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Suggested Readings on Virginia History

Recommended reading on Virginia history from the precontact era to the twentieth century

Antebellum Era

Bogger, Tommy. Free Blacks in Norfolk, Virginia, 1790–1860: The Darker Side of Freedom. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1997.

Breen, Patrick H. The Land Shall be Deluged in Blood: A New History of the Nat Turner Revolt. New York: Oxford University Press, 2015. 

Dunn, Richard S. A Tale of Two Plantations: Slave Life and Labor in Jamaica and Virginia. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2014.

Ely, Melvin Patrick. Israel on the Appomattox: A Southern Experiment in Black Freedom from 1790s through the Civil War. New York: A. Knopf, 2004.

Hadden, Sally E. Slave Patrols: Law and Violence in Virginia and the Carolinas. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001.

Kimball, Gregg D. American City, Southern Place: A Cultural History of Antebellum Richmond. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2000.

Lebsock, Suzanne. The Free Women of Petersburg: Status and Culture in a Southern Town, 1784–1860. New York: Norton, 1984.

Link, William A. Roots of Secession: Slavery and Politics in Antebellum Virginia. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2003.

McInnis, Maurie Dee. Slaves Waiting for Sale: Abolitionist Art and the American Slave Trade. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011.

Nicholls, Michael L. Whispers of Rebellion: Narrating Gabriel's Conspiracy. Charlottesville.: University of Virginia Press, 2012.

Oast, Jennifer. Institutional Slavery: Slaveholding Churches, Schools, Colleges, and Businesses in Virginia, 1680–1860. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016.

Perdue, Charles L., Thomas E. Barden, and Robert K. Phillips. Weevils in the Wheat: Interviews with Virginia Ex-Slaves. Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia, 1976.

Schwarz, Philip J. Gabriel's Conspiracy: A Documentary History. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012.

Schweiger, Beth Barton. The Gospel Working Up: Progress and the Pulpit in Nineteenth-Century Virginia. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Shade, William G. Democratizing the Old Dominion: Virginia and the Second Party System, 1824–1861. Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia, 1996.

Varon, Elizabeth R. We Mean to be Counted: White Women and Politics in Antebellum Virginia. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1998.

Wolf, Eva Sheppard. Race and Liberty in the New Nation: Emancipation in Virginia from the Revolution to Nat Turner's Rebellion. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2006.