Westmoreland County, Virginia

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Westmoreland County
Westmoreland County Courthouse in Montross
Westmoreland County Courthouse in Montross
Official seal of Westmoreland County
Map of Virginia highlighting Westmoreland County
Location within the U.S. state of Virginia
Map of the United States highlighting Virginia
Virginia's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 38°07′N 76°48′W / 38.11°N 76.8°W / 38.11; -76.8
Country United States
State Virginia
Named forWestmorland
SeatMontross
Largest townColonial Beach
Area
 • Total253 sq mi (660 km2)
 • Land229 sq mi (590 km2)
 • Water24 sq mi (60 km2)  9.3%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total18,477
 • Density73/sq mi (28/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district1st
Websitewww.westmoreland-county.org

Westmoreland County is a county located in the Northern Neck of the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2020 census, the population sits at 18,477.[1] Its county seat is Montross.[2]

History[edit]

Nomini Hall, Carter family plantation in Westmoreland County. Built in 1730 by Robert Carter II on land purchased from heirs of Nicholas Spencer by Robert "King" Carter

As originally established by the Virginia colony's House of Burgesses, this area was separated from Northumberland County in 1653 and named for the English county of Westmorland; both counties are coastal.[3] The territory of Westmoreland County encompassed much of what later became the various counties and cities of Northern Virginia, including the city of Alexandria, Arlington County, Fairfax County, and Prince William County. These areas comprised part of Westmoreland until the formation of Stafford County in 1664.

Westmoreland County on Northern Neck was the birthplace of George Washington, who later became the first President of the United States (born at the former settlement of Bridges Creek, Virginia);[4] of James Monroe, the fifth President; and of Robert E. Lee, general and commander of the Confederate armies during the American Civil War of 1861-1865.

Colonel Nicholas Spencer (1633-1689) resided in this county. He patented the land at Mount Vernon in 1674 with his friend Lt. Col. John Washington, ancestor of George Washington. Spencer, who served as President of the Council and acting Governor (in office: 1683-1684) of the Colony of Virginia, was the cousin of, and agent for, the Barons Colepeper, proprietors of the Northern Neck. Spencer lived at his plantation, Nomini, which his descendants later sold to Robert Carter I (1662/63 – 1732) .

Robert Carter's grandson, Robert Carter III, is known for voluntarily freeing almost 500 slaves from Nomini Hall, beginning in 1791. He also provided for their settlement on land that he bought for them in Ohio territory.[citation needed] This manumission was the largest known release of slaves in North America prior to the American Civil War and involved the largest number ever manumitted by an individual in the U.S.[5]

Geography[edit]

Rural Westmoreland County

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 253 square miles (660 km2), of which 229 square miles (590 km2) is land and 24 square miles (62 km2) (9.3%) is water.[6] Located on the Northern Neck, the county is within the Northern Neck George Washington Birthplace AVA winemaking appellation.

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected areas[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
18206,901
18308,39621.7%
18408,019−4.5%
18508,0800.8%
18608,2822.5%
18707,682−7.2%
18808,84615.2%
18908,399−5.1%
19009,24310.0%
19109,3130.8%
192010,24010.0%
19308,497−17.0%
19409,51211.9%
195010,1486.7%
196011,0428.8%
197012,14210.0%
198014,04115.6%
199015,48010.2%
200016,7188.0%
201017,4544.4%
202018,4775.9%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
1790-1960[8] 1900-1990[9]
1990-2000[10] 2010[11] 2020[12]

2020 census[edit]

Westmoreland County, Virginia - Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010[11] Pop 2020[12] % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 11,087 11,758 63.52% 63.64%
Black or African American alone (NH) 4,855 4,470 27.82% 24.19%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 64 67 0.37% 0.36%
Asian alone (NH) 91 146 0.52% 0.79%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 3 11 0.02% 0.06%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 14 68 0.08% 0.37%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 338 908 1.94% 4.91%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 1,002 1,049 5.74% 5.68%
Total 17,454 18,477 100.00% 100.00%

Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.

2000 Census[edit]

At the 2000 census,[13] there were 16,718 people, 6,846 households and 4,689 families residing in the county. The population density was 73/sq mi (28/km2). There were 9,286 housing units at an average density of 40/sq mi (15/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 65.41% White, 30.89% Black or African American, 0.28% Native American, 0.36% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 1.75% from other races, and 1.29% from two or more races. 3.46% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 6,846 households, of which 25.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.70% were married couples living together, 13.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.50% were non-families. 26.90% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 2.91.

