American Civil War
The American Civil War was a war fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865, between the North and the South. The Civil War is the most studied and written about episode in U. S. history. As a result of the long-standing controversy over the enslavement of black people, war broke out in April 1861 when secessionist forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina shortly after Abraham Lincoln had been inaugurated as the President of the United States; the loyalists of the Union in the North proclaimed support for the Constitution. They faced secessionists of the Confederate States in the South, who advocated for states' rights to uphold slavery. Among the 34 U. S. states in February 1861, secessionist partisans in seven Southern slave states declared state secessions from the country and unveiled their defiant formation of a Confederate States of America in rebellion against the U. S. Constitutional government; the Confederacy grew to control over half the territory in eleven states, it claimed the additional states of Kentucky and Missouri by assertions from exiled native secessionists without territory or population.
These were given full representation in the Confederate Congress throughout the Civil War. The two remaining slave holding states of Delaware and Maryland were invited to join the Confederacy, but nothing substantial developed; the Confederate States was never diplomatically recognized by the government of the United States or by that of any foreign country. The states that remained loyal to the U. S. were known as the Union. The Union and the Confederacy raised volunteer and conscription armies that fought in the South over the course of four years. Intense combat left 620,000 to 750,000 people dead, more than the number of U. S. military deaths in all other wars combined. The war ended when General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant at the Battle of Appomattox Court House. Confederate generals throughout the southern states followed suit. Much of the South's infrastructure was destroyed the transportation systems; the Confederacy collapsed, slavery was abolished, four million black slaves were freed.
During the Reconstruction Era that followed the war, national unity was restored, the national government expanded its power, civil rights were granted to freed black slaves through amendments to the Constitution and federal legislation. In the 1860 presidential election, led by Abraham Lincoln, supported banning slavery in all the U. S. territories. The Southern states viewed this as a violation of their constitutional rights and as the first step in a grander Republican plan to abolish slavery; the three pro-Union candidates together received an overwhelming 82% majority of the votes cast nationally: Republican Lincoln's votes centered in the north, Democrat Stephen A. Douglas' votes were distributed nationally and Constitutional Unionist John Bell's votes centered in Tennessee and Virginia; the Republican Party, dominant in the North, secured a plurality of the popular votes and a majority of the electoral votes nationally. He was the first Republican Party candidate to win the presidency.
However, before his inauguration, seven slave states with cotton-based economies declared secession and formed the Confederacy. The first six to declare secession had the highest proportions of slaves in their populations, with an average of 49 percent. Of those states whose legislatures resolved for secession, the first seven voted with split majorities for unionist candidates Douglas and Bell, or with sizable minorities for those unionists. Of these, only Texas held a referendum on secession. Eight remaining slave states continued to reject calls for secession. Outgoing Democratic President James Buchanan and the incoming Republicans rejected secession as illegal. Lincoln's March 4, 1861, inaugural address declared that his administration would not initiate a civil war. Speaking directly to the "Southern States", he attempted to calm their fears of any threats to slavery, reaffirming, "I have no purpose, directly or indirectly to interfere with the institution of slavery in the United States where it exists.
I believe I have no lawful right to do so, I have no inclination to do so." After Confederate forces seized numerous federal forts within territory claimed by the Confederacy, efforts at compromise failed and both sides prepared for war. The Confederates assumed that European countries were so dependent on "King Cotton" that they would intervene, but none did, none recognized the new Confederate States of America. Hostilities began on April 1861, when Confederate forces fired upon Fort Sumter. While in the Western Theater the Union made significant permanent gains, in the Eastern Theater, the battle was inconclusive during 1861–1862. In September 1862, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which made ending slavery a war goal. To the west, by summer 1862 the Union destroyed the Confederate river navy much of its western armies, seized New Orleans; the successful 1863 Union siege of Vicksburg split the Confederacy in two at the Mississippi River. In 1863, Robert E. Lee's Confederate incursion north ended at the Battle of Gettysburg.
