Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Alexandria in Fairfax County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

People and the Land

 
 
People and the Land Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, March 26, 2011
1. People and the Land Marker
Inscription. American Indians occupied the region at least 13,000 years ago. They hunted game and gathered nature's bounty while residing in temporary seasonal camps. Approximately 3,000 years ago, they began to grow crops and establish permanent villages.

Captain John Smith explored the Upper Potomac River in 1608 and encountered many American Indians. In 1653-54, Captain Giles Brent received a land patent which included the area around Fort Hunt Park, then known as "Piscataway Neck." In 1730, William Clifton obtained this property through marriage and the land became known as "Clifton's Neck."

George Washington purchased Clifton's Neck at auction in Alexandria in 1760. This land later became known as "River Farm." Washington made significant contributions to 18th-century agriculture, developing better fertilizers and experimenting with over 60 different crops. His agricultural endeavors relied heavily upon the institution of slavery. Yet, as owner of one of the largest populations of enslaved people in Virginia, Washington decreed in his will that upon his wife's death the enslaved people he owned outright (not gained by marriage) would be free.

In 1855, the Linton Family, one of approximately 200 "Yankee" farmers who moved south to Fairfax County before the Civil War, bought the land. After a secession of owners, the federal
Map of River Farm image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, March 26, 2011
2. Map of River Farm
1793 map drawn by George Washington depicting his River Farm, courtesy Huntington Library.
government purchased the property in 1893 to establish a fort. Fort Hunt was used for various military and civilian purposes over the next century. Today, the National Park Service preserves this historically-rich area as part of the George Washington Memorial Parkway.
 
Erected by George Washington Memorial Highway - National Park Service - U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
Location. 38° 42.912′ N, 77° 3.083′ W. Marker is in Alexandria, Virginia, in Fairfax County. Marker is on Fort Hunt Park Loop, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Located in Fort Hunt Park, a unit of the George Washington Memorial Parkway administered by the National Park Service. Marker is in this post office area: Alexandria VA 22308, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fort Hunt Park (here, next to this marker); Civilian Conservation Corps (here, next to this marker); In Support of American Defense (here, next to this marker); Beyond What You See Today (within shouting distance of this marker); P.O. Box 1142 (within shouting distance of this marker); WW II: A Battle Fought at Home and Abroad
Markers in Front of Battery Mount Vernon image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain
3. Markers in Front of Battery Mount Vernon
(about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Battery Sater (approx. 0.2 miles away); Protecting America's Legacy (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Alexandria.
 
Also see . . .  Fort Hunt. NPS site. (Submitted on June 5, 2011, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. African AmericansExplorationNative AmericansSettlements & Settlers
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 27, 2011, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 437 times since then and 24 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on March 27, 2011, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   2, 3. submitted on June 5, 2011, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
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