Image courtesy of Colonial National Historical Park, Yorktown.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Patrick Henry's Scotchtown: 2013 Events

Patrick Henry’s Scotchtown 2013

16120 Chiswell Lane, Beaverdam, VA 23015

804- 227- 3500,

Admission: Preservation Virginia Members Free; General Admission $8; Senior Citizens (55+) $6; Students $4, AAA Members $7

February 9, 2013 18th Century Costume Seminar

               Saturday 10- 1

Join us for a costume seminar on 18th century clothing. 
Space is limited!
Tickets are $15 per person 
Deadline for registration is Friday, February 1st, 2013
purchase tickets here:
Please register with

March 7, 2013 Community Meeting

               Thursday 7pm- 9pm

Patrick Henry's Scotchtown NEEDS YOUR HELP!
We are holding a community meeting to discuss our future.
All individuals who have an interest in this historic home of “the orator of the American Revolution” are welcome to join us at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church for an informal discussion. 
Bring your ideas. Bring a friend. Bring a positive vision for the site!
ST. Paul’s Episcopal Church
8050 St Pauls Church Rd,
Hanover, VA 23069

March 9, 2013 Hands on Second Saturday: Candle Making

               Saturday 10- 5

In the 18th century, handmade candles were the only light source during long winter nights. Although we now rely on electricity, you'll enjoy the simple elegance of your own hand-dipped candles, as well as, have fun making them.

April 13, 2013 Hands on Second Saturday: Wood Working

               Saturday 10- 5

Every second Saturday of the month Patrick Henry's Scotchtown hosts a hands on event for all ages. In April please come try your hand at 18th century wood working skills. Join us the second Saturday in April at Patrick Henry's Scotchtown.

May 11, 2013 Hands on Second Saturday: Nature Hide and Seek

               Saturday 10- 5

Every second Saturday of the month Patrick Henry's Scotchtown hosts a hands on event for all ages. In the month of May come explore the wildlife and birding on Patrick Henry's Scotchown's special trail with this easy guided hike.

May 11, 2013 Mother Daughter Tea

               Saturday 10- 12

Celebrate Mother’s Day with your daughter(s). Enjoy special crafts,18th century games and activities and a tea party on the lawn. Come dress your best ladies and join us. May 11, 2013 10:00am through 12:00pm (noon)
Tickets are $25 per mother and daughter 
Pre- registration required, no later than May 6th 2013

May 12, 2013 Mother’s Day

               Sunday 1- 5

Celebrating parent receives free admission when accompanied by his/her family.

June 8, 2013 Hands on Second Saturday: Textiles and 4H Day

               Saturday 10- 5

Textiles come in all natural types. Come learn a bit more about them and how in the 18th century they were used.
4H Day: 4H plays an important role in life here at Patrick Henry's Scotchtown and surrounding Hanover County. Come discover the club's many activities and programs.

June 16, 2013 Father’s Day

               Sunday 1- 5

Celebrating parent receives free admission when accompanied by his/her family.

July 13, 2013 Hands on Second Saturday: Floor Cloths

               Saturday 10- 5

Floor cloths were made and used in the 18th-century Virginia as simple but attractive ways to protect the floor. Recently, these floor coverings have re-surged in popularity in interior decor magazines and blogs. Come learn how to make your own floor cloth just like the colonists.

August 10, 2013 Hands on Second Saturday: 18th Century Games

               Saturday 10- 5

Life was not all work and no fun; try some 18th century games such as Hoop and Stick, and Graces.

September 8, 2013 Grandparent’s Day

               Sunday 1-5

Celebrating grandparent(s) receive free admission when accompanied by his/her family.

September 14, 2013 Hands on Second Saturday: Chair Caning

               Saturday 10- 5

Don't throw your old chairs away! Come learn how to repair the caning and weaving with us

October 12, 2013 Hands on Second Saturday: Hearth Cooking

               Saturday 10- 5

Come learn firsthand how 18th century cooking methods compare and contrast with those used in kitchens today. 

October 26, 2013 Haunted History

               Saturday 6-9

Once a year the eerie tales and mysterious legends that have come to rest on the grounds of Patrick Henry's Scotchtown come to light. Visit if you dare! 
Tickets $5 per person

November 9, 2013 Hands on Second Saturday: Weaving with a Loom

               Saturday 10- 5

Learn about the different types of looms. Try your hand at some of the 18th century techniques of weaving!

