed, but regained control of Tredegar after he was pardoned by U.S. president Andrew Johnson in 1865. By 1873 Anderson had doubled the factory's prewar capacity, and its labor force exceeded 1,000 men, many of them black laborers and skilled workmen who received equal pay with white workers. Though Tredegar failed to make the transition from iron to steel production late in the nineteenth century, the company survived into the 1980s. Anderson was a well-known member of the Richmond community, serving multiple terms on the Richmond City Council and in the House of Delegates before and after the war.
Mon, 02 Nov 2015 08:17:17 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://staging.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]]>
/Great_Migration_The Tue, 27 Oct 2015 14:53:32 EST <![CDATA[Great Migration, The]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Great_Migration_The The Great Migration refers to the relocation of hundreds of thousands of African Americans from the rural areas of the South to urban areas in the North during the years between 1915 and 1930. Although many of those who left the rural South migrated to southern urban areas, most migrants moved to cities in the North. It was the largest movement northward and into cities that had occurred among African Americans to that point in history. The United States' entrance into World War I in 1917 played an important role in this movement, as the demand for additional labor grew in war-related industries at the same time that white workers were siphoned off to serve in the armed forces. Immigration also slowed dramatically, removing another source of labor for American industry. African American labor was one of the key alternative sources sought by these industries to enable them to respond to the growing demand for war-related goods. Industrial jobs that had not been previously available to African Americans now became accessible in greater quantity and variety. This flood of African American migrants dramatically changed the demography of many cities in both the North and South, as the percentage of African American residents exploded. Cities like New York; Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Chicago, Illinois, saw their African American populations grow by 50 percent or more during this period. This population surge placed great pressure on the municipal services and housing supply of these cities. It created growing tension between residents as they competed for places to live and for jobs, particularly after the war ended. As a consequence, the Great Migration pushed issues of race more to the forefront in the North. It also heightened these issues for the South as concern increased about the loss of workers in rural areas and the presence of growing African American populations in some of its cities. The movement added greater impact to a statement made by the African American intellectual W. E. B. Du Bois, who posited in 1903 that one of the critical issues of the twentieth century would be the question of the color line.
Tue, 27 Oct 2015 14:53:32 EST]]>
/Grand_Fountain_of_the_United_Order_of_True_Reformers Tue, 27 Oct 2015 14:10:06 EST <![CDATA[Grand Fountain of the United Order of True Reformers]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Grand_Fountain_of_the_United_Order_of_True_Reformers The Grand Fountain of the United Order of True Reformers was an African American fraternal organization that became the largest and most successful black business enterprise in the United States between 1881 and 1910. William Washington Browne founded and organized the Grand Fountain in Richmond in January 1881. A former slave, veteran of the Union army during the American Civil War (1861–1865), teacher, and Methodist minister, Browne created the Grand Fountain with a renewed purpose and energy out of the languishing Grand United Order of True Reformers, which began in the 1870s in Alabama and Kentucky. Where the original order taught temperance and provided members with sick and death benefits, Browne's vision expanded into an enterprise that cultivated a growing black middle class by offering services that included a savings bank, a real estate company, a retirement home, and a youth and children's division that taught discipline, thrift, and business skills. Although the Grand Fountain operated until 1934, it was never the same after 1910, when an embezzlement scandal and a number of large loan defaults caused the bank to close its doors. Despite the organization's downfall, the order left a powerful legacy because it provided employment and business opportunities to African Americans and helped to establish community leaders and business networks amidst a period of Jim Crow laws and strict racial segregation in Virginia.
