Colonial Governor Sir William Berkley

Sir William Berkeley – The Longest Serving Governor Of Virginia

Colonial Governor Sir William Berkley has served form 1642 to 1652 and from 1660 to 1667. Sir William Berkley was Colonial Governor for a total of 27 years which makes him the longest serving governor of Virginia during its time as a colony and as a state.

Author’s Note:

The Virginia Constitution currently only let’s governors serve a single term of four years. Hence William Berkley’s record for longest serving Virginia governor will stand untested for the foreseeable future.

Surry County, Virginia, The Declaration Of The People Of Virginia

Bacon’s Rebellion

Nathaniel Bacon marching with a 400 strong militia to Jamestown.

In 1676, Nathaniel Bacon, who’s wife was the cousin of William Berkley, was elected as a leader of a rebellion in Surry County, Virginia. Several frontiersman did not have protection from Native Americans and Governor William Berkley, who lived in the tidewater region, was trading with the natives further inland and did not want to interfere with his financial interests. Nathaniel Bacon ordered the newly formed militia to protect the frontiersman. In addition he had the “The Declaration of the People of Virginia”.

Bacon brought 400 individuals to Jamestown to overthrow Governor William Berkley. Governor Berkeley escaped and the rebels burnt down most of Jamestown. However, Nathaniel Bacon died of dysentery and Britain sent forces to protect the exiled Governor Berkley. In 1677 Governor Berkley returned to Jamestown.

Sussex County, Virginia, Sussex Light Dragons, U.S. Civil War

Sussex County, Virginia – During The U.S. Civil War

Members of the Confederate Sussex Light Dragon Calvary Unit.

During the U.S. Civil War, several skirmishes took place in Sussex County, Virginia. The “Sussex Light Dragons” were a Confederate Calvary Company that was formed in Sussex County.

The Union Army daughter to cut off supplies heading to Petersburg, Virginia via train. Hence, Jarratt’s Station was the site of various supply conflicts.