History Books

Archaeology and the Colonial Gardener

By Audrey Noel Hume

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Gardening meets archaeology in this publication from the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.
Available to read in our Virginiana Room at the Headquarters branch.

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Antiques from the Garden

By Alistair Morris

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A perfect book for those who enjoy old and eclectic gardens. The Antique Collectors' Club details the large garden pieces, such as fountains and gazebos, as well as fascinating, old-fashioned gardening implements.

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A Field Guide to American Houses

By Virginia and Lee McAlester

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The guide that enables you to identify, and place in their historic and architectural contexts, the houses you see in your neighborhood or in your travels across America. 17th century to the present.

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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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“…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… .”
(Publisher’s description)
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Historic Sail: The Glory of the Sailing Ship from the 13th to the 19th Century

By Stephen Howarth

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Attractive drawings and interesting explanatory notes on 91 ships, from “a Danish cog of the 13th century” to a Scottish tea merchant of 1869. Plates 56 and 57 feature a fluyt, the same type as the Godspeed. Fluyts were popular merchant vessels from roughly 1595 to 1670. Historic sources for the illustrations are noted.

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Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: Merchant Seamen, Pirates, and the Anglo-American Maritime World, 1700-1750

By Marcus Rediker

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What was it like when Britain ruled the waves, but pirates haunted the coasts of colonial America? In this maritime history, Rediker examines a dangerous, adventurous brotherhood of the sea.

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Accommodating Revolutions: Virginia’s Northern Neck in an Era of Transformations, 1760-1810

By Albert H. Tillson, Jr.

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The Northern Neck runs from Falmouth in Stafford County all the way down to Windmill Point in Lancaster County, bounded by the Rappahannock River to the south and the Potomac River to the north.  Now it’s a sleepy section of Virginia but it was once called the Athens of the New World.

What a foreign world it seems to us today—the antebellum Northern Neck--where wealthy white plantation owners bought and sold slaves with ease along with the services of bound whites for years at a time. How could such a system that relied on keeping people in their places and maintaining the established order bring forth some of the greatest leaders of the Revolutionary period? History is complicated, and Accommodating Revolutions digs into court documents and newspaper accounts to flesh out what was going on with those who served the gentry as the winds of political and religious upheaval shook Virginia.
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Freeing Charles: The Struggle to Free a Slave on the Eve of the Civil War

By Scott Christianson

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Down the old plank road from Fredericksburg towards Culpeper--today's Route 3 West, you'll find the still-standing and ruined remains of many a grand Virginia plantation. One of these was home to Charles Nalle, who escaped from slavery in hopes of reuniting with his already-freed wife and children. In 1860, the streets of Troy, New York, became the scene of a struggle between the Harriet Tubman's Underground Railroad supporters and the slave hunters who had been sent to retrieve him.

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Welcome the Hour of Conflict: William Cowan McClellan and the 9th Alabama

By edited by John C. Carter

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Some collections of Civil War letters are either too brief or have too many writers to get a significant sense of life on the march. These letters represent the full four years of camp, march, and battle with much of the time spent in Virginia. Appendices include a list of letters, the regiment’s casualties/enlistment totals, officers and infantry assignments, Private McClellan’s military record, the regimental roster, notes, and an index.

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Virginia Folk Legends

By edited by Thomas E. Barden

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What do devil dogs, witches, haunted houses, Daniel Boone, Railroad Bill, "Justice John" Crutchfield, and lost silver mines have in common? All are among the subjects included in the vast collection of legends gathered between 1937 and 1942 by the field workers of the Virginia Writers Project of the WPA. For decades following the end of the project, these stories lay untouched in the libraries of the University of Virginia. Now, folklorist Thomas E. Barden brings to light these delightful tales, most of which have never been in print. Virginia Folk Legends presents the first valid published collection of Virginia folk legends and is endorsed by the American Folklore Society.
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