Fredericksburg, Virginia 1608-1908

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Fredericksburg, Virginia 1608-1908  (1908) 
Author:Sylvanius Jackson Quinn
William Maury Morris II donated ascii text for this book.




THE HISTORY


OF



FREDERICKSBURG



VIRGINIA




Sylvanius Jackson Quinn.




Prepared and printed by authority of the
Common Council Thereof, under the
direction of its Committee on Publication,
consisting of the following Councilmen:
H. B. LANE, WM. E. BRADLEY and
S. W. SOMERVILLE


BY Sylvanius Jackson Quinn


1908



The Hermitage Press Inc.

Richmond, Virginia.

Copyright 1908.

On all original matter herein,


H. B. LANS,

Chairman of History Committee, for the City of Fredericksburg, Va.




DEDICATION


TO THE MEMORY OF THOSE WHO BRAVED THE DANGERS OF LAND AND WATER IN 1606, AND DISCOVERED THE SPOT UPON WHICH THE CITY OF FREDERICKSBURG, VIRGINIA, NOW STANDS, AND TO THOSE WHO WROUGHT SO HEROICALLY AND SUCCESSFULLY THE SETTLEMENT AND PROSPERITY OF THE SAID CITY TO THE PRESENT TIME, 1908, A PERIOD OF THREE HUNDRED YEARS, THESE PAGES ARE RESPECTFULLY AND AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED BY THE PRESENT COMMON COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF FREDERICKSBURG



PREFACE


To Messrs. H. B. Lane, Wm. E. Bradley and Prof. S. W. Somerville, Committee on History of the Common Council:

Gentlemen—When I was requested by your predecessors to write a history of Fredericksburg, I regarded it as quite an honor, and in the discharge of the duty I have found great pleasure. Not that the material needed was ready at hand and the task was easy, but because I found so many of the best of our citizens eager to assist in getting the material together, that had been laid away for ages, and placing it at my disposal. Moreover, their kind words very much encouraged me, and I wish I could here record their names, but as it might not be proper, I take much pleasure in extending to them my grateful thanks.

The records concerning the town reach back only to the close of the Revolutionary war. If Major Lawrence Smith, who constructed the fort and governed the settlers by military law or "as a county court might do," ever kept any records of his acts, we have been unable to find them, and the same is true of the Trustees who had the managment of the town from the time it was "laid out by law," until it was chartered by the Legislature of Virginia. Therefore, much that is found in the following pages in reference to "the olden time," came from families who had preserved it in various forms for many generations.

In presenting this history it is not claimed that all is said about Fredericksburg that could have been said or that incidents have not been related as others have heard them, but it is believed that all important events have been referred to and incidents given as they have been related to us by those well informed and who were regarded as authority on such matters. Nor is there any claim made for originality. The book is intended to be a history of Fredericksburg, and "history is a narration of facts and events which may be given chronologically or topically," therefore we have written in the main what others have spoken and have disregarded chronology and even the arrangement of subjects. But it is believed that the arrangement herein is probably best adapted to impress the reader with the splendid history of the town and the magnificent achievements of her sons and those men of fame who sprang from her immediate vicinity.

It is believed this book will be welcomed by all citizens and their friends, whether those friends be former residents or descendants of such, or those veteran soldiers on either side of the late Civil Contest who performed such gallant deeds upon our hills and within our valleys. No soldier of either army—the Army of the Potomac or the Army of Northern Virginia can ever forget Fredericksburg. It was in the four great battles fought in and around Fredericksburg that he won imperishable glory as an American soldier, that name which to-day is written on the highest pinnacle of military fame.

No living citizen, or the descendant of such noble sires, wheresoever dispersed, can ever forget the town or lineage from which he sprang. None such can ever fail to appreciate those citizens, who, in the most trying times, and under the most adverse circumstances, were conspicuous for their love' and loyalty, suffering and sacrifice, daring and doing for home and country. Let their deeds and sacrifices be preserved for imitation of future generations, which is one of the objects of this book.


Very respectfully,
S. J. Quinn.

CHAPTERS



CHAPTER I.

Captain John Smith Explores the Rappahannock River — The Flight of Pocahontas — Major Lawrence Smith's Fort — Governor Spotswood's Miners at Germanna.


CHAPTER II.

The Knights of the Golden Horse Shoe — Governor Spotswood's Expedition over the Blue Ridge Mountains.


CHAPTER III.

Fredericksburg Incorporated by the House of Burgesses — Col. Byrd Walks about Town — A Church Building Erected — Rev. Patrick Henry Rector — Augustine Washington a Town Trustee — Stock Fairs Inaugurated — Limits of the Town Extended.


CHAPTER IV.

