A Bag of Nails: The Ledger of George Weedon's Tavern, Fredericksburg, Virginia 1773-1791


The Rising Sun Tavern (aka Weedon's) was perhaps the most important establishment for travelers in northern Virginia prior to the Revolution. Weedon himself was an ardent patriot, and those of like mind gathered at his establishment to debate the issues of the times. It was here that Thomas Jefferson convened his friends to draft bills of religious freedom and public schools which later were enacted by the Virginia General Assembly. This Virginia statute inspired the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Weedon's account book is a window into the daily life of the tavern and its visitors. The Ledger book reproduced here is more than a mere listing of goods and services. It is a time capsule of life in Virginia during the early Revolutionary period. What people did, ate, and purchased speaks volumes about the personalities of the individuals, and any genealogist with ancestors in this area can begin to see a complete picture of life during the late colonial period. Here are recorded the men who came to discuss politics, enjoy the race season, and even take in a play performance or two as recreation.

Charles Hamrick