Silver medal inscribed on one side "The King of" and on the other "Patomeck" [Potomac], given by the Virginia
government in 1662 to cement ties between the colonists and the Indians. Silver medals were for chiefs,
copper for warriors.
he site of Alexandria is a small bay along the upper reaches of the tidal Potomac River. It served as a
center for trade among the American Indians long before John Smith reached the upper Potomac in 1608.
Europeans and Africans first settled the opposite Maryland shore, but a disgruntled Margaret Brent moved
across the Potomac and acquired part of the future Alexandria in the 1660s. John Alexander of Stafford
County, for whom the city is named, purchased the land in 1674.
In 1730 the Virginia Assembly established official tobacco inspection stations and warehouses at
Great Hunting Creek and in Alexander's quarter. Merchants settling around the warehouses created
a community known as Belle Haven and petitioned for recognition as an independent town in Fairfax
County. The Virginia General Assembly granted the recognition on May 11, 1749, and the first land
sales were held on July 14.
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