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Richmond, Virginia

Richmond (IPA: /ˈrɪtʃmənd/) is the capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia, in the United States. Like all Virginia municipalities incorporated as cities, it is an independent city and not part of any county. Richmond is the center of the Richmond Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) and the Greater Richmond area. Surrounded by Henrico and Chesterfield counties, the city is located at the intersections of Interstate 95 and Interstate 64, and surrounded by Interstate 295 and Route 288 in central Virginia. The population was 197,790 at the 2000 census, with an estimated population of 1,194,008 for the Richmond Metropolitan Area — making it the third largest in Virginia.[3]

The site of Richmond, at the fall line of the James River in the Piedmont region of Virginia, was briefly settled by English settlers from Jamestown in 1607, near the site of a significant native settlement. The present city of Richmond was founded in 1737. It became the capital of the Colony and Dominion of Virginia in 1780. During the Revolutionary War period, several notable events occurred in the city, including Patrick Henry's, "Give me liberty or give me death," speech in 1775 at St. John's Church, and the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom in 1779; the latter of which was written by Thomas Jefferson in the city. During the American Civil War, Richmond served as the capital of the Confederate States of America, and many important American Civil War landmarks remain in the city today, including the Virginia State Capitol and the White House of the Confederacy, among others.

Richmond's economy is primarily driven by law, finance, and government with several notable legal and banking firms, as well as federal, state, and local governmental agencies, located in the downtown area. Richmond is one of twelve cities in the United States to be home to a Federal Reserve Bank. There are also nine Fortune 500, and thirteen Fortune 1000 companies in the city. Tourism is also important, as many historic sights are in or nearby the city.

In 1606, James I granted a royal charter to the Virginia Company of London to settle colonists in North America.[4] After the first permanent English settlement was established in April, 1607, at Jamestown, Captain Christopher Newport and Captain John Smith led explorers northwest up the James River, and on June 3, 1607, erected a cross on one of the small islands in the middle of the part of the river that runs through today's downtown area. The first permanent settlement within the present limits of the city was made in 1609 in the district known as Rockett's.[5] Before 1607, Indian tribes of the Powhatan Confederacy had lived in the region. For centuries, the tribe recognized the value of this site, rich in natural beauty. They knew it as a place to hunt, fish, play, and trade, and they called it "Shocquohocan,", or Shockoe.[5][6]


The article above is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Richmond, Virginia".