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 four out of the first five, six out of the first ten, seven out of the first twelve, and eight of the first twenty-eight. 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.
The Gunpowder Incident
(or Gunpowder Affair
) was a conflict early in the American Revolutionary War
between Lord Dunmore
, the Royal Governor of the Colony of Virginia
, and militia
led by Patrick Henry
On the night of April 20, 1775, well before news of the Battles of Lexington and Concord on the prior day had reached Virginia, Lord Dunmore ordered the removal of the gunpowder from the magazine (pictured) in Williamsburg, Virginia, which stored it for the militia. Royal marines went to loaded fifteen half barrels of powder into the governor's wagon, and began transporting it to the Royal Navy ship Magdalen in the James River.
The act was discovered by townsfolk while underway, and they sounded an alarm. Local militia rallied to the scene, and riders spread word of the incident across the colony. Patrick Henry led a small militia force toward Williamsburg to force return of the gunpowder to the colony's control, arguing that it was owned by the colony and not the Crown. The matter was resolved without conflict when a payment of £330 was made to Henry. Fearing for his personal safety after the incident, Dunmore later retreated to a naval vessel, ending of royal control of the colony.
(1734 – 1820) was an American pioneer
, explorer, and frontiersman
exploits made him one of the first folk heroes
of the United States. Boone is most famous for his exploration and settlement of what is now Kentucky
, which at the time was part of Virginia yet across the mountains from the settled areas. Despite some resistance from American Indian tribes such as the Shawnee
, in 1775 Boone blazed his Wilderness Road
through the Cumberland Gap
in the Appalachian Mountains
from North Carolina
into Kentucky. Before the end of the 18th century, more than 200,000 European people migrated westward by following the route marked by Boone.
Boone was a militia officer during the Revolutionary War (1775–83), during which he was elected to the first of his three terms in the Virginia General Assembly. Following the war, Boone worked as a surveyor and merchant, but fell deeply into debt through failed Kentucky land speculation. In 1799 Boone emigrated to eastern Missouri, where he spent most of the last two decades of his life. Boone remains an iconic figure in American history; his adventures — real and legendary — were influential in creating the archetypal Western hero of American folklore.
This month in Virginia history
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- Capital: Richmond, Virginia
- Total area: 110,862 sq.mi
- Highest elevation: 5,729 ft (Mount Rogers)
- Population (2010 census) 8,001,024
- Date Virginia joined the united States: June 25, 1788
- Governor: Terry McAuliffe (D)
- Lieutenant Governor: Ralph Northam (D)
- Attorney General: Mark Herring (D)
- Senators: Tim Kaine (D), Mark Warner (D)
- Representatives: Rob Wittman (R-1st), Scott Rigell (R-2nd), Robert C. Scott (D-3rd), Randy Forbes (R-4th), Robert Hurt (R-5th), Bob Goodlatte (R-6th), Eric Cantor (R-7th), Jim Moran (D-8th), Morgan Griffith (R-9th), Frank Wolf (R-10th), Gerry Connolly (D-11th)
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