What was Old Point Comfort? October 24 2014
On this map of early United States territorial grants, only one point is labeled: Old Point Comfort, on the East Coast, right where Virginia and North Carolina meet. Why?
Old Point Comfort lies at the southeast tip of the Virginia Peninsula. Its name came from an early group of Jamestown settlers, who anchored their ship nearby and "rowed to a point where they found a channel which put them in good comfort." (The "Old" part was tacked on later, as you might guess. There's a New Point Comfort twenty-one miles north.)
So what's the relevance of this particular point on this particular map? It marked the boundaries of colonial Virginia: According to the Second Virginia Charter, Virginia extended 200 miles north and 200 miles south of Old Point Comfort.
Going how far west, you ask? The charter was fuzzy on that part, so technically Virginia spanned about a third of the continent, stretching all the way to the Pacific.
That's one big stripe of Virginia, stretching quite a distance from Old Point Comfort.