The Planting of New Virginia: Settlement and Landscape in the Shenandoah Valley

Front Cover
JHU Press, 2004 - Architecture - 410 pages

In the eighteenth century, Virginia's Shenandoah Valley became a key corridor for America's westward expansion through the Cumberland Gap. Known as "New Virginia," the region west of the Blue Ridge Mountains set off the world of the farmer from that of the planter, grain and livestock production from tobacco culture, and a free labor society from a slave labor society. In The Planting of New Virginia Warren Hofstra offers the first comprehensive geographical history of one of North America's most significant frontier areas. By examining the early landscape history of the Shenandoah Valley in its regional and global context, Hofstra sheds new light on social, economic, political, and intellectual developments that affected both the region and the entire North American Atlantic world.

Paying special attention to the Shenandoah Valley's backcountry frontier culture, Hofstra shows how that culture played a unique role in the territorial struggle between European empires and Native American nations. He weaves together the broad cultural and geographic threads that underlie the story of the valley's place in the early European settlement of eastern North America. He also reveals the distinctive ways in which settlers shaped the valley's geography during the eighteenth century, a pattern that evolved from "discrete open-country neighborhoods" into a complex "town and country settlement" that would come to characterize—and in many ways epitomize—middle America.

An important addition to scholarship of the geography and history of colonial and early America, The Planting of New Virginia, rethinks American history and the evolution of the American landscape in the colonial era.

 

Contents

INTRODUCTION The Evolution of New Virginia I
1
Empire and Encounter A Prologue
17
Peopling an Empire
50
3
52
Settling the Shenandoah
94
4
98
Bounding the Land
143
Centering the County
199
The Future of New Virginia An Epilogue
326
Notes Index xi xiii I 17
339
50
346
94
350
236
353
272
357
326
368
339
383

From Strategic Place to Central Place
236
Town and Country
272

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About the author (2004)

Warren R. Hofstra is the Stewart Bell Professor of History at Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia.