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Poles have lived in present-day United States territories for over years—since There are 10 million Americans of Polish descent in the U. Polish Americans have always been the largest group of Slavic origin in the United States. Historians divide Polish American immigration into three "waves", the largest from to , a second after World War II, and a third after Poland's independence in This group is often called the za chlebem for bread immigrants because most were peasants in Poland who did not own land and lacked basic subsistence.
The Austrian Poles were from Galicia , unarguably the most destitute region in Europe at the time. Up to a third of the Poles returned to Poland after living in the United States for a few years, but the majority stayed. Substantial research and sociological works such as The Polish Peasant in Europe and America found that many Polish immigrants shared a common objective of someday owning land in the U.
A third wave, much smaller, came in when Poland was freed from Communist rule. Immigrants in all three waves were attracted by the high wages and ample job opportunities for unskilled manual labor in the United States, and were driven to jobs in American mining, meatpacking, construction, steelwork, and heavy industry—in many cases dominating these fields until the midth century.
These communities are called Polonia and the largest such community historically was in Chicago, Illinois. A key feature of Polish life in the Old World had been religion, and in the United States, Catholicism often became an integral part of Polish identity.
In the United States, Polish immigrants created communities centered on Catholic religious services , and built hundreds of churches and parish schools in the 20th century.
The Polish today are well assimilated into American society. Average incomes have increased from well below average to above average today, and Poles continue to expand into white-collar professional and managerial roles.
Poles are still well represented in blue collar construction and industrial trades, and many live in or near urban cities. Polish and American sources  cite Polish pitch-makers as settlers among William Raleigh 's failed Roanoke Colony in The first Polish immigrants came to the Jamestown colony in , twelve years before the Pilgrims arrived in Massachusetts. He estimated that "two dozen Poles" at most were in the colony by Their strike was the first labor protest in the New World.
The date of their arrival, October 1, , is a commemorative holiday for Polish-Americans. Polish American Heritage Month is based on this month, and October 1 is commemorated annually in Polonia organizations. Protestant Poles left Poland for America seeking greater religious freedom. This was not due to the Counter-Reformation in Poland ; in Poland, the Jesuits spread Catholicism chiefly by promoting religious education among the youth.
The Polish Brethren were banished by law from Poland in , and faced physical fights, seizure of property, and court fines for preaching their religion. Polish exiles originally sought refuge in England, but lacking support, sought peace in America. There is no evidence of Polish immigration to Catholic Spanish or French territories in North America in the 17th Century, which historian Frank Mocha suggests is a signal that early Poles were Protestants and wanted to live with Protestants in America.
These Poles were generally well educated and aristocratic. One known immigrant, pioneer Anthony Sadowski , had come from an area populated by Moravian Brethren and Arians in the Sandomierz Voivodeship of the Polish—Lithuanian Commonwealth, consistent with a religious exodus.
Research has confirmed that one of his first actions upon arrival was visiting a Polish Protestant colony in New Jersey, and his uncle, Stanislaw Sadowski, converted to Calvinism before fleeing Poland. Later Polish immigrants included Jakub Sadowski , who in , settled in New York with his sons—the first Europeans to penetrate as far as Kentucky. It is said that Sandusky, Ohio , was named after him.
There, he served as Brigadier-general in the Continental Army and commanded its cavalry. After the Revolution, Americans who commented generally held positive views of the Polish people. Polish music such as mazurkas and krakowiaks were popular in the U. However, after the Civil War —65 the image turned negative and Poles appeared as crude and uneducated people who were not good fits for America socially or culturally.
The first emigrants from Poland were Silesians from the Prussian partition of Poland. They settled in Texas in , creating an agricultural community that carried their native traditions, customs, and language. The land they chose was bare, unpopulated countryside, and they erected the homes, churches, and municipal accommodations as a private community.
The first home built by a Pole is the John Gawlik House , constructed The building still stands, and displays a high-pitched roof common in Eastern European architecture. The Poles in Texas built brick houses with thatched roofs until the s. That region in Texas is subject to less than 1 inch of snow per year, and meteorological studies show that level of insulation is unwarranted. They often added porches to their verandas, particularly on the southward windy side.
The geographically isolated area continues to maintain its heritage but the population mostly moved to nearby Karnes City and Falls City. Leopold Moczygemba , a Polish priest, founded Panna Maria by writing letters back to Poland encouraging them to emigrate to Texas, a place with free land, fertile soils, and golden mountains. Moczygemba and his brothers served as leaders during the town's development. The settlers and their children all spoke Silesian. Resurrectionist priests led church services and religious education for children.
Letters sent back to Poland demonstrate a feeling of profound new experience in America. Hunting and fishing were favorite pastimes among the settlers, who were thrilled by the freedoms of shooting wild game in the countryside. The farmers used labor-intensive agricultural techniques that maximized crop yields of corn and cotton; they sold excess cotton to nearby communities and created profitable businesses selling crops and livestock. Polish leaders and Polish historical figures settled in the community, including Matthew Pilarcyk, a Polish soldier sent to Mexico in the s to fight for the Austrian Emperor Maximilian.
Some records recall that he fled the Army in during the fall of the empire, escaped a firing squad and traversed the Rio Grande to enter Panna Maria, where he had heard Poles were living.
When he arrived, he married a local woman and joined the community as a political leader. The community was nearly massacred following the Civil War, where the government of Texas was dismantled and gangs of cowboys and former Confederate nativists harassed and shot at Poles in Panna Maria. The Poles in Panna Maria had Union sympathies and were the subject of discrimination by the local Southerners.
In , a showdown between a troupe of armed cowboys and the Polish community neared a deadly confrontation; Polish priests requested the Union Army to protect them, and a stationed Army helped keep them safe, registered to vote in elections, and free from religious intolerance.
Cemeteries contain inscriptions written in Polish or Polish-and-English. Poles settled a farming community in Parisville, Michigan , in Historians debate whether the community was established earlier, and claims that the community originated in still exist. The community was started by five or six Polish families who came from Poland by ship in the s, and lived in Detroit, Michigan in before deciding to initiate a farming community in Parisville, where they created prosperous farms, and raised cattle and horses.
The lands were originally dark black swamps, and the settlers succeeded in draining the land for use as fruit orchards. As per the Swamplands Act of , the lands were legally conferred to pioneering settlers who could make use of these territories. Individual Polish farmers and their families took advantage of this new law, and other immigrants settled disparate areas in interior Michigan independently.
