Urbanna, Virginia

City: Urbanna

County: Middlesex

State: Virginia

Lat/Long: 37.6333, -76.5667

An area of Native American settlement before Europeans ventured to the Americas, Urbanna's orgins go back to June 1680, when the Virginia General Assembly's Act of Cohabitation encouraged the establishment of nineteen tobacco port of entry towns in the Virginia colony. Designed to encourage settlement throughout the colony, the Act of Cohabitation allowed each county to allocate fifty acres for a port and market town, and Middlesex County designated land around what would become Urbanna as its port town. Local opposition prevented the establishment of the town for twenty-five years, but in 1705, the Assembly officially established the town, naming it Urbanna, meaning "City of Anne" in Latin, in honor of Queen Anne of England. In 1748, Urbanna became the county seat of Middlesex County. During the colonial period, it prospered thanks to the tobacco trade. It was raided and pillaged during the American Revolution and the War of 1812, but escaped permanent damage or destruction. By 1852, Urbanna ceased to be an international port of call, and the inconvenience of trying to get to the town convinced commonwealth officials to remove the county seat to Saluda. During the Civil War, Union troops raided and occupied Urbanna.

Larry S. Chowning, Images of America: Urbanna (Charleston, SC: Arcadia, 2012), 7-9.