Tue, 27 Oct 2015 14:10:06 EST]]>
/Browne_William_Washington_1849-1897 Wed, 20 May 2015 10:46:58 EST <![CDATA[Browne, William Washington (1849–1897)]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Browne_William_Washington_1849-1897 William Washington Browne was a slave, a Union solder during the American Civil War (1861–1865), a teacher, a Methodist minister, and the founder of Richmond's Grand Fountain of the United Order of True Reformers, an African American fraternal organization. As leader of the True Reformers, Browne strived to help members live productive lives without depending upon the white community. By establishing insurance that provided members with sick and death benefits and by encouraging members to purchase land and engage in practices of temperance and thrift, Browne believed that blacks in the post–Civil War South could thrive. Browne's enterprising mind helped lead the True Reformers in creating and organizing a bank which became the nation's first chartered black financial institution and a model that others, such as Maggie Lena Walker, would follow. Browne died in 1897 and the True Reformers initially continued to prosper, but the order collapsed in the wake of the scandalous failure of its bank in 1910.
Wed, 20 May 2015 10:46:58 EST]]>
/Kepone Fri, 16 May 2014 11:19:19 EST <![CDATA[Kepone (Chlordecone)]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Kepone Kepone, also known as chlordecone, is a toxic, nonbiodegradable insecticide that a chemical plant in Hopewell, Virginia dumped into the James River from 1966 until 1975. The chemical's negative effect on the environment was documented and eventually publicized, leading authorities to shut down the Allied Chemical Corporation plant that produced Kepone and to order fishing bans and advisories. The environmental and medical scandal was one of the first of its kind to play out nationally, and while it eventually led to the destruction of the Virginia fishing industry, it also led to improved environmental awareness.
Fri, 16 May 2014 11:19:19 EST]]>
/Jackson_Giles_B_1853-1924 Sun, 23 Mar 2014 13:39:06 EST <![CDATA[Jackson, Giles B. (1853–1924)]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Jackson_Giles_B_1853-1924 Giles B. Jackson, although born enslaved, became an attorney, entrepreneur, real estate developer, newspaper publisher, and civil rights activist in the conservative mold of his mentor, Booker T. Washington. During the American Civil War (1861–1865), he served as a body servant to his master, a Confederate cavalry colonel. After the war, Jackson worked for the Stewart family in Richmond, where he learned to read and write. Subsequently, he was employed in the law offices of William H. Beveridge, who tutored Jackson in the law. In 1887, Jackson became the first African American attorney certified to argue before the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. The next year, he helped found a bank associated with the United Order of True Reformers, and in 1900 became an aide to Washington, who had just founded the National Negro Business League in Boston. Jackson organized and promoted the Jamestown Negro Exhibit at the Jamestown Ter-Centennial Exposition of 1907 in the face of criticism from some black intellectuals that his attempt to highlight black achievement was itself an accommodation of Jim Crow segregation. He published a newspaper designed to publicize the exhibition and, in 1908, a book detailing its history. His efforts at the end of his life on behalf of a congressional bill aimed at addressing interracial labor problems failed. Jackson died in 1924.
Sun, 23 Mar 2014 13:39:06 EST]]>
/Sandys_Sir_Edwin_1561-1629 Tue, 18 Feb 2014 16:43:18 EST <![CDATA[Sandys, Sir Edwin (1561–1629)]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Sandys_Sir_Edwin_1561-1629 Sir Edwin Sandys, one of the founders of the Virginia Company, was an author and parliamentarian as well as a colonizer. The son and namesake of an Archbishop of York, Sandys served a brief diplomatic mission that led to travels through Europe which became the basis for A Relation of the State of Religion (1605), a survey of religion on the continent that focused on Catholicism. As a member of Parliament for more than three decades, Sandys was an influential and outspoken critic of King James I, as well as an important supporter of English colonization efforts in Bermuda and especially Virginia. Sandys likely helped reorganize the Virginia colony in 1609, transferring control from the king to a company-appointed governor. In 1618, he helped draw up the "Great Charter," which established the General Assembly, and in 1619 he was elected treasurer, the Virginia Company's top leadership position. He failed at diversifying Virginia's economy away from tobacco, but succeeded in a strong effort to promote emigration and bolster its population. A negotiated tobacco monopoly with England in 1622 eventually led to an investigation of the financially troubled Virginia Company and Sandys's leadership in particular. The king revoked the charter and in 1624 the company dissolved. Sandys died in Kent in 1629.
