Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County both witnessed the ravages of America's defining drama. This is the story of a town forced into exodus by the harsh hand of war and of the strength that helped its residents find rebirth from the ashes of destruction. This shared experience would bring people like John Henry Myer and Joseph Walker into a united community, despite diverse backgrounds and racial differences. Fredericksburg had enjoyed prosperity as a colonial-era tobacco port, but economic and agricultural changes diminished this importance.
By the 1850s, Fredericksburg had been eclipsed by Richmond to the south and Alexandria to the north. Shortly before the Civil War, a small industrial boom revitalized the town only to be cast asunder by the events of 1861-1865. Ten miles south is Spotsylvania Court House, the county seat. Here too, fate would deal a blow as warring armies raged over the pastoral setting, leaving destruction in their wake. From the publisher's description.
"From a one-room cabin to a beaux-arts mansion, here is a concise and easily understandable architectural dictionary. Contains more than 450 illustrations, 1,500 terms, 750 definitions and 17 useful cross-references for anyone interested in American domestic architecture."
Thousands of young girls came all alone to New York City looking for work, and they found it in the factories, making lovely dresses for a cheap wage. Finally, Clara Lemlich had had enough. She stood up at her work table and announced in Yiddish, which most of the girls understood, that she had a plan to make things better. This book tells the beginnings of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union, one of the first unions to recognize that women, as well as men, deserved decent pay and better hours.
The fight to regulate child labor went on for many years, but this book tells the particular story of children who worked in the textile mills and marched with Mother Jones from Philadelphia to New York City in 1903.
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.