HISTORY

The Potomac River made Alexandria an ideal location for a town and the first settlement was established in 1695. In 1746, Captain Philip Alexander II moved to a 500-acre estate near Duke Street in Alexandria. Philip and his cousin Captain John Alexander gave land to assist in the development of Alexandria, and are listed as the founders. Lots were being sold for the town of Alexandria by July 1749.

Alexandria became a port of entry for foreign vessels and a major export center for flour and hemp. Its bustling harbor teemed with brigs, schooners, and ships that engaged in international and coast wide trade.

At the opening of the American Civil War, the city was occupied by Federal troops until the end of the war, making it the longest held city during the war. From their earliest days, Alexandrians have known war. George Washington drilled militia troops at Market Square in 1754, and the town served as a supply and hospital center during the Revolutionary conflict. Before the Civil War, U.S. Army officer and the most celebrated general of the Confederate forces during the American Civil War, Robert E. Lee, and his wife lived at his wife's family home, the Custis-Lee Mansion on Arlington Plantation. The plantation was seized by Union forces during the war, and became part of Arlington National Cemetery.

Alexandria was included in the area to become the District of Columbia. D.C. was later reduced in size to exclude the portion south of the Potomac River. The City of Alexandria was returned to Virginia in 1852 and became independent of Alexandria County in 1870. The remaining portion of Alexandria County changed its name to Arlington County in 1920. Alexandria and the District of Columbia competed for business with the port of Georgetown and the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. The city's economy stagnated as development on the north side of the Potomac River grew. Alexandria hoped to benefit from land sales but the federal government had no need for the land south of the river. Alexandria resident also lost representation and the right to vote at any level of government.

Alexandria, which is almost 50 years older than the City of Washington, is one of America's most historic communities. It has many authentic eighteenth-century buildings, and the charm of the "Old and Historic District" is carefully preserved by strict architectural and demolition control. Alexandria began its historic preservation and urban renewal projects in the 1960s. Today the Old Town historic district is known for its array of museums, architecture, special events, fine restaurants and hotels, and other attractions that draw more than 1.5 million international and domestic visitors to it each year.

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  This Alexandria, Virginia website page is for History, Facts, Archives, Records, Museums, Exhibits, Documents, Genealogy, Libraries, Historians, Timeline, Research, Historic Preservation, Ancestry and Statistics in Alexandria, Arlandria, Beverley Hills, Brad Lee, Braddock, Braddock Heights, Brookville, Cameron, Cameron Valley, Chapel Hill, Chinquapin Village, Clover, College Park, Dalecrest, Del Ray, Delta, Duke Gardens, Fort Ward Heights, Hume, Jefferson Park, Lunt, Lynhaven, Monticello Park, Mount Ida, Ale, Potomac Yards, Oakcrest, Parkfairfax and Old Town Alexandria. Places of interest in Alexandria, Virginia include Cameron Run Regional Park, Colesanto Park, Jones Point, Marina Park, Market Square, Mount Jefferson Park, Waterfront Park, Mount Vernon Trail, Potomac River, George Washington Masonic Temple, Christ Church, Gadsby's Tavern, Grace Episcopal Church, Carlyle House, Little Theatre, Lee-Fendall House, Market Square, Alexandria Black History Museum, Alexandria Seaport Foundation, The Athenaeum, Torpedo Factory, Alexandria Farmer's Market, Fort Ward Museum, Friendship Firehouse, The Lyceum, Ramsay House, Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum, U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, Northern Virginia Community College, Washington Street, King Street, George Washington Memorial Parkway, Metrorail, Braddock Road, Eisenhower Avenue, Van Dorn Street, DASH, T.C. Williams, Alexandria Union Station, Mt. Vernon Avenue, Virginia Theological Seminary, Reagan National Airport, Duke Street and Washington Sailing Marina.