Virginia

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All men are by nature equally free and independent and have certain inherent rights... they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety. ~ Virginia Declaration of Rights

Virginia, also known as the Commonwealth of Virginia, V-A, or simply the Commonwealth, is a U.S. state located in the South Atlantic region of the contiguous United States of America. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" due to its status as a former dominion of Great Britain and "Mother of Presidents" due to many U.S. presidents having been born there.

Sic semper tyrannis  (motto)

Arranged alphabetically by author or source:
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Quotes[edit]

Virginia is for lovers. ~ David Martin
Douthat Lake at Douthat State Park, Millboro, VA
Bear Creek Lake at Bear Creek Lake State Park, Cumberland, VA
Virginia puts on her prettiest colors to greet the seasons. In the fall, the colors of the leaves are lemon yellow, pumpkin gold, watermelon red, rusty oak, vermillion maple, burnt orange, and dusty green, and no two trees are the same. ~ Earl Hamner, Jr.
Chamberlayne Hall at St. Christopher's School in Richmond, VA
On the whole, I find nothing anywhere else... which Virginia need envy. ~ Thomas Jefferson
Venable Hall at Hampden-Sydney College in Hampden-Sydney, VA
The distinctions between Virginians, Pennsylvanians, New Yorkers and New Englanders are no more. I am not a Virginian, but an American. ~ Patrick Henry
Meet Virginia; I can't wait to. ~ Patrick Monahan
Cabin road in First Landing State Park, Virginia Beach, VA
She never compromises; loves babies and surprises. Wears high-heels when she exercises, ain't that beautiful? Meet Virginia. ~ Patrick Monahan
Yes, Virginia, there are still heroes in America. ~ Oliver North
The Rotunda at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
Virginia was the first state which instructed her delegates to declare the colonies independent. She braved all dangers. From Quebec to Boston, and from Boston to Savannah, Virginia shed the blood of her sons. No imputation then can be cast upon her in this matter. ~ James Monroe
We must remember the Commonwealth's past mistakes in order to prevent them from recurring. ~ Mark Warner
Jepson Hall at the University of Richmond, Richmond, VA
Modern Virginians departed from the teachings of the Fathers. ~ John Mosby
The true purpose of all government is to promote the welfare and provide for the protection and security of the governed, and when any form or organization of government proves inadequate for, or subversive of this purpose, it is the right, it is the duty of the latter to alter or abolish it. The Bill of Rights of Virginia, framed in 1776, reaffirmed in 1860, and again in 1851, expressly reserves this right to the majority of her people, and the existing constitution does not confer upon the General Assembly the power to call a Convention to alter its provisions, or to change the relations of the Commonwealth, without the previously expressed consent of such majority. ~ Declaration of the People of Virginia Represented in Convention at Wheeling
The Convention thus called has not only abused the powers nominally entrusted to it, but, with the connivance and active aid of the executive, has usurped and exercised other powers, to the manifest injury of the people, which, if permitted, will inevitably subject them to a military despotism. ~ Declaration of the People of Virginia Represented in Convention at Wheeling
Mountains near Rose Hill in Lee County
Christian quotes what the old Virginians said against slavery. True, but why didn't he quote what the modern Virginians said in favor of it? Mason, Hunter, Wise, etc. Why didn't he state that a Virginia senator, Mason, was the author of the Fugitive Slave Law, and why didn't he quote The Virginia Code that made it a crime to speak against slavery? ~ John S. Mosby

A[edit]

B[edit]

  • They could be thinking: 'This is perhaps the second time in a month that people associated with the Tea Party have really hurt us and we need to rethink things'. At some point, the national Republican party needs to decide: 'Are we going to be a majority party or go to the right, stake out that ground and maybe never hold national office again.
  • “Virginia?” he said, as if I had asked him if there was anywhere local we could get a dose of syphilis.
  • Our nation is shocked and saddened by the news of the shootings at Virginia Tech today...

