Amherst County was formed in 1761, from parts of Albemarle County. The county was named for Sir Jeffrey Amherst, known as the "Conqueror of Canada". Jeffrey Amherst was named Governor of Virginia, although he never came to the colony. Native Americans were the first humans to populate the area. They hunted and fished mainly along the countless rivers and streams in Amherst County. With the establishment of the Virginia Colony in 1607, English emigrants arrived in North America. By the late 1600's English explorers and traders traveled up the James River to our area. Early trading posts formed between 1710 and 1720. By 1730, many new families moved into the land currently known as Amherst County drawn by the desire for land and the good tobacco-growing soil.