Friday, August 9, 2013

Rest, Repairs and Colonial Williamsburg

Monday we had to wait for a repairman to come because Tom's surge protector kept shutting his electric off in the motorhome.  Once he arrived there were phone calls back and forth about what needed to be done.  The final fix was just a "switch" of poles to determine something.  (I am not technical.)  Anyway, it didn't work and periodically it still  goes off.  They have decided to tough it out and have an appointment back home and a part is being sent to the repair place to be waiting for them.

Tuesday we had rain so we stayed home and played cards.  We took a ride around the area and stopped at Williamsburg Outlets but didn't hang around there.  We continue to eat together and have kept eating out to a minimum.

Today was very nice and we went to Colonial Williamsburg.

We started at the Governor's Palace.  It is June 8, 1775.  Governor Dunmore and his family have left under the cover of darkness in the early morning hours.

Several hundred armed rebels controlled the streets and fields of Virginia. Dunmore had been forced to flee the capital of Williamsburg for the safety of the naval town of Norfolk. Williamsburg was a nest of Patriots and Dunmore felt that it was no longer safe for him to stay there. His loyal forces had been reduced by desertion and harassment to about 300 troops.

Apologies were given that the Dunmores were not available to receive us but the servants felt they would have no problem with us looking at the house.  The entry hall boasted many firearms and swords displayed attractively.  It was to display the strength of the Crown.

The blue ballroom and green dining room were very well appointed.  A large "heater" was situated in the ballroom.  The dining room exhibited the governor's china and exquisite crown molding.

We were dismissed through the back gardens and were free to look at the other buildings that served the palace.

We visited the Court House and the legislative procedures of the time were explained.  The gentleman was very informative and we decided to return for a trial later.   We continued on and stopped at the magazine where we saw gunpowder, guns and supplies.  There was another incident with Dunmore and speaks to the adoption of our Second Amendment later on.


On the night of April 20, 1775, royal marines went to the Williamsburg powder magazine, loaded fifteen half barrels of powder into the governor's wagon, and transported it to the eastern end of the Quarterpath Road to be loaded aboard the Magdalen in the James River.  The act was discovered by townsfolk while underway, and they sounded an alarm. Local militia rallied to the scene, and riders spread word of the incident across the colony. Dunmore had as a precaution armed his servants with muskets, and it was only the calming words of Patriot leaders that prevented the assembling crowd from storming Dunmore's mansion.  The city council demanded the return of the powder, claiming it was the property of the colony and not the Crown.  Dunmore demurred, stating that he was moving the powder as protection against its seizure during a rumored slave uprising, and would eventually return it. This seemed to satisfy the assembled crowd, and it dispersed peacefully.

Our next tour was of the Capitol with various meeting rooms and the House of Burgess room.  It is so interesting to me to learn more about the English law that our laws are based on.  

We were making our way through the village and decided to eat lunch at Shield's Tavern.  The food was good and we all cleaned our plates.  We were told there are no straws in this time period and all condiments are served in small bowls.  No red or yellow plastic bottles on the table.

We went back for the trial at the courthouse. Members of the audience played some parts.  One man was brought up on the charge of not attending church once a month.  An innkeeper gave a young apprentice strong drink and was charged and a lady wanted them to regulate the meat being sold at market because it was not slaughtered in the morning and sold but returned day after day until sold.  The church fellow was fined, the innkeeper was not present and was ordered to court next month and the woman was left with a promise to look at the meat in the market.

It was another full day and we came home for dinner.  What is nice about RVing with someone, you don't have to be together 24/7.  At night we eventually retire to our individual rigs and in the morning we are free to get ready at our own pace.

This morning Eileen and I went to WalMart while a repairman came to replace a hydraulic brake line on our trailer.  Just as we came off the interstate, one mile from this park, Ted said he had no trailer brakes.  All the fluid had drained out of a broken line.  We were on flat ground and so close to the park there was no problem because the truck brakes would do the job but we knew we had to have it fixed before we left here.  Ted talked to Dave and knew exactly what was needed.  The mechanic was excellent and had the line replaced, the brake reservoir filled with fluid and the brakes bled in no time.  He was gone by the time we returned from grocery shopping.

We then left for our second day at Williamsburg.  Today we used the shuttle to the Revolution City.

The King's Men were announcing news from the Crown.  Many folks were riding in carriages.  It is necessary to watch where you step when crossing the street.

We stopped at the Art Museum and saw a 1700s mental hospital, silver, furniture, coins and money, dishes, guns, etc.  A very interesting exhibit was the records of the Foundlings Home.  Many babies were left with a swatch of material, the only clue to their possible identity for parents later in life.  From there we went to see a trio of barroom entertainment skits.  Disney it wasn't!

We visited the silversmith and saw them working.  There were beautiful items and jewelry for sale. The Olde English D slide was so fancy that it was hard to identify and I passed on purchasing it.

We visited the wigmaker and were greatly entertained by her as she prodded one of us to have our heads shaved so our wig would fit better.  The time spent weaving up to 80-90 lines of hair to make a wig made them very expensive.  Only about 5% of people could afford one.  She said George Washington had dark hair, worn long in a a ponytail.  When you see him with white hair curled and white, it is powdered.  He never wore a wig.  We had seen his metal, ivory and animal teeth dental plate earlier at Mount Vernon.  

We headed to the bus stop to return to the Visitor's Center.  

We were standing next to a pasture with young sheep grazing.
I keep talking about Eileen and Tom.  They are our best friends from our years in Florida.  Here are two pictures of them and one of me and Eileen trying on bonnets.


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