Early 1600s - The county was under the domain of the Tsenacommaco or the Powhatan Confederacy or Chiefdom. The confederacy, which encompassed 6,000 square miles of eastern Virginia, bound together approximately thirty Algonquian tribes of 13,000 people in 200 villages. It included the Mattaponi and Pamunkey tribes; the Upper Mattaponi tribe is a non-reservation Virginia descendent of the Mattaponi and Pamunkey. The paramount chief of the Powhatan Confederacy Wahunsonacock or Powhatan as the English called him, died in April 1618. He had ceded power to Optchapan or Itopan about a year earlier in 1617. Opechancanough, Powhatan's younger brother, succeeded Opitchapan in 1619. (The marriage of Powhatan's daughter, Pocahontas, to John Rolfe in 1614 ensured peace with the English colonists.)
1607 - May 14, The Virginia Company of London established Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in New World. The settlement was named after King James I, the reigning English monarch. Virginia was then named after Queen Elizabeth I of England, who was known as the "Virgin Queen" because she never married. She was the ruling monarch during Sir Walter Raleigh's 1584 expedition along the east coast of North America. Virginia included the whole area explored by the 1584 expedition, eventually applying to the east coast of the United States from Maine to South Carolina.
1608 - Captain John Smith, who was a member and later president of the Jamestown settlement's governing council, explored the site of the present-day town of West Point. This area was the location of the Indian town of Cinquoteck or Paumenkee Town as Smith referred to it.
1619 - First 20 Negroes arrived in Jamestown, Virginia some of whom were later brought to outlying areas, including King William County, Virginia (so named in 1702).
1624 - Virginia became a royal or crown colony. As a result, the English monarchy had direct authority over the colony instead of through the Virginia Company of London.
1634 - Charles River County was created. It was one of the eight original shires, similar to those in England. The new county, which was named after the reigning English King Charles I, encompassed the lands lying to the north and west of the York River. The new county presumably included Pamunkey Neck, which is the land laying between the Mattaponi and Pamunkey Rivers. The names of the county and river were changed to York in 1643 to honor James, the second son of Charles I, who that year was made Duke of York. (In 1664, the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam, which was captured by the English during the Dutch War of 1664-1667, was renamed New York after James, the Duke of York. He became James II, King of England, Scotland and Ireland in 1685 and abdicated the throne to William III and Mary II during the Glorious Revolution of 1688-1689.)
1646 - Under Governor Sir William Berkeley the English imposed a peace treaty on the new chief of the Powhatan, Necotowance. The treaty restricted habitation and hunting by the Indians to north side of the York River, presumably including Pamunkey Neck, ceded to the English all peninsular lands between the James and York Rivers as far inland as the falls at present-day Richmond, and made the tribes dominions of the crown. The treaty followed the defeat of the Powhatan Indians during their last great uprising that began on April 18, 1644 and slaying of their captured leader, Opechancanough, In October 1644 at Jamestown. The death of Opechancanough and the Treaty of 1646 effectively ended the Powhatan Confederacy.
1653 - Colonel William Claiborne was granted a patent of 5,000 acres, including Romancoke.
1653 - March 6, - John West, Governor of Virginia from 1635-1637, patented 3,000 acres of land at the confluence of the Mattaponi and Pamunkey Rivers. West named his tract West Point in honor of his family.
1654 - New Kent County was created from York County. The new county, which was probably named after the English shire of Kent, encompassed lands lying to the heads of the Mattaponi and Pamunkey Rivers including Pamunkey Neck.
1658 - The Virginia General Assembly enacted the legislation creating the Mattaponi and Pamunkey Indian reservations.
1677 - May 29, A peace treaty between the remnants of six Indian tribes and English King Charles II, acting through Governor Herbert Jeffreys and the Council of State, required the tribes to avow allegiance to the queen of the Pamunkey and the English crown. The treaty effectively reaffirmed the existence of the Mattaponi and Pamunkey Indian lands, later called reservations, and stipulated payment each March of an annual quitrent to the governor. The Mattaponi and Pamunkey Indian reservations are the only reservations in Virginia and two of the oldest reservations in the United States.
