CRRL Picks: New in Virginiana
Annotation:A saga of exploration and cruelty spanning one hundred and seventy years tells the story of the more than three hundred thousand white people who lived and died as slaves and indentured servants in Britain's American colonies. Thousands of Britons lived and died in bondage in Britain's American colonies.
Annotation:The Great Valley Road of Virginia chronicles the story of one of America's oldest, most historic, and most geographically significant roads....included are chapters about the towns supported by the road as well as the relationship of physical geography (the lay of the land) to the engineering of the road. More than one hundred maps, photographs, engravings, and line drawings enhance the book's value to scholars and general readers alike.
Annotation:"Like Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest offers a significant archeological view of slave life at the turn of the nineteenth century in rural Virginia. In Hidden Lives, Barbara J. Heath re-creates the daily life of slaves at Jefferson's second home from 1773, the year he inherited the plantation, until 1812, when his reorganization of its landscape resulted in the destruction of a slave quarter. Drawing on census data, letters, memoranda, and other primary material, Heath describes the slave community's family ties, the agricultural cycle of work, and the sickness and health care they experienced."
Annotation:"...the first fugitive slave narrative in American history. When it appeared in New York in 1825, it was the longest African American autobiography published up to that time. Because Grimes wrote and published his narrative on his own, withoutdeference to white editors, publishers, or sponsors, his Life has an immediacy, candor, and no-holds-barred realism unparalleled in antebellum slave narratives." William Grimes was born into slavery in King George County, Virginia.
Annotation:A guide to more than 100 historic restaurants in the historic state of Virginia, along with recipes from each establishment. Among the offerings: Virginia Ham Straws from Old Chickahominy House in Williamsburg and Northern Neck Asparagus Soup from the Inn at Montross. Many recipes are modern.
Annotation:What do three hundred years of African American history look like in a small, southern town? Virginia Shade depicts just that--a sometimes brutal, sometimes uplifting, but always human tapestry of two societies struggling through and beyond slavery. African Americans have been part of the town of Falmouth's history since its founding in 1727.
Annotation:"... helps us understand what the major actors said and did: the Republican party, the Democratic party, southern secessionists, southern Unionists; why the pro-compromise forces lost; and why the American tradition of sectional compromise failed."
Annotation:"One of the most eccentric and accomplished politicians in all of American history, John Randolph (1773--1833) led a life marked by controversy. The long-serving Virginia congressman and architect of Southern conservatism grabbed headlines with his prescient comments, public brawls, and clashes with every president from John Adams to Andrew Jackson. The first biography of Randolph in nearly a century, John Randolph of Roanoke provides a full account of the powerful Virginia planter's hard-charging life and his impact on the formation of conservative politics."
Annotation:Author Peter Hatch has been the Director of Gardens and Grounds at Monticello since 1977. When Annie Leibovitz came to historic site, she chose to photograph his hands, which have spent decades re-envisioning and recreating Jefferson’s beloved garden. “A Rich Spot of Earth” is a stunning visual and verbal tribute to both the historic gardens and their careful recovery.
Annotation:Private Sneden of the 40th New York of the Army of the Potomac served his country in several ways. He was assigned work as a quartermaster, but within days his talent and persistence at sketches and maps brought him to the attention of General Sedgwick who quickly put him to work. The Eye of the Storm combines his unusually detailed journal and often full-color drawings with excellent commentary from Virginia historians. This volume captures his journey from battlefields to encampments to the horrors of Andersonville prison. Another volume, Images from the Eye of the Storm, is also available to check out.
Annotation:Colonial Churches of Virginia is a beautiful and beautifully-written work that does a good job of giving the history and architectural highlights of more than 50 historic churches in the Old Dominion. Most are Anglican or Episcopal, but representative early churches can also be found for Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, Mennonite, and Lutheran congregations. Current service times are noted for each church.
Annotation:The American Revolution didn’t start with the Tea Party. For more than 100 years before that, the immigrants who came to America had very cogent reasons for leaving the civilized world. Many were hotheads—rebels against the king and his policies on religion. Others had come to the colonies hoping to make their fortunes and discovered much to their dismay that the king was very interested in taking a cut of their profits through high taxes, particularly on tobacco. In Virginia, high taxes meant that the small farmers were left landless when they could not pay. Their farms were taken by wealthier landholders and the dispossessed went to the frontier to find new land to support them and their families. Not surprisingly, this meant clashes with the native population, some of which were quite bloody. Royal Governor Berkeley’s refusal to support the frontier farmers with soldiers—and his obvious friendships with the wealthier Tidewater land barons--led to Bacon’s Rebellion against the king’s most powerful representative and was but one example of the tension felt between the colonists and their royal masters’ representatives.
