Talk:History of Virginia

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Military District[edit]

Could this be added, Virginia Military District. Newbie222 6 July 2005 02:22 (UTC)

It makes more sense for the Virginia Military District to be discussed in an article about Ohio, as it had so little part of Virginia's real history.--Parkwells (talk) 21:59, 27 March 2008 (UTC)


Is this image copyrighted? [1]Falphin 7 July 2005 23:26 (UTC)

  • Probably; it's an older image but you really couldn't say it was made before 1923. I'm pretty sure products of the Virginia state government are copyrighted.--Pharos 8 July 2005 03:15 (UTC)


Would it be appropiate to add an introductory paragraph or two to this article? ~ (The Rebel At) ~ 23:52, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Extremely, urgently, and very much so. The beginning of the article looks horrible, especially given the "TOCleft". My knowledge of Virginia is miserable, but if it comes to it, I'll cut and paste a chunk out of the main Virginia article for the purpose. (Better plans very much solicited.) Alai 17:09, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

Lack of African American Contributions[edit]

After all the work done in African American and social history, it's disappointing to see so little recognition here - from the colonial period through the 20th century, there is little notice given of African American contributions to the state, their culture, and why they needed a civil rights movement in the mid-20th century. Much work needs to be done to supplement the article.--Parkwells 21:58, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

Bruton Parish Church and Williamsburg[edit]

There appears to be too much in this section; a separate article would be better. --Parkwells (talk) 21:48, 17 February 2008 (UTC

There are separate articles on Bruton Parish and Williamsburg- these sections need to be rewritten here from the POV of what is important to the state's history - less detail. --Parkwells (talk) 22:13, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
The text in the "Established Church" section should either be pushed onto a separate article or be broadened to relate better to the rest of the article. There could be a few options for a separate article, such as Established Church in Virginia, History of the Established Church in Virginia, or part of a new broader article such as Christianity in Virginia or even Religion in Virginia.--Patrick «» 19:37, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

Article quality[edit]

This article in its current state is so bad that it scares me. I am terrified at the man power and hours it would take to make this article presentable. Large swathes are repeated from other articles. Other areas are redundant. There is little organization. A total of 20 poorly formated references for over 90kb of text. The lead is nine paragraphs long. I wish this could be a useful portal to other topics, but right now its just a sink hole for random uncited information. Compare with the History of Minnesota, a featured article. I don't know if it is worth flagging sections, let alone marking phrases that need citation, due to the massive amount of rewriting likely necessary.--Patrick Ѻ 23:27, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

Working on shortening early sections[edit]

Working on reducing Bruton Parish Church to appropriate role, also on Williamsburg, early church, etc. SLowly.--Parkwells (talk) 12:27, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Native Americans[edit]

An anonymous IP recently changed the length of time Native Americans have inhabited the area from 3,000 years to 16,000, but with no citation. I'm not an expert who can determine which number is right, so I've reverted the edit until someone links to a credible source. justinfr (talk) 15:22, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

Lincoln declares war on the south[edit]

An editor has inserted that Lincoln called for troops, and Virginia therefore seceded. This was in all good time as the convention was called in November and Virginia seceded in early February 1861. However, in those days, the new president didn't take office until March. It seems to me that a WP:RELY footnote is needed since this "fact" is not generally known. The Fort Sumter unpleasantness, regarded as a cassus belli by the North, didn't occur until April.Student7 (talk) 16:15, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

Virginia did NOT secede in February--it postponed a decision. It seceded on April 17 two days after Lincoln called for troops following Sumter. see dates</ref>
Okay. But while Virginia may have acted with more deliberation than the other southern states, it is hard to see total rationality in their decision either since they were not, at the time, being threatened. Robert E. Lee was, up until then, the leading candidate to lead the union forces. It could have been a short war with a lot less unpleasantness had Virginia not seceded and Lee run the war. Student7 (talk) 22:53, 10 May 2010 (UTC)


The article currently has 54+ footnotes (some are multiple). On 34 pages. This is okay but is certainly not well-referenced. It was once acceptable to throw stuff in a baseline article just to get something out there and claim it was in some "external" reference, but unfootnoted. I suggest that time has passed for this article. IMO, people inserting new material should not do that "top of their head" fashion, expecting people including foreigners and schoolchildren, to "go along" with whatever is claimed. Editors should cite printed or web material. This is particularly true for superlatives: "best", "least", "most", "highest", etc. These should not be left to the reader's imagination that "it must be true", the 11 o'clock news has said so repeatedly. An encyclopedia should be held to a higher standard than "heard on the street." Student7 (talk) 13:32, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

