American Foxhound history is both specific and, in a manner of speaking, presidential. The breed has its roots with an early American settler named Robert Brooke, who sailed from England in the mid-1600s; Brooke brought a pack of hunting dogs with him--and those dogs (believed to have been mostly English Foxhounds) are the original ancestors of all future American Foxhounds. Other settlers began crossing these dogs with other hound types in order to create a bigger, faster Foxhound capable of hunting foxes on the more varied American terrain.
During the next century, George Washington was largely responsible for establishing the American Foxhound as a specific breed. Washington kept packs of dogs at his Mount Vernon home, and through the years he crossbred these emerging Foxhounds--purported to be descendants of Brooke's original dogs--with several breeds including the French Foxhound, the Grand Bleu de Gascogne (similar to an American Bluetick Hound), and others; eventually the American Foxhound became known as a breed all its own.
In the ensuing decades, several different Foxhound bloodlines were established, and some became known for specific hunting purposes. Walker, Goodman, Calhoun, Trigg, and Penn-Marydel are all known American Foxound strains, and are used in hunting for treeing, tracking, and pack-hunting.
The breed was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1886, and the American Foxhound Club was established in Virginia in 1912; this breed is also the official State Dog of Virginia. Today, though highly prized as a hunting dog, the American Foxhound is quite rare in the U.S. The breed ranks 189th out of 202 breeds recognized by the AKC.