Western successes led to Ulysses S. Grant's command of all Union armies in 1864. Inflicting an ever-tightening naval blockade of Confederate ports, the Union marshaled the resources and manpower to attack the Confederacy from all directions, leading to the fall of Atlanta to William T. Sherman and his march to th
Westmoreland County, Virginia
Westmoreland County is a county located in the Northern Neck of the Commonwealth of Virginia. At the 2010 census, the population was 17,454, its county seat is Montross. As established by the Virginia colony's House of Burgesses, it was separated out of Northumberland County in 1653, the territory of Westmoreland County encompassed much of what became the various counties and cities of Northern Virginia, including the city of Alexandria, Arlington County, Fairfax County, Prince William County; these were part of Westmoreland until 1664. Westmoreland County was the birthplace of George Washington, the first President of the United States; the county was the place of residence for Colonel Nicholas Spencer, who patented the land at Mount Vernon in 1674 with his friend Lt. Col. John Washington, ancestor of George Washington. Spencer, who served as President of the Council and acting Governor of the Colony of Virginia, was the cousin of, agent for, the Barons Colepeper, proprietors of the Northern Neck.
Spencer lived at his plantation, which his descendants sold to Robert Carter I. Robert Carter's grandson, Robert Carter III, voluntarily freed 500 slaves from Nomini Hall beginning in 1791 and settled many on lands he gave them, his manumission is the largest known release of slaves in North America prior to the American Civil War and the largest number manumitted by an individual in the U. S. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 253 square miles, of which 229 square miles is land and 24 square miles is water; the county is located on the Northern Neck and is part of the Northern Neck George Washington Birthplace AVA winemaking appellation. Charles County, Maryland - north St. Mary's County, Maryland - northeast Northumberland County, Virginia - southeast Richmond County, Virginia - south Essex County, Virginia - southwest King George County, Virginia - northwest George Washington Birthplace National Monument Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge Mothershead unit At the 2000 census, there were 16,718 people, 6,846 households and 4,689 families residing in the county.
The population density was 73/sq mi. There were 9,286 housing units at an average density of 40/sq mi; the racial makeup of the county was 65.41% White, 30.89% Black or African American, 0.28% Native American, 0.36% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 1.75% from other races, 1.29% from two or more races. 3.46% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. There were 6,846 households of which 25.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.70% were married couples living together, 13.50% had a female householder with no husband present, 31.50% were non-families. 26.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.60% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 2.91. 23.00% of the population were under the age of 18, 6.30% from 18 to 24, 23.90% from 25 to 44, 27.80% from 45 to 64, 19.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.90 males.
The median household income was $35,797 and the median family income was $41,357. Males had a median income of $31,333 and females $22,221; the per capita income was $19,473. About 11.20% of families and 14.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.10% of those under age 18 and 12.50% of those age 65 or over. The county's economy is based on agriculture. Tourism is another significant economic driver, related to historical sites such as George Washington Birthplace National Monument and Robert E. Lee's birthplace, Stratford Hall Plantation, the Westmoreland County Museum as well as gambling activities available in Colonial Beach; the county is an extended exurb of Washington, D. C.. Northern Neck Coca-Cola Bottling Inc. and the weekly Westmoreland News are located in Montross. George Washington, the first president of the United States John Washington, great-grandfather of George Washington Bushrod Washington, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court and first president of the American Colonization Society, nephew of George Washington and inheritor of Mount Vernon James Monroe, the fifth president of the United States Robert E. Lee, a general best known for fighting on behalf of the Confederate Army in the American Civil War Richard Henry Lee, a signatory of the United States Declaration of Independence, United States Senator, the sixth president of the United States in Congress Assembled Francis Lightfoot Lee, a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence Richard "Squire" Lee Thomas Brown, the second governor of Florida Nicholas Spencer, acting governor of Virginia, co-patentee of Mount Vernon estate Thomas Lee, a leading political figure in colonial Virginia Thomas Sandford, American Revolutionary War soldier, Kentucky legislator, Member of the Eighth and Ninth U.
