This mid–Ohio Valley county, formed in 1851 from adjoining Wood, Ritchie, and Tyler counties, was named to honor James Pleasants, an early-nineteenth-century governor of Virginia. It is one of the state's smallest counties in area, encompassing only 131 square miles, and one of the smallest in population. The 1900 population of 9,345, the highest figure ever recorded, contrasts with the 2000 figure of 7,514.
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