Hampton is an independent city in Virginia. Its population is 137,436. As one of the seven major cities that compose the Hampton Roads metropolitan area, it is on the southeastern end of the Virginia Peninsula. Hampton traces its history to 1610. The city's Old Point Comfort, home of Fort Monroe for almost 400 years, was named by the voyagers of 1607 led by Captain Christopher Newport on the mission which first established Jamestown as a British colony. Since 1952, Hampton has included the former Elizabeth City County and the incorporated town of Phoebus, consolidating by mutual agreement. After the end of the American Civil War, historic Hampton University was established here, providing an education for many of the newly freed former slaves. In the 20th century, the area became the location of Langley Air Force Base, NASA Langley Research Center, and the Virginia Air and Space Center. Hampton features many miles of waterfront and beaches.