Colonial Williamsburg – The Governers Palace- What Felicity Didn't See

May 26, 2009 at 8:50 am (Uncategorized)

Friday I had fun combining some of the pictures I had taken at the Governor’s Palace at Colonial Williamsburg with a few quotes about the Palace from the book Felicity’s Surprise.  However, there is SO much more of the Palace that Felicity didn’t see!  So today I want to share what we saw and learned when we visited the Palace.

The premise of the tour of the Palace we had was that we were the first people to enter the Palace after Governor Dunsmore departed.  Our tour guide told us that Governor Dunsmore had a rocky relationship with the people of Virginia from the start.  Before he arrived as the Kings appointed Governor unrest was already brewing.  But, he made the mistake of writing a private letter to someone about how he did not want to go to Virginia because he believed the Colonist to be so unrefined and unsophisticated.  Well, he never meant for the letter to be read by the people of Virginia, but somehow, someone got a hold of the letter and printed it in the newspaper!  Needless to say it went over like a lead balloon!  LOL  (The guide pointed out that leaking things to the press was NOT a new thing!)  So the man and his family show up and are automatically not liked.  The people of Virginia did put on a big welcome for them, but mostly it was just to prove that they were NOT unrefined and unsophisticated.

So the relationship between the Dunsmores and the people was pretty much doomed from the start.  Then Dunsmore got the great idea that he could take all the gunpowder from the Magazine in Williamsburg under the authority of the King.  He had hoped that without gunpowder the people wouldn’t be able to wage war.  But, what he really accomplished was to really tick everyone off and get the ball rolling towards war before the official word even arrived. 

Finally, Dunsmore saw the writing on the wall and one night he and his family slipped out the back door of the Palace and made there way to a boat waiting in the Chesapeake Bay. 

Now back to us!  Our tour is pretending to be the people to go in and investigate the home the next day after Dunsmore has left. 

This is what we find….

Of course you already saw a LOT of weapons in my last post
Wow, there were a lot of weapons!  They actually found over 500 weapons that were left in the house.  Of course these were all taken, inventoried and used in the Revolutionary War against the king when the time came!

And of course I already showed you the ballroom.
This room was stunning!  The architecture, the furninture, the paintings.  It was all just amazing.

The Supper Room was pretty spectacular too.
One thing I found interesting about this room was the color.  This is almost the exact same color that the small dining room at Mt. Vernon was painted.  Except here is the difference.  At Mt. Vernon they painted EVERYTHING this color in the room!  It was horrible!  Imagine this color on the walls, moldings, fireplace.  Yuck!  It was really odd too, because none of the other rooms were painted all one color.  I liked the color much more in this room where it was combined with the white moldings and the gold accents.  No offense George and Martha!  LOL

So now for some of the rooms Felicity didn’t see!

This is the room right off the entry hall.  It was called the pantry, but it was sort of a mix between dish storage and an office. I am assuming this is were the job of running the house took place. We were told at the other plantation houses that we visited that the job of managing the household could be quite a task with all the parties and special events that went on in the home.


We enjoyed seeing all the dishes they had.  We were told there was service for 50 in the cupboards!  We also thought it was interesting that there were bird cages in the pantry.  The guide told us that birds were used like radios back then.  They would bring them into the room to listen to them sing!

Then we went upstairs.

The staircase was lovely…

Even the floor of the staircase was amazing…

Upstairs we saw one of the childrens bedrooms…

At the foot of the bed was this little bed.
This is where the children’s teacher of the children would have slept!

The children also had there own little tea area. 
The room was lovely!

Then we went into the master bedroom…
Which I somehow managed not to take any pictures of!

The Sitting room…

This room had the most amazing wall covering.  it was leather with gold leaf over it!

and another bedroom….
I thought this bed was gorgeous!  It was all carved wood and then the fabric was decoupaged over it.  WOW!

Next we went downstairs and saw the rooms I already showed you in the Felicity post.

Then it was outside to see where all the work took place!

The kitchen was 5 buildings the are to the left of the main house.





It was really interesting to talk to the cook.  He was a wealth of information!  I am sure I drove everyone crazy with all my questions.  But, I was in history heaven!  LOL

I also enjoyed seeing the Kitchen Garden, which was right outside the main kitchen door.  I would LOVE to have this garden outside my kitchen door!

Last of all we walked around the back garden.  It was beautiful!  The kids liked the hedge maze the most!

I loved seeing the Governor’s Palace! Our guide was excellent and the house was unbelievable!  Oh, by the way, it is all a reproduction.  They original Palace burned down.  It was being used for a hospital during the war and caught fire and burned.  Thankfully by the time it had burned Thomas Jefferson had lived there as one of the 2 governors that did NOT report to the king!  (Patrick Henry was the other.)  Thomas Jefferson is known for taking copious notes and drawing detailed floor plans of everywhere he lived.  So they actually had his detailed notes and plans to use to rebuild it.  It also helped that they found samples of most of the tile used in the original Palace buried on the property.  (From after the fire.)  So they tile was also able to be reproduced almost exactly.

I hope you enjoyed the Governeor’s Palace through my eyes as well as Felicity’s!

Happy Homeschooling,

Jamin

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