Tue, 18 Feb 2014 16:43:18 EST]]>
/Query_XIX_an_excerpt_from_Notes_on_the_State_of_Virginia_by_Thomas_Jefferson_1784 Thu, 06 Feb 2014 12:51:09 EST <![CDATA[Query XIX; an excerpt from Notes on the State of Virginia by Thomas Jefferson (1784)]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Query_XIX_an_excerpt_from_Notes_on_the_State_of_Virginia_by_Thomas_Jefferson_1784 Thu, 06 Feb 2014 12:51:09 EST]]> /Branch_James_Read_1828-1869 Thu, 12 Dec 2013 14:19:38 EST <![CDATA[Branch, James Read (1828–1869)]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Branch_James_Read_1828-1869 James Read Branch was a Confederate artillery officer and banker who helped reestablish Richmond's struggling economy after the American Civil War (1861–1865). Branch fought in the battles of Malvern Hill, Sharpsburg (Antietam), Fredericksburg, and Plymouth. He resigned from the army in 1865, after he was slow to recover from a severe leg injury. After the war he revived Thomas Branch and Sons, the banking house he had founded with his father and brother, and became active in the Conservative Party, serving on its executive committee. He was nominated to run for a seat in the Senate of Virginia in 1869. Branch and others felt the party needed the support of African American voters to defeat the Radical Republicans. Days before the election a large crowd attending a Conservative Party picnic to attract black voters crushed the bridge on which he stood. Branch fell into the James River and drowned.
Thu, 12 Dec 2013 14:19:38 EST]]>
/Dan_River_Mills Thu, 21 Nov 2013 11:45:54 EST <![CDATA[Dan River Mills]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Dan_River_Mills Dan River Mills in Danville, Virginia, is a historic manufacturer of apparel fabrics and home fashion products such as bedding. Opened in 1882 as the Riverside Cotton Mills, the company grew to become the largest textile firm in the South. The mills were a prime target for union leaders, who reasoned that they could organize textile plants across the region if they could crack the strategically located Dan River Mills. In 1930 and 1951, major strikes occurred at the mills; both ended in defeat for the workers. From the 1970s, employment levels at the Virginia firm fell dramatically as it struggled to compete with cheap imported textiles, competition that eventually brought the historic firm to final dissolution in 2006.
Thu, 21 Nov 2013 11:45:54 EST]]>
/Brown_George_O_1852-1910 Wed, 30 Oct 2013 16:43:07 EST <![CDATA[Brown, George O. (1852–1910)]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Brown_George_O_1852-1910 George O. Brown established a family-run photography studio that recorded African American life in Richmond for seventy years. Brown, probably born enslaved, was working in the photography business by age nineteen old. He opened his own studio in 1899 and moved it to Jackson Ward, the center of Richmond's African American community, in 1905. Two years later his skills earned him a silver medal at the Jamestown Ter-Centennial Exposition. Along with his children, Brown became the most important visual chronicler of Richmond's African American population, documenting community life at schools, colleges, sporting events, and fraternal meetings. The studio took thousands of portraits of ordinary citizens and famed figures such as Maggie Lena Walker and Bill "Bojangles" Robinson. Brown died in 1910, but his photography business continued to operate until 1969.
Wed, 30 Oct 2013 16:43:07 EST]]>
/Chamberlaine_William_W_1836-1923 Wed, 21 Aug 2013 14:44:38 EST <![CDATA[Chamberlaine, William W. (1836–1923)]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Chamberlaine_William_W_1836-1923 William W. Chamberlaine was a Confederate army officer during the American Civil War (1861–1865), founder of the Norfolk Electric Light Company, first president of the Savings Bank of Norfolk, and a longtime railroad executive who retired as secretary of the Seaboard and Roanoke Railroad. Born in Norfolk, Chamberlaine was wounded at the Battle of Antietam (1862). After the war he worked at a bank with his father before becoming secretary and treasurer of the Seaboard and Roanoke Railroad in 1877. He stayed with the company through the rest of his career, during which time he also founded the light company (1884) and led the Savings Bank (1886). After retiring in 1904, he moved to Washington, D.C., and published a memoir about his wartime service (1912). He died in Washington in 1923.