I'm going to assume this is largely directed towards my edit stating that Virginia was a "major" center of the early internet industry. I agree superlatives should be cited and I was not inserting a superlative: "a major" is not a superlative statement. I disagree with you characterization of the statement as "heard on the street" or "top of my head." I have several citations, and I'm simply using the statement to lead into a section on the role that Virginia played into the technology industry. I think this is consistent with Wikipedia's policy on original research (WP:NOREX). Considering the cited facts I listed in the article (AOL, the largest ISP, was based in Virginia, and Virginia formed part of the internet backbone hub with a substantial portion of traffic going through Dulles), I think it's fair to say that Virginia was "a major" (I never tried to say "the major") technology center. Not every statement needs to have a direct citation in Wikipedia. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a list of cited facts. You have to have some additional writing to help with flow. If you think I'm violating original research here, then I suggest we take this through an arbitration process. I think time would be better spent actually improving this article and others than bickering about policy details. Considering the statement "a major" is fairly weak, general, and not ideological, I don't know why this is an issue. I would just drop the text, except I don't think this will be a good article if you strip out every sentence that isn't directly cited. Listing factoids from references does not make a good article. --Bkwillwm (talk) 21:55, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
I agree that an article cannot be written with bullets.
I watch articles on places abroad. It is common for an article on Podunk, Trashcanian, to claim importance equal in extravagant language only to New York City or Silicon Valley. Editors of articles on some foreign places are somewhat constrained by having rather poor resources to quote. The US is not as referenced-impoverished. I would hope that when editors make extravagant claims about US places, that they can be backed up with facts and not apparently WP:OR. I would like to be able to point to good examples of scholarship instead of getting more of the same, except merely better worded since it is usually the editor's first language, not his second or third. Student7 (talk) 17:32, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
I was actually trying to tune down the claims. Virginia promoters like to claim northern Virginia as the "Silicon Valley of the east." In the beginning of the internet era Virginia was home to many headquarters for the tech and communications industries including AOL, MCI Inc., and Nextel. I think it's fair to say that it was "a major center" for these industries. Making this statement requires a little bit of synthesis, but I think just enough to go beyond bullet points. Considering it was the headquarters for these companies and the surrounding area hosted half of the nation's ISPs, I think it's fair to call it "a major center," and I don't see this as an extravagant claim. I have another source I could use that lists the Dulles Corridor along side Silicon Valley and Seattle as a tech cluster. The source never says "major," but its implied. This is what I'm really trying to get at: Citations should clearly be used, but being forced to find a literal citation for every statement makes it hard to write an article that flows. I think merely saying "a major center" is pretty innocuous and not extravagant. It's clear from the text that the key point is the number of companies based in the area and the statement "a major center" just frames this information.--Bkwillwm (talk) 02:17, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
I'm not denying the logic of your WP:SYNTHESIS, but suggesting rather for obvious claims, that the reader might be better left to make that determination in lieu of an actual outside reference. Understating claims seems a lot more productive, even promotive, than risking the possibility of overstating them. My experience is to be put off by other editors claiming they have the "best" college or "most educational curricula" or "most museums" or whatever. It's just so much easier and productive just to list them and to sit back and enjoy the accolades of the overawed audience. Why make any claim? Why not let the reader arrive at that conclusion him/herself. Particularly since a strong reference is apparently lacking. Student7 (talk) 22:58, 5 June 2010 (UTC)

William & Mary move to earlier[edit]

I think it would make sense to move the section on "William & Mary". While related to religion in the colony, its significance is broader, and the paragraph seems to more clearly relate to the move of the capital to Williamsburg (see influence of students), and that it could be re-noted in the religion section. Is there any opposition or agreement? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Morgan Riley (talkcontribs) 12:48, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

General expansion, improvement[edit]

When I discovered this article page, I found that the early history and social history was rather well covered (save for the Civil Rights movement). However, post-Revolutionary economic and industrial history is greatly lacking, as well as representation of broad trends in the Shenandoah, Appalachia, Southside, and Central Virginia. I am going to attempt to boost that, and general coverage of post-Civil War/Reconstruction/Readjustment history, so parts may appear staccato and sparse for the time being, with several areas marked "expansion needed." There are also significant areas of comments where the changes are being construction. I hope this project does not offend, and that people will be willing to help with or support this. Please let me know if there are any problems.Morgan Riley (talk) 19:28, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

