Historical Collections of Virginia

Howe, Henry. Historical Collections of Virginia. Charleston, SC: WM. R. Babcock, 1852.
Source Type
Primary
Year
1852
Publication Type
Book
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 498-499.
Body Summary:
Abingdon, the county-seat, is 304 miles SW. of Richmond, 8 N. of the Tennessee line, 56 from Wytheville, and 130 from Knoxville, Tenn. This, by far the most considerable and flourishing town in SW. Virginia, was established by law in Oct. 1778, on 120 acres of land given for the purpose by Thomas Walker, Joseph Black, and Samuel Briggs, Esqs., and the following gentlemen were appointed trustees: Even Shelby, William Campbell, Daniel Smith, William Edmondson, Robert Craig, and Andrew Willoughby. The town stands on an elevation; it is substantially built, with many brick buildings; the principle street is macadamized, and the town is surrounded by a fertile, flourishing, and thickly-settled agricultural country. It contains several large mercantile stores, 2 newspaper printing offices, 1 Presbyterian, 2 Methodist, and 1 Swedenborgian church, a variety of mechanical and manufacturing establishments, and a population of over 1000.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 164.
Body Summary:
ALBEMARLE was formed, in 1744, from Goochland. Its length, from SW. to NE., is 35 miles, and its mean width 20 miles. The northern part is drained by the Rivanna and its branches; the southern by the Hardware and its branches. The surface is generally hilly or mountainous, the scenery picturesque, and much of the soil highly productive in corn and tobacco. Pop. 1830, 22,618; 1840, whites 10,512, slaves 13,809; total 22,924.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 172.
Body Summary:
ALLEGHANY was formed in 1822, from Bath, Bottetourt, and Monroe. Its mean length is twenty-six, mean breadth twenty miles. Most of this county is a high mountain valley, drained by the head waters of the James. The main Alleghany chain forms its boundary on the west; Peter's mountain and Warm Spring mountain divide the county into two nearly equal parts, having only a narrow gap at Covington, and Middle Mountain and Rich Patch form its southeastern boundary. The passage of Jackson's River through Waite's mountain, is a sublime feature of the natural scenery of the county. Population in 1830, 2,816; 1840, whites 2,142, slaves 547, free colored 60; total, 2,749.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 173.
Body Summary:
AMELIA was formed in 1734, from part of Prince George. Its length is about 30, mean breadth 10 miles. It is drained by the Appomattox. The surface is agreeably diversified; the soil on the hills poor and usually much worn, on the bottoms fertile, and it has generally much deteriorated from its original fertility, owing to the injudicious modes of cultivation pursued by its early settlers. Pop. 1830, 11,031; in 1840, whites 3,074, slaves 7,023, free colored, 223; total, 10,320.

There are no villages in the county of any note. Amelia C. H., which is centrally situated, 45 miles sw. of Richmond, contains but a few dwellings.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 444.
Body Summary:
Beverly, the county-seat, is 210 miles NW. of Richmond, 60 S. of Morgantown, and 45 SE. of Clarksburg. It is situated near Tygart's Valley River, on a handsome plain, and contains a population of about 200.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 385.
Body Summary:
Blacksburg, 9 miles north of the C. H., contains 1 Presbyterian and 1 Methodist church, and a population of about 250.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 496.
Body Summary:
Centreville, situated on the west bank of Middle Island creek, 7 miles E. of the C. H., contains from 30 to 40 dwellings.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 343-344.
Body Summary:
Charleston, the seat of justice for the county, is 308 miles W. of Richmond, and 46 miles E. of the Ohio River. It is a neat and flourishing village on the north bank of the Kanawha. Charleston was named after Charles Clendenin, an early settler, and an owner of the soil forming its site. The first house of worship was built by the Methodists, the second by the Presbyterians, in 1830, and the third by the Episcopalians, in 1835. There are in the place, 11 dry-goods and, 6 grocery stores, 2 saw and grist mills, a newspaper printing-office, a branch of the Bank of Virginia, and a population of about 1,500. The district court of the United States is held at this place twice a year. Within the present century Charleston has arisen from the wilderness. Where, within the memory of man, a few scattered log-huts once arrested the traveller's eye, he now sees commodious and, in some instances, elegant buildings, the abodes of comfort and refinement. The Kanawha is here a beautiful sheet of water, more than 300 yards wide, and is navigated by steamboats. The state turnpike, the principal thoroughfare from Richmond to Guyandotte on the Ohio, passes through the town. Fine sandstone and bituminous coal abound in the vicinity.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 341-342.
Body Summary:
Charlestown, the seat of justice for the county, is on the line of the rail-road from Winchester to Harper's Ferry, 8 miles from the latter, and 22 from the former. This town was established in October, 1786, and named from the Christian name of its first proprietor, Col. Charles Washington, a brother of George Washington. Eighty lots were divided into lots and streets, and the following named gentlemen were appointed trustees: John Augustine Washington, William Drake, Robert Rutherford, James Crane, Cato Moore, Magnus Tate, Benjamin Rankin, Thornton Washington, "William Little, Alex. White, and Richard Ranson. Col. Charles Washington resided in a log-house, which stood a short distance from the town. A fine spring marks the spot. The whole of the land in the vicinity of Charlestown originally belonged to the Washington family, and a considerable portion still remains in the possession of their descendants. Col. Chas. Washington was the only brother of Washington that settled west of the Blue Ridge. He was an amiable, modest, and dignified gentleman, and in his appearance, as well as character, resembled his illustrious brother.

Braddock's army, in their route to the west, passed through this region; one mile west of the village, on the land of Bushrod Washington, Esq., there is a well dug by them.

The annexed view was taken in the central part of the village, looking down the principal street; the public building on the right, is the court-house, recently erected. The town is flourishing, and contains 11 mercantile stores, a branch of the Bank of the Valley, an academy, newspaper printing-office, 1 Presbyterian, 1 Episcopal, and 1 Methodist church, and a population of about 1,400