December 14, 2013 Hands on Second Saturday: Colonial Holiday Activities

               Saturday 10- 5

Come get ready for the holidays! Make boxwood wreaths, ornaments, and enjoy shopping for those last minute gifts. (May be a small fee for some of the materials)

December 14- 15, 2013 Patrick Henry’s Colonial Christmas

               Saturday 6-9, Sunday 1- 5

Celebrate an 18th-century Christmas holiday at Patrick Henry's Scotchtown. Join us for decorations, food and holiday surprises! 
Tickets $5 per person

John Marshall House: 2013 Events

John Marshall House 2013

 818 East Marshall Street, Richmond VA 23219

804- 648- 7998,

 Admission: Preservation Virginia Members Free;   Adults $8; Seniors (55+) $6;   Children (under 18) $4;  

Students with ID $4;   Children 3 and under Free; AAA Adults $7

March 1, 2013 – May 31, 2013 The Women in the Marshall Household

               Fridays and Saturdays 10- 5, Sundays 12- 5

Spring has sprung, and with it the ladies of the house make changes to reflect the season.
Come share with us the opening of the house for the new year of 2013.
An open house, and themed tours with featured artifacts!

May 17, 2013 Secret Garden Party

               Friday 5:30- 8:30

Celebrate the urban garden at this progressive party in Richmond’s historic Court End neighborhood. Each garden will feature a different beverage, refreshments and entertainment. It’s like five parties for the price of one! Reservations include admission to all museums and historic homes.
The White House of the Confederacy – 1201 E. Clay Street
The John Marshall House – 818 E. Marshall Street
Monumental Church – 1224 E. Broad Street
Becky's Healing Garden at VCU Massey Cancer Center - 401 College Street

Valentine Richmond History Center, 1015 E. Clay Street
Reservations can be made via PayPal for $30 per person until Monday, May 13, 2013 at 5 p.m.
After this date, tickets will be sold at each site for $35 per person.
Guests may begin or end at any location.
Guests must present photo id upon entry.
Parking is available at area lots or on the street throughout Court End neighborhood.
Please visit the website to purchase your tickets. or call (804) 643- 7404

June 1, 2013- August 30, 2013 Summer in John Marshall’s Richmond

               Fridays and Saturdays 10- 5, Sundays 12- 5

The city of Richmond provides a good Southern summer. Imagine cool breezes coming up from the James River, fans dangling from ladies' hands, and gentlemen seeking the shade of large trees in the gardens. The John Marshall house has what you need to cool off too, step back in time with us.  The house is changing seasons, and providing an open house, themed tours and featuring artifacts!

August 31, 2013- November 29, 2013 The Chief Justice in Richmond

               Fridays and Saturdays 10- 5, Sundays 12- 5

Leaves change with the season, and so does the John Marshall house!
Come see the new changes for the season. We provide you an open house, themed tours and featured artifacts.

September 21, 2013- September 22, 2013 Celebrate John Marshall’s Birthday

Saturday 10- 5, Sunday 12- 5

John Marshall is turning 258 this year! Come celebrate with the staff, there will be cake and an open house.

September 28, 2013 Museum Day

        Saturday 10-5
In the spirit of Smithsonian Museums, who offer free admission everyday, Museum Day Live! is an annual event hosted by Smithsonian Magazine in which participating museums across the country open their doors to anyone presenting a Museum Day Ticket...for free.

  For more information visit their website at

November 30, 2013- December 31, 2013 A Federal Christmas

               Fridays and Saturdays 10- 5, Sundays 12- 5

Come celebrate the holidays with the Marshall family. 
There will be an open house, themed tours, and featured artifacts.

December 9, 2013 Court End Christmas

      The John Marshall House museum will participate once again in Richmond's annual Court End Christmas event. This event celebrates one of Richmond's oldest neighborhoods and represents a consortium between The Valentine Richmond History Center, The Museum of the Confederacy, The John Marshall House, the Virginia State Capitol, and St. John's Church. 
Includes historic house tour and special activities.

Next Meeting: May 22, 2013

“Treacherous Beauty: Peggy Shippen, The Woman Behind Benedict Arnold’s Plot to Betray America,” Stephen Case

The meeting will be held in the Westhampton Room, Heilman Center (dining hall--building 34 on the campus map), University of Richmond, at 6:30 p.m. with dinner available for purchase in the dining hall beginning at 5:30 p.m.