I recently noticed that the section on the Annexation moratorium was deleted. While I was not involved in writing it, I disagree with the assessment that it was minor (it is arguably one of the more significant issues in Virginia politics and constitutionalism in the late 20th century to the present), while at the same time I agreeing that it was unsourced. If and when I can find the sources to support the propositions in there, I propose returning it.Morgan Riley (talk) 01:49, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

the problem with the annexation is that it is not a statewide issue and the state histories don't bother mentioning it. They talk about politics and economics, and topics like education and regional tensions. Rjensen (talk) 02:08, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps not statewide general histories (I have little in my personal library, and will have to look further), but most urban histories (my specialization) in Virginia do mention it with significance, some to great extent. In particular in the areas of Richmond, Northern Virginia, and Hampton Roads, which therefore being a trend of the largest metro areas would by itself be sufficient for merit, yet it is an issue that has affected all cities (see decision to dissolve into counties). See also CITY OF RICHMOND V. UNITED STATES, 422 U. S. 358 (1975), where the issue of annexation, with regards to racial questions, was heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, and led the way to the annexation moratorium (there exist other court cases at the federal circuit and state levels, e.g. Citizens Committee v. Lynchburg, et. al., 528 F.2d 816 (1975)). Again, I respectfully suggest that when sufficient sources are gathered (I am mid-process), that it be included, though not necessarily at great length, as it is related to state constitutional issues, urbanization, race relations, and municipal politics as controlled at a state level, in a way that is peculiar and relevant to Virginia as a whole, which go to the issues you raised above. Insofar as mere mention is important, a short subsection summarizing the issue (or inclusion in the Civil Rights section), with a "main article" hatnote to Political subdivisions of Virginia might be more appropriate than full treatment. Thoughts? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Morgan Riley (talkcontribs) 14:56, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
Yes, it seemed important enough to be somewhere. Virginia is unusual, the "last large state" from the south and west to have a strong county system, yet with unusual features not found anywhere else. Student7 (talk) 12:56, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
yes it belongs somewhere--as in the Richmond & Hampton Roads articles. But we have much more important topics to cover first for this article--eg the economy, politics, society since 1960. Rjensen (talk) 13:00, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
How about in the Politics of Virginia or Government of Virginia? (Don't want to confuse things but "Politics.." has a bit of "Elections.." in it. Like many US articles on the topic, not a "clean" article for Politics, per se). Student7 (talk) 13:54, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Student7 is right: it fits very well in Government of Virginia. (it's a nonpartisan issue so Politics doesn't quite work) Rjensen (talk) 13:56, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Agreed on the annexation moratorium. I also agree on the importance of the building out the coverage of economic history as a priority. Not only post-1960 (for which more citations and something other than NoVa/Hampton Roads are needed, e.g. decline of tobacco as top cash crop, economic diversification), but indeed much of the economic history post-Reconstruction has been weak. So far, I've been adding basic major infrastructural improvements, ideally these will be supplemented by the industries that relied, flourish, and were based on said infra and their effects on the state (e.g. coal mining). I've been trying to contextualized events in Virginia with broader trends in American history. Proposals for some ideas are included in comments in the relevant sections. So that's the plan. Thoughts? Morgan Riley (talk) 14:15, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

TOC problems[edit]

If the reader gets through the lead, which is a bit long IMO, s/he is faced with an overly large TOC. Don't think s/he's going to read much past that. Really need to shorten it somehow, which may not be trivial. Two columns? Can't really truncate too much. Fork material/reorganize? Needs something.

