by William J. Addison and Kathryn Jewett Hogensen


West Point, located at the juncture of three rivers, is a tapestry of the American experience. The peninsula was a stronghold and religious center for the Powhatan tribes of eastern Virginia and the site of many significant events at the beginning of English settlement in America. Its story includes Chief Powhatan, Pocahontas, and Capt. John Smith. In 1655, the West family became the first British to settle the peninsula, and Bacons Rebellion was brought to an end there in 1676. Martha Washington was born and raised near the town that was also home to Carter Braxton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. West Point was a site of Lafayettes artillery during the Battle of Yorktown. With the coming of the railroad, it became a valuable port fought over during the Civil War and later a steamship hub and riverside resort. The 20th century saw influences of immigration, two world wars, and the struggle for civil rights. Native son Gen. Chesty Puller became an iconic hero of the Marine Corps. This rich legacy is explored through images, with an emphasis on the late 19th century and first half of the 20th century.

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