Newport News, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
World’s Largest Natural Harbor
This body of water before you is the world’s largest natural harbor. Hampton Roads is formed by the confluence of the Elizabeth, James, and Nansemond rivers. The English settlers named this waterway jointly in honor of the Earl of Southampton (a stockholder in the Virginia Company of London) and for the nautical term “roadstead.” At Hampton Roads, the colonists shipped their tobacco crops to England and imported European manufactured goods. The value of the cargo was immense, and the English established fortifications at Old Point Comfort to the east and Newport News Point to the west. Despite these defenses, Hampton Roads attracted pirates and foreign invaders.
The Dutch sent an expedition into Hampton Roads in 1667. This engagement was part of the Second Anglo-Dutch
Erected 2007 by Newport News Founders’ Trail.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Colonial Era • Waterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1880.
Location. 36° 58.941′ N, 76° 23.764′ W. Marker is in Newport News, Virginia. Marker is on 16th Street (Virginia Route 167), on the left when traveling west. Marker is located at the Monitor-Merrimac Overlook Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Newport News VA 23607, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Monitor – Merrimack (here, next to this marker); Birth of Naval Aviation (within shouting distance of this marker); Monitor – Merrimack Battle (within shouting distance of this marker); Camp Stuart (approx. half a mile away); Greenlawn Cemetery (approx. 0.7 miles away); Veterans Memorial (approx. ¾ mile away); The Newsome House (approx. ¾ mile away); The Winfield-Jones House (approx. ¾ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Newport News.
More about this marker. The upper right of the marker contains a picture of “Blackbeard, from Charles Johnson, A General History of Robberies and Murders of the most notorious Pirates" (1726). The lower left of the marker contains two pictures. One depicts “Royal Navy Lt. Robert about to kill the pirate Blackbeard in Ocracoke Inlet, N.C.," and the other shows “Blackbeard’s head hanging from the bowsprit of Lt. Robert Maynard’s sloop, en route to Virginia.” Both of these pictures were Courtesy of the Library of Congress.
Credits. This page was last revised on April 17, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 29, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,316 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on November 29, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.