Railroad Station:N. end of Boundary St. for Chesapeake and Ohio Ry.
Bus Station: College Shop, Duke of Gloucester and Boundary Sts., for Greyhound and Peninsula Transit Corp. Lines.
Taxis: Fare $0.25 within city.
Traffic Regulations: Half-hour parking limit on Duke of Gloucester St.; large public parking lots adjoining business area; speed limit on Duke of Gloucester St. and around college, 15 m.p.h., elsewhere 25 m.p.h.
Accommodations: 2 large, 10 small inns, numerous guest houses; seasonal rates.
Information Service: Information Bureau of the Restoration, Craft House, S.England St. beside Williamsburg Inn; Chamber of Commerce, New Shop Buildings, W. end Duke of Gloucester St.; booth on Richmond Rd. during tourist season.
Motion Picture Houses: One.
Golf: Yorktown Golf Course, 13 m. SE. on Colonial National Parkway, 18 holes, greens fee $1.
Swimming: Yorktown Beach, 13 m. SE. on Colonial National Parkway, suit $0.25, bath house $0.25.
Annual Events: Garden Week, late Apr. or May; Alumni Day at College of William and Mary, early June; General Assembly of Virginia meets in Colonial Capitol once during each biennial legislative session.
WILLIAMSBURG (78 to 84 alt., 3,778 pop.), capital of Virginia from 1699 to 1780 and now the showplace among Colonial restorations, is spread upon a ridge in the peninsula between the James and York Rivers. Queen's Creek and College Creek (called in early days Archer's Hope) partly encircle the city. Round about, fields roll toward the water or stretch inland to meet pine woods. On the outskirts are new houses of brick or wood. East-west Duke of Gloucester Street, wide, straight, and tree-shaded, bisects the little city from the college to the capitol.
Eighteenth-century Williamsburg, lately a straggling, dusty ghost, is today a lively reincarnation of the busy and important Colonial capital. Bordering deep sidewalks, with benches at the curbs, are shops behind facades of eighteenth-century design and signs in flowing script. Set close to the street, most of the dwellings have green shutters and gambrel or gabled roofs pierced by a line of dormer windows. Those of frame are small, with vast single-buttressed brick chimneys; a few, built of brick, are large and formally designed, while many have rambling additions. But whether of pink brick or white clapboard they appear old in pattern only. In the interiors, paneling and wainscoting are freshly painted or of polished natural woods, and walls are tinted 'Williamsburg blue' or covered with fresh paper. Gardens, where old-fashioned flowers bloom from early spring till late fall, have great boxwood trees or hedges of dwarf box planted in intricate patterns.
The past constitutes Williamsburg's livelihood, its present, and its future. The colonists' homes and taverns, where all classes of Virginians lived and assembled, and the palace and its gardens, where royal governors surrounded themselves with such splendor as would make their 'barbarous exile' more endurable, illustrate like a picture book the long fight waged by liberty-loving people against privileged aristocracy. Today boys and girls in college clothes and tourists hurrying from house to house contrast ludicrously with Negro guides and attendants in eighteenth-century costumes. Williamsburg-without patina-is the only Colonial city that appears today much as it did before the Revolution. Old and new buildings, in about equal proportion, glisten with pristine freshness; and now, as always, handicrafts represent the only local industries.
The 'Act for the Seatinge of the Middle Plantation,' passed in 1633, encouraged settlement in the area where Dr. John Pott was living. Middle Plantation stood just within the six-mile palisade built across the peninsula to protect settlers from a repetition of the Massacre of 1622. The 'pallisades . . . bounded in by two large Creekes' gave 'all the lower part of Virginia . . . a range for their cattle, near fortie miles in length and in most places twelve miles broade.' Middle Plantation suffered in the Massacre of 1644, and two years later a new palisade was ordered to replace the neglected original. On August 3, 1676, at the house of Otho Thorpe occurred the taking of the 'Oath of Middle Plantation,' an important event in Bacon's Rebellion. Here William Drummond and other principals in that abortive assertion of independence were hanged by Governor Berkeley. Jamestown having been destroyed by Bacon, Middle Plantation became for a short time the seat of restored royal Government. Though citizens of York signed a petition urging the temporary capital as most fit to become permanent, Jamestown was rebuilt.
The choice of Middle Plantation by the assembly in 1693 as the site of 'a free schoole & college' to be known as William and Mary and the burning of the State House in Jamestown caused Middle Plantation, still only a loose concentration of plantation dwellings, to be designated in 1699 as the new capital, renamed Williamsburg in honor of William III. Immediate provision was made for construction of a capitol and for platting the new city according to the survey of Theodoric Bland.
