Friday, October 2, 2009

Williamsburg, and Independence from the British Crown

Since we had to get Vicki's mom to the airport in Richmond on Thursday, we decided to remain in Urbanna for a few more days and take in the local sites by auto. First stop was Williamsburg. Yes we were there for Big Fast Boat Bob's Birthday Bash (try to say that fast 5 times) last month, but did not really explore Colonial. So off we went. First stop was of course lunch. Bob and Stephanie recommended a cheese shop. It was great--a plate of different domestic and imported cheeses and a bottle or two of a fine wine. A finer lunch we could not have had.

Having a bit of the "jolly", it was off to explore revolutionary city and the reenactments colonial times and the war for independence. First, at the playhouse, we saw three short skits of what live theater presented then
The Declaration of Independence was read from the Governor's Mansion to the townspeople. Many actors were in attendance and were participating in the reenactment with cheers and other complicated lines.

Several colonial citizens were listening intently.

A few others had no choice--like these two colonial wenches found guilty for wearing pants in violation of the Church of England's rules on appropriate dress.

And some would be sitting on the stoop in front of Raleigh's Tavern just passing the time by singing drinking songs.(Try clicking on the arrow to hear what we heard.)

Later the fife and drum corps marched down center street and led a parade.

Benedict Arnold, the turncoat, rode into town and overtook Williamsburg. They raised the British flag over the capital and announced the rules of occupation. He also tried to convince everyone that Washington's army had been defeated and told everyone to come back under the King. That, of course, went over like a lead balloon and the other costumed actors delved into their large repertoire of complicated lines and booed him. Also, as you know, Arnold was later captured and hung by the neck till dead!

Later, George himself rode into town to address citizens and the allied American army that had been gathering at Williamsburg and eager to engage Cornwallis at Yorktown. (Again, try clicking on the arrow to hear what we heard)

Of course, Washington defeated Cornwallis at Yorktown. The Americans were independent of the British Crown. It was a great day reliving history. It was a long drive back to the boat, so we hightailed it out of Williamsburg before we were reenacted into the War of 1812!

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