    Schools should be places of safety, and sanctuary, and learning. When that sanctuary is violated, the impact is felt in every American classroom and every American community. Today our nation grieves with those who have lost loved ones at Virginia Tech. We hold the victims in our hearts; we lift them up in our prayers; and we ask a loving God to comfort those who are suffering today...

    Laura and I have come to Blacksburg today with hearts full of sorrow. This is a day of mourning for the Virginia Tech community -- and it is a day of sadness for our entire nation. We've come to express our sympathy. In this time of anguish, I hope you know that people all over this country are thinking about you, and asking God to provide comfort for all who have been affected.

    Yesterday began like any other day. Students woke up, and they grabbed their backpacks and they headed for class. And soon the day took a dark turn, with students and faculty barricading themselves in classrooms and dormitories -- confused, terrified, and deeply worried. By the end of the morning, it was the worst day of violence on a college campus in American history -- and for many of you here today, it was the worst day of your lives.

    It's impossible to make sense of such violence and suffering. Those whose lives were taken did nothing to deserve their fate. They were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Now they're gone -- and they leave behind grieving families, and grieving classmates, and a grieving nation.

C[edit]

  • H to the izz-o, v to the izz-a. For shizzle my nizzle, used to dribble down in VA.
  • That all men are by nature equally free and independent and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.
  • In 1640, the very first gun control law ever enacted on these shores was passed in Virginia. It provided that blacks, even freemen, could not own guns.
  • I am no more a child, but a man; no longer a confederacy, but a nation. I am no more Virginia, New York, Carolina, or Massachusetts, but the United States of America.

D[edit]

  • The true purpose of all government is to promote the welfare and provide for the protection and security of the governed, and when any form or organization of government proves inadequate for, or subversive of this purpose, it is the right, it is the duty of the latter to alter or abolish it. The Bill of Rights of Virginia, framed in 1776, reaffirmed in 1860, and again in 1851, expressly reserves this right to the majority of her people, and the existing constitution does not confer upon the General Assembly the power to call a Convention to alter its provisions, or to change the relations of the Commonwealth, without the previously expressed consent of such majority. The act of the General Assembly, calling the Convention which assembled at Richmond in February last, was therefore a usurpation; and the Convention thus called has not only abused the powers nominally entrusted to it, but, with the connivance and active aid of the executive, has usurped and exercised other powers, to the manifest injury of the people, which, if permitted, will inevitably subject them to a military despotism.
  • We, therefore the delegates here assembled in Convention to devise such measures and take such action as the safety and welfare of the loyal citizens of Virginia may demand, having mutually considered the premises, and viewing with great concern, the deplorable condition to which this once happy Commonwealth must be reduced, unless some regular adequate remedy is speedily adopted, and appealing to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe for the rectitude of our intentions, do hereby, in the name and on the behalf of the good people of Virginia, solemnly declare, that the preservation of their dearest rights and liberties and their security in person and property, imperatively demand the reorganization of the government of the Commonwealth, and that all acts of said Convention and Executive, tending to separate this Commonwealth from the United States, or to levy and carry on war against them, are without authority and void; and the offices of all who adhere to the said Convention and Executive, whether legislative, executive or judicial, are vacated.

E[edit]

  • Douthat State Park was the first Virginia state park my family ever visited. The year was 1986 and our boys were two and five years old. We camped in a small tent in a beautiful lakeside site with a panoramic view of Douthat Lake. That first visit was a fun and inspiration one and we were camped next to an older couple from Christiansburg. They took an interest in our boys and shared with us homemade jam and local honey. We remember thinking that Virginians were very hospitable; we imagined it was the world-famous southern hospitality at work. It wasn't exactly what we had encountered growing up in northeast Ohio, where the pace of life seemed much faster and people were less considerate.
    • P.M. Elton, Ghostly Tales of Virginia State Parks (2015), p. 40
  • Douthat was also one of the first parks to offer electricity to its customers. The first cabins had a coin-activated system: put in a dime, turn the knob and the power was on, and the lights showcased the beautiful timber-and-stone craftsmanship. This would have been a pretty amazing experience for many people in the 1930s. Some areas of the Commonwealth didn't get electric power until after World War II. Originally the power came from a local hydroelectric project, one of the first in the region.
    • P.M. Elton, Ghostly Tales of Virginia State Parks (2015), p. 42
  • Hungry Mother State Park was officially announced as Southwest Virginia State Park, but somehow the original name stuck, despite the protests of the local citizenry. Author Mack H. Sturgill has painstakingly detailed the history and development of Hungry Mother State Park. After considerable research, Mr. Sturgill is of the belief that the park name was a publicity stunt created by slightly inebriated men who devised a public relations campaign to enhance the local economy. In Sturgill's words, "The naming of the park and the accompanying legend seems to be a case of putting an old tale in a new bottle with a provocative label." Marketing ploy or not, the famed name (and its corresponding legend) lives on today.
    • P.M. Elton, Ghostly Tales of Virginia State Parks (2015), p. 55

