“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Port Royal in Caroline County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

Port Royal

Colonial Seaport

Port Royal Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), May 12, 2019
1. Port Royal Marker
Inscription.  Following the first treaties between the English and the Powhatan confederacy, colonial settlement expended up the Rappahannock River. One of the earliest land patents was held by Col. John Catlett. In 1670 he was killed defending the small settlement that was to become Port Royal from an Indian raid. Following Catlett, the land around the small port town was patented and settled by Lawrence Smith, Robert Taliaferro, Thomas Gouldman, and Anthony Buckner, among others.

All around the land was planted in "sweet-scented" tobacco, which had become the main export and currency of the royal colonies. In 1673 Gov. William Beverly authorized landowner Anthony Buckner to charter a tobacco inspection warehouse near the location of the present-day bridge. In 1719 John Roy acquired the business. After Roy's death, his widow Dorothy Buckner Roy became one of America's earliest business women. In 1735 she secured the title of Roy's warehouse. She also gained the title to the ferry that was chartered in 1732 to link Port Royal with Port Conway on the river's north shore. Previously, she had used her political influence to convince the Court of
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the need for a road connecting points west of current Bowling Green to the Roy warehouse. The "Rolling Road" was created in 1731 and secured the Port Royal area as a flourishing seaport for the continuing export of tobacco, and for regional commerce. In 1744, by an act of the General Assembly, the prosperous Town of Port Royal was established.

In the second half of the 18th century, Port Royal withstood embargos and the capture of several residents' trade vessels by the British. The 19th century brought the efficiency of the steamboat and a surge of coal imports, but it was the railroad that made inland water transport obsolete. The port was destroyed during the Civil War by Union gunboats, and the harbor was occupied for a short time in 1864 by the Union Army. Ferry operations resumed in 1865 and continued until the James Madison Memorial Bridge was opened in 1934.
Erected by Historic Port Royal Inc.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AgricultureNative AmericansSettlements & SettlersWomen. A significant historical year for this entry is 1670.
Location. 38° 10.337′ N, 77° 11.339′ W. Marker is in Port Royal, Virginia, in Caroline County. Marker is on King Street near Water Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map
Port Royal Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), May 12, 2019
2. Port Royal Marker
. Marker is at or near this postal address: 813 Water Street, Port Royal VA 22535, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Port Royal (a few steps from this marker); Port Royal Harbor (within shouting distance of this marker); St. Peter's Church (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Dorothy Roy (about 500 feet away); The Earliest Inhabitants: Native Americans (about 600 feet away); The Fox Tavern: A Colonial Landmark (about 700 feet away); a different marker also named Port Royal (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Sacred Lot (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Port Royal.
Credits. This page was last revised on May 12, 2019. It was originally submitted on May 12, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 627 times since then and 132 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on May 12, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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Sep. 23, 2023