Virginia’s Important Ghost Stories – Dr. Alena Pirok Interview

Halloween brings out a series of ghost tours throughout Virginia from Colonial Williamsburg to Alexandria, Fredericksburg, Portsmouth, and so on. But such tours have only become popular recently. They’re popular, and draw large crowds to Virginia’s many famous sites, but why were such tours frowned upon for so long?

Dr. Alena Pirok joins me to discuss Ghost Stories and their importance to Colonial Williamsburg as well as Virginia. She details how Ghost Stories influenced Colonial Williamsburg’s founding, as well as how Virginian’s have viewed ghosts historically. Her new book reveals just how important those stories were and still are to the Commonwealth. Without them, Virginia’s tourist industry would never be the same. In fact, those frowned upon stories paved the way for the largest history museum in the world’s creation. They might even ensure that such places continue to endure well into the future.

LINKS TO THE PODCAST:

LINKS TO DR. PIROK’S WORK:

VISIT CW:




All photography used on this site is owned and copyrighted by the author unless otherwise noted. The featured image is Dr. Pirok’s new book.

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.

Abingdon’s Barter Theatre – Katy Brown Interview

Virginia’s earliest history saw the colony grow unlike other British and European colonies. The setup was quite sparse with no cities and at best a few small towns along major river outlets. In time, settlers began pushing westward into the Piedmont and mountainous regions. With such moves came new opportunities and ways of life. Through it all, Virginians continued to build smaller town centers along new roads. One such town was Abingdon, which slowly sprang into life along the Great Wagon Road extending southward into Tennessee.

During the mid to late 18th Century men like Daniel Boone and William Byrd III explored the region, before settlers under Thomas Walker began building homes along the Road. Because of unrest between settlers and the nearby Cherokee tribe the English built Black’s Fort, which saw some action during Lord Dunmore’s War, as well as the American War for Independence. After the latter war the settlement around Black’s Fort became known as Abingdon – so named perhaps due to a connection to Martha Washington’s home town Abingdon-on-Thames.

The Settlement continued to grow around a strong community of Scots-Irish immigrants, who built a marked local identity in their adopted Appalachian homeland. Though small population growth steadily increased during the 19th and 20th Centuries, Abingdon never lost her identity. One of the surest ways to witness Abingdon’s charm is visiting her historic district, which, in a nod to the Martha Washington tradition, includes places like the Martha Washington Inn – the former Martha Washington College.

Across the street from the college-turned-inn is the locally and internationally renowned Barter Theatre, or as it is officially known, State Theatre of Virginia. The Theatre moved into an old Presbyterian church during the Great Depression’s darkest days. Work was hard to find for anyone, which meant that little money could be spared for actors trying to ply their trade.

It was during this time that 5th generation Scottish descendant Robert Porterfield from nearby Wythe County embarked upon an acting career and returned to Southwestern Virginia. He worked hard to discover a way to help struggling actors, and founded the Barter Theatre in the process.

Since Porterfield’s original founding of the Theatre, only 3 others have served as the Producing Artistic Director, with Katy Brown being the current office holder. She’s the first woman to hold the position and the perfect person to discuss the Theatre’s history. She joins me to illustrate the Barter as well as offer a glimpse into Abingdon’s charming community.

LINKS TO THE PODCAST:

BARTER THEATRE LINKS:





All photography used on this site is owned and copyrighted by the author unless otherwise noted. All images for this episode are used with permission from the Barter Theatre, and can be found on their Facebook Page.

Music used for this episode – Louis Armstrong and the Mills Brothers,”Carry Me Back to Old Virginia” available on Apple Music, and selections from “The Appalachian Spring Suite” by Aaron Copeland, performed by the New York Philharmonic, conducted by Leonard Bernstein also available on Apple Music.

Colonial Virginia’s War Against Piracy – Jeremy Moss Interview

Piracy became quite a serious issue for Colonial Virginia during the late 17th Century. Many leading figures were split regarding how to handle the situation. Some didn’t want to handle it at all, as they saw piracy as useful outlet circumventing the hated Navigation Acts.

Governor Francis Nicholson chose to fight. His choice affected the colony in profound ways, as our guest for this episode argues in his newest book Colonial Virginia’s War Against Piracy: The Governor and the Buccaneer. Jeremy illustrates a battle that took place between the Virginia Capes, at the inlet of the Lynnhaven Bay.

