History Books

The Shipwreck That Saved Jamestown: The Sea Venture Castaways and the Fate of America

By Lorri Glover and Daniel Blake Smith

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Anyone interested in Virginia's earliest colonial history ought to get to know the passengers and crew of the Sea Venture. This ship was sent to relieve Jamestown's starving colonists but never made it. The survivors landed on Bermuda, known as the Devil's Isle, where their saga continued. Their story was the inspiration for Shakespeare's The Tempest.

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Civil War Weather in Virginia

By Robert Krick

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Serious Civil War historians should find Robert Krick's book to be a very useful reference as weather is always a factor in battle. The former park service historian has compiled official information along with anecdotal references taken from soldiers' books, diaries, and letters as well as newspapers. Includes sunrise and sunset data from a period almanac.

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Brabbling Women: Disorderly Speech and the Law in Early Virginia

By Terri L. Snyder

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Outspoken Virginia women left their mark in the proceedings of the colonial courts.  Author Terri Snyder exhumes and examines the circumstances surrounding some cases that touched on women's issues.

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Good Wives, Nasty Wenches & Anxious Patriarchs: Gender, Race, and Power in Colonial Virginia

By Kathleen M. Brown

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A feminist examination of the roles of women of different classes--lower class white, upper class white, slave, and Indian--in colonial Virginia, with much reliance on primary sources.

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In the Footsteps of Grant and Lee: The Wilderness through Cold Harbor

By Gordon C. Rhea, photographs by Chris E. Heisey

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 In the Footsteps of Grant and Lee combines engaging text and striking photos to tell the story of those battles that became known as the Overland Campaign--the Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court House, the North Anna River, Totopotomoy Creek, Bethesda Church, and Cold Harbor.

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Virginia's Northern Neck: A Pictorial History

By John C. Wilson

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Virginia's Northern Neck: A Pictorial History is filled with photos and illustrations that, along with informative text, give an lively dimension to the region's past, from early settlements to steamboat days to 20th-century lives well-lived.

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Colonial Virginia Cookery

By Jane Carson

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Cooking methods and recipes as done by Virginia's colonists. Recipes are drawn from period cookbooks by Mrs. Custis, Mrs. Randolph, Mrs. Glasse, and numerous others. Dressing trout, stewing oysters, making ice cream, dressing mutton, and layering trifles were part and parcel of colonial cooking.
Also available to check out.

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Adapting to a New World: English Society in the Seventeenth-Century Chesapeake

By James Horn

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Often compared unfavorably with colonial New England, the early Chesapeake has been portrayed as irreligious, unstable, and violent. In this important new study, James Horn challenges this conventional view and looks across the Atlantic to assess the enduring influence of English attitudes, values, and behavior on the social and cultural evolution of the early Chesapeake.
(From the publisher's description)

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Chesapeake Waters: Four Centuries of Controversy, Concern, and Legislation

By Steven G. Davison

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"...chronicles four centuries of public attitudes about the Bay - and legislative responses to them - from 1607, the date of the first English settlement in Jamestown, Virginia, to the close of the twentieth century. In the last few decades, wide-reaching measures by federal and local governments have influenced how people use the Bay: the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency completed a massive study of Bay quality; the Chesapeake Bay Program was launched; the Critical Area Protection Act went into effect."
(From the publisher's description)

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Chesapeake Rumrunners of the Roaring Twenties

By Eric Mills

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Focusing on the Chesapeake Bay area, Mills (a journalist and historian associated with the U.S. Naval Institute) depicts those on both sides of the law during prohibition--bootleggers, still-operators, and mobsters, as well as the police, federal agents, Coast Guardsmen, and temperance crusaders. His account draws from local lore, with the backing of newspaper reports and government documents.
(From the publisher's description)

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