23.00% of the population were under the age of 18, 6.30% from 18 to 24, 23.90% from 25 to 44, 27.80% from 45 to 64, and 19.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.90 males.

The median household income was $35,797 and the median family income was $41,357. Males had a median income of $31,333 and females $22,221. The per capita income was $19,473. About 11.20% of families and 14.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.10% of those under age 18 and 12.50% of those age 65 or over.

Economy[edit]

The county's economy is largely based on agriculture. Tourism is another significant economic driver, related to historical sites such as George Washington Birthplace National Monument and Robert E. Lee's birthplace, Stratford Hall Plantation, and the Westmoreland County Museum as well as gambling activities available in Colonial Beach. The county is also an extended exurb of Washington, D.C.

Northern Neck Coca-Cola Bottling Inc. (makers of Northern Neck Ginger Ale) and the weekly Westmoreland News are located in Montross.

Notable residents[edit]

View of the main facade, Stratford Hall, ancestral home of the Lee family of Virginia, Westmoreland County

Communities[edit]

Towns[edit]

Politics[edit]

Westmoreland County is a notable bellwether for U.S. presidential politics, having voted for the winner in every election since 1928 except 1948, 1960, and 2020.

United States presidential election results for Westmoreland County, Virginia[14]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 5,318 53.54% 4,501 45.31% 114 1.15%
2016 4,448 51.88% 3,836 44.74% 290 3.38%
2012 3,731 45.95% 4,295 52.89% 94 1.16%
2008 3,719 44.40% 4,577 54.64% 81 0.97%
2004 3,433 50.13% 3,370 49.21% 45 0.66%
2000 2,932 48.66% 2,922 48.49% 172 2.85%
1996 2,333 40.31% 2,949 50.95% 506 8.74%
1992 2,554 41.04% 2,758 44.32% 911 14.64%
1988 2,974 55.38% 2,311 43.04% 85 1.58%
1984 3,219 56.84% 2,363 41.73% 81 1.43%
1980 2,510 50.31% 2,271 45.52% 208 4.17%
1976 1,909 41.79% 2,355 51.55% 304 6.65%
1972 2,331 66.00% 1,113 31.51% 88 2.49%
1968 1,402 39.99% 1,156 32.97% 948 27.04%
1964 1,181 47.26% 1,312 52.50% 6 0.24%
1960 1,176 53.00% 1,034 46.60% 9 0.41%
1956 1,033 54.45% 695 36.64% 169 8.91%
1952 1,117 59.51% 754 40.17% 6 0.32%
1948 568 44.51% 503 39.42% 205 16.07%
1944 532 39.58% 808 60.12% 4 0.30%
1940 357 29.68% 845 70.24% 1 0.08%
1936 296 25.36% 871 74.64% 0 0.00%
1932 212 24.74% 641 74.80% 4 0.47%
1928 554 58.50% 393 41.50% 0 0.00%
1924 157 23.97% 484 73.89% 14 2.14%
1920 133 25.09% 396 74.72% 1 0.19%
1916 126 27.10% 338 72.69% 1 0.22%
1912 69 15.16% 341 74.95% 45 9.89%


See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Westmoreland County, Virginia". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 30, 2022.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ "Virginia County Names - A History". September 21, 2013.
  4. ^ Marquis, A.N. Company. Who's Who In America, vol. 1:Historical Volume (1607-1896), revised ed., Marquis, A.N. Company., 1967.
  5. ^ Levy, Andrew (2005). The First Emancipator: The Forgotten Story of Robert Carter, the Founding Father Who Freed His Slaves. Random House. p. 147. ISBN 978-1-58836-469-2. he undertook the largest private emancipation in American history
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  7. ^ "Census of Population and Housing from 1790-2000". US Census Bureau. Retrieved January 24, 2022.
  8. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 5, 2014.
  9. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 5, 2014.
  10. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 5, 2014.
  11. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Westmoreland County, Virginia". United States Census Bureau.
  12. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Westmoreland County, Virginia". United States Census Bureau.
  13. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  14. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°07′N 76°48′W / 38.11°N 76.80°W / 38.11; -76.80