Washington’s Masonic Cave is two and a half miles southeast of Charlestown. It is divided into several apartments, one of which is called the lodge-room. Tradition informs us that Washington, with others of the Masonic fraternity, held meetings in this cavern. In the spring of 1844 the masons in this vicinity had a celebration there.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 164-165.
Body Summary:
Charlottesville, the county seat, is 121 miles from Washington City, and 85 northwesterly from Richmond. It is beautifully situated in a fertile and well-watered valley, on the right bank of the Rivanna River. It contains many mercantile and mechanical establishments, and has greatly improved within the last few years. The religious societies are Episcopal, Presbyterian, Baptist, and Methodist. The population is not far from 2000: much of the society of the town and county is highly refined. Albemarle has given birth to several eminent men: among whom may be mentioned Jefferson, the late Gov. Gilmer, Dr. Gilmer, author of "Sketches and Essays of- Public Characters," Meriwether Lewis, and others.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 385.
Body Summary:
Christiansburg, the county-seat, lies 203 miles southwesterly from Richmond, 46 miles from Fincastle, and 47 from Wytheville, on the main stage-road from Richmond to Nashville, Tenn. It was established by law Oct. 10, 1792, and the following gentlemen appointed trustees: Christian Snido, Byrd Smith, James Barnett, Hugh Crockett, Samuel Eason, Joseph Cloyd, John Preston, James Charlton, and James Craig. It contains 4 stores, 1 Presbyterian and 1 Methodist church, and a population of about 400.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 172.
Body Summary:
Covington, the county-seat, lies one hundred and ninety-six miles west of Richmond, at the head of the James River navigation, on Jackson's River, fifteen above its confluence with the Cow-Pasture, both of which by their union constitute the James. It contains, at present, about fifty dwellings. At some future period, it is contemplated that the James River Canal will be continued to here; in which case, it will be the depot between the land and water communication in the chain of the James River and Kanawha improvements, and will then command the trade of a large and fertile region of country. Near Covington, a fort, called Fort Young, was built in the early settlement of the country, as a protection against the Indians.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 242.
Body Summary:
DINWIDDIE was formed in 1752, from Prince George, and named from Robert Dinwiddie, governor of Va. from 1752 to 1758. The surface is rolling, and its form hexagonal, with a diameter of about 28 miles. The Appomattox runs on its N., the Nottaway on its S. boundary, and the great southern railroad through its eastern portion. Pop. 1830, 21,901; 1840, whites 9,847, slaves 9,947, free colored 2,764 ; total, 22,558. The court-house is centrally situated upon a branch of the Nottaway.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 516.
Body Summary:
Elizabeth is on the Little Kanawha, and has one Methodist and 1 Baptist church, a store, some mills, and about 25 dwellings.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 464.
Body Summary:
Estillville, the county-seat, is 344 miles SW. of Richmond, and 40 from Abingdon. It contains 3 stores, a Methodist church, and about 60 dwellings.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 254.
Body Summary:
FAIRFAX  was formed in 1742, from Prince William, and named after Lord Fairfax, the proprietor of " the Northerly Neck." The part of Virginia included in the District of Columbia was formed from Fairfax. The county is watered by the Potomac and the Occoquan, and their branches. Pop., whites 5,469, slaves 3,453, free colored 448; total, 9,370.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 254.
Body Summary:
Fairfax Court House is near the centre of the county, 21 miles from Washington City; it contains the county buildings, and about 200 inhabitants.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 484.
Body Summary:
Falmouth lies on the left bank of the Rappahannock, at the foot of the falls, about one mile above the town of Fredericksburg. A substantial bridge connects it with the Spottsylvania shore. It was incorporated and laid out in 1727, the same year with Fredericksburg, and was at one time the rival of that town. It contains 1 free church, 6 or 7 mercantile stores, 2 extensive flouring mills, and 1 large cotton factory, and a population of about 500.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 284.
Body Summary:
Frankfort, 10 miles NE. of Lewisburg, contains a Methodist church and about 50 dwellings. In March, 1659, Col. John Stuart, Robert McClenachan, Thomas Renick, and Wm. Hamilton, settled here. They, as well as all those that immediately followed, were from Augusta county. This was the first permanent settlement in the county.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 476, 479-480.
Body Summary:
The city of Fredericksburg is in a handsome valley on the south side of the Rappahannock River, 56 miles from Washington City, and 62 miles from Richmond, on the line of the great southern rail-road. It is at the head of tide on the river, about 150 miles from its mouth. The Rappahannock is navigable for vessels of 140 tons, to the Falls of the Rappahannock, a short distance above the town…

Fredericksburg is regularly laid out, and compactly built; many of its buildings are of brick. The principle public buildings are a court-house, clerk’s office, and jail, a market-house, an orphan asylum, 1 Episcopal, 1 Presbyterian, 1 Methodist, 1 Baptist, and 1 Reformed Baptist church. The orphan asylum and a charity school are for females. The town also contains 2 banks, and 1 male and 1 female seminary of the higher class. It is supplied with water from the river, by subterraneous pipes; and is governed by a mayor and common council. A canal, extending from the town to Fox's Mill, a point on the Rappahannock 35 miles above, has been commenced and partly completed. Fredericksburg enjoys considerable trade, chiefly in grain, flour, tobacco, maize, &c., and considerable quantities of gold are exported. Its exports have been computed at over $4,000,000 annually. The Falls of the Rappahannock in the vicinity afford good water-power. There were in 1840, by the U. S. statistics, 73 stores, cap. $367,961; 2 tanneries, paints, drugs, &c., cap. $37,000; 1 grist-mill, 2 printing-offices, 4 semi-weekly newspapers; cap. in manufactures, $141,200; 5 academies, 256 students; 7 schools, 156 scholars. Population in 1830, whites 1,797, slaves 1,124, free blacks 387; total, 3,308. Population in 1840, 3,974.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 497.
Body Summary:
Front Royal, the county-seat, is 139 miles NW. of Richmond and 20 SE. of Winchester, between the Shenandoah and the Blue Ridge, about a mile from the former. It was established in 1788, on 50 acres of land, the property of Solomon Vanmeter, James Moore, Robert Haines, William Cunningham, Peter Halley, John Smith, Allen Wiley, Original Wroe, George Chick, William Morris, and Henry Trout; was laid into lots and streets, and Thomas Allen, Robert Russell, William Headly, William Jennings, John Hickman, Thomas Hand, and Thomas Buck, appointed trustees. The town is neatly built, and is surrounded by beautiful scenery. It contains 1 Presbyterian, 1 Baptist, and 1 Episcopal church, 5 mercantile stores, and about 400 inhabitants. About 7 miles south of this village is a copper-mine, which has recently been opened. It is conducted with spirit, and promises to be valuable.

About three miles southwest of Front Royal is Allen’s Cave. In beauty and magnificence it is said to equal Weyer’s Cave. It extends about 1200 feet. The sparry incrustations and concretions of "Sarah's Saloon," one of its principal apartments, presents a gorgeous scene. Its innumerable cells and grottoes form a complete labyrinth.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 281.
Body Summary:
GLOUCESTER was formed in 1642, from York. It lies on Chesapeake Bay, and on the N. side of York River. Much barley was formerly raised in the county; but, from some unknown cause, the lands have ceased to be adapted for its cultivation. Indian corn is the principal product. Pop., whites 4,412, slaves 5,791, free colored 612; total 10,715.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 281.
Body Summary:
Gloucester, the county-seat, lies immediately opposite Yorktown, on the N. side of York River. It is a small, decayed village, containing only a few dwellings. During the siege of York, it was one of the outposts of Cornwallis, and the scene of some minor military operations. There exist remains of redoubts thrown up at that time. The earliest settlers in the co. were from Gloucestershire in England — who not only transferred the names of places, but the streams also; hence they have here their Severn, and other rivers, and local denominations.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 283.
Body Summary:
GOOCHLAND was formed in 1727, from Henrico, and named from a colonial governor of Virginia. It lies on the north side of James River, and is 30 miles long, with an average width of 10 miles. The surface is undulating, and in some places broken; the soil is various, and much of it exhausted, though naturally good; that on the James is of great fertility. It is drained by several small streams, several of which afford water-power.

The county produces large crops of tobacco, corn, and oats. Bituminous coal of an excellent quality is extensively mined, and also small quantities of gold. Pop., whites 3,570, slaves 5,500, free colored 690; total 9,760.

