March 19, 1999 continued Next.
The Capitol building contained a court and the government making bodies. This court handled felony cases and met four times a year as opposed to the court that met in the courthouse handling minor cases. The elected House of Burgesses, including George Washington, Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson met here along with the Governor and his Council. The Council members were appointed by the Governor. These two groups worked together to submit and pass laws for the Virginia colony. It is interesting to find out how close it was, at least in Virginia, that we did not get our independence when we did. It seems most of the colonists, though unhappy with England, still were loyal to England. Still wanted to try to work things out. If Governor Dunmore had just reacted moderately instead of behaving how he did, Virginia may not have voted for independence. For one, during this troubling time, the Governor takes off to go fight Indians for six months, leaving the colonists with no one to negotiate with. They did not like the taxes imposed on tea. But they disliked even more that all that tea was thrown into the bay. They still supported England. However, when England closed the port, the colonists said hold on here. We already don’t have tea, but now what about all the other products we import. Then the Virginia Governor ordered the taking of all the gunpowder from the Magazine in Williamsburg. He also offered freedom to all the slaves of the colonists that opposed England, if the slaves would fight with England if we went to war. Somewhere in here the Governor was angry and dismissed Washington, Henry and Jefferson from his council. These types of things scared and upset the colonists enough that they felt independence was their only option. A side note. After the revolution, to their credit, the English kept their word regarding the slaves. Many of the English Officers used their own money to accomplish this. They had to move the slaves out of the colonies to make it happen, otherwise they just would have been returned to their previous masters. They moved them to Nova Scotia. Many of the freed slaves could not cope there so the English moved them again to a more suitable location. I forget where, sorry.
A Military Encampment was next to the Capitol. I thought I had better inspect the accommodations. Next.