"The House of Burgesses" Top 5 Page for this destination House of Burgesses Tip by matcrazy1

House of Burgesses, Williamsburg: 4 reviews and 7 photos

by matcrazy1

The last room of the Capitol we visited was the most famous House of Burgesses - the Lower Chamber of the first legislative body in the New World, the room in which for the first time the idea of American Indedence from British was officially spoken in public.
We were sitting on benches where the Burgesses sat while our guide was walking around and talking on great historical events which took place at this place. I found it very interesting. Let me share some most important events.

1698 - the Burgesses decide to move the colony's government from Jamestown to nearby Middle Plantation, soon renamed Williamsburg;
1699 - 1705 - the first Capitol building is under construction (the Burgesses met in the Wren Buiiding till 1704);
1747 - a fire destroys the Capitol (the Burgesses meet at the Wren Building again);
1751 - 1753 - construction of the second Capitol building;

1765 - Patrick Henry delivers his Caesar-Brutus speech against the Stamp Act. Copies of his speech, published in newspapers throughout the colonies, helped start the Revolution;

1776 - debates over Mason's the Virginia Declaration of Rights; the Declaration was adopted by Burgesses on 12 June and became later a model for the Bill of Rights;

1779 - Jefferson's first attempt at A Bill For Religious Freedom;

1779 - the last meeting of Burgesses in Williamsburg's Capitol, they decide to move the capital to safer location in Richmond. The building servs as an admiralty court, a law school, a military hospital, a grammar school and a female academy;
1793 - the west wing is sold for its bricks and demolishes;
1832 - a fire destroys the remains of the east wing;
1828 - 1934 - reconstruction of the Capitol of 1705-1747.

Address: Duke of Gloucester Street, Williamsburg, VA 23187
Directions: At the eastern end of the main avenue (Duke of Gloucester Street), approx. 0.8 mi east of the Bruton Church. From the Visitors Center take a blue line shuttle bus and take off on the second bus stop.
othercontact: +1 (800) 761-8331
Phone: +1 (757) 229-1000
Website: http://www.colonialwilliamsburg.com/Almanack/places/hb/hbcap.cfm

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Dec 29, 2004
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