There are no villages in the county of any note. The Court- House, which is 30 miles west of Richmond, and 1 mile N. of James River, contains a few dwellings only.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 284.
Body Summary:
GRAYSON was formed in 1793, from Wythe, and named after a distinguished member of the Virginia convention that ratified the federal constitution. This is a wild and thinly-settled mountainous tract, lying on the North Carolina line, at the southeastern corner of western Virginia. It is drained by the New River and "its branches. Its limits were reduced in 1842 by the formation of Carrol county. Pop. in 1840, whites 8,542, slaves 492, free colored 53; total, 9,087.

Grayson C. H. lies 261 miles aw. of Richmond, and contains a few dwellings only.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 284.
Body Summary:
GREENBRIER was formed in 1777, from Botetourt and Montgomery, and named from its principal stream. Its mean length is 46 miles, mean breadth 32 ½ , and area 1409 square miles. The surface is broken, and part of it mountainous. The mountains are infested with reptiles, such as the rattlesnake, copperhead, blacksnake, &c.; there are some deer, wild turkeys, pheasants, wolves, wild-cats, panthers, bears, and a variety of small game. The horses raised in this region are distinguished for durability. The land on Greenbrier River, which runs centrally through the county, is very fertile; the mean elevation of the farms above the ocean is at least 1,500 feet. There was manufactured in this county in 1840, 114,932 pounds of maple sugar. Pop., whites 7,287, slaves 1,214, free colored 194; total, 8,695.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 289.
Body Summary:
GREENE was formed in 1838, from the western part of Orange, and named after Gen. Nathaniel Greene, of the revolution. It is 15 miles long, and 10 wide. The Blue Ridge runs on its western line. It is watered by branches of the Rivanna and the Rapid Ann. Its surface is mountainous and broken, and the soil in the valleys fertile. The principal products are tobacco, Indian corn, and wheat. A small quantity of cotton is produced. Population in 1840, whites 2,447, slaves 1,740, free colored 45; total, 4,232.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 355-336.
Body Summary:
Harper's Ferry is distant 173 miles from Richmond, 57 from Washington city, and 30 from Winchester, with which it is connected by a rail-road. This thriving manufacturing village is situated at the junction of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers. Its name is derived from a ferry, long since established across the Potomac, where the river breaks through the Blue Ridge; at this place it is about 1200 feet in height. The name of the place was originally Shenandoah Falls.

Harper's Ferry is compactly, though irregularly built, around the foot of a hill; but the engraving annexed shows but a small portion of it. It contains about a dozen mercantile stores, several mechanical and manufacturing establishments, 1 Presbyterian, 1 Catholic, 1 Methodist, and 1 Free Church; and, including the suburbs, has a population of over 3,000. The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal passes along the left bank of the Potomac, and the Baltimore and Ohio rail-road passes through the town. The town is connected with the Maryland side by a fine bridge across the Potomac, of about 800 feet in length. The United States Armory and the National Arsenal, at Harper's Ferry, are worthy of attention. In the latter, 80,000 or 90,000 muskets are usually kept, which, as they are sent away, are replaced by others from the factories.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 460.
Body Summary:
Harrisonburg, the county-seat, is 122 miles northwesterly from Richmond, 25 from Staunton, and 40 from Charlottesville. The town was established in May, 1780, and named from Thomas Harrison, who had laid out 50 acres of his land into streets and lots. It contains 8 mercantile stores, 2 newspaper printing-offices, a market, 1 Methodist, and 2 Presbyterian churches, and about 1100 inhabitants. There is a fine spring of water on the public square, neatly enclosed. The village is handsomely built, flourishing, and is surrounded by a beautiful and fertile country.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 447.
Body Summary:
Harrisville, the county-seat, lies about 37 miles east of Parkersburg, and 4 miles S. of the NW. turnpike: it contains 2 stores, 1 tannery, 1 Baptist and 1 Methodist church, and about 15 dwellings.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 334.
Body Summary:
JEFFERSON was formed in 1801, from Berkeley; its mean length is 22 miles, breadth 12 miles. The Potomac forms its northeastern boundary; the Shenandoah enters the county near its southeastern border, and flowing in a northeast direction, parallel with the Blue Ridge, enters the Potomac at Harper's Ferry. The face of the country is rolling, and the soil almost unequalled in fertility by any other county in Virginia. "It was settled principally by old Virginia families from the eastern part of the state; and the inhabitants still retain that high, chivalrous spirit, and generous hospitality, for which that race was so remarkable in the palmy days of their prosperity." Pop. in 1840, whites 9,323, slaves 4,157, free colored 602; total, 14,082.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 488.
Body Summary:
Jeffersonville, the county-seat, is 284 miles southwesterly from Richmond, and 30 west of Wythe C. H. It is situated on the south side of Clinch River, one mile from its bank, and contains 1 church, 3 stores, and about 25 dwellings.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 343.
Body Summary:
KANAWHA was formed in 1789, from Greenbrier and Montgomery: it is about 60 miles long, with a mean breadth of 40 miles. Gauley River unites with New River, and forms the Great Kanawha upon the eastern border of the county. The Kanawha then flows through the county in a NW. direction, receiving in its passage through the county, Elk, Pocatalico, and Coal Rivers. The surface of the county is much broken. It is famous for its mineral treasures, salt, coal, &c. Pop., in 1840, whites 10,910, slaves 2,560, free colored 97; total, 13,567.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 348.
Body Summary:
KING AND QUEEN was formed from New Kent in 1691, the third year of the reign of William and Mary. The Mattapony runs on its SW. and the Piankatank on a portion of its NE. boundary. Its length is 40 miles, mean width 11 miles. Immense beds of marl run through the county, and furnish an inexhaustible source of improvement to the soil. No county in the state contains memorials of greater magnificence. On the Mattapony, a beautiful stream, are the vestiges of many ancient and once highly-improved seats, among which are Laneville, Pleasant Hill, Newington, Mantapike, Mantua, Rickahoe, White Hall, &c., known as the former residences of the Braxtons, Corbins, Robinsons, &c. Cotton and Indian corn are extensively produced. Pop. in 1840, whites 4,426, slaves 5,937, free colored 499; total, 10,863.

The Court-House is near the Mattapony, 53 miles NE. from Richmond. Newtown in the N., and Little Plymouth in the S. part of the county, are small places; the former, which is the largest, has about 20 dwellings. Dunkirk, now a post-office only, was, 30 or 40 years since, a village of considerable trade; but its unhealthiness and other causes have nearly obliterated it.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 349.
Body Summary:
KING GEORGE was formed in 1720, from Richmond county. It lies between the Potomac and the Rappahannock, and is 18 miles long, with a mean breadth of 10; its surface is hilly, and its soil diversified. Its principal products are Indian corn, oats, wheat, tobacco, and some cotton. Pop. in 1840, whites 2,269, slaves 3,382, free colored 276; total, 5,927.

King George C. H., situated near the centre of the county, 82 miles NNE. from Richmond, and 76 SW. of Washington, contains about a dozen houses. Port Conway, on the Rappahannock, opposite Port Royal, and Millville on the line of this and Westmoreland counties, are small villages.

Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 385.
Body Summary:
Lafayette, in the north part of the county, at the junction of the two forks of the Roanoke, contains a Methodist church, and about 45 dwellings.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 350.
Body Summary:
LANCASTER was formed in 1652. It lies on the N. side of the Rappahannock, at its mouth, and is 24 miles long, with a mean breadth of 8 miles. Pop. in 1840, whites 1,903, slaves 2,478, free colored 247; total, 4,628.