1691 - King & Queen County was created from New Kent county. The new county, which was named after the ruling English monarchs, King William III and Queen Mary II, encompassed lands lying north of the Pamunkey and York Rivers including Pamunkey Neck. The legislative enabling act that created the new county contained the first official reference to English town lands at West Point in Pamunkey Neck
1692 - The House of Burgesses, the lower house of the General Assembly rejected a petition from inhabitants of King & Queen County requesting the legalization of titles and possession of lands that they acquired from the Indians in the Pamunkey Neck section of the county.
1693 - King William III and Queen Mary II granted the College of William & Mary its royal charter, which included an endowment of 10,000 acres in the upper part of Pamunkey Neck. The land was sold to lessees by 1830.
1695 - May 4, William Leigh and Joshua Story, burgesses for King & Queen County, introduced the first legislative petition to divide King & Queen County and to create a new county. The bill was passed by the House of Burgesses but was defeated by the Council, which was the upper chamber of the legislature.
1699 - June 21, The Council appointed a commission to meet at King & Queen County Court House in September and to examine the validity of private land claims in the Pamunkey Neck section of the county.
1701 - August, The General Assembly passes the act that established a regional port town called Delaware or Del La Warr), the predecessor of the Town of West Point. The new town was situated on land conveyed by John West III and three siblings to king & Queen County for establishment of a regional port. The town was named for Thomas West, 12th baron Del La Warr, the first governor of the Virginia colony from 1610-1611, whose timely arrival in June 1610 prevented the abandonment of the Jamestown settlement following the "Starving Time" of 1609-1610. The Delaware Bay, Delaware River, colony and State of Delaware were also named for Lord Del La Warr.
1701 - September 4 - The Council-appointed commission submitted its report to the General Assembly. The legislature adopted the report's recommendations, approving patents for 50 settlers and denying patents for 16 other settlers.
1701 - September 5 - The bill to establish a distinct county from King & Queen County was introduced in the legislature by Robert Beverley, a burgess from Jamestown who held the clerkship for King & Queen County.
1701 - October 2 - The General Assembly passed and Governor Frances Nicholson assented to the enabling act creating a distinct county from the Pamunkey Neck section of King & Queen County. The new county was named for the reigning English monarch, King William III. Queen Mary II had died in 1694.
1702 - March, Governor Nicholson commissioned thirteen justices of the peace who collectively served as the local governing body, the county court, for the new County of King William.
1702 - April 11 - The legislative act, which established King William County, became effective on the thirteenth anniversary of William and Mary's coronation. King William County became the 24th county in existence at that time in Virginia. King William County's royal namesake died on March 8 , only thirty-four days prior to the establishment of the county.
1702 - June 20 - King William County conducted its first election. John and Nathaniel West, brothers, were elected to represent the county in the lower house in the state legislature.
1704 - The General Assembly enacted a general law establishing 15 towns, which re-established Delaware Town.
1705 - (or thereabouts) Ferry established at Piping Tree on the Pamunkey River.
1707 - June, the first lots in Delaware Town were sold.
1716 - "Knights of the Golden Horseshoe" expedition, sponsored by Governor Sir Alexander Spotswood, disembarked from Chelsea on the Mattaponi River
1721 - Spotsylvania County was formed from King William, King & Queen and Essex Counties. The new county was named after Alexander Spotswood the Lieutenant Governor Virginia from 1710-1722 under the nominal governorship of George Hamilton, 1st Earl of Orkney. In 1716, Spotswood led an expedition of the Knights of the Golden Horseshoe from Chelsea plantation in King William County to the Shenandoah Valley in order to advance its settlement.
1728 - Caroline County was formed from King William, King & Queen and Essex Counties. The new county was named after Caroline of Anspach, the queen consort of the reigning English King George II.
1764 - Crossing established at Frazer's Ferry, on the Mattaponi River.
1775 - Upper College Baptist Church, the oldest Baptist congregation in King William County, constituted with twelve members who shared worship space with Episcopalians at Cattail Chapel (now Sharon Church).
1777 - Virginia legislature approved a shipyard at Frazer's Ferry for repairing and refitting vessels used by the Virginia navy.
1786 - Tenants on College lands sought redress from the State legislature for high rents imposed on them by the trustees of the College of William and Mary.
1792 - Lower College Baptist Church (later Colosse) formed from Upper College.
