Virginia 1619 : slavery and freedom in the making of English America

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  • Creator edited by Paul Musselwhite, Peter C. Mancall, and James Horn
  • Format Books
  • Contributors
  • Publication Williamsburg, Virginia : Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture ; Chapel Hill : The University of North Carolina Press, [2019]
  • Physical Details
    • 320 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
  • ISBNs 9781469652016, 1469652013, 9781469651798, 1469651793, 9781469651804
  • OCLC on1052455610


  • Virginia 1619 provides an opportunity to reflect on the origins of English colonialism around the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic world. As the essays here demonstrate, Anglo-Americans have been simultaneously experimenting with representative government and struggling with the corrosive legacy of racial thinking for more than four centuries. Virginia, contrary to popular stereotypes, was not the product of thoughtless, greedy, or impatient English colonists. Instead, the emergence of stable English Atlantic colonies reflected the deliberate efforts of an array of actors to establish new societies based on their ideas about commonwealth, commerce, and colonialism. Looking back from 2019, we can understand that what happened on the shores of the Chesapeake four hundred years ago was no accident.


  • "Although this volume centers on the events of a sweltering summer in the Chesapeake Tidewater, it began life in the mountains of northern New England. It grew out of a conference hosted at Dartmouth College in the spring of 2017 ..."--Acknowledgments page.
  • Includes bibliographical references and index.


  • Introduction / James Horn and Paul Musselwhite -- Before 1619 / Peter C. Mancall -- "The savages of Virginia our project" : the Powhatans in Jacobean political thought / Lauren Working -- Race, conflict, and exclusion in Ulster, Ireland, and Virginia / Nicholas Canny -- Virginia slavery in Atlantic context, 1550 to 1650 / Philip D. Morgan -- Bermuda and the beginnings of Black Anglo-America / Michael J. Jarvis -- "Poore Soules" : migration, labor, and visions for commonwealth in Virginia / Misha Ewen -- Private plantation : the political economy of land in early Virginia / Paul Musselwhite -- "A part of that commonwealth hetherto too much neglected" : Virginia's contested "publick" and the origins of the General Assembly / Alexander B. Haskell -- The company-commonwealth / Andrew Fitzmaurice -- "These doubtfull times, between us and the Indians" : indigenous politics and the Jamestown Colony in 1619 / James D. Rice -- Brase's case : making slave law as customary law in Virginia's general court, 1619-1625 / Paul D. Halliday -- Virginia and the Amazonian alternative / Melissa N. Morris -- From John Smith to Adam Smith : Virginia and the founding conventions of English long-distance settler colonization / Jack P. Greene
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