Lancaster C. H., situated near the centre of the county, 83 miles NE. of Richmond, contains a population of about 100. Kilmarnock is a small village on a creek putting up from Chesapeake Bay. Pain's Cross Roads, in the SE. part of the county, was, 20 years since, a place of considerable trade; but at present it has a few dwellings only.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 463.
Body Summary:
Lebanon, the county-seat, is 325 miles SW. of Richmond, and 130 miles from Knoxville, Tenn. It is beautifully situated on a branch of Clinch River, and commands a fine view of mountain scenery. It was founded in 1816, and although a small village, it is the only one in the county.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 350-351.
Body Summary:
LEE was formed in 1792, from Russell, and named after Henry Lee, Gov. of Va. from 1791 to 1794; it lies in the southwestern angle of the state, bordering on Tennessee and Kentucky. Its greatest length is 75 miles; breadth 10 miles. The Cumberland mountains run on the Kentucky line, the Powell mountain is on a part of the SE. boundary, and there are several other ridges in the county, known as Stone, Chesnut, Wallens, &c. Powell’s River runs lengthwise through the county into Tennessee. Much of the land is of a very black, rich soil. The staples are beef, pork, and horses. The people of this county make their own sugar and molasses from the maple sugar tree, which grows in great abundance. Pop. in 1840, whites 7,829, slaves 580, free colored 32; total, 8,441.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 351.
Body Summary:
LEWIS was formed in 1816, from Harrison, and named in honor of Col. Charles Lewis, who fell at the battle of Point Pleasant. It is 60 miles long, with a mean width of about 20 miles. It is watered by the Little Kanawha and west fork of Monongahela; the surface is rocky, hilly, and in some parts mountainous: on the streams there is considerable fertile land. Stone-coal of an excellent quality abounds in some parts of the county. In 1843, portions of its territory were set off to the new counties of Barbour and Ritchie. Large quantities of sugar, and some tobacco, are raised in this county; the greatest staple is Indian corn. Pop. in 1840, whites 7,989, slaves 124, free colored 38 ; total, 8,151.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 284-285.
Body Summary:
Lewisburg, the seat of justice for the county, lies on the James River and Kanawha turnpike; 214 miles west of Richmond, 263 from Washington; about 150 from Guyandotte, on the Ohio River, 9 miles W. of the White Sulphur, and 13 from the Blue Sulphur Springs. This town was established by law in October, 1782, and the act appointed the following gentlemen trustees, viz.: Samuel Lewis, James Reid, Samuel Brown, Andrew Donnelly, John Stuart, Archer Mathews, Wm. Ward, and Thomas Edgar. It contains 6 mercantile stores, 1 newspaper printing office, 1 Baptist, 1 Presbyterian, and 1 Methodist church, 1 academy, and a population of about 800. It is a flourishing village, the most important in this whole region, and the place where the western branch of the court of appeals hold their sittings.

Lewisburg stands on the site of the old Savannah Fort, and is the place where the army of Gen. Lewis rendezvoused in 1774, previous to the battle of Point Pleasant. They constructed the first road ever made from here to Point Pleasant on the Ohio, distant about 160 miles. The old fort at this place stood about 100 yards SE. of the site of the present court-house, on land now (1843) belonging to Mr. Thomas B. Reynold, and the widow of Mr. Wm. Mathews. It was erected about the year 1770.

The first church — a Presbyterian — erected at Lewisburg, was about the year 1795. It is a stone edifice, and is now occupied by that denomination. Previously, the same society had a log church, about a mile and a half NW. of the village, near the present residence of Mr. Chas. Rogers. Their first clergyman was the Rev John M'Cue. There were then some Baptists in the county; their clergyman was the Rev. John Alderson. Lewisburg derived its name from the Lewis family. In olden time it was called "the Savannah," being a kind of a prairie.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 448.
Body Summary:
Lexington, the county-seat, 146 miles from Richmond, 188 from Washington city, 35 from Lynchburg, 35 from Staunton, and 37 from Fincastle, is beautifully situated on the west bank of North River, one of the main branches of the James. It was founded in 1778, and was originally composed almost exclusively of wooden buildings, most of which were destroyed by fire in 1794. The town speedily recovered from the effects of the catastrophe. It is now quite compact, many of the buildings are of brick, and some of the private mansions – among which is that of the governor of Virginia, James M’Dowell, Esq. – are beautifully situated. A recent English traveller [traveler] says, “The town, as a settlement, has many attractions. It is surrounded by beauty, and stands at the head of a valley flowing with milk and honey. House-rent is low, provisions are cheap, abundant, and of the best quality. Flowers and gardens are more prized here than in most places.” Lexington contains 13 mercantile stores, 2 newspaper printing offices, Washington College, the Virginia Military Institute, a fine classical under the charge of Mr. Jacob Fuller, Ann Smith academy, which is a female institution, 1 Presbyterian, 1 Episcopalian, 1 Baptist, and 1 Methodist church, and about 1,200 inhabitants.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 352.
Body Summary:
LOGAN was formed in 1824, from Giles, Kanawha, Cabell, and Tazewell, and named from the Mingo chief. It is about 70 miles long, with a mean width of 35 miles. It is watered by Guyandotte, Tug Fork of Big Sandy, and branches of the Great Kanawha. The surface is generally mountainous, and the soil adapted to grazing. It is one of the largest, wildest, and most sparsely inhabited counties in the state, with a population of less than 2 persons to a square mile. Pop. in 1840, whites 4,159, slaves 150; total, 4,309.

Lawnsville, or Logan C. H., is 351 miles west of Richmond, in a fertile bottom in a bend of the river Guyandotte, surrounded by mountains abounding in stone-coal and iron ore. It was laid off in 1827, and contains a few dwellings only.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 469.
Body Summary:
Marion, the county-seat, is a recently established village, near the centre of the county; 275 miles SW. of Richmond, 29 NE. of Abingdon, and 26 SW. of Wytheville, on the great turnpike from Baltimore to Nashville, Tenn. It is a small, but neat town, containing 3 mercantile stores, and about 30 dwellings.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 496.
Body Summary:
Martinsville, at the mouth of Fishing creek, 40 miles below Wheeling, contains 1 store and about 40 dwellings.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 496.
Body Summary:
Middlebourn, the county-seat, is 307 miles northwesterly from Richmond, 52 miles S. of Wheeling, near the centre of the county, on Middle Island creek. It contains 3 mercantile stores, a Methodist church, and about 50 dwellings.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 385.
Body Summary:
MONTGOMERY was formed in 1776, from Fincastle county,* and named from Gen. Montgomery: it is about 23 miles long, and 22 broad. New River runs on its southwestern border, which, with the head-waters of Roanoke River, drain the county. The lace of the county is broken and mountainous, though the streams are bordered with excellent soil, which yield heavy crops of corn and wheat. Pop. in 1840, whites 5,825, slaves 1,473, free colored 87; total, 7,405.