Annotation: In colonial days, Baptists, Methodists and other dissenters from the Church of England might be jailed for preaching in the streets or fined for keeping their own churches. Evangelical Christians were an important factor in the American Revolution's success.
Annotation:The Northern Neck runs from Falmouth in Stafford County all the way down to Windmill Point in Lancaster County, bounded by the Rappahannock River to the south and the Potomac River to the north. Now it’s a sleepy section of Virginia but it was once called the Athens of the New World.
Annotation:Down the old plank road from Fredericksburg towards Culpeper--today's Route 3 West, you'll find the still-standing and ruined remains of many a grand Virginia plantation. One of these was home to Charles Nalle, who escaped from slavery in hopes of reuniting with his already-freed wife and children. In 1860, the streets of Troy, New York, became the scene of a struggle between the Harriet Tubman's Underground Railroad supporters and the slave hunters who had been sent to retrieve him.
Annotation:Environmentalism and historic preservation have their own histories, and it's the former that's presented in this new book. What were the struggles and who were the heroes of the movement in Virginia? This is the story of how the Old Dominion's state parks, historic easement programs, and environmental foundations came to be in the 20th century.
Annotation:The grand houses created by 18th-century Virginians are a huge tourist draw, but what does their design tell us about the natures of the men who built them? The auhor "illuminates the fortunes, motivations, and aspirations of the wealthy and powerful owners who built their 'homes' with the object of securing their status and impressing the public." Among those included are the houses of Governor Alexander Spotswood, William Fitzhugh, the Lee family of Westmoreland, and Thomas Jefferson.
Annotation:Originally published in 1850--less than 75 years after the war--this attractive reprint of a history classic gives a unique narrative to the conflict based on the author's travels to the original sites, some of which are now unrecognizable. The Field-Book contains many illustrations by the author of places, people, and objects important to the history of the American Revolution.
Annotation:Whether you're planning on an Old Dominion road trip or just enjoy breezing through the centuries with a guidebook in hand, check this one out to discover the sometimes surprising histories of our state's counties and cities. From the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.
Annotation:Anyone interested in Virginia's earliest colonial history ought to get to know the passengers and crew of the Sea Venture. This ship was sent to relieve Jamestown's starving colonists but never made it. The survivors landed on Bermuda, known as the Devil's Isle, where their saga continued. Their story was the inspiration for Shakespeare's The Tempest.
Annotation:Serious Civil War historians should find Robert Krick's book to be a very useful reference as weather is always a factor in battle. The former park service historian has compiled official information along with anecdotal references taken from soldiers' books, diaries, and letters as well as newspapers. Includes sunrise and sunset data from a period almanac.
Annotation:Stafford County was the southernmost part of the Union occupation of Virginia for much of the Civil War and as such it drew all sorts of characters to its farmlands and creeksides. General Daniel Sickles--described by his contemporaries and historians as a scoundrel, murderer, rapscallion, rogue, and adulterer--took charge of the 2nd Brigade of Hooker's Division, Army of the Potomac. He enjoyed scouting the enemy by hot air balloon and held extravagant parties for his officers while in Stafford.
Annotation: Beautiful photographs show some of Virginia's best-known and lesser-known historic sites and gardens at their most glorious. Most are open to visitors. Some of the houses mentioned include Abram's Delight, Bacon's Castle, Gunston Hall, Kenmore, Maymont, Oatlands, Point of Honor, and Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest. Includes a bibliography and index.
Annotation:Check out the new book by Anita L. Dodd and M. Amanda Lee on Stafford County. It's part of Arcadia Publishing's Then & Now series that takes old photographs of historic structures--some of which no longer exist--and juxtaposes them with modern views of the property. The authors include helpful notes on the buildings' histories.
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These are relatively new books on local and state history, most of which can be checked out by our customers. This is not an exhaustive list and is added to once or twice a month. Books are listed in reverse order by the date they were added to the list, most recent first.