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Florida, was favorable to its quiet. Its affairs were administered by governors appointed by the king, and representatives by the people. These representatives at various times attempted to arrest the introduction of African slaves into the colony, but those who were in higher authority than themselves, yielded to the wishes of the merchants engaged in the traffic, and persisted with obstinacy in withholding their assent.
During the French and Indian wars, encroachments were made upon the western territory of Virginia, by the erection of forts within her original charter limits. The Ohio company, to whom these lands had been granted, complained to Dinwiddie, governor of Virginia. The governor determined to send a messenger to the commander of the French forcos on the Ohio, and require him to withdraw his troops. For this mission he selected GEORGE WASHINGTON, who was then twenty-one years of age. The answer of the French commander to Dinwiddie's letter proving unsatisfactory, a body of 400 men were raised in order to drive the French from the Ohio. This force, in the spring of 1754, advanced into the territory in dispute, under the command of Washington. On his route he met and defeated an advance party, under Jumonville. He then proceeded toward Fort Du Quesne, at the junction of the Monongahela and Alleghany. From this fort, De Villiers, at the head of 900 men, marched out to attack him. Washington having retired to a small work called Fort Necessity, which he had hastily thrown up, after a brave defense, capitulated on the honorable terms of retiring unmolested to Virginia. In 1755, Gen. Braddock, who had been sent over from England to drive the French from the Ohio, arrived in Virginia. With a force of more than 2,000 men, composed of British regulars and provincials, he advanced with high hopes of success toward Du Quesne. When within about ten miles of the fort, he fell into an ambush of French and Indians; he was killed, and his troops totally routed. The cool address and bravery of Washington, who covered the retreat with the provincial troops, saved the army from entire destruction.
In the revolutionary war, Virginia took a noble stand in resistance to British oppression. Such was the spirit shown by the people, that Lord Dunmore, the royal governor, seized by night some of the powder which belonged to the colony, and conveyed it on board a British ship in James River. Intelligence of this transaction reaching Patrick Henry, he placed himself at the head of the independent companies in his vicinity, marched toward the seat of government, and demanded the powder or its value. Payment being made, the people quietly retired to their homes. Other causes increasing the popular ferment, Dunmore left his palace and went on board of a ship of war then lying at Yorktown. He now issued a proclamation, offering freedom to those slaves belonging to rebel masters, who should join the British troops at Yorktown. Several hundred in consequence repaired to that place. A body of militia immediately assembled, and when posted near the city, were attacked by the regulars, loyalists and negroes. The attack was repelled by the militia, who gained a decisive victory. Lord Dunmore now evacuated the city, and followed by his white and black forces, sought refuge on board of the king's ships. Soon after this event, on the 1st of January, 1776, Norfolk was set on fire by Dunmore's orders, and reduced to ashes.
Early in 1781, Gen. Arnold was dispatched with about 1,700 men to make a diversion in Virginia, by calling the attention of the Virginians from Lord Cornwallis, then approaching the state from the Carolinas. Gen. Philips,
with 2,000 troops, was sent from New York to reinforce him. The British troops were employed for a long time, without much interruption, in destroying the warehouses, tobacco mills, etc., on the James and Appomattox Rivers, and property to an immense amount was sacrificed. Gen. Cornwallis, after the severe action at Guilford, retired to Wilmington, in North Carolina. His troops suffered great distress from the want of provisions and clothing. He, therefore, determined to force a march through a wilderness country, and join the troops under Gen. Philips, in Virginia. He arrived in May, and took the command of the united forces. After some predatory warfare, Cornwallis encamped at Yorktown and Gloucester Point, on York River, which affords deep water for shipping, and there he fortified his camps; the main body of the army being on the south side of the river at Yorktown. There he remained until he was obliged to surrender to the combined French and American forces, under Washington, October 19, 1781. This event decided the revolutionary contest.
