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Colonel William Crawford founded Portsmouth in 1752 through the subdivision of his land on the south side of the Elizabeth River across from Norfolk. The village was platted on a regular grid with High Street as its principal east-west axis. It developed as a seaport, and the U.S. Navy located a shipyard and other facilities here in the 1790s. Portsmouth became a city in 1858 and was a principal port for the Confederate navy. Because it escaped some of the worst ravages of both war and urban renewal, a greater concentration of historic architecture remains here than in the other cities of southeastern Virginia. Economically, the city's fortunes have been closely tied to shipping, shipbuilding, and railroads. The 2000 population was 100,565.

Writing Credits

Richard Guy Wilson et al.

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