Commercial gold mining commenced in Stafford in the early 1830s, though gold was discovered here in 1782.  Local newspapers from the 1830s abound with articles and reports on activities at the mines.  One of these reads:

“In one of the adjoining counties [Stafford], we understand there has lately been discovered one of the richest Gold Mines ever found in this or perhaps any other county, owned by Mr Smith.  The richness of the ore is almost incredible, yielding from five to fifty dollars per bushel.  The vein has been traced for nearly three-fourths of a mile, has been cut into in five or six different places, in some instances to the depth of 50 feet–how far it runs beyond this, it is difficult to imagine.  It is allowed by experienced miners to be the best defined vein they have ever seen, as well as one of the richest.  There has been raised and now on the surface, ore to the amount of 40 to 50,000 bushels, which, it is estimated, is not one hundredth part of the vein” (Virginia Herald, Mar. 27, 1833).

In March 1871, Frederick Douglass and his son rode form aquia Landing to Alexandria aboard the mail steamer Georgeanna.  A newspaper reported: “On the Aquia Creek boat, when the dinner gong sounded, the San Domingo commissioners and suite proceeded to the dining-room, but upon reaching the door, Frederick Douglass was refused admission on account of his color, when the entire party retired, and came to this city dinnerless.  The matter coming to the knowledge of Mr. Sumner, he offered in the Senate, yesterday morning, a resolution directing the committee on the District of Columbia to inquire into the circumstances of the exclusion of Frederick Douglass and son from the common privilege of travelers in the mail steamer between Aquia Creek and Washington.  The resolution was objected to by Mr. Bayard, and was not received” (Daily State Journal, Mar. 29, 1871).