History Books

John Smith's Chesapeake voyages, 1607-1609

By Helen C. Rountree, Wayne E. Clark, and Kent Mountford ; contributing authors, Michael B. Barber ... [et al.]

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Captain John Smith's voyages throughout the new world did not end--or, for that matter, begin--with the trip on which he was captured and brought to the great chief Powhatan. Partly in an effort to map the region, Smith covered countless leagues of the Chesapeake Bay and its many tributary rivers, and documented his experiences. In this ambitious and extensively illustrated book, scholars from multiple disciplines take the reader on Smith's exploratory voyages and reconstruct the Chesapeake environment and its people as Smith encountered them.
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Pirates on the Chesapeake: Being a True History of Pirates, Picaroons, and Raiders on Chesapeake Bay, 1610-1807

By Donald G. Shomette

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"Here is a dazzling array of swashbuckling pirates, picaroons, and sea rovers pitted against the often feckless representatives of an outpost government authority in the Chesapeake Bay region. It is an exciting and dramatic 200-year history that begins grimly with the "starving time" in the Virginia colony in 1609 and ends with the peaceful resolution of the Othello affair with the French in 1807. In between lies a full panoply of violent and bizarre buccaneering incidents that one is hard pressed to imagine."
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The Oyster Wars of the Chesapeake Bay

By John R. Wennersten

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In the decades following the Civil War, Chesapeake Bay became the scene of a life and death struggle to harvest the oyster, one of the most valuable commodi­ties on the Atlantic coast. In this book, noted historian and author John Wennersten tells the stories of wa­termen, law enforcement officers, government officials, Bay scientists, immi­grants, and oyster shuckers involved in the oyster trade.
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Reluctant Genius: Alexander Graham Bell and the Passion for Invention

By Charlotte Gray

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Inventor of the telephone and teacher of the hearing impaired, Bell kept his summer home at Colonial Beach in Westmoreland County, now a bed & breakfast inn.
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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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Blackbeard: America's Most Notorious Pirate

By Angus Konstam

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Of all the colorful cutthroats who scoured the seas in search of plunder during the Golden Age of Piracy in the early eighteenth century, none was more ferocious or notorious than Blackbeard. As unforgettable as his savage career was, much of Blackbeard's life has been shrouded in mystery-until now. Drawing on vivid descriptions of Blackbeard's attacks from his rare surviving victims, pirate expert Angus Konstam traces Blackbeard's career from its beginnings to his final defeat in a tremendous sea battle near his base at Ocracoke Island. Presenting dramatic accounts of the pirate's very effective tactics and his reputation for cruelty, Konstam offers a fascinating examination of the life and business of piracy and the lure of this brutal and bloody trade.
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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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A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia

By Thomas Hariot

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As the first volume in de Bry's celebrated Grand Voyages, a series of publications chronicling many of the earliest expeditions to the Americas, this book, which incorporates a 1588 text by Thomas Hariot, was illustrated and published in four languages. It became for many Europeans their first glimpse of the American continent. Accompanying the Latin facsimile is an English text. The first section is modernized from earlier versions of the English, and the second part, which accompanies the plates, is newly translated from the original Latin.

In addition to a valuable introduction, the book includes two illuminating essays. The first, by Karen Ordahl Kupperman, examines the early American settlement and tells how a collaboration between the writer and mathematician Thomas Hariot and the artist John White (later governor of the Roanoke Colony) evolved into a rich study not only of English colonial life but of the Indian culture and the natural resources of the region. The second essay, by Peter Stallybrass, uncovers new information in the much studied plates and presents an intriguing theory about the creation and importance of the engravings.
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France and England in North America

By Francis Parkman

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This 19th-century series of writings on the period of colonization of North America is considered to be a classic of its time. Contents of the two volumes include: v. 1. Pioneers of France in the New World. The Jesuits of North America in the seventeenth century. La Salle and the discovery of the Great West. The old regime in Canada -- v. 2. Count Frontenac and New France under Louis XIV. A half-century of conflict. Montcalm and Wolfe. Reserve volumes with a specific copy hold.
Also available to read online.

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John Alexander: A Northern Neck Proprietor, His Family, Friends and Kin

By Wesley E. Pippenger

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John Alexander, who immigrated to Virginia circa 1653, had vast land holdings in the Neck and numerous descendants. This volume examines the family history through much of the 19th century.
Includes many reproductions of photographs and historic papers as well as an index to dozens of other families mentioned.
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