tv Colonial Williamsburg CSPAN December 5, 2015 11:00pm-3:26am EST
on the eve of the american revolution williamsburg, virginia, was a bustling capital city, home to a large enslaved population. american history tv returns to the williamsburg at the 1770's where we are live from the historic district. we will see revolutionaries and loyalists mingle on the streets. the house of burgesses, where george washington once served, and the governor's palace, home to king george. we will also be taking your questions as we talked to historians, curators, and interpreters that will all be aboard the c-span bust today. joining us is colonial williamsburg president mitchell reiss. thank you for being here this morning, i appreciate it. williamsburg president mitchell reiss. thank you for being here this morning, i appreciate it. mitchell: my pleasure.
>> for someone who has never visited colonial williamsburg, how do you describe it? mitchell: well, i think it is important for people to know it is more than the sum of its parts. you have 88 buildings that have you have 88 buildings that have been immaculately preserved. you have world-class interpreters who are impersonating some of our nation's founding fathers. you have a remarkable campus with retail stores, world-class hotels, golf, tennis, baseball, and wonderful restaurants. it really is something for everybody but what it is more than that is a very special place, because it is really where our country began. it was here in williamsburg where the first discussions and debates took place over whether we should be independent, how we should become americans, and in fact that debate led to a
decision to become independent, to declare that and to fight for it and when it ultimately. all of those stories took place in colonial times in williamsburg and we create that and connect people to our heritage every day. >> how do you do that? what is happening in 1774 that you are reflecting? mitchell: we have a variety of ways in which we can do this. there is a wonderful website. people can curate a little bit of their tour even before they arrive. the buildings are will preserve that are really there to tell blessed and we are very in having some of the most talented storytellers in the country right here to interact with our guests every day, to explain what it was like to live in the early 18th century, through colonial times, that revolutionary upheaval. to understand what it meant to be enslaved for
african-americans in that time, and that dark chapter in our country's history. there is something important to connect to. the issues we are hearing today on the presidential trail, immigration, tax reform, individual rights, state rights, all of those stories and debate began here and you can reconnect with them every day. >> when and why was this idea of representing the 1770's colonial williamsburg? when did it come about and why? mitchell: it was the brainchild of a remarkable individual, the reverend goodwin, a professor at the college of william and mary next-door and the pastor of the bruton parish church. he decided that this history was too important to continue to decline. he saw the buildings here in eroding so he reached out to
john d rockefeller junior and enlisted his support in restoring 18th century williamsburg. the reverend chose well and wisely, and john d rockefeller and the rockefeller family have been supporters ever since. >> what goes into preserving the buildings today and making it function on an everyday basis? mitchell: as the question suggests, it really is quite a challenge because we do not want people to just look and not touch. we want people to go into the buildings, to see the art and artifacts, to understand what it really meant to live, to go to school, to dine in the 18th century. we have to be very mindful of the legacy that we need to preserve. we have some of the country's leading experts, archaeologists who unearthed the history but preservationists and
conservationists to make sure we continue to stuart this inheritance for future generations. >> commission for colonial williamsburg is so the future -- the mission for colonial williamsburg's so the future will learn from the past. mitchell: that motto goes to the heart of our educational mission, to share with americans and beyond the values and ideals that first took flight here in williamsburg back in the 1770's. how did we become america? how did we decide that we wanted to be independent from the british? the about one third of colonists decided that was what they wanted to do, one third were loyal, and one third were sitting on the sidelines. those discussions took place here. the debates lead to decisions that led to the revolutionary war. independence,our
we had another debate, what does it mean to be an american? all of those discussions took place here, so how can we connect people to that history, to the first successful revolution in the world is something that we think is extremely relevant to current life. >> what do you think are some things that people might not know or realize about colonial williamsburg? before,: as i mentioned i think the scope of what we have to offer here. we have over 300 acres in the historic area and beyond for people to discover, learn, and explore. museums,wo world-class one, the leading full art museum in the country and the leading museum on the revolutionary times, the art and artifacts of that time. many do not know that these museums exist. as i said before, we have great
hotels, dining, and other entertainment. >> we are talking with the president and ceo of colonial williamsburg, mr. mitchell reiss joining us aboard our c-span3 bus this morning live from williamsburg. employees, 1800 volunteers, an annual budget of $200 million, 500 reconstructed buildings. john d rockefeller funded the restoration of the town. where does the budget today come from? mitchell: thank you for asking. patriotsver 100,000 who donate their money to preserve and to promote colonial williamsburg. that role is essential for our financial stability, and we are very grateful for their support.
receive any direct funding from the state or federal government. we also earn money through ticket sales, retail stores, and hotel and dining. we do the core of what really depends on the generosity and philanthropy of over 100,000 people across the country and around the world. greta: what is your role, your job? mitchell: my job is to make sure that we focus on our core educational mission. again, to connect people to this very special place, to be able to tell our stories, to share the values, founding ideals of our founding fathers, and to make sure we can do so in a financially sustainable way. greta: we were recently back in williamsburg in october filming a street scene. 26, 1774 when governor dunmore, the royal
governor of virginia dissolve the house of burgesses. can you help set the stage for the viewers? what was the mood of the colonists? mitchell: it was one of rising rebellion, of anger at the imposition of additional taxes by the brits after the tea party in boston. again, the idea that no taxation without representation, the first tax rebellion to lace at that time. .- took place at that time and the rise of a commercial class that decided they were not going to take this any longer, so tensions rose and spilled over. lord dunmore had to flee in the middle of the night, leaving behind some items which we still have here. reached to a very famous by patrick henry that many people know, and the virginia declaration of rights which became the foundation for our
declaration of independence from the brick. -- brits. the core stories, core values started in colonial williamsburg and that is why this is so important for all americans to connect with. greta: we want to say thank you to you and colonial williamsburg for welcoming american history tv and the c-span bus to williamsburg. thank you, sir, for your time as well. mitchell: my pleasure. please come back anytime. greta: we will be taking your phone calls and text messages after we show you the short little bit from colonial williamsburg. may 26,id, this depict 1774. we will be back in about 15 minutes and we will be talking with >> white is it so onerous -- why
will be stop by an armed force. >> meaning it was highly necessary that [inaudible] the house is usurping criminals who threw tea in the boston harbor. >> patriots who described himself as indian warriors and describe -- destroyed private property. >> heroes or criminals, it does seem a bit unfair to close the -- e harbor sure they know we are honorable in subjects, dedicated to a solution.
>> that is a humiliation prayer. >> i know it to be true. treason, i say. >> progress, i say. not children that men standing up for justice. an you >> they will have your and >> they will have your head. >> we have a port, we have a harbor, we have tea. in and in and >> is that not the in governor approaching? >> someone must have warned him about this. >> warned him about what? what will happen when the king and his governor tread on the an rights of people? >> fetch me those.
>> my fellow virginians, i know what many of you may be thinking. what does this have to do with me? your homes and visitors are being taxed as unfairly as any bostonians. let me remind you that the king's right hand has announced he was not here to complain. i ask you, my neighbors, as loyal subjects to our king, we have grievances. but it must not fly in the face of authority. >> the governor will close our board. it is unspeakable. >> it is not unspeakable. that can happen to anyone of these new colonies. now, we need to band together and declare to those great sons of liberty to the north that we shall fight for our right. here!e,
>> the people of williamsburg, subjects of his most gracious majesty king george iii, i stand before you a vexed and a troubled man, betrayed as you have been betrayed. as right good people, you have been betrayed by the very men that you yourselves elected to be your voice and government. on the 16th night of december last, 1773, traitorous men disguised as indians and in the dead of night in the port of boston on board three ships of the east india company. , they sent some $10,000 worth of tea into the
sea in order to prevent a tax upon private property. parliament, with his majesty, of necessity closed boston harbor until the tea is paid for, to be affected on the first day of june but six days hence. liberty isme done to of no bother to us in virginia. harsh punishment for those crimes has been attempted. the king's justice has been served. yet, your burgesses do not agree. indeed, your burgesses have adopted a resolution for a day of fasting, humiliation, and prayer in sympathy for those
destroyers of property, and wanton lawbreakers in boston. now, some may ask, what harm may be done by a call for prayer? what possible affronts need to be taken for a day of fasting? i declare to you that such a call is not benign. it is a call for allegiance with bulls and traders. the burgesses know all too well that a day of fasting and prayer i only be decreed by his majesty. or here in this colony, by myself as appointed executive. and yet, in some dangerous state of delusion, these burgesses have ordained themselves proclaim it. i hold in my hand the paper
published by this house, received in such terms as reflect so gravely upon his majesty and the parliament of great britain that it is required me to dissolve them. and i therefore dissolve your house of burgesses accordingly. god save the king. >> god save virginia. >> gentlemen and ladies, we have been dissolved. and we will accordingly remove ourselves from this house. we serve at the pleasure of his excellency and it is our duty to obey governor dunmore. he is the king's voice here in virginia. you that we have an
even greater duty, and that is to you good people. you elected us to represent you and your interests, the rights of representation flows through the blood of every briton. i see the actions of one man, whether he be governor or came, cannot wash away magna carta. [applause] he has dissolved this house, dissolved our obligation to remove all cause of danger to american liberty. this attack on boston is an attack upon us all. we may not be able to pass laws being dissolved but that does not mean we cannot remain strong in support of our revolution. therefore, let it be declared and resolved that this house -- i should say, this former house,
should meet once again two days and itn the tavern, should be the consideration of a non-importation of association great britain. we should not purchase british goods until we are recognized as full british subjects. now, i hope to see all of you on the first day of june at briton parish for a holiday of fasting, humiliation, and prayer so maybe ask for divine interposition to inspire into the mind of his majesty and parliament to avert this heavy calamity that threatens the destruction of our civil rights through the evils of war. god save us all, my fellow countrymen, and may god save virginia.
>> god save virginia. >> we cannot have an illegal government. >> it is not illegal. what it is is the elected officials in town are meeting unofficially. there is no treason. they are going to be after hours. they are not meeting in an official capacity. they are not burgesses. >> i do not understand how the king wishes to have his debt repaid. >> that is not the point. they say they are protesting peacefully but they did not take into account that those people who are not with them, they tore ar and feather them. as years ago with the boston massacre, they decided to go in the royal governor's house with women and children inside. anyone who does not agree with them will suffer violent repercussions. >> whatever they determine on is
simply an agreement amongst gentlemen. they are not meeting as a government. you cannot enforce anything when you have no authority. >> this is a radical action. you do realize all the county militias are going back under the control of the county tenants. as they should be. the governor cannot call them up anymore. >> is there 3000, 6000 red coats on their way now? are they going to close the port? >> no, we can create our own forces here in virginia, put together our own men to give the right men control. we put together our own virginia forces. >> those very same men that are talking about the rights of the
freeborn britain are the same who write laws who make me channel custody. you can sell us and by us as you see fit. but they complain about their right to liberty. greta: we are back live on american history tv on c-span3. we are in the colonial williamsburg historic area where the c-span bus is at the end of the palace green in that area. aboard the bus is historian joseph beatty, manager of historical research and training at colonial williamsburg. our viewers were just watch ing what happened. who was governor dunmore? -- governor dunmore? joseph: he was the last royal governor of virginia who came to
the united states in 1771 when things were in a state of turmoil. he stayed through the very earliest parts of the rising conflict as the revolution started, but left williamsburg in 1775 and left virginia in 1776. greta: why? joseph: things really heated up. what we just saw with the dissolving of the house in some ways really kind of marked a point of no return for any hopes of peaceful reconciliation with the royal government. to,so things really started tension started to rise and people in town, after the house was dissolved the burgesses set up a shadow government and
eventually, things sort of came to a head. at the same time that lexington and concorde fought their fight, here in williamsburg we saw order,he governor's powder removed from the magazine here in town. this really was in some ways the spark that set things off, and this led to some real, open confrontation really with the governor. i think he found it unsafe to be here in town anymore and decided that he was safer elsewhere. greta: what was the house of burgesses? joseph: the house of burgesses was the legislative body that represented virginians. it was the first representative body in colonial british north america. andas established in 6019
in some ways it was kind of modeled after parliament. each county sent two representatives to the house and electors, the qualifications for my made a person and a lector changed over time. by the time we get to the 18th century, looking at land owning white and, they had to hold the minimum amount of land. these folks elected representatives to the house of burgesses, and these folks really worked on the laws of the colony with the governor and his counsel sitting on top of this mirroring theways structure of parliament. greta: what our viewers just saw, did that really happen and how do we know? joseph: it did happen. indeed dissolve the house of burgesses.
thomas jefferson wrote in his diary, and wrote letters to other folks describing and recollecting the events of the day. it was certainly a memorable occasion for them. dunmore was not the first and only governor to dissolve the house of burgesses. this was in the governor's prerogative. this incident was a little bit different because as tensions dunmore increasing, really saw this as and a front to his authority, i think, and a challenge to royal authority. the house at that point was really sort of acting in open particularly with their open and vocal support of their countrymen in
massachusetts, dunmore felt as the scene per trade that this was intended really to stir the population -- as the scene portrayed, that this was intended to stir the population. and start the population against him. i have lost myself. greta: that is ok. let me ask you this -- at this point in 1774, how long had virginia been a colony and what did that mean? joseph: virginia had been a colony since 1607. that is almost 170 years. so virginia was the first successful, permanent british colony in north america. it predated massachusetts or
plymouth by 13 years. virginia was in some ways , it was the largest and most populous colony in british north america. was really a powerful outpost of the british empire, so for this to be happening it was a significant event. really,ink dunmore maybe going a little too far to say he took this personally i think he took this a little personally, especially as the weresses in his mind really acting in open defiance. greta: we are talking with historian joseph betty this history tv,merican live from colonial williamsburg. he will be taking your questions .nd tech -- texts
if you live on the east coast, -8900. if you live on the -8901.oast, 202-748 you can join the conversation on and we willtwitter take your comments from there as well. beatty, you are talking about virginia becoming one of the first colonies, but how did it compare to the other colonies? startedso virginia was really as a commercial , which is in some ways much different from the impulses that started the colonies that plymouth and massachusetts, they were looking for religious freedom or freedom
from religious persecution. virginia was really established as a business venture. they were seeking gold. they did not really find it. they were seeking timber, which they found an awful lot of. they were looking to turn this into a commercial venture, to extend the new and emerging british empire. in some ways, that makes virginia as early days -- virginia's early days different from some of the other colonies. some are formed on the principle of religious freedom or freedom from religious persecution, and others are founded more on a commercial basis. i think virginia is the first of these that starts out really in the essence of trade. greta: what challenges did virginia present that these other states did not, to the british? years orn the early
just as a colony in general? greta: as a colony in general. as they set it up as a business venture. what challenges were there? joseph: one of the challenges is that people who are interested improvingmoney and their share in life do not always take a long-term view of their situation. if you look at plymouth or massachusetts, the colony was settled by families, by men and women, sometimes children. we see multigenerational families moving and they , and sort ofowns group along the model of towns as the center of their community . in the sort ofa,
commercial enterprise after they made it through the really difficult first years where merely staying alive was a real challenge, once the colony started to develop, folks who came here were mostly men. not to say that there were not women, but predominately a male population and they were looking at and interested in making some money, and hopefully heading back to england. they did not do things like build towns in the same way as they did in new england. once tobacco becomes really the cash crop of virginia, it forces and encourages the population to , whichout and disperse means that we do not see here in virginia in the very early years the kind of robust community center and towns like we do in new england.