* Fincastle county was formed in 1772 from Botetourt, and extinguished in 1776 by the formation of Washington, Montgomery, and Kentucky counties from its territory.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 443-444.
Body Summary:
Newbern, the county seat, is on the great stage-route from Baltimore to Nashville, Tenn., 222 miles southwesterly from Richmond, 19 miles from Christiansburg, and 28 from Wytheville. It is the only village in the county, and one of considerable business for an inland town: its location is high and airy, giving a fine view of the neighboring valleys and mountains. It contains 5 mercantile stores, 1 Presbyterian and 1 Methodist church, and a population of about 300. Peak Knob, 4 miles south of Newbern, is a prominent projection in Draper's mountain, rising about 1,000 feet, and presenting from its summit a delightful and extensive landscape. Iron ore exists in abundance in this mountain, and also coal of a good quality. In its vicinity are mineral springs, supposed to possess valuable medicinal qualities. On the north bank of New River, near Newbern, there is a bluff called the Glass Windows, consisting of vertical rocks, nearly 500 feet high, and forming the immediate bank of the stream for a distance of four miles. They are considered a great curiosity. The face of these rocks is perforated by a vast number of cavities, which no doubt lead to caves or cells within the mountain. Some of these cells have been explored and found to contain saltpetre, stalactites, and other concretions.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 407.
Body Summary:
OHIO was formed in 1776, from the district of West Augusta: it is 14 miles long, with a mean width of 10 miles. It is bounded westerly by the Ohio River, into which empty several creeks of the county. The surface is much broken, but the soil, especially on the water-courses, is very fertile. Over one million bushels of bituminous coal are annually mined in the county. Pop. in 1840, whites 12,842, slaves 212, free colored 303; total, 13,357.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 516.
Body Summary:
Parkersburg, the county-seat, is a neat village, beautifully situated on the Ohio at the mouth of the Little Kanawha, 335 miles northwesterly from Richmond, 94 below Wheeling, 12 below Marietta, and 264 miles above Cincinnati. It is the most flourishing river village in the state, below Wheeling: it contains 9 mercantile stores, a bank, 1 newspaper printing office, 2 steam grist and 2 steam saw mills, 1 steam carding factor, 1 iron foundry, 2 extensive tanneries, 1 Presbyterian, 1 Baptist, 1 Episcopalian, and 1 Methodist church, and a population of about 1,100. A turnpike, about 280 miles in length, has lately been finished from Winchester to Parkersburg; and it is contemplated to continue the Baltimore and Ohio rail-road to this place.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 242.
Body Summary:
The large, wealthy, and flourishing town of Petersburg, is situated at the northeastern angle of the county, on the south bank of the Appomattox, 22 miles S. of Richmond, and 9 S. W. of City Point, on the line of the great southern railroad, with which last-named place there is also a railroad communication. The harbor admits vessels of considerable draught, and even ships come up as far as Walthall's' Landing, 6 miles below the town, where there is a branch railroad about 3 miles in length, connecting with the Richmond and Petersburg railroad. It contains 2 Epis., 2 Pres., 2 Meth., 1 Bap., and 1 Catholic church, besides those for colored people. It exports largely tobacco and flour, and there were, in 1843, belonging to this place, the following cotton manufactories, viz : Merchants co., Matoaca co., Ettricks co., Mechanics co., Battersea co., Canal Mills, Washington Mill, and the Eagle Mill. The goods here manufactured have a high reputation. There is also a very large number of tobacco factories. There were inspected here in 1843, 11,942 hogsheads of tobacco. Petersburg contains branches of the Bank of Va., Farmers Bank of Va., and the Exchange Bank of Va. The tonnage in 1840, was 3,098. There were 6 commercial and 8 commission houses engaged in foreign trade, capital $875,000; 121 retail stores, capital $1,026,250; 2 lumber yards, cap. $6,000 ; 1 furnace, 6 forges, 1 woollen factory, 1 pottery, 2 rope-walks, 2 flouring-mills, 1 grist-mill, 2 sawmills, 2 printing offices, 1 semi- weekly newspaper. Cap. in manufacturing $726,555. Pop. in 1830, 8,322 ; 1840, 11,136.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 443.
Body Summary:
PULASKI was formed in 1839, from Montgomery and Wythe, and named from Count Pulaski. It is 23 miles long, with a mean width of 18 miles. New River passes through the eastern part, and then, curving to the left, with Little River, divides the county from Montgomery. The face of the country N. and NW. of the C. H., is generally level and adapted to grain and grazing; S. and SE. of the C. H., it is more broken; yet on and near New River it is very fertile and productive in wheat. There is considerable mountain land in the county. Beef cattle are at this time the great staple of the county; but horses, swine, sheep, grain, tobacco, and hemp, could be produced in the greatest abundance. Population in 1840, whites 2,768, slaves 954, free colored 17; total, 3,739.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 444.
Body Summary:
RANDOLPH was formed in 1787, from Harrison. It is 85 miles long, with a mean width of 25 miles. This county is made up of several parallel ranges of mountains, with their intervening valleys: it is drained by the head-waters of Elk River, and the Monongahela. The mountains are covered with the finest timber, and abound in coal and iron ore. Much of the soil of the mountains is rich, and they abound in slate, freestone, and limestone. In some parts are small caves having a kind of copperas, which is used for a dye; and along some of the water-courses, alum projects in icicle-like drops. Salt springs are numerous. Within the last twelve years, elk and beaver have been seen in small numbers. Randolph is principally a stock-raising county, and live stock of every description are annually exported to market Population in 1840, whites 5,799, slaves 216, free colored 193; total, 6,208.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 447.
Body Summary:
RAPPAHANNOCK was formed in 1831, from Culpeper. It is named from the river which runs on its northern boundary. Its soil is fertile, and productive in wheat and corn. Length about 18, breadth 17 miles. Pop. in 1840, whites 5,307, slaves 3,663, free colored 287; total, 9,257.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 463.
Body Summary:
RICHMOND was created in 1692, when the old county of Rappahannock was extinguished, and Essex, with this county, made from it. It is 30 miles long, with an average breadth of 7 miles. The Rappahannock forms its southwestern boundary. Pop. in 1840, whites 3,092, slaves 2,363, free colored 510; total 5,963.

