Historian and Author Tom Perry's thoughts on history and anything that comes to mind.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Revised Book: Notes From The Free State Of Patrick

Notes From The Free State Of Patrick REVISED 2010 Edition relase set for February 28, 2010, at Mount Airy Museum of Regional History and on March 6, 2010, at the Bassett Historical Center Symposium.

You can purchase the book at www.amazon.com

All of Tom Perry's books will soon be available at Barnes and Noble and other outlets through Ingram distribution.

This revised edition originally published in 2008 contains articles, speeches, blogs, and stories in 241 pages with chapters on J. E. B. Stuart’s great-grandfathers who fought in the American Revolution, Reynolds Homestead, Virginia Tech “Hokie” History, two chapters on Stoneman’s 1865 Raid, United States History, North Carolina History, Virginia History, Patrick County People and History, African-Americans in the Civil War, the World War Two Plane Crash on Bull Mountain in 1944, the men who lost their lives from Patrick County in Vietnam, J. E. B. Stuart and Patrick County and Thomas Jefferson: First American Architect. The latter is Perry’s first paper written for eleventh grade English at Patrick County High School in 1978. Found by Perry’s mother in 2009, he revised it for this book. Perry includes ideas about using history and tourism to promote Patrick County along with a chapter on the Patrick County Oral History Project.

This book begins with an essay titled “Cobblestones on Crawford Avenue” that deals with Perry’s love of history that stems from many people including his maternal grandparents who lived in Augusta, Georgia, near Crawford Avenue. The book ends with a talk given at the Patrick County Courthouse in 2006 about the men and women, who called The Free State of Patrick “Home” during the War Between the States.

This book is dedicated to Perry’s friends and second set of parents Theodore C. and Bertie Hill Guynn. Perry spent many years as a youth staying with the Guynns on their farm along the Ararat River while his parents worked. Walking and working the farm at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains exposed Perry to many stories and history that still influence his writings. Included in the book is a story titled "Everything I Know I Learned From Theodore Guynn," given as a talk at Guynn's eightieth birthday party in 2007.

To learn more specifics about this book visit http://www.freestateofpatrick.com/notes

To see the table of contents and index visit http://www.freestateofpatrick.com/notestitles.pdf

J. E. B. Stuart’s biographer Emory Thomas describes Tom Perry as "a fine and generous gentleman who grew up near Laurel Hill, where Stuart grew up, has founded J. E. B. Stuart Birthplace, and attracted considerable interest in the preservation of Laurel Hill. He has started a symposium series about aspects of Stuart’s life to sustain interest in Stuart beyond Ararat, Virginia." Perry holds a BA in History from Virginia Tech in 1983.

Perry started the J. E. B. Stuart Birthplace Preservation Trust, Inc. in 1990. The non-profit organization preserved 75 acres of the Stuart property including the house site where James Ewell Brown Stuart was born on February 6, 1833. Perry wrote the original eight interpretive signs about Laurel Hill’s history along with the Virginia Civil War Trails sign and the Virginia Historical Highway Marker in 2002.

He spent many years researching traveling all over the nation to find Stuart materials including two trips across the Mississippi River to visit nearly every place "Jeb" Stuart served in the United States Army (1854-1861). He continues his work to preserve Stuart’s Birthplace producing the Laurel Hill Teacher’s Guide for educators and the Laurel Hill Reference Guide for groups and the organization to share his lifetime of research on the only preserved site in the nation relating to the birthplace and boyhood home of James Ewell Brown Stuart.

Tom can be seen on Virginia Public Television’s Forgotten Battlefields: The Civil War in Southwest Virginia with his mentor noted Civil War Historian Dr. James I. Robertson, Jr. Perry has begun a collection of papers relating to Stuart and Patrick County history in the Special Collections Department of the Carol M. Newman Library at Virginia Tech under the auspices of the Virginia Center For Civil War Studies. He is the author of ten books including Ascent to Glory, The Genealogy of J. E. B. Stuart, The Free State of Patrick: Patrick County Virginia in the Civil War, and Images of America: Patrick County Virginia and Notes From The Free State Of Patrick from which the program on February 28 will be based.

In 2004, Perry began the Free State Of Patrick Internet History Group, which has become the largest historical organization in the area with over 500 members. It covers Patrick County Virginia and regional history. Tom produces a monthly email newsletter about regional history entitled Notes From The Free State of Patrick that goes from his website www.freestateofpatrick.com.

In 2009, Perry used his book Images of America Henry County Virginia to raise over $25,000 for the Bassett Historical Center, “The Best Little Library in Virginia,” and as editor of the Henry County Heritage Book raised another $30,000 of the $800,000 raised to expand the regional history library. He will donate proceeds from the sale of all his books to the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History on the day of the program “Makers of History:” African-Americans in the Civil War.

The program will cover many aspects of several people from Frederick Douglas, the slave who acquired his freedom and became the first in a long line of African-American leaders. Along with Perry’s personal research on the slaves at the Laurel Hill Farm, the birthplace of J. E. B. Stuart just outside Mount Airy, North Carolina, in Ararat, Virginia to Booker T. Washington and Kittie Reynolds of the Reynolds Homestead, Perry tells the story of many fascinating people who were born to slavery and survived to experience the promise of freedom the war brought. In modern times Perry discusses John Hope Franklin and Martin Luther King, Jr. and the many aspects and the relationships these people had with the War Between the States. From life during the war for the slaves and “free people of color” to the Civil Rights Movement of the twentieth century, Perry explores how the war is still with us in 2009.

Tom Perry will present Frank Stringfellow: Martinsville Minister, Confederate Spy at the Bassett Historical Center Symposium, March 6, 2010, 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Site is the Old John D. Bassett High School, now EMI in Bassett, Virginia.

Visit the website www.bassetthistoricalcenter.com for more information.

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