Port Royal

Port Royal (HM2GQO)

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N 38° 10.337', W 77° 11.339'

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Colonial Seaport

Following the first treaties between the English and the Powhatan confederacy, colonial settlement expended up the Rappahannock River. One of the earliest land patents was held by Col. John Catlett. In 1670 he was killed defending the small settlement that was to become Port Royal from an Indian raid. Following Catlett, the land around the small port town was patented and settled by Lawrence Smith, Robert Taliaferro, Thomas Gouldman, and Anthony Buckner, among others.

All around the land was planted in "sweet-scented" tobacco, which had become the main export and currency of the royal colonies. In 1673 Gov. William Beverly authorized landowner Anthony Buckner to charter a tobacco inspection warehouse near the location of the present-day bridge. In 1719 John Roy acquired the business. After Roy's death, his widow Dorothy Buckner Roy became one of America's earliest business women. In 1735 she secured the title of Roy's warehouse. She also gained the title to the ferry that was chartered in 1732 to link Port Royal with Port Conway on the river's north shore. Previously, she had used her political influence to convince the Court of the need for a road connecting points west of current Bowling Green to the Roy warehouse. The "Rolling Road" was created in 1731 and secured the Port Royal area as a flourishing seaport for the continuing

export of tobacco, and for regional commerce. In 1744, by an act of the General Assembly, the prosperous Town of Port Royal was established.

In the second half of the 18th century, Port Royal withstood embargos and the capture of several residents' trade vessels by the British. The 19th century brought the efficiency of the steamboat and a surge of coal imports, but it was the railroad that made inland water transport obsolete. The port was destroyed during the Civil War by Union gunboats, and the harbor was occupied for a short time in 1864 by the Union Army. Ferry operations resumed in 1865 and continued until the James Madison Memorial Bridge was opened in 1934.
Placed ByHistoric Port Royal Inc
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, May 12th, 2019 at 5:02pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 308252 N 4227194
Decimal Degrees38.17228333, -77.18898333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 10.337', W 77° 11.339'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 10' 20.22" N, 77° 11' 20.34" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near , ,
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