A History of Orange County, Virginia

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I have undertaken to write this book because I thought that the history of Orange was notable enough to deserve preservation. It is much to be regretted that some competent person did not do this work long ago; for in the lapse of time and the neglect of opportunity many things that ought to have been preserved can not now be narrated with confidence as history, hardly as tradition. Though much has perished, much remains. I have read with diligence the minute books of the county court from its organization in 1734 down to 1870; and can assert with complete candor that no known resource which I thought might afford information as to the past has been neglected. Name after name of places and people once locally historic has passed into oblivion and beyond the reach of the investigator. Regret is vain, and can not restore what is lost; my effort has been to save what is left, and to perpetuate it for posterity. Fortunately the county records are in excellent preservation, and the order books of the county court contain the history of the county, in the main, so far as it may now be written. I have been advised by judicious and well meaning friends to omit some of the more shocking details, such as the burning of Eve at the stake, the beheading of Peter, the cutting off. Of ears, burning in the hands, etc.

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