For nearly a century, iron manufacturing dominated the economic, social, and political fabric of Stafford County, Virginia. In the mid-1720s Principio Iron Company, the eighteenth-century leader in American iron production, built a charcoal-fired blast furnace on Accokeek Run in Stafford. Accokeek’s furnace and store served customers within a six-county region. Employment opportunities at the furnace created a diversified economy and encouraged people from all walks of life to settle there.
The late 1750s witnessed the creation of James Hunter’s Iron Works near Falmouth. Originally intended as a forge and multi-purpose milling facility, this operation quickly grew to be the New World’s largest manufacturing center, producing a wide variety of consumer goods as well as quantities of weapons and supplies for Continental troops.
In addition to exploring the scope of each business and its impact upon the region in which it existed, the author has identified hundreds of people involved with or employed by Accokeek Furnace and Rappahannock Forge.
The only known surviving business ledger from Accokeek Furnace is included as a CD-ROM in the back of the volume.
From the publisher's description