Category Archives: 2012 Pre-Collegiate Session 1

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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“This is a Revolution darnnit! You’re going to have to offend somebody!”

**Written by Nichole Lidstrom
 
 The First Session of the NIAHD Pre-Collegiate program is particularly special because the Fourth of July falls precisely in the middle of the three-week course. Other than Philadelphia, is there any better place to celebrate this uniquely American holiday? The students braved the crowds in Colonial Williamsburg (aka CW) to see the [...]

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The Grandest House in America…and Monticello

* This was jointly written by Nichole Lidstrom and Amelia Butler.
The Ruins of Rosewell

Four stories.  Sixteen fireplaces.  Dozens of intricate window keystones. A quartet of marble-topped chimneys. Roswell was the grandest structure that early eighteenth-century visitors to the house had ever seen, and yet most NIAHD students have never heard of it. The students and [...]

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Twister and Shout!

Some of our aspiring archaeologists woke up bright and early Saturday morning to help excavate the site of Fairfield Plantation. Fairfield was a large manor house built in 1694 by one of colonial Virginia’s most esteemed families, and it survived all the way to the 1880s when it burned down. Archaeologists Dave Brown and Laura [...]

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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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James(town) and James(Monroe)

James(town)  vs. James(Monroe)
John Smith Standing in for Jamestown Island

James Monroe and his manager, Dolley

 
 
 
 
Thursday was a highlight of the Pre-Collegiate program for both the “Colonial” and “Civil War” courses, with visits to historic Jamestown Island and to the central Virginia home of President James Monroe.  Win-Win!
Jamestown Island Rediscovery
It is fortunate that the Colonials went to [...]

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A Fantasmagorical Two Days!

Fantasmagorical–I did not make up that word!  It came from the mouth of Thomas Jefferson, or at least Bill Barker, who portrays Jefferson for Colonial Williamsburg, when he spoke to our students yesterday afternoon.  Though the Oxford English Dictionary does not recognize it as a word, fantasmagorical (fantastic, amazing, magical) sums up the Pre-Collegiate Program [...]

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