1798 - Twelve retail merchants conducted business in King William. In addition to stores at private homes, stores were located at Aylett's Warehouse, Piping Tree, Frazer's Ferry, Brandywine, Blakesville, and Williams Ferry.
1800 - Tavern and adjoining 480 acres at King William Courthouse owned by Nathaniel Gregory.
1806 - The Episcopal Church legislated out of existence. Four colonial churches remained in King William. These were Acquinton, Cattail, Mangohick, and St. Johns. This year was reported as a dry time.
1812 - With the disestablishment of the Episcopal Church, the "overseers of the poor," who had seen to the needs indigent people as a parish responsibility, were replaced by several men appointed by the county government to serve as "trustees of the county poor asylum." Beulah Baptist Church organized by several members of the Upper College Church.
1815 - General Philip Aylett made an unsuccessful bid to have the county seat moved to his property at Aylett's Warehouse.
1838 - Colonel Thomas Dabney, surveyor for King William County, prepared a map of the "Village of Aylett's," an outline of several streets (Water, Grain, for example) which gave access to a substantial wharf on the Mattaponi River. During the following year, record shipments of corn and small grains would leave this wharf, or these "Wharves" for the harbor in Baltimore. John Roane, Jr., the last surviving member of the Virginia Constitutional Convention, died at Uppowac.
1840 - During a year that brought extensive improvements to King William Courthouse, the court square, and the court village as well, General Philip Aylett made another push for moving the seat of county government to Aylett's. This generated so much controversy that the Virginia legislature put the subject to a vote. General Aylett's proposal met with defeat.
1842 - General Aylett's mother, Elizabeth Henry Aylett, the last surviving daughter of Patrick Henry, died at Fontainebleau.
1843 - Thomas West S. Gregory, an attorney and a prominent citizen, led an unsuccessful, yet controversial, attempt to dismantle the Pamunkey Indian Reservation. In Gregory’s estimation, the Pamunkey Indians were "mostly Negro," and the reservation had become a haven for runaway slaves.
1849 - Baylor Temple was licensed to keep ordinary at King William Courthouse.
1850 - Seven heads of households on the Pamunkey Reservation produced 2400 bushels of corn on their allotted land. Nancy Langston, the highest producer at 750 bushels, cultivated 100 acres. In the 1850s, a stage line was established between Richmond, and Tappahannock. Fresh horses were obtained at Old Church, Prince's Tavern on the Newcastle Road (near Sharon Church), Miller's Tavern and Tappahannock.
1851 - Samuel Norment, owner of Taylor's Ferry on the Pamunkey River, replaced the ferry with a toll bridge.
1854 - Unsuccessful attempt made to have county seat moved to Rumford, the site of one of Virginia's oldest private academies.
1860 - The population of King William County consisted of 2,445 white persons, 364 free Negroes, and 5,533 African American slaves, making a total of 8,542. Andrew McDowell established a grist mill that became known as Etna Mills, later Gravatt's Mill.
1861-1865 - Free and enslaved Negroes were requisitioned by the Confederates for skilled labor from all Counties of Virginia. Some of the referenced persons aligned with the Union Forces.
1862 - Dr. Carter Warner Wormeley of Manskin Lodge taken prisoner during Peninsula Campaign.
1862 - Nov - Counties were again requisitioned for 4550 slaves; King William's quota was 100; King and Queen; 150. Governor Letcher directed "that large numbers of slaves were needed for the Spring Campaign". (Extracted from: THE CONFEDERATE NEGRO: VIRGINIA'S CRAFTSMEN AND MILITARY LABORERS, 1861-65; by James H. Brewer).
1863 - Most the Village of Aylett, which by this time sported a foundry and two large department stores, was burned by Union troops after being fired upon by trigger-happy members of the local home guard. Union raiders removed the country seal from the clerk's office. The courthouse and county records were not touched. Uppowac, The Roane family house and other local homes were burned to the ground by federal troops.
Requisition for Negro labor to build fortifications in Virginia, in accord with the newly enacted law of the Confederate Congress. King William's quota was 20; King and Queen; 40. (Cited in Brewer's Publication).
1865 - At the end of the Civil War, Virginia was occupied by Union troops as Military District Number One.
