Session 1 Wrap-up – “Colonial” Course

For two weeks, “Colonial” students have tracked early American history over the course of almost 200 years beginning with the founding of Jamestown.  In the last week, they moved into the last decade of the colonial period leading to the American Revolution.  Never content to focus on only one aspect of any historical event, the sites visited encouraged students to look at the Revolution from every angle.

Hanover County Courthouse

By some accounts, the Historic Hanover Courthouse is considered the birthplace of the American Revolution.  In was here, in 1763, that Patrick Henry argued the Parson’s Cause  case that pitted colonial Americans against British loyalists in a legal sense.  Though the jury found in favor of the British loyalists, they only awarded damages in the amount of one penny.  The case was seen as a stand against the Crown and gave Henry his claim to fame.


Speaking of Mr. Henry, after seeing where he gained prominence as a voice for independence, “Colonial” students visiting his home at Scotchtown.  Here they learned more about his personal life, including the fact that Henry fathered 17 children.

St. John’s Church

There is always a bit of an overlap between the two courses, but it’s fitting that “Colonial” students should visit St. John’s Church on the last Tuesday of the program when “Civil War” students visited it on the first Tuesday.  Despite visiting at different times, the lessons learned about the coming of revolution and Virginia’s role in forwarding the cause remained the same.

Colonial Williamsburg

Students from both classes have had more than one reason to visit Colonial Williamsburg over the last three weeks.  “Colonial” students spent three full days in the former VA capitol delving further than most into almost every aspect of colonial society, politics, economy, and fashion.  In the last week, they jumped from scene to scene to watch historical interpreters recreate moments that led up to war and made Williamsburg a truly “Revolutionary City”.


War reigned in the thirteen colonies for 6 years with many wondering if the great conflict would ever end until October 1781 saw a decisive turning point.  On October 19, allied with the Comte de Rochambeau and his French Army, the American Continental Army defeated Lord Cornwallis’s British Army on the banks of the York River.  The battlefields from the Yorktown Campaign remain, and it was here, in the place where American patriots saw their first glimpse of life rising above imperial rule that Pre-Col students ventured for their last NIAHD field trip.

Published in: on July 15, 2014 at 3:08 pm Comments (0)