The first constitution of Virginia in which her people took part, was formed in 1776. It was soon found to be unequal in its operations; and at the close of the war much discussion arose upon the subject of its improvement. It was not, however, essentially altered until 1830, when it underwent important modifications. In the early part of 1813, during the war of 1812," the bays of Chesapeake and Delaware were declared to be in a state of blockade, and to enforce it, fleets entered their waters under Admirals Warren, Cockburn and Beresford. Several villages were plundered and burnt, and at Hampton, the inhabitants were subjected to the grossest outrages from a brutal soldiery.
Virginia having an extensive territory, and many slaves, has ever been watchful in regard to this class of her population. About the year 1800, a well-organized insurrection of slaves in the immediate vicinity of Richmond, was mercifully prevented by the timely discovery of a young slave, and the sudden rise in the river rendering it impossible. In August, 1831, Nat. Turner, a fanatical slave, in Southampton county, moved, as he said, by certain appearances in the sun, collected a body of 60 or 70 slaves, and commenced the work of indiscriminate massacre. Fifty men, women and children were murdered before the insurrection could be suppressed. In October, 1859, John Brown, who had taken an active part in the border difficulties in Kansas, having located himself, under an assumed name, at Harper's Ferry, made an insane attempt, with 22 followers, to excite a rising among the slaves and run them off to Canada. Thirteen of the insurgents were killed, and seven persons lost their lives in suppressing the raid. Brown and six others were captured, brought to trial, found guilty of murder and treason, and the whole seven executed.
Virginia is distinguished for the unusual proportion of eminent men she has given to the services of our common country. WASHINGTON, the General; JEFFERSON, the Statesman; and HENRY, the Orator of the American revolution, were Virginians; and prior to the election of Buchanan, half of the presidents of the United States—seven out of fourteen-were born on her venerated soil. It is, therefore, a natural result that the sentiment of state pride, justly founded on the achievements of her sons, should be a peculiar characteristic of her people.
Virginia is bounded N. by Pennsylvania; on the N. E. by the Potomac, which separates it from Maryland; on the E. by the waters of Chesa
peake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean; on the S. by North Carolina and a part of Tennessee; on the W. by Kentucky, and on the N. W. by Ohio. It lies between lat. 36° 33' and 40° 43' north, and extends 75° 25' to 83° 40' of west longitude. Its length from east to west is 370 miles; its greatest breadth 200, and its exact area is officially stated at 61,352 square miles.
The surface of the state is greatly diversified, insomuch that those familiar with its topography have considered its soil and climate under several distinct zones or divisions. The eastern section is generally a low country, with a soil partly sandy and partly alluvial, abounding in swamps and unproductive tracts; and toward the sea-coast and along the margin of rivers, noted for the prevalence of fatal epidemics during the season extending from August to October. From the head of tide-waters, the hilly and mountainous district commences. In this region the soil becomes more fertile and the climate more genial. Across this portion of the state stretch the widest bases of the towering Alleghanies, "the spine or back bone of the country.” Between the numerous ridges of these mountains are extensive and beautiful valleys, having a soil of the richest quality, a healthy and delightful climate, and the most picturesque and magnificent natural scenery. Beyond these lofty eminences lies a third section, extending to the Ohio River in one direction, and to the Cumberland Mountains in another. This likewise is an elevated and broken region, less fertile than the middle section, but having pure water and a healthy atmosphere.
