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During the 1820s, agrarian communities across the American South suffered a prolonged recession, which caused many families to migrate to other areas.Many moved west into the Piedmont, or further into Kentucky and Tennessee.Following recovery from the Revolutionary War's burning, Norfolk and her citizens struggled to rebuild.In 1804, another serious fire along the city's waterfront destroyed some 300 buildings and the city suffered a serious economic setback.The former Elizabeth Cittie became Elizabeth City Shire.After persuading 105 people to settle in the colony, Adam Thoroughgood (who had immigrated to Virginia in 1622 from King's Lynn, Norfolk, England) was granted a large land holding, through the head rights system, along the Lynnhaven River in 1636.It was an important port for exporting goods to the British Isles and beyond.In part because of its merchants' numerous trading ties with other parts of the British Empire, Norfolk served as a strong base of Loyalist support during the early part of the American Revolution.
Norfolk developed in the late-seventeenth century as a "Half Moone" fort was constructed and 50 acres (200,000 m In 1691, a final county subdivision took place when Lower Norfolk County split to form Norfolk County (included in present-day cities of Norfolk, Chesapeake, and parts of Portsmouth) and Princess Anne County (present-day City of Virginia Beach). In 1730, a tobacco inspection site was located here.
Such migration also followed the exhaustion of soil due to tobacco cultivation in the Tidewater, where it had been the primary commodity crop for generations.