After the Backcountry: Rural Life in the Great Valley of Virginia, 1800-1900

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Editorial Reviews

Historians look at development in the Great Valley after the frontier had burned through and pushed west. Focusing on the social, economic, and cultural processes, they explore how people secured livelihoods, interacted with each other and built or transmitted culture; and the values and mentalities that informed the conduct of such activities. The 19 essays were first presented at a March 1995 conference in Lexington, Virginia. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781572330726
  • Publisher: University of Tennessee Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2000
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 344
  • Product dimensions: 8.32 (w) x 10.36 (h) x 1.19 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: The World Wheat Made
Pt. I Space: Economic Growth in Town and Country
1 "The Staple of Our Country": Wheat in the Regional Farm Economy of the Nineteenth-Century Valley of Virginia 3
2 The Wheat Trade on the Upper Potomac, 1800-1860 21
3 The Settlement Fabric of the Shenandoah Valley, 1790-1860: Pattern, Process, and Structure 34
4 Farm to Mill to Market: Historical Archaeology of an Emerging Grain Economy in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia 48
5 "Commercial Scythians" in the Great Valley of Virginia: Yankee Peddlers' Trade Connections to Antebellum Virginia 62
Pt. II Patterns: Landscape and Material Culture
6 Status, Culture, and the Structural World in the Valley of Pennsylvania 77
7 Forging a Regional Identity: Development of Rural Vernacular Architecture in the Central Shenandoah Valley, 1790-1850 92
8 Hidden Gardens: The Town Gardens of T. J. "Stonewall" Jackson and His Lexington Contemporaries 111
9 Archaeology of Nineteenth-Century Iron Manufacturing in Southwestern Virginia: Longdale Iron Mining Complex 135
10 Beyond the Shenandoah Valley: Interaction, Image, and Identity in the Blue Ridge 145
Pt. III Relations: Religion, Race, and Society
11 Slave Hire and the Development of Slavery in Augusta County, Virginia 169
12 The Narrow Path: Antislavery, Plainness, and the Mainstream 185
13 "Sable Spectres on Missions of Evil": Free Blacks of Antebellum Rockbridge County, Virginia 194
14 Reconstruction and Redemption in Lexington, Virginia 206
15 Now You See Her, Now You Don't: Historians and Rural Women 221
Pt. IV Power: Politics and Political Culture
16 Personal Opportunities and Public Threats: Westward Expansion and the Reconceptualization of Virginia 235
17 News in the Valley: Periodical Subscribers at the New Market Post Office, 1804-1844 249
18 The Pilot and the Storm: William Massie and the Agrarian Economy of the Tye River Valley, 1830-1860 265
19 "Our Politicians Have Enslaved Us": Power and Politics in Frederick County, Virginia 274
Epilogue: Reaping What Has Been Sown: The Current State of Rural History 287
Selected Bibliography 293
Contributors 303
Index 307
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