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Westmoreland County, Virginia (Howe)

Gazetteer/Almanac

Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 507.

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.

How to Cite This Page: "Westmoreland County, Virginia (Howe)," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, http://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/20681.