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 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.

Selected article

"Fugitive Slaves in the Dismal Swamp, Virginia" by David Edward Cronin, 1888
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.

Selected biography

White House portrait of Tyler (Detail)
John Tyler (1790 – 1862) was the tenth President of the United States (1841–1845). Born to an aristocratic Virginia family, Tyler served as a Virginia state legislator and governor. He came to national prominence at a time of political upheaval, serving as a U.S. representative, and U.S. senator before being elected Vice President in 1840. Upon the death of President William Henry Harrison only a month after his inauguration, a short Constitutional crisis arose over the succession process. Tyler was the first to succeed to the office of President on the death of the incumbent, in this case William Henry Harrison.

Tyler's opposition to federalism and emphatic support of states' rights endeared him to his fellow Virginians but alienated him from most of the political allies that brought him to power in Washington. Though he had several foreign policy achievements, his presidency was crippled by opposition from both parties. Near the end of his life he would side with the South in its secession from the United States. Although some have praised Tyler's political resolve, his presidency is generally held in low esteem by historians; today he is considered an obscure president, with little presence in the American cultural memory.

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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 Virginia joined the united States: June 25, 1788

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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 | 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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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 & 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 | Longwood University | Marine Corps University | Mary Baldwin University | 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 University | Washington and Lee University | Westwood College


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