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Entries Tagged as 'Around the State'

Making the Best of the Starving Time

May 13th, 2013 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

The colonial historian Andrew Schwartz says it’s no big surprise that cannibalism existed at Jamestown. (Note: I think more caution is due here.) And he uses the occasion of a new archaeological find to draw some larger conclusions about the winter of 1609–1610, known as the Starving Time: We must remember that despite the horror we see […]

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Tags: Around the State · Virginia History

Gift Will Help Recreate Slave Quarters

April 20th, 2013 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

Last night, while the world was preoccupied with something else, businessman David Rubenstein, the co-CEO of The Carlyle Group private equity firm, announced a gift of $10 million toward the continued restoration of Monticello, the former home of Thomas Jefferson. A pair of slave quarters on Mulberry Row will be recreated and work will be done […]

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Tags: Around the State · Thomas Jefferson

This Day (Is for Presidents Edition)

February 18th, 2013 by Brendan Wolfe · 1 Comment

Happy Presidents Day! The holiday—officially called Washington’s Birthday and established by Congress in 1971 as the third Monday in February—is meant to honor United States presidents. Eight of the forty-four, or 18 percent, were born in Virginia: George Washington Thomas Jefferson James Madison James Monroe William Henry Harrison John Tyler Zachary Taylor Woodrow Wilson There […]

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Tags: Around the State · George Washington · This Day · Virginia History

Monumental

January 17th, 2013 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

As part of its celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, the University of Virginia will help to sponsor a discussion titled “Charlottesville Civil War Monuments: Do They Hold Significance for Today’s Society?” From the official press release: In Charlottesville, Civil War monuments play a very prominent role in defining the landscape. Often displayed in parks […]

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Tags: Around the State · Holsinger Collection · Virginia History

This Day (Hurricane Sandy Edition)

October 30th, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

While Encyclopedia Virginia‘s World Headquarters in Charlottesville escaped the brunt of Hurricane Sandy, coastal Virginia did not. The above photograph from Weather.com shows the Oyster House in Bayford, on the Eastern Shore, as flood waters creep up to the level of the great Ash Wednesday storm of 1962. This was on Sunday; things only got […]

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Tags: Around the State · This Day

Gigi’s Gabriel

October 11th, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

If you’re in Charlottesville tonight, join me for an event at WriterHouse: “Portal to the Past: Archival Sources and the Writing Process with Gigi Amateau”: In the process of writing her middle grade novel Come August, Come Freedom, author Gigi Amateau spent time researching primary documents in several archives. A document, a journal or a blacksmith account […]

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Tags: Around the State · Virginia History · Virginia Literature

Off-Roading

September 26th, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

George Washington‘s birthplace Birthplace National Monument via Google Street View.

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Tags: Around the State · George Washington · Maps · Visual History

What’s Wrong with a Tree?

September 21st, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · 4 Comments

According to this article, empty chairs, apparently representing President Barack Obama, recently have been hung in effigy in Virginia and Texas. The chairs, on display at two Centreville, Va., and Austin, Texas, homes, are a reference to Clint Eastwood’s chair speech, and conjure memories of mob lynchings once common in the South. Technically, it’s a free country, […]

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Tags: Around the State · Virginia History

You Broke My Heart

June 27th, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

The Washington Post reports the end of the crisis at the University of Virginia, a resolution that—unexpectedly—included ousted and then un-ousted president Teresa Sullivan hugging it out with Rector Helen Dragas (above). We are not the only ones to recall this classic cinema moment:

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Tags: Around the State

WWJD (Cont’d)

June 22nd, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · 1 Comment

I have been wanting to write a post all week about the appropriation of Thomas Jefferson by the various disputants in the ongoing controversy over the resignation of Teresa Sullivan, president of the University of Virginia. My recent illness has prevented me from doing that, so here—if you’ll forgive me—is something a bit more off […]

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Tags: Around the State · George Washington · Thomas Jefferson · Virginia History

Separated at Birth?

June 19th, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · 2 Comments

The University of Virginia Board of Visitors Vice Rector Mark Kington (left) has just resigned his position, and we were wondering whether he was a long lost sibling of Albert Frederick Arthur George, or King George VI of Great Britain (right). The resemblance is almost too much to bear. For the latest on the chaos […]

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Tags: Around the State · Separated at Birth

As Toilsome I Wander’d Virginia’s Woods

June 4th, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

A new exhibit at the Virginia Museum for Fine Arts, which takes its title from Whitman’s poem “As Toilsome I Wander’d Virginia’s Wood[s],” showcases one of VMFA’s seminal works—Eastman Johnson’s A Ride for Liberty—The Fugitive Slaves, March 2, 1862—in addition to 29 paintings, sculpture, and rare books from noted public and private collections across the […]

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Tags: Around the State · Virginia Arts · Virginia History

A Minor Catastrophe

May 31st, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · 4 Comments

The Washington Post reports today on the “sorry fate” of Carter’s Grove, the Georgian-style plantation built in 1750 by Carter Burwell, grandson of the larger-than-life Robert “King” Carter. (We don’t have an entry on Carter Burwell, but we do on his older brother Lewis.) Anyway, back to Carter’s Grove: For 260 years, it steadfastly survived […]

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Tags: Around the State · Virginia History

A Latter-Day Henry Box Brown

April 10th, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · 5 Comments

Washington City Paper reports on the 5×5 project in Washington, D.C., in which five curators invite five artists each to install temporary public artworks around the capital. The only local curator among the bunch, Laura Roulet, has tapped, as one of her five, Wilmer Wilson IV, a bright new D.C. light who, covered in postage stamps, […]

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Tags: Around the State · Virginia Arts · Virginia History

Statues for No One! Statues for Everyone!

