Very few houses have seen as much American History as Chatham Manor, high on the east bank of the Rappahannock River overlooking Fredericksburg, Virginia.
|Author's photo of the grounds, with the Manor in|
The house derives its name from William Pitt, the Earl of Chatham.
More than 100 enslaved persons also called Chatham home, providing much of the labor that kept the plantation prosperous. In 1805, several slaves staged a rebellion, but their insurrection was quickly quelled and severely punished. The enslaved people would have to wait another 60 years before emancipation would be carried out.
|Author's photo. One of the many outbuildings or|
'dependencies' found at Chatham.
The house served as a hospital for Civil War soldiers during and after the battle of Fredericksburg. Trees had been cut down, the gardens and buildings nearly destroyed, and the lawn turned into a graveyard. The house had changed hands since Fitzhugh built it, and the owners faced a daunting task to bring the house back to habitability. The Lacy family abandoned the house, and it wasn't until the 1920s that Chatham was bought by the Devores who restored it to its former glory.
|A chair on display at Chatham Manor.|
|The view through one of Chatham's front windows.|
The buildings in the distance are across the
Rappahannock River in the city of
|A Federal style couch on display at Chatham.|
|National Archives photo of Chatham Manor, December 1862. The porches|
and additions were not original to the house, added later.
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