New book on the way

It’s been nearly five years since I first heard from Kirk Goolsby, a resident of Warrenton, Va. Kirk invited me to meet him at the Warrenton Cemetery to see what he believed was the tree from which Arthur Jordan was lynched.

I accepted Kirk’s invitation, and now I trace a direct line from that visit to today and the revival of this blog and the publication of my new book.

Kirk’s interest in the Jordan case became my interest, and the result is Condemned for Love in Old Virginia: The Lynching of Arthur Jordan. History Press will publish the book in July. In it, I explore the ill-fated love affair between Jordan, a black man, and Elvira Corder, his white employer’s daughter. The story takes place in Fauquier County, Va., and in Williamsport, Md., in 1880.

Kirk Goolsby's photograph
Kirk Goolsby

With the help of Anastasia Zanyuk, a student at the University of Mary Washington, my author website ( has been revised. I hope once again to make regular entries to the website’s blog, where I’ll explore the Arthur/Elvira story, the joys and frustrations of being published, and my travels throughout the region to talk about the project.

Those talks have already started. I was part of Germanna Community College’s Black History Month observance in February. I also accepted invitations to talk about the Jordan case at a Zoom session sponsored by the Central Rappahannock Regional Library, Fredericksburg, Va., on Thursday, July 6, at 7 p.m.; at Laurel Ridge Community College in Fauquier, Va., in September, and at the McCauley Lecture Program at the Western Maryland Room at the Washington County Free Library, Hagerstown, Md., Monday, Oct. 2, 7 p.m.

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