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In 1804, another serious fire along the city's waterfront destroyed some 300 buildings and the city suffered a serious economic setback.
During the 1820s, agrarian communities across the American South suffered a prolonged recession, which caused many families to migrate to other areas.
It is linked to its neighbors by an extensive network of Interstate highways, bridges, tunnels, and three bridge-tunnel complexes, which are the only bridge-tunnels in the United States.
In 1619, the Governor of the Virginia Colony, Sir George Yeardley incorporated four jurisdictions, termed citties, for the developed portion of the colony.
One year later, it was split into two counties, Upper Norfolk and Lower Norfolk (the latter is incorporated within present-day City of Norfolk), chiefly on Thoroughgood's recommendation.
This area of Virginia became known as the place of entrepreneurs, including men of the Virginia Company of London.
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.
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.
On New Year's Day, 1776, Lord Dunmore's fleet of three ships shelled the city of Norfolk for more than eight hours.
The damage from the shells and fires started by the British and spread by the patriots destroyed over 800 buildings, almost two-thirds of the city.
After persuading 105 people to settle in the colony, Adam Thoroughgood (who had immigrated to Virginia in 1622 from King's Lynn, Norfolk, England) was granted a large land holding, through the head rights system, along the Lynnhaven River in 1636.
When the South Hampton Roads portion of the shire was separated, Thoroughgood suggested the name of his birthplace for the newly formed New Norfolk County.