Author: Encyclopedia Virginia staff

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Upper Mattaponi Tribe

The Upper Mattaponi tribe is a state- and federally recognized Indian tribe whose tribal grounds consist of thirty-two acres in King William County, near the upper reaches of the Mattaponi River. In 2009, the tribe consisted of 575 members, many of whom live in Virginia.

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Peter Taylor (1917–1994)

Peter Taylor was a short-story writer and author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel A Summons to Memphis (1986). During a writing career that spanned six decades, much of which was spent in Charlottesville, he established himself as a master of short fiction, displaying elegance and lucidity of style in examining family life in the New South. Many early stories were published in the New Yorker, and after joining the faculty at the University of Virginia in 1967, Taylor experienced a mid-life second flowering and produced the fiction for which he is best remembered. In 1978, he was awarded the Gold Medal for the Short Story by the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. Wider public notice followed, although it may still have been true, as he proclaimed himself, that he was “the best-known unknown writer in America.”

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Rappahannock Tribe

The Rappahannock tribe is a state- and federally recognized Indian tribe whose tribal area is located in Indian Neck in King and Queen County. In the late twentieth century, the tribe owned 140.5 acres of land and the Rappahannock Cultural Center and had about 500 members on its tribal roll.

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Pamunkey Tribe

The Pamunkey tribe is an Indian tribe that the Commonwealth of Virginia has recognized since the seventeenth century. In 1983, while granting recognition to several other tribes, Virginia again acknowledged the Pamunkey tribe’s status. In 2015, the federal government officially recognized the tribe. The tribe has a reservation located on the Pamunkey River in King William County and is one of the nation’s oldest, dating back to 1646. Of the reservation’s 1,200 acres, 500 are wetlands. In 2012 about eighty Pamunkey tribal members lived on the reservation, with many more residing in nearby Richmond and Newport News, as well as throughout Virginia and the United States. Pamunkey people have served in every American war and major conflict, beginning with the Revolutionary War (1775–1783).

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Nansemond Indian Nation

The Nansemond Indian Nation is a state and federally recognized Indian tribe whose members live mostly in the cities of Chesapeake and Suffolk. In 2009 about 200 Nansemond tribal members were registered in Virginia.

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Monacan Indian Nation

The Monacan Indian Nation is a state- and federally recognized Indian tribe whose tribal area is located near Bear Mountain in Amherst County. The original territory of the Siouan-speaking tribe and its allies comprised more than half of present-day Virginia, including almost all of the Piedmont region and parts of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Early in the twenty-first century about 1,600 Monacans belonged to the tribe, one of the oldest groups of indigenous people still existing in its ancestral homeland, and the only group in the state whose culture descends from Eastern Siouan speakers.

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Mattaponi Tribe

The Mattaponi tribe is a state-recognized Indian tribe located on a 150-acre reservation that stretches along the borders of the Mattaponi River at West Point in King William County. Early in the twenty-first century the tribe included about 450 people, 75 of whom lived on the reservation.

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Virginia Slave Narratives

The following list includes the names of enslaved and formerly enslaved Virginians who authored narratives of their lives, were the subjects of biographies, or who spoke to journalists or oral historians.

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Douglas Southall Freeman (1886–1953)

Douglas Southall Freeman was a biographer, a newspaper editor, a nationally renowned military analyst, and a pioneering radio broadcaster. The son of a Confederate veteran, Freeman is best known as a historian of the American Civil War (1861–1865) and, in particular, of the high command of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. Freeman wrote an acclaimed four-volume biography of Robert E. Lee that received the Pulitzer Prize in Biography in 1935 but which has been criticized as helping to fuel the mythology of the Lost Cause. As an influential newspaper editorial writer and radio broadcaster for much of the first half of the twentieth century, Freeman supported racial segregation and the eugenics movement. Freeman died of a heart attack on June 13, 1953, and was buried in Richmond’s Hollywood Cemetery. He received his second Pulitzer Prize posthumously in 1958 for his seven-volume biography of George Washington.

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Eastern Chickahominy Tribe

The Chickahominy Tribe Eastern Division is a state- and federally recognized Indian tribe located about twenty-five miles east of Richmond in New Kent County. Early in the twenty-first century its population numbered about 132 people, with 67 of those living in Virginia and the rest residing in other parts of the United States.

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Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel (CBBT) connects the Virginia mainland at the city of Virginia Beach directly with the Delmarva Peninsula. Completed in 1964 and recognized by the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1965 as one of the “Seven Engineering Wonders of the Modern World,” the structure is comprised of bridges, tunnels, and land roads that span a total of twenty-three miles. Initially considered to be a risky financial move, the CBBT is now a profitable and expanding enterprise.

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Botetourt Artillery

The Botetourt Artillery was one of only a handful of Virginia units to serve in the Western Theater during the American Civil War (1861–1865). Organized in December 1861 from a company in the 28th Virginia Infantry Regiment, the unit experienced heavy combat and losses during the Vicksburg Campaign in the spring and summer of 1863. Following Vicksburg, the Botetourt Artillery returned to western Virginia, where it saw little action.