cover image

The Old Dominion in the Seventeenth Century

Warren M. Billings

Publisher: Omohundro Institute
Imprint: OIEAHC
Published: 08/2007
Reprint: 2007
Pages: 432
Subject: Colonial, Revolutionary Era & Early American History
Paperback ISBN: 9780807858523
eBook ISBN: 9780807838822


Since its original publication in 1975, The Old Dominion in the Seventeenth Century has become an important teaching tool and research volume. Warren Billings brings together more than 200 period documents, organized topically, with each chapter introduced by an interpretive essay. Topics include the settlement of Jamestown, the evolution of government and the structure of society, forced labor, the economy, Indian-Anglo relations, and Bacon's Rebellion. This revised, expanded, and updated edition adds approximately 30 additional documents, extending the chronological reach to 1700. Freshly rethought chapter introductions and suggested readings incorporate the vast scholarship of the past 30 years. New illustrations of seventeenth-century artifacts and buildings enrich the texts with recent archaeological findings. With these enhancements, and a full index, students, scholars, and those interested in early Virginia will find these documents even more enlightening.


Warren M. Billings is Distinguished Professor of History Emeritus at the University of New Orleans. He has written extensively about seventeenth-century Virginia and early Louisiana law. He is editor of The Papers of Sir William Berkeley, historian of the Supreme Court of Louisiana, a member of the Federal Jamestown 400th Commemoration Commission, and chair of the Jamestown Rediscovery Project Advisory Board.


"The most noticeable differences between the two editions are found in the chronological reach, the chapter introductions, the lists of suggested reading, the number of illustrations and the inclusion of an index. This new edition also contains pictures of artifacts recovered during the past three decades at Jamestown and various Indian sites."
--The Treesearcher, Kansas Genealogical Society

"This significant book dedicated to teaching students with both documents and well-written prose was an outstanding contribution to historical literature in 1975, and it remains so in 2008. Essential."

"Warren Billings's classic, The Old Dominion in the Seventeenth Century, is a uniquely skillful blend of sound historical interpretation and a reprinting of the seventeenth-century documents upon which it is based. This revision could not be more timely and relevant as twenty-first century Virginia and the nation look back four centuries to the origins of its diverse society, unique democracy, and built environment."
--William M. Kelso, APVA Historic Jamestowne

"A fascinating overview of early colonial life in all its richness and complexity. Augmented by suggested readings and by Billings's comprehensive yet concise commentaries, the collection gives students and specialists alike an invaluable tool for expanding their knowledge of the early American experience."
--John Pagan, University of Richmond

"Billings presents the documents of Virginia's seventeenth-century history with introductions distilling the latest scholarship, making this classic book once again indispensable. Its focus on the development of institutions from family to government allows us to go beyond stereotypes to understand the colony's development."
--Karen Ordahl Kupperman, New York University