The new capital rapidly attained the size and appearance it presents today. Alexander Spotswood, who arrived in Virginia as lieutenant governor in 1710, had several ravines filled and the streets leveled, and assisted in erecting college buildings, a church, and a magazine for the storage of arms. He was patron of one of the earliest theaters in America, built in 1716 by William Levingston, who brought musicians and actors from England to perform 'comedies, drolls, and other kinds of stage plays.' The theater was conducted by Charles Stagg and his wife Mary, America's first 'leading lady.' The first successful printing press in Virginia was set up at Williamsburg in 1730 by William Parks, who founded the colony's first newspaper six years later and Virginia's first paper mill about 1744.
Incorporated in 1722, Williamsburg became the political and educational center of Virginia and the scene of the most 'fashionable' social life in Colonial America. During legislative sessions substantial planters emerged from rural isolation to occupy 'town houses,' comfortable rooms at inn or tavern, or to lodge with friends. Sycophants and adventurers swelled the throng. English visitors testified that balls, races, fairs, and other entertainment composed a 'season' not greatly inferior to London's in amusement and elegance.
The tranquillity of this scene was broken in 1765 when Patrick Henry, undeterred by cries of 'Treason!' incited the burgesses to pass resolutions against the Stamp Act. Here in 1773 were developed the intercolonial activities of a committee of correspondence that grew out of the standing committee originated in 1759 to communicate with the colony's London agents. The house of burgesses, meeting in Williamsburg in 1774, called the First Continental Congress. The First Virginia Convention, indirectly resulting from closure of the port of Boston, met at Williamsburg in the summer of 1774 to elect delegates to a general Colonial congress. Fear of Lord Dunmore and of a British man-of-war near by in the York River caused the next three conventions to meet in Richmond. The fifth and most noted Virginia Convention met in Williamsburg on May 6, 1776, and began the open move toward American freedom by declaring Virginia an independent commonwealth and by instructing the Virginia delegates to the Second Continental Congress to propose American independence.
Williamsburg began to decline when the capital was moved to Richmond in 1780 to escape the invading British. In 1781, before and during the Siege of Yorktown, Williamsburg was headquarters first of the British and then of the Continental and French forces. From the capitulation of Cornwallis in October until the following summer the French army was quartered near by. Though these closing events of the war temporarily animated Williamsburg, the population dwindled from more than 2,000 in 1779 to about 1,200 in 1795, and in 1804 the former capital was described as very 'decayed.' Between 1770 and 1790 the Reverend Mr. Moses, who seems to have been the first Negro preacher in Virginia, had organized the Williamsburg Baptist Church, undaunted by opposition that was at times physical. The church, its membership recruited almost entirely from the city's Negroes, survived under the Reverend Gowan Pamphlet and other Moses proteges.
Except for brief revivals brought about by two wars, Williamsburg dozed for a century and a half as shopping center for the surrounding country. Many residents owned small farms near by and managed to live with a minimum of enterprise. The Battle of Williamsburg took place on May 5, 1862, when a Union corps engaged Confederates retreating from Yorktown toward Richmond. The city suffered at the hands of the Union troops, and reached the nadir of its fortunes when the College of William and Mary was closed in 1881. After 1889, when the college reopened, a slow recovery began and continued until the little community was aroused suddenly in 1917 by the location on its outskirts of a munitions factory with nearly 15,000 workers. Hastily constructed cheap buildings disfigured the Colonial city.
In its newborn ugliness Williamsburg dozed again. In 1926 John D. Rockefeller, Jr., came to Williamsburg at the invitation of Dr. W.A.R. Goodwin, who had been responsible for the restoration of Bruton Paris[h] Church, of which he was rector, and of the Wythe House. Mr. Rockefeller was enthusiastic over Dr. Goodwin's plan for restoring the city to its eighteenth-century appearance. On Mr. Rockefeller's authorization most of the property in the Colonial area was acquired by Colonial Williamsburg, Inc., and within a decade most of the research and restoration was completed. Research covered Colonial documents and records in libraries, museums, and family archives in America, England, and France. Buildings totaling 459 were torn down, 91 of the Colonial period rebuilt, 67 restored, and a new shopping center in Colonial style was provided. Six new houses were built in the Negro section in 1929. Negroes, 23 per cent of the local population, whose ancestors raised the Colonial structures, are chiefly employed as domestics or as costumed attendants at Colonial buildings.
Nearly 200,000 tourists come annually to Williamsburg and the little city has a rapidly widening influence throughout America. The eighteenth century as mirrored in Williamsburg inspires styles of dress, furniture, interior decorations, and domestic architecture.
(Numbers identify each point of interest on the accompanying map and on the pictorial map supplied free by the Restoration. Points of interest treated here are given the numbers used in Williamsburg Restoration literature. At the Information Office in the Craft House (73) where maps are obtainable, combination tickets are sold for $1.50 each, $0.75 for children under 16, providing admission to all exhibition buildings of Colonial Williamsburg, Inc.: The Capitol, Public Gaol, Raleigh Tavern, Ludwell-Paradise House, and Governor's Palace.)
