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Books & Maps

The Prince William County Historical Commission distributes and produces a number of publications related to local history as listed below. Click here for the Order Form.


BEVERLEY (CHAPMAN'S) MILL, THOROUGHFARE GAP, VIRGINIA: A HISTORY AND PRESERVATION PLAN by Frances Lillian Jones.  A comprehensive history of Chapman's/Beverley Mill.

THE CIVIL WAR IN PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY with text by Jan Townsend, edited and expanded by James Burgess.  Photographs and text describing Civil War sites in Prince William County.  Please note this publication is only available in digital format. 

THE CURTIS COLLECTION A PERSONAL VIEW OF PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY HISTORY by Donald E. Curtis. A collection of articles on local history by a noted local historian.


AFRICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE MAP by Eugene Scheel. A cartographic inventory of African American life and historic sites in Prince William County. 


THE CONFEDERATE BLOCKADE OF WASHINGTON, D.C., 1861-1862 by Mary Alice Wills. This work examines the Confederate land batteries along the Potomac River that cut off Washington, D.C. from commerce by water during the Civil War's first year. As a result of the blockade principally in Prince William County, Washington relied on just one single branch of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad for all its needs. As a result, Washington's population experienced severe shortages during the winter of 1861-1862.  Anxious to break the blockade, President Lincoln ordered the army and navy to work together to reopen the Potomac.

FORTUNATE SON: Thomas Mason of Woodbridge by Steven B. Shwartzman. A biography of Thomas Mason, the son of George Mason of Gunston Hall, who inherited the Mason plantation lands in Prince William County and built the first wooden bridge across the Occoquan River linking Fairfax County with Prince William.  Thomas Mason became one of Prince William County's leading citizens before his death in 1800.

NEABSCO AND OCCOQUAN:  THE TAYLOE FAMILY IRON PLANTATIONS, 1730-1830 by Laura Croghan Kamoie .  This work is based on a dissertation by Laura Croghan Kamoie about the Tayloe Family and their overall business enterprises throughout the middle colonies and Prince William County in particular. It focuses on a century of iron production at Neabsco and Occoquan and illustrates how entrepreneurship and a broadly skilled slave-labor force combined to create economic diversification well before the American Revolution in Prince William County.

PRISON-LIFE IN THE TOBACCO WAREHOUSE AT RICHMOND by Lieut. William C. Harris. An exciting first hand diary of a union officer’s experience in a Civil War battle that occurred in Northern Virginia and his subsequent experience in a Confederate prison. This is a reprint of a first-hand account originally published in 1862 by Union Army Lieut. William C. Harris in which he tells the story of his capture at the Battle of Ball's Bluff along the Potomac River in October 1861 and his imprisonment in Richmond to the time of his parole in 1862. 

A VIRGINIA SCENE OR LIFE IN OLD PRINCE WILLIAM by Alice Maude Ewell. This is a memoir of the Civil War childhood, family life, people, and events experienced by Alice Maude Ewell (1860-1946), a local author who was a contributor to such national magazines as Atlantic Monthly, Godey's Lady's Book, Peterson's Magazine, and St. Nicholas, a magazine for children.  "Miss Maude," as she was known locally, lived her entire life on her family's farm located at the foot of Bull Run Mountain near the present day intersection of Route 15 and Loudoun Drive. This is a great work to understand social conditions faced by those living in the northwestern part of Prince William County after the Civil War.

YESTERDAY’S SCHOOLS by Lucy Phinney. This is an authoritative history of the public schools in Prince William County.  It provides detailed information about all the now bygone schools in the county as well as relates how these public schools served an important social and educational role for the citizens of Prince William County.



ALONG THE RF&P RAILROAD IN PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY by William E. Griffin, Jr.  A description of the development and impact of the RF&P railroad through Prince William County and Quantico.

BEVERLEY (CHAPMAN'S) MILL, THOROUGHFARE GAP, VIRGINIA:  A HISTORY AND PRESERVATION PLAN by Frances Lillian Jones.  Originally produced as a thesis for George Washington University in 1981, this comprehensive history of Chapman's/Beverley Mill was published in 2006 after the mill was burned by arsonists in 1998.  This work describes how the history of this mill is intertwined with the history of the entire region.

THE CURTIS COLLECTION A PERSONAL VIEW OF PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY HISTORY by Donald E. Curtis. The Curtis Collection contains the series of 57 articles written for the Potomac News by Donald E. Curtis during the period June 1977 to May 1982.  These articles provide insight and valuable history lessons which focus on Prince William County. 

HISTORIC DUMFRIES VIRGINIA  - Chartered 11 May 1749 by Lee C. Lansing, Jr. This is a short, easy to read history of Dumfries, Virginia, the first chartered town in Virginia.  Longtime Dumfries historian Lee Lansing Jr. documents the history of Dumfries while adding many of his own original sketches to better understand the importance of this colonial port town along the Potomac River.

A HISTORY OF PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY by George Brown.  Originally published in 1994, this excellent history includes an addendum with corrections, clarifications and some expanded information. Some of the revisions, especially in the chapter covering the Civil War, result from new research.  Chapters include: The Prehistoric Era; Indians of Prince William; The Collision of Cultures; The Colonial Era; Colonial Prince William County; The Revolutionary War; Antebellum Prince William; The Civil War; The Late 19th Century; and The 20th Century.

HOME PLACE - A series of articles published in the Potomac News during 1986, describing the history and contemporary life of more than thirty communities in Prince William County.  This book provides an historical insight into life in Prince William County into the 1980s.

MEMOIRS OF THE WAR BETWEEN THE STATES by Ethel Maddox Byrd and Zelda Haas Cassey. This work is a collection of letters, poems, tributes, and observations about the Civil War. It was written in 1961 in commemoration of the centennial of America's greatest conflict.

PRINCE WILLIAM: A PAST TO PRESERVE - Well illustrated with over 250 photographs and maps, this important work identifies and describes hundreds of historic structures and sites throughout Prince William County. 

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY HISTORICAL MARKER GUIDE by the Prince William County Historical Commission.  This newly republished work is intended to help travelers locate the numerous roadside historical markers throughout the county and promote a greater appreciation for Prince William County's rich heritage.  It is complete with easy to read maps and the text for each marker.

Click the link for the Order Form.