Alexandria, Virginia History :: History of Virginia

Alexandria, Virginia History

February 21, 2019
History of Alexandria

Clovis aim Drawing imageDuring its lengthy history, Alexandria ended up being a cigarette trading post, among the ten busiest harbors in America, a part of the District of Columbia, residence to both largest slave-trading company in the nation and a sizable free-black community, a Civil War offer center for Union troops, and a street-car suburb for Federal workers. Alexandria was also the home town of George Washington, Robert E. Lee, Jim Morrison and Mama Cass.


13, 000-year-old Clovis aim, available at the Freedmen’s Cemetery website.
Attracting by Andrew Flora.

Alexandria Waterfront Drawing by Elizabeth Luallen imagePrehistory (13, 200 years ago to 1, 600 AD)

The shoreline associated with the Potomac River where Alexandria is found today has-been a useful and popular spot for years and years, a long time before the modern community had been created. Just upriver from Alexandria, the lake tumbles over some cataracts referred to as Great Falls, its final obstacle towards Chesapeake Bay. These falls form a barrier to seafood taking a trip upstream to spawn each year, which often makes the location just downstream an excellent fishing floor for residents.

Local United states artifacts that have been found in different places around Alexandria are dated around 13, 200 years back and also as belated as 1, 600 advertisement, where time different groups used the location as a fishing camp. Examining the Chesapeake Bay in 1608, John Smith sailed up the Potomac River and contacted different people along both financial institutions. When Smith neared this aspect, he came across at least two groups we today make reference to while the Tauxenents together with Nacotchtanks, both part of a more substantial affiliation known as the Conoy chiefdom.Banknote image these individuals constructed only half the normal commission associated with the thousands of Native Americans whom inhabited the spot and enjoyed its rich sources of seafood and online game. After Smith's see, it might be a long time before white settlement would increase into this section of tidewater Virginia.


The Alexandria waterfront in 1764. Drawing by Elizabeth Luallen (color included).

Bicentennial Parade 1976 imageEarly European Settlement plus the Founding of Alexandria (1669-1749)

Much of present-day Alexandria had been a part of a 6, 000-acre land-grant from Sir William Berkeley, Governor of Virginia, that was granted to Robert Howson, an English ship captain, on October 21, 1669. This land overlapped a 700-acre patent which had previously been given to Dame Margaret Brent in 1654. The Howson-tract extended over the Potomac River, from searching Creek on south towards minimal Falls on north. The grant was made by authority of King Charles II in recognition of Captain Howson's taking 120 people to live in Virginia. Not as much as four weeks later, Howson offered the land to John Alexander for 6, 000 weight of cigarette.

During the belated seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, plantations had been founded along both edges regarding the Potomac River and settlement began to spread further into northern Virginia. When Fredericksburg had been created in 1728, it had been the northernmost town in Virginia but was however located in the tidewater, in which tobacco manufacturing ended up being profitable.

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