G[edit]

  • The spirit of liberty that had been so invigorated by the events of the 1770s did manifest itself in a number of important measures affecting the status of America's slaves. In 1777 the constitution for the new state of Vermont completely abolished slavery, and Massachusetts soon followed suit. Many other Northern states, such as Pennsylvania in 1780, adopted legislation aimed at gradual emancipation during this period, although it was not until 1804 that New Jersey finally enacted a similar law. Not surprisingly, in the South anti-slavery gains were much more modest. But three Southern states, including Virginia in 1782, passed laws that made it possible for owners to manumit their slaves. It was the provisions of this law that Washington had to respect in formulating the manumission plan outlined in his will.
  • Sir, the great question which is now uprooting this Government to its foundation, the great question which underlies all our deliberations here, is the question of African slavery.
    • Thomas Goode, speech to the Virginia Secession Convention (28 March 1861), volume II, p. 518.
  • April 7, 1865. General R. E. Lee, the result of the last week must convince you of the hopelessness of further resistance on the part of the Army of Northern Virginia in this struggle. I feel that it is so, and regard it as my duty to shift from myself the responsibility of any further effusion of blood, by asking of you the surrender of that portion of the C.S. Army known as the Army of Northern Virginia. U.S. Grant, Lieutenant-General.
  • Incontestably what runs Virginia is the Byrd machine, the most urbane and genteel dictatorship in America. A real machine it is, though Senator Harry Flood Byrd himself faced more opposition in 1946 than at any time in his long, suave, and distinguished public career. Virginia is, of course, "the mother of states"; it is one of four in the union to call itself a commonwealth, and it has produced eight presidents, more than any other state. Its history goes back to Jamestown, the first Anglo-Saxon settlement in America, in 1607; the colony was named for Elizabeth, the virgin queen, and its citizens established an effective representative government several years before the Puritans in New England. Ever since it has prided itself on aristocratic tradition, a seasoned attitude toward public life, administrative decency, and firm attachment to the regime of law. Virginia breeds no Huey Longs or Talmadges; its respect for the forms of order is deeply engrained. One subsidiary point is that Virginians, it seems, were not so philoprogenitive as their New England counterparts. Boston, as we know, choked with Cabots, Adamses, and Lowells. But there are no Washingtons in Richmond; George Washington, as a matter of fact, left no children. Jefferson had direct descendants, but none with the name Jefferson play any consequential role in Virginia life today. There are no Madisons, Monroes, descendants of John Marshall or Patrick Henry, or even Lees, in the contemporary political arena.

H[edit]

