Archive for the '1700s' Category

Spotsylvania County/Caroline County Z-149 Z-156

Historical Marker Text
Spotsylvania County Z-156
Straddling the fall line, Spotsylvania County was formed from Essex, King William, and King and Queen Counties in 1720. It was named for Alexander Spotswood, lieutenant governor of Virginia from 1710 to 1722. The Civil War battles of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, the Wilderness, and Spotsylvania were fought in this county. The county seat is Spotsylvania. [2003]

Caroline County Z-156
Caroline County was formed from Essex, King and Queen, and King William Counties in 1728. It was named for Caroline of Anspach, consort of King George II. Revolutionary War General George Rogers Clark (1752-1818) and William Clark (1770-1838) of the Lewis and Clark Expedition lived here in their early youth. The county seat is Bowling Green and the current county courthouse was erected in the 1830s to replace one that previously stood nearby. [2003]

Note: The marker Z-156 has Spotsylvania County on one face and Caroline County on the other. It stands on Rt. 1, near Marye Rd, and is a more recent and updated version of the similar Spotsylvania County/Caroline County marker, Z-149, which is located many miles to the northeast, on Rt. 2, near Rt. 17.
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George Washington’s Childhood Home J-61

Historical Marker Text
The Washington family moved to a plantation here in 1738 when George Washington was six years old. Along with his three brothers and sister, young Washington spent most of his early life here, where, according to popular fable, he cut down his father’s cherry tree and uttered the immortal words, “I cannot tell a lie.” His father, Augustine, died here in 1743, leaving the property to him. His mother, Mary Ball Washington, lived here until 1772 when she moved to a house in Fredericksburg that Washington bought for her. [1997]
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Fall Hill E-49a

Historical Marker Text
On the heights one mile to the west, the home of the Thorntons from about 1736. Francis Thornton 2nd was a justice, a Burgess 1744-45, and Lieut. -Colonel of his Majesty’s militia for Spotsylvania County. He and two of his brothers married three Gregory sisters, first cousins of George Washington. “Fall Hill” is still (1950) owned and occupied by direct Thornton descendants. [1957]
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Fredericksville Furnace EM-1

Historical Marker Text
Charles Chiswell established the iron-making community of Fredericksville near this point of Douglas Run, a tributary of the North Anna River. The furnace had been in blast for about five years when William Byrd in 1732 toured the site in the company of Chiswell and his iron-master, Robert Durham. An archaeological investigation of the furnace was financed by Virginia Electric and Power Company in 1970. [1971]
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Colonial Post Office N-10

Historical Marker Text
Here was Newpost, headquarters of Alexander Spotswood (Governor of Virginia, 1710-22), deputy postmaster general for the colonies, 1730-39. Spotswood also had an iron furnace here. [1928]

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Brig. Gen. John Minor N-32

Historical Marker Text
Hazel Hill, the home of John Minor (13 May 1761-8 June 1816), a close friend of President James Monroe, once occupied this site. Minor served as a soldier in the American Revolution, as a colonel of the Spotsylvania County militia, and as a brigadier general of militia from 1804 through the War of 1812. Minor also was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates from 1805 to 1807. In 1783, as a private citizen, Minor unsuccessfully urged the General Assembly to pass a bill to emancipate Virginia’s slaves. [1995]
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Washington- Rochambeau Route

Historical Marker Text
Marker not erected. Original location: Business Rte. 17, 200 ft. east of Rte. 1. Generals Washington and Rochambeau slept here the night of Sept. 12, 1781. Having learned that Admiral de Grasse had put to sea to fight the British fleet under Admiral Graves, Washington and Rochambeau with their staffs hastened to Williamsburg. Note: this is one of five unnumbered signs discussing aspects of the Washington-Rochambeau Route, which were a special gift from the French Government, Committee of the Bicentennial, to the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1976.
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Spotswood’s Furnace J-42

Historical Marker Text
Four miles north, on this side road, is the site of an ancient iron furnace established about 1716 by Governor Alexander Spotswood, the first fully equipped iron furnace in the colonies. Iron was hauled along this road to the Rappahannock River for shipment. William Byrd visited the furnace in 1732 and described it. [1930]
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Camp Cobb at Gunnery Springs N-30

Historical Marker Text
In 1775, during the Revolutionary War, this “noble spring” was part of a 10-1/2-acre tract purchased for the Fredericksburg Gun Manufactory. On this site in 1898 stood Camp Cobb, a Spanish-American War training camp for the 4th U.S. Volunteer Infantry Regiment. It was named for Confederate Brig. Gen. Thomas R. R. Cobb, killed in the Battle of Fredericksburg, 13 Dec. 1862. Because of the danger yellow fever posed to American troops in Cuba, recruiters sought to fill the regiment with men whose medical backgrounds suggested immunity to tropical diseases. The first company of the “Immunes,” as they were called, arrived on 4 June 1898. The Immunes never saw combat, as the fighting ended in July, and the camp was dismantled. [1994]

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Hunter’s Iron Works E-116

Historical Marker Text
Located south of here on the Rappahannock River, stood Hunter’s Iron Works, founded by James Hunter and was in operation by the 1750s. With the outbreak of the American Revolution, the Rappahannock Forge there supplied the Continental army and navy with muskets, swords, and other armaments and camp implements. Due to its wartime significance, Gov. Thomas Jefferson ordered special military protection for the complex. The ironworks contained a blast furnace, forge, slitting, merchant, and other mills, nailery, coopers’, carpenters’, and wheelwright shops and houses for the managers and workmen. Some of the buildings may have been used for other purposes into the 19th century; none survive today. [2002]
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Fredericksburg E-45 and E-46

