Scholars and arm-chair historians of eighteenth-century America will take great pleasure in reading this exceptionally well-researched slice of colonial history. In The Baylors of Newmarket, author Thomas Katheder has meticulously researched one of the wealthiest and most socially prominent-yet least known-families in colonial Virginia.
Drawing on mostly unpublished sources, including British and French archives and Virginia court documents, The Baylors of Newmarket is the fascinating and tragic story of Col. John Baylor III and his son John IV, including Col. Baylor's relentless pursuit of equine perfection and his son's delusional quest for the perfect Virginia mansion.
The Baylors of Newmarket places the family in the larger context of a pre-Revolutionary Anglo-Virginian elite that sought to emulate the British gentry in culture, education, books and reading, dress, furnishings, and behavior. After the Revolution, the Baylors struggled to maintain what was becoming an increasingly outmoded lifestyle. This extensively referenced history also describes in rich detail the library begun by Col. Baylor III and expanded by his son John IV within the context of a strong book culture among the pre-Revolutionary Virginia gentry that has been largely underappreciated by scholars.