Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton
Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton, was the only son of Henry Wriothesley, 2nd Earl of Southampton, Mary Browne, daughter of Anthony Browne, 1st Viscount Montagu. Shakespeare's two narrative poems and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece, were dedicated to Southampton, identified as the Fair Youth of Shakespeare's Sonnets. Henry Wriothesley, born 6 October 1573 at Cowdray House, was the only son of Henry Wriothesley, 2nd Earl of Southampton, by Mary Browne, the only daughter of Anthony Browne, 1st Viscount Montague, his first wife, Jane Radcliffe, he had two sisters, who died before 1573, Mary, who in June 1585 married Thomas Arundell, 1st Baron Arundell of Wardour. After his father's death, Southampton's mother married firstly, on 2 May 1594, as his second wife, Sir Thomas Heneage, Vice-Chamberlain of the Household, secondly, between 5 November 1598 and 31 January 1599, Sir William Hervey, she died in November 1607. When his father died on 4 October 1581 Southampton inherited the earldom and landed income valued at £1097 6s per annum.
His wardship and marriage were sold by the Queen to her kinsman, Lord Howard of Effingham, for £1000. According to Akrigg, Howard "entered into some further agreement, of which no documentation can now be found, which transferred to Lord Burghley the custody and marriage of the young Earl, but left Howard holding his lands", late in 1581 or early in 1582 Southampton eight years of age, came to live at Cecil House in the Strand. In October 1585, at age twelve, Southampton entered St John's College, graduating M. A. on 6 June 1589. His name was entered at the Gray's Inn legal society before he left the university, he was admitted on 29 February 1588. On Southampton's 16th birthday, 6 October 1589, Lord Burghley noted Southampton's age in his diary, by 1590 Burghley was negotiating with Southampton's grandfather, Anthony Browne, 1st Viscount Montague, Southampton's mother, for a marriage between Southampton and Lord Burghley's eldest granddaughter, Elizabeth Vere, daughter of Burghley's daughter, Anne Cecil, Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford.
However the match was not to Southampton's liking, in a letter written in November 1594, about six weeks after Southampton had turned 21, the Jesuit Henry Garnet reported the rumour that "The young Erle of Southampton refusing the Lady Veere payeth £5000 of present payment". In 1591 Lord Burghley's Clerk in Chancery, John Clapham, dedicated to Southampton a poem in Latin, recounting the Greek legend of a beautiful young man who perishes through self-love. According to Akrigg, Southampton was now spending much of his time at court, he was in attendance when Queen Elizabeth visited Oxford in late September 1592, was praised fulsomely in the Latin poem written by John Sandford to commemorate the Queen's visit. In October 1592 Southampton's grandfather, Viscount Montague, died. Montague had been a Knight of the Garter, on 3 May 1593 Philip Gawdy of Clifford's Inn wrote to his brother, Bassingbourne Gawdy, that Southampton had been nominated to the Order, together with the Lord Keeper, Lord Burgh, Lord Willoughby de Eresby.
Shortly thereafter, in his Honour of the Garter dated 26 June 1593, George Peele referred to him as "Gentle Wriothesley, Southampton's star", claiming erroneously that an Earl of Southampton had been among the founding Knights. However it was not until 1603. In 1593 Shakespeare dedicated his narrative poem Venus and Adonis to Southampton, followed in 1594 by The Rape of Lucrece. Although the dedication to Venus and Adonis is more restrained, the dedication to The Rape of Lucrece is couched in extravagant terms: "The love I dedicate to your lordship is without end... What I have done is yours; this type of vaunting language was not unusual though, because other dedications of the day always excessively praised any noble person sponsoring the author's work – for political, above all financial, reasons. Nathan Drake, in Shakespeare and his Times, was the first to suggest that Southampton was not only the dedicatee of Shakespeare's two long narrative poems, but the "Fair Youth" of the Sonnets; the title page refers to the "onlie begetter of these insuing sonnets Mr W.
