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What a Difference a Year Makes

It was just over a year ago that I was first introduced to Encyclopedia Virginia when Peter Hedlund, who directs the project, moderated the panel I appeared on at the Virginia Festival of the Book. We had a great time talking about my book Bringing Down the Colonel in front of a packed house at the City Council Chambers. […]

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Saying Goodbye

This morning a smart young Virginia Humanities intern interviewed me about my job as editor of Encyclopedia Virginia. We talked about the almost twelve years I’ve been working on the project, about the publishing process we’ve built over that time, and the ways we continue to demonstrate the relevance of this history. I have to […]

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This Day (All But the Kitchen Sink Edition)

On this day in 1607, Christopher Newport and a small company of men began exploring the upper reaches of the James River, where they were feasted by the Indian weroance Ashuaquid. Two years later, a feast would have tasted even better, but relations with the Indians were generally poor and the colony not doing so well. As such, the muckety-mucks at the Virginia Company of London (that’s their seal above) […]

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Looking for the "whole story" of slavery

We get a fair amount of reader feedback here at Encyclopedia Virginia. For instance, we are still hearing about our entry on the United Daughters of the Confederacy and we recently received a note from a reader who found on our site “Easily the best article on Mary Bowser I’ve come across.” There are a […]

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Plug in Your Speakers: Season 3 Is Here

We just dropped season 3 of our podcast Not Even Past. Each episode crafts a short narrative drawn from the encyclopedia, pairing it with an interview with someone connected to the story in some interesting way. This season, we examined the lives of Christopher McPherson, Angela, John Mitchell Jr., Henry Martin, Anne Spencer, and Bethany […]

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A Poet on Pierce Street

In Season 3, Episode 6, of Not Even Past, host Brendan Wolfe travels to 1313 Pierce Street, the Lynchburg home of Anne Spencer, a poet, gardener, and luminary of the Harlem Renaissance. What can her home tell us about this accomplished and sometimes eccentric woman? Wolfe and producer Miranda Bennett also sit down with Spencer’s […]

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A Voice Out of Slavery

In Season 3, Episode 5, of Not Even Past, host Brendan Wolfe marvels at the power of Bethany Veney‘s writing, which tells the story of her life in slavery, the time she foiled an attempt to sell her, and her journey to freedom. Wolfe and producer Miranda Bennett also talk to Jobie Hill, an architectural […]

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He Was Who He Needed to Be

In Season 3, Episode 4, of Not Even Past, host Brendan Wolfe considers the life of Henry Martin, a formerly enslaved man who for years worked as a janitor at the University of Virginia. Something of a mascot, something of a joke—that’s how the community treated him but underneath that was a black man just […]

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The Fighting Editor

In Season 3, Episode 3, of Not Even Past, host Brendan Wolfe admires the African American newspaperman John Mitchell Jr. Known as the Fighting Editor, Mitchell was willing to strap on a pair of Smith & Wesson revolvers and risk his own death in the fight against lynching. His life ended on a sad note, […]

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He Danced His Way to Jail

In Season 3, Episode 1, of Not Even Past, host Brendan Wolfe introduces us to Christopher McPherson, a free black man who knew Jefferson, dined with Madison, and worked for George Wythe. He also predicted the end of the world. Wolfe and producer Miranda Bennett also interview Deborah Murdock who owns properties where McPherson once […]

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