First Families of Virginia – The Randolphs

I suppose superlatives become cliche, or at least they’re overused when discussing Virginia’s leading colonial dynasties. The Randolph family, however, deserves those superlatives just as much as any of the preceding families that we’ve discussed in this series, if not more. They were an immense family that impacted Virginia and the United States in such a way that few others, even from this series, can claim.

William Randolph of Turkey Island is often credited as being the first Randolph to immigrate, but he followed his uncle, Henry, who was already established in the colony. Henry Randolph came to Virginia and soon settled just west of Bermuda Hundred on Swift Creek in today’s Colonial Heights in the early 1640s. From there Henry got involved in mid-17th Century Virginia politics, where he rubbed shoulders with all of the colony’s leading men, he even married one of their daughters when he wed Henry Soane’s daughter Judith.

Henry continued to expand his footprint throughout the 1650s and 1660s. He became friend with Sir William Berkeley, was involved in rewriting Virginia’s legal codes, and built one of the colony’s first grist mills at Swift Creek. Newly found wealth allowed Henry to return to England in the late 1660s, where he convinced his nephew William to join him in the New World.

William accompanied his uncle’s trip back to Virginia, and settled near him along the James River’s Curls section. It was from here that William Randolph earned his name as being from Turkey Island, and from here that an enormous family grew into being one of Virginia’s largest. Largest didn’t always mean best, as the family has a few interesting characters dotting the history books, but the Randolphs have do have some of American History’s stalwarts.

This First Family of Virginia episode takes a look into the Randolph patriarch’s life, and then summarily dives into some of those characters and stalwarts. Find the links below.

LINKS TO THE PODCAST:

SOURCES:

  1. Anderson, Jefferson Randolph. “TUCKAHOE AND THE TUCKAHOE RANDOLPHS.” Register of Kentucky State Historical Society, vol. 35, no. 110, 1937, pp. 29–59. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/23371542.
  2. Jefferson Randolph Anderson. “Supplement to Tuckahoe and the Tuckahoe Randolphs: As Appearing in the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XLV: No. 1, January, 1937.” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, vol. 45, no. 4, 1937, pp. 392–405. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/4244824.
  3. Billings, Warren M.; Selby, John E.; and Tate, Thad W. Colonial Virginia: A History. White Plains, NY: KTO Press. 1986.
  4. Billings, Warren M. Sir William Berkeley and the Forging of Colonial Virginia. Baton Rouge, LA: LSU Press, 2004.
  5. Billings, Warren. A Little Parliament: The Virginia General Assembly in the Seventeenth Century. Richmond, VA: Library of Virginia, 2004.
  6. Brock, R. A. “Virginia Randolphs–Arms and English Descent.” The William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 25, no. 2, 1916, pp. 133–134. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/1915198.
  7. Bruce, Phillip Alexander. Social Life of Virginia in the Seventeenth Century: An Inquiry into the Origin of the Higher Planting Class. New York: JP Bell Company, 1927.
  8. Cowden, Gerald Steffens, “The Randolphs of Turkey Island : a prosopography of the first three generations, 1650-1806” (1977). Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects. Paper 1539623707
  9. Dabney, Virginius. Virginia: The New Dominion, A History from 1607 to the Present. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 1971.
  10. Daniels, Jonathan. The Randolphs of Virginia. New York: Doubleday, 1972.
  11. Eckenrode, H.J. The Randolphs: The Story of a Virginia Family. Indianapolis, IN: The Bobbs Merrill Company, 1946
  12. Evans, Emory G. A “Topping People”: The Rise and Decline of Virginia’s Old Political Elite, 1680-1790. Charlottesville, VA: UVA Press, 2009.
  13. Fischer, David Hackett. Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America (America: a cultural history). Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989.
  14. Freeman, Douglas Southall. George Washington: A Biography. New York: Charles Scribners, 1957. (Specifically Volume 1).
  15. Horn, James. Adapting to A New World: English Society in the Seventeenth-Century Chesapeake. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1994.
  16. Mapp, Alfred J. Virginia Experiment: The Old Dominion’s Role in the Making of America, 1607-1781Lincoln, NE: iUniverse, Inc., 2006.
  17. McCartney, Martha W. Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers: A Biographical Dictionary, 1607-1635. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2007.
  18. Meade, William. Old Churches, Ministers and Families of Virginia. in Two Volumes. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott, 1891.
  19. Neill, Edward D. Virginia Carolorum: The Colony under the Rule of Charles The First and Second, A.D. 1625-A.D. 1685. Albany, NY: Joel Munsell’s and Sons, 1886.
  20. Paxton, William McClung. The Marshall family, or A genealogical chart of the descendants of John Marshall and Elizabeth Markham, his wife, sketches of individuals and notices of families connected with them. Cincinatti, OH: Robert Clarke and Co, 1885.
  21. Pecquet du Bellet, Louise. Some Prominent Virginia Families, 4 Volumes. Lynchburg, VA:  J.P. Bell Company, 1907.
  22. Ramage, C. J. “Randolph.” The Virginia Law Register, vol. 8, no. 6, 1922, pp. 415–418. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/1105871.
  23. Randolph, Wassell. Henry Randolph I, 1623-1773 [sic] of Henrico County, Virginia, and his descendants. Preceded by short review of the Randolph family in early England and elsewhere. Memhis, TN: Cossitt Library, 1952.
  24. Randolph, Wassell. William Randolph I of Turkey Island, Henrico County, Virginia, and his Immediate Descendants. Memphis, TN: Cossitt Library, 1949.
  25. Rothbard, Murray N. Conceived in Liberty. Auburn, AL: Ludwig Von Mises Institute, 1999.
  26. Stanard, W. G. “Randolph Family.” The William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 8, no. 2, 1899, pp. 119–122. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/1915915.
  27. Swartz, James Eldred, “William Randolph, of Turkey Island, Progenitor of a Famous Family” (1942). Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects. Paper 1539624465.
  28. Taylor, Tess. “Remembering the Randolphs: A Genealogy in Thirteen Meditations.” The Virginia Quarterly Review, vol. 89, no. 3, 2013, pp. 56–69. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/26447054.
  29. Tyler, Lyon Gardiner. The Cradle of the Republic: Jamestown and the James River. Richmond, VA: The Hermitage Press, 1906.
  30. Walsh, Lorena S. Motives of Honor, Pleasure, and Profit: Plantation Management in the Colonial Chesapeake, 1607-1763. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2010.
  31. Washburn, Wilcomb E. Virginia Under Charles I and Cromwell 1625-1660. Kindle Edition.
  32. Wertenbaker, Thomas Jefferson. Virginia Under the Stuarts: 1607-1688. New York: Russell and Russell, 1959.
  33. Wertenbaker, Thomas Jefferson. The Planters of Colonial Virginia. Kindle Edition.
  34. Wright, Louis B. First Gentlemen of Virginia. Charlottesville, VA: Dominion Books, 1982.
  35. “Descendants of Henry Randolph.” The William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 4, no. 2, 1895, pp. 125–127. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/1915057.
  36. Robert Isham Randolph. “The Sons of Isham Randolph of Dungeness.” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, vol. 45, no. 4, 1937, pp. 383–386. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/4244820.