  • Virginia puts on her prettiest colors to greet the seasons. In the fall, the colors of the leaves are lemon yellow, pumpkin gold, watermelon red, rusty oak, vermillion maple, burnt orange, and dusty green, and no two trees are the same.
    • Earl Hamner, Jr., as quoted by Lynn Seldon in 52 Virginia Weekends: Great Getaways and Adventures for Every Season (2000), 2nd edition, p. 113
  • Started in Atlanta, then I spread out with it. South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi. On to North Carolina, Philadelphia, and Virginia. From down in Miami where it's warm in the winter. On up to Minnesota where it storms in the winter.
  • Red-Cloud Owen grew up in New York, but he spent his summers in Virginia with his cousins and other members of the tribe. At 15, he moved to Virginia so that he could attend an all-Indian school. He decided to stay for good, but his mother would never return to live in Virginia again. She died in 1974. Before she died, however, she made a request, Red-Cloud Owen says. She wanted to be buried in the Chickahominy tribal cemetery, next to the tribal center and near the small town where she grew up and knew the name of everyone and every tree. Buried in Virginia. Buried as an Indian.
  • The distinctions between Virginians, Pennsylvanians, New Yorkers and New Englanders are no more. I am not a Virginian, but an American.
    • Patrick Henry, speech in the First Continental Congress, Philadelphia (14 October 1774). Compare: "I was born an American; I will live an American; I shall die an American!", Daniel Webster, Speech, July 17, 1850

J[edit]

  • VA? Now, that sounds great.
  • On the whole, I find nothing anywhere else... which Virginia need envy.
    • Thomas Jefferson, as quoted by Lynn Seldon in Country Roads of Virginia: Drives, Day Trips, and Weekend Excursions (1999), p. xi

L[edit]

  • Save for defense of my native state, I never desire again to draw my sword.
    • Robert E. Lee, as quoted in letter to General Winfield Scott (20 April 1861); as quoted in Personal Reminiscences, Anecdotes, and Letters of Gen. Robert E. Lee (1875) by John William Jones, p. 139, after turning down an offer by U.S. President Abraham Lincoln of supreme command of the United States Army
  • I am rejoiced that slavery is abolished. I believe it will be greatly for the interests of the south. So fully am I satisfied of this, as regards Virginia especially, that I would cheerfully have lost all I have lost by the war, and have suffered all I have suffered, to have this object attained.
    • Robert E. Lee, statement to John Leyburn (1 May 1870), as quoted in R. E. Lee : A Biography (1934) by Douglas Southall Freeman
  • The people of Virginia have thus allowed this giant insurrection to make its nest within her borders, and this Government has no choice left but to deal with it where it finds it; and it has the less regret, as the loyal citizens have in due form claimed its protection. Those loyal citizens this Government is bound to recognize and protect, as being Virginia.

M[edit]

  • On a view of all circumstances I have judged it most prudent not to force Billey back to Virginia even if it could be done; and have accordingly taken measures for his final separation from me. I am persuaded his mind is too thoroughly tainted to be a fit companion for fellow slaves in Virginia. The laws here do not admit of his being sold for more than 7 years. I do not expect to get near the worth of him; but cannot think of punishing him by transportation merely for coveting that liberty for which we have paid the prices of so much blood, and have proclaimed so often to be the right, and worthy the pursuit of every human being.
  • She never compromises; loves babies and surprises. Wears high-heels when she exercises, ain't that beautiful? Meet Virginia... Meet Virginia; I can't wait to.
  • What was the origin of our slave population? The evil commenced when we were in our Colonial state, but acts were passed by our Colonial Legislature, prohibiting the importation, of more slaves, into the Colony. These were rejected by the Crown. We declared our independence, and the prohibition of a further importation was among the first acts of state sovereignty. Virginia was the first state which instructed her delegates to declare the colonies independent. She braved all dangers. From Quebec to Boston, and from Boston to Savannah, Virginia shed the blood of her sons. No imputation then can be cast upon her in this matter. She did all that was in her power to do, to prevent the extension of slavery, and to mitigate its evils.
  • I wrote you about my disgust at reading the Reunion speeches. It has since been increased by reading Christian's report. I am certainly glad I wasn't there. According to Christian, the Virginia people were the abolitionists and the Northern people were pro-slavery. He says slavery was 'a patriarchal' institution. So were polygamy and circumcision. Ask Hugh if he has been circumcised. Christian quotes what the Old Virginians said against slavery. True; but why didn't he quote what the modern Virginians said in favor of it? Mason, Hunter, Wise, etc. Why didn't he state that a Virginia senator, Mason, was the author of the Fugitive Slave Law, and why didn't he quote The Virginia Code that made it a crime to speak against slavery?

