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From Plymouth to Hampton Roads

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From Plymouth to Hampton Roads is an itinerary along the Atlantic coast of the United States, showcasing the nation's early history, from the first Anglo-American settlements to the American Civil War. It mostly coincides with the U.S. Highway 1.

As for most American historical routes, it follows a chronology of migration and development, beginning with the first colonies in Massachusetts, along the Freedom Trail in Boston, following the relocation of the capital from New York to Philadelphia and finally Washington DC, ending with the Civil War battlegrounds in Virginia.

See Early United States history for background.


Map of From Plymouth to Hampton Roads
  • 1 Plymouth, Massachusetts. The place where the Puritan "Pilgrims" landed in 1620, and the site of the original Thanksgiving holiday. The oldest surviving colony in New England.
  • 2 Salem, Massachusetts. Among other things, known for the Salem Witch Trials.
  • 3 Boston, Massachusetts. Much of the prelude to the War of Independence happened here, such as the Boston Tea Party and the Boston Massacre. The Freedom Trail will be of particular interest to Revolutionary War buffs.
  • 4 Concord (Massachusetts). One of the first battlefields of the War of Independence has been commemorated with the Minute Man National Historical Park.
  • 5 New York, New York. Originally a Dutch colony, named Nieuw Amsterdam.
  • 6 Paterson, New Jersey. "The Silk City" was the nation's first planned industrial city.
  • 7 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Once the capital of the Union.
  • 8 Baltimore, Maryland. During the War of 1812, Baltimore resisted a British attack. The battle was inspiration for The Star-Spangled Banner, the American National Anthem.
  • 9 Annapolis, Maryland. A colonial port city with many preserved buildings.
  • 10 Washington, D.C.. Founded in 1800, this city contains many artifacts from the Independence era. In particular, it is home to the original copies of the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights.
  • 11 Williamsburg, Virginia. Includes the Jamestown settlement, the first British colony to survive in what's now the United States; Colonial Williamsburg; and other preserved relics from the colonial and revolutionary periods.
  • 12 Hampton, Virginia. Fort Monroe was important to the American Civil War. While Virginia joined the Confederacy, Fort Monroe was held by the Union throughout the war. In 1862, the Battle of Hampton Roads marked the end of the Age of Sail.

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