The Parisville community was surrounded by Native American Indians who continued to live in tepees during this time. The Poles and the Indians enjoyed good relations and historical anecdotes of gift-giving and resource sharing are documented. Polish farmers were dispersed throughout Michigan, and by roughly 50, Poles were said to live in Detroit. The first Kashubian to settle there was Michael Koziczkowski, formerly of Gdansk , who arrived in Stevens Point late in One of the first Kashubian settlements was the aptly named Polonia, Wisconsin.
Within five years, more than two dozen Kashubian families joined the Koziczkowskis. Since the Portage County Kashubian community was largely agricultural, it was spread out over Sharon, Stockton, and Hull townships.
After the end of the Civil War, many more immigrants from throughout occupied Poland settled in Portage County, this time including the city of Stevens Point. Winona 's first known Kashubian immigrants, the family of Jozef and Franciszka von Bronk, reached Winona in Winona has never been a purely Kashubian settlement, as were the settlements in Wilno, Renfrew County, Ontario and the various hamlets of Portage County, Wisconsin; even so, it was known as early as as the Kashubian Capital of America, largely because of the Winona Kashubians' rapid acquisition of a social, economical and political cohesion unequaled in other Kashubian settlements.
Many of Poland's political elites were in hiding from the Russians following an unsuccessful uprising in to Hundreds of military officers, nobles, and aristocrats were hiding as refugees in Austria, but the Emperor of Austria was under pressure to surrender them to Russia for execution.
He had previously made a commitment to keep them safe from the Russians, but wanted to avoid war. Congress and President Andrew Jackson agreed to take several hundred Polish refugees.
They arrived on several small ships, the largest single arrival being refugees, including August Antoni Jakubowski. Jakubowski later wrote his memoirs in English, documenting his time as a Polish exile in America. He recalled that the refugees originally wanted to go to France, but the government refused to receive them, and under obligation by the Austrian authorities, they came to America.
Jackson wrote to the Secretary of the Treasury to secure 36 sections of land within Illinois or Michigan for a Polish settlement. In , a rural territory near the Rock River in Illinois was surveyed by the U. The Polish emigres formed a group, the Polish committee, to plead for aid settling in the U. Despite three applications to Congress by the Polish committee, no Acts were passed and no lands were ever officially appropriated for settlement. Kraitsir alleged that American citizens who donated funds to their cause had their funds diverted by Gallatin.
The plans were abandoned when American pioneers took the settlement lands and squatted them, leaving the Polish settlement effort politically unfeasible. No land was ever officially handed to the Polish emigres. The Polish exiles settled in the United States. One of them was a doctor of medicine and a soldier, Felix Wierzbicki , a veteran of the November Uprising , who, in , published the first English-language book printed in California ,  California as it is, and as it may be.
According to the Library of Congress , the book was a valuable guide to California for prospective settlers that includes a survey of agriculture, hints on gold mining, a guide to San Francisco, and a chapter on California's Hispanic residents and Native American tribes.
Polish political exiles founded organizations in America, and the first association of Poles in America, Towarzystwo Polakow w Ameryce Association of Poles in America was founded March 20, The association's catchphrase was "To die for Poland". It was the duty of Poles to someday return to liberate the homeland, they argued to newly arrived Poles in America. The Polish National Alliance PNA newspaper, Zgoda , warned in , "The Pole is not free to Americanize" because Poland's religion, language and nationality had been "partially torn away by the enemies".
In other words, "The Pole is not free to Americanize because wherever he is — he has a mission to fulfill. Here one is free to fight for the Fatherland; Here the cruelty of tyrants will not reach us, Here the scars inflicted on us will fade. Many of the exiles in America were actively political and saw their mission in the United States as one to create a new Poland in the United States.
These boundaries can be easily traced on any modern map of Virginia. By the same Act fifteen hundred pounds was appropriated, to be paid to the Governor, of which five hundred for a church, courthouse, prison, pillory and stocks where the governor shall appoint them in Spotsylvania, he to employ workmen, provide material, etc.: The arms appropriated to the defence of the County, and both the real and personal estate of the persons taking them made liable to their forthcoming in good order; and to be stamped with the name of the County, and liable to seizure of any militia officer if found without the bounds.
Inhabitants made free of public levies for ten years, and the whole County made one parish by the name of St. Because foreign Protestants may not understand English readily, they and their titheables made free for ten years if any such shall entertain a minister of their own. This last clause was for the benefit of the Germans settled at Germanna.
While Orange was yet a part of Spotsylvania, and, indeed, before Spotsylvania itself was formed, thousands and thousands of acres of land to the westward, even as far as to the Mississippi, had been granted to individuals by the Crown, acting mainly through the Governors of the Colony; and titles to much land in Orange of today are traced back to Spotsylvania, King and Queen, and the land office at Richmond.
The Madison Grant, " for example, was made while the grantee was still a resident of King and Queen. Prince of Orange one of England's most worthy kings: Next to "good Queen Anne" he appears to have been the best beloved by the colonists of all their kings; King William, King and Queen, Williamsburg, and William and Mary College were all named in his honor, two of them in honor of him and his Queen. In colonial times it was not uncommon for parishes to be formed before the counties which afterwards con: Such was the case with Orange, and the boundaries of the County can only be stated in connection with those of the parish of St.
The Act defining St. Mark is as follows:. Enacted, Whereas many inconveniences attend the parishioners of St. George parish, in the county of Spotsylvania, by reason of the great length thereof, that from January 1 , the said parish be divided into two distinct parishes: From the mouth of the Rapidan to the mouth of Wilderness Run; thence up the said Run to the bridge; and thence southwest to Pamunkey River: George Parish, and all that other part which lies above the said bounds be known as St.
The freeholders were required to meet at Germanna on that day and there " elect and choose twelve of the most able and discreet persons of their parish to be vestrymen. It is manifest that Orange never touched the Pamunkey River as we now know that river, and the conclusion is unavoidable that we must understand some point on the North Anna, which probably, at that time, was called the Pamunkey, because it was the main branch of that stream; which point is the present corner of Spotsylvania with Orange on the North Anna.
The Act establishing the County was passed at the August session, Leaving out unnecessary words it reads:. Whereas divers inconveniences attend the upper inhabitants of Spotsylvania County, by reason of their great distance from the Courthouse and other places usually appointed for public meetings: Be it therefore enacted, by the Lieutenant-governor. Council and Burgesses, of this present General Assembly, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same; That from and immediately after the first day of January now next ensuing, the said County of Spotsylvania be divided by the dividing line between the parish of St.