Special Links:

 

All photography used on this site is owned and copyrighted by the author unless otherwise noted. The Featured Image is of the Randolph Family Crest. All Randolph Portraits as well as Swift Creek Mill are from Wikimedia Commons. The Turkey Island Mansion Marker and The Dungeness Marker are both from hmdb.org. Tazewell Hall is located at Skinner Family Papers. The Randolph Family Tree is located in Tess Taylor’s article, found in the Bibliography above. The Prayer in the First the First Congress, A.D. 1774 can be found at Boston Tea Party Ship. Edmund Randolph’s former home was accessed at RV Hub. The Virginia Ratification Convention Cartoon is part of Historically Thinking’s Shownotes page for Episode 78. Lastly, Edmund Randolph as Member of Washington’s Cabinet is found at the American Herigate.

Music used for this episode – Louis Armstrong and the Mills Brothers,”Carry Me Back to Old Virginia” available on Apple Music, and “The Stubborn Mule” by The East Pointers also available on Apple Music.

Special Halloween Episode – Haunted Tuckahoe

The Randolphs have been known as the “Adam and Eve of Virginia” for good reason given how many children were born to William of Turkey Island and wife Mary Isham. One of their sons, Thomas established his plantation at Tuckahoe, just west of Richmond along the James River.

Tuckahoe has witnessed much history since the manor home’s 1730’s construction. Thomas Jefferson even lived there for a few years during his childhood. Tuckahoe was also home to a few historical characters such as Thomas Randolph’s daughter Mary, who caused constant torment to her family, as well as Thomas Randolph’s great-grand-daughters Judith and Anne, known to the family as Nancy.

Jessica connects the dots in this episode in an effort to illustrate the complex history behind Tuckahoe’s most famous haunting, the Gray Lady. Along the way, Jessica tells of a few other spooky Tuckahoe tales, as well as one that affected her own husband. So, find the link below, and learn about more of Virginia’s haunted history.

LINKS TO THE PODCAST:

VISIT TUCKAHOE:




All photography used on this site is owned and copyrighted by the author unless otherwise noted. The featured image is the famous “Ghost Walk” at Tuckahoe Plantation, all other images are from my visits to Tuckahoe.