S. Congress. Sloan Wilson, the author of The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit Rob Wittman, United States Congressman Thomas Marshall Grandfather of Chief Justice John Marshall Walter Balderson, Emmy Award-winning video engineer John dos Passos, the author of the U. S. A. trilogy and other works Colonial Beach Montross Westmoreland County is a notable bellwether for U. S. Presidential politics, having voted for the winner in eve
Demographics of Africa
The population of Africa has grown over the past century and shows a large youth bulge, further reinforced by a low life expectancy of below 50 years in some African countries. Total population as of 2017 is estimated at more than 1.25 billion, with a growth rate of more than 2.5% p.a. The most populous African country is Nigeria with 191 million inhabitants as of 2017 and a growth rate of 2.6% p.a. As of 2016, the total population of Africa is estimated at 1.225 billion, representing 17% of the world's population. According to UN estimates, the population of Africa may reach 2.5 billion by 2050 and nearly 4.5 billion by 2100. The population of Africa first surpassed one billion with a doubling time of 27 years. Population growth has continued at the same pace, total population is expected to surpass 2 billion by 2038; the reason for the uncontrolled population growth since the mid 20th century is the decrease of infant mortality and general increase of life expectancy without a corresponding reduction in fertility rate, due to a limited use of contraceptives.
Uncontrolled population growth threatens to overwhelm infrastructure development and crippling economic development. Kenya and Zambia are pursuing programs to promote family planning in an attempt to curb growth rates; the extreme population growth in Africa is driven by East Africa, Middle Africa and West Africa, which regions are projected to more than quintuple their populations over the 21st century. The most extreme of these is Middle Africa, with an estimated population increase by 680%, from less than 100 million in 2000 to more than 750 million in 2100. Projected population growth is less extreme in Southern Africa and North Africa, which are expected to not quite double and triple their populations over the same period. Population estimates by region: In September 1987, UNICEF and the World Health Organization Regional Committee announced the launching of the Bamako Initiative— chartered in response to financial issues occurring in the region during the 1980s, with the aim of increasing access to vital medications through community involvement in revolving drug funds.
The 1987 Bamako Initiative conference, organized by the WHO was held in Bamako, the capital of Mali, helped reshape the health policy of sub-Saharan Africa. The meeting was attended by African Ministers of Health who advocated for improvement of healthcare access through the revitalization of primary healthcare; the new strategy increased accessibility through community-based healthcare reform, resulting in more efficient and equitable provision of services. The public health community within the region raised issues in response to the initiative, of which included: equity, affordability, integration issues, relative importance given to medications, dependency and sustainability; as a result of these critiques, the Initiative transformed to address the increase of accessibility of health services, the enhancement of quality of health services, the overall improvement of health system management. A comprehensive approach strategy was extended to all areas of health care, with subsequent improvement in the health care indicators and improvement in health care efficiency and cost.
Source: World Population Prospects The sub-Saharan African region experiences disproportionate rates of infectious and chronic diseases in comparison to other global regions. Type 2 diabetes persists as an epidemic in the region posing a public health and socioeconomic crisis for sub-Saharan Africa. Scarcity of data for pathogenesis and subtypes for diabetes in sub-Saharan African communities has led to gaps in documenting epidemiology for the disease. High rates of undiagnosed diabetes in many countries leaves individuals at a high risk of chronic health complications, posing a high risk of diabetes-related morbidity and mortality in the region. In 2011, sub-Saharan Africa was home to 69% of all people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide. In response, a number of initiatives have been launched to educate the public on HIV/AIDS. Among these are combination prevention programmes, considered to be the most effective initiative, the abstinence, be faithful, use a condom campaign, the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation's outreach programs.
According to a 2013 special report issued by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, the number of HIV positive people in Africa receiving anti-retroviral treatment in 2012 was over seven times the number receiving treatment in 2005, with an 1 million added in the last year alone. The number of AIDS-related deaths in sub-Saharan Africa in 2011 was 33 percent less than the number in 2005; the number of new HIV infections in sub-Saharan Africa in 2011 was 25 percent less than the number in 2001. Malaria is an endemic illness in sub-Saharan Africa, where the majority of malaria cases and deaths worldwide occur. Studies show. However, progress has been made in this area, as maternal mortality rates have decreased for multiple countries in the region by about half since 1990. Additionally, the African Union in July 2003 ratified the Maputo Protocol, which pledges to prohibit female genital mutilation; the sub-Saharan African region alone accounts for about 45 % of global child mortalities.
