At the time of European encounter, the inhabitants of the area that became
Fredericksburg were a Siouan-speaking tribe called the Manahoac. English
colonists recorded the name of the Manahoac village there as Mahaskahod.
Located on the Rappahannock River near the head of navigation at the fall
line, Fredericksburg developed as the frontier of colonial Virginia shifted
west out of the coastal plain. The land on which the city was founded was part
of a tract