Image courtesy of Colonial National Historical Park, Yorktown.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Meeting Notes: March 20, 2019

"Sober and Industrious Women: Soldiers' Wives in the British Army,"
Jenna Schnitzer

Pre-Guest Speaker Notes:
Planning an October 12, 2019 field trip to the Norfolk/Great Bridge area.

May meeting is moved from the 15th to the 8th.

Guest Speaker:

Bio: Jenna Schnitzer is both an historical interpreter and an historical seamstress for individuals, historic sites, and private organizations. She also operates the “Followers of the British Army” Facebook page. Her husband, Eric Schnitzer, serves as a Park Ranger at Saratoga National Historical Park.

The emphasis of the speaker’s remarks provided an overview of the role of soldiers' wives during the Burgoyne Campaign and explored some of the myths and perceptions about the women.

Other names for the women and their children who traveled with the army where “camp followers”and “women on the ration”.

It’s estimated that 900 “followers”were with Burgoyne at Saratoga.

The four primary jobs of women during the campaign were nursing, sutler, baking, and laundress.

The vast majority of women traveling with Burgoyne’s Army were wives and their children.

On average during the campaign, the ratio one could expect was 10-13 women per 50 soldiers.

The British Army was only responsible for providing camp followers with food, transportation, and protection.

The Convention Army while billeted in Charlottesville included 200 British and 100 German women.

One of the explanations for the large number of women and children traveling with the army was the “mechanization”of industry back in Britain. This forced“tradesmen”into the army which meant families joining the army.

--Noah Rogers

Monday, April 15, 2019

"The Estate of Secretary Nelson," April 26, 2019

"A Very Handsome House," Secretary Nelson's Mansion and Yorktown Estate
Please join the Yorktown Preservation Society and the York County Historical Museum on Friday, April 26, 2019 for a lecture about the estate of Sec. Nelson, at 2:00pm in York Hall. This in not Governor Nelson’s home that many of us are familiar with!

Beginning in ca. 1744, Secretary Thomas Nelson (1716-1788) transformed a 15-acre tract on the east side of Yorktown into a conspicuous Georgian estate atop the highest elevation in Yorktown. Historical research, architectural analysis, and archaeological investigations reveal that Secretary Nelson transformed his estate during several decades before it was destroyed in the siege of Yorktown in 1781 when Lord Cornwallis initially selected the mansion to serve as his first headquarters. This presentation will focus on the transformation of the house and landscape into a symmetrical Georgian estate and a symbol by one of Virginia’s leading colonial authorities as well as its destruction in the siege of Yorktown.

Presented by Hank D. Lutton, an archaeologist and historian with twenty years of professional experience. He is a Registered Professional Archaeologist who specializes in historical archaeology, particularly the artifacts, lifeways, and landscapes of the colonial and Early Republic periods. He has directed major urban excavations in Yorktown, Hampton, and Williamsburg, Virginia where he investigated town formation and urbanization from the late seventeenth century onward. Hank has worked as a curator at Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville, West Virginia for the past three years. Prior to that he was a project archaeologist at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and James River Institute for Archaeology. As an undergrad at George Washington University, he majored in political science and minored in history and literature. Hank received a MA in historical archaeology from the College of William and Mary’s Anthropology Department. He was a Presidential Teaching Fellow in the Archaeology Department at Boston University while enrolled in the doctoral program. Hank has had a life-long fascination with the past, especially the built environment, landscapes, and the First World War.

Sponsored by the Yorktown Preservation Society and the York County Historical Museum.  This event is free and open to the public.  #yorkcountyvamuseum. #yorkcountyhistoricalmuseum. #visityorktown  

Williamsburg Yorktown American Revolution Round Table

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Next Meeting: May 8, 2019

"Francis Lightfoot Lee and His Home Called Menokin," Sam McKelvey

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


University of Richmond campus map: