Dorothy Roy

Dorothy Roy (HM130J)

Location: Port Royal, VA 22535 Caroline County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 10.311', W 77° 11.443'

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One of America's Earliest Business Women

The daughter of Richard and Elizabeth Buckner and the widow of Charles Smith, Dorothy Smith married John Roy in 1719. John Roy was the owner of a tobacco warehouse at Port Royal, Virginia - a facility to which local planters brought their tobacco to be shipped abroad on vessels that sailed from Port Royal's harbor on the Rappahannock. In 1731, Dorothy Roy used her influence with the Virginia Court to have a 20-mile-long rolling road constructed over which planters could haul 900-pound hogsheads of tobacco to the warehouse. This rolling road later became U.S. Route 301.

After John Roy's death in 1734, Dorothy Roy became the first woman in Virginia to own a chartered tobacco warehouse. She also obtained a license to operate a ferry across the Rappahannock—another first for a Virginia woman—and she even became the owner of a tavern.

Dorothy Roy was soon recognized as the doyenne of the thriving commercial hub of Port Royal and was widely sought for business advice. She died in 1746, two years after the town of Port Royal, which had grown up around the Roy tobacco warehouse, was chartered. The two large chimneys on the west side of Route 301 are all that remain of Dorothy Roy's residence.
HM NumberHM130J
Placed ByHistoric Port Royal with funding made possible through the sponsorship of the Washington-Lewis Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, October 24th, 2014 at 8:36am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 308099 N 4227150
Decimal Degrees38.17185000, -77.19071667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 10.311', W 77° 11.443'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 10' 18.66" N, 77° 11' 26.58" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)804
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 101-199 Water St, Port Royal VA 22535, US
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