Friday, April 18, 2014

The City on the James: Chamber of Commerce Book, 1893.

The Internet Archive has added one of the best primary resources for late 19th century Richmond history. It is The City on the James: Chamber of Commerce Book, 1893. It runs over 300 pages and has hundreds of photos of buildings, street scenes, civic and business leaders, etc. It is a wonderful snapshot of Richmond of the early 1890s. It is especially good for Richmond architectural history and for a broad survey of its economic conditions, including many profiles of the city's business leaders (unfortunately it almost totally ignores African American life in the city). It was complied by Andrew Morrison who had worked on an earlier version called Richmond, Virginia and the New South (1889). I have seen a copy of that 1889 version at the Library of Virginia. Morrison did similar types of books during this time period for the cities of San Antonia, Denver, Minneapolis, Memphis, and New Orleans. 

Here is a screenshot of a short article about its publication from the Richmond Dispatch, April 2, 1893:

 The City on the James is also available at the Online Book Page along with many other online versions of 19th century publications on Richmond. For information and images of Richmond for this time period this site is a must. 

Here are a few images of pages from The City on the James:

-- Ray.

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