Saturday, September 3, 2011

Cities named RIchmond in the US

There are many towns and cities in the US that have the same names as other towns and cities. We hear about the most famous ones, but not so much about the others.

Here's a list of states that have cities named Richmond.

Richmond, Alabama
Richmond, Illinois
Richmond, Indiana
Richmond, Kansas
Richmond, Kentucky
Richmond, Louisiana
Richmond, Maine
Richmond, Massachusetts
Richmond, Michigan
Richmond, Minnesota
Richmond (Natchez, Mississippi), listed on the NRHP in Mississippi
Richmond, Missouri
Richmond, New Hampshire
Richmond, New York
Richmond, Ohio
Richmond, Oregon
Richmond, Portland, Oregon, a neighborhood
Richmond, Rhode Island
Richmond, South Dakota, a community in Brown County
Richmond, Texas
Richmond, Utah
Richmond, Vermont
Richmond County, Virginia
Richmond, Shawano County, Wisconsin
Richmond, St. Croix County, Wisconsin
Richmond, Walworth County, Wisconsin

I only cover two Richmonds below. All these towns have entries in Wikipedia. Here's a project for you - take a look at each city and see how many of them were named after Richmond, Virginia (one of the oldest cities in the country) and how many were named after something else, for example a person named Richmond.

Here's a bit of info about Richmond, Virginia
Richmond is the capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia (Virginia calls itself a commonwealth, rather than a state). It is an independent city and not part of any county.

Richmond is the center of the Richmond Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) and the Greater Richmond area. The population within the city limits was 204,214 in 2010, with an estimated population of 1,231,675 for the Richmond Metropolitan Area — making it the third largest in Virginia. Surrounded by Henrico and Chesterfield counties, the city is located at the intersections of Interstate 95 and Interstate 64, and encircled by Interstate 295 and Virginia State Route 288.

The site of Richmond, at the fall line of the James River, had been an important village of the Powhatan Confederacy, and was briefly settled by English colonists from Jamestown in 1609, and in 1610–11.

The present city of Richmond was founded in 1737. It became the capital of the Colony and Dominion of Virginia in 1780. During the Revolutionary War period, several notable events occurred in the city, including Patrick Henry's "Give me liberty or give me death" speech in 1775 at St. John's Church, and the passage of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom written by Thomas Jefferson. During the American Civil War, Richmond served as the capital of the Confederate States of America. The city entered the 20th century with one of the world's first successful electric streetcar systems, as well as a national hub of African-American commerce and culture, the Jackson Ward neighborhood.

Richmond's economy is primarily driven by law, finance, and government, with federal, state, and local governmental agencies, as well as notable legal and banking firms, located in the downtown area. The city is home to both the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, one of 13 United States courts of appeals, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, one of 12 Federal Reserve Banks. Dominion Resources, Carmax, Genworth Financial, and MeadWestvaco, Fortune 500 companies, along with Massey Energy and Universal Corporation, Fortune 1000 companies, are headquartered in the city, with others in the metropolitan area. Tourism is also important, as many historic sites are in or nearby the city.

The naming of the town:
In 1673, William Byrd I was granted lands on the James River that included the area around Falls that would become Richmond and already included small settlements. Byrd was a well-connected Indian trader in the area and established a fort on the site. William Byrd II inherited his father's land in 1704, and in 1737 founded the town of Richmond at the Falls of the James and commissioned Major William Mayo to lay out the original town grid.

Byrd named the city Richmond after the English town of Richmond near (and now part of) London, because the view of the James River was strikingly similar to the view of the River Thames from Richmond Hill in England, where he had spent time during his youth. The settlement was laid out in April 1737, and was incorporated as a town in 1742. Early trade grew rapidly, primarily in the agriculture sector, but also in the slave trade.

I'll only cover one more city, Richmond, Kentucky (because I've just discovered its existence while reading The Civil War Day By Day, which inspired me to do this post!)

Richmond, Kentucky
Richmond is a city in and the county seat of Madison County, Kentucky, United States. It is named after Richmond, Virginia, and is the home of Eastern Kentucky University. The population of Richmond, Kentucky was 31,364 in 2010. Richmond is Kentucky's seventh-largest city (after Louisville, Lexington, Bowling Green, Owensboro, Covington, and Hopkinsville) and the second largest city in the Bluegrass region (after Lexington). Richmond serves as the center for work and shopping for south central Kentucky. Richmond is the principal city of the Richmond–Berea Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Madison and Rockcastle counties.

The City of Richmond was founded in 1798 by Colonel John Miller, who had been a soldier in the Revolutionary War. According to tradition, Miller was attracted to the area by the good spring water and friendly Native Americans.

That year, the Kentucky legislature approved moving the county seat from Milford to land owned by Colonel Miller. The residents of Milford adamantly opposed the move, which led to a fist fight between Dave Kennedy (representing Milford) and William Kearly (representing Richmond). Nevertheless, the county approved the move in March 1798. On 4 July 1798, the new town was named Richmond in honor of Miller's Virginia birthplace.

On August 30, 1862, during the Civil War, the Union and Confederate Armies clashed in the Battle of Richmond. Troops under Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith routed the soldiers of Union General William Nelson. Out of Nelson's 6,500 men, only 1,200 escaped; the rest were all captured. One historian called this battle "the nearest thing to a Cannae ever scored by any general, North or South, in the course of the whole war."

(Cannae is a famous battle in ancient times in which the Roman legions were decimated by a numerically smaller force.)


  1. There is a Richmond County in Georgia. Augusta Georgia is located in Richmond County.