Nicholson, the oft-beleaguered governor, won the day. His victory helped future governors in their fight against piracy, most famously Alexander Spottswood’s involvement with Blackbeard. It also aided in bolstering rule of law in such a way that later influenced the American War for Independence.

Tune in to this episode to learn more about Nicholson’s fight with Louis Guittar, and then click the links below to purchase Mr. Moss’s books, as well as follow his work.

Capture of Pirate Blackbeard, 1718 (Wikipedia)

LINKS TO THE PODCAST:

JEREMY R. MOSS LINKS:

All photography used on this site is owned and copyrighted by the author unless otherwise noted. The Featured Image is Mr. Moss’s newest book – Colonial Virginia’s War Against Piracy: The Governor and the Buccaneer, from The History Press.

Music used for this episode – Louis Armstrong and the Mills Brothers,”Carry Me Back to Old Virginia” available on Apple Music, and “Sailor’s Waltz” by Josh Garrels, also available on Apple Music.

First Families of Virginia – The Wormeleys

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. Fischer, David Hackett. Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America (America: a cultural history). Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989.
  8. Freeman, Douglas Southall. George Washington: A Biography. New York: Charles Scribners, 1957. (Specifically Volume 1).
  9. Graves, Donet D. “An Early Black Family’s Life in Lafayette Park.” White House Historical Association, June 5, 2020.
  10. Horn, James. Adapting to A New World: English Society in the Seventeenth-Century Chesapeake. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1994.
  11. Mapp, Alfred J. Virginia Experiment: The Old Dominion’s Role in the Making of America, 1607-1781Lincoln, NE: iUniverse, Inc., 2006.
  12. McCartney, Martha W. Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers: A Biographical Dictionary, 1607-1635. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2007.
  13. Meade, William. Old Churches, Ministers and Families of Virginia. in Two Volumes. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott, 1891.
  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, 4 Volumes. Lynchburg, VA:  J.P. Bell Company, 1907.
  16. Poston, Jonathan H. Ralph Wormeley V of Rosegill: A Deposed Virginia Aristocrat, 1774-1781. Master’s Thesis. Williamsburg, VA: College of William and Mary, 1979.
  17. Rothbard, Murray N. Conceived in Liberty. Auburn, AL: Ludwig Von Mises Institute, 1999.
  18. Tyler, Lyon Gardiner. The Cradle of the Republic: Jamestown and the James River. Richmond, VA: The Hermitage Press, 1906.
  19. 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.
  20. Washburn, Wilcomb E. Virginia Under Charles I and Cromwell 1625-1660. Kindle Edition.
  21. Wertenbaker, Thomas Jefferson. Virginia Under the Stuarts: 1607-1688. New York: Russell and Russell, 1959.
  22. Wertenbaker, Thomas Jefferson. The Planters of Colonial Virginia. Kindle Edition.
  23. Wormley, Nick and Wormley, Kevin. Wormley Family History. Online Book and Database.
  24. “The Wormeley Family.” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 35, no. 4 (1927): 455–56. http://www.jstor.org/stable/4244177.
  25. “The Wormeley Family (Continued).” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 36, no. 1 (1928): 98–101. http://www.jstor.org/stable/4244188.
  26. “The Wormeley Family (Continued).” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 36, no. 3 (1928): 283–93. http://www.jstor.org/stable/4244221.
  27. “The Wormeley Family (Continued).” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 36, no. 4 (1928): 385–88. http://www.jstor.org/stable/4244233.
  28. “The Wormeley Family (Concluded).” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 37, no. 1 (1929): 82–86. http://www.jstor.org/stable/4244250.
  29. Wormley Family. Papers, 1773-1991 (bulk 1880-1960). Accession 42649. Personal papers collection, The Library of Virginia, Richmond, VA 23219.

All photography used on this site is owned and copyrighted by the author unless otherwise noted. The Featured Image is of the Wormeley Family Crest.

Music used for this episode – Louis Armstrong and the Mills Brothers,”Carry Me Back to Old Virginia” available on Apple Music, and “Shadow of a Man” also available on Apple Music.