H." and it had earlier been inferred that the Sonnets were addressed to "Mr. W. H.". Drake, adopting Chalmers' suggestion that one meaning of "beget" is "bring forth", argued that Mr. W. H. was the procurer of the manuscript rather than the "Fair Youth" addressed in the poems. Other adherents of the theory that Southampton was the addressee of the Sonnets have suggested that his initials, H. W. were reversed by the publisher to conceal his identity. However Honan argues that although Southampton "may be involved in Shakespeare's sonnets", "there is no real likelihood that he traduced him by drawing his portrait as the fickle, treacherous Young Man of the sonnets, implicitly'lascivious','sensual' to a'fault' or to his'shame', ridden with vices". Despite extensive archival research, no documents have been found concerning their relationship apart from the dedications to Shakespeare's two long narrative poems. Nicholas Rowe, on the authority of poet and playwright William Davenant, stated in his Life of Shakespeare that Southampton once gave Shakespeare £1000 to "go through with a purchase," but Honan terms this a myth.
Nat Turner's slave rebellion
Nat Turner's Rebellion was a slave rebellion that took place in Southampton County, Virginia, in August 1831, led by Nat Turner. Rebel slaves killed from 55 to 65 people, at least 51 being white; the rebellion was put down within a few days, but Turner survived in hiding for more than two months afterwards. The rebellion was suppressed at Belmont Plantation on the morning of August 23, 1831. There was widespread fear in the aftermath, white militias organized in retaliation against the slaves; the state executed 56 slaves accused of being part of the rebellion, many non-participant slaves were punished in the frenzy. 120 slaves and free blacks were murdered by militias and mobs in the area. State legislatures passed new laws prohibiting education of slaves and free black people, restricting rights of assembly and other civil liberties for free black people, requiring white ministers to be present at all worship services. Nat Turner was an American slave who had lived his entire life in Southampton County, Virginia, an area with more blacks than whites.
After the rebellion, a reward notice described him as: 5 feet 6 or 8 inches high, weighs between 150 and 160 pounds, rather "bright" complexion, but not a mulatto, broad shoulders, larger flat nose, large eyes, broad flat feet, rather knockneed, walks brisk and active, hair on the top of the head thin, no beard, except on the upper lip and the top of the chin, a scar on one of his temples one on the back of his neck, a large knot on one of the bones of his right arm, near the wrist, produced by a blow. Turner learned how to read and write at a young age, he grew up religious and was seen fasting, praying, or immersed in reading the stories of the Bible. He had visions which he interpreted as messages from God, these visions influenced his life, he ran away at age 21 from his owner Samuel Turner, but he returned a month after becoming delirious from hunger and receiving a vision which told him to "return to the service of my earthly master". He had his second vision in 1824 while working in the fields under his new owner Thomas Moore.
In it, "the Saviour was about to lay down the yoke he had borne for the sins of men, the great day of judgment was at hand". Turner conducted Baptist services and preached the Bible to his fellow slaves, who dubbed him "the Prophet". By the spring of 1828, Turner was convinced that he "was ordained for some great purpose in the hands of the Almighty", he "heard a loud noise in the heavens" while working in his owner's fields on May 12, "and the Spirit appeared to me and said the Serpent was loosened, Christ had laid down the yoke he had borne for the sins of men, that I should take it on and fight against the Serpent, for the time was fast approaching when the first should be last and the last should be first". In 1830, Joseph Travis purchased Turner, Turner recalled that he was "a kind master" who had "placed the greatest confidence in" him. Turner eagerly anticipated God's signal to "slay my enemies with their own weapons", he witnessed a solar eclipse on February 12, 1831 and was convinced that it was the sign for which he was waiting, so he started preparations for an uprising against the white slaveholders of Southampton County by purchasing muskets.
He "communicated the great work laid out to do, to four in whom I had the greatest confidence", his fellow slaves Henry, Hark and Sam. Turner planned to begin the rebellion on July 4, 1831, but he had fallen ill. An atmospheric disturbance on August 13 made, he started with several trusted fellow slaves, gathered more than 70 enslaved and free blacks, some of whom were on horseback. The rebels traveled from house to house, freeing slaves and killing all the white people whom they encountered. Muskets and firearms were too difficult to collect and would gather unwanted attention, so the rebels used knives, hatchets and blunt instruments. Historian Stephen B. Oates states that Turner called on his group to "kill all the white people". A newspaper noted, "Turner declared that'indiscriminate slaughter was not their intention after they attained a foothold, was resorted to in the first instance to strike terror and alarm.'" The group spared a few homes "because Turner believed the poor white inhabitants'thought no better of themselves than they did of negroes.'"