Music used for this episode – Louis Armstrong and the Mills Brothers,”Carry Me Back to Old Virginia” available on iTunes, and Kevin MacLeod “Vanished” found on Soundcloud.

Scott Dawson and the “Lost Colony Mystery”

There are fewer, more captivating American History mysteries than the “Lost Colony Mystery.” But is it in fact a mystery? Generations of Hatteras Island natives have claimed that there was no mystery to begin with. They had always known where the “Lost Colonists” of Roanoke Island went. They went to Croatoan, that is, they went to Hatteras.

Local Hatteras historian/archaeologist Scott Dawson grew up hearing the stories, and decided that he had to know what the primary source documents said about the story. After reading these sources, Scott became convinced that the colonists had in fact done what generations of Hatteras natives said the colonists had done. They moved southward.

In this episode, Dawson retells his story. That story is an adventure through Roanoke’s true history, Scott’s initial search throughout the Island, and archaeological discoveries. Tune in, and then for more, check out the Croatoan Archaeological Society’s website. Finally, don’t forget to get Scott’s book. It tells this episode’s story in more detail that you won’t want to miss.

Hatteras Island jutting out into the Atlantic

LINKS TO THE PODCAST:

LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

  1. Dawson, Scott. The Lost Colony and Hatteras Island. Charleston, SC: The History Press, 2020.
  2. Hampton, Jeff. “Lost Colony of Roanoke: Researchers Say They Know What Happened to the Lost Colony.” – The Virginian Pilot, August 2020.
  3. Lawler, Andrew. “The Search for the Lost Colony of Roanoke” – National Geographic, June 2018.
  4. Lawler, Andrew. “We Finally Have Clues to How the Lost Roanoke Colony Vanished” – National Geographic, August, 2015.
  5. Croatoan Archaeological Society

 

 

 

 

All photography used on this site is owned and copyrighted by the author unless otherwise noted. The Featured Image is of Scott Dawson and his new book, found on amazon.com. The Hatteras Island Image is from wikipedia.com

Music used for this episode – Louis Armstrong and the Mills Brothers,”Carry Me Back to Old Virginia” available on Apple Music, and Valse Triste, Op. 44 by Jean Sibelius, performed by the Berlin Philharmonic & Helsinki Radio Symphony Orchestra, Conducted by Herbert von Karajan, also available on Apple Music.

First Families of Virginia – The Corbins

The story of the first Corbin’s arriving in the New World is interesting to say the least. Henry Corbin braved a commonly tempestuous trans-Atlantic journey, but the crew believed the storms were being brought on by a witch. Get rid of the witch, get rid of the storm was their belief. The captain disagreed, but had his most respected passengers check for the tell-tale witch marks on an elderly lady.  Henry then reinspected the lady, but the crew had already made their decision, she was to die. That’s the story Henry and other passengers gave upon their arrival.

Within a few years of that harrowing spectacle, Henry had established himself first in Maryland and then in Virginia. He, along with his brothers, ran a profitable trade network that elevated Henry into Virginia’s highest offices, and made him very wealthy in the process. The Corbin name solidified itself during subsequent generations, notably under Richard Corbin, who held the highest offices a Virginia born colonist could hold. He composed himself very well, earning praise and respect from his peers. But not all was well with the Corbins.

To this point in our First Families Series, each name has deep connections supporting Virginia and then the United States during and after the American War for Independence. Not so with the Corbins. They featured prominently in the Royal government, and looked set to continue in those lofty offices. But though they continued supporting the Crown, they also continued loving Virginia, and because of that love, the Corbins remained, and even championed their new country after her founding.

The Corbins chose to remain with Virginia when the Civil War erupted, and as so many others, suffered loss during the conflict. One such loss touched close to Stonewall Jackson, just before his sudden death in 1863. With such loss in focus, many of the Corbins chose to leave Virginia after 1865, and thus, this prominent family spread throughout the westwardly expanding country.

LINKS TO THE PODCAST:

SOURCES:

