Thursday, July 29, 2010

Colonial Williamsburg & Revolutionary City

I took the older three kids into CW (Colonial Williamsburg) yesterday to get our "good neighbor passes" which are issued to residents for the year, $10.00 for grown ups and kids are free.  Excellent good deal!  We went in later in the day and CW pretty closes up at 5 PM but there were tours at the Peyton Randolph house and as we didn't have preschoolers I wanted to go.  I've never been inside that house.  First off, it is the original building 1717, which if you are reading this blog and you are say, European, is nothing much but an original building in the United States dating back to 1717 is a big deal. *grin* anyway.

On top of that, I've never heard of Peyton Randolph.  Now if you are a Colonial History buff, please forgive me.  But I had no idea who he is.  Turns out he was a member of the House of Burgesses and the Continental Congress.  Again, please forgive me, I'm still a bit vague on what the gentlemen in the House of Burgesses did and who exactly the Contintal Congress was.  My only excuse is that we moved around so much maybe I missed out on some early American history some where?  Who knows.

Back to Peyton Randolph.  The interpreters at the house will go so far as to say that if Mr. Randolph had not died in 1775 of what is believed to have been a stroke, he would have been known as the Founding Father today.  Interesting.  His brother was a loyalist and went back to England.
There are a vareity of sources that google provides for Peyton Randolph, the following is from Colonial Williamsburg's :
If his friend George Washington succeeded him as America’s patriarch, Randolph nevertheless did as much as any Virginian to bring the new nation into the world. He presided over every important Virginia assembly in the years leading to the Revolution, was among the first of the colony's great men to oppose the Stamp Act, chaired the first meeting of the delegates of 13 colonies at Philadelphia in 1774, and chaired the second in 1775.

Today I took all 5 in around 10 AM and we walked to the Coffee House that has been built down by the Capitol.  It wasn't there when I was in High School.  They did some archeological work, moved the house that was there, and built this Coffee House where they believe many of the discussions were held regarding things like the Stamp Tax.  Anyway, today they had a whole list of things going on as part of "Revolutionary City" program.  There were some gentlemen from the time period arguing in the street, and they had a few things to say when the tax collector arrived.  And one of the slaves was telling another slave about Patrick Henry and so on.

And there was the Governor speaking to the people from the Capitol.

As part of our summer project the kids and I have been trying to read a bit of fiction and non fiction that gives context to some of the names and places.  In my experience it is easier to remember history if you combine as many different elements as possible.  So K-Bear has been reading a series about Annie Henry, Patrick Henry's daughter.  Dragon read a book about a Fifer.  Tiger read a Revolution on Wednesday which is a Magical Tree House book and comes with a reference manual.  We also read about the "Turtle."  And listened to "George Washington Spy Master" on audio.  

1 comment:

FoxyMoron said...

I love it when you write about your local history, early American history has always been a fascination to me, because of the foundation of such a powerful nation. And I just like history.