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One of the Twenty

In Season 3, Episode 2, of Not Even Past, host Brendan Wolfe examines the life of Angela, one of the first twenty Africans to arrive at Jamestown in 1619. On the 400th anniversary of that propitious moment in Virginia history, Historic Jamestowne is looking in earnest for signs of Angela and her fellow Africans. Wolfe […]

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A First for Us

Last night may have been a first in the history of Encyclopedia Virginia: our resource appeared onscreen during one of the late-night shows. Trevor Noah of the Daily Show quoted from our entry on indentured servants, highlighting the section in a graphic, with our new logo and everything—all as part of a clip that skewered Governor Ralph […]

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How a Louisiana Plantation Museum Is Helping Us Think about Our Slavery Content

This blog post was written by Miranda Bennett, assistant editor of Encyclopedia Virginia. John Little, who escaped to Canada from bondage in Tennessee, told an interviewer, “Tisn’t he who has stood and looked on, that can tell you what slavery is,—’tis he who has endured.” This seems an obvious observation and yet it’s something we […]

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Updating the Daughters

Back on August 30, I posted an open letter to the Virginia Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy in response to their complaints about our entry on the organization. Members of the UDC particularly objected to our use of the phrase “white supremacy,” and I did my best to explain the context of […]

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United Daughters of the Confederacy & White Supremacy

Two days ago, Ginger R. Stephens, the president of the Virginia Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, wrote a letter to her “ladies.” “It has been brought to my attention,” she told them, “that Encyclopedia Virginia has a negative article on the UDC.” She explained that she had talked to the encyclopedia’s staff—it […]

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Different, but How Different?

We received a comment from Robert Glisson today on an old blog post about slavery. This comment calls to mind a whole “debate” over whether Irish indentured servants were, in fact, America’s “first slaves.” I put “debate” in quotation marks because it is not occurring within the established lines of historical scholarship; rather, it is driven […]

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Crazy Bet & Mary Jane

In Season 2, Episode 6, of Not Even Past, host Brendan Wolfe tells the story of Elizabeth Van Lew and Mary Richards Bowser, two mysterious women with deep connections to the Episcopal Church. Both Union spies during the Civil War, one ended her life a pariah while the other disappeared from history. Producer Miranda Bennett also […]

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A Most Savage Tale

In Season 2, Episode 5, of Not Even Past, host Brendan Wolfe investigates the life of Thomas Savage, a Jamestown colonist who, as a boy, was given over to the Indians. He spent the rest of his life negotiating the precarious line between two warring cultures. [soundcloud id=’372708896′ height=’false’ color=’#ff7700′] IMAGE: Negotiating Peace with the Indians […]

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Keeping House with Marion Harland

In Season 2, Episode 4, of Not Even Past, host Brendan Wolfe reads Common Sense in the Household: A Manual of Practical Housewifery (1871) by Marion Harland. The Virginian brought cookbooks to the masses while defending the traditional roles of women. Producer Miranda Bennett also talks to Sarah Searle, proprietor of the cooking blog the Yellow House. [soundcloud […]

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Another Man's Property

In Season 2, Episode 3, of Not Even Past, host Brendan Wolfe marvels at Anthony Johnson, a slaveholder on the Eastern Shore who, earlier in life, had been known only as “Antonio a Negro.” [soundcloud id=’372708905′ height=’false’ color=’#ff7700′] IMAGE: Iron wrist shackles that date to the seventeenth or eighteenth century (Virginia Historical Society)

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