The Info List - Henricus

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The "Citie of Henricus" — also known as Henricopolis, Henrico Town or Henrico — was a settlement in Virginia
founded by Sir Thomas Dale in 1611 as an alternative to the swampy and dangerous area around the original English settlement at Jamestown, Virginia. It was named for Prince Henry, the eldest son of King James I. The site of Henricus
later became part of the Shire of Henrico (1634), renamed Henrico County in 1637. In 1749, the portion of Henrico County that lay south of the James River
James River
was detached to form the present-day Chesterfield County. Today, the settlement is interpreted via Henricus
Historical Park, a living history museum.


1 History

1.1 Proposed college at Henricus

2 Today 3 References 4 Further reading 5 External links

History[edit] Henricus
was one of the earliest English settlements in the New World. It was located on the James River, a few miles southeast of the modern city of Richmond, Virginia. At the time, the First Anglo-Powhatan War was raging, and the natives offered much resistance to the English encroachment, largely orchestrated by native captain Nemattanew — or as the English garrison knew him, "Jack-of-the-Feather". Prior to the development of Richmond, Henricus
was one of the westernmost outlying developments from the Colony of Virginia's fortified capital downriver at Jamestown. In 1612–1613, a facility known as "Mt. Malady" was built nearby; it was the first hospital in the English colonies of North America. This settlement was near where Pocahontas
grew up among the Appomattoc tribe of the Powhatan Confederacy. Reverend Alexander Whitaker converted her to Christianity
during her time at Henricus
under Sir Thomas Dale, deputy governor of the colony. She met settler John Rolfe during this time and they married on April 5, 1614. Rolfe's longtime friend, Richard Buck, presided at their wedding. They lived together across the river at the Varina Farms
Varina Farms
Plantation. Their mixed-race son, Thomas Rolfe
Thomas Rolfe
(named for Sir Thomas Dale, deputy governor of the colony of Virginia), was born on the plantation. His descendants were among many of the so-called First Families of Virginia
(FFV). Proposed college at Henricus[edit] The Virginia
Company tried to found the first institution of higher education in British America. In 1618, they obtained a royal charter for a proposed University of Henrico, and in 1619 the historic First Virginia
General Assembly, meeting at Jamestown, passed their "5th Petition: "Send men to erect the Colledge", referred to it as "A worke of Conversion", and set aside land for it adjacent to and above Henricus.[3] The fort was abandonned by governor's orders during the Indian Massacre of 1622, and largely destroyed by the Powhatans afterwards. By 1623, more settlers occupied the college land than before the massacre. The next year King James I of England
James I of England
dissolved the Virginia Company, seizing its assets and transforming the proprietary colony into a royal one. The Crown controlled it from then on. In 1693, the College of William and Mary
College of William and Mary
was established in Williamsburg. A plaque on the Wren Building, the college's first structure, ascribes the institution's origin to "the college proposed at Henrico." Today[edit]

Reconstructed settler's house

The area later saw action during the American Revolutionary War. During the American Civil War, the narrow neck of land on which Henricus
was located was excavated in an attempt to bypass Confederate defensive batteries along the James River, which resulted in Dutch Gap. The channel was later widened, and the old river channel silted up, forming what is now the 810-acre (3.3 km2) Dutch Gap Conservation Area. Eventually the exact location of the former town of Henricus
was forgotten. The 12-acre (4.9 ha) archeological site in Chesterfield County was listed as Henrico on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1972.[1] Though archaeological evidence of the actual settlement has not been found (due to the creation of Dutch Gap
Dutch Gap
and other disturbances nearby), a reconstruction based on historical evidence of the settlement has been created nearby as a living history museum, Henricus
Historical Park.[4] References[edit]

^ a b National Park Service
National Park Service
(2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.  ^ " Virginia
Landmarks Register". Virginia
Department of Historic Resources. Retrieved 5 June 2013.  ^ Records of the Virginia
Company: 1606-1624 ^ Theobald, Mary Miley. "Henricus: A New and Improved Jamestown". CW Journal (Winter 2004-05). Retrieved 24 May 2016. 

Further reading[edit]

David A. Price, Love and Hate in Jamestown: John Smith, Pocahontas, and the Start of A New Nation, Alfred A. Knopf, 2003 Philip A. Bruce, Institutional History of Virginia
in the Seventeenth Century (Volumes I and II), Kessinger Publishing, 2006

External links[edit]

Historical Park official website Virginia.org: entry on Henricus
Historical Park

v t e

U.S. National Register of Historic Places
National Register of Historic Places
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