virginia was in some ways kind of challenging environment to live in with disease and all this, but it was a sort of challenging environment also because of the way the population started to move around, and the way the economy started to develop. greta: let's get to calls here for mr. beatty. >> thank you for this program. i am disabled and am not able to get to williamsburg, but this is a wonderful program and i appreciate it. dunmoreion is, lord tried to incite the black slaves to join the british side. he offered them their freedom. how did this affect the blacks in williamsburg, and about how many at that time were slaves and how many were free? thank you.
joseph: that is a great question. there are really two things in here. proclamation offered freedom to enslaved people who would fight for the british side at the beginning of the war. this had really important and powerful ramifications here in town. it really, really stirred up people here against dunmore, against royal authority. it is kind of ironic because to,ore's goal in this was he almost wanted to do something so profoundly shocking that it s tod stir the loyalist rise up from their slumber and put down this rebellion. instead, it had the opposite effect.
rather than stirring up up thets, it stirred rebels to really fight harder and stronger. in williamsburg at the time of the revolution, the population 1880,n the city was according to the 1775 senses. about 52% of that population was african-american. the majority of those folks were enslaved. a small but significant number of people fled to dunmore's side , enough that he was able to muster together his ethiopian regimen. but i do not know that it had quite the effect he had wished that it would have, either in terms of its outcome with loyalists or with stirring up the population.
i mean, any support from enslaved people. this was, if you consider the perspective of enslaved people considering this decision, this is fraught. do you choose to stay on with the situation that you know, or face a situation that in many ways is entirely unknown? you do not know what commitment the british have two holding up their end of the bargain. that is a great question. greta: we will hear from linda next in michigan. >> thank you. williamsburg this august, and i have been there years before. i do have a question, how often do they go through the buildings to redo them and stuff to keep things up to par?
was, whenhe fighting washington and adams and the other founders came, how long were they there in williamsburg to start the capital in williamsburg? thank you very much and have a great day. joseph: thank you. that first question, i love this question. thank you for asking it. we have curators of our historic properties, and maintenance folks that go through our properties and our buildings on thetating basis, and do really valuable and essential maintenance to keep them standing. we have a powerful charge to steward these buildings and sites and stories into the future. it would not be possible without these folks who do that every
day. the schedule of building maintenance, and it was projected out for three or four years. and this is an incredible ongoing process. some sites see maintenance annually. everyites see maintenance two to three years. some sites see maintenance maybe every nine years or so. it is essential to do this kind of work. we sort of take it for granted that these buildings stand and are in good repair. it is through the really hard work of the folks who go in and make sure that things are sound and stable, and touch up the paint. it is a wonderful site to walk down the street here and to see ourguests stop and watch workers paint the building. they ask about, how do you do
that? it is a really cool thing to see. question, i am sorry. greta: i was going to remind you, she asked about when the founding fathers came to williamsburg and how long they were there. joseph: it sort of depending on who they were. some unlike washington would come when the house of burgesses was in session so he would stay for a couple weeks or months at a time. someone like jefferson who attended the college of william studied and studied here in town -- studied here in town, would have been here much longer. ,s the colonial capital essentially all of the really important business at the colonial level was administered here.
if these individuals had business that needed to be done with the state, they had to come here. this was a busy place with people coming and going and visiting, sometimes for longer and sometimes for shorter. by all accounts, it was a pretty happening place. greta: when did williamsburg become the capital? joseph: williamsburg becomes the virginia in 1699. from 1607o that, -- 21698 the capital was in jamestown. in 1698, the statehouse in jamestown burned down to the third time and they started to look for -- they took the opportunity to see if there was a better location. williamsburg at that time was known as middle plantation.
it was the home to the college of william and mary. it had an established church at bruton parish. a couple of college students and their professor leaned a little bit, or lobbied on the assembly to say, maybe you should consider coming here. geographically we are in a relatively high location, about right in the middle of the peninsula. we have fairly good water access to both the york and james river systems. i think they did the math and decided that a move here to middle plantation would be good, and once they made that decision, changed the name to williamsburg and laid out plans for the city. greta: going back to the dissolving of the house of burgesses, what is the reaction of the town? we saw a little bit of it during that street scene, but what is
the reaction from the town? folks in town had a lot on their minds. the move that caused the house to be dissolved was this call for a day of fasting, humiliation, and prayer in support of their friends in massachusetts. this was because of the boston port act, which was going to close boston. this was one in a long chain of call "thew "the courseacts" or of all attacks -- the co ercible acts."
there was some uncertainty, they did not know what was happening. i think there was some real concern that what was happening in boston could happen here. we in williamsburg do not have the same kind of port that boston has where the british could blockade the port, but our axis here by water is through the mouth of the chesapeake bay. ifre is a real concern that the british could blockade boston, they could blockade that they and that virginians here would face may some of the same kinds of consequences that were happening up in massachusetts. so people were concerned. there was real uncertainty. there have been recent conflicts on the border with pennsylvania. the boston tea party.
there are things that are causing people to have concern. rightly, in here was think people were anxious but once the house reassembled at the raleigh tavern and set up a shadow government, it probably caused another layer of uncertainty because as you heard in some of the chatter on the street afterwards, is this really going to work? can they do this? off, just top things a few weeks after he dissolved the house done more left for -- -- done more d dunmore left. i think people were a little concerned. greta: let's go to richmond,
virginia. william. >> thank you. i am enjoying the show immensely. i have enjoyed wonderful, extemporaneous conversations with the interpreters in colonial williamsburg. how are these people chosen and trained to provide such great in-depth information? thank you. joseph: that is a great question. have a couple different types of interpreters who face the public year. arefolks who are describing probably first-person interpreters who take on a historic personage and act that person's character in life. folks wholy higher have a background in acting, and train them on the historical information they need to support
their role. and so we have several different levels and programs of training that go through preparing people to understand what is happening in williamsburg as a place, what life in the 18th century was like here, and then once that happens, we really sit down with them and pair them up with a historian and help them flesh out the details of their character. we are fortunate that we have a bunch of really talented folks who are out in the historical area who help each other and support each other in finding the best ways of communicating, sharing information, and the best ways of really trying to re-create a sense of what life in the 18th century was like. greta: later on here on the
program this morning, our viewers will get a chance to talk to president thomas jefferson, who will be per trade portrayed byr -- bill barker. next, jacksonville, florida. >> i would like to thank mr. beatty for specifying that virginia was the oldest british colony in north america. one of my many visits of williamsburg coincided with the archaeological dig at the present site of the coffeehouse. i was curious to know whether there were any archaeological digs ongoing, or any future reconstructions like the coffeehouse? joseph: thanks. out, and i to point should rightly point out that the spanish did establish the
first european settlement at saint augustine, right down the road from you. -- yes, about archaeological excavations. we have a variety of excavations going on. i do not want to say all the time, but on an ongoing basis. recently we have done some excavations at whether burn -- tavern.urn's a porch that may have been attached to the site, and we have been working with others in excavations at the bray school. yes, we do have ongoing excavations. i do not think right now we have any grand plans for any new sites to emerge. although just a few weeks ago,
we cut the ribbon -- last week, actually -- cut the ribbon on our new market house which is our newest historic structure in town. if you are familiar with the site here, it sits on market square, more or less between the magazine and the courthouse. this is our newest structure based on archaeological excavations there, and historical architectural research. greta: we are asking viewers to text us their questions as well. one viewer texted in, lord war has been considered to be the first battle of the revolution. can you discuss? at the beginning of the war, what was the percentage of loyalists versus patriots? war may wellre's
be one of the first battles of the revolution. if we consider the timing of things, i think there is some cause to argue that. although i do not want to steal too much thunder from lexington and concorde, but i think there is some claim to this. dunmore left ear and marched off onto the frontier in a place that was growing increasingly down their.d put -- there. i am going to have to ruminate on that. the question about the numbers ,f loyalists here in virginia that starts the beginning of the revolution.
for a long time historians argued about one third of the population was loyalist during the war. recently we have sort of revised those numbers down to about 15 or 20%. williamsburg, we do not loyalists and we see a number of loyalists who advertise in the newspapers that they are quitting the colony, they are settling their business affairs. we see debate in public, in private, in the newspapers where people are clearly debating the loyalist versus patriot causes. really really -- suffered and have a lot at stake during the war, especially
during the early years as things were gaining steam. and so i think there are a number of people here in williamsburg and doubtless elsewhere in virginia, and elsewhere in other colonies who probably kept their thoughts to themselves and decided to ride it out quietly and see what would happen. short answer is, it is kind of hard to say how many loyalists there were but in the big picture, historians are sort of of the mind that it was about 15% to 20%. greta: we will go to yonkers, new york, bob. >> good morning, thank you for taking my call. i had seen a documentary on williamsburg some years ago, pbs. there was
an excavation of one of the large spaces that revealed foundations of 19th century buildings. one of them i think was a civil war hospital. basically two questions. i wondered if any follow-up has been done on that and the second part is related. there was a valid -- a battle of waynesburg in the civil war as well, and i'm curious to find williamsburgle of in the civil war as well, and i am curious to find out if your educational programs address that. joseph: i am not familiar with the excavation. i am trying to locate that excavation that you are referencing, and i do not want to at the wrong information and get off track. let me think on this for a second. your second question, we do not actively interpret the battle of
williamsburg in the civil war. we really focus on the period up to about 1785. but we do have educational through our hero programs, electronic field trips, and our teacher professional development program that handles and teaches about the battle of winesburg. but that -- williamsburg. of that is not really one our core functions, even though it is just down the street. greta: we anticipate next we will hear from a historical interpreter that governor dunmore fled williamsburg in the middle of the night. why did he leave and what did the governor symbolize? could anyone have come in? joseph: dunmore fled in the
middle of the night following the removal of the gunpowder from the magazine or amid the turmoil that erupted after that. ways, because he was i think rightly fearful for his hanover militia under the command of patrick henry was approaching the city, if not here already. though the things that heated up too much, the governor felt it in his best interest to leave. not everyone could enter the palace. it,our viewers have seen there is a wall around it, it is gated.
visitors upon approaching the palace would have been allowed into the front room. thatof their business, at point, it would be determined if their business was allowed to enter into the residence in self. when you enter the front room, there was a room off to the right where business could be done right there in the lobby without allowing people into the rest of the governor's resident. as you step into the front room havee palace, you would seen, as you do today, and impressive display of arms and armaments. , things pistols, swords of this sort. it was a powerful display of force. the kind of force the governor had at his disposal if he chose to use it.
palace was and still remains and impressive structure. the extension of the king's power in this part of the empire. for folks going to see the governor or just passing through town, it was a powerful symbol of royal authority. greta: that is coming up. a tour of that. thank you for feeling questions from our viewers. we appreciate it. joseph: thank you for having me. about 20is runs minutes. after that, we continue on with taking your questions and comments this morning about what is happening in virginia in the 1770's. live this morning on american history tv from colonial williamsburg.
of that design. it was the third-largest building in town. it consisted not only of the building we are standing in but also two advanced buildings, extensive gardens with a can now canal, a laundry, a kitchen, a seller. one governor had more than 6000 bottles of wine in the seller. the -- today, it's a thenstructed tilting on original site. it was finished and open to the public in 1934. since that time, it has gone under numerous refreshing's and interpretations. today, it is furnished as though governor dunmore are living here. his wife and children arrived in virginia in 1774. at the end of that year, lady
dunmore gave birth to a. or, virginia. -- to a daughter, virginia. andune 1775, the governor his family fled the palace in darkness never to return again. today, the curators have we used primary documents such as inventory taken one the governor died. it would be taken on personal possessions. we use letters describing the .alace, accounts also a floor plan drawn by thomas jefferson when he was living here. he had thought every modeling the palace and drew a very detailed floor plan. to richmond,oved virginia and thomas jefferson opportunity to do
three modeling. the palace was not only a symbol of power and authority, it is also a fast and statement -- a fashion statement. you would come here to see the latest fashions in england and printed textiles. we are going to give you a tour of the governors palace with one of our costume interpreters. we don't 20 you to forget this is the best of these colonies. -- don't want you to forget this is the best of these colonies.
these are i suppose a tradition for our governors. castles. those big in england, i'm told there are weapons on the walls. the governor's personal weapons. they are all maintained by our militia. -- our lord dunmore took weapons off the walls last year. aswent to the ohio territory part of virginia. he brought indians out there and even returned here to his house
with a few young warriors. they are living here. it might get very interesting -- i'm not sure if you've heard the news. governoren our loyal ran off in the middle of the night last night. interesting times. you wouldn't think he would feel safe here in this house but apparently not. homily he would attend to his business here at the palace. desk here there is a for his secretary. although apparently he and his wife must have left last night as well.
