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They intended to conduct trade into the interior of America, and they required a trading center near the head of navigation on the Potomac.The best location was Hunting Creek tobacco warehouse, since the deep water could easily accommodate sailing ships.
This John was the son of Robert Alexander II (1688–1735).Many local tobacco planters, however, wanted a new town further up Hunting Creek, away from nonproductive fields along the river.), was bounded by Hunting Creek, Hooff's Run, the Potomac River, and approximately the line which would become Cameron Street.At the opening of Virginia's 1748–49 legislative session, there was a petition submitted in the House of Burgesses on November 1, 1748, that the "inhabitants of Fairfax (Co.) praying that a town may be established at Hunting Creek Warehouse on Potowmack River," as Hugh West was the owner of the warehouse.In 1814, during the War of 1812, a British fleet launched a successful Raid on Alexandria, which surrendered without a fight.As agreed in the terms of surrender the British looted stores and warehouses of mainly flour, tobacco, cotton, wine, and sugar.The petition was introduced by Lawrence Washington (1718–1752), the representative for Fairfax County and, more importantly, the son-in-law of William Fairfax and a founding member of the Ohio Company.
To support the company's push for a town on the river, Lawrence's younger brother George Washington, an aspiring surveyor, made a sketch of the shoreline touting the advantages of the tobacco warehouse site.
Since the river site was amidst his estate, Philip opposed the idea and strongly favored a site at the head of Hunting Creek (also known as Great Hunting Creek).
It has been said that in order to avoid a predicament the petitioners offered to name the new town Alexandria, in honor of Philip's family.
The name Belhaven was used in official lotteries to raise money for a Church and Market House, but it was never approved by the legislature and fell out of favor in the mid-1750s.
The town of Alexandria did not become incorporated until 1779.
Alexandria was home to the Franklin & Armfield Slave Market, one of the largest slave trading companies in the country.