Encouraging Home Industries — Further Extension of the Town — Tobacco Inspectors Appointed — Modes of Punishing Criminals — Prosperity — Military Ardor — Under the United States Government — A New Order of Things


CHAPTER V.
Lease of the Market-House Lots — The First Serious Fire — Fredericksburg an Important Center — An Act Concerning Elections — Half of the Town Destroyed by Fire — Fredericksburg an Important Postal Point — How the Mails were Carried — A Congressional Investigation — Amendatory Acts of 1821 — The Great Fire of 1822 — TheTrade of the Town — Contagious Diseases — The Town in 1841 — Acts of

Extension, 1851, 1852, 1858, 1861


CHAPTER VI.

The War Clouds Gather — Fredericksburg in the Southern Confederacy — Troops Raised and Equipped — Town Surrendered to Federal Authorities — Citizens Arrested and Held as Hostages — Thrilling Evacuating Scenes — Citizens' Flee from their Homes — Bombardment of the Town


CHAPTER VII.

The Great Battle — The Town Sacked by Soldiers — The Federals Recross the River — A Great Revival of Religion — The Battle of Chancellorsville — Gen. Sedgewick Captures the Town — The Wilderness Campaign — Many Noncombatant Citizens Arrested and Imprisoned — A Statement by the Council — The Citizens and Federal Soldiers Released


CHAPTER VIII.

The Armies Transferred to Richmond and Petersburg — Gen. Lee Surrenders his Army — Citizens Return Home — Action of the City Council — Fredericksburg Again Under the Old Flag — The Assassination of President Lincoln Denounced — Reconstruction Commenced — An Election Set Aside by the Military — All Civil Offices Set Aside and Strangers Appointed — The Financial Condition of the Town — The Town Again in the Hands of its Citizens — Splendid Financial Showing.


CHAPTER IX.

The Courts of Fredericksburg —The Freedman's Bureau — Court Orders and Incidents — First Night Watch Appointed — Ministers Qualify to Perform Marriage Ceremony — First Notary Public — Fixing the Value of Bank Notes — Prison Bounds for Debtors — Church Buildings.


CHAPTER X.

Public Buildings — Court House — The Jail — Town Hall — Fire Department — School Buildings — Wallace Library — Normal School —Government Building.


CHAPTER XI.

Ancient and Historical Buildings — Mary Washington Monument — General Mercer's Statute — Mary Washington's Will.


CHAPTER XII.

Hotels of the Town, old and new — Agricultural Fairs and Toll Bridges — Care of the Dependent Poor — City Water Works — City Gas Works — Electric Light — Telephone Company — Fire Department.


CHAPTER XIII.

Volunteer Militia — The Confederate Cemetery — The National Cemetery — The Confederate Veterans — The Sons of Confederate Veterans — The Schools, Private and Public.


CHAPTER XIV.

The Churches of Fredericksburg.


CHAPTER XV.

Charitable and Benevolent Societies — Mary Washington Hospital — Newspapers and Periodicals — Political Excitement — Strong Resolutions Against the Administration — An Address Approving the President's Foreign Policy — The Names of Those who Signed the Address.


CHAPTER XVI.

Distinguished Men Buried in Fredericksburg — A Remarkable Grave Stone — Three Heroic Fredericksburg citizens, Wellford, Herndon, Willis — The Old Liberty Bell Passes Through Town — Great Demonstration in its Honor — What a Chinaman Thought of it.


CHAPTER XVII.

Visits of Heroes — Gala Days — The Army of the Society of the Potomac Enters the Town.


CHAPTER XVIII.

The Society of the Army of the Potomac Continued — Welcome Address — Laying a Corner Stone.


CHAPTER XIX.

Doctor Walker's Expedition — Bacon's Rebellion, so-called — The Fredericksburg Declaration — The Great Orator — Resolutions of Separation — The Virginia Bill of Rights.


CHAPTER XX.

Declaration of Separation — The Declaration of Independence — Washington Commander-in-Chief of the Armies — John Paul Jones Raises the First Flag — First to Throw the Stars and Stripes to the Breeze — Fredericksburg Furnishes the Head of the Army and Navy — The Constitution of the United States.


CHAPTER XXI.

The First Proclamation for Public Thanksgiving — Pennsylvania Whiskey Rebellion — John Marshall and the Supreme Court — Religious Liberty — The Monroe Doctrine — Seven Presidents — Clarke Saves the Great Northwest — The Vast Western Territory Explored — The Louisiana Purchase — The Florida Purchase — Texas Acquired — The War with Mexico and its Rich Results — The Oceans Sounded, Measured and Mapped — The Ladies' Memorial Association — The Mary Washington Monument — General Hugh Mercer's Statue.


CHAPTER XXII.

Fredericksburg at Present — The Health of the City — its Financial Solidity — Its Commercial Prosperity — Its Lines of Transportation — Its Water Power — Its Official Calendar — Chronological List of Mayors.