a few people will read all of it but most will be looking for a specific subtopic, and the TOC will be very helpful to them. Rjensen (talk) 15:42, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
It might be possible or advisable to spin off the section on religion into a separate article "Religion in Colonial Virginia" or "Religion in 17th and 18th century Virginia", using a condensed summary here and linking to that article. That would reduce it significantly. Thoughts? Morgan Riley (talk) 18:37, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
historians argue that religion was central to colonial Virginia. If it's spun off people will not realize that and will be misled. If people are not interested in a section they are allowed to skip it. Rjensen (talk) 18:50, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps a possible solution is to reduce the number of subheadings in that section (given as many only have a single paragraph). That said, the level of some detail may be too much for the overview of the entirety of Virginia history, and indeed might obscure its importance (namely, the entire subsection on Bruton Parish). That said, length is an issue that may be legitimately worth discussing, particularly with regards to what is still missing in the article, even if it is found to have no easy solution (see WP:Length). I'll work on reorganizing the headings, but wait on the removal of the Bruton Parish section so that its inclusion can have a chance to be defended/discussed. Morgan Riley (talk) 20:23, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
I've cleaned up the section by reducing the number of headings and making the subject matter flow (though have not removed any content); the question remains as to whether to reduce/remove the section of Bruton Parish, for which I am in favor. Reasons are thus: though it was a central parish, such can be conveyed in a single sentence or two-- its inclusion gives an unusual emphasis of geographic narrowness for this article. Morgan Riley (talk) 20:44, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
I agree the Bruton Parish section is unnecessary; I trimmed some other minor details too, removing about 550 words. Rjensen (talk) 00:44, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
I shrunk the TOC a tad by moving the period-sorted references to one notch lower (thus ignored by the TOC) Morgan Riley (talk) 02:39, 23 April 2011 (UTC)


One suggestion above was to fork the religious subsections. I'm not sure this is totally a negative. If it is spun off, it can be more easily referenced/linked from other articles. (I don't have candidates). It would have to be summarized here. I think the latter is the main problem. I'm not convinced that its importance would be diminished by forking, or that it is considered "expendable" because it is forked. Student7 (talk) 22:02, 24 April 2011 (UTC)

Farewell, Vaoverland[edit]

I have taken the solemn act of removing the maintenance tag for User:Vaoverland, due to the unfortunate news of his passing. Thank you for all your hard work, sir, and may you rest well! Morgan Riley (talk) 05:00, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

Agreed, many thanks friend!-- Patrick, oѺ 14:10, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

Sexual advantage of slaves[edit]

The lead (not sure why it has to be in lead BTW) says that slave owners took advantage of slave women, which is true. Household slaves. But it gets much worse than that. Overseers (on larger plantations) were told (I have no reference here) to ensure that "the slave women stayed pregnant", to ensure a large population, some of which might be sold off. Some of the overseers undoubtedly "helped out." Not a nice situation. A lot less "friendly" situation than household slaves, which was probably bad enough. (Mary Chesnut refers to the household slave situation incidentally) Student7 (talk) 23:06, 22 July 2011 (UTC)

Have worked on the Lede. Need references to assertions such as above re: overseers. They took sexual advantage of slave women by their position of power, without economic incentives. Not only domestic slaves suffered sexual harassment and abuse. Virginia's mixed-race slave population is best known by the example of Thomas Jefferson and his nearly 40-year relationship with his mixed-race slave Sally Hemings, a half-sister to his wife by his father-in-law and his slave concubine, and their four surviving children. They were 7/8 white and qualified as white under VA law of the time, although they were born into slavery. Jefferson freed them all the children when they came of age.Parkwells (talk) 21:40, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

Tone of article/needs more sources[edit]

Needs more neutral tone in Civil War and Reconstruction sections. In addition, given how much has been written about VA, there is an over-reliance on one source for most of the Reconstruction content. More contemporary sources need to be used.Parkwells (talk) 21:42, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

Introduction rewrite[edit]

I reworked the introduction to four paragraphs in an encyclopedic summary style per WP:LEAD. Generally, I tried to preserve each point of previous editors. the biggest change is less detail, more summary phrasing. I tried to give major dates for developments every 50 years or so. We are talking 400 years. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 01:01, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

Kudos - that really needed doing.--Kubigula (talk) 02:16, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
Thank you, thank you! It was longer than many articles! Morgan Riley (talk) 16:45, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

Name origin[edit]

The article states : "The name Virginia came from information gathered by the Raleigh-sponsored English explorations along what is now the North Carolina coast. Philip Amadas and Arthur Barlowe reported that a regional "king" named Wingina ruled a land of Wingandacoa. Queen Elizabeth modified the name to "Virginia". Though the word is latinate, it stands as the oldest English language place-name in the United States." However, elsewhere on this site, under "List of U.S. state name etymologies", we have : ""Country of the Virgin", after Elizabeth I of England, who was known as the "Virgin Queen" because she never married." The latter is, I think, more commonly accepted. Gwladys24 (talk) 13:54, 20 September 2012 (UTC)