  1. Billings, Warren M.; Selby, John E.; and Tate, Thad W. Colonial Virginia: A History. White Plains, NY: KTO Press. 1986.
  2. Billings, Warren M. Sir William Berkeley and the Forging of Colonial Virginia. Baton Rouge, LA: LSU Press, 2004.
  3. Billings, Warren. A Little Parliament: The Virginia General Assembly in the Seventeenth Century. Richmond, VA: Library of Virginia, 2004.
  4. Bruce, Phillip Alexander. Social Life of Virginia in the Seventeenth Century: An Inquiry into the Origin of the Higher Planting Class. New York: JP Bell Company, 1927.
  5. Dabney, Virginius. Virginia: The New Dominion, A History from 1607 to the Present. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 1971.
  6. Evans, Emory G. A “Topping People”: The Rise and Decline of Virginia’s Old Political Elite, 1680-1790. Charlottesville, VA: UVA Press, 2009.
  7. Emory G. Evans,”Richard Corbin (1713 or 1714–1790),” Dictionary of Virginia Biography, Library of Virginia, published 2006.
  8. Fischer, David Hackett. Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America (America: a cultural history). Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989.
  9. Freeman, Douglas Southall. George Washington: A Biography. New York: Charles Scribners, 1957. (Specifically Volume 1).
  10. Hackett, Mary A. “Francis Corbin (1759 or 1760–1821),” Dictionary of Virginia Biography, Library of Virginia, 2006.
  11. Harbury, Katharine E. and the Dictionary of Virginia Biography. “Henry Corbyn (1628 or 1629–ca. 1676).” Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Humanities, 23 Sep. 2013.
  12. Horn, James. Adapting to A New World: English Society in the Seventeenth-Century Chesapeake. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1994.
  13. Mapp, Alfred J. Virginia Experiment: The Old Dominion’s Role in the Making of America, 1607-1781Lincoln, NE: iUniverse, Inc., 2006.
  14. McCartney, Martha W. Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers: A Biographical Dictionary, 1607-1635. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2007.
  15. Neill, Edward D. Virginia Carolorum: The Colony under the Rule of Charles The First and Second, A.D. 1625-A.D. 1685. Albany, NY: Joel Munsell’s and Sons, 1886.
  16. Pecquet du Bellet, Louise. Some Prominent Virginia Families, 4 Volumes. Lynchburg, VA:  J.P. Bell Company, 1907.
  17. Rothbard, Murray N. Conceived in Liberty. Auburn, AL: Ludwig Von Mises Institute, 1999.
  18. Scheib, Jeffrey Lynn. The Richard Corbin Letterbook, 1758-1760. Williamsburg, VA: William and Mary. Unpublished Master’s Thesis, 1982.
  19. Tarter, Brent. “Gawin Corbin (1739–1779),” Dictionary of Virginia Biography, Library of Virginia, 2006.
  20. Tyler, Lyon Gardiner. The Cradle of the Republic: Jamestown and the James River. Richmond, VA: The Hermitage Press, 1906.
  21. Walsh, Lorena S. Motives of Honor, Pleasure, and Profit: Plantation Management in the Colonial Chesapeake, 1607-1763. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2010.
  22. Washburn, Wilcomb E. Virginia Under Charles I and Cromwell 1625-1660. Kindle Edition.
  23. Wertenbaker, Thomas Jefferson. Virginia Under the Stuarts: 1607-1688. New York: Russell and Russell, 1959.
  24. Wertenbaker, Thomas Jefferson. The Planters of Colonial Virginia. Kindle Edition.
  25. Wright, Louis B. First Gentlemen of Virginia. Charlottesville, VA: Dominion Books, 1982.
  26. “The Corbin Family.” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 28, no. 3 (1920): 281-83. www.jstor.org/stable/4243780.
  27. “The Corbin Family (Continued).” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 28, no. 4 (1920): 370-73. www.jstor.org/stable/4243793.
  28. “The Corbin Family (Continued).” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 29, no. 3 (1921): 374-82. www.jstor.org/stable/4243833.
  29. “The Corbin Family (Continued).” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 29, no. 1 (1921): 124-25. www.jstor.org/stable/4243808.
  30. “The Corbin Family of Virginia (Continued).” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 29, no. 2 (1921): 243-51. www.jstor.org/stable/4243818.
  31. “Corbin Family (Continued).” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 29, no. 4 (1921): 520-26. www.jstor.org/stable/4243851.
  32. “Corbin Genealogy (Continued).” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 30, no. 1 (1922): 80-85. www.jstor.org/stable/4243866.
  33. “The Corbin Family (Continued).” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 30, no. 4 (1922): 403-07. www.jstor.org/stable/4243898.
  34. “The Corbin Family (Continued).” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 30, no. 3 (1922): 309-18. www.jstor.org/stable/4243888.
  35. “The Corbin Family.” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 31, no. 1 (1923): 80-83. www.jstor.org/stable/4243912.
  36. “The Corbin Papers.” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 13, no. 1 (1905): 51-53. www.jstor.org/stable/4242724.

Special Links:

Jackson and Corbin
Janie Corbin and Stonewall Jackson

 

 

 

All photography used on this site is owned and copyrighted by the author unless otherwise noted. The Featured Image is of the Corbin Family Crest. Henry Corbin Portraitis from Wikimedia Commons. Peckatone Ruins is from Bryan Dameron’s Family History. Moss Neck Manor is from http://www.fredericksburg.com. “Janie Corbin and Old Jack” is from artist Mort Kunstler.

