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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Triangle in Prince William County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The King's Highway ~ The Potomac Path

 
 
The King's Highway ~ The Potomac Path Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., January 21, 2008
1. The King's Highway ~ The Potomac Path Marker
Inscription. The King’s Highway was the first north-south route through Virginia. The road began in Boston and ended in Williamsburg. It may have followed one or more trails that American Indians used before European colonization.

The route was first cleared on land south of what became Prince William County during the 17th century. Then known as the Potomac Path, the route passed through Dumfries after it crossed the Occoquan River at Colchester.

Road Maintenance

In the 17th and 18th centuries, Virginia law required landowners to annually contribute time to road maintenance. Slaves and tenants largely maintained the King’s Highway in Prince William County.

Sections of the King’s Highway were paved in the 1920s and incorporated into U.S. Route 1. Route 1 loosely follows the Potomac Path through Prince William County. Segments of the colonial road are now protected.

Traveling Armies

In 1781, Generals George Washington and Jean-Baptiste de Rochambeau used the King’s Highway to reach Yorktown with their cavalry and wagons. Eighty years later, Federal and Confederate troops followed the road during numerous Civil War campaigns.
The King's Highway ~ The Potomac Path Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., January 21, 2008
2. The King's Highway ~ The Potomac Path Marker

 
Erected 2007 by the National Museum of the Marine Corps and Prince William County.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the The Washington-Rochambeau Route marker series.
 
Location. 38° 32.71′ N, 77° 20.537′ W. Marker is near Triangle, Virginia, in Prince William County. Marker can be reached from Jefferson Davis Highway (U.S. 1). Touch for map. Marker is located on the grounds of the National Museum of the Marine Corps, to the right of the main entrance. Marker is at or near this postal address: 18900 Jefferson Davis Hwy, Triangle VA 22172, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Alfred Lerner (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Iron Mike (about 400 feet away); The Kings Highway ~ Road to Yorktown (about 400 feet away); Once a Marine .... Always a Marine (about 600 feet away); HMM-362 Ugly Angels Vietnam Memorial “Wing” (about 600 feet away); Second Battalion, 4th Marines
Closeup of the map in the left image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., January 21, 2008
3. Closeup of the map in the left
(about 700 feet away); Lieutenant General John Archer Lejeune (about 700 feet away); Soldiers of the Sea (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Triangle.
 
More about this marker. On the left is a map detailing the route then known as the Potomac Path. The map carries the caption, "This detail of Peter Jefferson’s and Joshua Fry’s 1751 Map of the most inhabited part of Virginia containing the whole province of Maryland with part of Pensilvania, New Jersey, and North Carolina shows the Potomac Path’s route through Prince William County (highlighted in blue)." The marker identifies the source as Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

The lower center of the marker displays a 1768 newspaper article. It carries the caption, “Mail was carried over the King’s Highway and delivered to post offices along the route. This notice in the July 7, 1768 Alexandria Gazette lists people who had letters awaiting them in Dumfries.”
 
Also see . . .  Virtual Tour of The King's Highway
Closeup of the July 7, 1768 <i>Alexandria Gazette</i> notice. image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., January 21, 2008
4. Closeup of the July 7, 1768 Alexandria Gazette notice.
. (Submitted on January 22, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.)
 
Categories. Colonial EraMilitaryRoads & VehiclesWar, US CivilWar, US Revolutionary
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 22, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,316 times since then and 71 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on January 22, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.
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