Spotlight: Colonial Virginia

For the past several years we’ve been busy working on content about colonial Virginia, and this week we just published an overview entry called, appropriately, Colonial Virginia. In one place you’ll get everyone from Powhatan and Opechancanough to John Smith and Nathaniel Bacon. You’ll get Indian languages and the whole business at Roanoke, not to mention a discussion of Virginia’s first Africans and how the colony’s labor system transitioned from indentured servants to enslaved Africans. Witches make a cameo appearance, and Baptists, before George Washington marches onto the scene and changes everything.
Editing a section of content—such as colonial Virginia or the American Civil War—is an intellectual exercise in which we attempt to make sense not just of individual entries but of whole eras. It begins to all fit together like a giant jigsaw puzzle, and in our overview entry we give our readers a glimpse of that.
IMAGES: Top: Map of the Chesapeake Bay region (1671) by Jacob Meurs, after John Smith (Library of Virginia); bottom: Shining Shafts Engaged and Disengaged in Lightninglike Play (1927) by Bernard Stafford Good (Virginia Historical Society); Iron-working by the King of Ndongo, a watercolor by Father Giovanni Antonio Cavazzi da Montecuccolo (


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