1811 Richmond Theater Fire, 101

Don’t know much about the Richmond Theater Fire? You could always buy my book. Just a suggestion. Or if you can’t wait until February, check out my helpful selected bibliography on this website. A timeline about the fire is also available on site. Several of the books listed are linked to google books or in Library of Congress digitized editions, so you can start reading now, for free!

After one account of the fire, the author wrote, “Thus ends a history of one of the most heart-rending fires that has ever occurred in the metropolis of Virginia. The oldest inhabitants of Richmond remember it with awe, and the young read of it as some hobgoblin story of the past.” (Akers, Graphic Description of the Burning of the Richmond Theatre, 12.) Like so many important events in the past, this is one that has faded from public memory, but deserves to be re-examined for all that it can show us about American theater and Christianity, recovery after a public disaster, and how Americans in the early nineteenth century responded to tragedy.