The COLLEGE OF WILLIAM AND MARY, the second oldest college in America, was the first to establish an honor system, an elective system of studies, schools of law and modern languages, and second to establish a school of medicine-all in 1779. The Phi Beta Kappa Society was founded here December 5, 1776.
The three original buildings of the college are set in the fenced and elm-shaded triangle formed by the convergence of Jamestown Road and Richmond Road. Grouped behind them in adequate harmony are the many new buildings constructed since 1919.
'Their Majesties Royal College of William and Mary, in Virginia,' established by charter from King William and Queen Mary in 1693, revived the 'University of Henrico,' which had been chartered in 1618 but given up after the Massacre of 1622. The college opened in temporary buildings in 1694. It was given a seat in the house of burgesses and was supported by taxation of a penny per pound on tobacco exported from Maryland and Virginia, quitrents in Virginia, 20,000 acres (for which the college still pays two copies of Latin verse yearly as rent to the governor), L3,000 pledged by London merchants, and L300 donated by several pirates who had been pardoned through intercession by Commissary James Blair. In 1694 it received from the College of Heralds the only coat of arms ever granted an American college. Three Presidents of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and John Tyler, were educated here; three signers, besides the author, of the Declaration of Independence, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., and George Wythe; and many other distinguished Revolutionary patriots, including Richard Bland, Peyton Randolph, John Blair, and Edmund Randolph. George Washington became chancellor in 1788. The first recorded college club, the Flat Hat, was organized here in 1750; and in 1770 the first collegiate prizes in America were awarded, when Lord Botetourt presented gold medals. In 1784 the first course in political economy in America was established, and in 1803 the first school of history.
After the beginning of the nineteenth century the college was gradually eclipsed by the University of Virginia. It was suspended from 1861 to 1865, closed in 1881, and reopened in 1889. In 1906 the property was deeded to the State. Women, now more than half the student body, were admitted in 1918. The next year a program of rapid expansion gave new life to the old college. Enrollment in 1937-38 was 1,299.
1. The WREN BUILDING (open 9-5 daily) is the oldest academic building in America and the only structure in America designed by Wren. Though 'first modelled by Sir Christopher Wren,' it was 'adapted to the Nature of the Country by the Gentlemen there,' and has the simple solidity typical of American building in the early eighteenth century, when nice spacing and proportion of windows were the chief external ornament. The sandy pink brick of the long rectangular mass is set in courses of Flemish and English bond. A steep hip roof above two full stories is pierced by 12 dormers and surmounted by a plain cupola between two huge chimneys near the ends.
The foundation was laid in 1695, and the building was so far advanced by 1699 that the general assembly could meet in the great hall while the capitol was being built. In 1781 the structure was used as the main hospital for the French army. Although it was burned in 1705, 1859, 1862, and rebuilt each time, the original walls were still standing when restoration was undertaken in 1928. An illustrative copperplate in the Bodleian Library and a plan drawing by Jefferson have made it possible to retain the old walls and to approximate the appearance of the building in 1705. A portrait of Robert Boyle in black gown, painted about 1689 by Friedrich Kerseboom, and a faded one of James Blair, first president, by Charles Bridges, hang among others in the wide, paneled Blue Room, where officers of the college have always met.
In the south wing is the Chapel, built by 'overseer' Henry Cary, Jr., in 1729-32. Its high-paneled interior is richly restored in late Jacobean style. Among those buried beneath its floor are Governor Botetourt, Sir John Randolph, Peyton Randolph, John Randolph 'the Tory,' and Bishop James Madison, cousin of the fourth President of the United States and president of the college from 1777 to 1812.
1A. The COLLEGE LIBRARY (open 8:30-1, 2-6, 7-midnight daily), formerly housed in the Wren Building occupies a plain pink brick building in Georgian Colonial style. This was erected in part in 1908 with funds from Andrew Carnegie and other friends of the college and subsequently enlarged twice. The library contains 125,000 volumes, including a large collection of rare books and about 250,000 manuscripts, largely Virginiana.
Among more than 200 paintings in the library are portraits of John Page (1627-92) by Sir Peter Lely; of several Lewis family members by John Wollaston; of Fielding Lewis Taylor by William J. Hubard; and a St. Memin engraving of St. George Tucker. There is a mezzotint said to have been done from an original painting of General George Washington by 'Alexander Campbell of Williamsburg,' got up hastily in London to satisfy curiosity about the American rebel leader and published in 1775. The 'Frenchman's Map,' dated 1782, has been useful in restoration work by showing the location of every house then standing.
