The county was home to numerous planters who were among the First Families of Virginia and leaders before the American Revolutionary War.
Thomas Jefferson wrote early works for Virginia and colonial independence while staying at Rosewell Plantation, home of John Page (his close friend and fellow student at the College of William and Mary). Its fishing industry is important to the state as well.
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In 2003 archeologists established that dense village had been located at this site from AD 1200 to the early 17th century.
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Then archaeologist Michele Brumfield discovered an ancient brass plate that at first looked unmarked — yet when turned over and brushed off a few seconds later revealed the engraving: "Lt. of Foot."Though slightly bent and much discolored now, the name plate once marked a piece of luggage belonging to a prominent young officer of the Royal Edinburgh Volunteers, who fortified, defended and ultimately surrendered Gloucester Point to American and French forces during the 1781 Siege of Yorktown. Lord Cornwallis' summer campaign through the Southern colonies, and one of its senior officers helped write the Articles of Capitulation when the British gave themselves up.
Archaeologists are probing the historic ground at Gloucester Point and VIMS in preparation for the construction of a new building at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science.
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