THIS DAY IN VIRGINIA HISTORY
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May 09, 1881
George W. Reid Wrote to His Friend Philip
In this letter George W. Reid, an amateur archaeologist in Goochland County, described his excavation of Indian mounds and graves in search of artifacts. He planned to send his finds to the Smithsonian Institute. Although excavating Native American artifacts and burial grounds was not regulated at the time, Virginia law now forbids any removal or willful disturbance of Native American human remains without a permit from the Department of Historic Resources and the consultation of the Virginia Council on Indians and appropriate tribal groups. Reid was probably a Quaker, as he followed the Quaker conventions of not using month and day names derived from pagan gods and he used the pronouns thee and thy.