2. The BRAFFERTON BUILDING (open school hours), with two stories of pink brick and a half-story beneath the tall hip roof, was built in 1723, possibly under the direction of Henry Cary, Jr., to house the first permanent Indian school in the colonies. Five semicircular steps approach the plain central door beneath a small pediment. By 1712 20 Indians were assembled in the school established on the income from part of a L4,000 fund left for 'pious and charitable' uses by Robert Boyle, English scientist and seventh son of the Earl of Cork. Governor Spotswood's Indian School was moved here from Fort Christanna about 1722. The building was named after the English manor in which the fund was invested. Never very successful, the school was closed when the Revolution began, and the income was diverted to the West Indies for Negro education. Although of the three original buildings it is the only one that was never burned, it had been stripped of interior woodwork long before it was fully restored in 1932. The alumni office and information bureau are in the rebuilt KITCHEN close by.
3. The STATUE OF LORD BOTETOURT, in front of the Wren Building, is a life-size white marble figure of Virginia's royal governor. Hatless but bewigged and protected by flowing baronial robes and a fur muff, the noble lord holds an easy stance upon a baroque pedestal. Commissioned by the general assembly, Richard Hayward of London executed the figure in 1773. It stood originally in the piazza of the capitol and was moved here in 1801. The Right Honorable Norborne Berkeley, Baron de Botetourt (pronounced Botytot in Virginia) came to Virginia in 1768 and died in 1770, mourned as 'best of governors and best of men.' The statue was cleaned twice a year by order of the assembly, even during the Revolution, and escaped all but slight damage when once overturned by hoodlums.
4. The PRESIDENT'S HOUSE (private), built in 1732 under the direction of Henry Cary, Jr., is similar to the Brafferton Building but somewhat larger. Its central door is approached by a flight of square stone steps. James Blair, first president, lived here for ten years before his death in 1743. He was largely responsible for the establishment of the college, having suggested it to the assembly, which sent him to England in 1691 to interest Their Majesties in the proposal. He brought back the charter, royal and private endowments, and Wren's design for the main building. The 20 presidents of the college have lived here. This building was the headquarters of Cornwallis for ten days prior to the Battle of Green Spring and of the French surgeon general during the Siege of Yorktown. It was then accidentally burned but was repaired at the expense of Louis XVI. In 1931 it was restored. Among portraits of Colonial Virginians that hang within are several of the Page family by John Wollaston.
15. The PUBLIC MAGAZINE (open 10-5 daily; adm. $0.25, children $0.10), lately called 'Powder Horn,' stands in the southern part of Market Square. The octagonal building, with brick walls two feet thick, has a peaked roof and an encircling wall ten feet high. It was built in 1715-16 under the 'overseership' of John Tyler and the supervision of Governor Spotswood to store 'all Arms, Gun-Powder, and Ammunition, now in the Colony, belonging to the King.' The protecting wall, recently restored, was built in 1755 during the alarms of the French and Indian War, and was pulled down in 1855. Early on the morning of April 20, 1775, Governor Dunmore removed powder stored here, precipitating the outbreak of revolution in Virginia. Patrick Henry, leading Hanover County troops, compelled payment of twice the powder's equivalent in sterling.
19. The BLAND-WETHERBURN HOUSE, an unrestored frame building, is still used as an inn. Almost certainly the birthplace in 1710 of Richard Bland, 'Great Virginia Patriot' and statesman, this house, genuinely ancient-looking in spite of a Victorian porch, was sold by Bland's father about 1716 and became a tavern. In 1738 Henry Wetherburn, formerly of the Raleigh, bought this tavern and, until his death in I 760, ran it along with three others acquired by marriage to their keepers' widows. Thus one of the earliest 'hotel chains' was established. Wetherburn enlarged the building and named the rooms, but his 'Arrack punch' glorified the establishment. For a single 'biggest bowl' of it Peter Jefferson acquired 400 acres of land in Albemarle (then Goochland) County from William Randolph of Tuckahoe.
23. The COLONIAL CAPITOL (open 10-6 daily summer, 10-5 winter; adm. $0.75), a pink brick building within a brick-walled yard, is a reconstruction of the first capitol and is built on the original foundations of the 'best and most commodious pile' in Colonial America. It is H-shaped, composed of two parallel units with two-story semicircular bays at the southern ends and a connecting gallery over an arcaded piazza. The gallery roof is surmounted by a slender white cupola bearing the arms of Queen Anne, in whose reign the building was erected, and a clock and the Union Jack high above. The legislative chambers are accurately refurnished according to ample records. The house of burgesses and the office of the clerk of the house are on the first floor of the east wing. Occupying similar positions in the west wing are the general court and the office of the secretary of state. The original speaker's chair in the house of burgesses, with its graceful cabriole legs and high paneled and pedimented back, is centered against the wainscoted wall of a circular platform at the end of the room and is effectively silhouetted against a large bull's-eye window.