some ofhe has taken these with him as well. his wife would have never left the pantry door wide open like that. all the valuable things in that pantry. of course the governor would be coming back. why would they leave all of these things behind here? especially all of these. 540 weapons in the display. they are virginia's weapons. governor think the once you having them right now. considering we do not have an official militia at the moment.
our governor is all the government here. now we have something different. i representatives decide to meet anyways. mr. patrick henry made quite a speech in richmond, something ath.t a liberty and deb now we have independent companies. virginia now has a group of armed men in every county. that may have something to do with the governor leaving town last night. not here,how they are what do you say we go upstairs and see the private things of the families? right this way.
here we are. quite a few stairs up to this floor. the trouble with high ceilings. so many stairs. this is the largest bedchamber in the house. it belongs to lady catherine and lady augustine. they are the oldest of the children. and 15 years of age. i think they left in a hurry last night. ladies havee young the large bedchamber because they also take their lessons here in the house. that over there is for their governess. a french governess. we may not like the french but
we do like their style. their important that these young ladies speak french. .hey will be presented now the governor has taken his entire family off. they are sailing up the york river at the moment, which means they are all sharing cabins on a ship. seven children and the governess and their nursemaid and the servants. wishing they are had this much room again. dunmore'snd lady chamber over this way. we will pass through a guestroom as well on our way.
i knew you would like it. lord and lady dunmore share the bedchamber right over here. it's not like they will know the difference if you want to take a look. share.ey do it's not unheard of, you know but they share this entire suite of rooms. lord dunmore has his own dressing room through the next doorway where you see the chamber stool. and here, we have lady dunmore's
dressing room, much bigger of course. fashion ise latest to have the christians not to the walls match the -- the curtains match the walls and the furniture. you see the covers are on the chairs now because of the summertime. it is to protect the furniture from the desk and insect -- dust and insects and children. .oodness, poor lady dunmore she only arrived here last year. she arrived here to join her husband from england and brought six of their children. of arrived here in february later, aen 10 months new member of the family, their
new baby daughter they named lady virginia. old.ust turned six months nighte that trip last with a six month old. actually, this room here used to be the governor's office. now it's a private room for an office. his desk is now in the dining room downstairs so we will see way toning room on our the ballroom. exquisite, isn't it? governor paid out of his own pocket to update his room with the latest style. he's a bachelor, you know.
he even had these warming machines put into the room. very ornate. know.urning, you you see it is expected of our governor here to hold these largest celebrations in honor of their majesties. and queene the third charlotte. january forl was in the queen's birth night. a ball we will be having in the king's honor anytime soon. you know what i mean. everyone is so angry
at the governor these days. it happened back in april. a group of british sailors went over to our magazine and they made off in the middle of the night with the colonies gunpowder. well, everyone here certainly outraged and the governor has not given back that powder yet so apparently he has run out in fear of his life. they ran out of the house 2:00 in the morning through the back door, which is right through here in the supper room. much better than that dining room you saw before.
much better suited to the grand occasion. you can only see it a dozen or so people in that dining room. dinner is the largest meal of the day. largest meal is in the afternoon and you have a light supper in the evening. serve suppers during the balls here on the china. biteems he left quite a kind in this house -- behind in this house and i don't just mean furniture. a governor has a very large staff on this property, 20 pages -- pages servants, one dozen indentured servants, and slaves on the property. hired servants have gone off with the family. the rest of the servants are
still here. i do not know about you but if i were one of the governor's slaves right now and i didn't know if he was ever coming back, well, i might just take the opportunity of the governor being out of town. well, if the governor does not come back, what are they going to do with the place? all this fine furniture. might want to remember your favorite pieces in the house here just in case. and of course, there are the gardens here as well. i hope you enjoyed seeing the governor's house. >> today our visitors see a
mixture of reproduction objects and antiques. these furnishings are all based on the latest research are curators can provide. the governor's palace is just one of many buildings and trade shops available for the modern-day visitor. another look at the governor's palace are -- as we are back live here on american history tv coming to you from colonial williamsburg. our bus is there and aboard the bust, ted is joining us. the vice president of interpretation that williamsburg. he will take your questions, texts, commentary about what is happening and how it works at colonial williamsburg. they begin to set this conversation up with what is the economy like at this time in colonial williamsburg? ted: thank you, greta.
in 1775, we are looking at a complex society, a stressful time. those of us in 2015 like to think we invented both complexity and stress. those living in williamsburg and thehe revolution beginning and especially how it unfolded, were experiencing an economy and society that was changing rapidly. we are looking at a dynamic place. a place that was one of surplus at the beginning of the war and by 1780, the capital had moved to richmond. we are looking at a place of scarcity. we have an 18th urban space. this is where the country and the city connect. rural folks are producing grain, corn, tobacco.
they are finding their way here to the market house. one of the buildings we have just reconstructed his the marketplace. in this market place, one would have encountered all of the products and people that brought the economy to life. we have rural people who have made the treck in for marketing. local people in town who have brought their wares, baked goods to sell. merchants who are discussing prices and shipping. this is a town that is landlocked but has two ports. it is tied in an interval way to the atlantic economy. -- integral way. it is a complex place. greta: how are people making their living at this time? who is successful at it? at: first, we should say
least in 1775, more than half of the population were enslaved. these enslaved people are forging livelihoods within their conditions. improvising. themselvesrlds for and wealth for their owners. most of those living here who are free are middling folks, as we would say. trades people. at colonial williamsburg, we have more than 20 distort trades. makers,ths, basket shoemakers. brick makers. these are people who are making the stuff of 18th-century urban life. tavern keepers. this is a kind of maritime outpost, ship captains sailors, those sorts who are involved in the maritime trade are based
here. economy ofplex of tradespeople, rural folks coming into the city, merchants, small entrepreneurs. greta: phone numbers are up on the screen for our viewers to start diving in. he will be taking your questions and comments, not only about what is happening in virginia in the 1770's include clone you williamsburg, but how they interpret it there every day. how do you go about showing trades? do you show them as they would have been in the 1770's? correct. is i will probably use the word magic quite a bit in our exchange. this is one of the places where we attempt to make magic everyday. our historic tradespeople are living these traits as one would have lived them in the 18th century.
tradespersont as a here, you begin as an apprentice. you get your journeyman papers after 5, 6 years. it is an actual apprenticeship. you gain a certain mastery of your trade the way it was done in the 18th century during whether you are a joiner, cooper, brick maker. when you enter one of our spaces, historic trade spaces, you smell the smoke from the iron. fire smoldering in the corner of the shop. you can hear the pounding of the iron on the end though. -- on the anvil. it is right much a re-creation of an 18th-century experience. inta: the people who work williamsburg, they are interpreting blacksmithing and whatever traits, but this is
also their job. they are making a wage doing this. ted: that is correct. there aren't many places in the united states, north america and where not only is a craft, a trait being preserved, but it is being done by individuals who are living the experience themselves. who can speak to that experience. memory thatof sense someone who has been working in a trade for 20, 25 years, 30 years in some cases. goods that fuel the economy of the 1770's. now, in 2015, we are moving back to a society that values the spoken goods. they make real things, they do it in a railway. it is authentic. greta: what happens to the goods that are produced? the goods to
populate the city, for the city to function. as a destination for our guests. many of our tradespeople are producing goods for other institutions and people who place orders with us. -- brewere, a jewelry y might order casks from the cooper shop. they make it in an 18th-century way. that is part of the value of the ery willthat the brewwer use in the bucket. we use these objects, guests have the opportunity to purchase objects. we have an auction, a colonial colon that takes place -- onial auction. we fill orders internationally for people who are -- value authentic goods. greta: how does it help you run the daily activities and preserve colonial williamsburg?
how much does that bring in? all, from my perspective, programmatic perspective, historians perspective, we are trying to reconstruct an 18th-century world in all of its senses. visually. we want our guests to smell what the 18th-century smelled like. to taste it in our historic foodways products in taverns. to feel the texture of the 18th-century. we want to re-create the path in its five senses. each historic trade, and its own way, does that. they help to bring this place a that isan authentic way magical and draws people here again and again. matter, i think this may be part of what you're asking. it generates a certain amount of
revenue for us to help sustain our operation. not just the trade, but our educational mission. people that we are trying to convey to an ever-changing american audience. lets get to calls. victoria in charleston, s.c.. in williamsburg 15 years or so ago. one thing we like was the music played at the tavern when we had anner and also we talked to widow at the courthouse. my husband talks to thomas jefferson. aat strikes me as being person who lives in charleston, s.c., one of the senses most interesting to me is the music, the hearing. how much do you work with
finding authentic music from calling all times? -- from colonial times? the singer in the tavern was singing songs from the times. could you work with the college of william and mary? do they have a music apartment that would create authentic using? -- music? we got the chance to hear an organ recital but it was not particularly colonial. it seems like you could do more or thatt for parties might be something that would generate revenue and entertain tourists in your town more. i will listen to your response. ted: thank you for your question. that experience in the tavern
and hear that washed over the room while you eat an 18th-century meal, this is the experience that draws people here thought terry music is key. sound of 18th-century. valid years that populate our tavern and experience in the tavern. tavern witchery reimagined as an alehouse at the beginning of the year, and it is not only populated with musicians, but characters who are there. you may find a character menu, a out on the countertop with a mug in his ing sea shanty. tavern life, music, musician,
sound is key. no doubt we could be doing more and we aim to do more. , thewith formal music kinds of music one would have andd in a colonial city less formal music. we have some musicians that we have brought on this year, and you never know where you will see them during your visit. you may encounter them at the market house, someone playing the pipes, fiddle. you may encounter them in the tavern. you may just encounter them on the streets and they are improvising, playing 18th-century tunes. of course, we have our iconic research and we have a number of partnerships with dollars around the country who form our library of music, but yes, absolutely, i
love your idea of creating more partnerships with scholars around the country starting here . thank you. host: our viewers are asking to text questions to you. here are a couple. hi, i am loving see my favorite place on earth on tv. what is the requirement for becoming a historical interpreter and how can you get hired as an apprentice if you have prior experience? guest: thank you for your questions. requirements for being an interpreter here, you have to have passion, a passion for the subject and people. and connecting ideas with people. we hire passionate people, we hire scholarly people and let me
be clear on that means. it is not necessarily mean academically but scholars who pursue knowledge because they are curious and because they , intellectualfire fire they attempt to satisfy. they are scholarly. at the same time, they are -- playful.e these rare people who have passion, our scholars but playful. ,hey can seek to improve adults visiting scholars about ideas and what happened here and how it is relevant to the country, but you could turn on a dime and speak to a seven or eight-year-old about why this place is important and the role of animals. they could use that as a window into everyday society, so passionate, playful scholars is what we are looking for. if that is you, apply for one of our 180 positions that we will be hiring for 2016.
as far as becoming an apprentice tradesperson, i would say they are passionate, playful scholars . our tradespeople do things with their hands and they are masters that ties toabor ideas of the 800. again, for 2016, they will be hiring quite a few new apprentices. of expansion,riod a renaissance of historic trade and the goal is to continue expanding the trades program, so i encourage you to check out our jobs website and apply. thank you. host: how do you train these interpreters? you said about 180 positions for 2016. how do you train them and where does the clothing or costume come from? guest: we had a rigorous
training program. my responsibility here are to oversee research and to marry rigorous historical research, archaeological research, architectural history research with interpretation. as one becomes an interpreter and tries to interpret the past year, we want to make sure that, one, you are focused on the guest and bringing the place to live in a magical compassionate way. there is quite a bit of training involved in that regard. the scholarly training, you need to be a master of the subject. understand not only williamsburg history but how that could next to our nation's history and how it is relevant today. to be able to connect the past with the present, depending on the particular interest of the person in front of you, and
these are talents that require improvisation, creativity, topics, butstery of also public speaking skills and flexibility. much of this is what we work on and rigorous training program. typically, it takes place in january, the quieter time of year. host: and the clothing, sir? guest: an site, of course. one of the operations that i work with is the costume design center here. it is a center of approximately 25 people whose job it is to ,esearch a concentric clothing -- 18 centric clothing specific to the characters we bring to life, the scenes we are bring to that dissolution of the house of purchases that you the program, each one of those costumes was handmade. it was rigorously researched and produced in-house by the costume
design center. these are some of our most gifted artists, people who can take, in some cases, a stretch or a fragment of the past from a logbook or receipt that is in our archives and bring it to life as a piece of clothing that then informs the story we are trying to tell. host: we will go to new jersey, jay, you are on the air. caller: yes, i am. thank you very much. i am an american historian and i am very interested in what theatre ino the first dat colonial williamsburg in 1752. the first professional company came over from england and played their in what was probably the first semipermanent theater in the united states or
what came to be the united states. how long has the theater existed and has any attempt they made to reconstruct it? guest: thank you very much for your question. here.ue theater wing ofa theatrical our interpretive core. we hire actors who are interpreters. the first leader in williamsburg, among the first isaters in the hemisphere, located by the palace. next year, we are going to be bringing back to life will be called the theater, more or less on the location of the first theater. it does not quite look like the theater would to our 21st-century audiences who were not scholars of 18th-century
role in but theaters city life cannot be underestimated. of course, this is a center for political activity, the place where extralegal government is created and that becomes the legal and legitimate government to wear these notions are born, but theater plays a key role. we know that by the 1770's, there are several theaters that come and go and 18th-century williamsburg. by the revolutionary era, washington, other young founders are going to the theater. there listening intently to the words and the language that finds its way into the political discourse in the debate that is going on, not just in the capital but in the coffeehouse,
which is located on the other side of the capital from this later theater in the 1770's. the role of theater here is critical to the formation of the american political system and also to the complex society that was colonial williamsburg before the revolution. host: los angeles, caroline. you are on the air. caller: good afternoon. thank you partaken my questions. i would imagine that the racial dynamics and 18th-century in colonial williamsburg were pretty complex, and i am wondering how they are portrayed or demonstrated? is it something addressed at all, relationships between slaveowners or just day-to-day racial variations? guest: thank you for your question. it is absolutely something we tried to portray with great care
and authenticity. safe in the way that is for our guests and encourages constructive conversations about these kinds of relationships. often, they relate to guest experiences in today's world. these of the experiences they are bringing here and there watching another time unfold, but the real meaning for them is the kind of reckoning with relationships in their own life. we do this in a variety of ways. i mentioned our actor and interpreters. we have a number of scenes researched scenes -- scenes, research scenes that are performed to bring to life everyday aspects of life, most of which, if they did not center upon these relationships, which
several of them do, they bring out these relationships in a certain way. history is about people, and this is what is often lost at the k-12 level, at least. as a college professor with my first-year student, you could see the eyes rolling in the audience on day one in history class. they did not expect it to be about people. they expected dates and politics , or if it were about people, people who do not relate to them and could not relate to their world. history has everything to do with these complex relationships. how do you responsibly portray the relationship of an enslaved person to his or her owner? waydo this in a complex that reflects the complexity of the 18th century. why you are presenting what you are presenting, and evidence that
rests behind it. this is what truly to colonial me tomsburg -- through colonial williamsburg. to be able to connect research with the realities of everyday life in the 18th century with the public that largely has not gotten it at the k-12 level or in college or beyond. if we can bring those relationships to life in the fight tradespeople can speak of the relationships that they have with a master,e and any of the characters that one might encounter on the street or in our many sites, we all try to speak of these relationships and to pick them visually and in the language that we use. host: we will hear from linda and washington, d.c. caller: i think you answered my question about employment. just to clarify, do you look for
academic backgrounds for these interpreters or is a passion for history and knowledge of the time enough? secondly, how would you compare the visitor experience in williamsburg with that of jamestown? guest: thank you for your question. part of our vigorous training capacitys to develop to master material and convey the material to guest. we have people who join us at the variety of levels. we have those with phd's, not trainingistory and department has trainers, but many interpreters have advanced degrees, masters and phd's in history. academically -- they are academically trained, as a my, and i am proud of that. my primary interest in the primary interest of those individuals that we attract, who
are academically trained, is how do we connect these ideas that we debated in the classroom or that we talked to our graduate students, how do we connect these ideas to the public in all the complexity? this really is the requirement. we have lots of folks who has an undergraduate degree in history and other subjects, but they are excellent interpreters. library, john d rockefeller junior library here, primarily a training library for our staff and it exists because we enter this place and a variety of levels. employees is to help develop the talent. host: she also asked about the experience of visiting williamsburg versus jamestown.
guest: sure. we are so fortunate to be here in historic time go, as -- triangle, as it is called, we have colleagues in yorktown who bring to life the revolutionary , and we have colleagues on the other side of the colonial parkway at on historico jamestown and at the jamestown settlement museum, a state a state run-- museum for a construction of early jamestown. their complementary. and see where european virginia began in 1607, and you can stand at that site and contemplate the complexity of that moment and understand perspectiveeople's
as they viewed europeans, and understand what trophies first englishman here. you can march or time during your visit. you can come to williamsburg, which became the capital in 1699 after jamestown, and you can see how the colony and american society evolved from its very english beginnings into the .omplex american society it was society in the making, a society not yet realized, and i would argue we are still realizing ourselves. you can travel through time. in that way, these experiences, jamestown, yorktown, williamsburg, their complementary. host: we will go to james in virginia. caller: what a fascinating program. thank you so very much for putting it on.
my great-grandfather was richard bennett, colonial governor and wentin 1652, parliament, cromwell got rid of charles, they also got rid of the elected governor and the elected richard bennett. his daughter was anna bennett and she went on to marry theodore plant. i am told that theodore was the original surveyor of williamsburg. i have been to the virginia historical society enrichment, and i am trying to find an ofginal survey plot williamsburg, and i was wondering if you might have any suggestions. guest: thank you for your call. you have a fascinating family history. here, many such inquiries people trying to connect the past and tofamily's
see how they intersect with williamsburg's history. the john d rockefeller library, i would direct you to one of our fine librarians there. we have a special collection department and the number of maps showing the evolution of williamsburg as a place from the very beginning to today. developinge people researched theve history of surveying in virginia and elsewhere. have folks who portray early surveyors, so you could speak to our librarians, who can work with you to identify any collections that might be of you may be able to speak to someone who portrays in a concentric surveyor to gain -- and 18th-century surveyor to gain greater appreciation of the trials into relations of their
life in the 18th century, quite adventurous apparently. also colonial williamsburg has american indian initiative, can you talk about that and the stories of the native people there? guest: sure. thank you. you cannot relate american history, convey american history without conveying american indian history and native american history. several years ago, we started the american indian initiative at the foundation under the guidance of trained anthropologist. a number of programs have been developed over the course of the sears and we have hired several interpreters whose primary which is to depict american history and what happened in williamsburg from a
native american perspective. i am excited to say that next year, we will be hiring several more interpreters and you will have the largest core of interpreters dedicated to conveying perspectives of american indians that we have never had before. these programs, some of which will continue to be special highlight aere we group of cherokee women and men who are trying to decide whether or not to side with the americans, whether their fate lies with the british, but we will also have a new kind of regular programming where native americans visit. there were many diplomatic missions to williamsburg, much interaction with a great many native american groups throughout the east in the
midwest. and there were american indian students at the college of for human very -- college of william and mary which intersect the stories in williamsburg. people who have one foot in their native culture and in an american or european culture. they wrestle with this identity. it is a great interest to us because there is a story here for anyone, whether you are a first-generation american or a 10th generation american. there is a story that is being conveyed here and it tells your story. the native american story helps us get to complex issues of identity and being one in many. great question. host: c-span recently talked with three of the native
american interpreters there are colonial williamsburg. i want to show our viewers what they had to say about the history and the roles they play. >> i am from apple cookie, new mexico, but i came to williamsburg by way of cherokee north carolina and their work with the american indian initiative and the actor interpreter department at the colonial williamsburg for native programming. from name is lauren taylor the monkey indian rest -- warren from the monkey indian reservation and i'm here as an actor and interpreter. my name is mike crow and i am from cherokee, north carolina. standard of much what you might see a cherokee person in the 1750's or 1790's,
so there is a lot of intermixing fashion like shirts being taken and worn as out of garments, but now you see it with different patterns as opposed to just a plain white shirt and utilization of dyed yarn, glass beads, different fabrics, wool, leggings, things like that. wearing is actually in alliance with the colony of south carolina, that this is actually in the adaptation of a much more ancient style of accoutrements, the shells or called moons sometimes because they are shaped like a full moon, but on a more ancient time why, they were made from shells, usually they were milling shells and they would have some of our early icons inscribed on them.
>> the type of programming that we do is focused on stories that involve native people in williamsburg. bring all of those stories. gold with everything that happened in williamsburg, being the capital for agenda during the colonial period involved a lot of people traveling here to do diplomatic as this and things like that. it was with the royal governor and later the americans. >> the relationship between the british colonies and native tribes in this area, like my it is pretty friendly relationships for the most part when they were certain land grabs happening, squatters, and local tribes around here were called tributary indians because they played tribute to the governor every single year --
they pay tribute to the governor every single year. it was part of our treaty obligations. >> how common would it have been for native people to be in williamsburg at the time? >> pretty common. there was an indian school less than half a mile from where we are standing now, so they were indian boy was going to that, but indians living intel, especially from the tributary tribes. -- indians living in town, especially from the tributary tribes. >> i know a lot of cherokee tribes would come to town to make decisions for everything involving cherokee. >> many other communities in addition to the cherokee, as well. >> most of the interactions are more political or was there a lot of commerce between the columnist and native peoples? >> i know for my tribe, monkey, there was a lot of commerce.
the way i portray my primary characters usually comes into town to sell wild game to the local stores around here, so it would have been quite common to see them in any type of city and try to make a living. things are some of the [indiscernible] via current position or colonial history? >> we had a good established government and way of doing things because for the most part, any people believe civilization was brought to the americas with the colonization of europeans without realizing that there were established people who had ways of doing things, language and culture prior to european colonization. that we have gotten
them interested enough that we want to learn more on their own besides snippets and not just on the street. host: our conversation earlier this year was three native american interpreters at colonial williamsburg. we are back live on c-span 3. lf is in charge of interpretation and historical research there. let's wrap up our conversation with the capital and the capital at colonial williamsburg. what is the symbolism of it? capital faces about of mile away to the college william and mary. the way the town was laid out, it was done so deliberately and
you have the symbol of an enlightened populace on one end and on the other end, a symbol of where the allied populace governed -- where the enlightened populace governed itself and society. capital, the meaning of the capital changes as the meaning of government changes, and the notion of columnist relationship onistl relationships to the rules and law that changes. having the capital here allows us to convey in a dynamic fashion the changing notion of law and politics. it is also a place where we can bring the live important moments
to our nations history -- nation's history and discuss our bill of rights came about and rightshored this bill of , how a 1st constitution of the land was drafted, i whom, why, how, so the capital like all of the buildings we have, nearly 600, contain within them little windows. these little windows lead to big ideas that connect a particular , george mason,n thomas jefferson to a big idea and that continues to be relevant to our everyday lives, particularly during an election year when these big ideas of who we are and what we stand for become part of our national
discourse and exciting ways. talking appreciate you to our viewers about colonial williamsburg and the work that you do there. guest: thank you so much. host: that sets up nicely when you are going to see next. it is a tour of the capital with site supervisor tom hay. this runs about 25 minutes and when we come back, it will be your chance to talk to president thomas jefferson. we will talk to bill barker who were tracing, he has put trading for 22 years, and he will be a character and it will be your chance to ask him questions and give him comments. pres >> welcome to the capitol building. in general assembly met
1619. they would meet in jamestown for 80 years. finally moving to what was then known as middle plantation and renamed for the king, king william as williams very. i-17 04 it had been built on this spot. this is a reconstruction of the first capitol building. 1747, rebuilt in until 1779.use hendry --ot patrick patrick henry and thomas jefferson learned to be representatives of the people. a storyis building is of virginia and its history, it entirehistory of the
united states of america. it story is part of our common heritage as citizens. this was the first government building ever referred to as a capital. prior to this they call the government building the state house. they lost for statehouses to fire. when they came here to williamsburg in 1699 in this building was built, it was determined they would use the term capital based on rome. which they thought was the home of the ancient roman senate. , this is the chamber of the house of burgesses. it was the lower house of the assembly. just like the house of commons allondon this is where money bills had to originate.
during the 18th century there would be to burgesses for every county, one burgess for the college of william and mary, and one for jamestown and williamsburg. centerpiece, the birthplace of the american protest against the stamp act. let me quickly point out a few things. members ofd you have the house sitting here, but the speaker of the house sat in this large ceremonial chair. this chair is the original speaker share. as a reminder of that, we know the bottom of this chair is slightly charred from when they
moved it out during the fire. that building would stay in use until 1779 when richmond became the capital. it would is in sessions like here where we -- they would law. sundry ideas into that process works the same way it does in any state capitol today. . bill would be introduced after being read it would go up to committee. after the committee worked on it came down here in the committee version was red. ,inally there would be a debate read a third time, and then voting. other things would happen. henrys spot patrick introduces resolution against
the stamp act. resolution, in that a clear thought that there could be no taxation without representation. parliament an attempt to pay for the french and indian war and the increased ministry costs of wanted theire american subjects in this colony to pay what they considered to be a fair share of the cost of the war. but the americans felt they could not be taxed by a legislature they had no representation and. introduced his resolutions. they were introduced when the body met as a whole.
only five resolutions were passed. colonial newspapers were of the mind that all seven and gave them a far greater represented -- representation of radicalization than they had. he was perhaps the favorite monarch of colonial americans. he let the americans alone. throneg time on the would end up being benign neglect. opposite is his wife queen --oline who caroline canty caroline county was named for. it was not only the stamp act
but caused problems here later legislation would also. debates, and during the debates about the boston pork bill, which happened as an ,nswer to the boston tea party that would lead to this assembly being dismissed by the royal governor. they had that power at this time. tos was determined they had close the port of boston. they had a resolution for a day of fasting and prayer. ,he governor said only the king the head of the church of england or his representative in the colony could do such a thing . he dismissed the house, which played into the hands of the virginians. they pointed out that the house had not passed a schedule to
allow the courts to meet, or allow the militia to meet. with the governor himself deciding he personally had to go out to fight the shawnee, they started meeting as conventions of the people of virginia. the first would go ahead and and george washington patrick hindery the first continental congress where the elected as thee first president of the continental congress. the second met in richmond but it would be the fifth virginia convention meeting on this spot in 1776, it would adopt the
virginia resolution for independence. the resolution stated people of virginia were separate and independent of the crown and parliament of great britain. having dissolve the ties to the old government, they went on to say there must be a new constitution, the first briton american constitution written after independence and that if the purpose of government was to ensure rights and liberties they determined they would have to come up with a declaration of rights. the first american bill of rights. that was worked on mainly in committee. i would like to take you upstairs and show you the committee rooms where the wood work on the virginia declaration of rights.
here we are in one of three committee rooms. there were standing committees of the house. most work goes on in committee. the committee of religion, the committee on trade, proposition and grievances, public claims. .nd election and privileges that committee is one of the most interesting ones because it was in elections and privileges that all the disputed elections would be adjudicated by the house. for anyone who thinks disputed elections are something new to america, they need to check out the records of that particular committee. there were as many back then as we have today. very few elections now end up with this being thrown.
but a different committee was the committee i mentioned before, used to determine the virginia declaration of rights. a declaration of rights is nothing new. to give you an idea we have a portrait of king william, william the third. he came to the throne during the glorious resolute -- revolution of 1688. in 1689 the people of england should be reassured that their rights and privileges will continue and they came up with the english bill of rights of 1689. that served as an example for the virginia declaration of rights of 1776. they were broken into various articles. what is interesting is the english bill of rights contains
andrticle for bidding cruel unusual punishment. that article appeared almost word for word in the virginia declaration of rights and in the american bill of rights. 1789, 100 years after the english bill of rights was asked. the past is prologue and there is always precedents to be found. not everything on the virginia declaration of rights was taken from the english bill of rights. we will step across and see where the upper house met. it was the council of virginia. served ail of virginia legislative function, being the upper house, but it was the body of judges of the general court, thus the filling a judicial function.
they were an executive advisory committee to the governor, the serving the function like a captain might do today, having an executive function. oft body was representative all three branches. this committee that met here determined there should be a ,hange, a separation of powers a novel for jenni idea decided and adopted right here on this spot in june of 1776. where we are physically is in h that is bar of the shaped by this building. we were on the east side of this building, the lower house met on the lower floor. ins room serves as a bridge between what could be the people's side and the king's
side. the purpose of this space before the revolution, it was the joint conference room where on occasion both houses would appoint members to sit here and hammer out differences between resolutions or acts. let's walk through the king side of the building. i will show you where the council met in the 18th century. follow me please. we are here in the chamber of the council the colony of virginia. this is where there were meetings for various business. more things happen repeatedly here, independent nations of indians, such as cherokee would come here on diplomatic missions. they were here to present devices like this, a piece built
determined to show there be a bright and shining chain of friendship between the virginians in the cherokee. chamber toap in this show there be peace between the cherokee and virginians. it didn't always happen that way but it one point there was a hoax for peace. here told also meet discuss other items as well. the 12 counselors were the crème de la crème of local society. they served for life were good behavior. the governor would sit here and the chair much like this, other would sit either side, and here is where they would pass legislation as the upper house of the assembly. we know during the stamp act
crisis the net -- members agreed with the lower house. after that every governor had standing instructions that any member of the council ever saw fit to go against parliament or the kings instructions, the governor could dismiss them from the council and the governor's action will be backed up by the crown. then he could replace someone who was more compliant. virginia moved closer to the resolution, they grew more and more quiet. just hoping this storm of controversy would pass over them quietly. it didn't happen that way. here,things remind us portraits of your quake kings. that is what they thought they
were. itselfre sent to london to show the royal government in london the concerns of the euro coin people. other things that would occur the would be reactions to lower house, deciding to oppose the stamp act. we know the best of library that belong to the government was in this building. down below i mention the day of fasting, humiliation and prayer. henry,jefferson, patrick richard henry lee and others came up into this chamber and borrowed a history book about the british of war. one done by a gentleman by the name of rushmore. they found one time when parliament declared fasting
comments million asian and prayer. governord lead to the dissolving the house. >> i therefore dissolve the house of burgesses accordingly. god save the king. >> that would be the last complete session of the house before the american resolution -- revolution. what became the american revolution was at that point still a tax protest. we will go downstairs and see where these men met as the high court justices. >> we are now in the general courtroom. this is where in the 18th century free subjects of his majesty would be tried for various felony crimes. but also the general court would take care of other issues as
well. in addition this is where virginians came to sue and be sued. it is those criminal cases that really grabbed our attention. we know for instance one woman was sent here to virginia as a con vote -- convict servant. she was sentenced to die but given the alternative of coming serving asginia and a convict servant for 14 years. forng heard time here she some reason ended up murdering her mistress, the wife of the man who owned her 14 years. she was brought he and tried for that murder. she was found guilty and sentenced to hang by the neck
until she was dead. she was returned to the jail and spent her last christmas on jail in the cells of our waiting for the new year and her execution. when this court mad, it is important that the governor chieff sat up here as magistrate. that his would ensure majesty's peace when broken was quickly repaired. earlier in the century there triedlackbeard pirates here on this spot. 15 were brought here to williamsburg. one was acquitted. one was pardoned. 13 were hanged. later on we know that while there were horse thieves and murderers who were tried here,
as well as women accused of killing their pastor children. that was the only time there was no presumption of innocence. once the virginia declaration of setts was passed a man who him were no longer part of the administrative or legislative government. do judiciary was separate and independent. what had been the old council of virginia was put into three groups. the justices of the high court. eventually they would finally at a chancery court. the council of virginia remain the council of state, advising then what hadand been the legislative function of that body became the senate of
virginia, a body that still exists today. the general assembly is said to continuously legislative body on the planet. i might leave you with the thought of that, it is our rights as criminals that changed their he little during the american revolution. you have the right to a jury trial, right to call witnesses on your behalf and challenge those brought against you. people were not interested in changing any of that one bit. we still argue about the application of all these principles to this day. thank you for coming to the capital and to colonial williamsburg. we appreciate your time.
host on american history tv on c-span3. today, we are coming to you from colonial williamsburg. we are out today getting your questions and commentary about life was like for those in the virginia colony in the 1770's. joining us aboard the c-span bus today is president thomas jefferson. barker, who by bill has portrayed him for 22 years, and he is in character today. we will be taking your questions as president thomas jefferson reflects back on his life in 1770's.burg in the mr. president, what brought you to williamsburg? jensen: leftist -- edging -- thomas: education.
inas my father's eldest son a family of 10 children and i had three younger brothers and six sisters, but my father passed away when he was 49 and i but 14. i cannot inherit and to my majority at the age of 21 years in 1764, but before that, i was able to benefit by the greatest that this legacy is, not property but an education, so i came to attend the college of our former majesties, king william and queen mary in the 1759 and 1760. i did not receive a degree that was baccalaureate at the time, but i left to read law with mr. george. host: how did that influence you, study law -- studying law? thomas: it was the finest i would ever know. i would put them against edward who, i was a gentleman
understood the foundation of the law, of english law. there was a lot of the romans, he understood that law was living and leaving and a close as the people go, that is the essence of the english common law which i was taught and grew up. it is through the experience of the english speaking peoples and as we began to protest, we sought address of our grievances upon english law, that which i learned. upon?what did you draw what were your politics? was simplypolitics to rest upon english soil, the right of an englishman to petition and address grievances. else,more than anything was able to bring 13 individual nations together. we found amongst ourselves different, distant and dispense from one another, but the common bond through our english law.
the fact that we were all considered englishman. it was that right of an englishman, whether he was in massachusetts, virginia, the carolinas, georgia to argue his concerns before his government. columnist dear fellow nists say to you? thomas: will we survive as englishman in the country that is america, north or south, as truly englishman or would we continue to evolve, to evolve as a people that which we have already come to refer to one and the others as americans? to realize it was not only the englishman but so many others seeking an asylum in the colonies of great britain. could the english law continue to substantiate our grievances
and our right to argue on behalf of ourselves? could be as well be properly represented before the crown in the parliament. we were denied any representation in his majesty's parliament. host: what did you do next? thomas: it was in williamsburg that we began the protest with respect to the closure of the port of boston in the spring of 1774. the closure of the port of boston was the cause of that particular riot in boston harbor, the previous december, the destruction of over 356 cases of tea thrown overboard of the eastern company by a band of indians. so it was, with respect to that protest, that we talked an alliance somewhat with a pamphlet that was published, a
proclamation for a day of fasting, humiliation, and prayer to show our allegiance with our sister colony, though she was 700 miles away. the earl of dunmore considered this an imposition upon his authority as executor of the crown, so it was his royal prerogative to dissolve the representative body of the people, dissolve the house of burgesses in williamsburg but we did not remain disissolved. we continue to represent those who had elected us to represent them. we to meet midway between the north colonies and the southern colonies, meet in the largest city in north america, philadelphia. we are talking to thomas jefferson on american history tv, but trade by bill paerker.
coast,live on the east -- on the west coast out and had -- we are taking your text this morning. 71791864. you can also join the conversation on facebook, and witter, http://twitter.com/cspanwj. jefferson, let's talk about the reaction from britain. considereds impolite, unjustified, that all of the colonies should come together with the united american representation. us torliament desired
remain separate. they worried that if we came together, and two heads is better than one, 12 or 13 heads collectively would be of a greater influence, a greater safety and defense amongst themselves. the reaction of the crown was to pursue as many of the petitions we put forth of our grievances. host: talk about the declaration of independence and how you came to this and the writing of it. say, that the greatest influence that brought me to be able to draft our i will promise of who we are and who we desire to be and i will promise to the rest of the world. it began to that privilege of an education. i have always said there is nothing new or original in our
direct duration of american independence. all of it has been written and you can find it in the elementary books. john locke, those works, authors, many were not familiar with them, so it was my charge -- explain it in clear and simple terms so that everyone might comprehend it. particularly, in the diversity of our population. the place before the world, the common sense of the matter. waswar for independence being fought on behalf of the common man to provide the greatest good. just show the rest of the world that we understand the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs. right -- inherited burst forth from the chains of
ignorance and the rains -- it is founded in the wisdom of the past. i consider it common sense but the profits of the future would be found in the wisdom of the past. ,ost: our first phone call christine from maryland. wondering if thomas jefferson could tell us that he journaled a lot about -- i think he had an earlier version of the koran. i think in our times today, maybe he could talk about what he journaled about that during that time, him and john adams. that iay i assure you, have always been a student of all of the world's religions.
i was baptized in the church of england. on the --nstrumental church of england when the wall began to help form with became the american physical church. church.coble i have really missed a sunday. but i find that all religions are integral to our better understanding of the nature of man. i consider that the sum of all religions is simply to do unto others as you would desire to have done onto yourself. love your neighbor as you should love yourself. this is what i believe has protected and defended, as an inherent right, of the statute of virginia. this is not a statute of religious freedom, which might suggest separating religion from our lives. virginia --atute of
freedom for religion. whenever there is a freedom for religion, you will see the greatest civilization. yes, i have studied the koran and the preachings of mohammed. -- because my so charge was to negotiate treaties from trade. that only with the kingdoms of york, france and england and spain and the italy's, but also algeria,oms of morocco, tripoli. i wanted to understand the people in those kingdoms on the north coast of africa. i wanted to understand their particular religion. the guarantee on to them, that our trade with them would remain open and free. we will respect them and hope that they would respect us as well.
caller: i was just wondering, what made you decide to become president, instead of continuing to practice law? bill: i only practice law for seven years and that was in williamsburg, virginia. i gave up the practice of law once the monarchy of great britain closedown the courts of justice. that was 1774. i turned over most of my unfinished cases to my cousin. his father, my cousin, john randolph, was the last attorney general of the crown before the war began. edmund was the first attorney .eneral in our constitution i had long given up the practice of law and pursued more of my interests and legislation. being able to put forth arguments and debates that would ls and laws that
would create greater opportunity. not only for my commonwealth, before the nation and for the world. so much the practice of law, but the call of the people to become the president of the united states. i was invited to stand for that office. inas invited the first time 1796. i had been retired from the office, a good three years, as you remember with my arguments with general hamilton. i finally decided not to continue. it would be wise as secretary of state if i resigned. the people dos, not desire me to remain retired. many found favor in what i had brought up in the president's
cabin. they had read in the newspapers of my objection to general hamilton. therefore, i was invited to stand opposed to our vice president wants president washington retired. i had lost the presidential election in 1796. i suffered the office of vice president for four years. .he mind of man never came up the arguments did not end. they continued. they continued with my own president. in the next presidential election, 1800, i was invited by the anti-federalist platform to stand opposed to president adams. we were not alone. there were several others who sought that office, even the federalist platform was divided by the southern federalist.
my own anti-federalist platform was divided by a former federalist from new york. he saw a political opportunity and changed his coat, colonel ehrenberg aaron burr. in fact, it was not between president adams, but rather , 73een who opposed electoral votes in each for urr and thomas jefferson. for many days, many do not know who would be the next president. could you imagine that happening? it was resolved and we follow the constitution. the election with into the house of representatives. they argued and debated. withouted 33 times breaking the time.
finally, can you imagine? myentleman who had been nemesis and represented the complete opposite and political spectrum from me, general alexander hamilton suggested a compromise. that he suggested considered me to be the least dangerous of the two. if i were elected the third chief magistrate, i would not seek to cast out of office all federalist, but to provide equilibrium in the new administration. he would encourage his constituency in the state of new york. to enter into my political arena. wouldised them that we maintain the principles of our nations. maintain an open government. do you know that presidential election of 1800 i referred to as the second american revolution?
it was as much an american revolution than that of 1776, never forget the difference between 1776 and 1800. we overthrew 12 years of federalism. said in thet peaceful transfer of office. , it: on american history tv is your chance to talk to president thomas jefferson as we come to you live from colonial williamsburg. we have a tweet from one of our viewers who asked, when did you meet benjamin franklin, and what was your impression of him? also who decided franklin would go to france? bill: i met dr. benjamin franklin for the first time in williamsburg. dr. franklin was postmaster of the crown. who better to survey the postal
roads that brought all of the colonists together? to make sure that the postal offices were even efficient and properly managed? who better than a printer, an owner of a newspaper? williamsburg in his capacity as postmaster. i was a student at the overall college of william and mary. he elected to everyone on his experience with electricity. him inher -- i later met the conference of 1775. i was unable to attend the first conference of september 1774. dr. franklin was in england. returned and seated in the second congress, as i was there seated and we met one and the other and became fast friends. what impressed me was his open mind and extensive knowledge. particularly, his knowledge of
human nature. his grasp of common sense. his ability to take concepts and bring them to a general understanding. a sage in many ways. friendship, it was natural that we proclaimed our independency -- dependency that as the two of us were on the drafttee of five men, to the declaration of american independence. dr. franklin had already been in britain, hereat would be an opportunity for him to return to england, but to france. i would be important -- ambassador. my home had become a new commonwealth, they called me to return and help draft our constitution.
