May 18, 2011
The website features a broad range of descriptive material that builds upon the rich collections of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and showcases the significant role played by Williamsburg in the events leading to American independence.
The American Revolution website is available online at www.ouramericanrevolution.org.
December 9, 2010
Colonial Williamsburg’s John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library has acquired two 17th-century letters from Philip III of Spain concerning the settlement of Jamestown as a gift from best-selling author Patricia Cornwell.
Cornwell acquired the two letters warning about the danger of Jamestown being a pirate base. In each of the letters, the king of Spain wrote to the Alonso Perez du Guzman, the seventh Duke of Medina Sidonia, about his concern over the first permanent English settlement in North America. In the first letter dated July 29, 1608, the king said, “By various avenues He (i.e., the King) has been advised that the English are attempting to procure a foothold on the Island of Virginia, with the end [in mind] of sallying forth from there to commit piracy.”
The letters eventually will be put on display in the Rockefeller Library. The Rockefeller Library’s Special Collections department houses the Foundation’s most valuable manuscript material, architectural and archaeological drawings, rare books and images.
October 14, 2010
Read the newly-added biography of Johnny, a highly-valued manservant in one of the Revolution’s most prominent families. Bequeathed to a new owner after his master’s death, Johnny’s years of patient service ended in a successful bid for freedom.
June 4, 2010
Watch archaeology in action this summer during “Archaeologists At Work.” Archaeology staff members will excavate portions of the James Anderson site to search for underground evidence related to Anderson’s expansion of his blacksmithing operation into a high production armoury during the American Revolution.
The excavation is prelude to the planned reconstruction of Anderson’s Blacksmith Shop and Public Armoury. James Anderson was appointed Public Armourer in 1776 by the General Assembly of the newly independent Commonwealth of Virginia. In the wake of his appointment, Anderson began to enlarge his small, commercial blacksmithing operation into an extensive and diverse public manufactory.
Learn more about the reconstruction of Anderson’s Blacksmith Shop and Public Armoury.
Several archaeological studies of the site from 1974 through 2001 explored areas around the blacksmithing forges and strongly suggest that tinsmiths were working on the site. This year’s dig will concentrate on two areas: the kitchen area east of the current blacksmiths’ shop and a section of an 18th-century ravine along the shop’s border.
“Archaeologists At Work” is presented continuously 9 a.m. to noon and 1:15 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, June 14 through August 13, weather permitting. Admission is by Colonial Williamsburg ticket or Good Neighbor Pass.