The rebels killed 60 white people before they were defeated. The state militia infantry were able to defeat the insurrection with twice the manpower of the rebels, reinforced by three companies of artillery. Within a day of the suppression of the rebellion, the local militia and three companies of artillery were joined by detachments of men from the USS Natchez and USS Warren, which were anchored in Norfolk, militias from counties in Virginia and North Carolina surrounding Southampton; the state executed 56 black people, militias killed at least 100 more. An estimated 120 black people were killed. Rumors spread among whites that the slave revolt was not limited to Southampton and that it had spread as far south as Alabama. Fears led to reports in North Carolina that "armies" of slaves were seen on highways, that they had burned and massacred the white inhabitants of Wilmington, North Carolina and were marching on the state capital; such fear and alarm led to whites' attacking blacks throughout the South with flimsy cause.
1790 United States Census
The United States Census of 1790 was the first census of the whole United States. It recorded the population of the United States as of Census Day, August 2, 1790, as mandated by Article I, Section 2 of the United States Constitution and applicable laws. In the first census, the population of the United States was enumerated to be 3,929,214. Congress assigned responsibility for the 1790 census to the marshals of United States judicial districts under an act which, with minor modifications and extensions, governed census taking until the 1840 census. "The law required that every household be visited, that completed census schedules be posted in'two of the most public places within, there to remain for the inspection of all concerned...' and that'the aggregate amount of each description of persons' for every district be transmitted to the president." Both Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson and President George Washington expressed skepticism over the results, believing that the true population had been undercounted.
If there was indeed an undercount, possible explanations for it include dispersed population, poor transportation links, limitations of contemporary technology, individual refusal to participate. Although the Census was proved statistically factual, based on data collected, the records for several states were lost sometime between 1790 and 1830. One third of the original census data have been lost or destroyed since their original documentation; these include some 1790 data from: Connecticut, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont. No microdata from the 1790 population census are available, but aggregate data for small areas, together with compatible cartographic boundary files, can be downloaded from the National Historical Geographic Information System. Census data included the name of the head of the family and categorized inhabitants as follows: free white males at least 16 years of age, free white males under 16 years of age, free white females, all other free persons, slaves.
Under the direction of the current Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, marshals collected data from all thirteen states, from the Southwest Territory. The census was not conducted in Vermont until 1791, after that state's admission to the Union as the 14th state on March 4 of that year. At 17.8 percent, the 1790 Census's proportion of slaves to the free population was the highest recorded by any census. Media related to 1790 United States Census at Wikimedia Commons Historic US Census data 1790 Census of Population and Housing official reports Population of 24 Urban Places: 1790
Surry County, Virginia
Surry County is a county located in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 7,058, its county seat is Surry. In 1652, Surry County was formed from the portion of James City County south of the James River. For more than 350 years, Surry County has depended on an agricultural economy, it has guarded its heritage, including many small towns and 19 sites listed on the National Register including a landmark occupied in 1676 known as Bacon's Castle and Chippokes Plantation. The Jamestown Ferry provides easy access to Virginia's Historic Triangle, featuring Jamestown and Yorktown, linked by the National Park Service's Colonial Parkway; the county is known for farming, curing Virginia Hams, harvesting lumber, notably Virginia Pine. During the Virginia Colony, Surry County was formed in 1652 from a portion of James City County south of the James River, it was named for the English county of Surrey. Surry County consisted of two parishes of the Church of England: Lawne's Creek and Southwark.
Nearby, in 1665, Arthur Allen built a Jacobean brick house. A decade it became known as Bacon's Castle because it was occupied as a fort or "castle" during Bacon's Rebellion against the Royal Governor, Sir William Berkeley.. The first town of Cobham was established in 1691 at the mouth of Gray's Creek, where it flows into the James River. Neighboring Sussex County was formed from the southwestern end of Surry County in 1754. After the American Revolutionary War, during which Tarleton's raiders looted the county, Surry County became part of the new Commonwealth of Virginia, one of the first 13 United States. During the American Civil War, the Confederate Army included the Surry Light Artillery and the Surry Cavalry. In 1873, a New Jersey timberman, David Steele, with financing from Baltimore interests, began a lumber business in Surry county, but went bankrupt a decade later. Baltimore investors and Company, incorporated the Surry Lumber Company in 1885. In 1886 it incorporated the Surry and Southampton Railway, which delivered lumber to Scotland wharf on the James River.
