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Rappahannock Landing Archaeological Survey ... - Fauquier County

Rappahannock Landing Archaeological Survey ... - Fauquier County

had outgrown the fort,

had outgrown the fort, and it was demolished. In its place, Spotswood had his servants and slaves construct an enormous mansion, now known as the Enchanted Castle (Barile 2004). The first colony’s tenure at Germanna lasted approximately seven years. In return for their passage, they were indentured servants on Spotswood’s land. Seven years was an average indenture period. In addition, the Germans were granted a levy-free existence so long as they remained in the county (Hackley 1962). Once their indentures had expired, however, the group left Germanna to form their own town. The new property, named Germantown, was located on Licking Run in what was then the Northern Neck proprietary. Tidewater landholders had been granted most of the land in the Piedmont by the first half of the eighteenth century but they did not move to the area. Instead they used this land as an extension of their plantation property, which in turn prohibited colonization by independent settlers (Haley 1989:6). It was not until the second half of the eighteenth century that these large holdings were slowly replaced, which in turn allowed for the population to grow even more (Haley 1989:7). In 1759 Fauquier County, named after Francis Fauquier—a governor of the Virginia Colony, was formed out of the larger Prince William County due to the increase in population and development of this rural and agrarian area. This new county was without towns or villages but had a population of approximately 13,500 by 1775. Of these, approximately 8,700 were white with the remainder being slaves with a few free blacks. With blacks making up 35 % of the population they were only owned by 15 % of the white male population. By 1782, 88 of the major landholders owned 44% of all slaves in Fauquier County (Russell and Gott 1977:1). The Nineteenth Century By the first half of the nineteenth century farmers were growing a variety of crops such as corn, wheat, oats, and of course tobacco. Like most southern counties, Fauquier farmers used slave labor as their primary labor force to produce these crops. Because of an increase in production of raw goods mills began to spring up across the countryside, which made these crops easier to transport to larger markets. Several mills were located along nearby Tinpot Run, the first being built in 1804 (Del Rosso 1990). Due to Fauquier County’s geographic location it was difficult to ship large quantities via water, and by 1825 a system of roads from port towns had made their way into the countryside. This road is depicted in Boÿe’s 1825 Map of the State of Virginia (Figure 4, p. 12). Because of the new road systems, settlement increased by the 1830’s. One of these was known as Mill View or Bowensville, located at the convergence of Tinpot Run and the Rappahannock River just 0.48 kilometers (0.3 miles) from the project area. In addition to the network of roads penetrating the interior of the country the Orange and Alexandria Railroad was completed by the 1850’s with a station located in the west bank of the Rappahannock across from present-day Remington Station. The area was originally known as Rappahannock Station between 1852 and 1890 (Schaepman 1990). 11

Project Area Vicinity Figure 4: Map of the State of Virginia (Boÿe 1828). By 1860 Fauquier County’s population was 21,706 with the blacks outnumbering the whites by 4%, as evidenced in the 1860 census. At the outbreak of the Civil War Fauquier County was agrarian-based, making farming the number one occupation in the county. As such 93 % of the black population were slaves (Scheel 1985:2). Civil War and the Battle of Rappahannock Station The Civil War greatly impacted Fauquier County and more specifically the project vicinity. Because the project area is focused on the Battle of Rappahannock Station, this context will focus on events leading up to the battle, the battle itself, its outcome, and the effect it had on Fauquier County. As listed in the Minutes from the 5 th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment’s annual meeting in 1901: Nearly all current histories of the late rebellion ignore the story of the storming of Rappahannock Station, or dismiss it with but slight notice. Yet it was an exploit that thrilled the whole country at that time, which called forth unstinted praise from the press and won from the commanding general of the Army of the Potomac special commendation and notice in general orders. (Anderson 1901:28) 12 North

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