Munns Manufacturing, a company that specializes in clocktowers and church steeples, restored the clocktower on Williamsburg's Courthouse
Wednesday, July 14, 2004
After fire destroyed (for the third time) the Jamestown Statehouse in 1698, the burgesses decided to move the colony's government to Middle Plantation, soon renamed Williamsburg. On May 18, 1699, they resolved to build the first American structure to which the word Capitol was applied.
In this building Patrick Henry delivered his Caesar-Brutus speech against the Stamp Act on May 29, 1765.
"Caesar had his Brutus--Charles the first his Cromwell--and George III--may he profit from their example."
Henry, George Washington, George Mason, George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Jefferson, and others played their parts in the legislative wars that ended in revolution. - Official Colonial Williamsburg Website
Led by four standard bearers, a herald riding a gelding, and the mayor and his aldermen bearing the city charter, the throng marched down Duke of Gloucester Street toward the College of William and Mary. They carried a proclamation announcing the initialing of the Treaty of Paris and, nearly two years after Yorktown, the end of the Revolution." - Colonial Williambsurg official website
Williamsburg Gunsmiths Mostly Repairmen"Because imported firearms were cheaper than those made in Williamsburg - typical of many goods in colonial America - the gunsmith mainly repaired arms and other objects. Gunsmiths often repaired axes and other items made by blacksmiths, cast shoe buckles and other items like bells, and sometimes repaired silver objects.
Rifles were the only Virginia arms produced in quantity. Rifle production was concentrated on the frontier to the west of Williamsburg." - Colonial Williamsburg Official Website
Another interesting account of a visit to the Williamsburg Gunsmith.
Friday, July 02, 2004
See also: Weavers
In 1766 (in Providence, Rhode Island), the "Daughters of Liberty" was formed by a group of upper-middle class young women. They spent their days spinning to free America from its reliance on Europe for textiles--which actually did help the colonists when the Revolutionary war was launched. Many colonists found it economically necessary to create their own basic fabrics and clothing, anyway; but the finer cloths--the brocades and damasks, for example--were purchased from Europe.
Colonists with lingering European taste insisted upon British wools, in particular. American sheep were coarse wool types, and couldn't produce the more fine, soft wools of English sheep. Yet, in the 1630s, the colonial legislative body passed several laws forbidding the purchase or wearing of such fine fabrics--because, they said, colonists were becoming far too worldly.
Although widely available in colonial America, COTTON was not expertly created by the colonists; it was very coarse when made in the colonies. American SILKS were generally of poor quality, also. Most cotton was imported from England (and originated in India), and heavy silks from England and France were bought in small quantities.
"For Women, tight bodices contrasted with voluminous hoop skirts and panniers (side bustles) under multi-layered petticoats and skirts. Stays (corsets) were inset with stiff whalebone and drawn tight, often laced to the brink of asphyxiation! Intricately upswept hairstyles completed the vision.
For Men, tailored frock coats opened to beautiful waistcoats of velvet, brocade or satin, and worn with velvet breeches, fancy knee buckles, silk stockings and buckled shoes."
Dr. Dwight in his Travels said that English-men often laughed at the fact that inns in New England were kept by men of consequence.
BEFORE named streets with numbered houses came into existence, and when few persons could read, painted and carved sign-boards and figures were more useful than they are to-day; and not only innkeepers, but men of all trades and callings sought for signs that either for quaintness, appropriateness, or costliness would attract the eyes of customers and visitors, and fix in their memory the exact locality of the advertiser. Signs were painted and carved in wood; they were carved in stone; modelled in terra-cotta and plaster; painted on tiles; wrought of various metals; and even were made of animal' heads stuffed."
It goes on to say: "When the colonists befriended the natives, their "medicine cabinets" so to say, expanded with new herbal remedies the natives brought them from their new land.
In his book, Divided Legacy, Dr Harris L Coulter describes this "second doctrine" (there were 4 competing theories of medicine in the first half of the 1800s) as the "Indian Doctors." Even though many of the arriving colonists had brought their herbal medicines with them (and seeds to grow more), the main herbal movement in this country were some of the new herbals introduced to the colonists by the natives."
These "botanics" eventually joined with a new group called the Thompsonians (I wonder if they were any relation? :-) to form the Eclectic Medicine movement.
"Thompsonians were named after the physician Samuel Thompson who left behind his orthodox practice to develop a much simpler theory based upon steam baths and the Indian remedy: lobelia."