Document Bank of Virginia

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Maggie Lena Walker was an African American banker, business women and civic leader who overcame adversary and discriminating laws by becoming the first women, white or black, to establish and become the president of a bank in the United States.…

Securing fair and equal educational opportunities in the United States has been quite a struggle for the African American community.  In the pre-Civil War North, free blacks helped finance elementary schools in New York and other Northern cities,…

In 1907, Virginia honored the 300th anniversary of the English settlement at Jamestown with an exposition. Modeled after many national fairs of the era, the Jamestown Ter-centennial Exhibition contained exhibits, representative buildings of the…

This broadside was circulated in Staunton, Virginia, sometime between 1900 and 1919. In it, the women of Staunton asked the men in their community to vote in favor of prohibition, or the legal elimination of alcohol consumption and sale. The women…

For a majority of American history, women were not allowed to vote. Although they were considered citizens with rights equal to men, voting was considered a privilege and not a right and thus legally kept away from women. In the 1910s, women became…

Coal is Virginia’s most valuable mineral resource.  The first coal mines in Virginia were developed in the 1790s.  Coal was carried from the mines in the Triassic Basin near Midlothian in Chesterfield County to the manufacturing facilities along…

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Richmond native Lila Meade Valentine was born in 1865 and devoted much of her life to advocating education and health-care reform and woman suffrage. In 1909, Valentine cofounded the Equal Suffrage League of Virginia (ESL) and was elected the…

Antonio Sansone was born in 1856 in Termini Imerese, Sicily, and immigrated to the United States in 1880.  By 1899, he had established Antonio Sansone & Company, a wholesale dealer of fruit located on East Main Street, near the city market, in…

The Equal Suffrage League of Virginia (ESL) was founded in 1909 in Richmond. The ESL became one of the most influential suffrage organizations in the country. Among the twenty founding women, Lila Meade Valentine, a Richmond native, was elected the…

World War I required the marshaling of the resources of the United States as never before. Industries that were geared to the production of automobiles, sewing machines, etc., were shifted to the production of war material—guns and new weapons such…
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