Antebellum Virginia

Stitched From the Soul: Slave Quilts From the Antebellum South

By Gladys-Marie Fry

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The beautiful illustrations in this book offer a glimpse into the lives and creativity of African American quilters during the era of slavery. It highlights many of the finest and most interesting examples of the quilts, woven coverlets, counterpanes, rag rugs, and crocheted artifacts attributed to slave women and men.
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Southern Quilts: Surviving Relics Of the Civil War

By Bets Ramsey and Merikay Waldvogel

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This is a wonderful history of the tradition and techniques of quilt making in the antebellum South. It includes lots of color photographs and the oral histories of 29 Southern quilts that survived the Civil War.

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Old Virginia Houses along the James

By Emmie Ferguson Farrar

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The James River Plantation Houses hold a unique place in the state's history.  Part of a series, Old Virginia Houses.

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Irons in the Fire: The Business History of the Tayloe Family and Virginia's Gentry, 1700-1860

By Laura Croghan Kamoie

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Irons in the Fire chronicles the agricultural, industrial, and commercial activities of four generations of the Tayloe family of Northern Virginia, revealing a greater complexity in the southern business culture of early America than scholars have generally recognized. Through the story of one representative family, Laura Croghan Kamoie illustrates how entrepreneurship and a broadly skilled slave-labor force combined to create economic diversification well before the American Revolution. Contrary to general historical perceptions, southern elite planters were, at least until the 1790s, very like their northern counterparts.
(From the publisher's description)

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John Washington's Civil War: A Slave Narrative

By Crandall Shifflett, editor

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John Washington's recounting of his difficult years as a Virginia slave was made only seven years after his emancipation.

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Historic Churches of Fredericksburg: Houses of the Holy

By Michael Aubrecht

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Recalls stories of rebellion, racism and reconstruction as experienced by Secessionists, Unionists and the African American population in Fredericksburg's landmark churches during the Civil War and Reconstruction eras.
Using a wide variety of materials compiled from the local National Park archives, author Michael Aubrecht presents multiple perspectives from local believers and nonbelievers who witnessed the country's "Great Divide." Learn about the importance of faith in old Fredericksburg through the recollections of local clergy such as Reverend Tucker Lacy; excerpts from slave narratives as recorded by Joseph F. Walker; impressions of military commanders such as Robert E. Lee and "Stonewall" Jackson; and stories of the conflict over African-American membership.
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Fannie Richards: Integration Pioneer

From The Journal of Negro History, Volume 1, January 1916

 The following is excerpted from The Journal of Negro History, Volume 1, January 1916, pp. 30-36, which is available online at Manybooks.net.

She was born in Fredericksburg, Virginia, October 1, 1841. As her people left that State when she was quite young she did not see so much of the intolerable conditions as did the older members of the family. Miss Richards was successful in getting an early start in education. Desiring to have better training than what was then given to persons of color in Detroit, she went to Toronto. There she studied English, history, drawing and needlework. In later years she attended the Teachers Training School in Detroit. Her first thought was to take up teaching that she might do something to elevate her people. She, therefore, opened a private school in 1863, doing a higher grade of work than that then undertaken in the public schools. About 1862, however, a colored public school had been opened by a white man named Whitbeck. Miss Richards began to think that she should have such a school herself.

A Fugitive from Persecution

From A History of Hamilton County, Indiana

At Spottsylvania, Va., prior to the war of 1812, lived a wealthy and influential citizen, George BOXLEY. He was a man of strong character, and, when he believed himself to be right, he was immovable. By honest toil, he had acquired his wealth, and, at the time of which we write, was the proprietor of a saw-mill, grist-mill and "carding-gin" or woolen-mill, all three being operated under one roof, in a building situated on the bank of one of the streams of Spottsylvania County. Like many persons of means in those days, he possessed a number of slaves, but became impressed with the injustice of the institution and liberated them.

Mapping the Past

With Google's now infamous detailed photos, it's rather easy to see how a town is laid out today. But what about 50, 100, or 150 years ago? Where are the maps that show how the towns and counties grew through the years? One excellent source of information, the Sanborn fire insurance maps, is available online to our patrons at no charge.

Uncertain Road: Slavery and Emancipation in the Rappahannock Region

This webliography accompanied the lecture "Uncertain Road: Slavery and Emancipation in the Rappahannock," presented by John Hennessy, Chief Historian/Chief of Interpretation, Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, on February 12, 2004.

From the Central Rappahannock Regional Library: