History

Richmond was settled as early as the 1600s, and the present city was founded in 1737, still one of the oldest in the country.  It became the state capital by 1780, emerged as a major manufacturing center, and was the capital of the Confederacy during the American Civil War.  With such a rich history behind it, Richmond retains many historic neighborhoods and buildings, offering a continuing character not found in just any American city.

  • Museums, monuments, battlefields, and historic homes commemorate Greater Richmond's 400-year history.
  • More than 130 sites on the National Register of Historic Places, and numerous additional historic districts.
  • Patrick Henry said, "Give me liberty or give me death..." at Richmond's St. John's Church.
  • Thomas Jefferson designed the Virginia state capitol, located in downtown Richmond.
  • The capital of the Confederacy was located here, the White House of the Confederacy still stands in downtown Richmond.
  • Pocahontas lived here, two presidents -- James Monroe and John Tyler -- are buried here, Edgar Allan Poe wrote here, and Arthur Ashe learned tennis here.
  • Boat tours and the Canal Walk celebrate Richmond's historic canal.
  • The Citie of Henricus in Chesterfield County was the second English colony in America, just 80 miles up the James River from Jamestown.
  • Henrico County celebrated its 400-year anniversary in 2011. The original Henrico Shire boundaries included an area from which ten Virginia counties and three cities were later formed.