Virginia was the site of the first permanent English settlement in America. It is also the place where the first slaves disembarked. Eight Virginians have been elected as President of the United States, four being among the first five presidents: Washington, Jefferson, Madison and Monroe. These factors make Virginia a microcosm of both colonial society and the American culture that flowed from it. Great care has been taken to interpret history holistically there, and there are numerous museums, historic structures, tours and hundreds of markers to guide you. Every site with African-American links highlights the contradictions of life and liberty in the US. (www.visitcharlottesville.org)
Although the first land patents were issued in 1727, Albemarle County was officially established in 1744. It was named in honor of the second Earl of Albemarle. Charlottesville became the county seat with a main street that previously served as a Monacan Indian trail from the Blue Ridge Mountains to Richmond. The 50-acre, hilly, village was named after Princess Charlotte, who would later become the wife of King George III.