Pittsylvania County History.com

The mission is exploring & preserving Pittsylvania County’s rich history. Pittsylvania County formed in 1767, and assumed its present boundaries in 1776. It is the largest county in Virginia, consisting of about 983 square miles.

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Pittsylvania County, Virginia native Owen Adkins lived from 1785 to 1885. In 1878 he was the subject of an in-depth interview and article for the New York Herald. He and the writer discussed many aspects of life in Virginia from the early 1800’s through the American Civil War. They covered such issues as politics, horse racing, card playing, foot racing, fox hunting, George Washington, the War of 1812, John Randolph of Roanoke, and the Civil War. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Mr. Adkins’ life is his claim to seventy children. He talks with the writer about his two lawful wives and numerous concubines. His descendants are said to have already numbered 550 at the time of the interview in 1878.

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The county was named for William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham, British statesman and Prime Minister 1766 – 1768. Pitt was known as “The Great Commoner” due to his refusal to accept a title before 1766. Chatham opposed taxation without consent. The Townshend duties, taxing items such as glass, paper, and tea on their importation to America were in direct opposition to his principles, and were passed without his consent.

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