Patrick Henry

It has been called one of the most consequential debates in American history. The Revolution's greatest orator fought to stop ratification of the Constitution because of his worries about powers proposed for the Federal government

Under the Articles of Confederation, these United States were barely united. Unable to agree on either foreign or domestic policy, they sank into economic depression. In May 1787, delegates from twelve states (Rhode Island sent none) arrived in Philadelphia to define a new federal government. Read more >>

Between its grim beginning on a Virginia plantation and its surprising end at a great New York estate, the career of Nancy Randolph involved many of the famous figures of the post-Revolutionary era. The lovers, the scorned ex-suitor, the cheated wife, all four were cousins in a great southern dynasty. This tale of hate and “honor” is recounted by a descendant of Edmund Randolph, the first Attorney General of the United States

His feat was more daring than Paul Revere’s, but Virginia’s hero had, alas, no Longfellow

If you mean to be a historical figure, it is a good idea to get in touch with a leading literary figure—a Longfellow, a Homer, a Virgil. Paul Revere, Odysseus, Aeneas—they all took this precaution. Poor Captain Jack Jouett didn’t. Read more >>

A noted newspaperman writes of his birthplace, a community in which time stood still—and then started backwards

My home town is probably the most regressive little city in the United States. When I left it thirty-five years ago it was as typically twentieth century as any post-war Gopher Prairie on the map. Some new store fronts—the first in my lifetime—had sprung up on the main street. Read more >>