George and the parish of St. Mark; and that that part of the said county which is now the parish of St. George remain and be called and known by the name of Spotsylvania County; and all that territory of land adjoining to and above the said line, bounded southerly by the line of Hanover County, northerly by the grant of the Lord Fairfax, and westerly by the utmost limits of Virginia, be thenceforth erected into one distinct county, to be called and known by the name of the county of Orange.
A Court for the County was directed to be constantly held by the justices thereof on the third Tuesday in every month. For the encouragement of the inhabitants already settled and which shall speedily settle on the westward of the Sherrendo River, it was further enacted that they should be free and exempt from the payment of public, county and parish levies for three years next following, and that all who might settle there in the next three years should be so exempt for the remainder of that time.
The terms of the statute need explanation in this, "southerly by the line of Hanover. As then understood, Lord Fairfax's southern limit was the Rappahannock River, as it is known to-day.
There was much and long continued contention and litigation about this line, however, between Fairfax and the colonial authorities, but it was finally settled that the Fairfax grant embraced all the land lying between the Potomac and Rappahannock rivers up to the head springs of each river, and that the head spring of the Rappahannock was the source of what is now known as Conway or Middle River, which source is near the corner of Greene and Madison counties, near the crest of the Blue Ridge.
As this contention was not settled till long afterwards, the northerly boundary of Orange continued to be the present Rappahannock River until Culpeper was cut off in , and it remains the boundary of Culpeper to this day.
A map showing a " survey according to order in the years and of the Northern Neck of Virginia, being the lands belonging to Lord Fairfax, " is published in the report of the commissioners appointed to settle the boundaries between Maryland and Virginia in It must be borne in mind that "Old Style" was yet in effect in the Mother Country and her colonies when Orange was established: Thus, though the first court was held in January , there were yet two months to elapse before the year began: This will make plain the otherwise apparently curious date of the appointment of Col.
Henry Willis, the first county clerk. At a Court held for the County of Orange on the twenty-first day of January, , Present Augustine Smith, John Taliaferro, and the justices to whom they had just administered the oaths:.
A Commission to Henry Willis, Gent. This Henry Willis was the same gentleman mentioned by Colonel Byrd as the "top man of Fredericksburg. October was then really the eighth month and January was the eleventh month of the calendar year. He was the ancestor of Col. George Willis of Woodpark ; of Mr. Henry Willis and of Mrs. Ambrose Madison, of Woodbury Forest.
Why a person not a citizen of the County should have been made clerk does not appear, but he continued to be such until his death, in the summer of William Robertson's house, on Black Walnut Run, was designated as the place where court should be held, by the Governor's order, till the court could agree upon a place and have the Governor's approbation.
Zachary Lewis and Robert Turner were sworn as attorneys to practise in the County. The court unanimously recommended John Mercer to the Governor for appointment to prosecute the King's causes in their court.
James Coward and John Snow were named as overseers of the highway. A number of the justices were desired to view the Rapidan above and below Germanna for a convenient place to keep a ferry, and to wait on Colonel Spotswood to know on what terms he would let such a place. Later he agreed that he would let his land for a ferry there for pounds of tobacco, with sufficient land for two hands to work, but debarred the keeping of tippling houses and hogs running at large, and public notice was ordered of the letting of the ferry and plantation at a subsequent term, and that advertisements be set up at the churches.
Similarly, they always endorsed indictments found, Vera Billa , a true bill. Three justices, who afterwards became famous in Frederick and Augusta, qualified at this term: A rowling road was one over which tobacco hogsheads were rolled to market. At June term, John Mercer, Gent. William Gooch, his Majesty's lieutenant-governor, which was approved by the Court, and the said Mercer admitted accordingly.
The first jury ever impanelled in the County was at the August term following, to try an action for assault and battery between James Porteus and Jonathan Fennell, alias Fenney, as follows: The verdict was for fifteen shillings damages. The following minutes seem worthy of notice: This was effective the same year, when Augusta and Frederick counties were formed, embracing all of Virginia lying beyond the Blue Ridge.
But Augusta, though formed in , did not really organize as a separate county until about In a road was ordered to be opened from Evan Watkins's ferry by a course of marked trees to the head of Falling Spring and over the Tuscarora branch, thence to Opequon Creek, thence to Spout Run, by the King's road leading by joist Hite's to a fall in the same near the Sherrando ford, and that all tithables from the Potomac between Opequon and the mountain this side the little Cape Capon, and many others, proceed to work the same.
Two more roads, to show the dimensions of the County: In August of the same year: In Culpeper, including all of Orange lying between the whole length of the Rapidan and the Rappahannock rivers, was cut off, and our former " principality" is reduced to the dimensions of Orange and Greene of to-day. And to dispose of Greene once for all, it may be said here that there was angry contention about this dismemberment, with numerous petitions and counter petitions and protests, but the separatists finally prevailed in The old County, though shorn of her territory, has never been shorn of her good name; and her illustrious offspring who have made her famous and historic, were born and reared in the limits of the Orange of to-day!
William Robertson's house, on Black Walnut Run, was designated as the place where court should be held, by the Governor's order, till the Court could agree upon a place, and have the Governor's approbation, and there the first term was held on the gist of January, , Old Style.
At the same term the sheriff, Thomas Chew, was ordered to build a prison at his plantation, " a logg house, seven and a half feet pitch, sixteen long and ten wide, of loggs six by eight at least, close laid at top and bottom, with a sufficient plank door, strong hinges and a good lock, and that two hundred pounds of tobacco and cask be paid him for building the said house.
A debate was had as to the most convenient place to build a courthouse. The Court divided, one party for the centre of the County and the other for the Raccoon Ford, then some distance higher up the river than now, eight for the former and six for the latter. The question was whether the mouth of the Robertson or Raccoon Ford was nearer the centre, justices Smith, Taliaferro, Chew, Barbour and Taylor favoring a point just below the mouth.
Lightfoot agreed that this was nearest the centre, but insisted on the north side of the Rapidan. Robert Slaughter was in favor of the centre, when the same should be ascertained. Field, Green, Finlason, Ball, Pollard, and Francis Slaughter declined to answer the last question, as to the centre, but insisted on Raccoon Ford, or thereabouts, and the north side of the river. All which the Court ordered should be particularly represented to the Governor. At the March term ensuing there was an order from the Governor that some of the justices attend the general court and have a hearing about placing the courthouse, and they agree to go at their own charges.