The company and SS&S railroad grew, reaching their heyday around 1920. However, the company did not replant after it cut the old growth pine, found further logging in the area difficult after 1925. In 1927 it closed its mills in Dendron, causing considerable economic distress in the county; the railway went bankrupt in 1930. Gray Lumber Company of Waverly, which replanted its timber cuts, bought 15,000 acres from the Surry Lumber Company in 1941, other companies soon bought the rest of the company's acreage; as part of Virginia's "Massive Resistance" to integration following the landmark U. S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education, Surry County closed its white public schools so no Black students would be able to attend. Of course, various provisions were made to provide public support for private segregated education for the white students affected; the two-unit Surry Nuclear Power Plant was commissioned in 1972 and 1973, expected to remain active until 2053. US 460 SR 10 SR 31 SR 40State Route 31 and State Route 40 bisect the county.
Its major artery is the historic path along the south bank of the James River now known as State Route 10 between Prince George County and Isle of Wight County. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 310 square miles, of which 279 square miles is land and 31 square miles is water. Charles City County Isle of Wight County James City County Prince George County Southampton County Sussex County As of the census of 2010, there were 7,058 people, 2,619 households, 1,917 families residing in the county; the population density was 24 people per square mile. There were 3,294 housing units at an average density of 12 per square mile; the racial makeup of the county was 51.3% White, 46.1% Black or African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.3% from other races, 1.7% from two or more races. 1.2 % of the population were Latino of any race. There were 2,619 households out of which 30.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.50% were married couples living together, 14.10% had a female householder with no husband present, 26.80% were non-families.
23.70% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.10% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.09. In the county, the age distribution of the population shows 25.20% under the age of 18, 7.20% from 18 to 24, 27.80% from 25 to 44, 25.70% from 45 to 64, 14.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 93.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.00 males. The median income for a household in the county was $37,558, the median income for a family was $41,234. Males had a median income of $31,123 versus $21,143 for females; the per capita income for the county was $16,682. About 9.70% of families and 10.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.40% of those under age 18 and 14.80% of those age 65 or over. Blackwater Regional Library is the regional library system that provides services to the citizens of Surry. Claremont Dendron Surry Scotland Bacon's Castle Cabin Point Carsley Elberon Spring Grove Bacon's Cast
Courtland is an incorporated town in Southampton County, United States. The population was 1,284 at the 2010 census, it is the county seat of Southampton County. Named Jerusalem by English colonists, the town was given its present name in 1888, it served as Southampton County's only town through the 18th century, has been the county seat since then. This town was formed in 1791 on the north shore of the Nottoway River, on a parcel of ten acres beside the courthouse. In 1831, the town became well known as the site of the trials and subsequent executions of Nat Turner and some of his cohort who had planned a major slave rebellion. According to a letter written by Solon Borland to the governor of North Carolina, the village was a small hamlet of 175 people, with only three stores, one saddler, one carriage maker, two hotels, two attorneys and two physicians; the town was the boyhood home of Confederate Major General William Mahone, whose father Fielding Mahone ran a local tavern. General George H. Thomas, "Rock of Chickamauga", a native of Southampton County visited his uncle James Rochelle here.
Rochelle was clerk of court for Southampton County, lived three houses from Mahone's Tavern. Elm Grove, Fielding Mahone's tavern, Rochelle-Prince House, Simmons-Sebrell-Camp House, the Rebecca Vaughan House are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Courtland is located at 36°42′57″N 77°3′58″W. According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 0.9 square miles, all of it land. As of the census of 2000, there were 1,270 people, 460 households, 300 families residing in the town; the population density was 1,373.2 people per square mile. There were 498 housing units at an average density of 538.5 per square mile. The racial makeup of the town was 52.28% White, 47.01% African American, 0.16% Native American, 0.08% Asian, 0.47% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.24% of the population. There were 460 households out of which 33.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.6% were married couples living together, 20.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 34.6% were non-families.
32.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.0% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.96. In the town, the population was spread out with 23.1% under the age of 18, 7.6% from 18 to 24, 27.0% from 25 to 44, 23.1% from 45 to 64, 19.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 93.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.7 males. The median income for a household in the town was $31,750, the median income for a family was $43,229. Males had a median income of $34,464 versus $20,714 for females; the per capita income for the town was $18,474. About 19.2% of families and 21.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 30.6% of those under age 18 and 22.1% of those age 65 or over
Southampton is the largest city in the ceremonial county of Hampshire, England. It is 70 miles south-west of 15 miles west north-west of Portsmouth. Southampton is the closest city to the New Forest, it lies at the northernmost point of Southampton Water at the confluence of the Rivers Test and Itchen, with the River Hamble joining to the south of the urban area. The city, a unitary authority, has an estimated population of 253,651; the city's name is sometimes abbreviated in writing to "So'ton" or "Soton", a resident of Southampton is called a Sotonian. Significant employers in the city include Southampton City Council, the University of Southampton, Solent University, Southampton Airport, Ordnance Survey, BBC South, the NHS, ABP and Carnival UK. Southampton is noted for its association with the RMS Titanic, the Spitfire and more in the World War II narrative as one of the departure points for D-Day, more as the home port of a number of the largest cruise ships in the world. Southampton has retail park, Westquay.