, iher than go to france returned to virginia. friend --ally, my accompanied dr. franklin to france. host: we will your next from bob in new york. welcome to the conversation. caller: hello, greetings to you from new amsterdam. it is a pleasure to speak with you. my question is, in light of your experience dealing with various royal family members, be they queens.d quitting -- how important do you feel the personal life of a candidate running for office being president or any other position, that would be able to provide guidance and direction for the people of your day?
and even into the future. how important do you feel the personal life of that candidate should be when considering them for the role that they are running for? bill: thank you for that question. it is a question that has commanded the interest of political economy from time. someone's private life is that which is first and foremost, reviewed his constituency, by his neighbors, by his friends. they are the ones to suggest that he might stand or she might stand to represent them. -- a system of government where the women were the ones suggested who should be chief and provided the vote. as franklin considered that a study for american parliament. the nose better than men, then
betteren -- who knows than men, then women? your life is no longer your home. you are called upon constantly by her constituency. it is thee also know greatest honor to receive that approbation from your neighbors, friends, and the public. privatee, never do in what you would not do in public. i wrote that to my grandson when he had interest and aspirations for public office. i think it will help guide you. it does not mean you will not suffer. that is one of the circumstances for standing for any public office. no matter what is said about you, you will be able to sleep more soundly, and walked more
pathway ofgh the your family, friends, and constituency. lincoln town, north carolina, you are on the error by thomas jefferson. caller: thank you, i love your program. it has been said that mr. jefferson was invincible and invisible war. i just wondered how he answered his critics to discharge. this charge. bill: i would say one of my critics and also my closest compatriot, patrick henry. i met him when i was making my way through williamsburg to attend the overall college of william and mary. he had become well known as an attorney. we commenced to work together in our disagreements with
government. with theorated proclamation for a day of fasting, humiliation, and prayer. as he would want to criticize me theng the time that i was second elected governor of the new commonwealth of virginia, he was the first. at a time that we had oversold the safety and protection of virginia, in the light of the invasions by general benedict arnold, let alone general cornwallis. we were hardly prepare for the invasion. , together as governor together for the general defense of virginia. militias appeared and disappeared with the seasons and the crops. i was chastised when we had to retreat. we had already retreated from williamsburg. were vulnerable on the high ground in williamsburg with the james river and the south and the york river to the north.
we retreated to richmond town for much better defense. nevertheless, we were attacked and retreated to charlottesville. do you know the enemy discovered where we had retreated? and try to capture the members of the delegates and the governor of the commonwealth. i escaped with only moments of a warning, captain jack who broke thatight long to inform me the british were seeking my capture. do you know that as i continued to serve as governor, there were accusations hurled against me that i was a coward and resign from office? even in instant -- investigation was brought against me for cowardice. there were no facts. i continue to serve, continue to
put forth commissions for the safety of our commonwealth. the other governor, who took charge after me, general nelson, did so legally as the election was held to do so. you might say that that 1781, i willar, never forget, perhaps one of the most lamentable in my public life. i am happy to say that our actions, the actions of our retaliate contest and against the insidious attacks made by those pirates who want to sneak up upon the high seas to our innocent voyagers. .hat they might not attack also, i would not tolerate that. takinga few weeks of my office as third president of our nation, i ordered a retaliation.
i influenced congress to proclaim officially a warm against the kingdom of tripoli. they toured out our flag, the 15th day of may. atlaring war on us, we wore best -- the geopolitics warm, and the jeffersons war. repulsing the front insidious attacks upon our merchant vessels. never let us forget the extraordinary valor of stephen who sailed into the harbor of tripoli. read our sailors held as slaves. never let us forget the battle .- and our marines the very first time in our history that we commissioned our
troops to fight on foreign soil. never let us forget their victory on the shores of tripoli. host: gary from california, you are next. caller: hello president jefferson. i was wondering what i should tell my grandson about if you believe in the golden prayer and that all men are created with equal rights? why you owned slaves? i have beens what indebted to tell my own children and the i hope they tell their grandchildren. that is very simply, never let us forget our history. never let us forget where we have been, that we might better understand where we are. thereby, continue to bind ourselves together more securely, that we might continue forward upon those principles in
our declaration of american independence. , intoborn into a world society, as a owner of slayers -- slaves. my father was born into the same experience. my grandfather was born into the same experience. born, we had was gone several generations of only masters for those enslaved. how do you end a habit and custom? you cannot. am a bad customs that been carried on one generation after another, cannot be stopped abruptly. , isone thing you must do not remain silent upon what you know to be a bad habit. what you know denies an individual their opportunity to be everything they possibly can be. that is secured and what i wrote in our declaration.
we are in doubt in our creator with -- i altered that to the pursuit of happiness. the revitalization of aristotle's statements years ago. , anpursuit of excellence individual under the laws of nature to fulfill their capacity of everything they can possibly be. that is not going to happen overnight to everyone. ,articularly when i was born when my father and grandfather were born. it can happen, so long as we bear hope and continue to voice our opinions freely that it is wrong to keep an individual down from having every opportunity to better themselves. it is wrong to continue to hold old habits that are not beneficial to the common good. collaborate and gathered together and assemble and make
an effort to change the laws. if i were to free my people under the laws that i grew up in, i would be breaking the law. that would be the most detrimental that -- to them. it would not be mr. jefferson tarris family who would be ed and feathered, perhaps killed. it was -- it would be in the property of others that would be captured. we should continue to change the law. i think i have made certain progress in that effort. had i done as best as i possibly could? possibly not. i must live with continued accusations of not doing as much as i can. wonder, what will they
about future generations the generations that were well before them? did they make every effort they possibly could? i think history is our greatest guide. host: what does the second amendment mean to you, and how should future generations interpret it? bill: one cannot deny that one of the inalienable rights is to protect and defend themselves. not a soul can take that away from another individual. it is not the purpose and duty of government to protect people from entry of another and that they might engage their own industry and improvement. , believe as dr. franklin did who realize that even an might not be protected in the dark alley, or at nighttime.
dr. franklin encouraging a police force to be formed in philadelphia city. an individual still has the right to protect themselves. with good common sense, that ought to be protected and .efended and secured by society with good common sense, and individuals right to protect and defend themselves, does not mean they should be hostile with a weapon with another. that is not civilization. i think any individual who has been brought up with the responsibility of bearing arms nosy responsibility of safety with those arms. knows the responsibility of protecting the common good of their neighbor, let alone themselves. of course, a well regulated militia must be well regulated through its commission by the government. otherwise, it is illegal. it cannot exist without a
commission. a -- and it will write to be protected by well-regulated militia. host: we have been talking to president thomas jefferson betrayed by bill barker. what goes into playing thomas jefferson? bill: thank you. into betraying anyone who is not here to speak for themselves, is an understanding of what they wrote ,nd eyewitness accounts particularly after so many years removed from their lifetime. that has been my effort to read jefferson, understand him and that as he grew older, he changed his opinions like we all do. -- we mightably
understand that about him. if we choose to read him and care to read him. it is reading jefferson's history that remains the foundation of what i do and what we all do as historical interpreters in colonial williamsburg. get the facts right. host: you have been doing this for over 20 years. how often are you still to this day, stating thomas jefferson, to get into character? bill: almost every day. jeffersonianre than c-span, keeping the people in touch with the government and recent i wanted to make certain i was on the mark there. host: we appreciate you taking the phone calls this morning from our viewers. thank you very much. appreciate it.
we will continue our c-span'sion here on american history tv. up next, we are going to be talking with colonial aboutmsburg' african-americans there. next, we will hear from one of the african-american interpreters talking about what life would have been like for an enslaved person in colonial america. we w
to show people that some of these slave people even know they came near empty handed, they didn't come here empty headed. as traditions came over with .hem that africanow people were trying to preserve their cultures as best they could. by this time we're talking about, 90% of your africans here are born in the americas as slave people. but you do find a handful of africans still here in virginia and america that would remember their culture and this might be one of the ways they show that culture and make it a game like this. importantly, what
this means is these slaved makee give their lives to that skill work for them, make with they know something that will be special. it's like saying the master will not take everything in this might be a way for them to do such a thing, to have something have meaning to them. woodworking was common for enslaved people. , a slavehis property -- hand had a hand in constructing this. basically we just have these simple tools and we are carving out the cups. as you see here, this is what
the game pretty much looks like using acorns from this tree as the pieces for this game. it pretty much using your environment to make life for. when you think about the daily life of enslaved people, it's .usy, arduous, time-consuming it's hot, sweaty. everything you can think of speaking about the judge read of work. woodworking.e enslavedthink about , aple on a property prominent family like this, it's at least five different dishes.
intohat work that went , dealing with the heat in the kitchen, it's a lot of work. .ll day long hauling water all the young children and slave -- enslaved hauling back 50-60 wash.s in a day to clean, you had enslaved people who did all the laundry. all the clothing for the randolph, the changing they would have had in a day. then you had the dairy house where the randolph's had four or
five milking cows. those maids had to milk the cows and make fresh cheese and butter. this is an almost everyday event going on on this property everyday. they had a gardener walking around the property making sure everything is manicured. there is not an idle hand on this property. , it'slks in the house important to get an idea of what they're dealing with. some of folks don't know enslaved people would sleep in the house often times in the hallways right outside the chambers so they could be on call. they took care of all the personal needs. they were just in the house. certain way about them that made them perfect for the house.
educated often so they could communicate and they were adapted to working in the house. cotton --et, you'll, made them lookll good because the people that worked in the house reflected the people that lived in the house. they did everything you can think of having to do with a nice house whether it was serving a meal, taking care of the personal needs of the owner, taking care of them when they were sick. they had to be on call so they slept in the house so they could be close by if they were needed at any time of the day or night. if the people in the house had family out here, they would only
see them when the owners allowed them. the masters decided when an enslaved person could leave but in this domestic setting, enslaved people didn't often get time to have a lot of time to themselves because these owners still had to eat, cared for, children have to be looked after. enslaved people didn't get a lot of time to themselves like people on plantations who might have gotten a sunday as a day of rest. here, it was whenever the master gave them the extra time. >> can you talk about the experience during and leading up to the revolution? the population would be 1774 when thed colonists were moving toward freedom and independence and the
governor got threatened so much, he wanted to get back at the colonists. he threatened to free the enslaved people and not only free, but possibly armed them. enslaved people got word of this so before the governor even issued a proclamation, many enslaved people were running to the governor offering their services in the governor turned them back and said that back to the masters because he didn't issue any such proclamation. even before the revolution began, there was already situations of showing themselves that enslaved people are moving forward to be agents of their own change and try to change their lives and get that freedom by any means they could get it. the revolution did have an impact on enslaved people but for had to take that chance
the most part on their own accord. >> how are they finding out about the proclamation at this time? >> is a good question. randolph,use, peyton those folks in the dining room heard everything. anything they heard they will share it with their family members and friends, next-door neighbors. by the time a day or two went knowsery enslaved person what many people are not privy to. the folks on this property heard everything. they had a good idea of what was going on. if you are talking about the proclamation, when lord dunmore issues that proclamation, everybody was talking about it. it was offering freedom to the enslaved.
it was big. there was no way they could keep freedom quiet. we are back live on american history tv on c-span3 today. on your screen is the c-span bus at colonial williamsburg. we have been talking to curators , historians and interpreters all day on american history tv about what life was like back in the 1770's in williamsburg, virginia. you just heard from one of the african-american interpreters there. active interpretation of slavery began in 1979. care to talk more about that with us is stephen feels. he is the senior manager for african-american programming. tell us more about what life was like for the enslaved population. with williamsburg being
more of an urban setting, you will find a lot more work happening within the home. closer to the slave master. what that tended to mean was that there was less of an opportunity to have time on your own. you are serving that master 24 hours a day, seven days a week. when they are not sleeping, you are tending to them. are sleeping, sometimes you are tending to the fires or making sure everything's going all right for them. you tended to have less time to yourself. ,ven having less of that time you still would find that time to be with your family, to be with your friends. they might have tried to take most of that time away from you. we find thoses, times to make those connections. their relationships are not much
different than the relationships you have now. they were mothers and fathers and carpenters. they had their lives separate from the work they were doing. host: did they have their family units? people wouldaved one family -- the interpreter we were just showing was talking about the randolphs. haveany would one family as their slaves? within that enslaved community, did they have a family unit? guest: they would still have the family unit. , byuse of the fact that law, you could not be married anyway, you still have these units, you still had people marrying, you still had children being born. though those children were taken
away, no matter how far they went, you would try to keep that connection, if you could. you still have people around you who did not have those connections, either. they would become your family. they were the ones that you would depend on, the ones you would lean on. when you need to find that family and you are in this station together, you find a way to be together. and to continue to be family units. that the family units just continue. they continue to be, whether they were truly by law family or by blood family units are not. host: we are talking about the enslaved population in colonial williamsburg. we are taking your questions and comments about this.
we are also taking your texts this morning. textus at 202-717-9684. we've been talking all day here from colonial williamsburg with several guests. our discussion now turns to those that were enslaved in williamsburg. how big was the population? guest: the population of swellmsburg when it would was around 2000 people. think about the fact that, of the population, half of them were enslaved. there was no way that you could have walked through the streets or gone through a date in the the life of a citizen of williamsburg and not have slavery be part of your life. host: what sort of work were they doing? guest: all kinds of work. you still have fields, still had crops in the city area, even
though it was a smaller area. will find plenty of housework, you will need people to take care of horses from a people to fix things, you will still need someone to address you, for someone to accompany you. you will need for someone to be your equipment, to drive your carriages for you. stoked the fires in the middle of the night to make sure that you are kept warm in the middle of the winter. done, andd be enslaved person at some point in time was probably doing it. host: how did the slave market come to williamsburg? as -- when, as far you are living in an area of commerce, and williamsburg was
an area where people came -- it was the colonial capital of virginia. virginiae coming to and you need to do some business or you need to go to court or anything of that sort, you have to come to williamsburg. it is the capital. the market will need to be there. that is where the influx of people are coming. that is where they are needing to be. the market needs to be in williamsburg because that is where most of the people are coming. that is where you need to come to sell things, if you need to be able to vote if you have to. going to william and mary, there's some in the reasons you would need to be in williamsburg. -- so many reasons. host: how do you go about deciding how you are going to interpret life for the enslaved community? it is such a controversial, complicated thing.
how did tourists react? with what's start stories to tell. i had to look very closely at myself and the type of history that i was taught as a child. as a child, i was not taught a whole lot about slavery, i was it was a was horrible, shameful time in american history. that is what i was told. a lot of the history being told about slavery was just about the horrors of slavery, the hopelessness of slavery. adult,enager and a young it made it very hard for me to feel positive about the contributions that my people made during the time of slavery. dealing with programming, that really bothered me.