1865-1895 - "Negro Office Holders in Virginia (Published by Dr. Luther P. Jackson, Professor of History, Virginia State University)". (Listed are those from King William County, VA: Beverly Allen, John J. Carter, Andrew Nelson, Horace Red, Roy Kinston, Henry Smith, Reuben Smith (son of Henry Smith), Chad Dungee, Benjamin F. Jones (House of Delegates 1869-1871).
1865-1886 - Approximately fourteen churches were organized by Negroes for worship and education.
1867-1915 - Approximately 17 elementary schools were formed primarily by Negroes for formal education of Negroes; eventually grades one through seven. Most of these schools were located in close proximity to the church, if not the same building: usually a one or two room structure. The Rucker-Rosenwald School, built in 1884 and located in Beulahville, was the first school for Negroes with shared funding by an outside source, the Rosenwald Foundation.
1870 - The Underwood Constitution promoted by Virginia's Union governor, improved Virginia's system of public instruction. In 1870, in King William county, the average wage of a farm hand was $8 per month. Female domestic workers who received no board earned $3.25 per week. Census statistics reported 23 private libraries in the county. July 11, the State legislative act, which established the present-day incorporated Town of West Point, became effective. September 11, the town of West Point conducted its first council election.
1870 - First Police Force of West Point consisted of one person, A Negro named George Massie. He is said to have operated on the basis, "Public Office is Public Trust." His salary was $1.00 for every offender arrested. (Printed in THE VIRGINIA AND KING WILLIAM COUNTY, 1888).
1870-1908 (circa) - Third Union Chapel was used for educational purposes weekdays and worship on Sundays. It burned in 1908 and was replaced by the King William Academy built on the land of Dr. S. B. Holmes.
1872 - West Point Black officers included Councilmen: Beverly Allen and George Washington, (Cited in previous reference- THE VIRGINIA & KING WILLIAM COUNTY, 1888).
1875 - Listing of "Colored Members" by Colosse Church, King William County, Virginia. The members were listed by gender.
1876 - Mount Nebo Colored Baptist Church was built as a small structure on "B" Street: moved to "C" Street a few years later. (Cited in THE VIRGINIA AND KING WILLIAM COUNTY, 1888).
1877 - End of Reconstruction in Virginia. The State of Virginia was readmitted to the Union. A new clerk's office was built to replace the structure destroyed by fire two years earlier.
1878 - The Mattaponi Baptist Association, of which Mangohick Baptist Church holds membership, held its first Annual Session. The 27th Annual Session was held at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Caroline County, 2,3, and 4 August 1905. The Association was "to be comprised of regular Baptist Churches in good standing, and in full practice of the doctrines, practices, faith, discipline, ordinances, and the officers of regular Baptist doctrine." (Cited in 1905 Minutes.)
1887 - A new clerk's office was built to replace the structure destroyed by fire two years earlier.
1890 - A Richmond newspaper carried a reference to the West Point Telephone Company, which connected Lestor Manor, Lanesville, King William Courthouse, and Walkerton. The 1890s revolution of Jim Crow laws, created to deprive African Americans of liberties enjoyed as a free people since 1865. Separate coaches for people of color appeared on streetcar lines and on railroads. One risked being jailed for not complying with these restrictions.
1893 - An epidemic of small pox devastated the Pamunkey Indian Reservation.
1894 - A group of Pamunkey Indians living on the Mattaponi River organized as the Mattaponi Indian Reservation, recognized by the Virginia legislature. Following the financial panic of 1893, the State legislature began offering pensions to Confederate widows. Emily Trent Pointer, whose husband had died in 1862, was among the first to receive a stipend from the government.
1897 - Death of John Spurlock, shoemaker at Mangohick for more than sixty years.
1900 - The United States Census reported only eighteen people living on the Pamunkey Indian Reservation.
1900 - The Pamunkey Baptist Association was founded by the late Dr. Samuel B. Holmes and provided bases for the Negro population of King William County to grow religiously, educationally, socially, and politically. Dr. Holmes was pastor of Third Union Baptist Church (found in 1869), from 1900-1945.
1901 - Murder of Chapman Snead, prominent sawmill man from Etna Mills, Snead's assailant, Henry Johnson, was the last man to be hanged in King William.