Studies have shown a relationship between infant survival and the education of mothers, as years of education positively correlate with infant
The American Revolution was a colonial revolt that took place between 1765 and 1783. The American Patriots in the Thirteen Colonies won independence from Great Britain, becoming the United States of America, they defeated the British in the American Revolutionary War in alliance with others. Members of American colonial society argued the position of "no taxation without representation", starting with the Stamp Act Congress in 1765, they rejected the authority of the British Parliament to tax them because they lacked members in that governing body. Protests escalated to the Boston Massacre in 1770 and the burning of the Gaspee in Rhode Island in 1772, followed by the Boston Tea Party in December 1773, during which Patriots destroyed a consignment of taxed tea; the British responded by closing Boston Harbor followed with a series of legislative acts which rescinded Massachusetts Bay Colony's rights of self-government and caused the other colonies to rally behind Massachusetts. In late 1774, the Patriots set up their own alternative government to better coordinate their resistance efforts against Great Britain.
Tensions erupted into battle between Patriot militia and British regulars when the king's army attempted to capture and destroy Colonial military supplies at Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775. The conflict developed into a global war, during which the Patriots fought the British and Loyalists in what became known as the American Revolutionary War; each of the thirteen colonies formed a Provincial Congress that assumed power from the old colonial governments and suppressed Loyalism, from there they built a Continental Army under the leadership of General George Washington. The Continental Congress determined King George's rule to be tyrannical and infringing the colonists' rights as Englishmen, they declared the colonies free and independent states on July 2, 1776; the Patriot leadership professed the political philosophies of liberalism and republicanism to reject monarchy and aristocracy, they proclaimed that all men are created equal. The Continental Army forced the redcoats out of Boston in March 1776, but that summer the British captured and held New York City and its strategic harbor for the duration of the war.
The Royal Navy blockaded ports and captured other cities for brief periods, but they failed to defeat Washington's forces. The Patriots unsuccessfully attempted to invade Canada during the winter of 1775–76, but captured a British army at the Battle of Saratoga in October 1777. France now entered the war as an ally of the United States with a large army and navy that threatened Britain itself; the war turned to the American South where the British under the leadership of Charles Cornwallis captured an army at Charleston, South Carolina in early 1780 but failed to enlist enough volunteers from Loyalist civilians to take effective control of the territory. A combined American–French force captured a second British army at Yorktown in the fall of 1781 ending the war; the Treaty of Paris was signed September 3, 1783, formally ending the conflict and confirming the new nation's complete separation from the British Empire. The United States took possession of nearly all the territory east of the Mississippi River and south of the Great Lakes, with the British retaining control of Canada and Spain taking Florida.
Among the significant results of the revolution was the creation of the United States Constitution, establishing a strong federal national government that included an executive, a national judiciary, a bicameral Congress that represented states in the Senate and the population in the House of Representatives. The Revolution resulted in the migration of around 60,000 Loyalists to other British territories British North America; as early as 1651, the English government had sought to regulate trade in the American colonies. On October 9, the Navigation Acts were passed pursuant to a mercantilist policy intended to ensure that trade enriched only Great Britain, barring trade with foreign nations; some argue that the economic impact was minimal on the colonists, but the political friction which the acts triggered was more serious, as the merchants most directly affected were most politically active. King Philip's War ended in 1678, much of it was fought without significant assistance from England.
This contributed to the development of a unique identity from that of the British people. In the 1680s, King Charles II determined to bring the New England colonies under a more centralized administration in order to regulate trade more effectively, his efforts were fiercely opposed by the colonists, resulting in the abrogation of their colonial charter by the Crown. Charles' successor James II finalized these efforts in 1686, establishing the Dominion of New England. Dominion rule triggered bitter resentment throughout New England. New Englanders were encouraged, however, by a change of government in England that saw James II abdicate, a populist uprising overthrew Dominion rule on April 18, 1689. Colonial governments reasserted their control in the wake of the revolt, successive governments made no more attempts to restore the Dominion. Subsequent English governments continued in their efforts to tax certain goods, passing acts regulating the trade of wool and molasses; the Molasses Act of 1733 in particular was egregious to the colonists, as a significant part of colonial trade relied on the product.
The taxes damaged the N
King George County, Virginia
King George County is a county located in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 23,584, its county seat is King George. The county's largest employer is the U. S. Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division, it is adjacent to the two-lane, 2-mile long Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge carrying U. S. Highway 301 over the Potomac River, it contains the ZIP codes 22448 and 22485. It is within the area code 540 and contains the exchanges: 775, 644, 663, 653. Indigenous peoples of varying cultures lived along the waterways for thousands of years before Europeans arrived. Among the historic Native American tribes who came into conflict with the English were the Algonquian-speaking Nanzatico. In 1704 colonists retaliated for the tribe's attacking the farm of John Rowley, "known for his disputes" with them, they captured and shipped 40 people, including children older than 12, to Antigua in the Caribbean, where they were sold into slavery. King George County was established in 1720 when land was split from Virginia.
