Document Bank of Virginia

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This engraving, attributed to Harry C. Mann, depicts the burning of Jamestown during Bacon’s Rebellion in 1676.Bacon’s Rebellion was named after its leader, Nathaniel Bacon, who was an outspoken opponent of Governor Sir William Berkeley. While…

On 6 May 1776, during the sixteenth year of the reign of King George III, assistant clerk Jacob Bruce made the last entry recorded in the official journals of the Virginia House of Burgesses, an assembly of elected representatives from Virginia that…

During the Revolutionary War in 1781, an enslaved African American man named Billy, owned by John Tayloe, was indicted for "feloniously and traitorously" joining the British. He was captured and tried for treason, yet pled not guilty and testified…

Throughout much of the nineteenth century, wealthy women's involvement in the public sphere often involved religious or charitable work. During an era when governments provided few social programs, Virginia’s women founded orphanages and schools…

The Virginia Declaration of Rights was drafted by George Mason and later was adopted on June 12, 1776. The Virginia Declaration of Rights was written after the members of Virginia's fifth Revolutionary Convention voted in favor to prepare for a new…

This piece titled “Adoption of the Virginia Declaration of Rights” was painted in 1974 by Jack Clifton. Clifton, who was commissioned by the Jamestown Foundation to paint a depiction of the first legislative assembly at Jamestown, painted the…

This portrait was painted in 1901 by William L. Sheppard, an artist and a teacher, who studied in New York City. Sheppard based this portrait after Thomas Sully’s portrait of Madison. Sheppard’s portrait was painted form a Southern perspective.…

In 1787 during the Constitutional Convention, tension rose out of the new addition to the Constitution. After the founders wrote the Constitution, they needed nine states to ratify it before it became law. George Mason, who was the author of Virginia…

Following American Independence, key political leaders in Virginia pursued the disestablishment the Church of England as the state church of the young state. Initially introduced in 1776 by George Mason in the Virginia Declaration of Rights,…

Thomas Jefferson, one of the founding fathers of the United States, was born on April 13, 1743 in Shadwell near Charlottesville, Virginia. He attended the College of William and Mary where he studied to be a lawyer and later practiced law in…
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