18th century

John Paul Jones: A Founder of the U.S. Navy

From a Scottish port to colonial Fredericksburg to the royal courts of France and Russia, the little man who famously refused to give up the fight was perfectly at home in both cottages and elegant salons, but he was always eager to set sail for adventure and glory.

Local Doctor's Hours of Heroism

The time was sunset on Sept. 23, 1779. A full moon was rising. The place was the bloody deck of John Paul Jones’ ship the Bon Homme Richard. There a young Spotsylvanian named Laurence Brooke would show the stuff of which heroes are made.  At age 21, he was the lone surgeon on the Bon Homme Richard as it engaged the 50-gun HMS Serapis in the North Sea off Scarborough, England. The burning Serapis surrendered after a 3 1/2-hour battle during which John Paul Jones proclaimed: “I have not yet begun to fight!”

By the King's Patent Granted

"By the King's Patent Granted" was a common embossing on English medicines of the 18th century. Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries patent medicines reigned supreme as cures for everything from "hooping" cough to kidney ailments.

Frontier Living

By Edwin Tunis

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Describes the daily lives of American pioneers who explored and settled the territories west of the Appalachians.
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Colonial Craftsmen and the Beginnings of American Industry

By Edwin Tunis

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An excellent source for learning a lot about hard-working craftsmen of early America.

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Colonial Living

By Edwin Tunis

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Describes the industries, schools, society, culture, and growth of the coastal settlements during the colonial period. Many illustrations.
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Early Ice Houses

The inhabitants of early Fredericksburg enjoyed a cool drink during the hot summer months, just as we do today -- hence the massive excavations referred to as ice houses. These brick-lined, wood-floored structures were generally 15 to 20 feet in depth and 12 to 15 feet in diameter.

Dairy products, meats, and other perishables had to be kept cool, and what better way to do it than to cut the ice from the Rappahannock or a local pond during January, store it in a circular, subterranean cavity, cover it with straw, and preserve it for the warm months ahead.

Early Village Life

By Bobbie Kalman

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The farm began as a self-sufficient unit with neighbors sharing what resources they had with one another. As people congregated in an area, a village grew and businesses sprang up to meet the demand of a growing population.

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Food for the Settler

By Bobbie Kalman

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Nature's bounty usually provided the settler with everything they needed. Whatever these new farmers didn't know, the Native peoples taught them. Food for the settler shows how they caught it, grew it, and prepared it.

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Colonial Life

By Bobbie Kalman

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In Colonial Life, young readers will meet the hardworking people of a colonial community, learn about the importance of family members, and discover the roles that religion and education played in people's lives more than two hundred years ago.

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