Page images

Civil or Administrative Division of the State of Virginia, with the Population of each County and Chief Town, in 1810, the year of the late Enzcmera

[merged small][table]

Chief Towns. Lervisburg. Hicksford.

South Boston.





Richmond, 9,735, in

May, 1817, 14,333.
Smith field.
Williamsburg, 1,500.



St Tammany.





Point Pleasaut.





[table][merged small][ocr errors]

The increase of whites, in the last ten years, was 3\860, or per cent.—of Macks, 55,603, or 15 per cent. The first blacks were introduced by the Hollanders, about the year 1620, and several thousands were afterwards imported, yearly, by Great Britain, to whom this trade was a source of profit. Mr Jefferson states, that, from the period when the population became uniform, in 1654, to the year 1772, it doubled every C27^ years, and that this progression continued nearly the same. The population, in 1810, was 971,67~> and the area being 70,.>00 square miles, this gives nearly fourteen persons to a square mile.

Manners and Character.—The inhabitants of the hilly and mountainous parts are tall, robust, generally with black lively eyes, and remarkably white teeth. They are of a browner complexion than the people farther north. The country is very healthy, except in low marshy places bordering on the sea, where the inhabitants are subject to fevers and pleurisies. The yellow fever prevailed at Norfolk, in the summer and autumn of 1800 and J 801, occasioned by the miasma emanating from a considerable extent of surface, which, at the ebb of the tide, is exposed to the sun's rays* It is owing to this circumstance, that, at Lambert's point, fever and ague constantly prevail. Those who inhabit the district from Tide Water to the Blue Ridge, a breadth of from sixty to a hundred miles, enjoy a better climate, and are of larger stature than the generality of Europeans. It is not uncommon to see men from six feet six inches to six feet nine inches in height. Benjamin Harrison is seven feet five inches. Some of the natives are gifted with extraordinary muscular powers. Peter Francisco was known to take two men, each six feet high, and hold them in the air by the ankles at arms length. This tract, and the hilly country in general, is very healthy, and free from miasma; the people lead an industrious and active life, are well fed and clothed, and have comfortable houses. The Virginians are chiefly the descendants of the first English settlers, though there are some small colonies of Scotch and Irish emigrants in different parts. The population of Petersburg is chiefly from Ireland; and, at Norfolk, there are also several families from that country, and about 300 individuals of French origin. The inhabitants of this state took an active part in the war of independence, and still interest themselves keenly in politics. They have been generally allowed to be open, frank, and hospitable, polite, generous, and high-spirited; but they have also been accused of pride, indolence, and the other bad qualities nourished by the practice of negro slavery. A late intelligent traveller considers the plantation bred Virginians as having more pretension than good sense; the insubordination, he says, both to parental and scholastic authority, in which they glory, produces, as might be expected, a petulance of manner, and frothiness of intellect, very unlike what we may imagine of the old Romans, to whom they affect to compare themselves. * It is but justice, however, to the Virginians, to admit, that their treatment of the ne

* Hall's Travels, p. 392. London, 1818. - •• _7- •

« PreviousContinue »