This books aims to tell how the Virginia counties
got their names, and in telling the story it endeavors to show that the
thoughts and feelings of the Virginians are reflected in the names the
In the unfolding of this story I have been impressed, first, by the amount of history suggested by the names; and, second, by the fact that the naming of the Virginia counties furnishes more material for colonial history than the county-naming of any other State in the Union. Of course the history suggested in this way falls far short of being a history of Virginia, but it is not too much to claim that these county-namings are interesting and help-ful in presenting some parts of the history of the Old Dominion from a new point of view. The names are the magnet; the facts of Virginia history are the iron filings: it has been my part to put the magnet among the filings.
I have been at much pains in my efforts to verify the facts herein presented, and when in doubt I have endeavored to attach to my statements the exact measure of doubt that I myself entertained.
To include all the facts that have a bearing on Virginia county names I have gone back in Scotch history to 1370; and have brought my work up to date by showing that among the exhibits of the Jamestown Exposition of 1907 were many honoring men after whom Virginia counties had been named.
The second part of the title of the book, "Two hundred and seventy years of Virginia History," is given because of the fact that, with reference to Virginia history, I begin with 1607 and end, as far as the naming of the counties is concerned, with 1880, when the youngest county of the State was organized.
I acknowledge especial indebtedness to my wife, who rendered material aid in the mechanical preparation of the work; to Dr. B. W. Green, of Charlottesville, Va., who, after reading over the manuscript, made many helpful suggestions; to Mrs. Mary B. Moon, of Charlottesville, Va; and to Dr. Charles W. Kent, of the University of Virginia, who has encouraged me in presenting this work to the public.
Charles M. Long.
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