American Revolution

George Mason, Forgotten Founder

By Jeff Broadwater

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This is the first full biography of George Mason (1725-92) in a quarter-century. Although he is often omitted from the small circle of founding fathers celebrated today, Mason was at the center of the momentous events of 18th-century America. He played a key role in the Stamp Act Crisis, the American Revolution, and the drafting of Virginia's first state constitution. He is perhaps best known as author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights, often hailed as the model for the Bill of Rights. Broadwater shows that Mason was often driven by concerns about the abuse of political power, which went to the essence of the American experience.
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Hurricane of Independence: The Untold Story of the Deadly Storm at the Deciding Moment of the American Revolution

By Tony Williams

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On September 2, 1775, the eighth deadliest Atlantic hurricane of all time landed on American shores. Over the next days, it would race up the East Coast, striking all of the important colonial capitols and killing more than four thousand people. In an era when hurricanes were viewed as omens from God, what this storm signified to the colonists about the justness of their cause would yield unexpected results.
Drawing on ordinary individuals and well-known founders like Washington and Franklin, Tony Williams paints a stunning picture of life at the dawn of the American Revolution, and of the weighty choice people faced at that deciding moment.
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The Lees of Virginia, Seven Generations of an American Family

By Paul C. Nagel

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"There are few American families that feature such a collection of characters, both heroic and ignoble, who have made such a mark on history as the Lees. In The Lees of Virginia, Paul Nagel chronicles seven generations of Lees, covering over two hundred years of accolades and scandals. We meet Thomas Lee, who dreamed of America as a continental empire, and his son, Arthur Lee, who created a political storm with his accusations against Benjamin Franklin. Arthur's cousin was Light-Horse Harry Lee, a controversial cavalry officer in the Revolutionary War, whose wild real estate speculation led to imprisonment for debt and finally self-exile in the Caribbean. One of Harry's sons, Henry Lee, further disgraced the family by seducing his sister-in-law and frittering away Stratford, the Lees' ancestral home. It was a third son, Robert E. Lee, who would become the family's redeeming figure, a brilliant tactician still revered for his lofty character and military success. In these and numerous other portraits, Nagel discloses how, from 1640 to 1870, a family spirit united the Lees, making them a force in Virginian and American affairs."
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Speaking of the Northern Neck of Virginia & Life in Its Long-Untrodden Ways During Three and a Half Centuries

By C. Jackson Simmons

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This is a compilation of speeches by a noted Northern Neck historian, augmented by many illustrations. The subjects include the Northern Neck's early settlement, speech patterns of the gentry and others, the "villaines" Moll Flanders and Henry Esmond, crime & punishments generally, a colonial church,
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250 Years of Freemasonry in Fredericksburg

The year 2002 celebrated the 250th anniversary of the foundation of "George Washington's Mother Lodge." According to the authors of the new book The History of Freemasonry in Virginia, "Fredericksburg Lodge No. 4 stands out as one of the brightest Lodges in the early history of Freemasonry in Virginia." Since 1752 it has maintained a continuous Masonic presence in Fredericksburg. Many of the town's prominent citizens have been members, and many of its prominent buildings have Masonic cornerstones.

John Francis Mercer of Stafford County: A Neglected Patriot: Captain of the 3rd Virginia; Anti-Federalist at the Constitutional Convention; Governor of Maryland, 1801-03

The Central Rappahannock region produced many of the men who led the fight for independence and fashioned the new American nation. Some are remembered, and afforded their due. Some, like John Francis Mercer, are not remembered -- but should be….

Virginia Horse Racing: Triumphs of the Turf

By Virginia C. Johnson and Barbara Crookshanks

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Virginia, mother of presidents, is also the mother of American horse racing. From the very beginning, Virginians have risked it all on the track as eagerly as on the battlefield. Follow the bloodlines of three foundation sires of the American Thoroughbred through generations of rollicking races and larger-than-life grandees wagering kingly stakes, sometimes on horses not yet born.
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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.

General George Weedon: His Life and Times

From the Central Rappahannock Regional Library

The Day is Ours! An Inside View of the Battles of Trenton and Princeton, November 1776 - January 1777 by William M. Dwyer.
A wonderful account based on the actual words and writings of the men who lived through those famed battles.

Duty, Honor, or Country: General George Weedon and the American Revolution by Harry M. Ward.
This is the only full-length biography of the general. Written by a well-regarded military historian, it is the single most important source for the modern researcher.

George III: A Personal History

By Christopher Hibbert

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A more thorough and evenhanded examination of George III's character than Americans usually see. An early chapter is devoted to an exploration of George III's father, Prince Frederick. Also available on audiocassette.

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