Wed, 21 Aug 2013 14:44:38 EST]]>
/Alfriend_Edward_M_1837-1901 Mon, 08 Jul 2013 09:54:46 EST <![CDATA[Alfriend, Edward M. (1837–1901)]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Alfriend_Edward_M_1837-1901 Edward M. Alfriend was a Richmond playwright and businessman. During the American Civil War (1861–1865), he served in the 44th Virginia Infantry Regiment, fought in the Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1864, but was court-martialed and cashiered from the Confederate army in 1865 for being absent without leave and disobeying orders. Following the war, he earned some distinction in his father's insurance company and in 1871 was a delegate to the National Insurance Convention. Alfriend is best known as the author of at least fourteen plays. His work, some of which was produced in New York, was dismissed by reviewers but popular with the public. He died unexpectedly of kidney failure in 1901.
Mon, 08 Jul 2013 09:54:46 EST]]>
/Account_of_the_Lottery_in_Leicester_by_Rogert_Hawfeilde_June_12_1618 Mon, 08 Apr 2013 13:57:29 EST <![CDATA[Account of the Lottery in Leicester by Rogert Hawfeilde (June 12, 1618)]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Account_of_the_Lottery_in_Leicester_by_Rogert_Hawfeilde_June_12_1618 Mon, 08 Apr 2013 13:57:29 EST]]> /Relation_of_Juan_de_la_Carrera_March_1_1600 Mon, 08 Apr 2013 13:50:32 EST <![CDATA[Relation of Juan de la Carrera (March 1, 1600)]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Relation_of_Juan_de_la_Carrera_March_1_1600 Mon, 08 Apr 2013 13:50:32 EST]]> /Newes_from_Virginia_The_lost_Flocke_Triumphant_by_Lord_Robert_Rich_1610 Mon, 08 Apr 2013 13:29:03 EST <![CDATA[Newes from Virginia. The lost Flocke Triumphant by Lord Robert Rich (1610)]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Newes_from_Virginia_The_lost_Flocke_Triumphant_by_Lord_Robert_Rich_1610 Mon, 08 Apr 2013 13:29:03 EST]]> /A_true_and_sincere_declaration_of_the_purpose_and_ends_of_the_plantation_begun_in_Virginia_by_the_Virginia_Company_of_London_1609 Mon, 08 Apr 2013 12:40:41 EST <![CDATA[A true and sincere declaration of the purpose and ends of the plantation begun in Virginia by the Virginia Company of London (1609)]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/A_true_and_sincere_declaration_of_the_purpose_and_ends_of_the_plantation_begun_in_Virginia_by_the_Virginia_Company_of_London_1609 Mon, 08 Apr 2013 12:40:41 EST]]> /Letter_from_the_Council_of_the_Virginia_Company_of_London_to_the_Mayor_and_Aldermen_of_the_City_of_Norwich_December_4_1617 Mon, 08 Apr 2013 11:37:40 EST <![CDATA[Letter from the Council of the Virginia Company of London to the Mayor and Aldermen of the City of Norwich (December 4, 1617)]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Letter_from_the_Council_of_the_Virginia_Company_of_London_to_the_Mayor_and_Aldermen_of_the_City_of_Norwich_December_4_1617 Mon, 08 Apr 2013 11:37:40 EST]]> /Petition_from_Alderman_Johnson_et_al_to_King_James_I_April_1623 Mon, 08 Apr 2013 09:43:47 EST <![CDATA[Petition from Alderman Johnson, et al., to King James I (April 1623)]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Petition_from_Alderman_Johnson_et_al_to_King_James_I_April_1623 Mon, 08 Apr 2013 09:43:47 EST]]> /Tobacco_in_Colonial_Virginia Tue, 29 Jan 2013 14:14:00 EST <![CDATA[Tobacco in Colonial Virginia]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Tobacco_in_Colonial_Virginia Tobacco was colonial Virginia's most successful cash crop. The tobacco that the first English settlers encountered in Virginia—the Virginia Indians' Nicotiana rustica—tasted dark and bitter to the English palate; it was John Rolfe who in 1612 obtained Spanish seeds, or Nicotiana tabacum, from the Orinoco River valley—seeds that, when planted in the relatively rich bottomland of the James River, produced a milder, yet still dark leaf that soon became the European standard. Over the next 160 years, tobacco production spread from the Tidewater area to the Blue Ridge