N[edit]

P[edit]

  • He captured Harper's Ferry, with his nineteen men so few, and frightened 'Old Virginny' till she trembled through and through. They hung him for a traitor, they themselves the traitor crew. But, his soul is marching on.

R[edit]

  • The Korean people and I were horribly shocked and deeply saddened at the tragic incident two days ago at Virginia Tech in the United States. I pray for the repose of the souls of the victims and express my wholehearted sympathy to the wounded, the bereaved families and the American people. In addition, I hope that Americans will overcome this great sorrow and difficulties and will regain peace of mind as soon as possible.

S[edit]

  • The popular tourism slogan "Virginia Is for Lovers" has so many meanings to me. It certainly has meant love in the traditional sense: I fell deeply in love and got married in the Old Dominion. But the slogan also means a love of everything the state has to offer. There's a lot to love: the history, the southern charm of the people and places, the mountains, the water, the big cities, the small towns, and the many country roads. I was born and raised in Virginia and have lived in the state for all but six years of my life, when I was in the U.S. Army. My army time gave me a wanderlust that led to a career of travel. I'm a travel writer and photographer by trade and roam the world in search of a good story. But there's nothing better than roaming my own state on a country road.
    • Lynn Seldon, Country Roads of Virginia: Drives, Day Trips, and Weekend Excursions (1999), 2nd edition, p. ix
  • "Virginia is for lovers"- of weekends. There's a lot to love: the history, the southern charm of the people and places, the mountains, the water, the big cities, and the small towns. All of this makes for many great weekend options. I was born and raised in Virginia and have lived in the state most of my life. My Army time gave me a wanderlust that led to a career of travel. I'm a travel writer and photographer by trade and roam the world in search of a good story. But there's nothing better than a weekend spent in Virginia.
    • Lynn Seldon, 52 Virginia Weekends: Great Getaways and Adventures for Every Season (2000), 2nd edition, p. xi
  • Richmond is a city rich with tradition and vibrant with growth. It's a great place to spend a weekend. Richmond is at the heart of everything wonderful about the Old (and new) Dominion, offering an interesting blend of the modern and the historic. Over a billion dollars of shiny new buildings grace the downtown skyline, but they coexist with restored mansions, museums, and warehouses. Richmonders and visitors alike enjoy the new and old riches, but city life still moves at a southern gentleman's (and gentlewoman's) pace.
    • Lynn Seldon, 52 Virginia Weekends: Great Getaways and Adventures for Every Season (2000), 2nd edition, p. 3
  • [I]n 1782, Virginia passed a bill permitting private manumissions. Over the next ten years, Virginians manumitted about 1,000 slaves, including some who had fought as substitutes for their owners. Many more, however, were returned to slavery, so many, in fact, that the legislature felt compelled to speak out against this obvious injustice. In the fall of 1783, it passed a bill condemning owners who contrary to principles of justice and to their own solemn promise," kept their substitutes in slavery. It also instructed the Attorney General of Virginia to act on behalf of slaves held in servitude despite their war-time service and grant them the freedom they had earned. It is unknown how many slaves were freed in Virginia as a reward for military service.
  • Virginia led the way among the colonies in excluding blacks from militia service, when the House of Burgesses required in January 1639 that only white Virginians arm themselves.
  • 'The people of the South', says a contemporary, 'are not fighting for slavery but for independence'. Let us look into this matter. It is an easy task, we think, to show up this new-fangled heresy, a heresy calculated to do us no good, for it cannot deceive foreign statesmen nor peoples, nor mislead any one here nor in Yankeeland... Our doctrine is this. WE ARE FIGHTING FOR INDEPENDENCE THAT OUR GREAT AND NECESSARY DOMESTIC INSTITUTION OF SLAVERY SHALL BE PRESERVED, and for the preservation of other institutions of which slavery is the groundwork.