First Families of Virginia – The Armisteads


SOURCES:

  1. Appleton, William S. The Family of Armistead of Virginia. Boston: Press of David Clapp and Son, 1899.
  2. Barnhart, Becky F. “Hesse Research” Compiled for Matthews County Historical Society Inc. March, 2006. Unpublished.
  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. Billings, Warren, and Dictionary of Virginia Biography. “John Armistead (fl. 1650s–1690s)” Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Humanities, (22 Dec. 2021).
  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. Dabney, Virginius. Virginia: The New Dominion, A History from 1607 to the Present. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 1971.
  9. Dozier, Graham. “Lewis A. Armistead (1817–1863)” Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Humanities, (22 Dec. 2021).
  10. Evans, Emory G. A “Topping People”: The Rise and Decline of Virginia’s Old Political Elite, 1680-1790. Charlottesville, VA: UVA Press, 2009.
  11. Fischer, David Hackett. Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America (America: a cultural history). Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989.
  12. Freeman, Douglas Southall. George Washington: A Biography. New York: Charles Scribners, 1957. (Specifically Volume 1).
  13. Garber, Virginia Armistead. The Armistead Family: 1635-1910. Richmond, VA: Whittet and Shepperson Printers, 1910.
  14. Horn, James. Adapting to A New World: English Society in the Seventeenth-Century Chesapeake. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1994.
  15. James, Clifford. “Battles That Saved America: North Point and Baltimore 1814” The National Museum of the United States Army.
  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. Pecquet du Bellet, Louise. Some Prominent Virginia Families, 4 Volumes. Lynchburg, VA:  J.P. Bell Company, 1907.
  21. Rothbard, Murray N. Conceived in Liberty. Auburn, AL: Ludwig Von Mises Institute, 1999.
  22. Salmon, John, and Dictionary of Virginia Biography. “James Lafayette (ca. 1748–1830)” Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Humanities, (22 Dec. 2021).
  23. Tyler, Lyon Gardiner. The Cradle of the Republic: Jamestown and the James River. Richmond, VA: The Hermitage Press, 1906.
  24. 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.
  25. Washburn, Wilcomb E. Virginia Under Charles I and Cromwell 1625-1660. Kindle Edition.
  26. Wertenbaker, Thomas Jefferson. Virginia Under the Stuarts: 1607-1688. New York: Russell and Russell, 1959.
  27. Wertenbaker, Thomas Jefferson. The Planters of Colonial Virginia. Kindle Edition.
  28. “Armistead Family.” The William and Mary Quarterly 6, no. 1 (1897): 31–33. https://www.jstor.org/stable/1914798
  29. “Armistead Family.” The William and Mary Quarterly 6, no. 2 (1897): 97–102. https://www.jstor.org/stable/1915366
  30. “Armistead Family.” The William and Mary Quarterly 6, no. 3 (1898): 164–71. https://www.jstor.org/stable/1914603
  31. “Armistead Family.” The William and Mary Quarterly 6, no. 4 (1898): 226–34. https://www.jstor.org/stable/1915886
  32. “Armistead Family (Continued from Vol.VI p.226).” The William and Mary Quarterly 7, no. 1 (1898): 17–24. https://www.jstor.org/stable/1919906
  33. “Armistead Family.” The William and Mary Quarterly 7, no. 3 (1899): 181–86. https://www.jstor.org/stable/1923246
  34. “Armistead Family.” The William and Mary Quarterly 8, no. 1 (1899): 63–70. https://www.jstor.org/stable/1915807
  35. Armistead, Constance. “Armistead Family.” The William and Mary Quarterly 11, no. 2 (1902): 144–45. https://www.jstor.org/stable/1915166
  36. “Armistead Family.” The William and Mary Quarterly 14, no. 4 (1906): 282–85. https://www.jstor.org/stable/1916230
  37. “Armistead Family.” The William and Mary Quarterly 17, no. 2 (1908): 145–46. https://www.jstor.org/stable/1916059
  38. “Armistead Family.” The William and Mary Quarterly 22, no. 1 (1913): 64–67. https://www.jstor.org/stable/1915076
  39. “Armistead Family.” The William and Mary Quarterly 25, no. 2 (1916): 117–23. https://www.jstor.org/stable/1915194

All photography used on this site is owned and copyrighted by the author unless otherwise noted. The Featured Image is of the Armistead Family Crest. Photographs from top left to bottom right – Original Hesse Drawing, James Armistead Lafayette, Hesse Plantation – 1983 Lewis Addison Armistead, Hesse Plantation 1935.