Whereas I have been desired to declare upon what terms I will admit the Courthouse of Orange County to be built upon my land in case the Commissioners for placing the same should judge the most convenient situation thereof to be within the bounds of my Patent. And forasmuch as I am not only willing to satisfy such commissioners that no obstruction in that point will arise on my part, but am also disposed to make those terms as easie to the County, as can well be expected; I do therefore hereby declare that consent to the building of a courthouse, prison, pillory and stocks on any part of my lands not already leased or appropriated; and that I will convey in the form and manner which the justices of the County can in reason require such a quantity of land as may be sufficient for setting the said buildings on, with a convenient courtyard thereto, for the yearly acknowledgment of one pound of tobacco.
And moreover, that I will allow to be taken gratis off my land all the timber or stone which shall be wanted for erecting and repairing the said buildings. The date of this letter would indicate that negotiations had been begun with Colonel Spotswood before the formal organization of the County. The records disclose no appointment by the court of commissioners to confer with him. At the June term, , Charles Carter and William Beverley reported as to the agreement they had been ordered to make with Colonel Spotswood for land to set the courthouse on, but nothing appears to have come of it, for in Ocober, , a proposal being made where to build it, the Court, after debate, agreed that it be built at the place appointed by the commissioners " near the Governor's Ford on the south side of the Rapidan.
Bramham's house in December next, "it being near where the courthouse is, with all expedition, going to be built, " and notice was given that workmen meet at the November term to undertake the building. At November, after debate where to build, the Court agreed with John Bramham that he lease twenty acres of land to build it on for pounds of tobacco per annum, and that the plot should" include the convenientest spring to Cedar Island ford.
Thomas Chew and William Russell were appointed to lay off the land and designate the location of the Courthouse.
The next term was accordingly held at Bramham's house, and it was at this location of the courthouse that Peter was decapitated and his head stuck on a pole, and that Eve was burned at the stake, as appears from the orders published in the text.
In July, , notice was given that at the next term the Court would agree with workmen to finish the courthouse, and at the February term following Peter Russell was employed to keep the building clean, and " provide candles and small beer for the Justices;" so it appears that it had taken nearly two years to complete it after work was actually begun.
And it seems certain that the first real courthouse owned by the County was located near the present Somerville's Ford, and on land now belonging to the Hume family. Henry Willis was paid 13, pounds of tobacco for building the prison, and 3, pounds for finishing the courthouse.
He took out license to keep an ordinary there November, Ordered, that the sheriff cause the lock provided for the justices' room to be put to the door; that he provide glass for the windows of the said room, and cause the windows to be glassed; and that he cause the tops of the chimneys to be pulled down and amended to prevent it from smoking. Taylor, Taverner Beale, Wm. Taliaferro, John Willis, Francis Moore and Henry Downs, or any five of them, to meet and agree on the most convenient place for a courthouse, with power to agree on the manner thereof, and with workmen to erect a prison, pillory, and stocks.
No doubt the occasion of this removal was the fact that Culpeper, then embracing Madison and Rappahannock, had been cut off from Orange the year before, leaving the courthouse absurdly near the very edge of the County. A proclamation under the hand of Hon. And it was ordered, that Thomas Chew, Geo. Taylor, and Joseph Thomas provide deeds for two acres of land from Timothy Crosthwait to build a courthouse on, and that they lay off the " prison bounds.
Ordered, that workmen be engaged to build an addition to the courthouse for the justices' room, sixteen feet by twelve. Crosthwait agreed to make a deed for the two acres whereon the courthouse and prison are now built, for five shillings. Note that now the year begins on January 1st, and not March 25th as heretofore. The first term of the court in this building was held July 6th, , and this was the building next preceding the "old courthouse" standing to-day, and remodeled into the storerooms occupied as drug and hardware stores, facing the railroad.
An addition ordered to the courthouse twenty feet long, same pitch and width as the building, "to have a brick chimney, " and be according to dimensions to be indicated by Thos. Taliaferro, and James Madison. Court received prison on the undertaker's double ceiling the walls with one and a half inch oak plank inside, to be nailed on with a proportion of penny nails.
Ordered that the sheriff make known by advertisement and proclamation that proposals will be received by the Court for building a new courthouse where the present one stands. Taylor, Francis Cowherd, Robt. Moore, and John Taylor appointed commissioners to let building of an office 16 wide, 20 long, and 10 pitch, of brick. The three last named, with Dabney Minor and William Quarles, appointed commissioners to have laid off by Pierce Sandford two acres of ground at this place on which to erect the public buildings, and that Robt.
Taylor be appointed to let the building of the office formerly ordered, 24 feet long, 16 wide, and 10 feet pitch. This was probably the old clerk's office in rear of the Bank of Orange. Ordered, that the building of the courthouse and office be let at the same time, and either publicly or privately.
Commissioners appointed to view courthouse and office, and receive or condemn same, or make any compromise as to deductions which the undertakers may be willing to agree to.
At the April term this item appears in the County levy: Commissioners appointed to sell the old court house and office and apply proceeds to enclosing the public lot with post and rail fence in a strong and neat manner, and to building pillory, stocks, and whipping post. Jail ordered built, and probably completed within the year. This jail stood nearly in front of the old courthouse as it now is, and just across the railroad from it. In the Legislature authorized the County Court to sell all or a part of the then public lot, and apply the proceeds of sale to the purchase of another lot, on which to erect a new courthouse and any building proper to be attached thereto.
The site on which the present courthouse stands, known as the"Old Tavern lot"was obtained by exchange, and the edifice constructed thereon after the plans of a paid architect, is not a very good one. The clerk's office remained for many years on the old lot, the Board of Supervisors neglecting all appeals for a fireproof building. Finally, on the motion of the writer, a rule was issued against them by the Court to shew cause for not complying with the statute requiring a fireproof building for the public records, and they proceeded at once to build the little structure now known as the clerk's office, which if fireproof is also convenience proof, and a reproach to the County.
It was completed in The present jail was built, nearly on the site of the first Baptist church in the town, in Moore, Joseph Hiden, Lewis B. Page, John Woolfolk, Philip S. Chapman, Peyton Grymes, John H. Lee, and many others. The Act authorizing the lottery was duly passed, and Messrs.
Blakey named therein as commissioners to conduct the same. Nothing appears to have come of it, and the streets were first paved, or macadamized, by the Army of Northern Virginia in the winter of , as a military necessity. The charter was repealed some years later, the petitioners for the repeal asserting that it had remained a dead letter.
