A state of the eastern United States on Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. One of the original Thirteen Colonies, it was the site of unsuccessful early colonizing attempts (1584–1587) by Sir Walter Raleigh, but in 1607 colonists dispatched by the London Company established the first permanent settlement at Jamestown (May 13). Virginia was a prime force in the move for independence and was the site of Lord Cornwallis's surrender in 1781. Virginia ratified the United States Constitution in 1788. It was the scene of many major battles during the Civil War, including the final campaigns that led to the surrender of Gen. Robert E. Lee. Richmond is the capital.