Music used for this episode – Louis Armstrong and the Mills Brothers,”Carry Me Back to Old Virginia” available on Apple Music, and “Wild I Am” by Vocal Few, also available on Apple Music.

Virginians and their Histories – Brent Tarter Interview, Part 3

Writing Virginia’s history has a long history itself reaching back to the 17th century. Telling those stories has evolved and expanded in various ways during the past 400 years reflecting differing angles, viewpoints, and ideologies. Brent Tarter’s work is part of that long history, and he adds a new volume in which he attempts to give voice to those differing angles and viewpoints.

The volume in focus is entitled Virginians and Their Histories, a title meant to highlight the people who make Virginia’s story what it is. Tarter draws from decades worth of research work to bring this book together. It’s such a work that when Mr. Tarter and I discussed doing an interview, it soon became apparent that one recording wouldn’t do his work justice. To that end, here is the third installment, which covers the end of the Civil War period up until contemporary times.

LINKS TO THE PODCAST:

MORE FROM BRENT TARTER:

  1. Batson, Barbara C., Julienne, Marianne E., and Tarter, J. Brent. The Campaign for Woman Suffrage in Virginia (American Heritage). Charleston, SC: The History Press, 2020.
  2. Tarter, J. Brent.Virginians and Their Histories.Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 2020.
  3. Tarter, J. Brent.Gerrymanders: How Redistricting Has Protected Slavery, White Supremacy, and Partisan Minorities in Virginia.Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 2019
  4. Tarter, J. Brent. The Grandees of Government: The Origins and Persistence of Undemocratic Politics in Virginia. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 2013.
  5. Tarter, J. Brent ed. and Billings, Warren M. ed.  “Esteemed Bookes of Lawe” and the Legal Culture of Early Virginia (Early American Histories. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 2017.
  6. Tarter, J. Brent. A Saga of the New South: Race, Law, and Public Debt in Virginia.Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 2016.
  7. Tarter, J. Brent. Daydreams and Nightmares: A Virginia Family Faces Secession and War (A Nation Divided: Studies in the Civil War Era). Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 2017.
  8. The Dictionary of Virginia Biography at the Library of Virginia.

PREVIOUS EPISODES:

 

 

 

All photography used on this site is owned and copyrighted by the author. The Featured Image is of Brent Tarter’s Virginians and Their Histories.

Music used for this episode – Louis Armstrong and the Mills Brothers,”Carry Me Back to Old Virginia” available on iTunes, and Six Gnossiennes: Gnossienne No. 5 by Erik Satie, performed by Roland Pöntinen, also available on Apple Music.

Virginians and their Histories – Brent Tarter Interview, Part 2

Writing Virginia’s history has a long history itself reaching back to the 17th century. Telling those stories has evolved and expanded in various ways during the past 400 years reflecting differing angles, viewpoints, and ideologies. Brent Tarter’s work is part of that long history, and he adds a new volume in which he attempts to give voice to those differing angles and viewpoints.

The volume in focus is entitled Virginians and Their Histories, a title meant to highlight the people who make Virginia’s story what it is. Tarter draws from decades worth of research work to bring this book together. It’s such a work that when Mr. Tarter and I discussed doing an interview, it soon became apparent that one recording wouldn’t do his work justice. To that end, here is the second installment, which covers the beginning of the 18th Century to the events leading up to the Civil War.

LINKS TO THE PODCAST:

MORE FROM BRENT TARTER:

  1. Batson, Barbara C., Julienne, Marianne E., and Tarter, J. Brent. The Campaign for Woman Suffrage in Virginia (American Heritage). Charleston, SC: The History Press, 2020.
  2. Tarter, J. Brent.Virginians and Their Histories.Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 2020.
  3. Tarter, J. Brent.Gerrymanders: How Redistricting Has Protected Slavery, White Supremacy, and Partisan Minorities in Virginia.Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 2019
  4. Tarter, J. Brent. The Grandees of Government: The Origins and Persistence of Undemocratic Politics in Virginia. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 2013.
  5. Tarter, J. Brent ed. and Billings, Warren M. ed.  “Esteemed Bookes of Lawe” and the Legal Culture of Early Virginia (Early American Histories. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 2017.
  6. Tarter, J. Brent. A Saga of the New South: Race, Law, and Public Debt in Virginia.Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 2016.
  7. Tarter, J. Brent. Daydreams and Nightmares: A Virginia Family Faces Secession and War (A Nation Divided: Studies in the Civil War Era). Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 2017.
  8. The Dictionary of Virginia Biography at the Library of Virginia.

PREVIOUS EPISODE:

 

 

 

All photography used on this site is owned and copyrighted by the author. The Featured Image is of Brent Tarter’s Virginians and Their Histories.