1902 - Virginia's new constitution created a poll tax in attempt to keep the black man out of Virginia politics. Samuel Torment's wooden bridge was replaced by a substantial iron structure that was mostly paid for by the people of King William.
1904 - Abolition of system of county government in use in Virginia since 1634. The new system would replace the "gentlemen justices" with a board of supervisors.
1906 - On 9 April, the first County-wide "Emancipation Celebration" was held commemorating the experiences since 1865. There was a core of members from all "Negro" communities with the assistance of the PBA and Dr. S. B. Holmes. The activities including skits, reading of prose and poetry, games, picture-taking, music, bands, etc. and selling of food common to the era.
1909 (circa) - The King William Academy was founded by Dr. Holmes and provided formal education in a religious environment, through grade eight. Students from other areas of the County boarded during the week with families who lived in walking distances of the Academy. Upon graduating, some students enrolled in Hampton Normal (Hampton University) Hartshorne College (Virginia Union University), Saint Paul's College, or Virginia State Normal (Virginia State University). Other graduates shared in teaching in some of the elementary schools of King William County.
Founding of the National Association of Colored People in Springfield, Illinois. Among the purposes "to eliminate racial discrimination and segregation from all aspects of public life in America;" seek justice in the courts.
1912 - Negro Organization Society (NOS) of Virginia was organized in connection with the work of Hampton Institute's Farmer’s Conference. Thrust of the NOS was to provide programs to enhance; Better Education, Better Health, Better Civic Participation, Better Jobs, Better Homes, and Better Farms for Youth and Adults
1923 - An Academy, later known as the King William Training School for African Americans was established by Dr. Samuel Holmes.
The King William Training School for the education of Negroes in grades one through nine, ten and 12 added in 1946. The school consisted of four classrooms, auditorium, small library (books donated by Negro patrons) and a small principal's office. (No indoor plumbing, nor central hearting.) Later a general shop and a home-making cottage were added on the ground where the King William Academy had been relocated and phased out.
1925 - March - First County-wide Junior League Conference convened at the King William Training School, through the advisement and coordination of Miss India Hamilton, supervisor of "Colored" Schools in King William County.
1926 - Port Richmond incorporated as a town pursuant to an act of the General Assembly.
On 3 July, a special program was held. The King William Training School with the theme: "Release the Bondsmen of the King William Training School." This was a major effort to culminate the indebtedness of the "KWTS". Professor Miles W. Connor, Dean of Education at Virginia Union University was the keynote speaker. (See included announcement: HELP! HELP! HELP!; RELEASE THE BONDSMEN ON SATURDAY, JULY 3, 1926, at 11 O'clock A. M (listed on the announcement, are the names of the bondsmen).
Negro History Week implemented; expanded to become the National Afro-American History Month in "honor of the Nation’s Bi-Centennial in 1976". The celebration was initiated by Dr. Carter G. Woodson, scholar and publisher (i.e., earned a PhD from Harvard; published THE NEGRO IN HISTORY ('22). THE MIS-EDUCATION OF THE NEGRO ('33), etc.). The celebration of reflections continues to be observed in the month of February.
1928 - Port Richmond unincorporated as a town following the repeal of its municipal charter by the General Assembly.
1933 - Office of Fire Warden created in King William County, in a year which brought the construction of the county's first fire tower.
The NOS successfully negotiated a full nine months school-term with the State Board of Education.
1934 - First graduating class of the King William Training School; included seven persons, Four of the seven completed college.
1935 - The NOS was enlarged to include the interests and involvement of youth which was directed by the founding of the VIRGINIA CONFERENCE OF YOUTH ORGANIZATIONS. In 1948, at its Spring Conference, The Conference of Youth Organizations elected as President for a two-year term, Alvin C. Lomax of King William, VA, who in 1949, enrolled in Hampton University. During his tenure, in conjunction with NOS, campsite for youth was purchased at Aphasic on the York River in Gloucester, VA. The Camp provided organized recreational and educational enrichment experiences for Negro boys and girls throughout Virginia. The Camp was named after Miss India Hamilton, a pioneer in education and human relations, a supervisor of schools in King William County, and a resident of said County. The Camp operated between 15 June and 31 August offering one or two week periods of participation.
