The term “Arsenal of Democracy” was coined in World War II by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. It referred to the United States producing the armaments and equipment of war and sending them to our allies in Europe and China.
America’s “First Arsenal of Democracy,” the Rappahannock Forge or Hunter’s Iron Works, was located on the banks of the Rappahannock River in Stafford County during the Revolutionary War (1775-1783). Ironies abound as Hunter relied on slave labor to produce the armaments and equipment for our liberty, and depended on pacifist Quakers for his skilled workers. This is the story of Hunter and his vital enterprise for American independence… (Image, Joseph Wright)