Music used for this episode – Louis Armstrong and the Mills Brothers,”Carry Me Back to Old Virginia” available on iTunes, and Six Gnossiennes: Gnossienne No. 3 by Erik Satie, performed by Roland Pöntinen, also available on iTunes.

Virginians and their Histories – Brent Tarter Interview, Part 1

Writing Virginia’s history has a long history itself reaching back to the 17th century. Telling those stories has evolved and expanded in various ways during the past 400 years reflecting differing angles, viewpoints, and ideologies. Brent Tarter’s work is part of that long history, and he adds a new volume in which he attempts to give voice to those differing angles and viewpoints.

The volume in focus is entitled Virginians and Their Histories, a title meant to highlight the people who make Virginia’s story what it is. Tarter draws from decades worth of research work to bring this book together. It’s such a work that when Mr. Tarter and I discussed doing an interview, it soon became apparent that one recording wouldn’t do his work justice. That being said, this is the first installment of 3 episodes, so stay tuned, there’s more to come.

LINKS TO THE PODCAST:

MORE FROM BRENT TARTER:

  1. Batson, Barbara C., Julienne, Marianne E., and Tarter, J. Brent. The Campaign for Woman Suffrage in Virginia (American Heritage). Charleston, SC: The History Press, 2020.
  2. Tarter, J. Brent.Virginians and Their Histories.Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 2020.
  3. Tarter, J. Brent.Gerrymanders: How Redistricting Has Protected Slavery, White Supremacy, and Partisan Minorities in Virginia.Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 2019
  4. Tarter, J. Brent. The Grandees of Government: The Origins and Persistence of Undemocratic Politics in Virginia. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 2013.
  5. Tarter, J. Brent ed. and Billings, Warren M. ed.  “Esteemed Bookes of Lawe” and the Legal Culture of Early Virginia (Early American Histories. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 2017.
  6. Tarter, J. Brent. A Saga of the New South: Race, Law, and Public Debt in Virginia.Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 2016.
  7. Tarter, J. Brent. Daydreams and Nightmares: A Virginia Family Faces Secession and War (A Nation Divided: Studies in the Civil War Era). Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 2017.
  8. The Dictionary of Virginia Biography at the Library of Virginia.

 

 

 

All photography used on this site is owned and copyrighted by the author. The Featured Image is of Brent Tarter’s Virginians and Their Histories.

Music used for this episode – Louis Armstrong and the Mills Brothers,”Carry Me Back to Old Virginia” available on iTunes, and Six Gnossiennes: Gnossienne No. 1 by Erik Satie, performed by Roland Pöntinen, also available on iTunes.

Lessons from the 1721 Boston Smallpox Epidemic – Tony Williams Interview

The world continues to endure the Coronavirus pandemic with many locations reaching their peak in the coming weeks. This isn’t the first virus or disease to affect the world, so what can we learn from one previous example in American History?

To answer that question, Tony Williams joins me to discuss a book he had written detailing the 1721 Smallpox epidemic. Though Tony’s book isn’t Virginia History exactly, he mentions that one particular Virginian used Cotton Mather’s incredibly controversial inoculation method to protect his army more than 50 years later.

Join us as we discuss the events surrounding that fateful 1721 outbreak, and discover how many things are still quite similar in how we approach these fearful situations.

LINKS TO THE PODCAST:

MORE FROM TONY WILLIAMS:

 

 

All photography used on this site is owned and copyrighted by the author. The Featured Image is of “The Cow-Pock or the Wonderful Effects of the New Inoculation” by James Gillray, 1802.

Music used for this episode – Louis Armstrong and the Mills Brothers,”Carry Me Back to Old Virginia” available on iTunes, and Max Bruch – Violin Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 26 – Prelude. Allegro moderato performed by Sarah Chang and the Dresdener Philharmonie conducted by Kurt Masur, also available on iTunes.

First Families of Virginia – The Pages

The Page family fascinates for many reasons. Their rise was similar to other First Families, but their most prominent founding members didn’t leave much beyond wills from which one can learn about their lives.

What we do know about them is that they came into the colony around 1650, quickly established themselves as leading land owners, and became a major colonial influence. Perhaps they thought too much of themselves by the mid 18th Century, or they were just terrible financial planners, but they overextended themselves in building their most famous structure, Rosewell Plantation.

The fabulous manor home was to rival the Governor’s Mansion, and it certainly did, but doing so came at a hefty price. The cost to build Rosewell overreached Page family funds in such a way that two generations after it was completed the accrued debt essentially wiped the Page family out.

Their lands and homes were all out of the family by the early 19th Century. That doesn’t diminish the reality that during their relatively shorter period of dominance the Pages did impact the colony and young Commonwealth. For this reason, the Pages, in spite of their debts, are well worth studying.

