The Power of Place
By prompting us to transcend political boundaries and delve more deeply into our past, the concept of “place” offers a unique perspective for fully understanding our history
All events are free of charge
Dr. Barbara Heath
February 11, 2024 at 2 p.m.
Conflict, Migration, and Early Settlement of the Northern Neck
Where: University of Mary Washington, Dahlgren Campus, 4224 University Drive, King George, VA
During the earliest decades of English colonization of the Chesapeake, the Potomac River Valley was a politically complex borderland between the colonies of Virginia and Maryland and Native American tribal groups. In this enlightening talk, Dr. Barbara Heath explores the significant ways in which life on the borderland shaped the development of the Northern Neck of Virginia.
Dr. Barbara Heath is Professor and Head of Anthropology at the University of Tennessee, where she has worked since 2006. She specializes in historical archaeology—archaeology of the recent past. For more than 40 years, she has worked on archaeological sites throughout Virginia, including a 20-year career as an archaeologist at historic houses and museums such as Colonial Williamsburg, Monticello, and Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest. She served as president of the Council of Virginia Archaeologists and as president of the Society for Historical Archaeology, the international professional society of her field. Barbara is the author of Hidden Lives, The Archaeology of Slave Life at Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest and, with Jack Gary, edited Jefferson’s Poplar Forest, Unearthing a Virginia Plantation. She also was co-editor and contributor to Material Worlds: Archaeology, Consumption, and the Road to Modernity, with Eleanor Breen and Lori Lee, and Artifacts that Enlighten: The Ordinary and the Unexpected with Linda Stone and Patricia Samford. She is currently working on two book projects centered on the archaeology of colonialism along the Potomac River, and on a third about the global exchange of cowrie shells in the past 300 years. Since 2011, she and her students have worked collaboratively with landowners, local archaeologists, and community members in a multi-year study of Chicacoan, a settlement of Algonquian-speaking Indians and their ancestors along the Coan River near Heathsville, Virginia; the site of the first permanent English settlement on the Northern Neck, and an early site of African enslavement.
Dr. Steven Harris-Scott
March 10, 2024 at 2 p.m.
A Place Apart–Bound Labor in Virginia’s Upper Northern Neck, 1645-1710
Where: Historic Christ Church, 420 Christ Church Road, Weems, VA
Bound laborers such as white servants and enslaved Africans were essential in early English Virginia, supplying the necessary labor to produce profit from tobacco for the colony’s landowners. This was even more important in Virginia’s “upper” Northern Neck region given that a less desirable strain of tobacco, oronoco, was grown there. Join Dr. Steven Harris-Scott as he explores how this difference had significant implications on the pattern of Northern Neck bound labor in the 18th century.
Dr. Steven Harris-Scott holds a PhD in History from George Mason University and an MA in History from the University of New Orleans. He has presented his work at numerous conferences, particularly the Virginia Forum where he is also a member of its Board of Directors and as of 2023, its president.
Dr. Scott is an affiliate of GMU’s Department of History and Art History, the Center for Mason Legacies, and the Institute for Immigration Research. He also serves as Academic Director at INTO George Mason, a center that educates international students who need additional English language support and cultural transition support to prepare for undergraduate and master’s degrees at GMU.
Dr. Julia King
April 14, 2024 at 2 p.m.
Finding Leedstown–What Archaeology Reveals about this Remarkable Place
Where: Hughlett’s Tavern
73 Monument Place, Heathsville, VA
In 1937 an unusual find at a Native American site in Leedstown led to similar discoveries in modern museums throughout the country and sparked intriguing questions about the history of the site. Join Dr. Julia King as she explores the significance of Leedstown by placing it in multiple contexts.
Dr. Julia King is professor and chair of anthropology at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. She has 30 years experience studying, writing, and teaching about historical archaeology and Chesapeake history and culture. She has held fellowships with Harvard University’s Dumbarton Oaks, the Virginia Historical Society, and Winterthur Museum and has received six major grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities. From 2003 until 2011, Dr. King served as an Expert Member on the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, a Federal agency that advises the president and Congress on matters of national historic preservation policy. Her book, Archaeology, Narrative, and the Politics of the Past: The View from Southern Maryland, received a Book Award from the American Association of State and Local History in 2013. In 2018, the Society for Historical Archaeology presented Dr. King with the J.C. Harrington Award in recognition of her scholarly contributions to the discipline. Dr. King is one of the youngest members to have received the Harrington. She has also received awards from the Register for Professional Archaeologists and the Archaeological Society of Virginia. Her current research focus includes Indigenous history and colonialism in the Chesapeake region. Since 2016, she has collaborated with the Rappahannock Tribe and landowners across the Northern Neck to uncover the region’s rich Indigenous and European history.
