RICHMOND, the capital and largest city of Virginia, U.S.A., a port of entry, the county seat of Henrico county (but admin istratively independent of it), and from 1861 to 1865 the capital of the Confederate States of America ; at the head of navigation on the James river, Ioo m. S. by W. of Washington. It is on Federal highways I and 6o; has a municipal airport ; and is served by the Atlantic Coast Line, the Chesapeake and Ohio, the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac, the Seaboard Air Line and the Southern railways, and steamship lines. Pop. 171,667 in 1920; 66% native white and 31% negroes; 89 males to 1 oo females; in 1930, 182,929 by Federal census, with an addi tional 30,00o in the immediate suburbs.
The city is very attractively built around a bend in the James. The original site, embracing seven hills on the north side of the river, has been extended by annexations in all directions (includ ing the city of Manchester on the south side in 1910) until the area is 26 square miles. Two highway and four railroad bridges cross the James within the city limits. There are numerous islands, including Belle isle, the site of a Confederate prison during the Civil War, and Mayo's island, now a public park. Projects are under way for straightening the bends in the river and deepening the channel (now 18 ft.) to 3o ft. between Rich mond and Hampton Roads. The State capitol, standing in a 10 ac. square, was built (1785-92) after designs prepared from a model and plans of the Maison Carree at Nimes, which Jeffer son secured while he was minister to France. It contains the Houdon statue of Washington (1796) and a replica of the bust of Lafayette by Houdon which was presented by Virginia to the city of Paris. In this building Aaron Burr was tried (1807) ; the Virginia Secession Convention met (1861) ; and the sessions of the Confederate Congress were held. The oldest building in the city is a stone dwelling erected in 1737. St. John's Episcopal church (1740) was the meeting-place of the Virginia Convention of 1775, before which Patrick Henry made his famous speech ending, "Give me liberty or give me death!" Jefferson Davis was attending services in St. Paul's church when word reached him (April 2, 1865) from Lee that Richmond must be evacuated.
The executive mansion of the Confederacy, occupied by Jefferson Davis 1862-65, a house built in 1819, is now a Confederate museum. The home of Chief Justice Marshall (built in 1795) and the war-time residence of Gen. Lee's family, also house historical collections. The Valentine museum, devised by Mann S. Valentine in 1892 as a public trust, includes many books of the 15th and 16th centuries. The State library has a valuable collection of old manuscripts. The Edgar Allan Poe shrine and the Father Tabb library commemorate those two poets.
Richmond is an important educational centre. The public schools have an annual budget of $1,700,000, and include the Virginia Mechanics' institute, founded in 1856. The University of Richmond (1832) including Richmond college for men, West hampton college for women, and the T. C. Williams School of Law, has an extensive campus of 293 ac. in the western suburbs of the city. The Union Theological seminary (Presbyterian; 1824) has been in Richmond since 1898. The Medical college of Virginia (1838) is the oldest medical school in the South. Vir ginia Union university for negroes (created in 1899) combines Wayland seminary (1865), Richmond Theological seminary (1865) and Hartshorn Memorial college. Both the University of Virginia and the College of William and Mary maintain exten sion centres in Richmond. The daily papers (both Democratic) are the Times-Dispatch, formed in 5903 by the consolidation of the Dispatch (1850) and the Times (1886), and the News-Leader (1896).
The city has 23 public parks, covering 652 ac., and 12 play grounds for small children. There are many fine monuments and statues, among them the Washington monument in Capitol square, designed and largely executed by Thomas Crawford, and the noble equestrian statue of Robert E. Lee, by Mercie. In Hollywood cemetery are the graves of Jefferson Davis, James Monroe, John Tyler, John Randolph of Roanoke, Commodore Matthew F. Maury, several Confederate generals, and 16,000 Confederate soldiers. Oakwood cemetery contains the graves of 18,000 Confederate soldiers. Two miles north-east of the city is a national cemetery with 6,600 graves of Union men, most of whom were killed in the actions around Richmond.