LINKS TO THE PODCAST:

SOURCES:

  1. Billings, Warren M.; Selby, John E.; and Tate, Thad W. Colonial Virginia: A History. White Plains, NY: KTO Press. 1986.
  2. Billings, Warren M. Sir William Berkeley and the Forging of Colonial Virginia. Baton Rouge, LA: LSU Press, 2004.
  3. Billings, Warren. A Little Parliament: The Virginia General Assembly in the Seventeenth Century. Richmond, VA: Library of Virginia, 2004.
  4. Blair, John L. The Rise of the Burwells. MA Thesis, Williamsburg, VA: College of William and Mary, 1959.
  5. Bruce, Phillip Alexander. Social Life of Virginia in the Seventeenth Century: An Inquiry into the Origin of the Higher Planting Class. New York: JP Bell Company, 1927.
  6. Brown, Stuart E. Burwell: Kith and kin of the immigrant, Lewis Burwell (1621-1653) : and Burwell Virginia Tidewater plantation mansions. Virginia Book, Co, 1994.
  7. Dabney, Virginius. Virginia: The New Dominion, A History from 1607 to the Present. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 1971.
  8. Dowdey, Clifford. The Great Plantation: A Profile of Berkeley Hundred and Plantation Virginia from Jamestown to Appomattox. Charles City, VA: Berkeley Plantation, 1980.
  9. Evans, Emory G. A “Topping People”: The Rise and Decline of Virginia’s Old Political Elite, 1680-1790. Charlottesville, VA: UVA Press, 2009.
  10. Fischer, David Hackett. Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America (America: a cultural history). Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989.
  11. Freeman, Douglas Southall. George Washington: A Biography. New York: Charles Scribners, 1957. (Specifically Volume 1).
  12. Horn, James. Adapting to A New World: English Society in the Seventeenth-Century Chesapeake. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1994.
  13. Lanciano, Claude. Rosewell: Garland of Virginia. Gloucester, VA: Gloucester County Historical Committee, 1978.
  14. Leviner, Betty Crowe. The Page Family of Rosewell and Mannsfield: A Study in Economic Decline. Williamsburg, VA: William and Mary. Unpublished Master’s Thesis, 1987.
  15. Mapp, Alfred J. Virginia Experiment: The Old Dominion’s Role in the Making of America, 1607-1781Lincoln, NE: iUniverse, Inc., 2006.
  16. McCartney, Martha W. Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers: A Biographical Dictionary, 1607-1635. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2007.
  17. Neill, Edward D. Virginia Carolorum: The Colony under the Rule of Charles The First and Second, A.D. 1625-A.D. 1685. Albany, NY: Joel Munsell’s and Sons, 1886.
  18. Page, Richard Channing Moore. Genealogy Of The Page Family In Virginia: Also, A Condensed Account Of The Nelson, Walker, Pendleton, And Randolph Families. NY: Jenkins and Thomas Printers, 1883.
  19. Pecquet du Bellet, Louise. Some Prominent Virginia Families, 4 Volumes. Lynchburg, VA:  J.P. Bell Company, 1907.
  20. Rothbard, Murray N. Conceived in Liberty. Auburn, AL: Ludwig Von Mises Institute, 1999.
  21. Tyler, Lyon Gardiner. The Cradle of the Republic: Jamestown and the James River. Richmond, VA: The Hermitage Press, 1906.
  22. Walsh, Lorena S. Motives of Honor, Pleasure, and Profit: Plantation Management in the Colonial Chesapeake, 1607-1763. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2010.
  23. Washburn, Wilcomb E. Virginia Under Charles I and Cromwell 1625-1660. Kindle Edition.
  24. Wertenbaker, Thomas Jefferson. Virginia Under the Stuarts: 1607-1688. New York: Russell and Russell, 1959.
  25. Wertenbaker, Thomas Jefferson. The Planters of Colonial Virginia. Kindle Edition.
  26. Wright, Louis B. First Gentlemen of Virginia. Charlottesville, VA: Dominion Books, 1982.

Special Links:

 

 

All photography used on this site is owned and copyrighted by the author unless otherwise noted. The Featured Image is of the PageFamily Crest. Turn of the century Rosewell Pictures are all from Wikimedia Commons. Mansfield Plantation pictures are from Mysteries and Conundrums. John Page I Portrait by Peter Lely is from Wikimedia Commons.

Music used for this episode – Louis Armstrong and the Mills Brothers,”Carry Me Back to Old Virginia” available on iTunes, and “Rich Kids” by Judah and the Lion, also available on iTunes.

First Families of Virginia – The Burwells

The families making up the First Families list intermarried with one another throughout their generations. Arguably no family played a more central role in those marriages than did the Burwells.

