Suffolk is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 84,585. It is the largest city in Virginia by boundary land area as well as the 14th largest in the country.
Suffolk is located in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area. This also includes the independent cities of Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Virginia Beach, and smaller cities, counties, and towns of Hampton Roads. With miles of waterfront property on the Nansemond and James rivers, present-day Suffolk was formed in 1974 after consolidating with Nansemond County and the towns of Holland and Whaleyville. The current mayor (as of 2014) is Linda T. Johnson.
Suffolk was founded by English colonists in 1742 as a port town on the Nansemond River in the Virginia Colony. Originally known as Constant's Warehouse, for settler John Constant, Suffolk was renamed after Royal Governor William Gooch's home of Suffolk, a county in East Anglia, England. Before European contact, successive cultures of indigenous American tribes had lived in the region for thousands of years. At the time of English settlement, the Nansemond Indians lived along the river.