We were greeted by a bespectacled, smartly-dressed young woman, who caught us up on the latest news. Apparently Lord Dunmore, the Crown Governor of the Virginia colony, had fled the capitol of Williamsburg in the middle of the night as the rebel cause had grown in intensity and popularity. His departure led the way for the Virginia colony to seek independence from Great Britain. As she was speaking, the young woman led us from the walled-in courtyard surrounding the Capitol into the building itself.
As we entered the H-shaped building, the woman pointed out an emblem above the entrance. It featured a coat of arms underlined with the phrase Semper Eadem. Our guide chuckled and said, "A lot of irony in that phrase. It means 'always constant,' and yet it's anything but that right now!"
"Up until now, the royal Governor has held ultimate legislative, executive, and judicial authority over the colony. We believe that absolute power corrupts and that there must be a division of power so as to prevent tyranny," she said earnestly.
From the House of Burgesses, she led us upstairs to "the bridge room" as it literally bridged the gap of the House on one side and the Council on the other, then later led us back downstairs to the other side of the building into the high court room.
After leaving the Capitol, we heard a commotion close by and discovered that Patrick Henry was haranguing the crowd on a variety of issues. He answered several questions from the crowd, and his answers fascinated me in terms of content, wit and sound reasoning (these questions were rather political in nature, relevant even to today's politics). Upon conclusion of his speech, we began to wander up the Duke of Gloucester Street.
Unfortunately, our allotted time was up, and we had to head home to Richmond without seeing the Randolph House, the Plantation, or experiencing a meal at one of the taverns (Chowning's and King's Arms are past favorites).
Here are a few more snapshots from our day:
|From the armory|
|Someone looks happy to be in the stocks!|
|...Not me, though!|
|Inside the county courthouse|
|Bruton Parish Church|
|Enjoying the gardens|
|The Governor's Palace|
Have you visited Colonial Williamsburg before? What was your favorite part of it?
Joining up with Chasing the Donkey for #SundayTraveler!