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Travels through American History in the Mid-Atlantic

, 224 pages

23 maps

August 2014



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Travels through American History in the Mid-Atlantic

A Guide for All Ages

Winner of the SATW Category 119: Guidebook Gold Winner of the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation

Winner of the Society for American Travel Writers’ Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism 2016 Gold Award in the Guidebook Category

Few regions of the United States boast as many historically significant sites as the mid-Atlantic. Travels through American History in the Mid-Atlantic brings to life sixteen easily accessible historical destinations in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington, D.C., the Potomac Valley, and Virginia.

Charles W. Mitchell walked these sites, interviewed historians and rangers, and read the letters and diaries of the men and women who witnessed—and at times made—history. He reveals in vivid prose the ways in which war, terrain, weather, and illness have shaped the American narrative. Each attraction, reenactment, and interactive exhibit in the book is described through the lens of the American experience, beginning in the colonial and revolutionary eras, continuing through the War of 1812, and ending with the Civil War. Mitchell contrasts the ornate decor of Philadelphia’s Independence Hall, for example, with the passionate debates that led to the Declaration of Independence, and the tranquil beauty of today’s Harpers Ferry with the trauma its citizens endured during the Civil War, when the town six times fell to opposing forces.

Excerpts from eyewitness accounts further humanize key moments in the national story. Hand-drawn maps evoke the historical era by depicting the natural features that so often affected the course of events.

This engaging blend of history and travel will appeal to visiting tourists, area residents seeking weekend diversions, history buffs, and armchair travelers.

Charles W. Mitchell is the editor of Maryland Voices of the Civil War, also published by Johns Hopkins, winner of the Founders Award from the Museum of the Confederacy. A former travel writer for the Baltimore Sun, he and his wife, Elizabeth Church Mitchell, live in an eighteenth-century stone farmhouse in Parkton, Maryland.

"Mitchell combines a regional travel guide with direct quotations, immediate revelations, and stories that illuminate the deeper historical context of each selected site. He has sought out engaging reenactments and the best exhibits, where remarkable artifacts and excellent displays bring history alive. This is more than sightseeing."

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