History Blog

Fredericksburg in the 20th Century

Four Mayors of Fredericksburg: An Oral History by Archer Williams.
Former mayors Charles Cowan, Josiah Rowe, Edward Cann, and Lawrence Davies give their impressions of the city's growth under their administrations, from the 1950s to the 1980s.

Lens on History: Civil War Photography on the Rappahannock

By Jane Kosa, CRRL Staff

Imagine living in Fredericksburg in the 1860s and seeing the bustling riverfront shut down during the first year of the war. Picture the remains of the railroad bridge across the Rappahannock that the retreating Confederates wrecked in April 1862. See the pontoon boats that the Army of the Potomac used to construct temporary bridges to cross the river. Stand at the southern end of Marye's Heights and relive the December 1862 Battle of Fredericksburg. Take a walk down Hanover and Liberty Streets in 1864 and view the shattered buildings. Such is the power of the photographic lens.

Virginia Highways

From the Central Rappahanock Regional Library

Divided Highways: Building the Interstate Highways, Transforming American Life by Tom Lewis.
The monumental story of the largest engineered structure ever built -- the American interstate highway system -- is told in dramatic text and pictures. This is the companion volume to the PBS documentary series of the same name.

Getting There: The Epic Struggle Between Road and Rail in the American Century by Stephen P. Goddard.
A well-done bit of social history, with its focus on the triumph of the road builders.

Restoring Kenmore: Resources in the Library and on the Web

From the Central Rappahanock Regional Library

Classic Georgian Style by Henrietta Spencer-Churchill.
A thorough detailing of the landscaping and interior design that defined Georgian style. Includes an overview of the Georgian and Regency periods (1714 to 1830), a glossary, and a design directory of the masters of Georgian style, such as Palladio, Chippendale, and Repton.

Fielding Lewis and the Washington Family: A Chronicle of 18th Century Fredericksburg by Paula S. Felder.
Local historian Paula Felder has researched the Lewis and Washington connections thoroughly and gives an interesting yet scholarly introduction to Kenmore's first family and its more famous relations.

The Battle of Hampton Roads

From the Central Rappahannock Regional Library

Battle of the Ironclads: The Monitor and the Merrimack by Alden R. Carter.
This book for elementary school students examines the construction, battles, and technological and historical impact of the Civil War battleships, the Monitor and the Virginia (Merrimack).
C.S.S. Virginia: Mistress of Hampton Roads by John V. Quarstein.
A lengthy account of the naval battle. Available to read in the Virginiana Room.
Part of the Virginia Regimental Histories series.

Duel Between the First Ironclads by William C. Davis.
The author weaves fascinating personal and historical detail into his narrative.
Also available as an eBook. Click here for more information on this collection.

Duel of the Ironclads: The Monitor vs. the Virginia by Patrick O'Brien.
A short book (36 pages) that is appropriate for elementary students who are just beginning to develop a taste for history.

The Rise and Fall of the Stars and Bars: A Bibliography of Sources

By Dr. John Coski
Director of the Library and Research at the Museum of the Confederacy

Overviews

***Coski, John M. "Battle Flag: A Brief History of America's Most Controversial Symbol." North & South. vol. 4, no. 7 (September 2001): 48-61.

**Coski, John M. "The Confederate Battle Flag in American History and Culture: A Photograph Essay." Southern Cultures. vol II, no. 2 (1996)

Art and Architecture of the US Capitol Building

From the Central Rappahannock Regional Library

Constantino Brumidi: Artist of the Capitol by Barbara A. Wolanin.
Provides a three-dimensional picture of the artist Brumidi and a fuller appreciation of Brumidi's work via the conservation effort.

Bird's Eye View of Fredericksburg: Its History

By Jane Kosa, CRRL Staff

From the Central Rappahannock Regional Library

Fredericksburg

The Face of Virginia: A Pictorial Study by A. Aubrey Bodine.
There is no panoramic map of Fredericksburg, however, there are six local entries: Kenmore, Mary Washington College, Marye's Heights, the Masonic Lodge, the Hugh Mercer Apothecary, and the James Monroe Law Office.

The Lost Newspapers of Spotsylvania!

 A recent foray into CRRL’s mysterious vaults and back rooms failed to turn up Masonic Secrets or the Lost Ark – but it did turn up something interesting nonetheless: fifteen big, hard-bound volumes of the Lost Newspapers of Spotsylvania!

Thomas Jefferson and Slavery

By Sue Willis, CRRL Staff

From the Central Rappahannock Regional Library

Notes on the State of Virginia by Thomas Jefferson.
The only book that Jefferson wrote was undertaken as a matter-of-fact commentary on the resources and institutions of Virginia and developed into one of the more thoughtful books of the time. His cherished goals were the emancipation of slavery in Virginia and the reformation of Virginia's constitution. However, some of the ideas in his Notes are in opposition to these goals, giving creedence to Jefferson's reputation as a conflicted man. It should be noted that the Notes were written in 1781, and Jefferson did try to improve the slaves' lot before his death in 1826.