New Kent County Historic
Pre Contact Era:
The Chickahominy Indian Tribe has been a part of this land as long
as the river bearing its name has been flowing to the sea.
1607: Captain John Smith was captured by
Indians on the Chickahominy River in New Kent County.
1654: New Kent County was chartered by the
Virginia House of Burgesses as Virginia's 12th County.
1676: Bacon's Rebellion ended at Brickhouse in
New Kent County.
1691: The current
courthouse location was chosen for the New Kent County seat. A
courthouse and ordinary were constructed.
1731: First Lady Martha Dandridge Custis Washington was
born at Chestnut Grove
Plantation in New Kent County.
1748: Cumberland, then a colonial town on the
Pamunkey River was considered to replace
Williamsburg as the
capitol of the Virginia Colony.
January 6, 1759:
Martha Dandridge Custis and George Washington were married
probably at her home at White House.
The Washington Rochambeau Wagon Train passed through the County on
its way to Yorktown camping at Harfield, three miles west of New
Kent Courthouse, and at what is now Barhamsville. Generals
Washington and Rochambeau coming from Mount Vernon crossed the
Pamunkey River at Ruffin’s Ferry, stopped at Frank’s Tavern (at
Saude Creek Vineyards) and passed through what is now
1782: The French Army,
divided into four sections marched north through the County
camping at Barhamsville, Ratcliffe House, and Harfield.
March 29, 1813: First Lady Letitia Christian
Tyler was born at Cedar Grove in New Kent County.
1862: Following the Battle of Eltham’s Landing and the
skirmish at Slatersville, the jail at the Courthouse was burned by
order of General J. E. B. Stuart to keep the corn supply from
falling into Union hands. Federal Troops occupied Cumberland
Landing and White House Landing and established a hospital at
Talleysville. In June 1862, Stuart led his troops on a ride around
the Union Army through Tunstall Station, Talleysville and
1909: The historic New
Kent courthouse and jail were constructed.
The historic New Kent School was constructed.
1968: The decision in Green v County School Board
of New Kent County was handed down by the United States Supreme
Court. The school desegregation case is considered second in
importance only to Brown v Board of Education.
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1998-2018 by Stran L. Trout