April 4th, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · 3 Comments

You might recall the argument in Charlottesville over Confederate statues. It began at our dear old Festival of the Book, and was prompted by City Councilor Kirstin Szakos’s suggestion that “a lot of people” want to tear down statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. The other day Szakos made a speech deploring the reaction to her comments, some of which was directed […]

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Tags: Around the State · Robert E. Lee

How Tall Does This Man Look to You?

April 2nd, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · 2 Comments

… this man being, of course, James Madison, our fourth, but also our shortest, president. I ask because the staff of Encyclopedia Virginia was in lovely Harrisonburg this past weekend attending the annual Virginia Forum. [Quick Digression: Thanks to Chris Arndt and the other organizers for another great conference this year. And congratulation to EV alumna […]

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Tags: Around the State

The Bridge Has Been Smoking …

March 26th, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · 2 Comments

Alert reader David Urban noticed our post on High Bridge, near Farmville, and commented: Vince Gilligan, producer of Breaking Bad and the X Files, uses this pic as the logo of his production company. He grew up in Farmville and Chesterfield County. Indeed, the photo has just the right creepy vibe for those shows! IN […]

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Tags: Around the State · Visual History

Was Jefferson an Enlightened Slaveowner?

January 27th, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

The exhibit Slavery at Jefferson’s Monticello: Paradox of Liberty opens today at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. This has been a huge undertaking by the historians at Monticello, and the New York Times has pronounced their efforts to be good: The contradictions in notions of liberty could not be more […]

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Tags: Around the State · Thomas Jefferson · Virginia History

“Proud, honorable, and stoic … a gentleman”

January 16th, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day! The University of Virginia—and Encyclopedia Virginia, too—is observing the federal holiday, while the administration of Washington and Lee University has decided to take a pass. This has caused some consternation, as the Washington Post reports. While the university has scheduled programming to honor King, some students are concerned that […]

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Tags: Around the State · Robert E. Lee · Virginia History

Our Virginia, Our Challenge

January 13th, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · 4 Comments

Last year, upon the release of Five Ponds Press’s fourth-grade textbook, Our Virginia, and its unfavorable write-up in the Washington Post, the history nerds of Virginia—which is to say, pretty much everybody—mobilized into a mass orgy of righteous fact-checking. I was right there with them, of course, shocked to learn that Sir Walter Raleigh had […]

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Tags: Around the State · Textbooks · Virginia History

In Which Gabriel Has Risen Again!

December 16th, 2011 by Brendan Wolfe · 1 Comment

It’s a tough time for Civil War monuments, apparently. On December 11, NBC29 in Charlottesville reported that the city’s equestrian Robert E. Lee monument had been vandalized, possibly by the Occupy protestors who had been living in the surrounding park. One historian declared this to be “a stupid and disturbing act.” It certainly was witless, […]

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Tags: Around the State · Virginia History

Pocahontas Was Married Right Here!

November 28th, 2011 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

A news report over the holiday tells us that William Kelso, the archaeologist who discovered the fort at Jamestown and wrote about it in Jamestown: The Buried Truth (2008), is now “certain” he has discovered the site of the church where the minister Richard Bucke married Pocahontas and John Rolfe. She was “married right here, […]

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Tags: Around the State · Virginia History

The Crater on PBS

May 27th, 2010 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

The Battle of the Crater will be examined on a PBS series: The tunnel that Union soldiers dug to blow a crater under Confederate defenses at Petersburg, Va., is not usually juxtaposed with, say, the Great Wall of China. But the Battle of the Crater makes the cut in the new PBS series “Ground War,” […]

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Tags: Around the State · Virginia History

Admiring Lee for Who He Was

April 14th, 2010 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

In the wake of Virginia governor Bob McDonnell’s declaration of Confederate History Month and all the resulting hoopla, Ta-Nehisi Coates considers the memory of Robert E. Lee. In so doing, he quotes a lecture by Elizabeth Brown Pryor that aired on C-SPAN: It’s wrong to turn [Lee] into this unreal person. And I’ll tell you […]

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Tags: Around the State · Robert E. Lee · Virginia History

Cather Birthplace for Sale

March 24th, 2010 by Brendan Wolfe · 3 Comments

Willa Cather‘s birthplace, a tw0-story log house on Back Creek near Winchester, is for sale. In 1950, Charles Brill’s parents bought the house, and he spent most of his life on the property. Now Brill is looking for a buyer who can maintain the house—perhaps even a member of Cather’s family. Brill is committed to selling […]

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Tags: Around the State · Virginia Literature