The national significance of Historic Green Spring lies in its enormous potential as a theater for both research and learning about the complex roots of what we know today as the United States of America. The 308-acre site represents a spectacular gift from the past that remains largely unopened and unshared. The lessons we can learn from uncovering and interpreting Historic Green Spring are certain to illuminate and enrich the lives of present-day Americans of all races, creeds and colors. Its exploration and development will have major payoffs for both the scholarly producers of American history and archaeology, and its consumers ranging from elementary school children to tourists from all over the US and the world.

Teachers and students of Virginia’s history should study Historic Green Spring if they are interested in:

  • Understanding what life was like in 17th and 18th century Virginia for wealthy landowners, indentured servants, and slaves.
  • Surveying the origins and evolution of slavery in colonial and early federal Virginia.
  • Learning more about Bacon’s Rebellion and Virginia’s role in the American War of Independence.
  • Discovering the special significance for African-Americans of Jamestown Island, Historic Green Spring, and James City County’s “Freedom Park.”

Voices of Green Spring video


Friends of Green Spring Newsletters:

  • Vol. 1, No. 1 (Winter, 2003) (pdf)
    • Plans move ahead for opening of historic Green Spring: National Park Service
      and Friends of Green Spring set course
    • Membership drive to begin
    • Green Spring Park Update: Green Spring gains 112 acres through gift
    • Green Spring Park Update: Archeologists uncover new clues
    • A Moment in Time: The Inimitable Lady Frances, a 17th century woman ahead
      of her time
    • News Briefs: Park Watch cleans up
  • Vol. 1, No. 2 (Spring, 2003) (pdf)
    • Rewards Await Friends of Green Spring: New Family Membership Offers Three Levels of Support for Opening Green Spring Colonial National Historic Park
    • Green Spring General Management Plan reaches final stage before approval
    • Green Spring Park Update: Park Watch Patrol will attack litter again at 10am Saturday, April 12
    • Green Spring Park Update: Sir William Berkeley named Virginia Governor after war service and success as playwright
    • A Moment in Time: Dr. Andrew Veech records bits of the past in cozy Archer Cottage with a great view
    • News Briefs: Christopher Wren Society visits Green Spring
    • News Briefs: Daffodils will bloom soon at Green Spring
    • News Briefs: Green Spring is flowing volumes
    • News Briefs: Governor Berkeley had 1,800 fruit trees
    • News Briefs: Visit Green Spring
    • News Briefs: Park Watch Patrol Members visit Green Spring whenever
    • News Briefs: Green Spring is being mowed more often
  • Vol. 1, No. 3 (Summer, 2003) (pdf)
    • Sun Shines on Green Spring Open House: 400 happy visitors see park potential
    • Hats off to Riverside!
    • Green Spring Park Update: Volunteers make Open House successful
    • A Moment in Time: Lady Frances: “Beautiful and Proud”: A Formidable Wife to Three Governors
    • News Briefs: Jamestown High School perfect starting place
    • News Briefs: Barbecue Dinner pleases guests
    • News Briefs: Green Spring Open House for the people
    • News Briefs: Green Spring returned to its slumber
    • News Briefs: Park Watch Patrol will pick and picnic October 11
    • News Briefs: Memberships available in Friends of Green Spring
    • News Briefs: Green Spring Plan approval by year’s end
  • Vol. 1, No. 4 (Fall, 2003) (pdf)
    • Friends working hard for operating money and basic archaeology
    • Green Spring Park Watch to pick and picnic October 11
    • Modern Archaeology Takes a New Look
    • Modern Archaeology Takes a New Look: Historic Green Spring pins will be ready this fall for park supporters
    • Voices of Green Spring: The Green Spring Conspiracy of 1650 – 1652
    • News Briefs: Green Spring Board adds new members
    • News Briefs: County will spend $1 million on Freedom Park
  • Vol. 2, No. 1 (Winter, 2004) (pdf)
    • Isabel sets course for mission to open Green Spring
    • Gala recognizes GMP importance, thanks donors
    • 360 Years Ago: Historic Green Spring’s Sir William Berkeley Created Virginia’s First Bi-Cameral Legislative Body, setting a precedent
      for the Designers of America’s Constitution 146 years later.
    • Williams recognized
    • Donation to Green Spring
    • Early Explorers: Early explorers find buildings, but miss the truth
    • News Briefs: Thanks from a founding father
    • News Briefs: Safe storage for artifacts being built
    • News Briefs: Historic Green Spring and Freedom Park
    • News Briefs: Friends of Green Spring has a birthday in February
  • Vol. 2, No. 2 (Spring, 2004) (pdf)
    • Opening Green Spring feels real at last
    • Congresswoman Davis needs help to fund Green Spring
    • Friend of the Friends, Alec Gould, retiring
    • Will Berkeley Explains How A Colony Was Lost
    • First Baptist Church guides Friend’s tour
    • Early Explorers: Early explorers scratched the surface of Green Spring, but secrets remain
    • New members and renewals needed to fund $45K budget for 2004
    • News Briefs: Sign raises same old questions
    • News Briefs: True believer continues support
    • News Briefs: Historic Route 5 Association and motherhood
    • News Briefs: Riverside Health System support is crucial to recent HGS public relations initiatives
  • Vol. 2, No. 3 (Summer, 2004) (pdf)
    • Historic Green Spring goes to Hollywood!
    • HGS’ new website will be our window to the world
    • Golf Tournament aids historic Green Spring
    • Friends honor Goulds at retirement dinner
    • Green Spring to Be Invited To The Dance; Maybe, More
    • Forced from office, Berkeley focused on Green Spring farm
    • News Briefs: CNHP to the rescue
    • News Briefs: Pilot lands on Green Spring
    • News Briefs: Historic Route 5 Association and motherhood
    • News Briefs: Boy Scout Venture Crew will help with cleanup
  • Vol. 3, No. 1 (Winter, 2005) (pdf)
    • Riverside Foundation donates $50,000 to open Green Spring
    • New CNHP Superintendent Daniel Smith makes friends happy to show Green Spring
    • Gift allows search for matches
    • Historic Green Spring, Moses, Gowan Pamphlet and North America’s First Black-led Baptist Church
    • Finding Lost Outbuildings and a French Button: An Archaeological Update from Dr. Andrew Veech
    • Founder of Friends retires but remains loyal
    • Green Spring film and Kent Brinkley entertain crowd
    • News Briefs: “Voices” Receives Proper Fanfare