i want for blacks to come to williamsburg and whites to come to williamsburg to see the story and plight of the enslaved of their history, as their story. when i'm looking at the interpretation or history we it too tell them i want be one told from the point of view of the individuals who were enslaved. i want people to know what the enslaved person was going to. aboutat was being said them, that what people thought of them, but what they thought of themselves who they are as human beings. says that they were slaves, they were property, but in their minds, that is not who they saw themselves as. they saw themselves as people. i want guests to see them as people first as well. the guests come here and see programs about enslaved people where it's about their lives.
it is still about slavery, but it's about them and their reactions tend to be, wow, i feel a connection to these people, i understand their history now. as much as times have changed, people don't. they have the same wants and dreams and hopes that i have. as an american come i see them as americans, i see them as me. to invite our viewers to start filing and -- dialing in. live in the eastern portion of the country -- we are getting texts today. steven will be taking your questions and comments. one viewer has text the us this
-- what kept the enslaved persons not running? the question of to run or not to run is a very loaded question. back when i was in costume, the way i would handle that question is to put it to the guest. i will put it to the viewers to ask themselves the question and think about it on this level. you are an enslaved person. as a you are trained to coachman. if you were to run, the law says you are still property. even if you are to go somewhere else, you are still going to a place where everyone knows everyone. where are you going to run to where people don't know who you are?
place wereun to a people don't know who you are, will they question who you are and whether you are free or not? you're going to a neighborhood and they don't know you. ask yourself the question of come if you are going to run, what if you have a wife or a husband or children? are they going to go with you? would you be able to for your self -- free yourself? will it be easier for you to hide as a runaway slave if you have your family with you? are you going to run without your family? if you become free and your family stays in bondage, what will happen to them? what will the slave master due to them to prevent them from running? there's so many questions the enslaved person had to ask themselves about how you will support your family when you end up somewhere else where you need to apply a trade and they don't know who you are.
what are you going to do to support yourself and your family? so many questions you have to ask yourself as an enslaved person if you were to even be able to run off. would you be able to live, would you be able to have a life as a runaway slave? it was never an easy question as to whether to run or not to run. there are too many questions you had to think about. said,given what you've you were an interpreter at one time. how difficult is it to get african-americans to want to play this role, interpret this history, knowing what their ancestors went through and the questions they might get? guest: that is one of the best questions that has been asked.
i can only answer it for the reason why i do it. long, the voices of the african in america were not represented in history. it just wasn't. interpreting able to is me getting a voice to the voiceless. humanizing the dehumanized. for me, i have come to realize , how theythey did endured, how they lived, how they had their relationships, the way in which they function and the way in which they survived and flourished made it so that i'm able to be here today to be in the position i'm in to tell the story that i'm telling. that is not ever a reason to feel ashamed. that is a reason to feel pride. i feel pride in what my people did, i feel pride in what my
people endured. knowing that and knowing that every day i get to jump out of bed and get to tell that story to people means i'm one of the richest individuals on this planet. i try to say that to every interpreter that auditions for colonial williamsburg. it will be one of the hardest jobs you will ever have to do in life, but it will be one of the most fulfilling. what you get to do every day makes a difference. and what more can you ask for in life? host: is it hard to fill those positions? guest: it can be. it was hard for me to want to take the job. in america today, we still are , youngching young people black people or young white people to be proud of their history.
the good, the bad and the ugly. ofn you have generations people, myself included, that have come up to feel like this is a time we should not talk about, this is a time to be ashamed of, it becomes difficult for people to step outside of areselves and what they feeling and what society has made us feel for so long about her history, to go this is something i need to do, not just something i should do or not something i can do to make a living, but something i should do. that is what i tried to convey to individuals that want to do this sort of work. it can be hard because you really do have to put your own feelings to the side to tell the story in a way that is honest. the honest story is ugly. it can get ugly at times, but it has amazing triumphs in it sometimes, too. host: dylan in pennsylvania.
the question i have, i've watched several programs, that the slaves were able to buy , they had commerce and businesses. is that true of williamsburg? was there in denture servitude -- in denture servitude -- in ndentured servitude? guest: there were numerous black businesses and black business people in the area. commerce, williamsburg being the conduit of commerce in virginia, there would have been merchants of all different colors, all
different creeds coming here to conduct business. everyone has to live and sell what they need to sell. there was indentured servitude. but, there was a point in the 17th century where the laws changed. when the laws changed, they became a distinction between white indentured servitude and black slavery. when the first blacks came here in 1619, there was not a mechanism of slavery set up for british north america. just got can hear here, they were not thought of 100% as slaves. there were some of them that ended up being kept in servitude for the rest of their lives. for the most part, many of them are treated as were treated as indentured servants. that process went on for a bit longer. that distinction ended up being made and you did still find
white indentured servants, but not black indentured servants. you found black slaves. host: on facebook, jay has this question -- guest: urban slavery definitely has his differences. it's interesting that a lot of people will come in going, well, how slavery -- house slavery must of been better. you are indoors, in a house, you get to have more time to yourself. that sort of thing. in actuality, as you might have heard earlier, that just was not the case.
but, even in virginia, you still have a lot of field slavery, a lot of plantation slavery. as far as differences among the colonies, you are not going to more -- depending on what sort of crops you are planting, you will find different types of work being done. the fact that tobacco was the cash crop of virginia, tobacco is a very labor-intensive crop. you will not find the types of field slavery happening in less worko be any intensive. in a lot of ways, it was just as work intensive.
in the northern colonies where there was a slavery as well. you will find there is a lot less agriculture. more familywas ore house m oriented, more that sort of work oriented. having to wait on your master 24 hours a day meant that that servitude was very much ruling as well. as well.ng you will find differences in terms of the societies you are in. the work tended to still be rather similar. host: mary is next in florida. --ler: my question is this i'm wondering if there's any historical records about what relationship there was between the slaves and native americans. i love the show.
i can't tell you how much i'm enjoying this. thank you for your answer. it is appreciated to have to call in. i love that question because we have a program here called from freedom to slavery that deals with that. natives of north torica gave sanctuary enslaved individuals that ran to them. , the enslaved individuals would be brought into their society. they could marry into their society, have children, have jobs, have businesses. the particular program we do here now actually deals with a treaty that meant that many of those enslaved individuals that ran to the natives had to be brought back. when they were given back, they
were brought back into slavery again. they went from bring free and a citizen within a society, a native society, to coming back again and being property once again. many of the native cultures did take an the enslaved and many of them did become a part of that culture. citizens of that culture, having a say within that culture. that actually did happen quite a bit we have records of that. host: kirk in abingdon, virginia. afternoon.d i'm really enjoying this discussion. during the colonial and revolutionary era's, was there any legal protection for enslaved persons against abuses of any kind? was there any hint of an abolitionist movement during those eras? >> wonderful question.
goes, becauselaw you have to look at it on two levels. what is actually the written law and what was the actual in practice law. if you are looking at the written law, the enslaved have of if aon and respect slave was to be murdered, killed for lack of a better term, no reason whatsoever, that was considered murder. kill your slave in the manner of correction. if you are whipping them, punishing them and they happen correction,n that the law did not protect them. having said that, if someone was slaves,r one of their
they would have to be reported to the law for that in order to be prosecuted. who will turn them in? the other slaves in the house cannot turn them in because it was against the law for slaves to be able to testify in court. who will be the witness? who will stand there and say this person was killed in cold blood? we want their killer to be brought to justice. that really did not happen and it could not happen because you would not have a witness. there were protections, but if you are talking about the actual way in which the law was set forth in the way in which it was actually used, you don't find a lot of records at all of people being prosecuted for killing a slave.
linda in texas. welcome to the conversation. caller: thank you. i have a question. i was fortunate enough to get partial degree -- i'm trying to get some recognition of black history in the school system in texas. i've been working to no avail. the textbooks don't even mention slavery. togoes from 1791 and jumps the peanut guy and then rosa parks. there is no information about the inventions, the wars that we fought income of the things we in, the things that we built it i've been struggling to get the school system to at least recognize black history month.
in the school system and i'm working hard, not just for black people, but for the cause of history. what can you recommend that i try to do to get this done? this -- that'say one of the reasons why living history museums, museums in general, are so important. no matter what is happening in society, no matter what choices are being made within a legislature as far as what is going to be taught, living history museums, museums use the actual documentation to tell the story in the way that it needs to be told. as far as what i would suggest to try to get that information out there is to go to those
museums, to go online -- we live in a wonderful time when we can connect to someone who is only on the other side of the desk all the way on the other side of the earth and two seconds by pressing a button. i don't know what the possibility is upbringing guest speakers into your classroom through technology in a way that gets that story out there. another thing i would suggest, you have a lot of people who have learned the history, the history has been passed down through storytelling, one of the ways to get those stories out there to get things told and have them come in and tell the story. remembering slavery is a wonderful publication to get. it uses the library of congress recordings of actual next slaves
-slaves talking about what it was like to be slaves. their actual voice talking about ast they had to go through slaves and what they had to go through once they were freed. something a textbook cannot take away. that is probably what i would suggest as far as to get that word out there and get it into your classroom. you do need to find a way to bring it into her classroom. host: more to come from colonial williamsburg one last phone call on this topic. pam in philadelphia. caller: i was calling to see wouldew directions interpreters be taking at colonial williamsburg?
added storyline? where are we going with the current program today? guest: the short answer is, yes. the more accurate answer would be to say that where we are going and where we need to go is that when a guest comes here to colonial williamsburg, black, white, other, the one thing i want to make sure they leave understanding is that slavery was woven into the fabric of 18th-century british north american society. there is not a way you could have gone through a day in the 18th century without in some way, shape or form having it be part of your day. where programming is heading towards is that no matter what building you go into, no matter what program you go to, no
matter what experience you have, you will learn within that experience history. you will learn about the contributions of the founding fathers and the founding mothers and those individuals that did the work for those founding fathers and founding mothers. house that has 31 people in it where 28 of them were enslaved, you will hear the stories of those 28 enslaved people just as much as you will hear the story of those three individuals who were waited upon. where we need to head towards an programming is not to have separate programs, to have the program be a whole. when you come to see history, when you come to be part of history, you become a part of all that history. the story of george washington eve of thery of
rental house and the story of thomas jefferson or the story of jupiter of monticello are all american stories. eve of the randolph house. you see every single person who lived in the colonial times, no matter what their color was, whether they were native or woman, ithite, man or is your story as americans, as a member of the world. those stories need to be told everywhere. that is where we are heading. we will always have new programs that tell stories that tell about the enslaved. not as slaves, but as people. people that had lives just as rich as anyone else within the world of the 18th century. that is where we are going. that is the destination. host: a lot more to come from
colonial williamsburg. i'm sure many of our viewers have been enticed today to visit. we thank you for the conversation and everyone there at the foundation for welcoming , helpinghe c-span bus us bring the sites and sounds of 18th-century virginia today to americanago p.m. and 11 a clockd on christmas at noon and 8:00 p.m. eastern. blackwe will visit the smith shop and public armory to learn about the role of the blacksmith and how they supported the militia. after that, you will get to go behind the scenes of williamsburg's costume design and see where the historic area costumes are researched and created.
>> the preserved in number of traits from the 18th century. andave probably 20's trades i run the blacksmith shop. steel. with iron and those are wrong materials made into finished products such as tools,ction hardware, housewares, parts for wagons. here at the armory, we expanded into even more work. historic trade, our mission is to re-create the work environment and be activity would find in these sorts of workshops in colonial america.
that involves handwork. the study ofves early documentary evidence to teach us about the history of these trades and the technologies practiced. research also tells us about the businesses who worked there and what kind of work they were doing. we also rely on input from archaeologists who have studied remains within the ground that help us to define and outline the footprint of the building. architectural historians help understand common construction so we can re-create the building in three dimensions. we are responsible for operating the building's. steel producing iron and goods used within the historic
area. we provide the parts to put together a building, tools for the hands of other workmen, we help construct the wagons and carriages used within the era. we are open to the public. guess come in and they are able to watch what we do and interact with the trades probably produce these things. this particular site was operated by a man named james .nderson born in virginia probably trained by one of his uncles, and blacksmith in town. theomes to williamsburg in 1760's after finishing an apprenticeship. he established a workshop. .e operated that successfully as his success grew, it's typical for a government to
appoint a blacksmith or gunsmith to serve in the role as an armor. their responsibility is to maintain the government owned weapons kept in the powder magazine about a block from here. that's not an overwhelming task goes to one that somebody's and the commercial success of operating a business that has conducted their affairs in the community and in a socially acceptable way and then has the political and social connections towards a political patronage appointment. the government doesn't advertise for all mers, the government selects from the community the person they want in that role. is on call. he receives a stipend. then if he's involved in repair
cleaning of weapons, he charges for that. and the government relies on the other maintenance work. anderson made duplicate keys for the capital building and did repairs for architecture features at the governor's palace. he was responsible for shackling and un-shackling prisoners. he was responsible for winding the clock in the capital building. it comes with these additional responsibilities that allow him to charge on top of this stipend he gets every year. when the war began, this becomes a key position. anderson takes on the same role for the state of virginia. one interesting element about the american revolution is it's not really an overthrow of the local authority. its separation from an empire.
anderson switched from serving the colony to the state. he is working for the same people. titleargely a switch in or perhaps political philosophy in this new, independent nation. increases.mand they have to be shipped back here. as the demand increased, the number of workmen had to be enlarged to keep up with the demand. and ultimately, a larger facility had to be built in the armory building was built at the expense of the state in order to accommodate the additional workman. employedthe workshop five people.