Richmond C. H. is centrally situated in the county, 56 miles NE. of Richmond. It is a small village containing only about a dozen dwellings.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 447.
Body Summary:
RITCHIE was formed in 1843, from Harrison, Lewis, and Wood, and named in honor of Thomas Ritchie, Esq.: it is about 25 miles long, and 20 broad. The surface is generally hilly and broken, and the soil not fertile, except on the streams, where there is considerable champaign country…Estimated population of the county, 1,800.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 447.
Body Summary:
ROANOKE was formed from Botetourt, in 1838. The name is probably derived from the Indian word Roenoke, or Rawrenoke, signifying the Indian shell-money. It is a small county, with a mean length of about 20, and mean width of 18 miles. The Blue Ridge forms its eastern boundary; the western parts are mountainous. Much of the soil of the county, particularly on the Roanoke River in the vicinity of Big Lick, is of almost unequalled fertility, and productive in hemp, wheat, and tobacco. Pop. in 1840, whites 3,843, slaves 1,553, free colored 101; total, 5,499.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 448.
Body Summary:
ROCKBRIDGE derives its name from the celebrated natural bridge: it was formed in 1778, from Augusta and Botetourt. It s mean length is 31, mean breadth 22 miles. This county is principally watered by North River – a branch of James River – and its tributaries. It flows diagonally through the county, and joins the main branch of James River at the foot of the Blue Ridge, where their united waters force a passage through. Much of the soil is of a superior quality, and highly cultivated. It is one of the most wealthy agricultural counties in the state. Pop. in 1840, whites 10,448, slaves 3,510, free colored 326; total, 14,284.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 460.
Body Summary:
ROCKINGHAM was formed in 1778, from Augusta. It is 38 miles long, and 23 broad. The main Shenandoah runs through the eastern portion; North River drains the southern part; north fork of Shenandoah runs through the N. and NW. portion; and Smith's creek, a branch of the latter, the central portion. The western part is very mountainous, and the Peaked mountains lie between Harrisonburg and the Shenandoah. Much of the soil is extremely fertile, and the farming economical and judicious. A large portion of the population is of German origin, and many still speak that language. Pop. in 1840, whites 14,944, slaves 1,899, free colored 501; total, 17,344.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 463.
Body Summary:
RUSSELL was formed in 1786, from Washington county, and named from Gen. Wm. Russell. Its mean length is 40, mean breadth 34 miles. It is drained by branches of the Sandy, and by the Clinch River; the latter runs through its eastern portion. The principal portion of the population is included between Clinch mountain and a distance of 15 miles from its base. The northern, and a greater portion of its territory, is so mountainous, sterile, and difficult of access, that its inhabitants are few and far between. There are some rich sections of land in Russell; and its mineral wealth — coal, iron ore, marble, &c. — is considerable. About 100,000 pounds of maple sugar are annually produced in the county. Pop. in 1840, whites 7,152, slaves 700, free colored 26; total, 7,878.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 447-448.
Body Summary:
Salem, the county-seat, is in the valley of Virginia, on the west bank of the Roanoke River, 178 miles westerly from Richmond, 25 miles NE. of Christiansburg, and 23 from Fincastle. The navigation of the Roanoke, from Weldon, N.C., to this place, 224 miles, is completed by canals, sluices, &c. Salem is a neat village, and contains 6 stores, 1 Presbyterian, 1 Baptist, and 1 Methodist church, and a population of about 450.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 464.
Body Summary:
SCOTT was formed in 1814, from Lee, Washington, and Russell, and named from Gen. Winfield Scott: its mean length is 24, mean breadth 23 miles. It is drained by the north fork of Holston and Clinch Rivers, each of which affords the facilities of boat navigation in times of freshets. Big and Little Moccasin and Sinking creeks, also water the county. The face of the country is mountainous and uneven, and much of the soil is good. Iron, coal, marble, limestone, and freestone, are found within its limits. About 60,000 pounds of maple sugar are annually produced. Pop. in 1840, whites 6,911, slaves 344, free colored 48; total, 7,303.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 164.
Body Summary:
Scottsville is on the N. bank of the James River canal, 20 miles from Charlottesville, and 79 from Richmond. It is the largest and most nourishing village on the canal, between Richmond and Lynchburg, and does a heavy business; it contains 1 Presbyterian, 1 Methodist, and 1 Reformed Baptist church, and about 160 houses.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 342-343.
Body Summary:
The Shannondale Springs are situated upon the Shenandoah River near the Blue Ridge. They are easier of access from the Atlantic cities, than any others in Virginia. The cars from Baltimore will convey the traveller, in seven hours, through Harper's Ferry to Charlestown, at which place coaches run to the springs, a distance of five miles. The scenery of this place is most beautiful and magnificent, to which the engraving annexed by no means does justice.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 467.
Body Summary:
SHENANDOAH was established in 1772, from Frederick, under the name of Dunmore; but in October, 1777, after Lord Dunmore had taken a decided stand against the colonists, one of the delegates from the county stated, "that his constituents no longer wished to live in, or he to represent, a county bearing the name of such a tory; he therefore moved to call it Shenandoah, after the beautiful stream which passes through it;" and it was accordingly done. It is 32 miles long, with a mean width of 15 miles. The eastern and western portions are mountainous. The central part of the county is watered by the north fork of the Shenandoah, and the soil is extremely fertile. Population in 1840, whites 10,320, slaves 1,033, free colored 265; total, 11,618.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 336.
Body Summary:
Shepherdstown is situated on the Potomac, in the northwestern part of the county, 5 miles north of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad, and about 12 miles above Harper's Ferry. It was established by law in November, 1762, laid off by Capt. Thomas Shepherd, and named Mecklenburg: its first settlers were German mechanics. It contains 6 or 8 mercantile stores, 3 merchant mills, 1 Episcopal, 1 Presbyterian, 1 German-Reformed, and 1 Lutheran church, and a population of about 1,600. There is a small stream, of considerable fall, which runs through the town, immediately opposite to which is an inlet-lock to the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. This town is remarkable as being the place where the first steamboat was constructed and navigated.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 496.
Body Summary:
Sistersville, 48 miles below Wheeling, is one of the best landings on the Ohio. This town was laid out in 1814 as the county-seat; but in 1816 it was removed to Middlebourn, 9 miles east of here. It is a flourishing village, containing 4 mercantile stores and about 80 dwellings.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 469.
Body Summary:
SMYTH was formed in 1831, from Washington and Wythe, and named from Gen. Alexander Smyth, an officer of the late war, and a M. C. from 1817 to 1825, and 1827 to 1830. It is 30 miles long, with a mean width of 22 miles. It has three valleys; the north, south, and middle forks of the Holston running parallel with each. The mountains are lofty, the bottom lands rich and productive. There are three quarries of gypsum, of the best quality, on the N. fork of the Holston, and several other quarries on Cove creek. It is now extensively and advantageously used in agriculture. About 60,000 pounds of maple sugar are annually produced. Pop., whites 5,539, slaves 838, free colored 145; total, 6,522.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 470.
Body Summary:
SOUTHAMPTON was formed in 1748, from Isle of Wight. Its length is 40, mean width 15 miles. The rail-road from Portsmouth to Welden, N. C., runs across the county. It is watered by the Meherrin, Nottoway, and Blackwater Rivers. The Nottoway is navigable for vessels of 70 tons, as far as Monroe, from which place produce and lumber are shipped to Norfolk. The Blackwater is navigable for large vessels to South Quay, in Nansemond. There were in 1840, whites 5,171, slaves 6,555, free colored 1,799; total. 14,525.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 474.
Body Summary:
SPOTSYLVANIA was formed in 1720, from Essex, King William, and King and Queen, and named from Alexander Spotswood, then governor of Virginia. It is 23 miles long, and 17 wide. It is drained by head branches of the North Anna and Mattapony, and the Rappahannock forms its northern boundary. The soil on the streams is fine; but on the ridges, the land, originally thin, has much deteriorated by the wretched system of agriculture introduced by the first settlers, and long persisted in by their descendants. Gold has been found in the county, and at present it is obtained in considerable quantities. Pop. in 1840, whites 6,787, slaves 7,590; total, 15,161. There are several small places in the county, though none of much note, except the city of Fredericksburg. The C. H. is situated about the centre of the county, on the river Po.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 484.
Body Summary:
STAFFORD was formed in 1675, from Westmoreland. Its length is 20, mean width 12 miles. The Rappahannock runs on its SW. border, the Potomac on its E. boundary; the rail-road from Fredericksburg to the Potomac runs through it. On the streams there is considerable good land, elsewhere the soil is generally worn out by injudicious agriculture. Gold exists in the county. Pop. in 1840, whites 4,489, slaves 3,596, free colored 369; total 8,454.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 289.
Body Summary:
Stanardsville, the county-seat, is in the western part, 95 miles northwesterly from Richmond, and 18 miles w. of Orange C. H. The village is pleasantly situated, and contains about 35 dwellings.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 486.
Body Summary:
SURRY was formed in 1652: it measures each way about 18 miles. The James runs on its northern, and the Blackwater River on a portion of its southern line. Pop. in 1840, whites 2,557, slaves 2,853, free colored 1,070; total, 6,480.