It was again incorporated in 18 5 5, but seems not to have assumed any special municipal functions until the present charter of was passed by the Legislature. There appear to have been four State Churches in Orange in colonial times, the first at Germanna, built under the direction of Governor Spotswood about with the fund of five hundred pounds appropriated for that and other purposes when Spotsylvania was formed. The next oldest was in the Brooking neighborhood near old Cave's ford, about three miles northwest of Somerset, and was later removed to the vicinity of Ruckersville.
May Burton, a Revolutionary officer, was long a lay reader there. Joseph Earnest, who was for some years rector of the church at Orange, about the early churches in the County. While his information was not exact, this chapter is the most valuable account of them now obtainable. He narrates that he had been told that the second oldest church was frequented as a place of worship as early as , which is manifestly an error. Most probably it was built about when St.
Thomas Parish was cut off from St. It was built between and of durable materials, and as late as time had made little impression on it.
One of the first effects of the " freedom of worship " and the practical confiscation of the glebes and church properties was, that the people's consciences became very " free " also to do as they pleased with the church belongings. This church was actually and literally destroyed, the very bricks carried off and the altar pieces torn from the altar and attached to pieces of household furniture.
The ancient communion plate, a massive silver cup and paten, with the name of the parish engraved on it, came to be regarded as common property. Fortunately by the exercise of vigilance the plate was rescued, and is now in possession of St. Thomas Church at Orange. Nor did the despoilers overlook the churchyard when the work of destruction began.
Tombstones were broken down and carried off to be appropriated to unhallowed uses. Mungo Marshall, of hallowed memory, rector from to , was buried there, but his grave was left unmarked. Years afterward a connection of his bequeathed a sum of money upon condition that the legatee should not receive it until he had placed a tombstone over Mr.
Marshall's grave, which condition was soon fulfilled. That slab was taken away and used first to grind paints upon, and afterwards in a tannery on which to dress hides! What an injury was done to the history of the County in the destruction of the many tombstones there! At a meeting of the vestry of the parish Sept. In the congregation in Orange, there being no Episcopal clergyman in the County, engaged the services of James Waddel, the blind Presbyterian minister, to preach for them two years.
Forty pounds were subscribed, and the subscription was expected to reach sixty pounds. He not only preached for them but also administered the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper.
The Pine Stake Church, supposed to have been built about the same time as the last, was several miles below " Hawfield, " and about a mile and a half east of Everona, near the road to old Verdiersville. It was standing in During the Revolution" Parson" Leland, as he was called, a Baptist preacher who is referred to at length elsewhere, asked to preach there, which the vestry declined to permit, James Madison, the elder, writing the letter for them.
In John Becket, clerk, a synonym for clergyman. The presentment was dismissed. Richard Hartswell of the Parish of St.
Thomas, lately cut off from St. Mark, was presented for being drunk on the information of one Tully Joice who had been presented the same day for swearing an oath, thus indicating spite work, as the presentment was promptly dismissed. As early as , on motion of James Madison, the loss of two duplicate bills of exchange was ordered recorded. These bills represented a subscription of twenty-five pounds sterling to the "Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts," and show how soon missionary work was begun in Orange.
In a County where so many denominations exist, prudence impels strict adherence to the records in narrating their history. When the County was formed and until the end of the Revolution, the Church of England was the Established or State Church, and church matters were regulated by laws passed by the "General Assembly" or law-making power.
Thus it was the civil authorities, mostly composed of State Churchmen, however, not the church authorities, which enforced the law; and if this fact had always been borne in mind it is likely that much polemical asperity and recrimination might have been avoided.
The ecclesiastical regulations of those days would be deemed tyrannical and oppressive in these, but they applied alike to all citizens. The laws compelled everybody to attend religious worship, and numerous were the fines imposed with great impartiality on persons for absenting themselves from the parish church; Churchmen as well as dissenters.
At one period, 1 69o to , the law was that if the fine was not paid, the offender should be imprisoned and even receive corporal punishment; so it seems that it was not dissenters only who were "persecuted. A special chapter has been devoted to the colonial churches of the establishment: It was constituted in , by the "Separate Baptists," Elijah Craig being the first pastor.
Since the war, the old wooden edifice, still in excellent preservation, has been turned over to the negroes, the Baptist congregation having erected a new building near Somerset. It is not known when the Presbyterian Church of the blind preacher, rendered memorable by William Wirt, in the "British Spy," Alas built, but it was certainly one of the earlier churches of the county.
It stood on the north side of the Orange highway, about a half mile northeast of Gordonsville: In the heyday of the "Sons of Temperance," , the historic old building was taken down and the lumber used to build a temperance hall at Gordonsville, which after the war was used for some years as a schoolhouse.
Finally it was condemned that a street might be opened, and the material was bought by a negro preacher, who reconverted in into another structure, a fate as pathetic as that of old Blue Run; for so we treat our historic treasures, having so many! And it may as well be recorded here that an old Baptist church known as "Zion Meeting House," which stood about two miles south of Orange courthouse, on the Gordonsville road, was abandoned for a new church at Toddsberth shortly before the war, the lumber of which was sold and put into new buildings at the courthouse, one of which was for years used as a barroom!
North Pamunkey is another Baptist church edifice of historic association. It was organized in by Aaron Bledsoe and E. Craig with twenty members. Aaron Bledsoe was its first pastor and its original name was North Fork of Pamunkey, from the stream nearby. In the membership was about three hundred and fifty, and it was used as a place of worship for thirty- seven years before being heated in any way. The present edifice, practically on the site of the old log structure, the fourth on the same site, was completed in Modern churches abound, almost to the impoverishment of preachers.
At Gordonsville the whites have six churches and a chapel, the negroes several; the whites have four at Orange; at and near Somerset there are three, at Barboursville three; at and near Unionville several; and the county is dotted with them from end to end, the whites having thirty-two in all, the negroes seventeen.
Saint Thomas, at the Courthouse, was frequently attended during the war by Generals Lee, Stuart, and other Confederate officers of distinction; and New Zion, at Toddsberth, was occupied as a shoe shop in the winter of General Mahone bought up all the leather that he could, detailed all the shoemakers of his division, and took possession of the church. To his and their credit, no injury was done to the church, and when the campaign opened in the spring, his command was well shod. The following items are condensed from the order books.
In William Williams, Gent. Subsequent records show him to have been very litigious and at odds with very many people for sundry years. He brought suit atone time against nearly one hundred persons, for damages for a certain scandalous paper reflecting on him, but recovered nothing, though some of the signers did retract.
