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Although the historian of Virginia's proud heritage has been diligent in the pursuit of various phases of Virginia's political and economic life, the Old Dominion's involvement with the West Indies trade has been all but neglected. The various facets of this trade and its profound effect on Virginia's colonial well-being deserves to be written. Herein is an opportunity to reveal that Virginia's participation in the Revolutionary War had several roots: not the least was the threat to its domestic trade. It goes without saying that this work is not intended to be definitive on the subject as there is yet more source material waiting to be uncovered, and there are a number of students as well as established historians pursuing this subject. The writer has found the pursuit of this quest fascinating and rewarding. I have tried to develop the subject with emphasis on the effect that the two wars, King George's and the French and Indian, had on the trade. The fascinating illegal trade, o{ necessity, found a place in the narrative. and rightly so, as it played a major role in the West Indies trade of all the colonies, and Virginia was no exception.

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First Committee Member (Chair)

William B. Dabney

Second Committee Member

Josiah Cox Russell

Third Committee Member

Paul Therkildsen

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