University of Richmond campus map:

Preservation Update, Princeton

Battlefield Preservation Update:
The Princeton Battlefield Society's appeal of the Princeton Planning Board’s decision is before the New Jersey Superior Court. This involves the filing of the brief, reviewing and responding to the IAS reply brief and making an oral argument before the court probably by May. The critical point: If one or more of the seventeen counts prevails, the IAS will be faced with a critical decision to continue - - either to appeal the decision to the Appellate Division, go back to the drawing board on plans that it took them almost 10 years to formulate and go through the hearing process all over again, or, in our heartfelt wishes, to come to terms with us and plan faculty housing on another site.

The Princeton Battlefield Society is also before the New Jersey Appellate Division to insure that the watershed rules established by the Delaware & Raritan Canal Commission (DRCC) which now prohibit the IAS from carrying out its building plans cannot be waived without a public hearing before a quorum of the DRCC. Finally, the Battlefield Society has evidence that the IAS will be building its housing on wetlands and is planning on bringing an action in federal district court under the Clean Water Act to stop IAS from building on the battlefield.  

 Clark House Preservation:
In September 2012, the final version of the Thomas Clarke House Preservation Plan arrived from John Milner and Associates (JMA). This  marked the end of a multi-year project to document the history of this structure and to prepare for its stabilization and preservation. In order to make the report's results more accessible for the general public, our consultants created a 24x36" exhibit panel which features images of the house over time as well as a brief text block summarizing the report's conclusions. This panel is currently being fabricated and is expected to be delivered to the Park within the next few months.

With the Preservation Plan complete, work has now begun on putting it into action. On February 12th, Structures Committee Chair Will Tatum and Curator John Mills met with representatives of JMA and Historic Building Architects to discuss Phase 1 work on the Clarke House. The work will begin with an investigation of the building's sill. In timber-frame structures like the Clarke House, the sill is comprised of timbers set atop the stone foundation, into which the house's framing connects. It is one of the two primary entry points for water (the other being the roof), which is likely the major cause of most of the deterioration in the building. Tatum is now working closely with JMA to develop a schedule for a structural engineer to inspect the sill in conjunction with a DEP work team, which will temporarily remove and then re-affix the lowermost three levels of clapboard siding. Once this process is a complete, we will have a more exact scope for the work to be done and can move forward into the full project design phase later this spring.

 To help with either effort, donations may be made to "The Princeton Battlefield Society", PO Box 7645, Princeton, NJ 08543.

Meeting Notes: March 20, 2013

Unnatural Rebellion: Loyalists in New York City during the Revolution," Ruma Chopra

For several centuries American history books and history courses frequently portrayed America’s loyalists as basically traitors to “The Glorious Cause” of our Founding Fathers and/or as greedy collaborators with the British Empire in order to make boatloads of money. 

In her March 20 program before Richmond’s American Revolution Roundtable Dr. Ruma Chopra presented a much more complete picture of the loyalists, including their backgrounds and what motivated them to remain loyal to the British crown. Dr. Chopra, an associate professor of history at San Jose State University, is the author of the book entitled “Unnatural Rebellion: Loyalists in New York City during the American Revolution”. 

Dr. Chopra noted that loyalists were typically found throughout the British Empire in all economic and social classes. Many of the wealthy ones depended on strong trade ties with the mother country and frequently wanted to maintain the status quo. Many of the middle and lower class loyalists believed in devotion to the British Empire and shared pride in their British ancestry. Regardless of one’s economic background many loyalists were appalled at what they regarded as American rebels to the British crown, and viewed many of those who are now considered America’s Founding Fathers as little more than demagogues. Loyalists thought it was only natural to support Great Britain because the British colonies and the mother country shared the same ancestry, same skin color, same language, same religion and other natural similarities to the mother country which helped to make the 13 American colonies among the wealthiest in the world. As Dr. Chopra summarized, “Being connected to the richest empire in the world was a good reason to remain loyal.” 

In 1776 Great Britain had 26 colonies in North America, and in half of them the loyalists comprised a majority of support among white colonials. For example, the white colonials in Jamaica strongly supported the British crown because they depended on the British military for protection. Approximately 94% of Jamaica’s population consisted of slaves so the 6% whites feared a possible slave revolt far more than any political issues with the mother country. In Canada the colonies were considered economically valuable but politically weak, and therefore were easily ruled by Great Britain. The white colonial governments in West and East Florida were dependent on the British military since many of their residents were non-English, such as Hispanics and Seminoles.  

Not all North American loyalists to the British crown were white colonials. Many slaves regarded the American Revolution as their chance at emancipation in the event Great Britain won the war against the colonial slaveholders. In addition, most of North America’s Indian tribes saw the British as a means of preventing further white colonial expansion westward onto what the Indians regarded as their land, and their way of life for many centuries. 