In Joseph Spencer, being brought before the court by a warrant under the hand of Rowland Thomas, Gent. Bond was required in a penalty of one hundred pounds, and he was allowed the liberty of the prison bounds on giving security. At the next term leave was given him to live in the courthouse, he indemnifying the County against loss, and on his petition, his bond was reduced to twenty pounds, and William Morton and Jonathan Davis became his sureties for his good behavior.
In Elijah Craig and Nathaniel Sanders, dissenting Baptist ministers recommended by the elders of their society, were licensed to perform the marriage ceremony. There is a notable Indian Mound near the Greene line. The following description of it is condensed from a special report of the United States Bureau of Ethnology in They probably migrated westward and united with tribes beyond the Ohio whose names they took. They and the Monacan were allied against the Powhatan.
Originally it was elliptical in form, with the longer axis nearly east and west; but the river in shifting its channel some years ago, undermined and carried away the eastern portion, probably from one-half to two-thirds of the entire structure. For several years, some of the earth fell in at every freshet, thus keeping a vertical section exposed to view.
The different strata of bone were plainly visible, and when the water was low fragments of human bones were strewn along the shore beneath. The river shifted again, and the mound soon assumed its natural shape. At present the base measures 42 by 48 feet, with the longer axis nearly north and south. A considerable part of it has been hauled away, leaving a depression at the middle fully 20 feet across and extending almost to the bottom of the mound. As a result, the interior was very muddy, the bones extremely soft and fragmentary, and excavation difficult.
If the statements concerning its original form and extent be correct, the apex was at least twelve feet above the base, the latter being not less than 50 by 75 feet. At seven feet was found the outer edge of a bone deposit measuring 6 by 15 feet. There were indications in several places that skeletons had been compactly bundled, but most of the bones were scattered promiscuously, as if they had been collected from some place of previous interment and carelessly thrown in, there being no evidence of an attempt to place them in proper order.
In the mass were two small deposits of calcined human bones, and beneath it were graves or burial pits. Two feet above it, and four feet within its outer margin, was another, much smaller; and numerous others were found in all the portion removed.
There was no attempt at regularity in position or extent; in some places only such a trace as may have resulted from the decomposition of a few bones; in others, as many as fifteen or twenty skeletons may- have been deposited.
They occurred at all levels below a foot from the upper surface of the mound, but no section showed more than four layers above the original surface of the ground, though it was reported that six strata had been found near the central portion, which would indicate that the burials were carried nearly to the top of the mound. The bones in some of the graves appeared to have been placed in their proper position, but it was impossible to ascertain this with certainty.
One of the deeper pits had its bottom lined with charcoal; none of the others had even this slight evidence of care or respect. That no stated intervals elapsed between consecutive deposits is shown by the varying position and size among the different bone beds, and by the overlapping of many of the graves beneath. A party of Indians passing about where this barrow is, near Charlottesville, went through the woods directly to it, without any instructions or inquiry, and having staid about it some time, with expressions construed to be those of sorrow, returned to the high road, which they had left about six miles to pay this visit, and pursued their journey.
For a fuller account the reader is referred to a pamphlet of the Smithsonian Institution, entitled, " Archaeologic Investigations in the James and Potomac Valleys.
As so little is known about the Indians who once inhabitated this section, it has been thought worthwhile to transcribe the few orders relating to them made by the county court. In , "William Bohannon came into court and made oath that about twenty-six of the Sapony Indians that inhabit Colonel Spotswood's land in Fox's neck go about and do a great deal of mischief by firing the woods; more especially on the 17th day of April last whereby several farrows of pigs were burnt in their beds, and that he verily believes that one of the Indians shot at him the same day, the bullet entering a tree within four feet of him; that he saw the Indian about one hundred yards from him, and no game of any sort between them; that the Indian after firing his gun stood in a stooping manner very studdy [steady] so that he could hardly discern him from a stump, that he has lost more of his pigs than usual since the coming of the said Indians; which is ordered to be certified to the General Assembly.
Sundry Indians, among them Manincassa, Captain Tom, Blind Tom, Foolish Zack, and Little Zack, were before Court for "terrifying" one Lawrence Strother, who testified that one of them shot at him, that they tried to surround him, that he turned his horse and rid off, but they gained on him till he crossed the run. Ordered, that the Indians be taken into custody by the sheriff until they give peace bonds with security, and that their guns be taken from them until they are ready to depart out of this Colony, they having declared their intention to depart within a week.
There is no record extant of any Indian massacre, large or small, in the original limits of the County east of the Blue Ridge. The Tomahawk branch, which crosses the Gordonsville road about a mile and a half south of the courthouse, is a preserved Indian name, one of the very few in the County.
It was here that the organization known as the " Culpeper Minute Men " camped when first on their way to join the army of the Revolution. If Orange as a County ever sent an organized command to any of the French and Indian Wars no record of it has been found. The records do disclose that sundry of her citizens participated in these wars, but in every instance in a company or regiment from some other county; the names of but few appear in the record, among them that of Ambrose Powell, ancestor of Gen.
Hill-who rose to the dignity of a commission during all the years that these wars were waged. Therefore, any detailed account of these wars would be out of place here, and only such facts will be narrated as may throw some light on the services of citizens who did participate in them. In an expedition, the second one, was set on foot for the capture of Fort Duquesne, the modern Pittsburg, then believed to be in the limits of Augusta County , under General Forbes, a British officer. Washington was commander of the Virginia troops which consisted of two regiments, his own and Col.
William Byrd's, about two thousand men in all. A Colonel Bouquet, of Pennsylvania, commanded the advanced division of the army, and Captain Hogg, of Augusta, had a company in Washington's regiment. The fort was finally captured, but the loss in Washington's regiment alone was 6 officers and 62 privates.
Colonel Byrd was of the " Westover " family, an ancestor of the Willises of Orange. The Captain Overton referred to in the extracts following, was from Hanover, but he was in an earlier expedition in His company was the first organized in Virginia after Braddock's defeat, and the great Presbyterian preacher, Rev.
Samuel Davies, addressed it by request on the eve of its departure for the frontiers. The history of these wars is narrated at large in Waddell's " Annals of Augusta County, " second edition, and in Withers's " Chronicles of Border Warfare. Daniel McClayland, Colonel Byrd's regiment, William Brock, in Colonel Stephen's regiment, In Thwaites's edition of Withers it is said that Col. William Russell, at one time high sheriff of Orange, did some frontier service in the early part of these wars, and in was sent as a commissioner to the Indians in the region where Pittsburg now stands.
