Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V05, Page 947 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, a city and the county-seat of Albemarle county, Virginia, U.S.A., picturesquely situated on he Rivanna river, 96 m. (by rail) N.W. of Richmond in the beautiful Piedmont region. Pop. (189o) 5591; (1900) 6449 (2613 being negroes); (1910) 6765. The city is served by the Chesapeake & Ohio, and the Southern railways, and is best known as the seat of the University of Virginia (q.v.), which was founded by Thomas Jefferson. Here are also the Rawlings Institute for girls, founded as the Albemarle Female Institute in 1857, and a University school. Monticello, Jefferson's home, is still standing about 2 M. south-east of the city on a fine hill, called Little Mountain until Jefferson Italianised the name. The south pavilion of the present house is the original brick building, one and a half storeys high, first occupied by Jefferson in 1770. He was buried near the house, which was sold by his daughter some years after his death. George Rogers Clark was born near Monticello. Charlottesville is a trade centre for the surrounding country; among its manufactures are woollen goods, overalls, agricultural implements and cigars and tobacco. The city owns its water-supply system and owns and operates its gas plant; an electric plant, privately owned, lights the streets and many houses. The site of the city was a part of the Castle Hill estate of Thomas Walker (1715–1794), an intimate friend of George Washington. The act establishing the town of Charlottesville was passed by the Assembly of Virginia in Nov ember 1762, when the name Charlottesville (in honour of Queen Charlotte, wife of George III.) first appeared. In 1779–1780 about 4000 of Burgoyne's troops, surrendered under the " Convention " of Saratoga, were quartered here; in October 178o part of them were sent to Lancaster, Pa., and later the rest were sent north. In June 1781 Tarleton raided Charlottesville and the vicinity, nearly captured Thomas Jefferson, and destroyed the public records and some arms and ammunition. In 1888 Charlottesville was chartered as a city administratively independent of the county.

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