Here Bob Cooley, Negro custodian of the capitol during the Revolutionary period, would dust off a chair for each entering statesman 'with the solemn aspect of the dignitary who sat in it.' In the office of the clerk of the house hangs a full-length portrait of Washington by Charles Willson Peale, a replica of one in Philadelphia. On the second floor are council and committee rooms. The Council Chamber in the south bay of the west wing is a stately oval room above the general court, decorated in Palladian style with 14 Jacobean chairs around the green baize-covered table; here hangs a good portrait of Queen Anne after the school of Kneller. The gallery over the lower central arcade was used as a conference room where councilors and burgesses met together. Among other portraits in the capitol are those of Queen Mary by Sir Godfrey Kneller; of William III by Sir Peter Lely; and of Queen Elizabeth, full length, by Marc Gheerardts.
The original building, erected under the 'overseer-ship' of Henry Cary between 1701 and 1705, was burned in 1747 and rebuilt in 1751-53. The second building, which had a western portico admired by Jefferson, was burned in 1832. Restoration began in 1929.
The general assembly met here from 1704 until 1779, having used the Wren Building of the college during the five previous years. Many important events of the Revolutionary period took place here. On December 24, 1779, the assembly met here for the last time before its removal to Richmond.
On the eastern side of the capitol is the SITE OF THE OLD EXCHANGE, an open space that served as official trading center of the colony.
24. Near by on the west is the PUBLIC RECORD OFFICE, a brick building under reconstruction (1939). It was erected about 1751 for the 'preservation of the Public Records and papers of the colony' after the capitol had burned. Once popularly known as the 'Secretary's office,' it is the only building still standing that was used by the Colonial government for administrative purposes.
27. RALEIGH TAVERN (open 10-6 daily summer, 10-5 winter; adm. $0.50), an L-shaped white weatherboard building with 18 dormer windows, has been completely reconstructed on its original foundation. A bust of Sir Walter Raleigh is above the door. The interior is faithfully furnished in late eighteenth-century style. The rear wing is a modern kitchen. Built sometime before 1742, the tavern was once owned by John Blair; its first known keeper was Henry Wetherburn.
In 1769 the Raleigh began its career as a center of sedition when the burgesses, dissolved because of resolutions against the British Revenue Act, convened in the Apollo Room as the 'late representatives of the people' and adopted the Non-Importation Agreement. Hilaritas sapientiae et bonae vitae proles (jollity is the offspring of wisdom and good living) is the motto over the mantel. This room was the frequent rendezvous of Jefferson, Henry, and other Revolutionary patriots. They met here in 1773 to develop intercolonial committees of correspondence. Dissolved by Dunmore, the burgesses met again in the Apollo Room in May 1774. The tavern was an institution. Auctions as well as balls were held under the Raleigh's aegis. La Fayette was entertained at a banquet here in 1824, and the building was still used as a tavern until it burned in 1859. Portraits of La Fayette by Samuel Lovett Waldo and of Henry St.George Tucker by W.J.Hubard hang here.
32. DR.BLAIR'S APOTHECARY SHOP (open 9-5 weekdays) is one of the earliest drug stores in America. This small brick building, once called the 'Unicorn's Horn,' was erected early in the eighteenth century by Archibald Blair. Its swag roof, gabled with a 'kick out,' is not unusual in Tidewater Virginia. Prentis & Company, occupants at the time of the Revolution, were consignees of the shipment of tea that a 'Yorktown Tea Party' threw into the river from a British ship in 1774.
33. The LUDWELL-PARADISE HOUSE (open 10-6 daily summer, 10-5 winter; adm. $0.25) is a rectangular brick building erected about 1717 by Philip Ludwell II, stepson and heir of Sir William Berkeley's widow. The architecture of this typical early Georgian Colonial house is notable for the pleasing arrangement of the 18-pane windows and the basketweave effect of its Flemish bond brick, accented with glazed headers. The compact low hip-roof building has a fine denticulated cornice. A lean-to at the back provides additional space. The white frame kitchen, the cover of the well, and the brick stables at the end of the long narrow garden have all been reconstructed from their foundations. The Ludwells, who probably used this town house during the legislative season, were wealthy planters. Eccentric Lucy Ludwell Paradise, daughter of Philip Ludwell and widow of John Paradise, a scholarly Londoner who was a friend of Dr. Johnson, returned in 1805 to live here until she was confined in the asylum. She horrified London society by pouring hot tea on a gentleman who displeased her, and it is said that in this house she received visitors in her coach, which was rolled back and forth in the hall. Well preserved, the house needed slight repair by the Restoration.
34. The OLD COURTHOUSE (open 9-9 daily), on Courthouse Green, is a well-proportioned T-shaped one-story brick building with a cupola. The entrance is protected by a cantilevered, gabled hood. It was erected in 1770 to serve as hustings court of the city and courthouse for James City County, in which only half of Williamsburg originally lay. The building now houses the WILLIAMSBURG RESTORATION ARCHEOLOGICAL EXHIBIT, a collection of objects recovered during excavation of building sites, a series of photographs showing progressive stages of restoration, and the eighteenth-century Bodleian copperplate of Williamsburg's public buildings.
