Sites & cities that bear the name of Old Point Comfort

Old Point Comfort

Today in : United States of America
First trace of activity : 1607 C.E
Last trace of activity : today

Description : Old Point Comfort is a point of land located in the independent city of Hampton, Virginia. Previously known as Point Comfort, it lies at the extreme tip of the Virginia Peninsula at the mouth of Hampton Roads in the United States. It was renamed Old Point Comfort to differentiate it from New Point Comfort 21 miles (34 km) up the Chesapeake Bay. Today the site is home to Continental Park and Fort Monroe National Monument. For more than 400 years, Point Comfort served as a maritime navigational landmark and military stronghold. According to a combination of old records and legend, the name derived from an incident when the Jamestown settlers first arrived. Captain Christopher Newport's flagship, Susan Constant, anchored nearby on 28 April 1607. Members of the crew "rowed to a point where they found a channel which put them in good comfort. They named the adjacent land Cape Comfort. Point Comfort formed the beginning of the boundary of colonial Virginia. The Second Charter of the Virginia Company, granted in 1609, gave the company: all those Lands, Countries, and Territories, situate, lying, and being in that Part of America, called Virginia, from the pointe of lande called Cape or Pointe Comfort all alonge the seacoste to the northward two hundred miles and from the said pointe of Cape Comfort all alonge the sea coast to the southward twoe hundred miles; and all that space and circuit of lande lieinge from the sea coaste of the precinct aforesaid upp unto the lande, throughoute, from sea to sea, west and northwest . . . Because of the ambiguity as to which line was to run west, and which northwest, this charter gave the Virginia Company either about 80,000 square miles (210,000 km2) of eastern North America, or about one-third of the entire continent, extending to the Pacific Ocean. The Colony of Virginia chose the larger interpretation, and the Commonwealth of Virginia continued to claim much of the Ohio Valley and beyond until after the American Revolution, relinquishing its claims to the Northwest Territory only in 1784. It allowed its western claims to become the state of Kentucky in 1790. Kentucky was officially admitted as a state on June 1, 1792. In August 1619, the first documented African slaves arrived in what would become Virginia (which was then known as the Colony of Virginia, noting that the first people of direct African descent on mainland North America were slaves of a Spanish colony in 1526 in South Carolina, and the first recorded birth with direct African ancestry took place in Florida in 1606). They arrived in "The White Lion", a privateer ship owned by Robert Rich, 2nd Earl of Warwick, but flying a Dutch flag, which docked at Point Comfort/Fort Monroe. The approximately 20 slaves had been enslaved by a joint African-Portuguese war on Ndongo in modern Angola, and had been removed from a Portuguese slave ship, the "São João Bautista". In 1665, Colonel Miles Cary, a member of the Virginia Governor's Council, was assigned to place armaments at the fort during heightened tensions resulting from the Second Anglo-Dutch War. Cary was hit by a cannonball from a Dutch frigate. He died of those wounds on June 10, 1667.

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