His son, of the same name, was at the battle of Point Pleasant; was second in command at King's Mountain, and retired at the end of the Revolution as brevet brigadier-general.
The records in the Land Office at Richmond show that the following Orange people received bounty land for service in these wars. Their names are also listed in Crozier's " Virginia Colonial Militia: Francis Cowherd, long known as Major Cowherd, who was a justice of the peace and high sheriff of Orange after the Revolution and who attained the rank of captain in the Revolutionary army, was a soldier in Colonel Field's regiment at the battle of Point Pleasant.
His home, " Oak Hill, " is about two miles northeast of Gordonsville, and is still owned by his descendants. Just before the battle he and a comrade named Clay were out hunting, a little distance apart, and came near to where two Indians were concealed. Seeing Clay only, and supposing him to be alone, one of them fired at him; and running up to scalp him as he fell, was himself shot by Cowherd, who was about a hundred yards off.
The other Indian ran off. Another anecdote related by his contemporaries is, that in the battle of Point Pleasant Cowherd was behind a tree, fighting in Indian warfare fashion, when Colonel Field ran up to the same tree.
He offered to seek another, but the Colonel commanded him to remain where he was, saying it was his tree, and that he would go to another. In making his way to it he was killed by the Indians, greatly lamented by the army. He was of the Culpeper family of Field, was a lieutenant of a company from that county at Braddock's defeat, and was greatly distinguished as an Indian fighter. See again Withers's Chronicles. There is a so-called " patriotic " association, known as the " Society of Colonial Wars, " and descendants of those who participated in the French and Indian wars are eligible to membership therein.
The part the County took in the Revolution must be exhibited rather in details than by a connected narrative. The royalist Governor, Lord Dunmore, often prorogued-that is, dissolved-the Burgesses from to , for what he considered their contumacious attitude towards the Crown.
The Burgesses, instead of going to their several homes, as he expected, began in to assemble at the Raleigh Tavern, at Williamsburg, then the capital, and form themselves into revolutionary conventions-one or more in , two in , in all of which Orange was represented by Thomas Barbour and James Taylor; and finally into the worldfamous Convention of , in which James Madison, Jr.
So odious did the name of Dunmore become that a county named for him, once in the domain of Orange, lost its identity under that name, and was re-christened Shenandoah. While these conventions were being held the people at home became greatly aroused and began to organize for a conflict that seemed inevitable, by choosing committees of safety, putting the militia on a war footing and selecting from them, for regular training and discipline, the more active and resolute, called "Minute Men.
By an ordinance of the Convention of , the colony was divided into eighteen districts, one of which consisted of the counties of Orange, Culpeper, and Fauquier; each district was required to enlist a battalion of men in 10 companies of 50 each, with the requisite officers, a colonel, lieutenant-colonel, and major, 10 captains and lieutenants, a chaplain, surgeon, etc.
The first organization from this district appears to have been designated " The Culpeper Minute Men, " supposedly because Culpeper was the middle county; for it is certain that Lawrence Taliaferro of Orange, was its first colonel.
It participated in the battle of Great Bridge, the first battle of the Revolution fought on Virginia soil, in December, , and was then commanded by Stevens, afterwards General Stevens, of Culpeper. The committees of safety were very great factors in the war, and really constituted a sort of military executive in each county. It is not to be doubted that each committee kept a formal record of its proceedings, which would furnish invaluable historical data; but very few complete records have been found in any of the counties, and practically all that are preserved are in the fourth series of Peter Force's American Archives, published by order of Congress, and now become quite rare.
The following extracts, copied from these Archives, are believed to be the whole record of the Orange committee that has been preserved:. The testimony of a witness, as well as the confession of the accused, convinced the Committee that the charge was well founded; but Mr. Moore gave such evidence of his penitence, and intention to observe the Association strictly for the future, and alleging, moreover, that he was not thoroughly aware of the extent of the prohibition contained in that Article, that the Committee think it proper to readmit him into the number of friends to the public cause, till a second transgression.
It need scarcely be added, that this mitigation of the punishment prescribed in the Eleventh Article, proceeds from a desire to distinguish penitent and submissive, from refractory and obstinate offenders.
John Wingate had in his possession several pamphlets containing very obnoxious reflections on the Continental Congress and their proceedings, and calculated to impose on the unwary; and being desirous to manifest their contempt and resentment of such writings and their authors, assembled on Saturday, the 25th of March, , at the Court House of the said County. The Committee were the rather induced to meet for this purpose, as it had also been reported that there were a considerable number of these performances in the Country, introduced amongst us in all probability to promote the infamous ends for which they were written; that they were to be sold indiscriminately at Purdie's office in Wiliiamsburgh, and that unfavorable impressions had been made on some people's minds by the confident assertions of falsehoods and insidious misrepresentations of facts contained in them.
The intentions of this Committee were made known to Mr. Wingate, and a delivery of the pamphlets requested in the most respectful manner, without the least suspicion that Mr. Wingate had procured them with a design to make an ill use of them, or that he would hesitate a moment as to a compliance; but to their great surprise, he absolutely refused, urging that they belonged to Mr.
Henry Mitchell of Fredericksburgh, and he could do nothing without his express permission. The Committee then proceeded to expostulate with him on the subject, and to insist upon him that as he regarded his association engagements, the favour of the Committee or the good of the publick, he would not deny so reasonable a request.
They told him they would engage to make ample satisfaction to Mr. Mitchell for any damage he might sustain and that there would not be the least reason to fear that Mr.
Mitchell would be displeased, who was well known to be an associator, and acknowledged by himself to be a hearty friend to the cause which these pamphlets were intended to disparage and counteract; and that if Mr.
Mitchell was not this hearty friend we hoped him to be, it must be an additional argument for the Committee to press their request, and for him to comply with it. Wingate still persisted in his refusal to deliver them up, but added that he would let the Committee have a sight of them, if they would promise to return them unhurt. This could by no means be agreed to, as they were justly apprehensive that it would be their duty to dispose of the pamphlets in a manner inconsistent with such a promise.
At length the Committee, finding there was no prospect of working on Mr. Wingate by arguments or entreaties, peremptorily demanded the pamphlets, with a determination not to be defeated in their intentions. In consequence of which they were produced to the Committee who deferred the full examination and final disposal of them till the Monday following. On Monday, the 27th instant, they again met at the same place, according to adjournment, and after a sufficient inquiry into the contents of five pamphlets under the following titles, viz: Resolved, That as a collection of the most audacious insults on that august body the Grand Continental Congress and their proceedings, and also on the several Colonies from which they were deputed, particularly New England and Virginia, of the most slavish doctrines of Provincial Government, the most impudent falsehoods and malicious artifices to excite divisions among the friends of America, they deserved to be publicly burnt, as a testimony of the Committee's detestation and abhorrence of the writers and their principles.
