Historic Fredericksburg: The Story of an Old Town

Judge John Goolrick was a lifetime resident of Fredericksburg, Virginia; a town over whose streets “hangs the haze of history.” He entered the War Between the States as a messenger, and, when he was old enough, he enlisted on the Confederate side in the Fredericksburg Artillery. He studied law after the war and spent many years as Judge of the Corporation Court. This history goes back as far as 1526, in which year six hundred Spaniards came up the James River from Haiti and founded the town of Miguel (near where Jamestown afterwards was established), based on which the probability is suggested that white men first reached the location of Fredericksburg in 1571, when Spanish missionaries erected there the first Christian shrine in America. Captain John Smith reached the spot in 1608, according to the diary of a member of his party. It is almost certain that the town was settled in 1621, but this cannot be definitely proven. The town takes as its birthdate 1671, in which year the site was legally recognized by a grant from the Colonial Governor to the founders of community life at the spot now occupied by Fredericksburg. From there the book follows the history of the “home town” of George Washington through the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and into the 20th century. Readers will learn that when Lord Dunmore seized the powder at Williamsburg in 1775, the first troops organized in Virginia to fight against the authority of the king started from Fredericksburg, and how in 1777 a committee including Thomas Jefferson met at the Rising Sun tavern in Fredericksburg and inaugurated and formulated bills of great and far-reaching import, which became laws of Virginia and subsequently of the other States of the Confederation. Illustrations of historic locations, plus a new every-name index, add appeal.


John T. Goolrick


(1922, 1997), 2012, 5½x8½, paper, index, 252 pp.

ISBN: 9780788407611