The former is verifiable based on actual documentation of the historic correspondence between Raleigh, Elizabeth, and other involved parties at the time. The latter is the watered-down, common perception as taught to schoolchildren for years. I would say "common mis-perception", except that technically, it's not wrong: both stories are correct. Elizabeth got the report that the native name was "Wingandoacoa" (which later turned out to be a misunderstanding), and she herself modified it to "Virginia", presumably in honour of herself as the "Virgin Queen". There is no contradiction. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 14:06, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
I didn't say there was a contradiction, I pointed out that two differing explanations are given in two different places on wikipedia. If your explanation is more complete & accurate then the other two should also be complete &, of course, consistent. Gwladys24 (talk) 19:26, 20 September 2012 (UTC)


"Some ministers solved their problems by encouraged parishioners .." Probably should be "Some ministers solved their problems by encouraging parishioners .."

Virginia history on stamps[edit]

I created a new section, 'Virginia history on stamps'. There are three readily available on Wikimedia commons. The 'state flags of the united states' series is not yet uploaded there, which I believe has the image of the Colonial Capitol at Williamsburg on the Virginia stamp. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 09:46, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

Should The 1619 Jamestown Polish Craftsmen Strike Be Mentioned - Or Not?[edit]

FWIW - Seems a recent edit was reverted in the History of Virginia article without an edit summary or explanation by Rjensen - the reversion may (or may not) be *entirely* justified - my position at the moment is flexible - the reverted edit was as following:

Copied from the History of Virginia article (updated w/ Pula refs)
October 9, 2014

On June 30, 1619, Jan Bogdan and other Slovak and Polish artisans conducted the first labor strike[1] (first "in American history"[2]) for democratic rights ("No Vote, No Work")[2][3] in Jamestown.[3][4][5] The British Crown overturned the legislation in the Virginia House of Burgesses in its first meeting[6] and granted the workers equal voting rights on July 21, 1619.[7] Afterwards, the labor strike was ended and the artisans resumed their work.[1][4][5][8][9]


  1. ^ a b Pula, James S. (2008). "Fact vs. Fiction: What Do We Really Know About The Polish Presence In Early Jamestown?". The Polish Review 53 (4): 477–493. Retrieved October 8, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Holshouser, Joshua D.; Brylinsk-Padnbey, Lucyna; Kielbasa, Katarzyna (July 2007). "Jamestown: The Birth of American Polonia 1608-2008 (The Role and Accomplishments of Polish Pioneers in the JamestownColony)". Polish American Congress. Retrieved October 3, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Odrowaz-Sypniewska, Margaret (Jun 29, 2007). "Poles and Powhatans in Jamestown, Virginia (1606-1617)". Bibliography Sources. Retrieved October 3, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Badaczewski, Dennis (February 28, 2002). Poles in Michigan. Michigan State University Press. ISBN 978-0870136184. 
  5. ^ a b Staff. "Spuscizna - History of Poles in the USA". The Spuscizna Group. Retrieved October 3, 2014. 
  6. ^ Staff (2014). "The House of Burgesses". Retrieved October 8, 2014. 
  7. ^ Obst, Peter J. (July 20, 2012). "Dedication of Historical Marker to Honor Jamestown Poles of 1608 - The First Poles in Jamestown". Retrieved October 7, 2014. 
  8. ^ Smith, John (1624). "VII". [[The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles|The generall historie of Virginia, New England & the Summer Isles, together with The true travels, adventures and observations]] 1. American Memory. pp. 150–184. Retrieved October 3, 2014.  Wikilink embedded in URL title (help)
  9. ^ Seroczynski, Felix Thomas (1911). Poles in the United States XII. Catholic Encyclopedia. Retrieved October 3, 2014. 

