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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 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 Great Dismal Swamp maroons
were freed and escaped slaves
who inhabited the marshlands of the Great Dismal Swamp
, an area of southeastern Virginia
and northeastern North Carolina
At the beginning of the 18th century, maroons came to live in the swamp, most settling on mesic islands, the high and dry parts of the swamp. Inhabitants included slaves who had purchased their freedom, as well as escaped slaves. Other escaped slaves used the swamp as a route on the Underground Railroad as they made their way further north. Nearby whites often left enslaved maroons alone so long as they paid a quota in logs or shingles, and businesses may have ignored the fugitive nature of escaped slaves who provided work in exchange for trade goods.
Although conditions were harsh, research suggests that thousands lived there between about 1700 and the 1860s. While the precise number of maroons who lived in the swamp at that time is unknown, it is believed to have been one of the largest maroon colonies in the United States. Harriett Beecher Stowe told the maroon people's story in her 1856 novel Dred: A Tale of the Great Dismal Swamp.
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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: Ralph Northam (D)
- Lieutenant Governor: Justin Fairfax (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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