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In 1778, Black's Fort was incorporated as the town of Abingdon, said to be named for the ancestral home of Martha Washington in Oxfordshire, England.Possible namesakes for the town include Jake Dore's home in Abington, Pennsylvania, or Lord Abingdon, friend of settler William Campbell.Abingdon is served by Washington County Public Schools, where students attend Abingdon Elementary, Watauga Elementary, Greendale Elementary, E. Emory & Henry College is located 7 miles outside of town.Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center, on the campus of VHCC, provides the region with access to undergraduate and graduate degree programs and courses.In the town, the population was spread out with 18.3% under the age of 18, 8.2% from 18 to 24, 27.4% from 25 to 44, 25.5% from 45 to 64, and 20.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median income for a household in the town was ,976, and the median income for a family was ,106.

In 1776 the community of Black's Fort was made the county seat of the newly formed Washington county.

Hoping to push out the colonists, the Cherokee had allied with the British in the American Revolutionary War.

The settlement was known as Black's Fort prior to being named Abingdon.

The region was long the territory of varying cultures of indigenous peoples, including the Chisca and Xualae.

From the late 17th-century, it was occupied by the Cherokee Nation, whose territory extended from the present-day area of borders of Tennessee, Virginia, and Kentucky through the spine of North Carolina and later into Georgia. Thomas Walker surveyed the land where the town of Abingdon is situated.

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Black, Briggs and Walker donated the 120 acres of land upon which the original town was laid out.