The Evolution of the Southern Backcountry: A Case Study of Lunenburg County, Virginia, 1746-1832

The Evolution of the Southern Backcountry: A Case Study of Lunenburg County, Virginia, 1746-1832

The Evolution of the Southern Backcountry: A Case Study of Lunenburg County, Virginia, 1746-1832

The Evolution of the Southern Backcountry: A Case Study of Lunenburg County, Virginia, 1746-1832

Excerpt

At the beginning of the eighteenth century the Virginia Southside, extending nearly nine thousand square miles from the Fall Line of the James River to the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, remained nearly untouched by the political institutions of eastern Virginia, the economic arrangements of the Chesapeake tobacco economy, or the influences of European immigration. It was, at least in the eyes of those white Englishmen who sought to bring it under their domain, a rude wilderness that needed to be tamed and mastered.

The southside frontier, 1700-1746

In 1733, William Byrd ii, while surveying his lands in the Southside region that would later become Lunenburg County, recorded some impressions of the character of the area. Byrd had invested in over 100,000 acres of land in the Virginia Southside in hopes that he could lure Swiss and German immigrants to buy tracts and settle there, so it is not surprising that his account of his first thorough survey of the region should stress the potential bounty offered by the new lands. Byrd praised the rich soil, the quality of . . .

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