Founding Fathers

The First Emancipator: The Forgotten Story of Robert Carter, the Founding Father Who Freed His Slaves

By Andrew Levy

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Robert Carter III was born into the highest circles of Virginia's Colonial aristocracy, neighbor and kin to the Washingtons and Lees and a friend and peer to Thomas Jefferson and George Mason. But in 1791, Carter severed his ties with this elite at the stroke of a pen. Having gradually grown to feel that what he possessed was not truly his, clashing repeatedly with his neighbors, his friends, government officials, and, most poignantly, his own family, he set free nearly five hundred slaves in the largest single act of liberation in the history of American slavery before the Emancipation Proclamation.
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George Mason, Forgotten Founder

By Jeff Broadwater

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This is the first full biography of George Mason (1725-92) in a quarter-century. Although he is often omitted from the small circle of founding fathers celebrated today, Mason was at the center of the momentous events of 18th-century America. He played a key role in the Stamp Act Crisis, the American Revolution, and the drafting of Virginia's first state constitution. He is perhaps best known as author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights, often hailed as the model for the Bill of Rights. Broadwater shows that Mason was often driven by concerns about the abuse of political power, which went to the essence of the American experience.
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250 Years of Freemasonry in Fredericksburg

The year 2002 celebrated the 250th anniversary of the foundation of "George Washington's Mother Lodge." According to the authors of the new book The History of Freemasonry in Virginia, "Fredericksburg Lodge No. 4 stands out as one of the brightest Lodges in the early history of Freemasonry in Virginia." Since 1752 it has maintained a continuous Masonic presence in Fredericksburg. Many of the town's prominent citizens have been members, and many of its prominent buildings have Masonic cornerstones.

John Francis Mercer of Stafford County: A Neglected Patriot: Captain of the 3rd Virginia; Anti-Federalist at the Constitutional Convention; Governor of Maryland, 1801-03

The Central Rappahannock region produced many of the men who led the fight for independence and fashioned the new American nation. Some are remembered, and afforded their due. Some, like John Francis Mercer, are not remembered -- but should be….

Tidewater Dynasty: The Lees of Stratford Hall

By Carey Roberts and Rebecca Seely

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From Tom Lee to Robert E. Lee, who made the fateful decision to turn from the nation he loved to defend the state he loved more, the Lees of Virginia dominated both their local and our national landscape.
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