Norfolk developed in the late-seventeenth century as a "Half Moone" fort was constructed and 50 acres (200,000 m In 1691, a final county subdivision took place when Lower Norfolk County split to form Norfolk County (included in present-day cities of Norfolk, Chesapeake, and parts of Portsmouth) and Princess Anne County (present-day City of Virginia Beach). In 1730, a tobacco inspection site was located here.

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The invention of the cotton gin in the late-eighteenth century had enabled the profitable cultivation of short-staple cotton in the uplands, which was widely used.

The American Colonization Society proposed to "repatriate" free blacks and freed slaves to Africa by establishing the new colony of Liberia and paying for transportation.

Virginia made some attempts to phase out slavery, and manumissions had increased in the first two decades after the war.

Thomas Jefferson Randolph gained passage of an 1832 resolution for gradual abolition in the state, but by that time, increased demand from development in the Deep South created a large internal market for slavery.

It is one of nine cities and seven counties that constitute the Hampton Roads metro area, officially known as the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC MSA.

The city is bordered to the west by the Elizabeth River and to the north by the Chesapeake Bay.

Clockwise from top: Downtown Norfolk skyline as viewed from across the Elizabeth River, USS Wisconsin battleship museum, Ocean View Pier, The Tide light rail, ships at Naval Station Norfolk, historic homes in Ghent making it the second-most populous city in Virginia after neighboring Virginia Beach.

Norfolk is located at the core of the Hampton Roads metropolitan area, named for the large natural harbor of the same name located at the mouth of Chesapeake Bay.

These formed the basis for colonial representative government in the newly minted House of Burgesses.