Alexandria in the Civil War: U.S. Military Railroad roundhouse and Union soldiers’ barracks south of Duke Street. (Detail from “SOLDIERS REST, ALEXANDRIA, VA.” Lithographic print by Charles Magnus, 1864.)
JOHNNYBULL AND THE ALEXANDRIANS. (Political cartoon, William Charles, 1814. Courtesy, The Lyceum: Alexandria’s History Museum.) Alexandrians are shown cowering and pleading with Johnny Bull, a symbol for England.
Alexandria, founded in 1749, has a fascinating history, and many of its historic buildings are still preserved today. During its long history, Alexandria was a tobacco trading post, one of the ten busiest ports in America, a part of the District of Columbia, home to both the largest slave-trading firm in the country and a large free-black community, a Civil War supply center for Union troops, and a street-car suburb for Federal workers. Alexandria was also the hometown of George Washington, Robert E. Lee, Jim Morrison and Mama Cass. Learn more about Alexandria history from an Interactive Timeline or A Brief History of Alexandria, or from the more in-depth topics below.
Alexandria is commemorating two important anniversaries in the history of our country and our city: the Civil War Sesquicentennial (2011-2015), and the War of 1812 Bicentennial (2012-2015).
Historic Alexandria provides a list of resources for Conducting Research on your property, genealogy, or local history. The Alexandria Library, Local History/Special Collections.division is the best place to start your research. For certain records, the knowledgeable research librarians may refer you to the Archives and Records Center, the Clerk of the Circuit Court, the Library of Congress, the National Archives, or to one of the Historic Alexandria Museums.
C-Span's American History TV. The series of seven videos on Alexandria history originally aired March 16-18, 2013, exploring Alexandria's Archaeology Museum, the Freedmen's Cemetery, Lee-Fendall House, Fort Ward and Alexandria's role in the Civil War, as well as the importance of the city to the first president, George Washington.
Discovering the Decades: Discovering the Decades places Alexandria’s history in the context of U.S. history. Originally published in the Alexandria Archaeology Volunteer News, 1999.
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Historic Alexandria AdministrationLloyd House220 North Washington StreetAlexandria, VA 22314703.746.4554Fax: 703.838.6451Email
Office HoursMonday - Friday8 a.m. to 5 p.m.