Portal:Virginia

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The Commonwealth of Virginia or simply Virginia (named after Queen Elizabeth I of England, who was known as the Virgin Queen), is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States and Mid-Atlantic States. It is one of four states that use the name commonwealth. It is the 12th most populous state.

The Colony of Virginia was the first part of the Americas to be colonized permanently by England—laying the foundation for the British Empire—and was nicknamed the Old Dominion by King Charles II. It is one of the original thirteen colonies of the United States and was the tenth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution in 1788. In 1861, Virginia was the eighth state to secede from the Union and its capital, Richmond, became the national capital of the Confederate States of America.

Virginia is known as the "Mother of Presidents", because it is the birthplace of eight U.S. presidents (George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor, and Woodrow Wilson), more than any other state, including seven of the first twelve. Virginia has also been known as the "Mother of States", because portions of the original Colony subsequently became Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, and West Virginia as well as some portions of Ohio.

Selected article

"Surrender of Lord Cornwallis" by John Trumbull
The Siege of Yorktown, or Surrender of Yorktown, the latter taking place on October 19, 1781, was a decisive victory by a combined force of American Continental Army troops led by General George Washington and French Army troops led by the Comte de Rochambeau over a British Army commanded by Lieutenant General Lord Cornwallis. The culmination of the Yorktown campaign, it proved to be the last major land battle of the American Revolutionary War in North America.

French and American armies united north of New York City during the summer of 1781, moving south toward Virginia. The Comte de Grasse arrived at the Chesapeake Bay at the end of August, bringing troops and providing a naval blockade of Yorktown, after which the Americans and French built their first parallel and began the bombardment. With the British defense weakened, on October 14, 1781 Washington sent two columns to attack the last major remaining British outer defenses. The British situation began to deteriorate rapidly and Cornwallis asked for capitulation terms on the 17th. The surrender ceremony took place on the 19th; Lord Cornwallis, claiming to be ill, was absent from the ceremony. Negotiations between the United States and Great Britain began, resulting in the Treaty of Paris in 1783.

Selected biography

Francis nicholson Dahl.jpg
Francis Nicholson (12 November 1655 – March 16, 1728 [O.S. March 5, 1727]) was a British military officer and colonial administrator. His military service included time in Africa and Europe, after which he was sent as leader of the troops supporting Sir Edmund Andros in the Dominion of New England. There he distinguished himself, and was appointed lieutenant governor of the dominion in 1688. After news of the Glorious Revolution reached the colonies in 1689, Andros was overthrown in the Boston Revolt. Nicholson himself was soon caught up in unrest in New York, and fled to England.

He next served as lieutenant governor or governor of Virginia and Maryland. He supported the founding of the College of William and Mary, and quarreled with Andros after Andros was selected over him as governor of Virginia. In 1709 he became involved in colonial military actions during Queen Anne's War, leading an aborted expedition against Canada. He then led the expedition that successfully captured Port Royal, Acadia on 2 October 1710. Afterward he served as governor of Nova Scotia and Placentia, and was the first royal governor of South Carolina following a rebellion against its proprietors. He rose to the rank of Lieutenant-General, and died a bachelor in London in 1728.

He supported public education in the colonies, and was a member of both the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts and the Royal Society. He also influenced American architecture, being responsible for the layout and design of Annapolis, Maryland and Williamsburg, Virginia. He was one of the earliest advocates of colonial union, principally for reasons of defense against common enemies.

This month in Virginia history

19th-century painting depicting the marriage of Pocahontas and John Rolfe

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Selected picture

Mount Vernon Estate Mansion 2.JPG
Credit: Martin Falbisoner

Mount Vernon, the plantation home of George Washington in Fairfax County, Virginia.

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Fact sheet

  • Capital: Richmond, Virginia
  • Total area: 110,862 sq.mi
  • Highest elevation: 5,729 ft (Mount Rogers)
  • Population (2010 census) 8,001,024
  • Date admitted to the Union: June 25, 1788


Categories

Virginia topics

Topics Rivers | Governors | Colony | Rights | Homes | Colleges & Universities | Counties | People
Regions Appomattox Basin | Eastern Shore | Middle Peninsula | Northern Neck | Northern Virginia | Piedmont | Ridge-and-valley Appalachians | Shenandoah Valley | Southside Virginia | Southwest Virginia | Tidewater
Metros Abingdon | Blacksburg | Bluefield | Bristol | Charlottesville | Culpeper | Danville | Fredericksburg | Front Royal | Harrisonburg | Leesburg | Lynchburg | Martinsville | Marion | Poquoson | Radford | Richmond | Roanoke | Staunton | Suffolk | Virginia Beach/Hampton Roads | Warrenton | Washington, D.C./Northern | Waynesboro | Williamsburg | Winchester | Wytheville
Counties Accomack | Albemarle | Alleghany | Amelia | Amherst | Appomattox | Arlington | Augusta | Bath | Bedford | Bland | Botetourt | Brunswick | Buchanan | Buckingham | Campbell | Caroline | Carroll | Charles City | Charlotte | Chesterfield | Clarke | Craig | Culpeper | Cumberland | Dickenson | Dinwiddie | Essex | Fairfax | Fauquier | Floyd | Fluvanna | Franklin | Frederick | Giles | Gloucester | Goochland | Grayson | Greene | Greensville | Halifax | Hanover | Henrico | Henry | Highland | Isle of Wight | James City | King and Queen | King George | King William | Lancaster | Lee | Loudoun | Louisa | Lunenburg | Madison | Mathews | Mecklenburg | Middlesex | Montgomery | Nelson | New Kent | Northampton | Northumberland | Nottoway | Orange | Page | Patrick | Pittsylvania | Powhatan | Prince Edward | Prince George | Prince William | Pulaski | Rappahannock | Richmond | Roanoke | Rockbridge | Rockingham | Russell | Scott | Shenandoah | Smyth | Southampton | Spotsylvania | Stafford | Surry | Sussex | Tazewell | Warren | Washington | Westmoreland | Wise | Wythe | York
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Cities
Alexandria | Bedford | Bristol | Buena Vista | Charlottesville | Chesapeake | Colonial Heights | Covington |Danville | Emporia | Fairfax | Falls Church | Franklin | Fredericksburg | Galax | Hampton | Harrisonburg | Hopewell | Lexington | Lynchburg | Manassas | Manassas Park | Martinsville | Newport News | Norfolk | Norton | Petersburg | Poquoson |

Portsmouth | Radford | Richmond | Roanoke | Salem | Staunton | Suffolk | Virginia Beach | Waynesboro | Williamsburg | Winchester

Colleges & Universities Appalachian School of Law | Averett University | Bluefield College | Bridgewater College | Christendom College | Christopher Newport University | College of William and Mary | Emory and Henry College | Ferrum College | George Mason University | George Washington University Virginia Campus | Hampden-Sydney College | Hampton University | Hollins University | James Madison University Liberty University | Marine Corps University | Mary Baldwin College | Marymount University | Norfolk State University | Old Dominion University | Radford University | Randolph-Macon College | Randolph-Macon Woman's College | Regent University | Roanoke College | Saint Paul's College | Shenandoah University | Southern Virginia University | Sweet Briar College | University of Mary Washington | University of Richmond | University of Virginia | University of Virginia's College at Wise | Virginia Commonwealth University | Virginia Community College System | Virginia Intermont College | Virginia Military Institute | Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University | Virginia State University | Virginia Union University | Virginia Wesleyan College | Washington and Lee University | Westwood College Of Technology


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