Petersburg High School - Missile Yearbook (Petersburg, VA)

 - Class of 1937

Page 12 of 114

 

Petersburg High School - Missile Yearbook (Petersburg, VA) online yearbook collection, 1937 Edition, Page 12
Page 12



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South to Little Falls on the North, he never suspected that in that very area the American Constitution would be dreamed of to begin a country that rivals England. And when Howson sold it to John Alexander for 6600 pounds of tobacco, do you suppose that astute merchant dreamed that that same land would sell tobacco to England amounting to the value of 768,000 pounds sterling? It was not until 1732 that shrewd Scotch merchants recognized the worth of this land and established there the to- bacco shipping port, Hunting Creek Ware House. Around this point grew up the little hamlet of Belhaven which was incorporated in 1748 by Thomas, Lord Fairfax, Lawrence Washington, John Carlyle and other leaders and renamed Alexandria for the original owners. Then began her days as belle of Northern Virginia when Washing- ton was her hero. Picture the lively city fired by the excitement of a ship arriving from England, laden with luxuries of manufactures and news from Old Country relatives. From miles around estates are emptied of life to bring their one produce-tobacco. Grinning negroes, ambling along in their customary manner, sometimes forget themselves so far in the rush as even to hurry a bit. If the ship carried negroes for sale, they were hustled to "The Pen," and the auctioneer began his ranting. Here, perhaps, was the vilest home of the slave-dirty, smelly, revolting block Where humanity was bought and sold. Needless to say, the bitterest opponents of this aspect of slav- ery were the southern gentlemen. To follow the frenzied buying and selling the local gentry usually staged a fox hunt with a cock-fight or a horse race on the side for those who didnot indulge in the sport handed down from English ancestors. At night the ladies held sway at Birthnight balls and at the theatre during its season. This pleasant social life was kept from excess by their devotion to their church-principally the Established Church of England. There was no cessation to the visiting between the widely scattered es- tates. Guests came without invitation for a week or a month's stay and were not considered "Will Wimblesf' It was this constant visiting which constituted the social life of the colonies, Often abused but never refused hospitality sometimes-speaking literally--ate up every profit of the plan- tation, and owners of homes on the main highway were compelled to build another house inland to escape from the colonial code of courtesy. Guests at many of these sempiternal "open houses" were men of world-wide repu- tation. John Carlyle was host to John Paul Jones, the first American ad- miral, James Rumsey, inventor of the first steamboat, Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr, rivals for the Presidency, in the exquisite setting of the "Carlyle House." And it was in the pleasant English atmosphere of this Pageeishf THE MISSILE

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