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Interesting sketches.

The Alexandria Sentinel has been publishing some sketches of Virginia history ‘"for children"’ which are very interesting to grown people. The last of the number contains the following facts about the Old Dominion:

‘ The boundaries of Virginia have undergone great changes. The charters given by King James I., in whose reign the colony was settled, granted all the territory contained between two lines; the one drawn from a point on the Atlantic sea-coast, two hundred miles south of Point Comfort; the said lines to be extended ‘"West and Northwest"’ across to the Pacific Ocean; also all the islands within three hundred leagues of the foregoing grant. This was a vast domain of the extent of which King James had no conception; for he knew not how distant the Pacific Ocean lay from the Atlantic.

But King James's successors paid small respect to the limits thus accorded to Virginia. In 1632 Charles I., son of James, granted to Lord Baltimore all that portion of the ancient Virginia domain out of which has been formed the State of Maryland. In 1630 he also gave away a belt of territory extending from ocean to ocean, and including as its Atlantic front what is now the State of North Carolina. No settlement being then made on this grant, in 1663 Charles II. bestowed it upon the Duke of Albemarle and others.

By the treaty of peace between the French and English in 1763, at the close of the French and Indian war, a line drawn along the middle of the Mississippi River became Virginia's western boundary; so that her territory was no longer to stretch from sea to sea.

In June 1776 Virginia relinquished all claim to such of her original territory as had been taken away in the charters erecting the colonies of Maryland, Pennsylvania, North and South Carolina.

Virginia had still a very extensive dominion. Spreading from the Atlantic to the Mississippi River, and stretching up that river to its source, her territory embraced, in addition to her present boundaries, what is now included in the States of Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin.

In the revolutionary war this large domain created much jealousy and discontent among the other colonies. They complained that Virginia had greater interests dependent on the result than they, but only encountered equal perils; and they feared also that the small colonies would, after Independence was gained, be overshadowed and endangered by such preponderance of power in their neighbors.

To relieve these discontents. Virginia, in 1781, generously yielded to the United States for the common benefit the whole of her vast territory Northwest of the Ohio river.

In 1789 Virginia further authorized inhabitants of that portion of her territory now constituting the State of Kentucky, to form themselves into a separate commonwealth. In 1792, that movement was consummated, and Virginia thus reduced to her present limits.


With the exception of the James, the York, and a few others, the rivers of Virginia were wisely permitted to retain their melodious Indian names. Among these are the Potomac, Rappahannock, Ohio, Shenandoah, Kanawha, Appomattox, Chickahominy, and Nassemond. Chesapeake Bay was also named by the Indians.

The islands and the smaller mountains are generally named after their discoverers.

Smith's Island, near Cape Charles, is thus called in honor of Capt. John Smith.

The counties first formed chiefly derived their names from royal personages, colonial governors, kings, ministers, and English noblemen; or by the adoption of those of English counties.

Thus, King and Queen county was named in honor of William and Mary; King William in honor of William after Mary's death; King George in honor of George I.

Elizabeth City, James City, Charles City, Princess Anne, Prince George, Prince William, Prince Edward, and probably Amelia. Charlotte, Augusta, Caroline, and Louisa, are all named after members of the successive royal families.

Berkeley, Culpeper, Dinwiddie, Fauquier, and Botetourt, were so called in compliment to the Colonial Governors of those names.--Goochland was also named in honor of Gov. Gooch. Shenandoah was likewise first called after Governor Dunmore, but the name was changed after Dunmore became the enemy of the Colony.

Albemarle, Amherst, Bedford, Brunswick, Buckingham, Chesterfield, Cumberland, Essex, Fairfax, Gloucester, Halifax, Hampshire, Hanover, Isle of Wight, Lancaster, Loudon, Mecklenburg, Middlesex, New Kent, Norfolk, Northampton, Northumberland, Orange, Richmond, Southampton, Stafford, Surry, Sussex, Warwick, York, and perhaps some others, are names derived from England or English officials or noblemen.

Patrick and Henry, (after Patrick Henry,) Jefferson, Nelson, Harrison, Randolph, Lee, Brooke, Wood, Monroe, Page. Cabell, Tyler, Barbour, Nicholas, Preston, Pleasants, Giles, Floyd, Gilmer, McDowell and Wise, were named after Virginia Governors subsequent to Independence. Some of these citizens afterwards occupied still more distinguished positions.

The following counties are named after distinguished statesmen, revolutionary patriots, and soldiers — the most of them Virginians: Washington, Franklin, Madison, Wythe, (Geo,) Braxton, (C.M.,) Boone, (Daniel,) Campbell, (Gen. W. C.,) Carroll, (Charles, of Carrolton,) Clarke, (Gen. G. Rogers,) Calhoun, (J.C.,) Clay, (Henry,) Craig, Doddridge, Fayette,--,Grayson, (Wm.,) Greene, (Gen. Nathaniel,) Hancock,--,Hardy, (Samuel,) Jackson, (President,) Lewis, (Colonel Charles,) Marion, (Gen. Francis,) Marshall, (Chief Justice,) Mason, (George,) Mathews, (Gen.,) Mercer, (Gen. Hugh,) Montgomery, (Gen.,) Morgan, (Gen. Daniel,) Pendleton, (Edmund,) Pulaski, (Count,) Putnam, Roane, Russell, (Gen. Wm.,) Ritchie, (Thos.,) Scott, (Gen. Winfield,) Smyth, (Gen. Alex.,) Taylor, (John,) Tazewell, (Henry,) Tucker, Upshur, Warren, (Gen.,) Wayne, Wetzel, (a great Indian fighter,) Wiri, (Wm.) Logan is called after the celebrated Indian chief of that name. Rockbridge takes its name from the famous Natural Bridge within its limits. Accomac, Nottoway, Nansemond, Pocahontas, Powhatan and some others, bear Indian names.


The following is a list of the Virginia Governors since the Revolution:

Patrick Henry, from 1776 to 1779; Thomas Jefferson, from 1779 to 1781; Thomas Nelson, from 1781 to 1781; Benj. Harrison, from 1781 to 1784; Patrick Henry, from 1784 to 1786; Edmund Randolph, from 1786 to 1788; Beverly Randolph, from 1788 to 1791; Henry Lee, from 1791 to 1794; Robert Brooke, from 1794 to 1796; James Wood, from 1796 to 1799; James Monroe, from 1799 to 1802; John Page, from 1802 to 1805; William H. Cabell, from 1805 to 1808; John Tyler, from 1808 to 1811; James Monroe and Geo.W. Smith, from 1811 to 1812;James Barbour, from 1812 to 1814; W.C. Nicholas, from 1814 to 1816; James P. Preston, from 1816 to 1810; Thos. M. Randolph, from 1819 to 1822; James Pleasants, from 1822 to 1825; John Tyler, from 1825 to 1827; Wm. B. Giles, from 1827 to 1830; John Floyd, from 1830 to 1834; Littleton W. Tazewell, from 1834 to 1836; Wyndham Robertson, Lieut. and acting Governor, from 1836 to 1837; David Campbell, from 1837 to 1840;Thomas W. Gilmer, from 1840 to 1841; John Rutherford, Lieut. and acting Governor, from 1841 to 1842; John M. Gregory, Lieut. and acting Governor, from 1842 to 1843; James McDowell, from 1843 to 1846; William Smith, from 1846 to 1849; John B Floyd, from 1849 to 1852; Joseph Johnson, from 1852 to 1856; Henry A. Wise, from 1856 to 1860; John Letcher, 1860.

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