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Sallie May Dooley

"Sallie May Dooley,
oil on canvas,
William Garl Browne,
Maymont House
Museum Collection.
Photograph © Richard Cheek.

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Old Dominion Chapter
Organized by Mrs. James H. Dooley

January 25, 1892

Old Dominion was the first chapter organized in the Commonwealth of Virginia and seventh in the Nation. The charter was issued February 1, 1892. The name “Old Dominion” was chosen because it is the sobriquet of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Lord Baltimore, writing to Charles I in 1629, asked for a grant of land in the King’s dominion of Virginia. The name “Old Virginia” is said to have been given to the Jamestown Colony by Captain John Smith, later changed to New England. The oldest settlement (1607) retaining the original name Virginia became known as the “Old Dominion.”

Robert Beverly, the historian, tells that Governor Berkeley’s proclamation names Charles II as “King of England, Scotland, France, Ireland and Virginia.” After the restoration of Charles II, a new seal for Virginia adopted about 1663, had the motto “En dat Virginia Quintum,” “Behold, Virginia gives the fifth,” the effect of which was to rank Virginia by the side of His Majesty’s other four dominions. In these circumstances originated the famous epithet “Old Dominion.”

Upon his accession to the throne, Charles II readily granted to Berkeley his commission as Governor of the “Old Dominion,” a title Charles had accorded the colony because of its loyalty to the crown.

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