Author Archives: Amelia Butler

Give Me the Peninsula or Give Me Death!

Which fiery orator supported, even helped start, the American Revolution, but refused to sign the American Constitution? Who tried and failed at two separate occupations before becoming a successful attorney (by way of a bartender)?

Patrick Henry
The answer, of course, is Patrick Henry, the subject of today’s study. Colonial students began at Hanover County Courthouse, where [...]

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It Was Hot, and We Were Awesome

This weekend was kind of a giant sigh of relief for us, in more ways than one. Students enjoyed the break from classes, of course, while all of us were grateful that last weekend’s wild weather did not repeat itself!

Saturday, students again had the opportunity to experience archaeology firsthand at the Fairfield Plantation dig. Despite [...]

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Boats and Votes: The U.S.S. Monitor and Political Power in Colonial Virginia

Governor's Palace

Where does politics happen? Is it merely in the hallowed halls of Congress, on the campaign trail, in smoky back rooms? Or is it a part of people’s everyday lives? What about in the 18th century?
These were some of the questions Colonial students explored today in their examination of Colonial Williamsburg as a center [...]

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Honor and the Dishonorable Institution

Westover

Imagine steering down the James River, nothing but virgin forest lining the banks.  You dock your craft and walk up the hill from the small beach.  As you crest the ridge, you catch sight of the most magnificent home you have ever seen, rising from the river like a graceful naiad.
This is William Byrd’s Westover [...]

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A Castle, a Crypt, and Court End

On Friday, the Colonial class visited Bacon’s Castle, one of the oldest (if not the oldest) surviving houses in America.  It is, as students quickly learned, neither a castle nor the abode of Nathaniel Bacon, but it is nevertheless a fascinating architectural artifact.  Students learn how to ‘read’ a house, looking for the ‘ghosts’ of [...]

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