Booker T. Washington (1856–1915) was born enslaved in Franklin County, Virginia. After emancipation, he lived for a time in West Virginia before attending Hampton Institute from 1872 to 1875. After graduation, he taught school. Placed in charge of a fund of $2,000 for the establishment of a school in Alabama, he founded Tuskegee Institute. Photograph by the Scurlock Studio, Washington, D.C. (VHS accession number 2000.200).
"Making the Virginia Twist" was painted by John Durkin for an 1887 magazine article about the tobacco industry in Richmond and Danville. In Virginia, twist chewing tobacco was made by twisting leaves into a tight rope sold by the foot or yard. Short workers stood on rollers to bring them to a comfortable and productive height. (VHS accession number: 1990.15)
Harry Flood Byrd, Sr. (1887–1966), kingpin of Virginia politics in the mid-twentieth century, emphasized pay-as-you-go financing and limited government. During his term as governor, 1926–30, he reorganized and streamlined the state bureaucracy. Portrait by Helen Schuyler Bailey after an original pastel by Louis Lupas. (VHS accession number: 1989.26.1)
Hampton Normal Agricultural Institute was founded by Samuel Chapman Armstrong and chartered in 1870 as one of the first colleges for blacks. It was also a pioneer in educating American Indians. It is shown here about 1890. (VHS accession number: 1997.190)
Call number: Broadsides 191– :1
The Kline Kar company relocated to Richmond from York, Pennsylvania, in 1912, and produced about 2,500 vehicles before it closed in 1923. The Kline Kar on display at the VHS is the only known passenger model that still exists. As it is displayed in the museum, it is about 75% restored. Prominent Richmond-based African American business owner A.D. Price owned this Kline Kar. He purchased it new and drove it for more than 14,000 miles before he parked it in a carriage house in 1923 after the engine blew up. It stayed in storage until 1972 when it was sold to a private owner. In 1988 Tim Crowder purchased the Kline Kar and started his ten-year-long restoration work. The VHS purchased the car in 2008 (it had already been on loan to the museum and on display in the Story of Virginia for a decade).
This carpetbag was left by a northern visitor in the King and Queen County home of Colonel John Pollard (grandfather of Governor John Garland Pollard) about 1866. The term "Carpetbaggers" was often used to refer to northern Republicans who traveled south after the end of the Civil War with the intent of reforming the newly reunited states. (VHS accession number: 1967.9)
Maggie Lena Walker (1867–1934) was the daughter of Elizabeth Draper, a former kitchen slave and then cook in the Civil War household of Union sympathizer Elizabeth Van Lew. Walker grew up helping her mother run a small laundry service. This early business experience led her to be elected at age seventeen to office in the Independent Order of St. Luke, a black burial society. In 1903 she founded the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank and was probably the first woman bank president in America. St. Luke Penny Savings Bank is still in operation today as Consolidated Bank and Trust Company, the nation's oldest continuously existing African American bank. (VHS accession number: 1986.15)
Gold presentation cup, gold spike, and silver mallet
Eighteen karat gold cup and spike given to John Skelton Williams, president of the Seaboard Airline Railway, upon its completion at Richmond in 1900. Williams consolidated a dozen lines into a system providing through service from Washington, D.C., to Tampa, Florida. It was entirely owned by southerners—briefly—then taken over by Wall Street. Driving the spike tripped a telegraph key that sent a message along the railroad's route announcing its completion. (VHS accession number 1993.33.1)
Small mallet with wooden handle and silver head and decoration. Engraved "S.A.L. gold spike completing the system of Twenty-six hundred miles driven with this mallet by John S. Williams and John Skelton Williams, Jr. at Richmond, Virginia June 2nd 1900." Engraved on bottom of mallet "NON NOBIS DOMINE" and marked "The Nowland Co. Sterling 6136."
Given to John Skelton Williams, president of the Seaboard Airline Railway, upon its completion at a ceremony in Richmond on June 2, 1900. Engraved "TeDeum Sandamus." Williams consolidated a dozen lines into a system providing through service from Washington, D.C., to Tampa, Florida. It was entirely owned by southerners—briefly—then taken over by Wall Street. Driving the spike tripped a telegraph key that sent a message along the railroad's route announcing its completion.
This antique American eighteen karat gold three handled presentation cup was made by Theodore B. Staff, New York, Circa 1900. The front side has a repousse decoration of corn, tobacco and cotton flanking a rail spike. Engraved above design "Last Spike completing the Seaboard Airline Driven June 2nd 1900." Second side engraved with presentation to John Skelton Williams and final side with names of ninety-five presenters. This presentation cup was given to John Skelton Williams, president of the Seaboard Airline Railway, upon its completion at Richmond on June 2, 1900.