Comments welcome - in any case - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 03:29, 8 October 2014 (UTC)

we've been over this. No historians of Virginia consider this tiny episode to be important enough to cover, and is used here only as a matter of exaggerated ethnic pride in a tiny group of which very little is known. Rjensen (talk) 06:33, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
It seems to be a precursor to tolerance of religious diversity in the colonial administration which had John Locke as a board member in come capacity. Catholics tolerated Protestants in Maryland, here Catholics are given equal votes even though they are not of the Protestant congregation of Anglicans…one step more democratic than in the Pilgrim town meetings.
Seems to me it is not just a matter of Polish pride, but an example of building a tradition of religious tolerance in Virginia. The episode brings to mind the practice of allowing colonial Presbyterians and Methodists to become Anglican vestry members in western settlements so that the communities with a church parish could qualify to become incorporated as counties with Assembly representation. I’m for inclusion of the passage. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 10:20, 8 October 2014 (UTC)

BRIEF Followup - an academically responsible JSTOR ref (w/ many footnotes) supportive of many of the historical details re the Jamestown Polish craftsmen is at the following =>[1]

  1. ^ Pula, James S. (2008). "Fact vs. Fiction: What Do We Really Know About The Polish Presence In Early Jamestown?". The Polish Review 53 (4): 477–493. Retrieved October 8, 2014. 

Hope this helps in some way - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 20:58, 8 October 2014 (UTC)

Pula argues that Polish historians wrote articles in Polish for a Polish audience about "firsts" in America. They had zero other work on Virginia and never studied the colony. Pula does not claim any Virginia historians ever considered the handful of men important in Virginia history, which is the topic of this article. So try again: WHY is the episode important in Virginia history? Answer: because one otherwise very unknown person has the same surname as an editor. Rjensen (talk) 21:07, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
@Rjensen - Thanks for your comments - Yes, as before, the name Jan Bogdan, one of the Jamestown craftsmen, caught my attention of course - but, as presented in a recent relevant discussion w/ another editor, "I have no particular investment in the edit(s) ... this area is not a particular interest of mine at the moment ... it's *entirely* ok with me to rv/mv/ce the edits of course" - esp if the edits are not found to be worthy - hope this helps - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 21:36, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
Alas, it sounds as if a wonderful piece of the development of religious toleration in Virginia fails the WP test because a secondary source has not picked up on the larger analysis possible. If Rjensen says mainstream historians have not included the development in their coverage of the larger subject, I must defer. So it fails the test of WP:DUE weight.
Of course the larger lesson of religious tolerance is not learned by Gov. Berkley when he expels the Quakers for not actively supporting him in Bacon's Rebellion, they were pacifists, so Berkley exiled the Quakers to Baltimore, where they promoted commerce with Quakers in Philadelphia, then Baltimore surpassed Norfolk as the major port on the Chesapeake Bay. A remnant of the Quakers remained in Southampton County on the North Carolina border, true to their abolitionist principles, they would purchase slaves, free them and provide them homesteads for family farming. Same Southampton County as Nat Turner's slave revolt. But those considerations would be in the maritime history or Antebellum boxes...maybe additional fields of history for contributions to this article in time, with reliable secondary sources to establish due weight. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 08:50, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
The episode is arguably a significant "first" in the history of American labor, and in the history of democracy in British North America. I think it deserves a short, balanced article on its own, based on the Pula paper cited by Drbogdan, with a one-sentence mention and wikilink in this article. Unfortunately for Drbogdan, most of the sources he cites are discredited, directly or indirectly, by the Pula paper; but Pula confirms the broad outlines of the story from reliable primary sources. See also Philip L. Barbour, "The Identity of the First Poles in America", The William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 21, No. 1 (Jan., 1964), pp. 77-92, (accessible with free JSTOR account).
Unfortunately for @TheVirginiaHistorian, the episode is unlikely to reflect on the state of religious toleration in early Virginia. There is no evidence that the Poles in question were Roman Catholics, and there is considerable evidence to rebut any presumption that they were. See Pula at 483-84. [I forgot to sign the foregoing on 9 October 2014. J. D. Crutchfield | Talk 15:30, 17 October 2014 (UTC)]

Drbogdan's recent addition of the Barbour article to his list of references makes me wonder whether or not he read it. It does not support the assertions he attaches it to as a reference. Specifically, for one thing, Barbour finds that we do not and cannot, from reliable sources, know the names of the Polish and German (or possibly Dutch, but not Slovak) artisans in question. For another, Barbour dismisses as nonsense the contention that those artisans conducted anything resembling a labor strike for civil rights. (Pula disagrees on that score, but Barbour is clear and emphatic, so it's absurd for Drbogdan to cite him in support of his account of the strike.) J. D. Crutchfield | Talk 20:58, 9 October 2014 (UTC)

