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Monday, July 04, 2016
When the Revolutionary War came to Norfolk
The Revolutionary War comes to Norfolk
Fall of 1775
Virginia is under the control of the Colonial Governor Lord Dunmore, who was using Norfolk as his land base of operations in the region. The population of Norfolk, once the largest borough in the province, has been greatly reduced. Patriots are leaving to join the militia and their families are scattering to nearby counties for safety.
Norfolk’s printing press seized
John Holt, a printer and editor of a local newspaper, uses his publication to urge the remaining citizens of Norfolk to fight for their liberties and to put up a struggle against Lord Dunmore. In late September 1775, Dunmore sends his troops to Norfolk and seizes Holt’s printing press. In response to the citizens who protest the act, Dunmore states, “I could not have done the people a greater service than by depriving them of the means of having their minds poisoned and of exciting in them the spirit of rebellion and sedition.”
British routed at battle of Great bridge
December 9, 1775
The British engage in battle against the patriots, attempting to gain control of the village of Great Bridge in Norfolk County. When they lose to the Americans, the Brits retreat to their ships anchored in the Norfolk harbor. Hundreds of Tory sympathizers from Norfolk and the adjoining areas also take shelter aboard the ships. The borough of Norfolk is now under the control of Virginia forces.