The county is named for King George I of Great Britain. It was reorganized in 1776 and 1777, with land swapped with both Stafford and Westmoreland Counties to form the modern boundaries. On March 16, 1751, James Madison, the fourth President of the United States, was born in Port Conway in southern King George County at Belle Grove plantation, the childhood home of his mother, Eleanor Rose "Nellie" Conway, the daughter of its owner, Francis Conway, for whom Port Conway was named. Two-time Governor of Virginia, William "Extra Billy" Smith, was born at Marengo in 1797. On May 1, 1861 during the American Civil War, Confederates installed artillery at Mathias Point in order to blockade the Potomac River. On June 27, the steamer Thomas Freeborn bombarded Mathias Point in an attempt to drive away the soldiers who were manning the weapons. Confederate soldiers fired back from Mathias Point and mortally wounding Commander James H. Ward of the Freeborn, who became the first Union naval officer to die in the Civil War.
While trying to elude Union cavalry, John Wilkes Booth and David Herold crossed into the county from Maryland on April 21, 1865 after assassinating US president Abraham Lincoln. Booth and Herold landed at the mouth of Gambo Creek, before meeting with Confederate agents, who guided their passage to Port Conway, where they would cross into Port Royal, in Caroline County, Virginia. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 188 square miles, of which 180 square miles is land and 8 square miles is water. King George County is located on the Northern Neck and is bounded on the north by the Potomac River, which lies in Charles County, Maryland, it is bounded on the south by the Rappahannock River across which lie Essex Counties. Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge Bishop and Toby's Point units US 301 SR 3 SR 205 SR 206 SR 218 As of the census of 2010, there were 23,584 people, 9,411 households, 4,525 families residing in the county; the population density was 93 people per square mile.
There were 6,820 housing units at an average density of 38 per square mile. The racial makeup of the county was 76.7% White, 17.9% Black or African American, 0.5% Native American, 1.2% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.8% from other races, 2.9% from two or more races. 3.3% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. There were 6,091 households out of which 38.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.50% were married couples living together, 10.50% had a female householder with no husband present, 25.70% were non-families. 20.40% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.00% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.70 and the average family size was 3.12. In the county, the population was spread out with 27.80% under the age of 18, 8.20% from 18 to 24, 31.70% from 25 to 44, 22.70% from 45 to 64, 9.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 101.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.40 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $49,882, the median income for a family was $55,160. Males had a median income of $38,600 versus $26,350 for females; the per capita income for the county was $21,562. About 4.40% of families and 5.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.10% of those under age 18 and 6.40% of those age 65 or over. County Administrator: Neiman C. Young, PhD Member: Ruby Brabo Member: Cathy Binder Member/Chairman: Richard Granger Member/Vice Chair: Jeffery L. Bueche Member: John Jenkins Clerk of the Circuit Court: Charles V. "Vic" Mason Commissioner of the Revenue: Jo Ann Hall Ando Commonwealth's Attorney: Keri A. Gusmann Sheriff: Steve F. Dempsey Treasurer: Alice L. Moore King George is represented by Republicans Ryan T. McDougle and Richard H. Stuart in the Virginia Senate, Republican Margaret Bevans Ransone in the Virginia House of Delegates, Republican Robert J. "Rob" Wittman in the U. S. House of Representatives; the King George Fall Festival is held the second weekend of October in King George.
All proceeds from this event go to support the Volunteer King George Rescue. The Fall Festival includes a parade through town, a carnival, a craft fair, a car show, a dance, a 5-K run, the Fall Festival Queens Pageant; the King George Fall Festival began in October 1959. Dahlgren Dahlgren Center Fairview Beach King George Passapatanzy James Madison, fourth President of the Unit
The Potomac River is located within the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States and flows from the Potomac Highlands into the Chesapeake Bay. The river is 405 miles long, with a drainage area of about 14,700 square miles. In terms of area, this makes the Potomac River the fourth largest river along the Atlantic coast of the United States and the 21st largest in the United States. Over 5 million people live within the Potomac watershed; the river forms part of the borders between Maryland and Washington, D. C. on the left descending bank and West Virginia and Virginia on the river's right descending bank. The majority of the lower Potomac River is part of Maryland. Exceptions include a small tidal portion within the District of Columbia, the border with Virginia being delineated from "point to point". Except for a small portion of its headwaters in West Virginia, the North Branch Potomac River is considered part of Maryland to the low water mark on the opposite bank; the South Branch Potomac River lies within the state of West Virginia except for its headwaters, which lie in Virginia.