37. BRUTON PARISH CHURCH (open 9-12, 1-5 daily), apparently the oldest Episcopal church of uninterrupted use in America, is a mellow red brick building of early Virginia Colonial design. Tall white-shuttered windows, well proportioned and nicely spaced, run along the sides and east end. Above the cornice of the square tower at the west end rises a two-tiered octagonal steeple. Within is the spacious box pew of the Colonial governor, sheltered by an elegant canopy and bearing the royal insignia.
Bruton Parish was created in 1674 through the union of two earlier parishes. A new church on land donated by Colonel John Page, ordered built in 1679 and completed in 1683, was inadequate for the fashionable crowds after Williamsburg became the capital. Governor Spotswood drew the plans and supervised construction of the present structure, which was built in 1710-15. The tower was not constructed, it seems, until 1769. The interior was altered in 1838-40 but restored in 1905-07 under supervision of the rector, Dr. Goodwin. Beneath the aisles and in the yard are buried many distinguished Virginians, including Governor Edward Nott, Lieutenant Governor Francis Fauquier, Judge John Blair, and three secretaries of state. The church preserves a seventeenth-century marble font from Jamestown, Bibles, and three communion services. A silver flagon, dated 1756, chalice dated 1764, and alms basin are supposed to have been given to Bruton Parish by Governor Fauquier between 1759 and 1768. The silver service presented by Lady Rebecca (Staunton) Gooch to the college is kept here. The cup has the hallmark of London's Peter Maraden, and the plate is dated 1737. The third service preserved here is the chalice, paten, and basin given by Acting-Governor Francis Moryson in 1661-62, 'For the use of James City Parish Church.'
39. The JOHN BLAIR HOUSE (private), a snug story-and-a-half frame house with a chimney set in the middle of the roof and five dormers unevenly spaced, was built about 1747 by John Blair, Sr., enlarged later to accommodate two families, and recently restored. John Blair, Sr., twice acting-governor, was a merchant and father of John Blair, Jr., ardent supporter of the cause of independence and a signer of the Non-Importation Agreement in 1769. He served as a judge and chief justice of the general court and as judge of the Virginia high court of chancery. He was grand master of the first Grand Lodge of Masons in Virginia, organized in 1778. Chancellor Blair was one of the Virginia delegates to the Constitutional Convention in 1787 and a signer of the Constitution. Washington appointed him in 1789 a justice of the United States Supreme Court, from which he resigned in 1796. John Marshall probably lived in this house while studying law with George Wythe.
43A. The MATTHEW WHALEY SCHOOL (open school hours), N. end Nassau St., only public school for white children in Williamsburg, is a large, well-equipped brick building of simple design, completed in 1931. Its name revives that of the school founded in 1706 for the poor of Bruton Parish by Mary Whaley and provided with L50 by her will in 1742, to 'eternalize the name of Matty's School by Matty's name forever.' Matty died in 1705, aged nine. The original 'Matty's Free School' occupied three frame buildings just outside town and continued 'the teaching of the neediest children of the Parish of Bruton in the art of reading, writing, and arithmetic' probably until the Revolution, but without benefit of the legacy. Payment was refused by Mrs. Whaley's executor, and the suit dragged on for more than 120 years. In 1866 the College of William and Mary, as new trustees, received $8,470 and the following year opened the 'Grammar and Matty School' in Brafferton Hall.
45. The WYTHE HOUSE (open 9-1, 2-5 weekdays, 2-5 Sun.; adm. $0.25), a rectangular brick mansion, has two built-in chimneys and a hip roof. The simplicity and disposition of the windows is unusually satisfying. Richard Taliaferro, 'one of our most skillful architects,' built the house in 1755 and left it in 1775 to his son-in-law, George Wythe. Admitted to the bar at 20, Wythe was the first professor of law in America, the teacher of Thomas Jefferson, John Marshall, James Monroe, and Henry Clay; the first Virginia signer of the Declaration of Independence; chairman of the committee that designed the seal of Virginia; delegate to the Constitutional Convention, although absent when the Constitution was signed; and chancellor of Virginia from 1778 to 1801. In his opinion on the case of Commonwealth v. Caton, 1782, Wythe established himself as one of the first formulators of the American theory of judicial review: 'If the whole legislature . . . should attempt to overleap the bounds . . . I, in administering the public justice of the country, will meet the united powers at my seat in this tribunal; and pointing to the Constitution, will say to them, Here is the limit of your authority; and hither shall you go but no further.' He died in 1806 from poison administered by a nephew-an impatient heir-and is buried in St. John's Churchyard, Richmond.
The house was Washington's headquarters before the Siege of Yorktown and Rochambeau's afterward. Restored under the supervision of the Reverend Dr. William Goodwin, it was deeded in 1931 to Bruton Parish and used as a parish house until 1937. Here hangs the only known portrait of George Wytbe, copied from a lost original.