Many achievements were realized through joint efforts of the NOS and the VIRGINIA CONFERENCE OF JUNIOR ORGANIZATIONS throughout the State of Virginia, such as: First health bulletin issued in Virginia; funds raised to purchase 1,000 acres of land for Piedmont Sanatorium; provided free beds for indigent patients at Burkeville; employed first public health nurse; helped secure and build over 400 schools in Virginia; conducted "Better Homes" contest; started movement for free bus transportation for "colored" children in Virginia; awarded scholarships to at least 15 boys and girls each year; etc.
1951 - King William Training School was renamed Hamilton-Holmes Elementary School and enrolled all Negro pupils attending the elementary schools of the County. The school to enroll Negro children until the new Hamilton-Holmes Elementary School was opened about 1961, on the site adjacent to the new Hamilton-Holmes High School (west side of Rt 30 and Rt 629).
1952-1969 - Opening of the new high school for Negro students; named after the Reverend Samuel B. Holmes and Miss India Hamilton, two pioneers in promoting formal education and fostering positive human relations. HHHS was a comprehensive high school offering up to 20 creditable units, including general shop and home economics. The building also included a library, choir room, gymnasium, and principal's office and secretarial office. The school was accredited by the State Department of Education and the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges (SACS). Numerous graduates from KWTS and HHHS have excelled in their chosen careers. (See publication on "Outstanding Graduates of KWTS/HHHS," 1934-1969 by Dr. Alvin C. Lomax). The last graduating Class of HHHS was in 1969. The last graduating Class of KWTS was in 1951.
1954 - The Supreme Court ruled on the Brown v. Board of Education, Topeka, Kansas and struck down the Plessy v. Ferguson Case. "Separate, but equal" in pubic schools is illegal. Decision impacted similar cases in Virginia and other southern states. The decision met great resistance in the reference states and locals within some states; some schools attended by Negro children were closed (Beverly Allen HS, West Point, VA). Private schools or private academies began to emerge for education of non-Nero children). Many of the Negro high school children of Beverly Allen HS in West Point enrolled in either Central HS (King & Queen) or St. Clare Walker HS (Middlesex County, VA). Many of the parents of the West Point Negro children and NAACP and the Legal Counsel continued in negotiation with the County School Board and Town council.
1963 September - Group of concerned citizens sent a letter to James "Jimmy" Morris urging the removal of "Colored" and "White" signs for entry into his restaurant business at Central Garage/Bright Star.
1964 - January 1 -The town of West Point annexed the adjacent unincorporated Port Richmond area of the county. The annexation followed voter approval in an advisory referendum held on May 7, 1963.
Second Civil Rights Bill was passed 17 May of 1964 to speed up desegregation, not only of schools, but of all public and state facilities and accommodations.
1968 - April Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King in Memphis, TN on the balcony of the Loraine Motel. Met in Memphis to encourage greater equity and improved working condition for the sanitation workers.
1969 - The King William Training School/Hamilton-Holmes High School Alumni Association was founded by Alvin C. Lomax, a 1949 graduate of King William Training School. The idea emerged during the 20th Class Reunion held in July of 1969. Other students and faculty were invited and attended the affair. For several years into 1990, the Alumni Banquet was held annually. The affair is now held every two years. It affords wholesome fellowship and provides scholarship and assistantships to several students annually who continue their formal education beyond high school.
1997 - August - "Black Firm Wins Historic Primary County Contract" was cited in the PITTSBURGH COURIER on 2 August 1997. The article referenced the Pennsylvania based, Correctional Healthcare Solutions, Inc. The two-year deal paid the African-American owned company more than $4.45 million annually. The company's owner was Dr. Walter P. Lomax, Jr., whose parents were born and reared in King William County, VA. Dr. Lomax was honored in 2000, as one of the top 10 most influential persons of Bucks County (PA).
2006 - Royall M. Mack, Sr. was inducted into the NATIONAL BLACK COLLEGE HALL OF FAME FOUNDATION, INC., for special recognition in COMMUNITY SERVICES during its 21st Annual Hall of Fame Weekend. Royall is a 1968 graduate of Hamilton-Holmes High School (King William, VA) and of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University (Greensboro, NC). Royall was CEO of CIARA ENTERPRISES, INC, a company that provides strategic plan development, tactical execution and budgeting expertise to profit and non-profit organizations.