Thank you for noting this - seems I unintentionally misunderstood the text - and have rm the Barbour ref[1] from my listing above - thanks again - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 21:34, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
  1. ^ Barbour, Philip L. (January 1964). "The Identity of the First Poles in America". The William and Mary Quarterly 21 (1): 77–92. Retrieved October 9, 2014. 
Without in any way contravening my concurrence with Rjensen, that we need a mainstream reliable source to verify due weight to the event,
Unfortunately for @Jdcrutch:, I was correct in my surmise, at the one page preview of the Polish Review "Fact v. Fiction", page 477, the Pula article says that the Polish settlers at Jamestown “brought Catholicism to the New World to initiate a tradition of religious pluralism, [and] ‘helped create the embryo of future American democracy’.” (emphasis added). How does Pula contradict himself “at 483-84", that the Poles were not Catholic, that they were not eventually allowed corporate participation in selecting representatives?
I do remember that fears of support of Philip II by Catholics might lead to spying for Spain, and those fears led to require an "oath of supremacy" of all Virginia colonists to the Monarch of England as the head of the Anglican Church. But that does not alter the fact that at some point the Catholic Polish glassmakers were banned from voting, and then they were admitted. Can someone report what the article says behind the jstor veil "at 483-84"? — just as a matter of personal interest now that I've been pinged. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 14:27, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
@TheVirginiaHistorian: The Pula article is accessible for free on JSTOR. All one has to do is register for a free account. The passages from the article's first page which TVH quotes are in Pula's summary of Arthur Waldo's account, which the rest of the article shows to be highly unreliable, if not a deliberate fraud. Here is what Pula says at 483-84 about Waldo's claims regarding religious liberty at Jamestown:
Waldo also assumes, without presenting any primary evidence, that the Poles in Jamestown were Roman Catholics, thus providing the basis for later authors’ claims that the Poles launched religious toleration in America. Waldo justifies his conclusion by stating that the number of Protestants in Poland was "insignificant" and those who were Protestant were members of the "intellectual" class. His argument is that since the Poles in Jamestown were from the artisan class they must have been Catholics. [Fn. om.] This fallacious logic ignores several pertinent facts. The first of these is that later in the same work Waldo states that the Poles in Jamestown included members of the "intellectual" class, thus contradicting his earlier statement that the Poles [fn. om.] must be Catholic because they were artisans. More importantly, Waldo's assertion about the Poles' religion does not accord with the context of the times. In 1584, Richard Hakluyt cautioned that "In choice of all artesanes for the voyage, this general rule is good to be observed, that no man be chosen that is known to be a Papiste, for the special inclination they have of favour to the King of Spain." [Fn. om.] Later, Lord De la Warre promulgated his "Articles, Laws and Orders, Divine, Politique, and Martial for the Government of Virginia", requiring, among other regulations, that inhabitants swear an "Oath of Supremacy" to be eligible to go to Virginia, a move specifically designed to exclude Catholics. [Fn. om.] Waldo claims the Poles were excluded from this requirement since they were Catholics, but he offers no evidence for this assertion. In fact, from all we do know of the historical context it is most likely that the Poles were Protestants or they would not have been allowed into the infant English colony.
Although there is no evidence that the Poles were Roman Catholic or that they were glassmakers, Pula does confirm from reliable sources,
. . . that the Poles objected to what was probably inequitable political treatment and that in consequence of this it was agreed that they would be considered free and enfranchised, that they would teach their skills to others among the colony, and that the Poles then returned to work.
Pula at 493. This can reasonably be interpreted as a strike for political rights, but is not evidence of religious toleration in the colony. J. D. Crutchfield | Talk 14:55, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
Agreed. Were the Poles at Jamestown a) Protestants from Catholic Poland seeking an unpersecuted life in the new world like the Pilgrims -- the implied take away from Pula?, or Catholics happy to submit to any religious requirement for the chance of fortune like a Protestant U.S. citizen moving to Mexican Tejas, then adopting Catholicism pro forma for the land grant?
Apparently the Poles were valued as glassblowers making utensils and trinkets for trade (Matthew Page Andrews, Virginius Dabney) and that allowed for including them to vote, after the Virginia Assembly first excluded them on some grounds not applicable to Protestant settlers. But the negotiation may not have been as a labor action, and it is interesting that the settlement majority was against the Poles voting, overturned by the Crown. I like your take that it should be viewed as diverse political rights, not evidence of religious toleration on the face of it.
Recall that for the first half of the 1600s, Christian slaves were emancipated in Virginia at seven years, those of Angolan Catholic and Spanish Caribbean heritage, taking up residence for the most part on the Eastern Shore. --- That implies that the discrimination may have been against the Poles for some other reason, apart from their religious background, perhaps because they had not completed 7-10 years indenture to the Virginia Company. All interesting parts to the puzzle. Thanks. We need to hear from a mainstream reliable source before including this in the article. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 15:38, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
I haven't seen the Andrews and Dabney works TheVirginiaHistorian cites, but I suspect they follow Waldo, whom Pula utterly discredits. Pula surveys the available primary sources (which do not include the apparently-fraudulent "Memoirs of a Mercantilist" relied on by Drbogdan's sources), and he concludes that there is no reliable evidence that the Poles at Jamestown were glassmakers. Rather, they are repeatedly referred to as producers of pitch, tar, potash, and soap ash. Barbour, I believe, draws the same conclusion. The glassmakers appear to have been Germans (referred to as "Dutchmen", but probably not Netherlanders) and a German-speaking Switzer, not Poles.
I suspect the Poles were initially denied political rights simply because they were not English. Virginia was an extension of England, and the Poles were aliens. Even Englishmen might be denied political rights in the New England colonies a few years later, until they were made "free of the colony" and of the town in which they lived. It's no surprise to me that Poles and (presumably) Germans were not automatically granted the rights of Englishmen. Ultimately, they were able to obtain political rights, not by appeals to justice or principle, but by withholding their labor, on which the colony was to some degree dependent.
As for mainstream, reliable sources, I think Pula and Barbour unquestionably qualify. The Polish Review is a peer-edited, scholarly publication of long standing, not an amateur outlet for Polish-American boosters. Pula's article is rigorous and amply footnoted. James S. Pula is a professional historian with his own Wikipedia article. The William & Mary Quarterly is one of the leading American historical journals, and I don't think its reliability is open to question. I have not tracked down Philip L. Barbour's credentials, but a quick Google search shows him to have been a recognized historian, and the editor of the complete works of Capt. John Smith. His papers are in the Swem Library at the College of William & Mary.
I would not support the inclusion in this article of Drbogdan's version of the history of the Poles at Jamestown, as it claims far more than the reliable sources support, and relies almost entirely on amateur sources which depend ultimately on the Waldo fraud. (Drbogdan's attempt to bolster his account with a reference to Pula's paper is self-defeating, and suggests that Drbogdan has misread, or not read, that paper.) I would, however, support a brief, temperate, and balanced article on the Jamestown Poles, based on Pula's summary of the primary sources; and perhaps a sentence in this article with wikilink to it. J. D. Crutchfield | Talk 17:00, 10 October 2014 (UTC)