47. The GOVERNOR'S PALACE (open 10-6 daily summer,10-5 winter; adm. $1) is an authentic reconstruction of the brick house erected as a residence for royal governors soon after Williamsburg became the capital. A wide green flanked by a double driveway leads to the palace and its dependencies. At the end of the green the driveway turns in a loop before a fine iron-grilled gate. This stately entrance, topped with an elaborately scrolled heading and flanked by the British lion and unicorn, leads into a formally landscaped forecourt enclosed by the palace building, two dormered flankers, and a curving brick wall at the front.
The palace rises two full stories to a denticulated cornice beneath a steep and many-dormered hip roof, surmounted by a balustraded platform and a tall lantern cupola rising in two octagonal stages between multiple chimneys. The design of the five-bay facade is in keeping with the earliest phase of the Georgian style-narrow many-paned sash windows with wide architraves set almost flush with the brick openings, a simple square-transomed doorway beneath a centered wrought-iron balcony, and a brick string course between the first and second stories. The plan of the main block was originally square, but in 1751 it was extended by the addition of a 'ball-room' wing at the rear. In the gable end of this wing the royal arms of the first Georges, wood-carved and gaily painted, overlook the palace gardens.
About a reconstructed KITCHEN and SCULLERY, close to the west side, cluster small brick outbuildings-smokehouse, laundry, dairy; and there are still others on the east side. The huge formal gardens, roughly square in total plan, embrace a CANAL and FISH POND along the western edge. There are ten separate gardens including box, fruit, and kitchen gardens, a maze, and a bowling green-all completely restored, their rectangular forms thickly set in eighteenth-century fashion with trim hedges and walks in intricate geometrical patterns.
The interior is notable for its fine woodwork. The wide entrance hall, most of the passages, and several smaller rooms are fully paneled. In other rooms the wall surfaces and some of the woodwork have been painted in the original soft shades of gray-green, yellow, and blue. The walls of the library, directly above the entrance hall, are covered with antique Spanish tooled leather. Furnishings and interior decoration, chiefly in mid-eighteenth-century style, have been restored in lavish detail. As mentioned by Lord Botetourt, coronation portraits of George III and Queen Charlotte, by the court painter Allan Ramsay, hang against the pale blue walls of the large and stately ballroom, flanking the door to the music room. Among other portraits in the palace are those of the Honorable Mary Howard, by Sir Peter Lely; of Charles II and Catherine of Braganza, after the school of Lely; and of Charles I and Queen Henrietta Maria, by Van Dyck.
The construction of this haven for 'exiled' royal lieutenants was begun in 1705 under Henry Cary. The bulk of the work was accomplished under the direction of Governor Spotswood, and the building was completed by 1720. The palace was the hub of Virginia social life-convivial symbol of royal prestige and fount of royal authority until 1775. Governor Fauquier held intellectual bachelor dinners with Dr. William Small, George Wythe, and Thomas Jefferson. Here Sy Gilliat, slave violinist to Governor Botetourt, played for entertainments. Possessed of 50 suits, Gilliat usually wore a 'powdered brown wig, with side curls and a long cue,' and 'His manners were as courtly as his dress.' The building burned in 1781, while in use as a hospital for American soldiers wounded at Yorktown. Two smaller structures facing the forecourt were torn down in 1863.
The entire establishment and extensive gardens have been reconstructed since 1930 upon their excavated foundations according to a plan drawn by Jefferson; an illustration of the buildings as they appeared between 1732 and 1747, which was found on a copperplate in the Bodleian Library at Oxford; and almost 300 pages of source material. Minute inventories taken by three governors and many contemporary descriptions have made possible accurate restoration and refurnishing.
51. The ST.GEORGE TUCKER HOUSE (private), though large and built in the Early Republican period, has the simplicity of an earlier day. From the central portion the white clapboard structure rambles pleasantly beneath dormered gable roofs at descending levels. The restored kitchen, with its massive chimney at the western end, is again in use. St.George Tucker, a native of Bermuda, bought the property from Edmund Randolph in 1788 and enlarged the house to its present size. Tucker, successor to George Wythe as professor of law at the College of William and Mary, wrote the Annotated Edition of Blackstone's Commentaries (1804), first American text on law.
53. SIR JOHN AND PEYTON RANDOLPH HOUSE (adm. by arrangement) is a long rectangular frame dwelling erected about 1715. Built as two dwellings, the house was bought in 1724 by Sir John Randolph, whose 'person,' according to The Virginia Gazette, was 'of the finest turn imaginable.' Sir John was an enlightened economist whose services as Virginia's representative in London ushered in the colony's greatest period of prosperity. His mission in 1729 resulted in a loosening of restrictions on colonial trade, and led, through passage of Virginia's tobacco inspection law in 1730, to the vast expansion of tobacco trade during the next half century. On his trip in 1732 to present 'The Case of the Planters of Tobacco in Virginia' he played an important part in the controversy over Sir Robert Walpole's tobacco excise bill. His grasp of the theory and advantages of excise taxation so impressed Walpole that he was knighted-the only native Virginian ever so honored-by George II, then under Walpole's thumb. He was the first to report legal cases in Virginia and collected papers used later by William Stith, his nephew, as sources for the first comprehensive Virginia history.
