Welcome to an almost daily peek at our beautiful Williamsburg, Virginia which includes the "Historic Triangle" consisting of Colonial Williamsburg -the world’s largest living history museum- Yorktown and Jamestown.

June 23, 2010

The Magazine At Colonial Williamsburg, Williamsburg, Virginia

The Magazine at Colonial Williamsburg is an unusual octagonal building with a narrow, spiral staircase to the second floor. Immediately adjacent is the guardhouse (foreground of the top photo). It is surrounded by a wall which creates a small courtyard.  Inside, on the ground floor, are barrels of gunpowder.  On the second floor is a multitude of pistols, guns and ammunition representing those stored by the residents in colonial times.

The Magazine was built in 1715 by Governor Spotswood to store equipment needed for the local residents to protect themselves against indians, slave revolts, pirate raids, and threats of like manner. Lord Dunsmore's April 1775 order for Royal Marines to empty the arsenal and disable the muskets was the spark that ignited the revolution in Virginia, much as Lexington and Concord did in Massachusetts.

Dunsmore may have reacted to Patrick Henry's March 23, 1775, speech to the Second Virginia Convention in Richmond urging every county to organize a volunteer cavalry or infantry. The finale to his speech was then and is now a rallying cry against tyranny; "Give me liberty, or give me death."


Anonymous said...

Reminds me of a German saying, that partly says, "life demands corners to arrange onself with the environment."
Interesting indeed to see. Thank you for teaching me something that I did not know before. A nice Thursday for you all.

daily athens

Oakland Daily Photo said...

Williamsburg is both educational and entertaining. I have fond memories of the men at the Magazine calling upon children in the audience to participate in marching with and shooting rifles. The kids loved it. I also witnessed Pat Henry give his famous speech under a big shade tree. The actors who portrayed Henry and Thomas Jefferson are excellent. Thanks for bringing back those memories.

Pat Tillett said...

I enjoy the narratives as well as the photos. Although it's been a long time, I remember this building quite well...

Anonymous said...

It's Lord Dunmore, not dunsmore

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