Early Virginia Religious Petitions presents images of 423 petitions submitted to the Virginia legislature between 1774 and 1802 from more than eighty counties and cities. The petitions concern such topics as the historic debate over the separation of church and state championed by James Madison and Thomas Jefferson, the rights of dissenters such as Quakers and Baptists, the sale and division of property in the established church, and the dissolution of unpopular vestries. The collection provides searchable access to the petitions' places of origin and a brief summary of each petition's contents, as well as summaries of an additional seventy-four petitions that are no longer extant.
These online exhibits provide context and additional information about this collection.
- Chronology of Religious Development in America
- Early Virginia Maps
- Petitioning in Eighteenth-Century Virginia
- Religion and the Founding of the American Republic
These historical era(s) are best represented in the collection, although they may not be all-encompassing.
- The American Revolution, 1763-1783
- The New Nation, 1780-1815
Related Collections and Exhibits
These collections and exhibits contain thematically-related primary and secondary sources. Browse the Collection Finder for more related material on the American Memory Web site.
- A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation, 1774-1873
- Documents from the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention, 1774-1789
- George Washington Papers, 1741-1799
- Thomas Jefferson Papers, 1606-1827
Recommended additional sources of information.
Specific guidance for searching this collection.
For help with general search strategies, see Finding Items in American Memory.