When the British military captured New York City during the Fall of 1776, the local loyalists rejoiced at the arrival of what they regarded as their liberators. During 1774-1776, relations between American loyalists and rebels deteriorated very badly, and some New York loyalists were tarred and feathered. While under British protection, New York City became a major refuge for other loyalists who fled from nearby areas such as New Jersey, the New York Highlands, New England and Pennsylvania. Toward the end of the war New York City even became a refuge for loyalists who lived in the southern colonies. 

New York City’s population skyrocketed during the seven years of British occupation from approximately 5,000 in 1776 to 30,000 in 1783. This huge increase overwhelmed British military rule, and British authorities had trouble distinguishing true loyalists from those who were rebels, or those who were neutrals and simply wanted food, shelter and a job. Much to the disappointment of the loyalists, martial law was declared by the British when they captured New York City in the Fall of 1776 and remained in effect throughout the British seven-year occupation. 

Why didn’t New York City make the transition from British martial law to a loyalist civil government? Dr. Chopra said the British had several good reasons for maintaining martial law. 

The first of these was the ease and efficiency of martial law from the British perspective. Crimes such as arson and theft were quite common, and the British felt it was easier to deal with criminal suspects in their own manner rather than through a civil judicial process. Secondly, the British feared a civil government where the loyalists would seek revenge against those in rebellion to the British crown after the way many loyalists were persecuted prior to the war. In its own strange way martial law promoted a form of reconciliation between New York loyalists and rebels, in that the British military and not the loyalists and rebels served as New York’s legislative and judicial systems. 

The British also tried to promote reconciliation by discouraging loyalists from joining the British army. The British feared reprisals by loyalists soldiers against rebel prisoners and civilians, however the British also felt more comfortable with hiring Hessians and other European foreigners to fill the British ranks. By hiring fellow European soldiers the British felt they could maintain the chivalry, honor and gentlemanly traditions typically found on the European battlefields rather than allow the American Revolution to turn into some sort of savage guerilla conflict. The British discouraged the hiring of black loyalists to serve in its military for fear of upsetting many white loyalists. 

Despite the obstacles of martial law and not feeling welcome to join the British military, the loyalists remained remarkably resilient in trying to win concessions from the British. The loyalists were frequently successful in their petitions to British military authorities on such issues as obtaining food, obtaining civilian jobs with the British military and getting reimbursed for horses and other personal property taken by British soldiers. 

Not all of the obstacles which loyalists encountered were with the British or against the American rebels. Loyalists fought among themselves in New York City, especially between the New York City natives and the New York City refugees over such issues as obtaining jobs, food and other city provisions. Loyalists also fought with each other over who was a more sincere loyalist----those who were loyalists as early as 1776 versus those who became loyalists during the course of the war. 

When the war officially ended in 1783, approximately 60,000 loyalists fled the newly created United States. Approximately 30,000 of them moved to Nova Scotia, and another 8,000-10,000 moved to Great Britain. Others moved to the British colonies in the Caribbean, especially those loyalists who still owned slaves.  

In many cases life was hard for the loyalists who fled to Great Britain. The British natives frequently discriminated against the loyalists, accusing them of being more American than British. Approximately 10 years after the war many loyalists began to return to America. Although these loyalists had forfeited all of their real estate and considerable personal property when they fled in 1783, the loyalists who returned 10 years later were usually treated very well by their former rebel enemies. It seems that time had healed some of the old wounds between loyalists and rebels, and both groups tried to rebuild their lives as citizens of a new nation. 

Dr. Chopra noted that the failure of the British military to utilize the loyalists in greater military and civil capacities was probably a major contributing factor to losing the war. By not establishing any sort of model loyalist government in New York City or elsewhere in the 13 colonies, the British basically destroyed representative government in the areas they occupied until the war ended in 1783. These dictatorial actions frequently demoralized the loyalists who felt betrayed by their country---Great Britain. Many loyalists also resented the frequent British attitude of treating loyalists with suspicion, making the loyalists feel somewhat similar to prisoners within their own country. 

Dr. Chopra’s presentation brought insight to one of America’s generally forgotten major political groups of the American Revolution---those people who were “too British” to support American independence and were “too American” to enjoy the same rights as other British citizens while under British military protection/occupation. Yes, America’s loyalists were caught in the middle and when the war ended in 1783, they emerged as the war’s biggest losers.

-Bill Seward