One of the 13 original colonies, Virginia was the first part of the country permanently settled by the English, who established Jamestown on the banks of the James River in 1607. The home state of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and other founding fathers, Virginia played an important role in the American Revolution (1775-83). During the Civil War (1861-65), the city of Richmond, Virginia, became the capital of the Confederacy, and more than half of the conflict’s battles were fought in the state. Today, many government institutions are headquartered in Virginia, particularly in Arlington, located across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. In addition to eight presidents, famous Virginians include singer Ella Fitzgerald, tennis star Arthur Ashe, actress Shirley MacLaine and authors Willa Cather and Tom Wolfe.