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The Development of Elizabeth City



Captain "William Tucker, a London merchant, succeeded Captain Newce as commander of Elizabeth City and as a member of the council of State, and in the revenge taken upon the savages by the government he played an important part in leading expeditions against them.

In February 1624, a census was taken of the inhabitants of the colony according to which it appeared that Elizabeth City Corporation had a population of 349. In June, the charter of the London Company was revoked, but though great fears were entertained, no attempt was made by the King to interfere with the plan of government established by the Company for the colony.

In 1625 another census of the colony was taken, and among the inhabitants of Elizabeth City Corporation the following may be mentioned: Residing at Newport News on a tract of 1300 acres, with his 19 servants was Mr. Daniel Gookin, who came like the Newces from Newce town in Ireland. On Hampton River and in its neighborhood were

Page seventeen



Commander William Tucker, Captain Francis West, brother of Lord Delaware, John Downman, John Powell, Michael Willcox, Cornelius May, William Julian, Lieut. Thomas Purifoy, Ensign Thomas Willoughby, George Keith minister. Captain Nicholas Martian, Mr. Robert Salford, Francis Mason, Pharaoh Flinton, Lieutenant John Chisman, Mr. Edward Waters, Captain Francis Chamberlayne, Rev. Jonas Stockton, Mr. William Gany, Thomas Flint and Anthony Bonell.

In 1627, Rev. Mr. Stockton had the lease of 50 acres on the east side of Hampton River ' within the Company's land at Elizabeth City," at the Indian House Thicket. It appears the irony of fate that an Indian school, the Hampton Institute, should now be seen near where once was an "Indian thicket," and the prophetic Stockton announced his conviction of the original depravity of the Indians.

As a result of the massacre, the Indians were driven far away from the settlements, and the colony, relieved from their presence, in a few years again put on a prosperous appearance. In 1628, we are told that there was a great plenty of everything in the colony and "peaches in abundance at Elizabeth City."

About 1630, Col. William Claiborne set up on the very site of the present town of Hampton a storehouse for trade with the Indians up Chesapeake Bay, and here he resided after being driven out of Kent Island by Lord Baltimore. He removed to West Point about 1661.

In 1632, the French vignerons at Buck Roe incurred the resentment of the general assembly by dropping into tobacco raising, and a law was passed inhibiting them from so doing on penalty of forfeiting their leases and having to quit the colony.

In February, 1634, Leonard Calvert and his immigrants stopped here on their way to found the great State of Maryland at St. Mary's.

The same year (1634) the colony was divided into eight counties, and "Elizabeth City" was given to one extending on both sides of Hampton Roads, but, in 1637, the south side was cut off and made into New Norfolk County, after which the limits of Elizabeth City County were pretty nearly as they exist at the present day. Till very recently however.

Page eighteen



Newport News, which now lies wholly in Warwick County, lay partly in Elizabeth City County and partly in Warwick County.

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