Originally published in 1892, this combination mug book/gazetteer was the first of its kind on the state of Virginia. The essays on the history, topography, geology, and natural resources of southwest Virginia were written by "well-known scientists and men of letters, and the facts set forth by them, while in some instances astounding, are correct." The biographical sketches are of "honorable men" from all walks of life. "Here will be found instances of men rising, by individual merit alone, from penury and obscurity to wealth and distinction; of many who, in pride and strength of young manhood, left the farm and the anvil, the lawyer's office and the counting-room, left every trade and profession, and, at their country's call, went forth valiantly to do or die.... Here, also, will be found men whose lives illumine the pages of a nation's history, and whose deeds in war and statesmanship reflect naught but honor upon a noble people - men in whose lives are united the glorious Old South with the unparalleled New."