In 2014, the city council approved a neighbouring followup Westquay South which opened in 2016–2017. In the 2001 census Southampton and Portsmouth were recorded as being parts of separate urban areas; this built-up area is part of the metropolitan area known as South Hampshire, known as Solent City in the media when discussing local governance organisational changes. With a population of over 1.5 million this makes the region one of the United Kingdom's most populous metropolitan areas. Archaeological finds suggest. Following the Roman invasion of Britain in AD 43 and the conquering of the local Britons in AD 70 the fortress settlement of Clausentum was established, it was an important trading port and defensive outpost of Winchester, at the site of modern Bitterne Manor. Clausentum is thought to have contained a bath house. Clausentum was not abandoned until around 410; the Anglo-Saxons formed a new, settlement across the Itchen centred on what is now the St Mary's area of the city. The settlement was known as Hamwic, which evolved into Hamtun and Hampton.
Archaeological excavations of this site have uncovered one of the best collections of Saxon artefacts in Europe. It is from this town. Viking raids from 840 onwards contributed to the decline of Hamwic in the 9th century, by the 10th century a fortified settlement, which became medieval Southampton, had been established. Following the Norman Conquest in 1066, Southampton became the major port of transit between the capital of England and Normandy. Southampton Castle was built in the 12th century and surviving remains of 12th-century merchants' houses such as King John's House and Canute's Palace are evidence of the wealth that existed in the town at this time. By the 13th century Southampton had become a leading port involved in the import of French wine in exchange for English cloth and wool; the Franciscan friary in Southampton was founded circa 1233. The friars constructed a water supply system in 1290, which carried water from Conduit Head some 1.1 miles to the site of the friary inside the town walls.
Further remains can be observed at Conduit House on Commercial Road. The friars granted use of the water to the town in 1310; the town was sacked in 1338 by French and Monegasque ships. On visiting Southampton in 1339, Edward III ordered that walls be built to'close the town'; the extensive rebuilding—part of the walls dates from 1175—culminated in the completion of the western walls in 1380. Half of the walls, 13 of the original towers, six gates survive. In 1348, the Black Death reached England via merchant vessels calling at Southampton. Prior to King Henry's departure for the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, the ringleaders of the "Southampton Plot"—Richard, Earl of Cambridge, Henry Scrope, 3rd Baron Scrope of Masham, Sir Thomas Grey of Heton—were accused of high treason and tried at what is now the Red Lion public house in the High Street, they were summarily executed outside the Bargate. The city walls include God's House Tower, built in 1417, the first purpose-built artillery fortification in England.
Over the years it has been used as home to the city's gunner, the Town Gaol and as storage for the Southampton Harbour Board. Until September 2011, it housed the Museum of Archaeology; the walls were completed in the 15th century, but development of several new fortifications along Southampton Water and the Solent by Henry VIII meant that Southampton was no longer dependent upon its fortifications. During the Middle Ages, shipbuilding had become an important industry for the town. Henry V's famous warship HMS Grace Dieu was built in Southampton and launched in 1418; the friars passed on ownership of the water supply system itself to the town in 1420. On the other hand, many of the medieval buildings once situated within the town walls are now in ruins or have disappeared altogether. From successive incarnations of the motte and bailey castle, only a section of the bailey wall remains today, lying just off Castle Way; the friary was dissolved in 1538 but its ruins remained until they were swept away in the 1940s.
