Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Road Trip - Old Town Alexandria in Virginia

Sitting on the Potomac River in Northern Virginia, Alexandria has a fascinating history with many of its historic buildings still existing today. Founded in 1749, Alexandria was a tobacco trading post; one of the 10 busiest trading ports in America; adjacent to the nation's new capital the District of Columbia; home to both the largest 19th-century slave-trading firm in the country with a large free-black community; a Civil War supply center for Union troops; & a street-car suburb for Federal workers as government began to expand. Alexandria was the hometown of George Washington & Robert E. Lee.

The War of 1812 & the 5-day occupation of Alexandria by British forces in 1814, had a profound effect on the town & its economy. Threatened with an invasion & with insufficient forces to defend the city, Alexandria’s Council surrendered  to the British without resistance. The city avoided being burned, but the residents were required to surrender contents of stores & warehouses to the British.