This bibliography lists some of the major works on Alexandria history, in general and in particular areas, to provide someone interested in this history an idea of where to start to learn about Alexandria.  


Many other books, articles, newspapers, magazines, photographs, dissertations, and manuscripts relating to the history of Alexandria are available at Special Collections Branch located in the Barrett Library at 717 Queen Street.  Special Collections also has a number of books on the history of Virginia counties and on Virginia generally.  If you visit there, you will find that the librarians are extremely knowledgeable and helpful.


In addition, available on this website are articles in the Alexandria Historical Society’s publication the Alexandria Chronicle and articles in other Alexandria historical periodicals.  Click on the “Publications” item at the top of the home page.


General Alexandria History and Photographs

Combs, George K., Leslie Anderson, and Julia M. Downie. Images of America: Alexandria. Charleston: Arcadia Publishing, 2012.

Miller, T. Michael, ed. Pen Portraits of Alexandria, Virginia, 1739-1900. Bowie, MD: Heritage Books, Inc., 1987.

Patton, Julie Ballin and Rita Williams Holtz. Historic Photos of Alexandria. Nashville: Turner Publishing Company, 2008.

Pulliam, Ted. Historic Alexandria: An Illustrated History. San Antonio: Historical Publishing Network, 2011.

Seale, William. A Guide to Historic Alexandria. Alexandria: The City of Alexandria 250th Anniversary Committee, 2000.

Smith, William Francis and T. Michael Miller. A Seaport Saga: Portrait of Old Alexandria, Virginia. 3rd ed. Virginia Beach: The Downing Company Publishers, 2001.

Somerville, Mollie. Washington Walked Here: Alexandria on the Potomac, One of American’s First “New” Towns. Washington, DC: Acropolis Books, 1970.



Hambleton, Elizabeth and Marian Van Landingham, eds. Alexandria: A Composite History. Alexandria: The Alexandria Bicentennial Commission, 1975.

Munson, James.  Col. John Carlyle, Gent.: A True and Just Account of the Man and His House. Alexandria: Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, 1986.

Preisser, Thomas.  “Eighteenth Century Alexandria before the Revolution, 1740-1776.”  Ph.D diss., College of William and Mary, 1977.


Pre-Civil War

Paul Finkleman and Donald R. Kennon, eds. In the Shadows of Freedom: The Politics of Slavery in the National Capital. Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press, 2011.

Hurst, Harold W. Alexandria on the Potomac: The Portrait of an Antebellum Community. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, Inc., 1991.

Madison, Robert L. Walking with Washington: Walking Tours of Alexandria, Virginia. Baltimore: Gateway Press, Inc., 2005.

Moore, Gay Montague. Seaport in Virginia: George Washington’s Alexandria. Richmond: Garrett and Massie, Incorporated, 1949.

Powell, Mary G. The History of Old Alexandria, Virginia From July 13, 1749 to May 24, 1861. Richmond: The William Byrd Press, Inc., 1928.


Civil War

Barber, James G. Alexandria in the Civil War. Lynchburg, VA: H.E. Howard, Inc., 1988.

Hakenson, Donald C. This Forgotten Land, Volume II: Biographical Sketches of Confederate Veterans Buried in Alexandria.  Alexandria: D.C. Hakenson, 2010.

Harvey, Jeremy J. Occupied City: Portrait of Civil War Alexandria, Virginia. Alexandria: Alexandria Convention & Visitors Association, 2003.

Hurd, William B. Alexandria, Virginia, 1861-1865. Alexandria: Fort Ward Museum, 1970, 3rd ed., 1980.

Kundahl, George G. Alexandria Goes to War: Beyond Robert E. Lee. Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press, 2004.

Mills, Charles A. and Andrew L. Mills. Alexandria, 1861-1865. Charleston: Arcadia Publishing, 2008.


Nineteenth Century

Macoll, John D. and George J. Stansfield, eds. Alexandria: A Towne in Transition, 1800-1900. Alexandria: Alexandria Bicentennial Commission and Alexandria Historical Society, 1977.

Pope, Michael Lee. Hidden History of Alexandria, D.C. Charleston,: The History Press, 2011.

