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about rockbridge epilogues

This series consists of papers that have been presented to scholarly organizations in Lexington and the Rockbridge area — mainly the two discussion societies, the Fortnightly and Ignorance Clubs (each now in existence for more than a hundred years), and various forums at the three area colleges, Washington and Lee University, Virginia Military Institute and Southern Virginia University.

In all cases, the papers meet four criteria:

  • They examine topics of Rockbridge significance or interest (ideally, both);
  • They have passed the test of scholarship;
  • They merit wider distribution;
  • Yet they are not in print elsewhere.

The Rockbridge Epilogues series is published with the blessing of the area's two history organizations, Historic Lexington Foundation and Rockbridge Historical Society.

These articles are published here with the kind permission of the authors or heirs. There are no restrictions against quoting them with attribution. Many papers have a link at the end that will let you print them a single page at a time to allow convenient reading. The papers themselves, however, may not be further reproduced without permission.

Numbered endnotes are the author’s. Footnotes using symbols, and comments in square brackets, have been added by the editor.

This project would have been impossible without the help of the Special Collections librarians at Washington and Lee University, in particular Tom Camden and Seth McCormick-Goodhart (head and senior librarian), Byron Faidley and — especially — Lisa McCown. Originals of many of the papers reprinted here are held in the W&L Special Collections.

The editor is Bob Keefe. An informal kitchen cabinet reviews suggested topics and final papers: Dr. Beverly Tucker and Suzanne Barksdale Rice, of the Historic Lexington Foundation, and Rich Hubbard, of the Rockbridge Historical Society.

We invite you to write us at

recent epilogues
Most recent first
phi gam redux

New Cages for the Zoo: Fraternity Renaissance at W&L

by Frank Parsons

Springfield plat ‘The Little Comet’: A Children’s Christmas Play in Four Scenes
by The Rev. Thomas van Braam Barrett
Springfield plat

From Springfield to Zack: Obscure Rockbridge Communities
by D. E. Brady

Photo of Virginia Moore (detail)

Michael and Henry Miley's Pioneering Color Photography (see note below)
by Mame Warren and Henry Miley

létudiant étranger

W&L in 20th-century fiction
by William W. Pusey III

road through goshen pass

Matthew Maury's Goshen Pass and Threats of “Development”
by M. W. Paxton Jr.

hurricane camille Hurricane Camille, 1969
by D. E. Brady
jonathan daniels Jonathan Daniels's prudent rebelliousness
by Sean Dadson
presbyterian fire The Lexington Presbyterian Church fire of 2000 and reconstruction
by Frank Parsons

Dr. Ephraim McDowell, pioneer surgeon, and Jane Todd Crawford, his pioneer patient
by Patricia Irving

Chief Cornstalk and the Indian Raids at Kerr's Creek in 1759 and 1763
by Henrietta Dunlap

Vietnam-era student unrest at Washington & Lee
by William Webb Pusey

The modern-day historic preservation movement in Lexington
by M. W. Paxton

Note to the Miley article: This is a very large file, because of the relatively high quality of the color reproductions, so it will take a few extra moments to download. Apologies.