Essays: “Voices of Green Spring ”: 200 Years of American History



Download Bibliography (PDF)

Warren M. Billings. Sir William Berkeley and the Forging of Colonial Virginia. Louisiana State University Press, 2004. Professor Billings’ book provides a complete scholarly analysis of the life and times of Virginia’s most distinguished and longest-serving Royal Governor.

_______. A Little Parliament: The Virginia General Assembly in the Seventeenth Century. Published by The Library of Virginia, 2004. A study of the evolution of Virginia’s General Assembly, from a unicameral to a bi-cameral legislative body that increasingly reflected the format and traditions of the English Parliament.

_______.“Imagining Green Spring House,” Virginia Cavalcade, Vol. 44, No. 2, (Autumn 1994), pp. 52-62. In this well-illustrated article, the author provides a summary of the views–including his own–of several generations of historians and archaeologists concerning the original design and subsequent modifications to Governor Sir William Berkeley’s “mansion house” at Green Spring.

_______. “The Return of Sir William Berkeley,” Virginia Cavalcade, Vol. 47, No. 3, (Summer, 1998), pp. 100-110. This essay deals with the political dynamics in Virginia which led to Governor Berkeley’s recall to power in 1660 (eight years after his forced retirement following the surrender of the colony to the Commonwealth’s fleet in 1652). The article also addresses the implications of Berkeley’s “restoration” for the future Royal government of the Colony.

_______. “Sir William Berkeley and the Diversification of the Virginia Economy,” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 104, No. 4, (Autumn, 1996), pp. 433-454. This article discusses Governor Berkeley’s energetic crop diversification efforts within a larger historical context, and analyzes the reasons for the relatively weak impact of Berkeley’s agricultural experiments upon Virginia’s “tobacco economy” as a whole.