Winters, Barb. Letters to Virginia: Correspondence from Three Generations of Alexandrians before during and after the Civil War.  Morley, MO: Acclaim Press, 2010.

Alexander Family

Kaye, Ruth Lincoln. First Two Hundred Years of the Alexander Family of Virginia. Published by the author, 1991.

Pippenger, Wesley E. John Alexander: A Northern Neck Proprietor, His Family, Friends and Kin. Baltimore: Gateway Press, Inc., 1990.


African American

A Remarkable and Courageous Journey: A Guide to Alexandria’s African American History.  Alexandria: Alexandria Convention & Visitors Association, undated.

Bah, Char McCargo, Audrey P. Davis, Gwendolyn C. Brown-Henderson, James E. Henson, Jr., and Christa R. Watters. African Americans of Alexandria, Virginia: Beacons of Light in the Twentieth Century. Charleston: The History Press, 2013.

Howard, Mark.  “An Historical Study of the Desegregation of the Alexandria, Virginia, City Public Schools, 1954-1973.” Ph.D. diss., The George Washington University, 1976.

McCord, T. B., Jr. Across the Fence, But a World Apart: The Coleman Site, 1796-1907. Alexandria: Alexandria Archaeology, 1985.

Prichett, Dylan, compiler. A Look at the African American Community through Alexandria’s Eyes: 1780-1810. Alexandria: Preserving Alexandria’s Cultural Traditions Project, 1993.



Cressey, Pamela J. and Margaret J. Anderson. Digging for the Past: Alexandria, Virginia. New York: Oxford University Press, Inc., 2006.


Architecture and Historic Preservation

Cox, Ethelyn. Historic Alexandria Virginia Street by Street: A Survey of Existing Early Buildings. Alexandria: Historic Alexandria Foundation, 1976.

Davis, Deering, Stephen P. Dorsey, and Ralph Cole Hall. Alexandria Houses, 1750-1830New York: Bonanza Books, 1946.

McCloskey, Patricia Ellen. “Urban Renewal and Historic Preservation: A Case Study of Alexandria, Virginia, 1945-1980.” Master’s thesis, The George Washington University, 1999.

Morrill, Penny C. and John C. Roach. Old Town Alexandra Architecture, 1750-1900. Arlington, VA: no publisher, 1979.

Decorative Arts

Fitzgerald, Oscar. The Green Family of Cabinetmakers: An Alexandria Institution, 1817-1887.  Alexandria: The Alexandria Association, 1986.

Hawes, Elaine. Charles Koones and the Alexandria Furniture Trade, 1820-1860. Alexandria: Alexandria Historical Society, 1991.

Hollan, Catherine B. In the Neatest Most Fashionable Manner: Three Centuries of Alexandria Silver. Alexandria: The Lyceum, 1994.

Minter-Dowd, Christine. Made in Alexandria, 1790-1860: An Exhibit of Decorative Arts. Alexandria: Museum of Alexandria Arts and Crafts, 1979.

Our Town, 1749-1865: Likeness of This Place & Its People Taken from Life by Artists Known and Unknown. Alexandria: Alexandria Association, 1956.

Wilder, Eddie L. Alexandria Virginia Pottery, 1792-1876. Marceline, MO: Walsworth Publishing Company, 2007.


American Indians

Potter, Stephen R. Commoners, Tribute, and Chiefs: The Development of Algonquian Culture in the Potomac Valley. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1993.

Rice, James D. Nature and History in the Potomac Country: From Hunter-Gatherers to the Age of Jefferson. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009.



Shomette, Donald G. Maritime Alexandria: The Rise and Fall of an American Entrepôt. Westminster, MD: Heritage Books, 2005.



Coomler, Paula M.  “The Impact of the Quaker Community upon the Economic Development of Alexandria, Virginia, 18th through mid-19th Centuries.” Submitted as independent research, undated.

Crothers, A. Glenn. Quakers Living in the Lion’s Mouth: The Society of Friends in Northern Virginia, 1730-1865. Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 2012.

Winston, Lewis E., Jr.  “Benjamin Hallowell: Educational Leader of Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, 1799-1877.” Ph.D. diss., Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1998.