On June 8, 1806, George Wythe, one of the great men of revolutionary Virginia, died at age 80. He was poisoned….
The streets of Williamsburg were still bustling with activity from the session of the General Court when Lord Botetourt emerged from the Palace and mounted an elegant chariot adorned with the Arms of Virginia and led by six cream-white horses. The recently installed governor was dressed to impress in a bright-red coat with gold braid as he headed off to the Capitol for the opening of the new session of the General Assembly. It was May 8, 1769….
In 1754, with the French and Indians attacking British settlements in the Ohio Valley, Benjamin Franklin proposed “a plan for the union of all the colonies.” To illustrate the need for unity, Franklin published (and some think drew) one of America’s earliest political cartoons and perhaps the earliest symbol of a united America (albeit under British rule).
Should we blame the founding generation for planting the seeds of discord that make today’s political climate so toxic? Perhaps a little. The men and women of the Revolutionary era, argues Stephen Solomon, redefined free expression, creating a bedrock American principle that makes no distinction between pleasant and genuinely nasty speech….
We note with sadness the passing of Abby Milton O’Neill, who carried on the Rockefeller family tradition of service and generosity to Colonial Williamsburg as well as many other worthy causes. Her lifetime involvement with the foundation, which included 28 years on the Board of Trustees and substantial contributions, greatly expanded our ability to share the story of America’s founding with ever-broader audiences….
In this excerpt from Why the Turkey Didn’t Fly. we look into how an everyday part of nature was used as a potent symbol of freedom. Though largely forgotten today, to the American patriots of the 18th century, liberty trees and liberty poles were representations of their cause at least as prominent as liberty bells or lady liberties. …
March, 1781. General Bernardo de Gálvez, governor of Louisiana, has seen enough dithering.
The Spanish fleet is poised to seize Pensacola and wrest control of West Florida from Great Britain, but uncertainty has the ships stalled just outside the bay that protects the strategic outpost. Will they be able to safely navigate the channel? Will they be sitting ducks for British cannon fire?…
A stylish female figure can be seen in many photographs documenting the architectural team who undertook the restoration of Williamsburg’s historic district. She often stands out as the one lone woman amidst the group of men….
Before she was Mrs. Washington, Martha was Mrs. Custis. It’s well known that Martha and George Washington were not blessed with any children of their own during their 40-year marriage (theories abound…we’ll get to that another time). Martha did have four children, though, during her first marriage to Daniel Parke Custis.
This period of Martha’s life has fascinated me and has become the center of my study and program development for the spring season. I suppose I have good reason: my husband and I just welcomed our first child….
Today the Travis House contains offices and sits in its original location at the corner of Francis and Henry. But once upon a time, it was a Colonial Williamsburg restaurant at the foot of Palace Green, and it was where a talented chef with an entrepreneurial knack built a national reputation for her take on Southern cuisine….