Which sentence was speedily executed in the presence of the Independent Company and other respectable inhabitants of the said County, all of whom joined in expressing a noble indignation against such execrable publications, and their ardent wishes for an opportunity of inflicting on the authors, publishers, and the abbettors, the punishment due to their insufferable arrogance and atrocious crimes. Taking into their consideration the removal of the powder from the public magazine, and the compensation obtained by the Independent Company of Hanover; and observing also that the receipt given by Captain Patrick Henry to his Majesty's Receiver General refers the final disposal of the money to the next Colony Convention, came to the following Resolutions:.
That the Governour's removal of the Powder lodged in the Magazine, and set apart for the defence of the Country, was fraudulent, unnecessary, and extremely provoking to the people of this Colony. That the resentment shown by the Hanover Volunteers, and the reprisal they have made on the King's property, highly merit the approbation of the publick, and the thanks of this Committee. That if any attempt should be made, at the ensuing Convention, to have the Money returned to His Majesty's Receiver General, our Delegates be, and they are hereby instructed, to exert all their influence in opposing such attempt, and in having the Money laid out in Gunpowder for the use of the Colony.
We, the Committee for the County of Orange, having been fully informed of your seasonable and spirited proceedings in procuring a compensation for the Powder fraudulently taken from the County Magazine by command of Lord Dunmore, and which it evidently appears his Lordship, notwithstanding his assurances had no intention to restore, entreat you to accept their cordial thanks for this testimony of your zeal for the honour and interest of your Country. We take this occasion also to give it as our opinion, that the blow struck in the Massachusetts Government is a hostile attack on this and every other Colony, and a sufficient warrant to use violence and reprisal, in all cases where it may be expedient for our security and welfare.
This address is signed by all the members of the committee except Messrs. Bell, Pannill, Francis Moore and V.
Daniel, and was prepared by James Madison, Jr. Rives's "Life of Madison. It will be observed that this record ends on May 9, only a few days after the "Embattled farmers" of Massachusetts had " fired the shot heard round the world, " the opening gun of the Revolution at Concord, April 19, Membership of the Committee was quite a badge of distinction, and descent from a Committeeman constitutes a clear title to membership in the societies known as " The Sons " and "The Daughters of the Revolution.
Recurring to the order books, the first record of impending disorder is in , when nine patrolmen are paid 1, pounds of tobacco for patrolling the county the preceding year. In March, , Thomas Barbour is appointed sheriff "agreeable to an order of the Convention," the first official recognition by the Court of existing Revolution. In July of that year the justices take the oath prescribed by the Convention, "to be faithful and true to the Commonwealth of Virginia, and to the utmost of their power support, maintain and defend the constitution thereof as settled by the General Convention, and do equal right and justice to all men.
It was first administered to Francis Moore who then administered it to the other justices, to James Taylor, clerk, and to John Walker, " King's Attorney.
Virginia had declared her independence of the Crown on the 29th of June, , five days before the general Declaration in July. The public officers appear to have simply held over by taking the Convention oath. It does not appear that James Madison, Jr. Richard Adams was ordered to deliver to Johnny Scott 60 bushels of salt belonging to the County, agreeable to an order of his Excellency, the Governor.
Captain seems to have distinguished sufficiently without the Christian name. William Bell was appointed to administer the prescribed oath, "to oblige all the inhabitants to give assurance of allegiance to the State," and certain dissenting ministers, John Price, Elijah Craig, Nathaniel Sanders, Bartlett Bennett, and Richard Cave, took the oaths of allegiance and fidelity.
In allowances of money were ordered to Peter Mountague, Jere Chandler, and Joseph Edmondson, soldiers in service; to Sarah Staves, a poor woman having two sons in service; to Usley McClarney, widow of Francis who had died in service; to Margaret Douglas, a poor woman, son in Continental army; and to Solomon Garrett's family, he being in Continental service.
Thirty-six pounds were allowed Mountague's family. Zachary Burnley becomes county lieutenant in place of James Madison, resigned. He resigns in , and is succeeded by James Madison, Jr. Jane Hensley, having son in Continental Army, is allowed 25 pounds. In , Ordered, agreeably to Act of Assembly for supplying army with clothes, provisions, and wagons, that each tithable person pay the sheriff seven pounds, current money, to purchase a wagon and team and hire a driver.
John Coleman is named as an ensign in Continental service. A special term of the court was held for several days in April, , to adjust claims for property impressed or furnished for the public service.
These claims cover nearly forty full pages of the order book, and only a few of the more notable ones can be inserted here. They were mostly for provisions, horses, brandy, guns, etc. A guard was constantly kept at Brock's Bridge, quite a detachment to judge from the quantity of supplies furnished it. James Madison's name often appears. But, the term still held a lot of weight.
Here's an excerpt from our Word of the Year announcement in The national debate can arguably be summarized by the question: In the past two years, has there been enough change? Has there been too much? Meanwhile, many Americans continue to face change in their homes, bank accounts and jobs. Only time will tell if the latest wave of change Americans voted for in the midterm elections will result in a negative or positive outcome. This rare word was chosen to represent because it described so much of the world around us.
Tergiversate means "to change repeatedly one's attitude or opinions with respect to a cause, subject, etc. And so, we named tergiversate the Word of the Year. In a year known for the Occupy movement and what became known as the Arab Spring, our lexicographers chose bluster as their Word of the Year for Here's an excerpt from our release that year that gives a pretty good explanation for our choice:.
We got serious in Here's an excerpt from our announcement in Things don't get less serious in Our Word of the Year was exposure , which highlighted the year's Ebola virus outbreak, shocking acts of violence both abroad and in the US, and widespread theft of personal information. Here's what we had to say about exposure in From the pervading sense of vulnerability surrounding Ebola to the visibility into acts of crime or misconduct that ignited critical conversations about race, gender, and violence, various senses of exposure were out in the open this year.
Fluidity of identity was a huge theme in Racial identity also held a lot of debate in , after Rachel Dolezal, a white woman presenting herself as a black woman, said she identified as biracial or transracial. Our Word of the Year in reflected the many facets of identity that surfaced that year. In , we selected xenophobia as our Word of the Year.
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