He was a high-minded public servant and a finished scholar, indulging a taste for science and a love for letters, and was considered one of the most notable of the pre-Revolutionary statesmen of the Colony, and was looked up to by the younger generation as a Nestor among his compatriots.


Carter’s Grove, built from 1750 to 1755, is one of colonial America’s most impressive examples of Georgian architecture, noted for its exquisite brickwork and finely crafted, fully-paneled interior. The house was built for Carter Burwell, grandson of Robert “King” Carter, the wealthiest and most politically influential man in mid-18th-century Virginia, perhaps in all the colonies. Craftsmen responsible for the construction of the house include David Minitree, a bricklayer; James Wheatley, a house carpenter; and Richard Baylis, an English joiner. The interiors are especially rich, and the segmental arch framing the walnut stair is one of many handsome features.

Landon Carter’s uneasy kingdom : revolution and rebellion on a Virginia plantation    Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2004   Rhys Isaac Plantation life Virginia History 18th century Hardcover. xxii, 423 p. : ill., map ; 25 cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

Landon Carter, a Virginia planter patriarch, left behind one of the most revealing of all American diaries. In this astonishingly rich biography, Rhys Isaac mines this remarkable document – and many other sources – to reconstruct Carter’s interior world as it plunged into revolution. The aging patriarch, though a fierce supporter of American liberty, was deeply troubled by the rebellion and its threat to established order.

His diary, originally a record of plantation business, began to fill with angry stories of revolt in his own little kingdom. Carter writes at white heat, his words sputtering from his pen as he documents the terrible rupture that the Revolution meant to him. Indeed, Carter felt in his heart he was chronicling a world in decline, the passing of the order that his revered father had bequeathed to him.

Not only had Landon’s king betrayed his subjects, but Landon’s own household betrayed him: his son showed insolent defiance, his daughter Judith eloped with a forbidden suitor, all of his slaves conspired constantly, and eight of them made an armed exodus to freedom. The seismic upheaval he helped to start had crumbled the foundations of Carter’s own home.

Rhys Isaac here unfolds not just the life, but the mental world of our countrymen in a long-distant time. Moreover, in this presentation of Landon Carter’s passionate narratives, the diarist becomes an arresting new character in the world’s literature, a figure of Shakespearean proportions, the Lear of his own tragic kingdom. This long-awaited work will be seen both as a major contribution to Revolution history and a triumph of the art of biography.

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