Virginia History Books

Browse selected volumes on popular topics, such as the Civil War, the American Revolution, Fredericksburg, and the surrounding counties. These titles are updated frequently, so check back often for more recommendations. Most books can be requested and checked out from your home library branch. Use the menu below to limit your search to areas that interest you.

For students wanting historical tales--true and otherwise--check out our lists of Virginia History Books for Kids.

Fabrics for Historic Buildings: A Guide to Selecting Reproduction Fabrics

By Jane C. Nylander

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Explains how to choose, buy and install the correct fabrics for historic interiors, including furniture and draperies. Has a unique catalog of more than 600 fabric types and patterns and a chapter on 20th-century fabrics.

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Field Guide to American Antique Furniture

By Joseph T. Butler

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"With more than seventeen hundred superb drawings, this authoritative book offers a unique visual system for identifying the style of virtually any piece of American antique furniture." (Catalog summary)

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Fielding Lewis and the Washington Family: A Chronicle of 18th-Century Fredericksburg

By Paula S. Felder

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Local historian Paula Felder has researched the Lewis and Washington connections thoroughly and gives an interesting yet scholarly introduction to Kenmore's first family and its more famous relations.

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Finding Your African American Ancestors

By David T. Thackery

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"Although the search for African American ancestry prior to the Civil War is challenging, the difficulties are not always insurmountable. Finding Your African American Ancestors takes you through your ancestors' transition from slavery to freedom, and helps you find them using the federal census, plantation records, and other helpful sources. The book also considers ways to locate runaway slave advertisements, to identify an ancestor's military regiment, and to access the valuable information from The Freedman's Savings and Trust records."

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For Liberty and Glory: Washington, Lafayette, and Their Revolutions

By James R. Gaines

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A narrative account of the "sister revolutions" of France and America reveals the lesser-known agendas that intertwined the conflicts, discussing the close but complex relationship between Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette. (Publisher's description)
Also available as an audiobook.

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Forgotten Companions: The First Settlers of Spotsylvania County and Fredericksburgh town (with Notes on Early Land Use)

By Paula S. Felder

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An examination of the earliest days of Spotsylvania and Fredericksburg with a special emphasis on land acquisitions.

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Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation

By Cokie Roberts

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"...an intimate and illuminating look at the fervently patriotic and passionate women whose tireless pursuits on behalf of their families -- and their country -- proved just as crucial to the forging of a new nation as the rebellion that established it. While much has been written about the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, battled the British, and framed the Constitution, the wives, mothers, sisters, and daughters they left behind have been little noticed by history. Roberts brings us the women who fought the Revolution as valiantly as the men, often defending their very doorsteps. While the men went off to war or to Congress, the women managed their businesses, raised their children, provided them with political advice, and made it possible for the men to do what they did.

"The behind-the-scenes influence of these women -- and their sometimes very public activities -- was intelligent and pervasive.Drawing upon personal correspondence, private journals, and even favored recipes, Roberts reveals the often surprising stories of these fascinating women, bringing to life the everyday trials and extraordinary triumphs of individuals like Abigail Adams, Mercy Otis Warren, Deborah Read Franklin, Eliza Pinckney, Catherine Littlefield Green, Esther DeBerdt Reed, and Martha Washington -- proving that without our exemplary women, the new country might never have survived."

Also available on audio and in large print.

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France and England in North America

By Francis Parkman

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This 19th-century series of writings on the period of colonization of North America is considered to be a classic of its time. Contents of the two volumes include: v. 1. Pioneers of France in the New World. The Jesuits of North America in the seventeenth century. La Salle and the discovery of the Great West. The old regime in Canada -- v. 2. Count Frontenac and New France under Louis XIV. A half-century of conflict. Montcalm and Wolfe. Reserve volumes with a specific copy hold.
Also available to read online.

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Fredericksburg

By De'Onne C. Scott

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The author drew on her local knowledge and extensive collection of postcards to give a lively and unique view of the city's past.

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Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville: The Dare Mark Campaign

By Daniel E. Sutherland

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Even the most massive battle is only part of a larger campaign. From the winter of 1862 through 1863, the Confederacy experienced major victories at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, showing up the Union's weaknesses in strategy and preparation. As to the title, a Confederate soldier referred to the Rappahannock River as "the Dare Mark" as it was a strategic point that must be controlled, and the campaign described here reflects that conflict.
This book is part of the Great Campaigns of the Civil War series.

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