Document Bank of Virginia

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This photo shows the cover page to a first edition book of The Federalist, published in 1788. The Federalist is composed of 85 essays written between October 1787 and May 1788. These essays were originally written anonymously under the pseudonym…

After the Revolutionary War began, Virginia began to raise a militia for defense. Baptist leaders petitioned the third Virginia Revolutionary Convention requesting permission for Baptist ministers to preach to soldiers who did not wish to attend…

On November 7, 1774, residents of York boarded the British ship Virginia and dumped two half-chests of tea into the York River. The first Virginia Revolutionary Convention that met in August of that year had adopted a resolution to refuse to purchase…

In the process of breaking away from England, representatives for Virginia realized they had to define the government of the new state. In 1776, the Fifth Virginia Convention ratified a document, known as the Virginia Declaration of Rights, which…

This document shows a portrait of Mary Willing Byrd painted in the early 1770’s by artist Matthew Pratt. After placing three advertisements in the Virginia Gazette, William Byrd hired Pratt to paint a portrait of his second wife Mary Willing…

This act from the General Assembly granted William Pennock a government contract for a transportation company. Having a reliable way to transport people and goods across the state is important for a healthy economy. By granting this contract, the…

During the eighteenth century, voting was considered a privilege, not a right. Although governmental bodies, such as the House of Burgesses, were meant to be representative, a majority of people could not actually vote. A voter in early Virginia had…

Free and enslaved African Americans served on both sides of the American Revolutionary War. Patriot leaders, including George Washington, were largely lukewarm to the thought of recruiting slaves for the war, whereas the British side fully embraced…

In 1790 the Pennsylvania Abolitionist Society, led by Benjamin Franklin, submitted a plea to Congress to end slavery. Congress considered the pettion and formed a committee for further examination. They debated what was and was not within their…

This photograph depicts a marble statue of George Washington, our nation’s first President. The statue was created by Jean-Antoine Houdon and is located in the Virginia State Capitol. Washington was born in 1732 in Westmoreland County, Virginia to…
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