_______. “The Causes of Bacon’s Rebellion: Some Suggestions,” Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 78, No. 4 (1970), pp. 409-435. The article identifies three major destabilizing factors which led to the rebellion: political decentralization and accelerating changes in social and political mobility; a gradually deteriorating economy; and the erosion of Governor Berkeley’s personal prestige and effective control over the colony.

_______. “The Old Dominion in the Seventeenth Century, A Documentary History of Virginia, 1606-1689,” University of North Carolina Press, 1975, rev. 2007.

Warren M. Billings with the assistance of Maria Kimberly. “The Papers of Sir William Berkeley, 1605-1677,” Virginia State Library, 2007.

Brinkley, M. Kent. The Green Spring Plantation Greenhouse/Orangery and the Probable Evolution of the Domestic Area Landscape. A Research Report prepared for the Colonial National Historical Park, National Park Service, US Department of the Interior, 2003. A profusely illustrated summary of Green Spring Plantation’s architectural and landscape history, with special emphasis upon the evolution of its greenhouse or “orangery.”

Carson, Cary and Carl Lounsbury, Editors. The Chesapeake House. University of North Carolina Press, 2013. Published in association with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, this comprehensive study of early buildings, landscapes, and social history in the Chesapeake region – including Historic Green Spring – illuminates the formation, development, and spread of one of the hallmark building traditions in American architecture

Crass, David Colin. “The Clay Pipes from Green Spring Plantation (44JC9), Virginia,” Historical Archaeology, Vol. 22, no. 1 (1988), pp. 83-97. This article analyzes the clay tobacco pipes unearthed during the 1954-1955 excavations at Green Spring Plantation. Although many of the pipes were of Dutch origin, some appeared to have been made at Green Spring itself.

Crow, Steven D. “Your Majesty’s Good Subjects,” A Reconsideration of Royalism in Virginia, 1642-1652,” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 87, No. 1 (January, 1987), pp. 160-173. The author reviews the May, 1652 decision by Virginia’s leaders to surrender the colony to the emissaries of the Commonwealth government in London, concluding that “Few Virginians were ideologists and fewer still carried such deep-seated affection for the Stuarts that they would risk life and estate for Charles I or his son.”

Johnston, Henry P. The Yorktown Campaign and the Surrender of Cornwallis, 1781. Eastern Acorn Press, 1997. This reprint of an 1881 volume contains many valuable maps and illustrations. Pages 60-70 deal with the July 6, 1781 Battle of Green Spring. Pages 190-191 of the Appendices list (by unit and rank) the numbers of American losses “in the action of Green Spring.” (Available at the Jamestown National Park bookstore).

McCartney, Martha W. “Jean-Nicolas Desandrouins and His Overlooked Map of 18 th Century Williamsburg, Colonial Williamsburg, Vol. 21, No. 6, (December, 1999-January, 2000), pp. 44-49. Page 47 of this article includes a copy of a map drawn by Desandrouins that shows the positions of the opposing forces in the July 6, 1781 “Battle of Green Spring.” This map also shows clearly the location of Green Spring Plantation just fifteen years prior to its demolition by the Ludwell-Lees.

__________. The Free Black Community at Centerville , James City County , Virginia. (An African-American Heritage Trails Project). Prepared for The Friends of the National Park Service for Green Spring, Inc., 2000. A ground-breaking investigation of the development and evolution of the Free Black community that developed in James City County following the emancipation of William Lee’s slaves during 1804-1818.

__________. The History of Green Spring Plantation , Colonial National Historical Park, James City County , Virginia : (Report
of Archival Research). Prepared for the Colonial National Historical Park, National Park Service, US Department of the Interior, 1998.
A detailed summary of the people and major historical events associated
with Green Spring Plantation from 1645 to 1862.

Veech, Andrew. Archaeological Investigations—Spring 2001—of the Green Spring “Orangery Wall.” Colonial National Historical Park, National Park Service, US Department of the Interior, December, 2003. A report of recent excavation activity at Historic Green Spring led by the CNHP’s Staff Archaeologist.