No state in the Union has within its limits such a variety of soil, climate and productions as Virginia. The chief agricultural productions are Indian corn, tobacco and wheat. In the culture of tobacco, Virginia has surpassed all other states of the Union. She is also rich in mineral resources : vast fields of bituminous coal abound in the vicinity of Richmond, on the North Potomac, and west of the Alleghany Mountains; large beds of anthracite coal lie beyond the Great Valley. Valuable mines of iron, copper, gold, salt, and many other minerals, are found within her borders. In the middle section of the state, numerous medicinal springs abound, which attract many visitors. In 1790, Virginia was the most populous state in the Union, numbering. 748,308 inhabitants; in 1830 it had 1,211,405; in 1850, 1,421,661, of whom 895,274 were whites, 53,829 free colored, and 472,528 slaves. •
RICHMOND, the capital and largest town in Virginia, is situated on the north side of James River, at the Great Falls, distant 117 miles from Washington City, 342 from New York, 1055 from New Orleans, 520 from Cincinnati, 423 from Charleston, and 106 from Norfolk. Its situation is healthy and highly picturesque. With but few exceptions, the streets cross each other at right angles, are lighted with gas, and the houses are well built. Shockoe and Richmond Hills stand opposite each other-Shockoe creek pass. ing between them. The capitol is on Shockoe Hill, on a commanding situation, in the center of a beautiful square of eight acres. The marble statue of Washington, in the hall of the capitol building, was the work of Houdon, a French sculptor. It was made by the order of the Virginia assembly, at Paris, under the direction of Jefferson, a few years after the close of the American revolution. The costume of this statue is the military dress of the revolution. One hand holds a cane, the other rests upon the fasces, with which are united the sword and plowshare, and over it a martial cloak. The inscription, by James Madison, on the pedestal, is as follows:
GEORGE WASHINGTON. The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia have caused this statue to be erected, as a monument of affection and gratitude to GEORGE WASHINGTON, who, uniting to the endowments of the hero the virtues of the patriot, and exerting both in establishing the liberties of his country, has rendered his name dear to his fellow citizens, and given the world an immortal example of true glory. Done in the year of Christ, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight, and in the year of the commonwealth the twelfth.
The City Hall is an elegant and costly building. The Penitentiary, which stands in the western suburbs of the city, has a front of 300 feet in length
W. S. W. view of Richmond, As seen from the Cemetery, or Canal Hill. The James River, or Lynchburg Canal and James River, are un
The State House, City Hall and the Governor's House appear in the distance on the left; the Railroad Bridge over James River, on the right the Flour Mills and Foundries in the central part. and 110 feet in depth. The city contains about 30 churches, for various denominations; 2 colleges, one founded by the Baptists in 1822, the other (St. Vincent's College) by the Catholics. It also contains the medical department of the Hampden and Sidney College. By means of canals and railroads, the commerce of Richmond has been much extended, and its population and business rapidly increased. Richmond possesses an immense water
power, derived from the falls of James River, on which are situated extensive mills and factories. Population in 1850, 27,570, and in 1860, 37,968.
A magnificent contribution of Virginia to the art of the country, is the colossal equestrian statue of Washington, in bronze, on the capitol square, at
Washington Monument, Richmond. Richmond. It is from the design of Crawford, and is regarded as one of the greatest triumphs of American art. “The statue of Washington, on horseback, small as it seems in the picture, is twenty-five feet high. Among the figures who surround the base of the equestrian statue, are Lee, Mason, Nel. son, Patrick Henry, and Jefferson. Each is in an appropriate attitude: while Patrick Henry leans forward, with his arms outstretched as if in the act of addressing an audience, Jefferson thoughtfully studies, pen in hand, the declaration of independence. It is known that the design of this noble monument was completed in a few days by our illustrious countryman. He accidentally noticed in a newspaper an announcement that the city of Richmond, Virginia, had appropriated a sum of money for a Washington monument, and invited designs from sculptors, when he immediately made his design, forwarded it, and obtained the contract. It was, one can easily believe, a labor of love with him; and the result will do equal honor to his fame and to the liberality of the city in which the monument stands. The artist did not live to see the monument erected, dying a few months previous.” The day of the inauguration of this great work — February 22, 1858 — was an eventful one in Richmond. Never before was so large a multitude assembled within the city--never before so many of the distinguished men of the nation. After the procession, civic and military—under Maj. Gen. Taliaferro as chief marshal - had arrived on the grounds of the capitol square, the ceremony of inauguration opened with prayer by Rev. F. J. Boggs, Grand Chap