Historical Marker Text
Fredericksburg E-45. Fredericksburg was established in 1728 and named for Frederick Louis, Prince of Wales and eldest son of King George II. It served as the county seat of Spotsylvania County from 1732 to 1778 and was an important port during the colonial era. In his youth, George Washington lived nearby at Ferry Farm. He later spoke of the city’s influence on him. The town was devastated by fire in 1807 and again by the First and Second Battles of Fredericksburg that were fought here during the Civil War, yet many 18th- and 19th-century buildings remain and are listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places. [2003]

Fredericksburg E-46-a. Captain John Smith was here in 1608; Lederer, the explorer, in 1670. In May 1671 John Buckner and Thomas Royster patented the Lease Land Grant. The town was established in 1727 and lots were laid out. It was named for Frederick, Prince of Wales, father of George III. The court for Spotsylvania County was moved here in 1732 and the town was enlarged in 1759 and 1769. Fredericksburg was incorporated as a town in 1781, as a city in 1879, and declared a city of the first class in 1941. [1948]

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Creek Delegation in Fredericksburg J-102

Historical Marker Text
In July 1790 a delegation of Creek Indians from Georgia, headed by Muskogee leader Alexander McGillivray, made their temporary headquarters nearby on their way to New York City. President George Washington invited them to treaty negotiations to resolve territorial disputes and develop further formal relations. While in Fredericksburg, the delegation visited with Washington’s family at Kenmore and viewed Ferry Farm, his boyhood home. The group continued north to discuss and sign the 1790 Treaty of New York, the first treaty with a sovereign Indian nation negotiated by the new federal government under the Constitution. The treaty established boundaries and also contained secret articles for promoting trade. [2005]

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Third Spotsylvania County Courthouse E-128

Historical Marker Text
Bypass Rte. 208, at third courthouse site. This site was the location of the third Spotsylvania courthouse. In 1722 the first county court session was held at Germanna (now in Orange County) and a courthouse was built soon after. The court was relocated to Fredericksburg in 1732. In 1778 the General Assembly permitted the county to move the courthouse again to a more central location. The first court session was held here in 1781. The County’s courthouse, jail, pillory, stocks, and gallows were built, and a clerk’s office and tavern were erected thereafter. A second courthouse, built in 1800, replaced the original. In 1837 it burned to the ground, and a replacement was built nearby at the present site of the Spotsylvania courthouse.

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Fredericksburg Gun Manufactory N-7

Historical Marker Text
The Fredericksburg Gun Manufactory was established by an ordinance passed by Virginia’s third revolutionary convention on 17 July 1775. Built on this site soon thereafter by Fielding Lewis and Charles Dick, it was the first such factory in America. Its workers repaired and manufactured small arms for the regiments of numerous Virginia counties during the Revolutionary War. The factory’s principal product was modeled after the British Brown Bess musket, the standard infantry arm of the day. Only a handful of the Fredericksburg muskets survive. In 1783 the factory closed and the General Assembly transferred the land and buildings to the trustees of the Fredericksburg Academy. The property was sold to a merchant in 1801 and later subdivided. [1994]

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Massaponax Baptist Church E-78

Historical Marker Text
Massaponax Baptist Church, built in 1859, served a congregation founded in 1788. On 21 May 1864 Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and his commanders conferred on pews in the churchyard as the Union army marched from the Spotsylvania Court House battlefield to the North Anna River. Photographer Timothy O’Sullivan hauled his heavy stereo camera to the balcony of the church and recorded this conference in a unique series of candid images showing a war council in progress. [1991]

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Aquia Episcopal Church E-90

Historical Marker Text
Here is Aquia Church, the church of Overwharton Parish, formed before 1680 by the division of Potomac Parish. It was built in 1757, on the site of an earlier church, in the rectorship of Reverend John Moncure, who was the parish minister from 1738 to 1764. The communion silver was given the parish in 1739 and was buried in three successive wars, 1776, 1812 and 1861. [1932]

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Chatham J-60

Historical Marker Text
Here is Chatham, built about 1750 by William Fitzhugh. Here Robert E. Lee came to court his wife. In the battle of Fredericksburg, December 13, 1862, the house was occupied by General Sumner. It was General Hooker’s headquarters for a time, 1863. [1928] Continue reading ‘Chatham J-60’

Peyton’s Ordinary E-49

Historical Marker Text
In this vicinity stood Peyton’s Ordinary. George Washington, going to Fredericksburg to visit his mother, dined here, March 6, 1769. On his way to attend the House of Burgesses, he spent the night here, October 31, 1769, and stayed here again on September 14, 1772. Rochambeau’s army, marching north from Williamsburg in 1782, camped here. [1947]

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Historic Falmouth E-47

Historical Marker Text
Historic Falmouth E-47 Founded in 1727 as a trading center for the Northern Neck. Hunter’s iron works here were an objective in the Virginia campaign of 1781. The Army of the Potomac camped here from November 1862 to June 1863 and moved hence to Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. [1927]

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Marlborough E-75

Historical Marker Text
Strategically situated at the tip of a peninsula jutting into the Potomac River at Potomac Creek, Marlborough was established under the Town Act of 1691 as a river port town. It served as the county seat of Stafford County from 1691 until about 1718. Marlborough never fully developed. In 1726, noted lawyer John Mercer (1705-1768) moved there and built Marlborough plantation and attempted to revive the town. Mercer had one of the largest private libraries in Virginia, in which the young George Mason received much of his education. Mercer’s attempt to revive the town was unsuccessful and it ceased to exist by the end of the 18th century. [2001]

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