Document Bank of Virginia
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  • Collection: Colonization and Settlement

Nova Britannia 1609.jpg
By the 17th century, England was one of the leading world powers involved in trade. Wealthy merchants created a number of companies to set up trade and exploration throughout the world. Each company was made up of individuals who would purchase…

Baron de la Warr Portrait.jpg
This painting depicts Thomas West, the twelfth baron De la Warr. De la Warr  was appointed by King James I in 1606 to be part of the royal council that oversaw the Virginia Company of London. He remained in England, where he helped monitor things…

Caring for those disabled by Native attacks, 1644.jpg
White English colonists and Natives were openly viiolent to each other for much of the early seventeenth century. A few months prior to the passing of this act, the Third Anglo-Powhatan War started, resulting in many deaths and injuries on both…

ANTHONYJOHNSON.jpg
Anthony Johnson was a black man and former indentured servant in 17th-century Virginia who was able to purchase his freedom. Upon becoming free, Johnson purchased land as well as servants. One such servant, John Casar, claimed that Johnson was…

Petition of Phillip Gowen.jpg
This document provides a unique look at the status of African laborers in Virginia by clearly illustrating that fixed terms of indentured servitude existed, but also that they could be violated. In 1675 Phillip Gowen, an African American indentured…

72dpi.jpg
A Controversial Map in the New World             Herman Moll was born in Holland in 1654 but lived in England for the rest of his life until he died in 1732. He moved to London in 1678 and opened his own map shop in 1689. He spent most of his time in…

PetitionoftheMeherrinIndians72dpi.jpg
As English colonists settled Virginia, they came into conflict with Native Americans over the concept of landownership. The Native Americans would not “own” their land, but would live on small portions and use a larger surrounding area for hunting,…

George Washington survey.jpg
This document is a 1749 land survey that George Washington did for Edward Hogan as part of his job as the county surveyor for Culpeper County, which was then newly created. Washington was all of seventeen years of age when he took on this job,…

Fry Jefferson Map 1755.jpg
This map was created in response to British concerns that French colonists were encroaching on British territory. Since there were no clear boundaries and very few maps that accurately depicted the lands that the Virginia colony held, the acting…

Pocahontas statue.jpg
Pocahontas (also known as Matoaka, Amonute, and Rebecca) was an Indian and one of the daughters of Indian chief Powhatan. She is known for a historical anecdote where she reportedly saved the life of the English explorer John Smith in 1607, during…
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