T[edit]

  • Our story actually begins at Jamestown, as almost all Virginia stories do... yes, even the story of Hampden-Sydney's College Presbyterian Church.
    • William E. Thompson, Her Walls Before Thee Stand: The 235-Year History of the Presbyterian Congregation at Hampden-Sydney, Virginia (2010), revised 2011 edition, p. 15
  • The Jamestown settlers never ever pretended to have come to the New World on a noble quest for religious freedom. Instead, they represented a daring economic endeavor which was sponsored by a group of venture capitalists who were collectively known as The Virginia Company. Many of these forefathers of the fabled "First Families of Virginia" were, in fact, escaping Old World arrest warrants, debt collectors, paternity suits, military obligations, home duties, and the like. No, for the Jamestown pioneers- as well as for most of those who soon followed them to other nearby Tidewater villages and plantations- the purity and the practice of their Christian faith were secondary matters... although the Jamestown colony did have an Anglican priest among its settlers, and very shortly he began celebrating the Eucharist for these men. There were Calvinist Puritans in this group, but they just quietly tolerated this religious exercise without protest, while not completely embracing its theology.
    • William E. Thompson, Her Walls Before Thee Stand: The 235-Year History of the Presbyterian Congregation at Hampden-Sydney, Virginia (2010), revised 2011 edition, p. 16
  • However, even if these earliest Virginians had been seeking the free and unfettered practice of their particular type of Christianity, there would be no true "religious freedom" anywhere in Virginia for nearly two more centuries... and therefore surviving with one's personal faith intact would become the defining struggle for most of the Presbyterians who immigrated to this same colony during the 17th and 18th centuries.
    • William E. Thompson, Her Walls Before Thee Stand: The 235-Year History of the Presbyterian Congregation at Hampden-Sydney, Virginia (2010), revised 2011 edition, p. 16
  • Officially all of the early white Virginia settlers [and any of their black slaves and their native neighbors (e.g., Pocahontas) who were subsequently evangelized into Christianity] were supposed to be, or assumed to be, members of the Anglican Church. While those who openly declared themselves to be otherwise were not specifically labeled as "outlaws", their rather prejudicial classification as "dissenters" meant that those daring-to-be-different Christians were living on the teeter-totter edge of colonial legality, Crown loyalty, and civil propriety.
    • William E. Thompson, Her Walls Before Thee Stand: The 235-Year History of the Presbyterian Congregation at Hampden-Sydney, Virginia (2010), revised 2011 edition, p. 17
  • When a civil war began in the 1640s between the King's forces and the Parliamentary forces, many English religious dissenters joined the anti-royalists. At this time, Virginia's royal governor, William Berkeley, reacted by arbitrarily condemning all Virginia dissenters as similar being seditious anti-royalists; some Tidewater dissenters were banished from Virginia at this time, while others simply moved farther up the James River to areas (in present-day Hanover County) north and west of its fall-line. Some of these "uprooted and transplanted" Piedmont dissenters became the ancestors of the Presbyterian congregation that would later be formed at Hampden-Sydney, Virginia.
    • William E. Thompson, Her Walls Before Thee Stand: The 235-Year History of the Presbyterian Congregation at Hampden-Sydney, Virginia (2010), revised 2011 edition, p. 20

V[edit]

  • That all men are by nature equally free and independent and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.
  • A well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.

W[edit]

  • Virginia for so long has made me look back on whatever regional identity it might have. My first impression is that it doesn't really have one... Virginia, for those without easy transportation options, is downright god-awfully boring.
  • Today, I offer the Commonwealth's sincere apology for Virginia's participation in eugenics. We must remember the Commonwealth's past mistakes in order to prevent them from recurring.
  • There is patently no legitimate overriding purpose independent of invidious racial discrimination which justifies this classification. The fact that Virginia prohibits only interracial marriages involving white persons demonstrates that the racial classifications must stand on their own justification, as measures designed to maintain White Supremacy. We have consistently denied the constitutionality of measures which restrict the rights of citizens on account of race. There can be no doubt that restricting the freedom to marry solely because of racial classifications violates the central meaning of the Equal Protection Clause.

External links[edit]

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  • The dictionary definition of virginia at Wiktionary
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