On day five we focused on the government influences in the colonies as well as the causes of the American Revolution and Williamsburg’s roll in it.
We started the day at Burton Heights Parish Church. They had a 7:30 service and me and one of my fellow teachers decided to go before breakfast. Burton Heights is the Church of England church on the Duke of Gloucester Street in the heart of Colonial Williamsburg.
This church was attended by the most famous politicians of the time. Of course, back then everyone belonged to the Church of England. Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and Patrick Henry are just a few of the founding fathers that attended church at Burton Heights. In fact, George Washington’s step-children(he had no children of his own), Patsy and Jackie Custis are buried at Burton Heights.
Above is a photo of their graves. They are very hard to read as Jackie(the last of the Custis children) Died in 1781. Martha Washington had 4 children from her previous marriage. She was widowed and shortly after married George Washington. Her first two children did not live into adulthood. Jackie, her third child died of a seizure disorder and Jackie died of camp fever at Yorktown. So, sadly, Martha Washington out lived all of her children, as well has her first and second husband. George and Martha did however, raise their two grandchildren.
After the church service, we came back with our group to tour the church.
On each door is a plate of a member of the church who may have sat there. For example, on one of the doors on the right there is a plate that has the Jefferson family listed.
This is somewhat hard to read, but this is a memorial that hangs in the church. In Virginia they are very proud of their southern culture, including their roll in the Civil War. This is a plaque that hangs in memorial of the soldiers who died for the south during the Civil War.
After we toured the church, we got to tour the Capital. The Capital was the center of all government in America until the capital was moved to Richmond.
The attorney for the state would have sat at the green table on the right. The accused was not given an attorney and was not allowed to speak in their own defense. They were allowed to question each witness, but that was the extent of their defense. They could call witnesses but could not speak on their own behalf.
Opposite this room, on the right side of the capitol was the seat of government.
After touring the capital we went to lunch and then went to tour the Governor’s Mansion.
All of the Governor’s of Virginia lived in this mansion including Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry. Also, this is where Lord Dunmore lived during the American Revolution. He was soon driven out of the mansion by the colonists.
Upon entering the mansion, you are in a room that is filled with weapons. going up the walls are swords, muskets and rifles. Many of these are original 18th century pieces. This was done to exhibit the power of the Monarchy and of the English military. It basically said “don’t mess with us.” to anyone that entered the mansion.