Walking and driving tours

African-American History of Stafford, Virginia

(This brochure was originally printed in the fall of 2002.)

Colonial Times

Africans first arrived in the Virginia colony in 1619 as indentured servants. In the late 1600s slaves were brought into the sparsely settled Rappahannock Valley, primarily to serve as agricultural laborers.

African-American History of Fredericksburg, Virginia

By Ruth Fitzgerald*
 
Introduction:

Blacks first inhabited Virginia in 1619. They came to the sparsely settled Rappahannock Valley long before Fredericksburg was officially founded in 1728.

In colonial times, Fredericksburg and Falmouth, across the Rappahannock River in Stafford County, were important centers of trade. The towns were considered the gateway to the mountains and the way west, and they also served as major seaports.

A Walking Tour of Fredericksburg: Revisit December 1862

By the Fredericksburg Department of Tourism

During the American Civil War, Fredericksburg's geographic location drew contending armies to its environs with a deadly inevitability. The City is located on the banks of a river that served as a natural defensive barrier as well as astride a north-south rail corridor that helped keep the large armies supplied. On four separate occasions, the Union Army of the Potomac, fought the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in and around the City. These clashes left over 100,000 casualties and a scarred landscape in their wake.

Walk Through History . . . Hanover Street

By the Fredericksburg Area Tourism Department

In 1714, the Stuart dynasty ended in England with the death of Queen Anne. George I, elector of Hanover, Germany, was selected to become the next ruler of England, thus beginning the long reign of the House of Hanover.

Hanover Street, named after the House of Hanover, was developed on part of a tract of land granted in 1671 to early Virginia settlers Thomas Royston and John Buckner. The street was one of Fredericksburg's original eight streets, when the city was granted its charter in 1728.

The Ghosts of Fredericksburg

By Fredericksburg Area Tourism Department

The spirit of the past still lives in Fredericksburg, Virginia. George Washington's foot-steps seem to echo on the paths and streets of his hometown. The voices of Thomas Jefferson and other colonial leaders seem to resound through the Rising Sun Tavern.

African-American History of Spotsylvania, Virginia

By the Spotsylvania Department of Tourism

From The Start ...

Blacks first arrived in isolated and sparsely populated Spotsylvania County along with white settlers in the early 1700's. Through the years before the Civil War, as slaves and occasionally as free men and women, they were an important force in area development. Occupations included labor as farm and plantation workers, as domestic servants, and as artisans, such as blacksmiths, carpenters, coopers, and fine needleworkers. They also worked in the iron industries, mining, construction, shipping on the Rappahannock River, and in their own businesses.

By the first half of the 19th century, Spotsylvania County's population reached about 11,000, over half of whom were black.
Alex Haley's award winning novel, Roots, cast his African ancestor, Kunta Kinte, as a slave of a Spotsylvania family.

Walk Through History . . . Caroline Street

By The Fredericksburg Area Tourism Department

130 Caroline
Built c. 1855. The style and design of this Greek Revival townhouse is identical to its neighboring duplexes, although this is a single family dwelling. Extensive changes have altered the architectural similarities shared with 132-138. Note bay window and wing additions.

 

 

 

Walk Through History...Mill Sites and Water Power

By Fredericksburg Area Tourism Department

INTRODUCTION

Fredericksburg is located at the falls of the Rappahannock River - the point where the flat, sandy, coastal plain meets the hilly, rocky piedmont to the west. This is where the river becomes unnavigable - rocky rapids and shallow waters make its channel impassable to vessels.

Drive Through Stafford County's History

By Stafford County Historical Society

1. AQUIA CRUCIFIX AND BRENT CEMETERY

The crucifix, erected in 1930, memorializes the first English settlers of Stafford County, the Brenta. Colonel Giles Brent of Maryland and his Piscataway Indian wife settled at the mouth of Aquia Creek in 1647. His sisters joined them, one of them being Margaret Brent, prominent landowner and attorney, a remarkable achievement for a woman of that time. The Brenta, who were Catholic, welcomed others of all religions to settle in the Aquia area.

Walk Through History...Washington Avenue

By The Fredericksburg Area Tourism Department

WASHINGTON AVENUE WEST

 

1200 - Built in 1916/ 1917 for Victor & M.C. Moon, traveling salesman. Architect, Philip Stern. Brick, showing modern and oriental infuence, quality work with early tile roof and copper drains.