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
1691: The current courthouse location was chosen for the New
Kent County seat. A courthouse and ordinary were constructed.
June 2, 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
January 6, 1759: Martha Dandridge Custis and George
Washington were married probably at her home at White House.
1781: The Washington Rochambeau Wagon Train passed through
the County on their way to Yorktown camping at Harfield, three miles
west of New Kent Courthouse, and at what is now Barhamsville.
Generals Washington and Rochambeau came from Mount Vernon crossing
the Pamunkey River at Ruffin’s Ferry, stopping at Frank’s Tavern (at
Saude Creek Vineyards) and passing through what is now Barhamsville.
1782: The French Army, divided into four sections marched
north through the County and 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 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 Providence Forge.
1909: The historic courthouse and jail were constructed.
1930: The historic New Kent School was constructed.
1968: The decision in Green v New Kent School Board 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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