The Potomac River runs 405 miles from Fairfax Stone Historical Monument State Park in West Virginia on the Allegheny Plateau to Point Lookout and drains 14,679 square miles. The length of the river from the junction of its North and South Branches to Point Lookout is 302 miles; the average daily flow during the water years 1931-2018 was 11,498 cubic feet /s. The highest average daily flow recorded on the Potomac at Little Falls, was in March 1936 when it reached 426,000 cubic feet /s; the lowest average daily flow recorded at the same location was 601.0 cubic feet /s in September 1966 The highest crest of the Potomac registered at Little Falls was 28.10 ft, on March 19, 1936. The river has two sources; the source of the North Branch is at the Fairfax Stone located at the junction of Grant and Preston counties in West Virginia. The source of the South Branch is located near Hightown in northern Highland Virginia; the river's two branches converge just east of Green Spring in Hampshire County, West Virginia, to form the Potomac.
As it flows from its headwaters down to the Chesapeake Bay, the Potomac traverses five geological provinces: the Appalachian Plateau, the Ridge and Valley, the Blue Ridge, the Piedmont Plateau, the Atlantic coastal plain. Once the Potomac drops from the Piedmont to the Coastal Plain at the Atlantic Seaboard fall line at Little Falls, tides further influence the river as it passes through Washington, D. C. and beyond. Salinity in the Potomac River Estuary increases thereafter with distance downstream; the estuary widens, reaching 11 statute miles wide at its mouth, between Point Lookout and Smith Point, before flowing into the Chesapeake Bay. "Potomac" is a European spelling of Patawomeck, the Algonquian name of a Native American village on its southern bank. Native Americans had different names for different parts of the river, calling the river above Great Falls Cohongarooton, meaning "honking geese" and "Patawomke" below the Falls, meaning "river of swans"; the spelling of the name has taken many forms over the years from "Patawomeck" to "Patomake", "Patowmack", numerous other variations in the 18th century and now "Potomac".
The river's name was decided upon as "Potomac" by the Board on Geographic Names in 1931. The river itself is at least 3.5 million years old extending back ten to twenty million years before present when the Atlantic Ocean lowered and exposed coastal sediments along the fall line. This included the area at Great Falls, which eroded into its present form during recent glaciation periods; the Potomac River brings together a variety of cultures throughout the watershed from the coal miners of upstream West Virginia to the urban residents of the nation's capital and, along the lower Potomac, the watermen of Virginia's Northern Neck. Being situated in an area rich in American history and American heritage has led to the Potomac being nicknamed "the Nation's River." George Washington, the first President of the United States, was born in, spent most of his life within, the Potomac basin. All of Washington, D. C. the nation's capital city lies within the watershed. The 1859 siege of Harper's Ferry at the river's confluence with the Shenandoah was a precursor to numerous epic battles of the American Civil War in and around the Potomac and its tributaries, such as the 1861 Battle of Ball's Bluff and the 1862 Battle of Shepherdstown.
General Robert E. Lee crossed the river, thereby invading the North and threatening Washington, D. C. twice in campaigns climaxing in the battles of Antietam and Gettysburg. Confederate General Jubal Early crossed the river in July 1864 on his attempted raid on the nation's capital; the river not only divided the Union from the Confederacy, but gave name to the Union's largest army, the Army of the Potomac. The Patowmack Canal was intended by George Washington to connect the Tidewater region near Georgetown with Cumberland, Maryland. Started in 1785 on the Virginia side of the river, it was not completed until 1802. Financial troubles led to the closure of the canal in 1830; the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal operated along the banks of the Potomac in Maryland from 1831 to 1924 and connected Cumberland to Washington, D. C; this allowed freight to be transported around the rapids known as the
George Washington Birthplace National Monument
The George Washington Birthplace National Monument is a national monument in Westmoreland County, United States. This site was developed in the mid-17th century as a colonial tobacco plantation by Englishman John Washington. A member of the assembly, he was a great-grandfather of George Washington and the first United States president. George Washington was born in this house on February 22, 1732, he lived here until age three, returning to live here as a teenager. Before the 20th century, the original house was lost, but the foundation outlines of Washington's house are marked; the public park was established in 1930 and in 1931 a memorial house was built in historicist style to mark the site and to represent an 18th-century tobacco plantation. The historic park opened during the Great Depression. At the entrance to the grounds, now maintained and operated by the National Park Service, is a Memorial Shaft obelisk of Vermont marble. C; the monument and its preceding plantation, which would be called Wakefield, are located at the confluence of Popes Creek and the larger Potomac River, is representative of 18th-century Virginia tobacco plantations.