The port was the point of departure for the Pilgrim Fathers aboard Mayflower in 1620. In 1642, during the English Civil War, a Parliamentary gar
Blackwater River (Virginia)
The Blackwater River of southeastern Virginia flows from its source near the city of Petersburg, Virginia for about 105 miles through the Inner Coastal Plain region of Virginia. The Blackwater joins the Nottoway River to form the Chowan River, which empties into Albemarle Sound; the Blackwater-Nottoway confluence forms the boundary between North Carolina. The Blackwater River is a true blackwater river, its water is clear, dark acidic, tannin stained. Its drainage basin contains many swamps; the river's flood plain is forested and swampy, including bald cypress and tupelo swamp forests. The upper Blackwater River is called Blackwater Swamp. In this region of Virginia, many streams are called "swamps" but still function like streams in being long and linear, with water moving from one end to the other and laid out in a normal stream tributary network. In contrast, some of the region's wetlands are not streams, such as the bog-like pocosins found on the higher land between swamp-stream drainages.
The Blackwater River was a transportation route in the 17th and 18th centuries, connecting the Chesapeake Bay settlements with the Albemarle Settlements. It was one of the few rivers of colonial Virginia that did not empty into Chesapeake Bay yet lay close to the colony's oldest settlements on the James River. Settlements in the Blackwater's drainage basin were founded early in Virginia's history; as a result, the Blackwater River became one of the early migration routes southward from the James River into the region called Southside Virginia, beyond into the Albemarle District of Carolina. Today's usual definition of Southside differs somewhat from that of colonial times; the Blackwater River originates in several swamps within, or just south of, the city of Petersburg. It flows southeast through Prince George County, it forms part of the border between Surry County and Sussex County, where its name becomes Blackwater River. It collects tributaries called Warwick Swamp, Otterdam Swamp, Coppahaunk Swamp, Cypress Swamp.
In southern Surry County, the Blackwater River turns south and forms the border between Isle of Wight County and Southampton County. It collects tributaries called Terrapin Swamp, Antioch Swamp, Seacock Swamp, Corrowaugh Swamp, Kingsale Swamp; the city of Franklin lies on its west bank at the river's head of navigation. While canoes and other small boats plied the Blackwater upstream of Franklin in colonial times, in the steamboat era, navigation was restricted to the river downstream of Franklin. South of Franklin, the Blackwater River forms the border between Southampton Suffolk. About nine miles south of Franklin, on the border between Virginia and North Carolina, the Blackwater River is joined by the Nottoway River, forming the Chowan River, which continues south to Albemarle Sound; the boundary between Virginia and North Carolina runs west from the Atlantic Ocean, striking the Blackwater River about a half mile north of the confluence with the Nottoway River. From there the state line follows the Blackwater River south to the confluence continues west.
The watershed of the Blackwater River contains a portion of three cities and five counties of Virginia: the cities of Franklin and Suffolk, the counties of Isle of Wight, Prince George, Southampton and Sussex. The Blackwater River is, as its name implies, a blackwater river — its waters are clear, acidic, low in nutrients, tannin stained. Several environmental factors cause the blackwater condition; the many forested wetlands along the river include Streamhead Pocosins and Bald Cypress and Tupelo Swamps. The Blackwater is known including the rare type called streamhead pocosin; the only two streamhead pocosins known in Virginia are on the Blackwater River. Bald Cypress and Tupelo Swamps occur along many streams of the Atlantic Coastal Plain. Most were logged, thus old-growth examples are rare; the Blackwater River Preserve protects one of the oldest bald cypress and tupelo swamp forests in the South, with trees up to 800 years old. The largest known water tupelo in the United States, according to the National Register of Big Trees, is in Isle of Wight County.
It stands 95 feet tall with a circumference of 406 inches. Another stand of old-growth bald cypress and tupelo forest, known as Dendron Swamp, was designated a Natural Area Preserve by the Virginia Department of Conservation of Recreation. Another rare type of forest found along the Blackwater River is a type called Longleaf Pine and Mixed Pine Flatwoods; the forests were once common in southeastern Virginia, but today are restricted, in Virginia, to a few small sites on the east side of the Blackwater River. Near the town of Zuni, one stand is protected by the Blackwater Ecological Preserve; the Red-cockaded woodpecker is endemic to the flatwoods ecosystem and the Blackwater River is the northern range of this woodpecker. Many species of reptiles and amphibians depend on the long leaf pine ecosystem; the Blackwater River is one of the few locations in Virginia that has over thirty species of amphibians. The many old forests and wetlands along the Blackwater River have made it popular for recreational canoeing.
The Blackwater originates. It flows east through braided channels of bald cypress and tupelo in Surry County; the river turns south into Southampton County where several boat ramps are accessible for anglers and boaters alike. The Blackwater joins with the Nottoway to form the Chowan at the Virginia-North Carolina state line. On any one trip you can see whitetail deer, nu