Dumfries, first settled in the early 18th century, became in 1749 the first town in Prince William County chartered by the House of Burgesses. It soon grew in wealth and importance as a major port, rivaling Alexandria, Baltimore, and New York in tonnage shipped. The town's status as a center for the sale and shipment of tobacco despite its inland location on a creek, reached its peak in the 1760's. In 1762 the county court moved to Dumfries, where it remained for 60 years. Ironically, the soil erosion caused by tobacco farming resulted in the silting up of Quantico Creek. The prosperity and population of Dumfries declined and the court moved to Brentsville in 1822.