This is a "Banner Lecture" at the Virginia Historical Society. It is free to members and $6 for others.
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Conceived during the Revolutionary War, built during the War of 1812, and looted during the Civil War, Virginia's executive mansion has endured fires, threats, riots, and hurricanes. Written to coincide with the mansion's bicentennial in 2013, First House: Two Centuries with Virginia's First Family by Mary Miley Theobald brings to life the private stories of the governors and their families who shaped the destiny of this unique home. The book traces triumph and tragedy through the turbulence of wars, fires, economic depressions, and renovations in a story that mirrors Virginia's progress from the nineteenth century into the twenty-first. Mary Theobald, an independent historian and author of several books, taught American history and museum studies at Virginia Commonwealth University.