Charles City adopted the slogan “Four Centuries, Three Cultures, Two Rivers in One County” ” at the time of the Jamestown 400th Anniversary as a way to encapsulate some of the most important elements of our history. It is a place where you can experience the three cultures that first formed our union. The county is embraced by two rivers, the James and the Chickahominy, these being the sorts of waterways that historically made exploration, settlement and trade possible. And the county is one of the oldest in America founded on the idea of representative government – the idea that made America.
Charles City was home to the Chickahominy, Paspahegh and Weyanock Native Americans when the Susan Constant, the Godspeed and the Discovery entered the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay in 1607 and sailed up the James River. Those English settlers planted new settlements along the James River in what became Charles City County. In 1618 Governor Yeardley traded with a Dutch vessel for her cargo of “20 and odd” Captive Africans, almost half of whom were brought to the Borough of Charles City and settled across the James River at Flowerdew Hundred, a European settlement on Weyanock lands.
From that time to the present Charles City residents have fought for the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” and worked tirelessly to secure these rights for themselves and their children. This history is not a consistent march of progress, but an unfinished revolution, a complex story full of both advancements and setbacks. Charles City’s story reveals the ways the Revolution began before 1776, lurched forward through the Civil War, fought back against Jim Crow and reverberates through to the present day.
While there are currently no events listed specifically for Charles City County, search the VA250 Statewide Calendar of Events for a comprehensive listing of programs across the state.