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

First Families of Virginia – The Nelsons

It’s hard to think about Yorktown, VA without the Nelson family. In fact, one could say it another way – It’s hard to think about the Nelson family without Yorktown. They were so instrumental in creating the once prominent port city that they’ve often been called the city’s founders. Whether they were or not is debatable, but what is not debatable is that Yorktown as we know it would not have existed.

“Scotch Tom” emigrated to Virginia in the early 18th Century, began many businesses, and established a solid foundation for his descendants in the process.

Those descendants became major figures that shaped Virginia and then the United State’s History. Undoubtedly that history would be quite different had this important family not existed, which is why the Nelson’s must be discussed.


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. Evans, Emory G.,  Thomas Nelson of Yorktown: Revolutionary Virginian . Williamsburg, Va.: Colonial Williamsburg Foundation; Charlottesville: Distributed by the University Press of Virginia, 1975.
  8. Evans, Emory G., The Nelsons: A biographical Study of a Virginia Family in the Eighteenth Century. Ann Arbor, Michigan: UMI Dissertation Services. (A Dissertation Presented to the Graduate Faculty of the University of Virginia in Candidacy for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy by Emory G. Evans, B.A., M.A., Corcoran Department of History, University of Virginia, 1957.
  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. Hayes, Laura. “Wives of the Signers: Lucy Grymes Nelson.” Descendents of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence.
  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. Meade, William. Old Churches, Ministers and Families of Virginia. in Two Volumes. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott, 1891.
  16. 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.
  17. Page, Richard Channing Moore. Genealogy of the Page Family in Virginia: Also a Condensed Account of the Nelson, Walker, Pendleton, and Randolph Families. New York: Jenkins and Thomas, 1893.
  18. Pecquet du Bellet, Louise. Some Prominent Virginia Families, 4 Volumes. Lynchburg, VA:  J.P. Bell Company, 1907.
  19. Rothbard, Murray N. Conceived in Liberty. Auburn, AL: Ludwig Von Mises Institute, 1999.
  20. Royster, Charles. The Fabulous History of the Dismal Swamp Company: A Story of George Washington’s Times. New York: Vintage Press, 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. Official Letters of the Governors of the State of Virginia, Vol. III, The Letters of Thomas Nelson and Benjamin Harrison. H. R. McIlwaine, General Editor. Richmond, VA: Virginia State Library, 1929.
  27. The Correspondence of William Nelson as Acting Governor of Virginia, 1770-1771. Richmond, VA: Virginia Historical Society, 1975.





All photography used on this site is owned and copyrighted by the author unless otherwise noted. The Featured Image is of the Nelson Family Crest.

Music used for the first episode – Louis Armstrong and the Mills Brothers,”Carry Me Back to Old Virginia” available on Apple Music, and “Meridians” performed by The National Parks.

First Families of Virginia – The Custises

All families on the First Families list were involved across the world in one way or another, but arguably no one was more involved than the Custises.

Their family history is relatively short, but from their rather humble beginnings as Cliffes in England, they grew into important figures. The Cliffe name morphed into Custis, and then the Custis name spread to Ireland, Belgium, The Netherlands, the Caribbean, and Virginia.

Along the way, they mingled with royalty and aided some of history’s most famous people. Then, they became important and famous themselves. The main Virginia Custis line may have ended in the 1850s, but their accomplishments and landmarks endure, from the somewhat obscure Custis tombs to the hallowed Arlington National Cemetery. Indeed, without them, there wouldn’t be an Arlington.

In this pair of episodes, we take a look at the Custis family beginnings, and detail how they became the great family who played an important part in so much of Virginia’s history.