Chief Anne Richardson
May 5, 2024 at 2 p.m.
Indigenous Perspectives on the Northern Neck and Power of Place
Where: The Lodge at Cat Point Creek, 2570 Newland Road, Warsaw, VA
The Rappahannock People have inhabited the Northern Neck since the beginning. It holds a special place in the Rappahannock story and contains some of the most spiritually and historically significant places to the Tribe. In this talk, Chief Anne Richardson graciously shares her thoughts on the Northern Neck and Power of Place.
As Chief of the Rappahannock Tribe since 1998, Chief Anne Richardson is the first woman to lead a Virginia Indian tribe since the early 1700s. As a 4th generation chief in her family, she was instrumental in obtaining state (1983) and then federal (2018) recognition for the Rappahannock—recognition that confers sovereignty and other rights. While contending with the long legacy of displacement, discrimination, and disenfranchisement, Chief Richardson works to ensure a vibrant future for the Rappahannock and to preserve their lands and cultural traditions. Chief Richardson’s skills in reaching out to national, state, and local government, business, nonprofit, and individual resources are considerable, as evidenced by the Tribe’s governance and organizational accomplishments. Most recently, she worked in partnership with several conservation organizations to purchase 465 acres of their historic town Wecuppom on the Rappahannock River. The site unites the Tribe with their ancestral lands identified by Capt. John Smith in 1608, adjacent to the river that bears their name. This is a big step forward in fulfilling Chief Richardson’s vision of returning her Tribe to the great Rappahannock River Valley. As a part of that vision, she has protected critical habitat for eagles and waterfowl in the areas of the Rappahannock River Valley Wildlife Refuge and along the Chesapeake Trail. She has also partnered with the Chesapeake Conservancy, the Wilderness Society, and the US Fish & Wildlife Service to rematriate 465 acres of the Tribe’s ancestral homelands on the Rappahannock River and is working with them to acquire two other properties at the same location. She is leading the establishment of the Indigenous Conservation Council for the Chesapeake Bay, a nonprofit organization with the inaugural board members being the chiefs of the seven federally recognized tribes in Virginia. She is also leading the Tribe in the development of a Master Plan for Community & Economic Development, which will provide a path forward over the next five years, and a vision for the next generation of Tribal leaders. Chief Richardson serves on numerous boards and most recently was appointed by Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Board of Directors.
Dr. Philip Levy
June 9, 2024 at 2 p.m.
The Leedstown Resolutions–Connecting Consumerism and Revolution on the Northern Neck
Where: George Washington Birthplace National Monument, 1732 Popes Creek Road, Colonial Beach, VA
The Leedstown Resolves were one of the first protests against the 1765 Stamp Act and influenced public opinion in other American colonies. In this engaging talk, Dr. Levy explores how consumerism in the colonies shaped response to the Stamp Act, influenced revolutionary politics, and ultimately helped drive revolutionary sentiment on the Northern Neck.
Dr. Philip Levy is a Professor of History at the University of South Florida and is an Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lecturer. He is the author of several books many of which deal with George Washington both as a person and as a national icon. Where the Cherry Tree Grew: The Story of Ferry Farm, George Washington’s Boyhood Home (2013) and George Washington Written Upon the Land: Nature, Memory, Myth, and Landscape (2015) focus on the places of Washington childhood. The Permanent Resident: Excavations and Explorations of the Life of George Washington (2022), winner of the prestigious Society for Historical Archaeology James Deetz Award, explores the many sites of Washington’s life and how their stories have been shaped by archaeology and issues of memory and commemoration. His newest book, Yard Birds: The Lives and Times of America’s Urban Chickens, tells a very different story from his other work and explores the fascinating relationships, both past and present, between urban areas and domestic fowl.
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