When does our right to personal privacy interfere with national security? Is surveillance of civilians acceptable? Americans still wrestle with these questions just as we did in the nation’s earliest days.
In the 18th century, those debates frequently occurred at the tavern. So we’ve taken issues that resonate today and imagined how those conversations might have sounded between people of that time.
In 1781, as the Continental Army prepared for the Yorktown siege that would effectively end the Revolutionary War, George Washington established his headquarters in the Williamsburg home of George Wythe.
Gen. Washington and Lydia Broadnax, an enslaved woman in the Wythe household, may very well have crossed paths. They never would have discussed issues of privacy, however, much less in a tavern.
But what if they had?