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Fincastle County, Virginia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Fincastle County, Virginia, was created in 1772 from Botetourt County.[1] At the time, the colony believed that its boundaries extended west all the way to the Mississippi River.

In 1776, the Virginia General Assembly abolished Fincastle County and organized three new counties: Montgomery, Washington, and Kentucky. (In 1792, the last jurisdiction was admitted as the 15th state, the Commonwealth of Kentucky.)[2][3]

Although no county seat was designated by the act creating the county, the colonial governor ordered it to be placed at the "Lead Mines" of Wythe County. Austinville, Virginia, developed here.[1]

Botetourt County may have been named for the English home of Norborne Berkeley, 4th Baron Botetourt, a very popular governor of the Colony of Virginia who died just before the tensions of the impending American Revolution would have made his position much more difficult. John Murray, Earl of Dunmore and Viscount of Fincastle, succeeded Lord Botetourt. Fincastle County may have been named in his honor or for his son Lord Fincastle.

If so, the reason was clear for the American rebels to change its name in 1776. Lord Dunmore then led the military opposition to the rebels in Virginia. He had already issued Dunmore's Proclamation, offering freedom to any of the rebels' slaves who fled their Virginia masters and joined the British forces, which was much resented by the rebel planters and slaveholders.

The name is represented on Virginia maps by the town of Fincastle, the county seat of the original Botetourt County.

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  1. ^ a b Pendleton, William C. (1920). History of Tazewell County and Southwest Virginia: 1748-1920, pp. 255-57. W. C. Hill Printing Company.
  2. ^ Pendleton (1920), pp. 362-63.
  3. ^ "Kentucky: Secretary of State - Land Office - Kentucky County Formations".

Further reading

This page was last edited on 7 November 2020, at 18:30
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