The C.H. is situated 5 miles S. of James River, and 55 southeasterly from Richmond. There is in this county, on or near the James, an antique mansion, called “BACON’S CASTLE,” supposed by some to have been once fortified by Nathaniel Bacon, the leader of “the Rebellion” in 1676. On what ground this supposition rests, we have been unable to ascertain.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 487.
Body Summary:
SUSSEX was formed in 1754, from Surry: it is about 32 miles long, and 18 wide. The rail-road from Petersburg to Weldon, N. C., runs through a portion of it on the west. The Nottoway runs centrally through it, and the Blackwater forms a part of its NE. boundary. About 500,000 pounds of cotton are annually produced in the county. Pop. in 1840, whites 3,584, slaves 6,384, free colored 811; total, 11,229.

The C. H. is situated near the centre of the county, 48 miles SSE. of Richmond.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 487.
Body Summary:
TAYLOR was formed Jan. 19th, 1844, from Harrison, Barbour, and Marion, and named from John Taylor of Caroline. Williamsport, sometimes called Prunty Town, is the county-seat. It is situated near the ferry across Tygart's Valley River, 209 miles northwesterly from Richmond, and 18 NE. by E. from Clarksburg. It contains 3 stores, 1 Methodist and 1 Baptist church, and about 30 dwellings. Rector College, an institution founded in 1839, is located here; it had, by the census of 1840, 110 students. As this county has been so recently formed, we are unable to give its statistics or geographical boundaries, and the counties from which it has been formed have, in those particulars, been described in this volume as though it had no existence.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 487-488.
Body Summary:
TAZEWELL was formed in 1799, from Russell and Wythe, and named from Henry Tazewell, a member of the U. S. Senate, from 1794 to 1799. It is 60 miles long, with a mean width of 25 miles. The Tug Fork of Big Sandy runs on part of the northern border; the Clinch River rises near Jeffersonville, and the Great Kanawha receives many branches from the eastern section of the county. It is traversed by mountains, some of which rise to an immense height; the chief are, Clinch, Rich, East River, and Paint Lick. Between some of them are beautiful valleys, of a black, deep soil, very fertile. Abb's Valley, a delightful tract, 10 miles long, and about 40 rods wide, with no stream running through it, and bounded by lofty mountains, possesses a soil of extraordinary fertility. It derives its name from Absalom Looney, a hunter, who is supposed to have been the first white person ever in it. Inexhaustible quarries of limestone exist in the county, and extensive beds of excellent coal. The principal staples are cattle, horses, hogs, feathers, tow and flax linen, beeswax, ginseng, seneca snakeroot, &c., &c. The mean height of the arable soil is about 2,200 feet above the level of the ocean. Pop. in 1840, whites 5,466, slaves 786, colored 38; total, 6,590.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 344.
Body Summary:
Terra Salis, or Kanawha Salines, is a flourishing town about 6 miles above Charleston, containing 4 dry-goods and 2 grocery stores, an extensive iron-foundry, 1 Episcopal, 1 Presbyterian, and 1 Methodist church, and a population of about 800.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 495-496.
Body Summary:
TYLER was formed in 1814, from Ohio, and named from John Tyler, gov. of Va. from 1808 to 1811, and father of the late President of the U. S. It is 40 miles long, with a mean breadth of 18 miles. This county declines to the west towards the Ohio, and is drained by Middle Island and Fishing creeks, both running through the county and emptying into the Ohio. The surface is exceedingly hilly and broken, but the soil is of a fair quality, and on the creek and river bottoms, excellent. About 50,000 pounds of maple sugar are annually produced. Pop. in 1840, whites 6,854, slaves 85, free colored 5; total, 6,954...

This county, being upon the Ohio River, has, in common with those counties situated upon this great artery, a facility in transporting its produce to market not possessed by the country further inland. The introduction of steamboats has greatly increased these facilities. In the infancy of the country every species of water-craft was employed in navigating this beautiful river; and that unique and hardy race that once spent their lives upon its waters have vanished. The graphic and lively picture given below from Flint's Recollections of the lives of the boatmen, is now a part of the history of our country:

The way of life which the boatmen lead, is in turn extremely indolent and extremely laborious; for days together requiring little or no effort, and attended with no danger, and then, on a sudden, laborious and hazardous beyond Atlantic navigation. The boats float by the dwellings of the inhabitants on beautiful spring mornings, when the verdant forests, the mild and delicious temperature of the air, the delightful azure of the sky, the fine bottom on one hand and the romantic bluff on the other, the broad and smooth stream rolling calmly down the forest and floating the boat gently onward — all combine to inspire the youthful imagination. The boatmen are dancing to the violin on the deck of their boat. They scalier their wit among the girls on the shore, who come down to the water's edge to see the pageant pass. The boat glides on until it disappears behind a point of wood. At this moment, perhaps, the bugle, with which all the boats are provided, strikes up its notes in the distance over the water. These scenes and these notes, echoing from the bluffs of the beautiful Ohio, have a charm for the imagination, which, although I have heard a thousand times repeated, and at all hours, is, even to me, always new and always delightful.

Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 165.
Body Summary:
The UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA is one mile west of Charlottesville, and although of a deservedly high reputation, it is an institution of recent origin. The legislature of the state, at the session of 1817-18, adopted measures for establishing the university, which, however, did not go into operation until 1825. The institution was erected and endowed by the state; and it owes its origin and peculiar organization to Mr. Jefferson. It has a fine collection of buildings, consisting of four parallel ranges about 600 feet in length, and 200 feet apart, suited to the accommodation of 9 professorships, and upwards of 200 students; which, together with the real estate, cost over $300,000. It possesses valuable libraries, amounting to 16,000 vols., and is amply provided with philosophical and chemical apparatus, together with a fine cabinet of minerals and fossils, and an anatomical and miscellaneous museum. The observatory, a short distance from the university, is furnished with the requisite astronomical instruments. "The plan of the university differs materially from that of other institutions in the Union. The students are not divided into four classes, with a course of studies embracing four years; but the different branches are styled schools, and the student is at liberty to attend which he pleases, and graduate in each when prepared. In order to attain the title of "Master of Arts of the University of Virginia," the student must graduate in the several schools of mathematics, ancient languages, moral philosophy, natural philosophy, chemistry, and in some two of the modern languages. The chairman of the faculty is annually chosen from the faculty, by the board of visitors. This board is appointed by the governor and council every four years, and chooses its own rector. This institution is, in every respect, organized and justly regarded as an university of the first class. The number of students, including the law and medical departments, is not far from 200."
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 496-497.
Body Summary:
WARREN was formed in 1836, from Frederick and Shenandoah: it is 20 miles long and 12 wide. The Shenandoah River runs through it at the base of the Blue Ridge, and receives in its passage the waters of its North Fork, which enters it from the west. There is considerable mountain land in the SW. part of the country, and the surface is generally hilly, yet there is much excellent soil. Pop. in 1840, whites 3,851, slaves 1,434, free colored 342; total, 5,627.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 497.
Body Summary:
WARWICK was one of the eight original shires into which Virginia was divided in 1634: its extreme length is 20, and greatest breadth 5 miles. It occupies a portion of the narrow peninsula between York and James Rivers, the latter of which forms its southwestern boundary. Pop. in 1840, whites 604, slaves 831, free colored 21; total, 1,456.

