Leesburg is a historic town within and the county seat of Loudoun County, Virginia. Leesburg is located 33 miles (53 km) west-northwest of Washington, D.C. along the base of Catoctin Mountain and adjacent to thePotomac River. Its population according to the 2010 Census is 42,616.
Prior to European settlement, the area around Leesburg was occupied by various Native American tribes. European settlement of near Leesburg began in the late 1730s as tidewater planters moved into the area from the south and east establishing large farms and plantations. Many of the First Families of Virginia were among those to settle in the area including the Carters, Lees and Masons. The genesis of Leesburg occurred sometime before 1755 when Nicholas Minor acquired land around the intersection of the Old Carolina Road and the Potomac Ridge Road (present day Route 7) and established a tavern there. Despite lack of growth around the tavern, upon Loudoun's formation in 1757, Minor dubbed the sparse collection of buildings about his tavern "George Town" in honor of the reigning monarch of Great Britain. The village's prosperity changed the following year when the British Colonial Council ordered the establishment of the county Court House at the crossroads. Accordingly, Minor had a town laid out on the traditional Virginia plan of six criss-cross streets. On October 12 of that year (1758) the Virginia General Assemblyfounded the town of Leesburg upon the 60 acres (0.24 km2) that Minor laid out. Leesburg was renamed to honor the influential Thomas Lee and not, as is popular belief, his son Francis Lightfoot Lee who lived in Loudoun and brought up the bill to establish Leesburg, nor as is sometimes thought, Robert E. Lee (his great-grandnephew). When the post office was established in Leesburg in 1803 the branch was named "Leesburgh"; the 'h' persisted until 1894.