2006: Finishing Touches
At left, VR Editor Alyson L. Taylor–White and First Lady Anne Holton enjoy the garden of the Executive Mansion on our recent tour there. Read more in the Cover Profile.
QUEEN O’ THE MAY
According to Ross O. Richardson of Jamestown 2007, Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, will visit Virginia in May 2007 to help us celebrate the 400th Anniversary of the landing at Jamestown. In 1957, she timed her first visit to the US in time to help us celebrate our 350th Jamestown Anniversary, and in 1776 she again visited on the occasion of our nation’s bicentennial. While details of the visit have not been made public, we do know that since Her Royal Highness has made few visits to our country, we should feel proud of her joining us for this important celebration. For more information contact Ross Richardson at (757) 253–4973 or www.Jamestown2007.org.
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By the way, if any of you noticed Larry conspicuous by his absence on election night this past November 7, he was broadcasting to an international audience. Apparently, our Senate race and the close elections here and in other states got a great deal of attention overseas. Exciting as it was, without Larry’s commentary and humor, it just wasn’t the same experience, with all due respect to the other capable university political celebrities. We can’t keep Larry down on the campus any more. We wish him and his loyal and hard working staff at the Center for Politics all the very best and congratulations on their award winning efforts.
ARLINGTON SUPERVISOR LEADS VML
The Honorable Jay Fisette, a recent contributor to Virginia Review and who serves on the Arlington County Board of Supervisors, is the new Virginia Municipal League President. He has been a member of the Arlington County Board since November 1997, and served as chair in 2001 and 2005. He is chair of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Board of Directors, serving on that group’s Metropolitan Development Policy Committee and the Regional Emergency Preparedness Council. He is also a member of the Northern Virginia Transportation Committee. In addition, he serves on the Washington District Council of the Urban Land Institute and as vice chair of the Virginia Housing Development Authority. He is also a member of the Arlington Committee of 100, Arlington Gay and Lesbian Alliance, Washington Area Bicyclist Association, and Leadership Greater Washington. For more information contact him at (703) 228–3130 or jfisette at arlington.us.
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FREEDMEN’S BUREAU PROJECT
Governor Tim Kaine announced in October that Virginia would be the first state in the nation to participate in an historic project to index, as well as digitize, Freedmen’s Bureau records. This exciting project will allow historians, genealogists, and descendants of emancipated slaves, freed Blacks, and Black Union soldiers to access this important data, much of which has never been available.
Virginia was chosen because of the upcoming Jamestown 2007 Commemoration of America’s 400th Anniversary, and considering the role of African Americans in Virginia and the nation’s early history.
Many people consider the Freedmen’s Bureau records to be “genesis records” of African American identity post Civil War. They provide researchers with the earliest major compilation of information on the African American community, documenting the period between 1865 and 1872 with names, legalized marriages, educational pursuits, work contracts, and receipt of rations, health care, legal, and other services.
This all comes after five years of work on the part of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) of the US, where all Bureau records were microfilmed. This produced over 1,000 rolls of microfilm. The Genealogical Society of Utah (GSU) will scan them and provide direction to the extraction effort, and Family Search will provide online access to the genealogical information that is there to be mined. This includes Virginia data.
Governor Kaine compared this new resource “the equivalent for African Americans of Ellis Island’s records being put up.”
The Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia is recruiting and coordinating volunteers who will take out the pertinent information and index it. Volunteers interested in participating may do so by contacting the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia at (804) 780–9097. The GSU can be accessed via www.gensocietyofutah.org.
OOPS! HE DID IT AGAIN!
Last issue’s “Guess What and Where” was correctly identified by our all time best guessing reader, Sonny Culverhouse of Forest, VA. Sonny correctly guessed that the structure on page 38 was the 1813 Virginia Executive Mansion on Capitol Square. Designed by Boston house wright Alexander Parris, it is the oldest continuously lived in executive mansion in the nation. On the cover is First Lady Anne Holton who lived in the Mansion as a young person from 1970 to 1974 when her father, the Honorable A. Linwood Holton was Governor of Virginia. In the article she discussed what it was like living there as a teenager, and what it must be like for her three children, Nat, Woody, and Annella. She shared what it is like to be the only other daughter of a Virginia Governor to marry a Governor herself. The first was Martha Jefferson Randolph, whose father Thomas Jefferson was Governor during the Revolution, and her husband, Thomas Mann Randolph, was Governor from 1819 to 1822. Sonny Culverhouse, a retired local government manager who consults with the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia, wins a free one–year subscription to the Virginia Review. We had several readers call or email to guess, incorrectly, that the structure was the White House of the Confederacy. A couple of them were legislative liaisons, which made it more remarkable because they work in and around Capitol Square during the legislative session, and the Executive Mansion is conspicuous by its presence on Capitol Square! Congratulations to Sonny, who is one of our frequent participants in our contests. His winning technique seems to be guess early and often!
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