In 1699, Williamsburg became the new capital of Virginia. Williamsburg served as the seat of government for Britain’s largest colony in America. Also, in the turbulent period when Williamsburg was the political headquarters for Virginia, patriots had an important part in overthrowing the rule of the crown. In the decade before the Revolution, Williamsburg was a training and proving ground for leaders. Here George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, George Mason, Peyton Randolph, and Richard Henry Lee met and debated with other gifted contemporaries; their discussions and their written words did much to change the course of America. When the Declaration of Independence was proclaimed, a significant period of transition came to an end; the city had changed from the proud capital of a British colony to the even prouder capital of a new state in a new nation.
Williamsburg Capitol Building
High court. Ruled and governed by the royal crown.
One of the only places in America where another flag waves apart from the American flag. Colonial Williamsburg is meant to place you in the early 18th century, as if it is still under the rule of the British crown.
Royal governor’s meeting room
A map of the 13 colonies, as represented in the early 18th century.
House of Burgesses. Colonial representatives from Virginia would meet here to discuss and debate the topics of the day. It was in this room that American Independence was first proposed by Richard Henry Lee.
Beautiful colonial style home. This would be representative of the upper class in the 18th century in Williamsburg.
Jail cell in the Public Gaol (jail)
Williamburg’s Gaol (jail). It’s most infamous visitor was the great pirate Blackbeard.
Another view of the Capitol building (and one of it’s founding members)
A look down The Duke of Gloucester Street. The main thoroughfare in Williamsburg.
Bruton Parish Church (established in 1674). It is still an active parish today! George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, and many others attended this church during the Revolutionary period.