Marriage lifted Lewis Burwell II out of a fatherless middling status in that his mother Lucy remarried twice, elevating both her and her son’s station each time. Lucy’s last marriage to Colonel Philip Ludwell Sr. solidified their inclusion among Virginia’s most powerful colonial elite.

Lewis only added to his now elevated position by also marrying well. He first wed Abigail Smith, cousin to Nathaniel Bacon Sr, and then Martha Lear, William Cole’s widow. He was an intelligent planter, merchant, and builder, and that work brought him much praise throughout the colony. He was involved in moving Virginia’s colonial capitol from Jamestown to Williamsburg, as well as laying out the new power-center’s infrastructure. This work would have seen him enter the Governor’s Council, but the situation went awry when his daughter Lucy refused to marry Governor Francis Nicholson.

In the end, Lewis and family endured long enough to see Nicholson’s downfall instead of their own. The Burwell name remained and grew upon Lewis’ foundation, thus leaving her imprint upon the colony, Commonwealth, and later United States. Their influence was such that a West Point family named a son after the great Lewis Burwells of history. That son went on to achieve great things as well, and he’s still highly revered, especially by his beloved Marine Corps.

LINKS TO THE PODCAST:

SOURCES:

  1. Billings, Warren M.; Selby, John E.; and Tate, Thad W. Colonial Virginia: A History. White Plains, NY: KTO Press. 1986.
  2. Billings, Warren M. Sir William Berkeley and the Forging of Colonial Virginia. Baton Rouge, LA: LSU Press, 2004.
  3. Billings, Warren. A Little Parliament: The Virginia General Assembly in the Seventeenth Century. Richmond, VA: Library of Virginia, 2004.
  4. Blair, John L. The Rise of the Burwells. MA Thesis, Williamsburg, VA: College of William and Mary, 1959.
  5. Brown, Stuart E. Burwell: Kith and kin of the immigrant, Lewis Burwell (1621-1653) : and Burwell Virginia Tidewater plantation mansions. Virginia Book, Co, 1994.
  6. Dabney, Virginius. Virginia: The New Dominion, A History from 1607 to the Present. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 1971.
  7. Dowdey, Clifford. The Great Plantation: A Profile of Berkeley Hundred and Plantation Virginia from Jamestown to Appomattox. Charles City, VA: Berkeley Plantation, 1980.
  8. Evans, Emory G. A “Topping People”: The Rise and Decline of Virginia’s Old Political Elite, 1680-1790. Charlottesville, VA: UVA Press, 2009.
  9. Fischer, David Hackett. Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America (America: a cultural history). Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989.
  10. Freeman, Douglas Southall. George Washington: A Biography. New York: Charles Scribners, 1957. (Specifically Volume 1).
  11. Horn, James. Adapting to A New World: English Society in the Seventeenth-Century Chesapeake. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1994.
  12. Mapp, Alfred J. Virginia Experiment: The Old Dominion’s Role in the Making of America, 1607-1781Lincoln, NE: iUniverse, Inc., 2006.
  13. McCartney, Martha W. Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers: A Biographical Dictionary, 1607-1635. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2007.
  14. Neill, Edward D. Virginia Carolorum: The Colony under the Rule of Charles The First and Second, A.D. 1625-A.D. 1685. Albany, NY: Joel Munsell’s and Sons, 1886.
  15. Pecquet du Bellet, Louise. Some Prominent Virginia Families, vol. 2. Lynchburg, VA:  J.P. Bell Company, 1907.
  16. Rothbard, Murray N. Conceived in Liberty. Auburn, AL: Ludwig Von Mises Institute, 1999.
  17. Tyler, Lyon Gardiner. The Cradle of the Republic: Jamestown and the James River. Richmond, VA: The Hermitage Press, 1906.
  18. Walsh, Lorena S. Motives of Honor, Pleasure, and Profit: Plantation Management in the Colonial Chesapeake, 1607-1763. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2010.
  19. Washburn, Wilcomb E. Virginia Under Charles I and Cromwell 1625-1660. Kindle Edition.
  20. Wertenbaker, Thomas Jefferson. Virginia Under the Stuarts: 1607-1688. New York: Russell and Russell, 1959.
  21. Wertenbaker, Thomas Jefferson. The Planters of Colonial Virginia. Kindle Edition.
  22. Wright, Louis B. First Gentlemen of Virginia. Charlottesville, VA: Dominion Books, 1982.

Special Links:

 

 

 

All photography used on this site is owned and copyrighted by the author unless otherwise noted. The Featured Image is of the Burwell Family Crest. Lewis Burwell II, Fairfield Plantation, Lewis Burwell “Chesty” Puller.

Music used for this episode – Louis Armstrong and the Mills Brothers,”Carry Me Back to Old Virginia” available on iTunes, and “If You’re Still In, I’m In.” by The East Pointers, also available on iTunes.