Portal:Virginia

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The Commonwealth of Virginia or simply Virginia (named after Queen Elizabeth I of England, who was known as the Virgin Queen), is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States and Mid-Atlantic States. It is one of four states that use the name commonwealth. It is the 12th most populous state.

The Colony of Virginia was the first part of the Americas to be colonized permanently by England—laying the foundation for the British Empire—and was nicknamed the Old Dominion by King Charles II. It is one of the original thirteen colonies of the United States and was the tenth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution in 1788. In 1861, Virginia was the eighth state to secede from the Union and its capital, Richmond, became the national capital of the Confederate States of America.

Virginia is known as the "Mother of Presidents", because it is the birthplace of eight U.S. presidents (George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor, and Woodrow Wilson), more than any other state, including four out of the first five, six out of the first ten, seven out of the first twelve, and eight of the first twenty-eight. Virginia has also been known as the "Mother of States", because portions of the original Colony subsequently became Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, and West Virginia as well as some portions of Ohio.

Selected article

Cannon positioned outside the restored magazine in Williamsburg
The Gunpowder Incident (or Gunpowder Affair) was a conflict early in the American Revolutionary War between Lord Dunmore, the Royal Governor of the Colony of Virginia, and militia led by Patrick Henry.

On the night of April 20, 1775, well before news of the Battles of Lexington and Concord on the prior day had reached Virginia, Lord Dunmore ordered the removal of the gunpowder from the magazine (pictured) in Williamsburg, Virginia, which stored it for the militia. Royal marines went to loaded fifteen half barrels of powder into the governor's wagon, and began transporting it to the Royal Navy ship Magdalen in the James River.

The act was discovered by townsfolk while underway, and they sounded an alarm. Local militia rallied to the scene, and riders spread word of the incident across the colony. Patrick Henry led a small militia force toward Williamsburg to force return of the gunpowder to the colony's control, arguing that it was owned by the colony and not the Crown. The matter was resolved without conflict when a payment of £330 was made to Henry. Fearing for his personal safety after the incident, Dunmore later retreated to a naval vessel, ending of royal control of the colony.

Selected biography

Francis nicholson Dahl.jpg
Francis Nicholson (12 November 1655 – March 16, 1728 [O.S. March 5, 1727]) was a British military officer and colonial administrator. His military service included time in Africa and Europe, after which he was sent as leader of the troops supporting Sir Edmund Andros in the Dominion of New England. There he distinguished himself, and was appointed lieutenant governor of the dominion in 1688. After news of the Glorious Revolution reached the colonies in 1689, Andros was overthrown in the Boston Revolt. Nicholson himself was soon caught up in unrest in New York, and fled to England.

He next served as lieutenant governor or governor of Virginia and Maryland. He supported the founding of the College of William and Mary, and quarreled with Andros after Andros was selected over him as governor of Virginia. In 1709 he became involved in colonial military actions during Queen Anne's War, leading an aborted expedition against Canada. He then led the expedition that successfully captured Port Royal, Acadia on 2 October 1710. Afterward he served as governor of Nova Scotia and Placentia, and was the first royal governor of South Carolina following a rebellion against its proprietors. He rose to the rank of Lieutenant-General, and died a bachelor in London in 1728.

He supported public education in the colonies, and was a member of both the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts and the Royal Society. He also influenced American architecture, being responsible for the layout and design of Annapolis, Maryland and Williamsburg, Virginia. He was one of the earliest advocates of colonial union, principally for reasons of defense against common enemies.

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19th-century painting depicting the marriage of Pocahontas and John Rolfe

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Roanoke City (Virginia) from Mill Mountain Star at Dusk.jpg
Credit: Jovianeye

Downtown Roanoke at night, as viewed from the Mill Mountain overlook

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Fact sheet

  • Capital: Richmond, Virginia
  • Total area: 110,862 sq.mi
  • Highest elevation: 5,729 ft (Mount Rogers)
  • Population (2010 census) 8,001,024
  • Date Virginia joined the united States: June 25, 1788

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Portsmouth | Radford | Richmond | Roanoke | Salem | Staunton | Suffolk | Virginia Beach | Waynesboro | Williamsburg | Winchester

Colleges & Universities Appalachian School of Law | Averett University | Bluefield College | Bridgewater College | Christendom College | Christopher Newport University | College of William & Mary | Emory and Henry College | Ferrum College | George Mason University | George Washington University Virginia Campus | Hampden–Sydney College | Hampton University | Hollins University | James Madison University | Liberty University | Longwood University | Marine Corps University | Mary Baldwin University | Marymount University | Norfolk State University | Old Dominion University | Radford University | Randolph–Macon College | Randolph–Macon Woman's College | Regent University | Roanoke College | Saint Paul's College | Shenandoah University | Southern Virginia University | Sweet Briar College | University of Mary Washington | University of Richmond | University of Virginia | University of Virginia's College at Wise | Virginia Commonwealth University | Virginia Community College System | Virginia Intermont College | Virginia Military Institute | Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University | Virginia State University | Virginia Union University | Virginia Wesleyan University | Washington and Lee University | Westwood College


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