by 1780, 40 workers. during the british occupation, the site had been built as a public armory. it was funded by the state. it was funded by the state and the output of the workshop was to the benefit of the state. when the british occupied williamsburg, the capital had been relocated to richmond because the government was the primary customer. he moved to richmond as well. the structures were still here when the british occupation occurred. part of military tactics includes disrupting your enemies operations. destroyed byilding
the war effort, the barracks on the north end of town was burned to the ground. downnk the british tour the fort's to make shopping operable. after the war when james anderson returned, he had to put significant investment into getting the shop a back up and running. in the 1780's and 90's, it became a vibrant workshop again. the british didn't tear down the building completely. .ost tradesmen are working your workdays are defined by the available daylight here. summertime, you have more sunlight than in the winter and you have no cheap, artificial light so when the sun comes up,
you were able to work and when the sun sets, you have to stop what you are doing. summertime, it could be a 14 hour workday. in the wintertime, you might on the have eight or 10 hours of decent light. it's harder to produce a living in wintertime than in the summer. your daily routine would "opening the shop. -- with opening the shop. a coal our iron with fire. splitting kindling, starting a small wood fire and adding cold to that in order to build up the heat. day, if thehe physical work. we start with the bars of iron.
our role is to convert those iron bars into useless shapes consumers in the town or soldiers in the field need to get their work done. on the armory site in order to keep the workmen focused, there was a cook employed who cooled military rations and prepared meals so at a certain hour, a bell would be wrong and the workmen would take a break for a meal early afternoon and again late in the evening. meantime, you are creating the shapes under the hammer. but a polishing work with a device. it would have been quite a lively workshop. you can imagine the noise, the heat. people doing the word work -- would work. produced fork
calvary. a part ofe being their work. a great friday. also during the revolution, we have a great cultural mix. among the work force at the --e, there were three whites free white and soldiers employed in the shop and enslaved african-americans who were skilled in the work. there were some scots i went prisoners of war put to work in the shop. -- scots island prisoners of war. within this site, you begin to see the kind of cultural mix the u.s. is known for all coming
together with the same goal of seeing the soldiers outfitted. if you enter the site here, you pass by a house owned by james anderson. he didn't live in this house, he had a second house as a residence. this house he used to house some workmen. part of employment at the time .ncluded pay and room and board when the site was employing 40 workmen, the logical place to put them was in this second house he had and they probably weren't luxurious. it wasn't like each workman got a house or a room in a house or even a bed in a room. they were sharing the beds. you may find a room with half a .ozen workmen sharing the space their meals were prepared by a
cook and were pooled. house, you are kind of faced with the façade of all relatedngs that to the operation. on the far right is a tin shop. that was added to the next during the revolution to provide soldiers with in-flight camp saucers ands, canisters.like the center building is the armory building. then to the left of the armory building is a kitchen. the kitchen and the shop were buildings that preexisted the armory. the armory was built between them to create this façade. go around to the property and you come to the main entrance of
the blacksmith shop and into the south of the blacksmith shop, there's another workshop used by people working on clothing or restocking muskets, any number of a committee's related to weapons maintenance and care of the workmen. then there are a couple of storage buildings. the entire site was fenced for security. there's a century box out front. everybody knew as a government contractor that the site would .e a target of british interest posting sentries was a way to keep an eye on the building. we think there may have also been guard dogs on the property. one interesting thing that came up in the archaeology were a number of burials of dogs on the site. they presumably could have been guard dogs within the fenced
compound. a blacksmith really is a service industry so we don't have a product line, a showroom, you don't come to a blacksmith to shop for things. typically, you come with the need. you look elsewhere for a piece and the stores in town don't carry that end you come to us and we can custom make objects like that. we are involved in the service end of the work. typically once you own something made out of iron and steel, if it breaks, it will be cheaper to fix it. if it's wearing out, it will be cheaper to fix than replace. that's really where we come in. industry meeting that service of custom manufacturing and repair. work of a blacksmith can very
depending on your location. this shop being in the center of an urban community, there are a lot of household goods, fireplace equipment, cooking tools, lighting devices. there are tools used in workshops. if you visit any other workshop, all the other workers use iron and steel tools together working on. we are involved in production of those. the biggestirginia, industry is farming. more farmers than any other kind of workers within the region. farm implement are part of the work. there is work to be done on wheeled vehicles, carts, wagons, carriages. see some shops specialize in horseshoe wing or work on
firearms. there was a gunsmith shop. there were colors in the town. we would combine a lot of those activities on our site today. just about anything made out of iron or steel might have come into the shop. the last we know james anderson undertook according to his surviving accounts was the repaired and on the role of for someone here in the community. even those activities were going on. i think our site and the historic trade site here in williamsburg has some important things to offer a modern audience. one of the most important things is the fact we are preserving these and skills. -- hand skills. this sort of work is something rarely experienced in modern life.
this was taught to almost every school kid. if you knew how to use a saw, h ammer, or file you could do maintenance on your own vehicle. but schools don't really teach hand tools any longer. for young people, this is an environment where you immerse .ourself in hand technology in the present day there is a shift in interest in the digital world. there is a response to that, looking for this hand work. day,ee it in the present term to the makers movement.
artists and trade work and artisan clothing is all coming back. guests leaveur understanding that are anorts of industries important part of american success. up byk it was rest summed richard henry lee writing to thomas jefferson in 1776 when he said, let us have small arms, canon, and industry. we will be secure. it is in vain to have laws if you are subject to the sword without means of resisting. >> that is a lesson we can maintain today.
if we do not maintain the ability to supply our own means, it makes the country vulnerable. in the revolutionary war period, this was our government. the armory site was our government's response to the need for security. colonial williamsburg is the capitalh century surviving of the colonial period. we are very fortunate in a sense that the geographic location of williamsburg made it difficult to develop large-scale industries. we're not on the water so williamsburg was never a port city or a huge industrial city and the armory is one of the larger industries found within the city. the importance of this city was that it was the seat of government.
the other important thing where the ideals defined here that defined american liberty and independence. a museum seeks to preserve that along with this environment. they offer not only political ideals but architectural splendor. you see some of the best colonial architecture of the chesapeake preserved here. you have these variety of trains that bring the town to life and the original town plan. largelyets are unchanged from that time. it is a great place to visit the past and touch the past to understand how the past influences the present. to enjoy the architecture and the splendor of the georgian
period and to experience these hand trades firsthand. the costume design at colonial williamsburg. authord, maintain and those it we have in common. there are about 1400 different positions. the 1600and maintain items we have an circulation. >> this is the operations room and this is the largest section of our facility. , twowe have one supervisor cutters, the rest of the people that you see working diligently are tailors. >> we also maintain all the garments for the historic area employees, with the exception of those who work in pattern.
it is about 60 to 65 articles of clothing. the average allotment is worth about $4000 for the foundation. here we have the of fits manufactured in this building. here is a drum uniform. we have the musical component of the virginia state garrison. the colors are reversed you have a red regimental with blue face paint. in 2008re redesigned
and this is based on an antique in london. here we have a digitally reproduced painted silk. textile was in our collection and was made up into a down. photographed and we sent it off to new york to be digitally printed in this silk style. we had someone portraying lady dunmore for a day, and we built this for her for that event. >> can you tell us how clothing would have been different for the different classes? the 18thss attire in century would've been a suit, not unlike this.
the only thing that changes during 1860 to 1960 is the length of the various components. the coat got shorter, the waistcoat got shorter, and the breaches got longer. this would've been available to all strata of society in different qualities and fabrics. >> and for women? >> for women, the division of labor was interesting. generally men's garments are flat patterned and manufactured by tailors. women's garments are draped onto a form. fitthen they are sown to the pacific -- specific body pulsed --. it would've probably been a constrictive or tight upper body torso. or toast --
but what we generally call a corset. there would be a petticoat. the ideal silhouette in this period is a cone perched on an . dress is based on a number of things. a variety of textiles and fabrics have been available to the rest of colonial fromamsburg and imported england. >> how would someone have gone about getting new clothing in the 18th century? >> we know there was a lot of remaking of items. you can purchase things ready-made. there is a huge ready-made business in the 18th century. could have something custom-made for you.
colonies, forhern instance, south carolina, there is a huge distribution of youth clothing which isn't as readily .vailable >> can you show us some of the other parts of the costume design? >> let's take a look at our warehouse. we are in our warehouse where all things are initiated. we have before you three reproduced textiles. this is what i showed you outfitirs the lady. more which was a design of the french fashion plate of the period. reproducedigitally photographed onto
and the backing is washed off. this is a reproduction of a garment that survived the national museum of history from the smithsonian, from a coat originally owned by benjamin franklin. linen.d there are a lot of buttons on 18th-century men's attire and what you see before you is a series of reproduction buttons that we have. for aarticular button is british regimental. cast for us byly a company in rhode island. these are livery buttons. livery is essentially the attire
of servants and in the 18th century. you could display your wealth on your back and show how wealthy servantsddressing your in matching livery. generally the color is based on your armorial crest. lord dunmoreed on the last royal governor of virginia. i can tell you they are probably and weecause we did this got gift money to do these. i discovered that there are no armorial crest buttons discovered archaeologically in virginia. we know that when he ordered his livery he ordered blue cloth, brown cloth and silver tape and silver buttons.
we know that the materials arrived that we don't know what it looked like after it was made up. these things are interesting. these are on a general officers coat. vendors made for us by a in the united kingdom. it's interesting because it kind of copies what buttons look like in the 18th century which would have been cast and cramped over a bone core. this was a polymer. it would've been a drill hole laced in the shank would've been crated by catgut. .t's a beautiful reproduction and they are outrageously expensive so precious. perfect fortons are
the 18th century. in current times they were manufactured by a company in colorado, but they are dead on perfect for the buttons we matched up to a garment that we thereated currently in metropolitan is he him of our. buttons this is all done by machine and they would be -- this would be the result. they would go over a wooden core orrm -- wooden form. find very difficult to items that are appropriate to the 18th century. this wall here we got from a manufacturer in the united kingdom. these all have to match.
and we ordered quite a few yards, so we only have to do a dye lot every five to six years. we have prints here. they are very popular in the 18th century. we used natural fibers that would've been appropriate. wool, linen, some have, a little bit of cotton and silk. some blends but it is a very slight blend. we trinity is any acrylic fibers. because they are dangerous. ity melt instead of burn with people looking around open fires. in this roomsories is responsible for all the little pieces required to make up wardrobe.
they fit shoes, caps they finished these hats which are sort of traditional 18th century menswear. all of the little pieces that make up wardrobe there responsible for. the majority of things you see on this table were built in this room. can see a depiction. we have one of the few surviving examples of these. lots of depictions of them in the 18th century but few survive. we're the only surviving example. we took a pattern. it was done before i got here. the took a pattern off and they did a reproduction. now it's not terribly accessible because it's permanently mounted so we cannot check our
measurements but it's pretty close to the depiction. then a set of pockets that are reproductions of ones in the collection. they would've been worn underneath a woman's down and it is essentially storage. this is a hat made in this room on thessa based depiction from an english area of the period this is worn by the lady who played lady dunmore and this jewelry was made fresh jewelry maker who does reproductive jewelry in massachusetts. owned by thely wife of the last royal governor of massachusetts.
this is a reproduction stomach or worn on the upper body and it would be pinned. shoes men's shoes, these are made here, not in this building but by colonial williamsburg shoemakers. annotation done by a company out of las vegas nevada. they call this the dunmore and they are in first for sale in our shops. and it's supposed to look like a cala maiko shoe. textile andld washington ordered these shoes for martha yearly. we know they are being worn by
all strata of society. of a set reproduction of epaulets. they are a sign of rank. one'sare reproductions of currently held by the yorktown victory center right down the road. ourrge portion of programming has to do with the military and the revolution. we really increased our military presence and knowledge of military history and military dress. blanks.hese this
larger brimhad a and then it is steamed and shellacked molded and shaped into place just like it would've been done in the 18th century. and then my -- mind. here is one. these are the raw materials. century it could have been made from both rabbit, and or beaver for. -- beaver furr. in 1991, our curator started a had the mostby she question of us in surviving clothing where it was studied and reproduced and sent back to its respective museums. cat.we have a bobcat-lined
it is a reproduction of one originally owned by thomas jefferson. a lot of his clothing survived, which is wonderful. you have an opportunity to study it. from what i discovered he is not a natty dresser. there are a couple of things that survived which are repaired. something you would not expect on items owned by the president of the united states. he also suffered from the cold his entire life. at monticello there are several waistcoats lined with stockings because he was always cold. bobcat.a virginia i think they got it to the state. i think it was roadkill and now it lines our reproduction path.
this is research and design and what happens here is we develop items for use in the historic area. generally, you like to have these things and the majority have been to the vetting process. first you like to have an antique that you can study and pattern and that has some kind of attachment. then, you like to have a period depiction of someone in that antique and ideally some kind of written documentation that talks about it, either an invoice or a letter or a bill. , i got this garment ate for me by -- that never happened.
documentationof regarding washington and jefferson's clothing and a lot of it survived. what is difficult to get at is common attire. earlier in the interview that we are doing a lot more military programming and there is a carbon -- garment called overalls or gator trousers that we could not find a surviving example of so prior to finding this particular extend ourused to breaches pattern and do the fitting that way. this is the depiction of four gentlemen in a rhode island regiment in overalls. what is this garment?
fortunately, we were able to find a surviving pair. is ayou see on your right reproduction of that particular pair of gator trousers at the metropolitan. we studied them and pattern to and and photographed them this is a schematic. there are notes here on how it went together, how many stitches per inch. the construction, the order of construction. all of that is copied here. then we came to the reproduction which is done by hand in the 18th century manner. on the digitized it finally weboard and
built a prototype by machine. i would love to practice all by hand but we do need to use modern construction because of the volume. we fit this on a number of different people and it works really well. to somezing how problems. this is a tedious construction technique but originally what we would do is shave it at the back of the battle. one thingh century they did was all the shaping is run in the inseam is the outstrip his great and that answered a lot of questions. a british general officer's uniform. the buttons are the ones i showed you up stairs. very similar to the antiques.
all of this is machine embroidered. there are several of these that survived so they are easy to study but they were constructed in-house. that we have the epaulets. these were embroidered in pakistan. it was all by machine will stop this is an annotation of a suit we had in the collection. this would have been very formal attire. it's called a court suit. one is generally worn by the person who portrays lord dunmore.