FWIW - I may be out of my depth (and present interests) w/ some of this material, but it seems there may be some worthy material being discussed that may be worth adding and some other material that may have been added that may not be worth keeping - please understand that, for my part, I am *not at all* opposed to *any* needed upd/rv/mv/del/ce/etc of *any* of this material - we may owe it to Wikipedia readers to try and get the material as well grounded as possible of course - at the very least for me, a learning experience re some new and (imo) very interesting materials (& methodologies) - thanks greatly for that of course - I may try and help w/ this but, understandably, may be somewhat limited in what I'm able to present - in any regards - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 18:00, 10 October 2014 (UTC)

Filopietism is the biggest enemy of scholarship on early Virginia. For a century+ it was excessive posturing regarding the FFV -- and now it's excessive posturing with a handful of people singled out by Slavic nationalists solely because of their need to glorify their ancestors. This is tiresome and ridiculous and very bad history by people who have no real interest in Virginia. Rjensen (talk) 19:34, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
Seems we may be on the exact same page w/ this - I *entirely* agree w/ you - I also prefer good history based on good scholarship than not - and, unless there is worthy relevant scholarship, am also *not* in favor of promoting any particular agenda, including nationalism and/or filopietism of any sort - yes, I also agree, some editors may be able to present better history than others - a very good history of Virginia, based on the very best scholarship, would be *very* interesting I would think - it's *entirely* ok w/ me to improve the History of Virginia article (and related) of course - in any regards - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 22:09, 17 October 2014 (UTC)