"In the Beginning, all America was Virginia."
William Byrd II
Next event
Featured Promotion

Learn about how the Equal Suffrage League of Virginia helped women gain the right to vote.

Equal Suffrage League of Virginia
We are thinking of Phyllis and her family today. She was a dear friend to VHS and an inspiring leader... t.co/KZiNaik3tY via @RTDNews

Becoming Southerners Gallery

Virtual tour of Becoming Southerners
Take a 360 degree tour of the Becoming Southerners gallery.
Pewter slave passport, front Enter Fullscreen More information
Pewter slave passport, front
Pewter slave passport inscribed "Aunt Jemima Johnston, Born 1799, Nicholas Plantation, Warrenton, Virginia." The other side crudely depicts "the big house" and the slave quarters. (VHS accession number: 2000.67)
Pewter slave passport, back Enter Fullscreen More information
Pewter slave passport, back
Pewter slave passport crudely depicts "the big house" and the slave quarters. The other side is inscribed "Aunt Jemima Johnston, Born 1799, Nicholas Plantation, Warrenton, Virginia." (VHS accession number: 2000.67)
Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1829-30 Enter Fullscreen More information
Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1829-30 by George Catlin
Richmond during the winter of 1829–30 was crowded with celebrities assembled to revamp the state constitution. Former presidents James Madison and James Monroe, future president John Tyler, and Chief Justice John Marshall were among the delegates. Their presence led to its being called the last meeting of giants of the Revolutionary generation. The artist George Catlin was seized with the idea of capturing the likenesses of the assembled statesman in a single grand style painting, copies of which would be sold as prints. (VHS accession number: 1957.39)
Cyrus Hall McCormick (1809–1884) Enter Fullscreen More information
Cyrus Hall McCormick (1809–1884)
In July 1831, Cyrus Hall McCormick (1809–1884) of Rockbridge County demonstrated his mechanical reaper in a field of oats near Steele's Tavern. By 1847, he had decided to concentrate the manufacture of his device in Chicago, where he founded International Harvester. (VHS accession number: 2002.64)
Poplar safe or pie safe, made 1840–60 Enter Fullscreen More information
Poplar safe or pie safe, made 1840–60
Poplar safe or pie safe, made 1840–60, that descended in the Ward family of Spring Valley, Grayson County. The eagle and urn pattern in the punched tin (for ventilation) has been found only on Grayson County safes. However, the dimensions and the way four pieces of tin are crimped together to form two larger panels are characteristic of nearby Wythe County, where perhaps the maker trained first. (VHS accession number: 1997.45)
Slave Auction, Virginia, by Lefevre James Cranstone Enter Fullscreen More information
Slave Auction, Virginia, by Lefevre James Cranstone
"Slave Auction, Virginia." Richmond was second only to New Orleans as a slave-trading center. In the three decades before the Civil War, more than 300,000 slaves left the Old Dominion through sale. Based on his travels in Virginia between September 1859 and June 1860, English artist Lefevre James Cranstone completed his impression of a slave auction in 1862. (VHS accession number: 1991.70)
The Testing of the First Reaping Machine Enter Fullscreen More information
The Testing of the First McCormick Reaping Machine
Cyrus McCormick's mechanical reaper was first successfully demonstrated on a field of oats at Steele's Tavern, Virginia, in 1831. This print was produced c. 1890 by the company McCormick founded in Chicago—International Harvester. (VHS accession number: 1990.122)
Corner cupboard, Harrisonburg area, 1790–1810 Enter Fullscreen More information
Corner cupboard, Harrisonburg area, 1790–1810
Corner cupboard, Harrisonburg area, 1790–1810. The arched doors, fluted pilasters and complex dentil cornice reflect the architectural character of many Shenandoah Valley cupboards. The white putty inlay is a local characteristic. (VHS accession number: 1965.19)
The Ruins of Jamestown, Virginia, America, by John Gadsby Chapman Enter Fullscreen More information
The Ruins of Jamestown, Virginia, America, by John Gadsby Chapman
The Ruins of Jamestown, Virginia, America, by Alexandria-born artist John Gadsby Chapman, 1834. Although Jamestown declined for special reasons—the transfer of the capital to Willliamsburg—the ruins nonetheless seemed symptomatic of the general decline of Tidewater Virginia in the early 1800s. (VHS accession number: 1990.147)
A View of Salem in Virginia in 1855 by Edward Beyer Enter Fullscreen More information
A View of Salem in Virginia in 1855 by Edward Beyer
A View of Salem in Virginia in 1855 was painted by Edward Beyer. Nineteenth-century Salem was a market town, where produce from nearby plantations was sold, and with the income from the sales planters bought goods of every description as well as farm equipment, seed, and feed. Some twenty residents of Salem commissioned Edward Beyer to paint this panorama. He shows us the buildings of the town, their positions in the landscape, and how people dressed, worked, and traveled. We view the canvas almost as if it were a moving panorama. Like the foreground couple on horseback, we enter the town on Main Street and then proceed to tour Salem, at least visually. In the distance to the right is the classical main building of Roanoke College. (Purchased with funds provided by Lora Robins, E. Claiborne Robins, Jr., Bruce Gottwald, Paul Mellon, D. Tennant Bryan, Henry Stern, Thomas Towers, and Mrs. E. Schneider; VHS accession number: 1995.131)
Virtual tour of Becoming Southerners
Virtual tour of Becoming Southerners
Pewter slave passport, front
Pewter slave passport, front
Pewter slave passport, back
Pewter slave passport, back
Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1829-30
Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1829
Cyrus Hall McCormick (1809–1884)
Cyrus Hall McCormick (1809–1884)
Poplar safe or pie safe, made 1840–60
Poplar safe or pie safe, made 1840–60
Slave Auction, Virginia, by Lefevre James Cranstone
Slave Auction, Virginia, by Lefevre James
The Testing of the First Reaping Machine
The Testing of the First McCormick Reaping
Corner cupboard, Harrisonburg area, 1790–1810
Corner cupboard, Harrisonburg area, 1790–1
The Ruins of Jamestown, Virginia, America, by John Gadsby Chapman
The Ruins of Jamestown, Virginia, America,
A View of Salem in Virginia in 1855 by Edward Beyer
A View of Salem in Virginia in 1855 by Edw