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5 Facts About Virginia's Capital: How Well Do You Know Richmond?

By    |   Wednesday, 08 Apr 2015 02:33 PM

One of the interesting facts about the city of Richmond is that it was the polar opposite during the Civil War to its neighbor, Washington, D.C., only 100 miles to the north.

Here's more about that and four other interesting facts that you may not have already known about the Old Dominion’s capital:

1. Capital of the Confederacy:
While Abraham Lincoln guided the Union through the tumultuous Civil War from the White House in Washington, D.C., his southern counterpart, President Jefferson Davis did the same from Richmond.

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At first, many prominent secessionists argued that Richmond would be too close to the North. Instead, their favored choice for the capital of the Confederacy was Montgomery, Ala. Yet, as summer fell, that position didn't hold for very long.

"But by May the summer's humid heat and the mosquitoes changed many people's minds about Montgomery. So when the newly seceded Virginians offered their own state and their own capital as the seat of the Confederacy, many were eager to accept the offer," according to the Civil War Trust website.

2. The State's Third Capital City: English settlers named Jamestown their capital in 1607. They then moved it to Williamsburg in 1699 after a fire destroyed the Jamestown Statehouse. Finally in 1780, the capital was moved to Richmond, where it now resides, according to History.org.

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At the time, it was thought that Richmond was better equipped to withstand attack from British forces during the impending Revolutionary War.

3. Site of Patrick Henry's Famous Speech: Patrick Henry uttered the immortal words, "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death," in Richmond, even though it was not the capital of Virginia at the time. It was a calculated decision to avoid antagonizing the British governing body that operated from the capital of Williamsburg.

4. Named After a City in England: The city was founded by William Byrd II in 1704, and named after its sister city, Richmond in London. The UK version of Richmond is an affluent suburban town just southeast of London.

5. Edgar Allen Poe Museum: The Edgar Allen Poe Museum was established in 1922 to honor the famed poet. Poe spent a significant amount of his time in Richmond and lived in several nearby buildings. The museum possesses many of his letters, manuscripts and personal belongings, according to History.org.

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One of the interesting facts about the city of Richmond is that it was the polar opposite during the Civil War to its neighbor, Washington, D.C., only 100 miles to the north.
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2015-33-08
Wednesday, 08 Apr 2015 02:33 PM
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