The New International Encyclopædia/Fredericksburg (Virginia)

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FREDERICKSBURG. A city in Spottsylvania County, Va., 60 miles north of Richmond; on the Rappahannock River at the head of tidewater, and on the Potomac, Fredericksburg and Piedmont and the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac railroads (Map: Virginia, G 3). The city lies in a valley inclosed by high hills, and has a public library, several bridges across the river, a beautiful park, and the famous Stonewall (Confederate) and National cemeteries, the latter having 15,300 graves. It is the seat of Fredericksburg College (Presbyterian) opened in 1893. A dam above the city, 900 feet long and 18 feet high, affords valuable water-power; and there are manufactures of flour, silk and woolen goods, iron, shoes, shirts, pickles, cigars, sumac, carriages, wheels, hubs, spokes, tanned leather, and excelsior. Fredericksburg is governed under a revised charter of 1871 which provides for a mayor, elected biennially, and a unicameral council. The city owns and operates its waterworks and gas and electric-light plants. Population, in 1890, 4528; in 1900, 5068. On the site of Fredericksburg, Captain John Smith fought a skirmish with the Rappahannock Indians in 1608. The town was named in 1727 in honor of the Prince of Wales, and was incorporated in 1782. It was the home of Gen. Hugh Mercer, killed in the battle of Princeton, and of the Revolutionary officers George Weedon, William Woodford, and Gustavus B. Wallace. An imposing monument has been erected in honor of Washington's mother, who died here in 1789. During the Civil War Fredericksburg changed hands several times, and was the scene of several battles. See Fredericksburg, Battle of; and Chancellorsville, Battle of.