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History of Virginia Readings


Kathleen M. Brown, Good Wives, Nasty Wenches and Anxious Patriarchs (Brown)

Edmund S. Morgan, American Slavery – American Freedom (Morgan)

Rhys Isaac, The Transformation of Virginia, 1740-1790 (Isaac)


Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of
Virginia (Jefferson)

Thad W. Tate, ed. The Chesapeake in the Seventeenth Century Essays on Anglo American Society (Tate)

Discussion of the Readings

Each class will include a discussion of that week’s assigned readings. Over the course of the semester, each student will have the opportunity to guide the weekly discussion. Hopefully, this will give you a greater insight into the chapters and help each student gain a greater understanding of the material and the underlying issues facing Virginia.


8/23: Introduction

Week 2: 8/30: Europe in distress

Discussion Signup

Morgan: 3-24
Brown: 13-41


Week 4: 9/13: “Before the white man came”

Morgan: 25-58
Brown: 42-74


Tate, Chp 3 “Environment, Disease and Mortality in Early Virginia”

Jefferson, Query 2, 7

Week 5: 9/20: John Smith

Morgan: 71-107
Brown: 75-104


Tate, Chp 7 “Immigration and Opportunity: The Freedman in Early Colonial Maryland

Week 6: 9/27: John Harvey

Morgan: 108-130
Brown: 107-136


Tate, Chp 4 “‘Till Death Us Do Part’ Marriage and Family in 17th Cent. Maryland”

Week 7: 10/4: William Berkeley

Morgan: 133-211
Brown: 137-159


Tate, Chp 5 “‘Now Wives and Sons-in-Law’ Parental Death in a 17th Century Virginia County”



Week 9: 10/18: Nathaniel Bacon

Midterm Distributed

Morgan: 215-270
Brown: 159-186


Tate, Chp 2 “Servant Emigration to the Chesapeake in the 17th Century”

Week 10: 10/25: William Byrd I

Midterm due

Morgan: 271-337
Brown: 187-211

Week 11: 11/1: William Byrd II

Isaac: 1-47
Brown: 212-244

Week 12: 11/8 John Robinson

Morgan: 338-362
Isaac: 58-114

Week 13: 11/15: George Washington

Isaac: 115-157

Mt. Vernon field trip, Saturday 11/20

Week 14: 11/22: Patrick Henry

Isaac: 161-205


Jefferson: Query 6, 8, 11, 13-22


Week 15: 11/29: Jefferson & Madison

Isaac: 209-269


Jefferson: Appendix 3, “An Act for Establishing Religious Freedom, 1786”

Week 16: 12/6

Final Exam Distributed

Paper Presentation

 12/13: FINAL EXAM Due

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Last Edited: Friday January 28, 2005
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