Custis Episode Part 1
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is libsyn-logo-edited.jpg
Custis Episode Part 2


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. Crozier, William Armstrong. Editor. Virginia Heraldica: Being a Registry of Virginia Gentry Entitled to Coat of Armor With Genealogical Notes of the Families. New York: The Genealogical Association, 1908.
  6. Dabney, Virginius. Virginia: The New Dominion, A History from 1607 to the Present. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 1971.
  7. Evans, Emory G. A “Topping People”: The Rise and Decline of Virginia’s Old Political Elite, 1680-1790. Charlottesville, VA: UVA Press, 2009.
  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. Horn, James. Adapting to A New World: English Society in the Seventeenth-Century Chesapeake. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1994.
  11. Jackson, Cordelia. “Tudor Place.” Records of the Columbia Historical Society, Washington, D.C., vol. 25, Historical Society of Washington, D.C., 1923, pp. 68–86, http://www.jstor.org/stable/40067401.
  12. Lucketti, Nicholas et. al. Archaeology at Arlington: Excavations at the Ancestral Custis Plantation, Northampton County, Virginia. Virginia Company Foundation and APVA, 1999.
  13. Lynch, James B. The Custis Chronicles: The Years of Migration. Camden, ME: Picton Press, 1993.
  14. Lynch James B. The Custis Chronicles: Virginia Generations. Camden, ME: Picton Press, 1997.
  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. McMillan, Joseph. Changes of Arms in Colonial North America: The Strange Case of Custis. The Coat of Arms: The Journal of the Heraldry Society, Vol. 11, Part 2, 2015.
  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. Pecquet du Bellet, Louise. Some Prominent Virginia Families, 4 Volumes. Lynchburg, VA:  J.P. Bell Company, 1907.
  21. Rothbard, Murray N. Conceived in Liberty. Auburn, AL: Ludwig Von Mises Institute, 1999.
  22. Tyler, Lyon Gardiner. The Cradle of the Republic: Jamestown and the James River. Richmond, VA: The Hermitage Press, 1906.
  23. 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.
  24. Washburn, Wilcomb E. Virginia Under Charles I and Cromwell 1625-1660. Kindle Edition.
  25. Wertenbaker, Thomas Jefferson. Virginia Under the Stuarts: 1607-1688. New York: Russell and Russell, 1959.
  26. Wertenbaker, Thomas Jefferson. The Planters of Colonial Virginia. Kindle Edition.
  27. Whitelaw, Ralph T. Virginia’s Eastern Shore: A History of Northampton and Accomack Counties. 2 Vols. Peter Smith, 1968.
  28. Wright, Louis B. First Gentlemen of Virginia. Charlottesville, VA: Dominion Books, 1982.
  29. Zuppan, Josephine Little. The Letterbook of John Custis IV of Williamsburg, 1717-1742. New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 2004.
  30. Jo Zuppan. “John Custis of Williamsburg, 1678-1749.” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, vol. 90, no. 2, Virginia Historical Society, 1982, pp. 177–97, http://www.jstor.org/stable/4248543.




All photography used on this site is owned and copyrighted by the author unless otherwise noted. The Featured Image is of the Custis Family Crest. Woodlawn and the Tudor Place are both from Wikipedia. The Arlington Mansion sketch is from Northampton County.

Music used for the first episode – Louis Armstrong and the Mills Brothers,”Carry Me Back to Old Virginia” available on Apple Music, and “Waiting for Lightning” by The National Parks also available on Apple Music.

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

Special Halloween Episode – Evelyn Byrd’s Ghost

Westover is one of the great James River Plantation manor homes. After the Byrd family purchased the land, they undertook the spectacular monument meant to reflect their prestigious colonial position. The Byrd’s left their mark all over the land, from William Byrd II’s grave to powerful eagles adorning the carriage entrance gates. A nearby graveyard once attached to Westover Parish also contains Byrd family remains.

Beyond the tangible reminders, however, the Byrd’s left a much more ethereal, paranormal reminder behind. William Byrd II’s daughter Evelyn Byrd, the colonial beauty, who, according to tradition, caught King George I’s attention, causing him to comment about all of the beautiful birds in his Virginia colony, fell in love during her English visit. Her love choice, however, was not met with William’s pleasure. He demanded their separation, which sent Evelyn into despair.

Upon the Byrds’ return to Virginia, William became more detached and Evelyn fell into melancholy. She never married. She did cultivate at least one close friendship and that was with neighbor Anne Harrison. The pair made a pact stating that whoever died first would visit the other who remained alive.

