Hampton

city boundaries - Hampton, Virginia
city boundaries - Hampton, Virginia
Source: City of Hampton, WebGIS Portal

The Jamestown settlers built Fort Algernourne in 1609 at the end of the Peninsula, where Fort Monroe is now located. Moving some starving settlers away from Jamestown reduced the demand on the fort's food supplies, and may have reduced transmission of density-dependent disease. The fort also provided an early warning system of Spanish, Dutch, and pirate ships until being abandoned in 1667 after Charles II made peace with the Netherlands leader, William of Orange.

Fort George was built on the same site in 1727, and was washed away by a storm in 1749. As described on Eighteenth Century Virginia Hurricanes, a hurricane storm surge raised the level of Chesapeake Bay 15 feet, created Willoughby Spit at Norfolk, and washed away the fort's walls. The location of modern-day Hampton was buried under four feet of water on October 19, 1749. (Today, I-64 has been reconfigured so it can be converted into a hurricane escape route. If necessary, all eastbound traffic can be stopped and those lanes used for westbound traffic inland to safety west of Williamsburg.)

Hampton was seized by British forces in the War of 1812, after the Americans on Craney Island successfully blocked the attempt to capture the Gosport Navy Yard on the Elizabeth River. The British behavior at Hampton generated American complaints about theft and rape. The traditional American interpretation before the Civil War was that the British officers failed to exert appropriate discipline over poor-quality troops, and that the American slaves in Hampton were captured and forced to move to British-controlled islands rather than escaped to freedom:1

the enemy gave it [Hampton] up to pillage and outrage; and every excess which a brutal and outlawed soldiery could invent was freely employed. Not only were the houses of the citizens robbed of their contents; their negroes carried away and sent to Bermuda and the West Indies; and the aged and decrepit made the objects of abuse and injury; but the females were outraged in the most brutal manner.

Willoughby Spit

Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel, Fort Monroe

Hampton in 1864
Hampton in 1864
Source: Library of Congress, Hampton, Va. View of the town

NASA conducts research on airplane technology and safety, including full-scale crash testing, at the Langley Research Center in Hampton
NASA conducts research on airplane technology and safety, including full-scale crash testing, at the Langley Research Center in Hampton
Source: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Retired Aviator on Hand to Witness Drop Test of His Old Airplane

Fort Monroe is within the city limits of Hampton
Fort Monroe is within the city limits of Hampton
Source: US Army, Fort Monroe, VA Conveyance Progress Report

a 1930-1945 tourism postcard highlighted Buckroe Beach in Hampton
a 1930-1945 tourism postcard highlighted Buckroe Beach in Hampton
Source: Boston Public Library, Tichnor Brothers Postcard Collection, Buckroe Beach, Virginia

James River Reserve Fleet

Langley Research Center

Fort Monroe

Fort Monroe After Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC)

Fort Wool

Hotels at Point Comfort/Fort Monroe

Who Owns Submerged Lands After They Emerge Through Accretion and Landfilling?

laying the cornerstone of the Soldier's Monument at Hampton, Virginia (October 8, 1867)
laying the cornerstone of the Soldier's Monument at Hampton, Virginia (October 8, 1867)
Source: Harper's Weekly (October 26, 1867, p.676)

Links

Buckroe Beach was a popular resort accessed by rail, before air conditioning became common
Buckroe Beach was a popular resort accessed by rail, before air conditioning became common
Source: US Geological Survey, Vicinity of Fort Monroe, peninsula between York and James Rivers, Virginia (1910-1911, Sheet 1)

References

1. Henry R. Dawson, Battles of the United States, Vol. II, Johnson, Fry, and Company (New York), 1858, p.258, https://archive.org/details/battlesofuniteds02daws (last checked January 16, 2015)

a major contraband camp was established in Hampton during the Civil War
a major contraband camp was established in Hampton during the Civil War
Source: ESRI, ArcGIS Online


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