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

Saturday, February 6, 2010

J. E. B. Stuart's Birthplace: History, Guide and Genealogy

Over twenty years ago Historian Tom Perry had the idea to save the site of the birthplace of J. E. B. Stuart in the community he grew up in. After four years of effort the non-profit J. E. B. Stuart Birthplace Preservation Trust purchased 70 acres for $60,000. An additional five acres was added bringing the total to 75 acres of the 1,500 acres once owned by the Stuarts.

This newly revised book combines three of Perry’s previously published works on the Stuart and the Birthplace into one book J. E. B. Stuart’s Birthplace: History, Guide, and Genealogy. In 302 pages Perry tells the history of the Stuart Family upon their arrival in the North America up through J. E. B. Stuart III. The book also tells the history of the property from pre-historic times and the Native-American evidence discovered via archaeology on the property. The book tells about the local people who lived on and near the site that has history including the American Revolution with William Letcher, who lost his life on the property, killed by pro-British Tories in 1780, and was J. E. B. Stuart’s great-grandfather. The antebellum history of the property, which with archaeology got the site placed on the Virginia and National Registers of Historic Places.

The life and career of James Ewell Brown Stuart is covered in three chapters followed by a chapter on his wife, Flora Cooke Stuart and her children and their descendants. This is the only published material on the life of Mrs. Stuart. Perry includes chapters on life at the Laurel Hill Farm before and after the arrival of the Stuarts and the final chapter in the History section details the efforts to preserve the site beginning in 1988.

The next section of the book includes driving tours from Mount Airy, North Carolina, Meadows of Dan, and Stuart, Virginia, in Patrick County. A walking tour ends the second section of the book.

The final section gives a summary of the genealogy of J. E. B. Stuart meant to give interested parties a starting point to connect their family trees to the Stuarts. It is not intended as a complete and definitive genealogy, but a reference to start a search.

The book indexed with a full bibliography gives the reader sources to the twenty years of research Perry continues to work. This book has new information from archaeology recently conducted by Radford University to new material supplied recently to Jeffery Wert’s new biography of the J. E. B. Stuart, Cavalryman of the Lost Cause.

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