Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Possible Origin of "Shockoe" (and the names "Shockoe Slip" and "Shockoe Bottom") by Jeffrey Ruggles

Image from the essay:
"A Possible Origin for “Shockoe”
(and the names “Shockoe Slip” and “Shockoe Bottom”)" 
by Jeffrey Ruggles.

In this post from The Shockoe Examiner we have a guest contributor who has offered our readers a chance to read his essay on the origins of the name "Shockoe." The researcher and writer is Jeffrey Ruggles. Here's a little about Jeffrey:
"Although not born in Richmond, Jeffrey Ruggles has lived in the Richmond area since high school. He received his B.A. from the University of Virginia and an M.F.A. in design/photography from Virginia Commonwealth University. In the 1980s, Ruggles worked as a photographer for the 1708 Gallery and Anderson Gallery and assisted with text, illustrations, and the design of 32 Canal Walk Historical Marker panels installed between downtown Richmond and Brown’s Island.

Ruggles recently left the Virginia Historical Society (VHS) where he was Curator of Prints and Photographs. While at the VHS, he curated two online exhibitions and four physical exhibitions. Ruggles also helped organize "Hidden Things Brought to Light: Finding Lumpkin's Jail and Locating the Burial Ground for Negroes," a conference at the Virginia Historical Society in February 2009. In addition to his work at the VHS, Ruggles is the author of The Unboxing of Henry Brown (2003) and Photography in Virginia (2008)."
 - from:
Jeffrey's introduction to his essay (the complete document is available as a PDF file):
"For a good while I haven't been satisfied with existing explanations for the great Richmond name "Shockoe." After long poking around, recently the opportunity presented itself to wrap up an essay on the subject. The readers of The Shockoe Examiner would seem to be an appropriate and indeed ideal audience for it. The paper is presented as a PDF for several reasons. First, to speak about the topic with credibility, footnotes are a necessity, and blog formats can become clumsy with more than a few footnotes. Also, the PDF preserves the design that keeps the text, images, captions, and footnotes together as desired. Just for fun a look at two modern versions of the name is also included."
Access the PDF file of the essay by Jeffrey Ruggles:
"A Possible Origin for “Shockoe”
 (and the names “Shockoe Slip” and “Shockoe Bottom”)" here.

- Ray B.


HEK said...

For what it's worth, I've thought for a while that "Papwachowng" and "Shaccoes" may also have been a way, through the Algonquian dialect used by the Powhatans, not only name these waters but the sounds they made as they roared and rushed through rapids and over and among the stones. Of course, we only have English approximations of how these words may have sounded to their ear. Still, I thoroughly enjoy Jeff's thorough investigations.

Bob Winthrop said...

A detailed and convincing discussion.