Virginia's Dan River

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How did the Dan River get its name? In 1728, English colonist William Byrd headed an expedition to determine the true boundary between Virginia and North Carolina. One night late that summer, the party camped upstream from what is now Danville. Byrd was so taken with the beauty of the land that he prophesied a future settlement in the vicinity, where people would live “with much comfort and gaity of Heart.” The river along which he camped was named the “Dan”, for Byrd, supposing himself to be in the land of plenty, felt he had wandered “from Dan to Beersheba”. From "Dan to Beersheba" is a biblical phrase used several in the Bible to refer to the settled areas of the Tribes of Israel between Dan in the North and Beersheba in the South.

William Byrd

William Byrd