ironworks

Irons in the Fire: The Business History of the Tayloe Family and Virginia's Gentry, 1700-1860

By Laura Croghan Kamoie

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Irons in the Fire chronicles the agricultural, industrial, and commercial activities of four generations of the Tayloe family of Northern Virginia, revealing a greater complexity in the southern business culture of early America than scholars have generally recognized. Through the story of one representative family, Laura Croghan Kamoie illustrates how entrepreneurship and a broadly skilled slave-labor force combined to create economic diversification well before the American Revolution. Contrary to general historical perceptions, southern elite planters were, at least until the 1790s, very like their northern counterparts.
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Laying the Hoe: a Century of Iron Manufacturing in Stafford County, Virginia: with Genealogical Notes on over 300 Families

By Jerrilynn Eby

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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.
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