History Feature Articles

Medal of Honor Winner Was Spotsylvania Native

The huge boulder rolled deliberately in the middle of the road was the first sign of trouble. On May 11, 1889, along a dusty trail in Arizona, an unlikely bunch of desperadoes made off with $28,000 in gold from U.S. Army Paymaster Major Joseph Washington Wham. Buffalo Soldiers from the 24th Infantry were part of the 12-man escort that would go down fighting that day.

John Adams Elder: Fredericksburg's Artist of the Civil War

Image Courtesy of The Library of Virginia

On October 6, 2007, the Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center, 907 Princess Anne Street, opened a retrospective exhibit of the paintings of Fredericksburg artist John Adams Elder, "Fredericksburg's Artist of the Civil War."

The retrospective exhibit, the first of Elder's work since 1947, included portraits, landscapes and paintings of the Civil War and Southern life. It was on view until September 7, 2008.

Park Skating Rink

In Fredericksburg, the block on Prince Edward Street south of Hurkamp Park, between George and Hanover streets, is today occupied by large brick mansions.

In 1909, the lot, owned by Judge A.T. Embrey, was vacant until May. A month before, Messrs. Rudasille and Johnson, experienced in the establishment of skating rinks, were in Fredericksburg making preparations for one here.

General Lewis Littlepage: Soldier, Spy, and King's Confidant, 1762-1802

To the Spaniards, he was known as young Litlpese. Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette knew him as the charming Little Peche. In Russia, to Catherine the Great and her favorites, he was the clever and ambitious Litlpaz. The doomed monarch, Stanislas Augustus of Poland, knew him as his loyal Litelpecz. Whatever the name, this often penniless Virginian's brilliant intellect and exquisite manners won him entry into the chambers, gaming tables, and salons of the last decades of Europe's Age of Enlightenment.

The Young and Orphaned Genius

The Rappahannock Region's Architecture: Part 2: Forgotten Cottages

Old postcard view of the Mary Washington HouseThe big brick mansions such as Kenmore, Gunston Hall, and Carter's Grove grab the attention of most tourists to the Old Dominion but equally historic if considerably less lauded are the clapboard, plaster, and brick cottages that were homes and gathering places for ever

The Rappahannock Region's Forgotten Architecture: Part 1: The Old Brick Mansions

KenmoreStratford HallBerkley Plantation—these and many other substantial brick residences were designed to last and impress. The style was called Georgian, in honor of the English kings of the period. Later similar houses built after the American Revolution would be patriotically dubbed Federal. This article briefly looks at some common characteristics of the houses' exteriors.

Treading, Molding, and Firing

Time for Tea

Tea can be the centerpiece of a formal party or simply everyday hospitality among friends. Whether you prefer herbal, green, or black varieties, when you sip a cup of tea, you are joining a rich, historical tradition.
 

Use HeritageQuest to Discover Your Family History

By Nick Nelson, CRRL Intern

History scholars and genealogists can find much grist for their research mills with the HeritageQuest database. The full text of scholarly articles, state and military records, lengthy family reference books and more can be searched and saved for later contemplation.

"The Queene of Pomonky"

XII. That each Indian King, and Queen have equall power to govern their owne people and none to have greater power then other, except the Queen of Pomunky to whom severall scattered Indians doe now againe owne their antient Subjection, and are agreed to come in and plant themselves under power and government, whoe with her are alsoe hereby included into this present League and treatie of peace, & are to keep, and observe the same towards the said Queen in all things as her Subjects, as well as towards the English.

The Fredericksburg Sassafras Distillery

SASSAFRAS VARIFOLIUM is an old species, fossil forms being found in the one-hundred-million-year-old rocks of the Cretaceous period in both North America and Eurasia. Since the ice ages, it has continued to live only in a small section of Asia and in North America from Maine to Florida and westward to the beginning of the prairies. Today it is most commonly found at the wood's edge along roadsides and fence rows as a tree growing between fifteen and fifty feet.