The area has been restored and maintained with farm buildings, groves of trees, livestock and crops of tobacco and wheat, to represent the environment Washington knew here as a boy. One of George Washington's great-grandfathers, John Washington, settled this plantation in 1657 at the original property on Bridges Creek; the family acquired expanded land to the south toward nearby Popes Creek. Before 1718 the first section of the house in which George Washington was born was built, his father enlarged it between 1722–1726. He added on to it by the mid-1770s, making a ten-room house known as "Wakefield"; this house, which George Washington in 1792 would describe as "the ancient mansion seat," was destroyed by fire and flood on Christmas Day 1779, never rebuilt. Thirty-two graves of Washington family members have been found at the Bridges Creek cemetery plot, including George's half-brother, father and great-grandfather. Washington's father cultivated tobacco on his several plantations; this labor-intensive crop was worked by African Americans.
By the time George Washington was born in 1732, the population of the Virginia colony was 50 percent black, most of the ethnic Africans were enslaved. During the time that Washington lived here, his father held "20 or so" slaves to work on the tobacco plantation at Popes Creek. Ln 1858, the Commonwealth of Virginia acquired the property to preserve the homesite and cemetery, but the Civil War intervened. Short on revenues for such purposes, Virginia donated the land to the federal government in 1882; the Wakefield National Memorial Association was formed in 1923 to restore the property. In 1930, the grounds were authorized by Congress as a U. S. National Monument. In 1931, the Wakefield Association received a grant from John D. Rockefeller, Jr. to acquire and transfer a total of 394 acres of land to the Federal government. Since the exact appearance of the original Washington family home is not known, a Memorial House was designed by Edward Donn, Jr. representing similar buildings of the era. The actual location of Washington's boyhood home is adjacent to the memorial house and its foundation is outlined in the ground by crushed oyster shells.
The Memorial House represents a typical upper-class house of the period of the original's construction. The Memorial House is constructed of bricks handmade from local clay, it has a central hallway and four rooms on each floor, furnished in the 1730–1750 period style by the Wakefield National Memorial Association. Furnishings include. Most of the other furnishings are more than 200 years old; the park and Memorial House were opened by the National Park Service in 1932, on the 200th anniversary of George Washington's birth. In the 21st century, the Monument is part of the National Park Service's ongoing efforts to interpret historical resources. In addition to the Memorial House, park facilities open to visitors include the historic birthplace home area, Kitchen House, hiking trails, picnic grounds. In the Kitchen House, costumed re-enactors demonstrate candle- and soap-making. A Colonial Herb and Flower Garden has been planted with herbs and flowers common to Washington's time, such as thyme and basil, flowers such as hollyhocks, forget-me-nots, roses.
Typical trees and bushes of Washington's time have been added to the landscaping. The Colonial Living Farm has a barn and pasture, raises livestock and crops of the 18th century variety, using farming methods common then. Visitors may tour the Washington family Burial Ground, which contains the graves of 32 members of the Washington family, including George Washington's father and great-grandfather. Replicas of two original gravestones are visible, along with five memorial tablets placed here in the 1930s; the Visitors' Center contains artifacts recovered from the burned-down Washington house, such as those pictured at right: a bowl, clay figurine, wine bottle seal belonging to Augustine Washington, wine bottle, keyhole plate. A 15-minute film depicting Washington family life is shown in a theater at the Visitors' Center; the George Washington Birthplace National Monument is 38 miles east of Fredericksburg, located on the Northern Neck. It can be reached via Virginia State Route 204, the access road to the site from Virgini