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City (pop., 2000: 197,790), capital of Virginia, U.S. Located in the east-central part of the state, on the James River, Richmond was established as a trading post in 1637 and incorporated as a town in 1742. It became the state capital in 1779 and played an important role in the American Revolution. During the American Civil War it was the capital of the Confederate States of America. It was taken by Gen. Ulysses S. Grant in 1865, and much of the business district was burned. It is now a major tobacco market and commercial and government centre; its universities include the University of Richmond (founded 1830) and Virginia Commonwealth University (1838).
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Richmond, visit Britannica.com.