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Brunswick County lies in the South-Central part of Virginia on the North Carolina border. The county seat, Lawrenceville, is 64 miles southwest of the state capital in Richmond and 75 miles northeast of Raleigh, NC. Agriculture remains prominent in the county economy with both field crops and livestock operations. Farm employment has steadily declined in recent years. However, Brunswick remains the fourth largest flue-cured and third largest fire-cured tobacco producer in Virginia and is one of the top tobacco counties in the nation.
Brunswick County is best known as the origin place for Brunswick Stew. The original Brunswick Stew, according to Brunswick County historians, was created in 1828 by an African-American chef, Mr. Jimmy Matthews, also referred to as "Uncle" by some locals. As the story goes, Dr. Creed Haskins of Mount Donum on the Nottoway River, a member of the Virginia State Legislature, took several friends on a hunting expedition. While the group hunted, Mr. Matthews, Haskin's enslaved camp cook, hunted squirrel for the evening meal. Mr. Matthews slowly stewed the squirrels in butter, with onions, stale bread and seasoning in a large iron pot. When the hunting party returned, they were reluctant to try the new, thick concoction, but one taste convinced them to ask for more.