George Washington

Coffee Houses: A Tradition Dating to Colonial Times

With steaming cups in hand, today's Fredericksburg area coffee shops continue a tradition which dates back three centuries to the founding of the town.

Walk in gentlemen, rest at your ease,
Pay for what you call for, and call for what you please.

This verse hung over the doorway of The Coffee House in old Fredericksburg. Located in the first Market House/Town Hall on Caroline Street near William, it was here that 18th- and 19th-century Fredericksburgers sipped their favorite brew and pondered questions from the political to the classical.

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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Hanukkah at Valley Forge

By Stephen Krensky

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During the Revolutionary War, a Jewish soldier from Poland lights the menorah on the first night of Hanukkah and tells General George Washington the story of the Maccabees and the miracle that Hanukkah celebrates. Based on actual events.

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Letter to Adrienne Lafayette from Valley Forge, January 6, 1778

What a date, My Dear Heart, and what a country from which to write in the month of January! It is in a camp in the middle of woods; it is fifteen hundred leagues from you that I find myself buried in midwinter. Not too long ago, we were separated from the enemy by a small river; now we are seven leagues away from them and it is here that the American army will spend the winter in small barracks hardly more cheerful than a jail. I do not know if the general … will decide to visit our new abode; should he, we would show him around. The bearer of this letter will describe to you the pleasant place which I seem to prefer to being with you, with all my friends and amidst all possible pleasures.

The Weddings of Five Famous Virginia Brides

These five brides from three centuries left distinctive imprints on Virginia history. One was a humble serving girl; another was an Indian princess. The other brides were a mother, granddaughter and great-granddaughter whose marriages would place them in the forefront of national affairs.

For each, their weddings were times of celebration. The future would take them along unexpected and divergent paths.

Anne Burroughs
Jamestown — Autumn, 1608

A Family Narrative of a Revolutionary Officer

By Francis J. Brooke

Macfarlane & Fergusson Printers, Richmond, Va. 1849

Reprinted in The Magazine of History with Notes and Queries

Published by William Abbatt, 1921 Extra Number--No. 74

EDITOR'S PREFACE.

OUR first item is an unusual one—a family memoir, written by a father for his children and issued as a private publication, in a very small edition: so small that its existence is almost unknown, but one copy being recorded as sold, in many years.

The author was a distinguished lawyer and judge of Virginia, who had joined Washington's army at sixteen, and after the Revolution held various judicial offices, including that of judge of the Court of Appeals, which he held for forty years.

Colonial Virginia

What was it like to live long ago when Virginia belonged to England? When there were no cars, no computers, no hospitals and no public schools?

Without cars, trains or airplanes, people traveled by boat, horseback or on foot by "shank's mare". The reason so many colonial towns were located next to rivers is that often the roads were terrible seas of mud. It was so much easier to travel on the rivers!

Helping with History

Area museums and research centers are feeling the crunch of tight economic times, too. Volunteers are needed to share our area's history with visitors so that the past may be remembered by new generations.

Would you like to volunteer at an historic property or research facility? Read on for descriptions of places that need you to help them bring the past alive. The APVA Properties

A Tale of Two Presidents and One City

 

"Fredericksburg; may it increase and its commerce flourish." --Toast by George Washington, 1784

Fredericksburg-area residents and visitors have the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of Washington and Lincoln. Both presidents were entertained lavishly across the river at Chatham estate, but under very different circumstances.

Mary Ball Washington: "His Revered Mother"

Fredericksburg's Mary Ball Washington was an intrepid 18th-century woman who raised five children alone. The oldest became the first President of the United States.

Mary Washington's name and heritage are alive and well in the Fredericksburg area and beyond. Her home is at the corner of Lewis and Charles streets; the Mary Washington Monument is on Washington Avenue, which was originally Mary Washington Avenue.