The C. H. lies about 3 miles N. of the James, and 77 miles southeasterly from Richmond.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 497-498.
Body Summary:
WASHINGTON was formed in 1770, from Fincastle county: it is 40 miles long, and 18 broad. This county occupies part of the valley between the Blue Ridge and Clinch mountains, and is watered by the North, Middle, and South Forks of Holston, which rise in Wythe and flow through this county, dividing it into three fertile valleys. Gypsum of a superior quality abounds, and over 60,000 pounds of maple sugar are annually produced. Pop. in 1840, whites 11,731, slaves 2,058, free colored 212; total, 13,001.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 447.
Body Summary:
Washington, the seat of justice, is 123 miles NW. of Richmond, and 75 from Washington city. It is a fine village, near the foot of the Blue Ridge, in a fertile country, and upon one of the head branches of the Rappahannock. It contains a church, an academy, 2 stores, and about 60 dwellings.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 506.
Body Summary:
WAYNE is a new county, formed in 1842 from the southwestern part of Cabell. It is about 35 miles long, with a mean breadth of 10 miles. The Ohio forms its NW. boundary, the Tug Fork of Big Sandy divides it from Kentucky, and Twelve Pole creek rises in Logan and runs through it centrally. The surface of the county is considerably broken, and it is sparsely inhabited. The courthouse is at Trout's Hill.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 507.
Body Summary:
WESTMORELAND lies on the Potomac, in the NE. section of the state. It is about 30 miles long, with a width of from 8 to 10 miles. The first mention which has been found of this county, is in an act of the "Grand Assembly" of July. 1653, by which "It is ordered that the bounds of the county of Westmoreland be as followeth, (viz.,) from Machoactoke River, where Mr. Cole lives, and so upwards to the falls of the great river Pawlomake, above the Nescostin's towne." From this, it would seem the county was previously in existence, but it is not ascertained at what time it was taken from the older colony of Northumberland, (at first called Chicawane or Chickown,) which was established in 1648, and declared by an act of that year to contain the "neck of land between Rappahannock River and Potomack River.” Its surface is indented with numerous tributaries of the Potomac, the waters of which generally abound wish the finest fish, oysters, and wildfowl. The face of the country is diversified by hills and flatland. The soil on the streams is fertile, and the middle or forest-lands are covered with a thick growth of pine and cedar, and exhibit all the symptoms of early exhaustion from the successive culture of tobacco. They are not, however, irreclaimable, and in many instances, by a proper system of agriculture, give abundant crops. Large quantities of cord-wood are exported to the Baltimore market. Pop. in 1840, whites 3,466, slaves 3,590, free colored 963; total, 8,019. The Court-House is situated near the line of Richmond co., 70 m. NE. of Richmond, and contains a few dwellings only.

Westmoreland has been called “the Athens of Virginia." Some of the most renowned men in this country have been born within her borders. Among these may be mentioned WASHINGTON, Richard Henry Lee, and his three brothers, Thomas, Francis, and Arthur, Gen. Henry Lee, Monroe, and the late Judge Bushrod Washington.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 515-516.
Body Summary:
WOOD was formed in 1799, from Harrison, and named from James Wood, governor of Virginia from 1790 to 1799; it is 35 miles long, and 30 wide. Nearly the whole of its territory is embraced in the valley of the Little Kanawha and its tributaries, Hughes Hirer, and N. fork of Hughes River. The surface is much broken, but the soil for the most part is good. Pop. in 1840, whites 7,243, slaves 624, free colored 56; total, 7,923.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 467.
Body Summary:
Woodstock, the county-seat, is 150 miles NW. of Richmond, and 32 SSW. of Winchester, on the Staunton and Winchester macadamized turnpike, and about a mile from the N. fork of the Shenandoah. The town was established in March, 1761. It contains several mercantile stores, 1 newspaper printing-office, an academy, a masonic hall, 1 German Reformed, 1 Lutheran, and 1 Methodist church, and a population of over 1,000.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 514.
Body Summary:
WYTHE was formed in 1790, from Montgomery, and named from George Wythe, an eminent jurist, and a signer of the Declaration of Independence; it is 24 miles long and 20 wide. The greater part of the county is a mountain valley, included between Walker's mountain on the NW. and Iron mountain on the SE. Wythe valley is an elevated table-land, about 2,200 feet above the level of the ocean. The surface is drained, principally, by New River and its tributaries. The soil is good, and peculiarly adapted to the cultivation of grass. Gypsum is advantageously used in agriculture. Wythe is rich in minerals, in iron, lead, and coal. Pop. in 1840, whites 7,632, slaves 1,618, free colored 125; total, 9,375.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 514.
Body Summary:
Wytheville, the county-seat, is on the main turnpike from Harper's Ferry to Knoxville, Tenn., 248 miles southwesterly from Richmond, 55 miles from Abingdon, and 27 from Newbern. This town was established by law in 1792, on land given by Stophel Zimmerman and John Davis; and the following gentlemen were appointed trustees: Alexander Smyth, Walter Crockett, William Ward, Robert Adams, James Newell, David McGavock, William Caffee, and Jesse Evans; it bore the name of Evansham, until changed to its present one in 1838. It contains 8 mercantile stores, 2 newspaper printing-offices, 1 Presbyterian, 1 Protestant Methodist, 1 German Lutheran, and 1 Catholic church, and about 700 inhabitants. The village is neat, well built, and flourishing.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 519.
Body Summary:
YORK was one of the eight original counties into which Virginia was divided in 1634. Chesapeake Bay bounds it on the east, and York River on the NE. It is 30 miles long, with a mean width of 5 miles. Population in 1840, 4,720.
Citation:
Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 519-520.
Body Summary:
Yorktown, the seat of justice, is on York River, 11 miles from its mouth, 33 from Norfolk, and 70 from Richmond. It was established by law in 1705, and was once a nourishing village, and had considerable commerce. There are now only about 40 dwellings, many of which are dilapidated and fast going to decay. The Swan tavern, in this town, is said to be the oldest in Virginia.

The water scenery at York is fine. The river, full a mile wide, is seen stretching far away until it merges into Chesapeake Bay — an object of beauty when rolling in the morning light, its ripples sparkling in the sun, or when its broad bosom is tinged with the cloud-reflected hues of an autumnal sunset.
How to Cite This Page: "Historical Collections of Virginia," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, http://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/19952.