Sir John's son, Peyton Randolph, who inherited the home, was chairman of the first three Virginia conventions and first president of the First Continental Congress. His service in the cause of revolution ended by his death in 1775. The generals, Rochambeau and La Fayette, had headquarters here before the Siege of Yorktown. Mrs. Mary Monroe Peachy, owner of the house in 1824, entertained La Fayette. 'When he left the tavern nearly all the company followed him to his quarters at Mrs. Peachy's where a number of ladies assembled to see him.'
56. The PUBLIC GAOL (open10-6 daily summer, 10-5 winter; adm. $0.50), an irregular red brick building, restored to its appearance in 1773 for exhibition only, was Virginia's first 'penitentiary.' Its thick walls, partly original, with small barred windows-unglassed during the eighteenth century-extend around a narrow exercise yard. The cells, behind stout nail-studded doors, were formerly crowded with prisoners who suffered sometimes fatally from winter cold. Early in the eighteenth century the gaol was called a 'strong, sweet prison for criminals'-far too 'sweet' in 1718 for nine of Blackbeard's pirates, whose term ended on what was afterwards known as Gallows' Road. In front of the building stand reproductions of the original pillory and stocks. Built simultaneously with the capitol and enlarged several times, the public gaol, where important political prisoners were held during the Revolution, served the colony as general prison until 1779, when it became the city jail.
57. The COKE-GARRETT HOUSE (private) is a rambling white frame building 90 feet long in landscaped grounds including a large wheel-shaped rose garden. The severe porch on the center section is supported by five square, fluted columns. The oldest part, the west wing, built before 1750, has a fine Chinese Chippendale staircase. John Coke, a goldsmith, owned the house from about 1750 until his death in 1767, when it was inherited by his son Robey. Shortly after the Revolution it passed to the Garrett family.
61. BASSETT HALL (private), approached by an avenue of fine old elms, is a white frame building in Georgian Colonial style; its attractive outbuildings, partly original, stand in an extensive garden. Built before 1753, Bassett Hall was owned until 1800 by Colonel Philip Johnson, a burgess, who sometimes let it as a tavern. He sold it to Burwell Bassett, a nephew of Martha Washington. It is said that here the Irish poet, Thomas Moore, wrote 'To the Firefly,' after seeing lightning bugs for the first time. Thought until recently to have been owned by President John Tyler, the house actually belonged to Abel P. Upshur, a member of his cabinet. Damaged by fire in 1930, the restored hall is now the Williamsburg home of John D. Rockefeller, Jr.
64. The SEMPLE HOUSE (private), fully restored, a dignified white frame building in early Federal style, shows the restraining influence of the Adam mode. The two-story central portion with an unusually high ceiling presents its gable to the street and opens on probably the finest porch in Williamsburg-small, gabled, and supported by two slender Doric columns. The home of two judges of the general court-James Semple, professor of law at the College of William and Mary, and John B. Christian-and perhaps of a third, Hugh Nelson, it was long identified as the home of Peyton Randolph until his will, discovered in 1911, was later consulted, locating his house on Nicholson Street.
80. TAZEWELL HALL (private), a large, unrestored, unpainted frame house with a shallow double porch, was built about 1760 across the end of England Street by John Randolph, last royal attorney general for the Virginia colony, and shifted to its present site about 1918. A staunch loyalist, Tory John Randolph's sympathies were quite unlike those of his brother, Peyton, and of his son, Edmund, who became the first Attorney General of the United States and then Secretary of State. At the beginning of the Revolution John moved to England, where he died impoverished and longing for Virginia. This lavish establishment was the main dwelling on a 1,500-acre plantation. Tory John took pride in the extensive gardens and wrote a Treatise on Gardening. The house was bought by justice John Tazewell in 1778.
81. The small brick structure in the exercise yard of the Eastern State Hospital was the KITCHEN OF THE OLD CUSTIS HOUSE, built about 1714. Daniel Parke Custis, Martha Washington's first husband, lived here for many years.
81A. EASTERN STATE HOSPITAL (adm. by arrangement), S. side Francis St., occupying a group of stone and brick buildings on 800-acre grounds, is the oldest public asylum for the insane in America. Originally called the Lunatic Hospital and known as 'Mad House' or 'Bedlam,' it was chartered in 1768 and opened in 1773. James Galt, whose family managed the asylum through four generations, was the first superintendent. This hospital, the first to relinquish the idea that a lunatic asylum is a place of horror, is the first of its kind to care for Negro insane. Free Negroes were taken in from the beginning, and slaves after 1846, but Negroes have had separate quarters since 1850. The original buildings burned long ago. The institution (1939) cares for more than 1,600 patients.
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