Mountains, especially dominating the agriculture of the Chesapeake region. Beginning in 1619 the General Assembly put in place requirements for the inspection of tobacco and mandated the creation of port towns and warehouses. This system assisted in the development of major settlements at Norfolk, Alexandria, and Richmond. Tobacco formed the basis of the colony's economy: it was used to purchase the indentured servants and slaves to cultivate it, to pay local taxes and tithes, and to buy manufactured goods from England. Promissory notes payable in tobacco were even used as currency, with the cost of almost every commodity, from servants to wives, given in pounds of tobacco. Large planters usually shipped their tobacco directly to England, where consignment agents sold it in exchange for a cut of the profits, while smaller planters worked with local agents who bought their tobacco and supplied them with manufactured goods. In the mid-seventeenth century, overproduction and shipping disruptions related to a series of British wars caused the price of tobacco to fluctuate wildly. Prices stabilized again in the 1740s and 1750s, but the financial standings of small and large planters alike deteriorated throughout the 1760s and into the 1770s. By the advent of the American Revolution (1775–1783), some planters had switched to growing food crops, particularly wheat; many more began to farm these crops to support the war effort. In the first year of fighting, tobacco production in Virginia dropped to less than 25 percent of its annual prewar output.
Tue, 29 Jan 2013 14:14:00 EST]]>
/Colonial_Williamsburg Thu, 06 Dec 2012 01:41:45 EST <![CDATA[Colonial Williamsburg]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Colonial_Williamsburg Colonial Williamsburg is the restored and reconstructed historic area of Williamsburg, Virginia, a small city between the York and James rivers that was founded in 1632, designated capital of the English colony in 1698, and bestowed with a royal charter in 1722. It was a center of political activity before and during the American Revolution (1775–1783)—where George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Patrick Henry debated taxes, slavery, and the inalienable rights of men—and has since become the site of an ambitious restoration project launched in the 1930s and funded largely by the family of John D. Rockefeller Jr. With many of its historic structures rebuilt and with "interpreters" reenacting eighteenth-century life, Colonial Williamsburg has become a landmark in the history of the American preservation movement. More than that, though, the project serves as a self-conscious shrine of American ideals. The history and legacy of slavery, once downplayed at Williamsburg, is now dealt with openly—interpreters are both white and African American—but the focus remains on what the site's originators called "healthful" information about democracy, freedom, and representative government.
Thu, 06 Dec 2012 01:41:45 EST]]>
/Reston_Virginia Thu, 29 Nov 2012 16:06:29 EST <![CDATA[Reston, Virginia]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Reston_Virginia Reston is a community in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area located in western Fairfax County, Virginia. Conceived as an alternative to ailing cities and sprawling suburbs, Reston, along with Columbia, Maryland, was among the first post–World War II "new towns" in the United States. Founded in 1964 by Robert E. Simon Jr., Reston took its name from Simon's initials and represented a kind of urban utopia—a place with swimming pools, community centers, and tennis courts in every neighborhood and no restrictions based on race. Control of the project was taken over first by Gulf Oil—Simon's major lender—and then Mobil, but the community grew steadily. Its 2007 population was approximately 60,000; the town, meanwhile, enjoys a strong economy based on high technology and information.
Thu, 29 Nov 2012 16:06:29 EST]]>