Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 242.
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.