That pact was put to the test just before Evelyn’s 30th birthday, she caught smallpox and died soon thereafter. Evelyn honored her agreement, and ever since that first meeting between ghost and living, Evelyn has been witnessed by many.

LINKS TO THE PODCAST:

SPECIAL LINKS:

PREVIOUS HALLOWEEN EPISODES:





All photography used on this site is owned and copyrighted by the author unless otherwise noted. The featured image and subsequent images are from my various trips to Westover and Evelynton Plantations.

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.

Debunking the 1619 Project – Dr. Mary Grabar Interview

Because The 1619 Project continues to impact current events through the way we view the past, I wanted to devote another episode to discussing the Project.

Dr. Mary Grabar joins me to discuss her new book Debunking the 1619 Project: Exposing the Plan to Divide America, in which she tackles the historical philosophy underpinning the Project. In addition, Dr. Grabar works to shed more light on the Project‘s historical misrepresentations.

If one is seeking to understand the philosophy driving The 1619 Project as well as the Project‘s goals, then Dr. Grabar’s work is a must read. I trust our discussion illustrates my claim, and that my listeners will get a copy of this important new book.

LINKS TO THE PODCAST:

MARY GRABAR LINKS:

SPECIAL LINKS:

All photography used on this site is owned and copyrighted by the author unless otherwise noted. The Featured Image is Dr. Mary Grabar from the author’s website.

Music used for this episode – Louis Armstrong and the Mills Brothers,”Carry Me Back to Old Virginia” available on Apple Music, and Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber, The New York Philharmonic conducted by Leonard Bernstein also available on Apple Music.

The 1619 Project – Dr. Phil Magness Interview

1619 was indeed a big year in Virginia’s history. In previous episodes we discussed many firsts that took place in the colony, but perhaps none of those firsts has drawn more attention than the “20 and odd’s” arrival.

In 2019 The New York Times published a series of articles highlighting that arrival. It was quite a publication with many goals, most of them political. Especially because of that political focus the 1619 Project received enormous scrutiny. It could be understood that one side of the political spectrum would attack the work, but both sides cried foul.

One of the leading critics, Dr. Phillip Magness began dissecting the work in a series of his own essays. Those essays became his book The 1619 Project: A Critique. In it, he discusses the Project’s shortcomings, while also highlighting some of what the series got right. As such, he, somewhat humorously, earned both praise and ire from Nikole Hannah-Jones, the Project’s lead editor.

His work is quite exhaustive, as you’ll hear in the interview. I’ve listed a few key links mentioned in the episode, but for further, in depth material, please, do purchase his book, The 1619 Project A Critique.

Understandably, I focus upon Virginia’s history with this podcast, and I intend to keep doing so. Because of the 1619 Project‘s continued influence, based upon it’s slavery claims reaching far back into Virginia’s history, I’ve come to believe that we needed to discuss the work in more detail, hence this episode.

There will be one more interview covering the Project’s work, but in my opinion, Dr. Magness’ scholarly expertise in this area is second to none. I trust as you listen to this episode, you’ll see why I hold him and his work in such high regard.

LINKS TO THE PODCAST:

PHIL MAGNESS LINKS:

SPECIAL LINKS:

All photography used on this site is owned and copyrighted by the author unless otherwise noted. The Featured Image is Dr. Phillip W. Magness from aeir.org.

Music used for this episode – Louis Armstrong and the Mills Brothers,”Carry Me Back to Old Virginia” available on Apple Music, and The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh and the Maiden Fevronia: Introduction “In Praise of the Wilderness” by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov performed by the Mariinsky Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev also available on Apple Music.




**Full disclosure, I re-uploaded the Dr. Magness interview tonight.One of my faithful listeners pointed out that I erred when mentioning that Teddy Roosevelt would not publicly meet with Booker T. Washington.

Though there is nuance to the comment, Roosevelt in fact did meet with Washington at the White House.Roosevelt received incredibly negative publicity for meeting with Washington after they shared dinner together. Making the situation more unclear, the White House, not necessarily Roosevelt, stated that they did not eat together. Then a few staff members commented on the meal, but said it was not dinner, but lunch instead.

Either way, I was incorrect in saying that Roosevelt did not meet with Washington, and that portion has been struck from the episode. This message is to publicly state the change.

As always, thanks for listening. I greatly appreciate the feedback!
Robert.