• psst … I’m a Realtor! Thanks for stopping by my website. I would love to help you find your dream home and community in the Hampton Roads or Williamsburg area or to sell your existing home. This website is authored by local resident and REALTOR, John Womeldorf. John is known around town as Mr. Williamsburg, for both his extensive knowledge of Hampton Roads and the historic triangle, and his expertise in the local real estate market. His websites, WilliamsburgsRealEstate.com and Mr Williamsburg.com were created as a resource for folks who are exploring a move to Williamsburg, VA , Hampton Roads VA and the surrounding areas of the Virginia Peninsula. On his website you can search homes for sale , foreclosures, 55+ active adult communities, condos and town homes , land and commercial property for sale in Williamsburg, Yorktown, New Kent, Poquoson, and Gloucester, VA as well as surrounding markets of Carrolton, Chesapeake,Gloucester, Hampton, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth Mathews, Newport News Norfolk, Poquoson, Smithfield, , Suffolk, Surry, Va Beach, Yorktown and York County Virginia You can reach John by email John@MrWilliamsburg.com or phone @ 757-254-813

Williamsburg Virginia History

Williamsburg, Virginia was originally named Middle Plantation, an area of high ground about halfway between the James and York rivers. The area was garrisoned and fortified in 1633. Bruton Parish Church was established there in 1674 when two older parishes merged.

King William and Queen Mary granted a royal charter to the College of William and Mary in 1693, making it the second oldest college – Harvard is first – in the United States.

Six years later, the General Assembly met at Middle Plantation to pick a new capital, and five college students lobbied to locate the new statehouse there, replacing the one that had burned at Jamestown.

One student said Middle Plantation already had “a church, an ordinary, several stores, two mills, a smiths shop, a grammar school, and above all the Colledge.” Another said the town was ideally located “for making a healthy, pleasant strong and wealthy city.”

The burgesses voted to build the new statehouse “somewhere at Middle Plantation, nigh H.M. College of William and Mary.” Because the town would be the capital, it was chartered as a city and renamed Williamsburg in honor of the king.

Royal Governor Francis Nicholson laid out Williamsburg as he had successfully laid out Annapolis when he was governor of Maryland, making them the first two planned cities. The main street, Duke of Gloucester, 99-feet wide, runs about a mile, anchored at the west end by William and Mary and at the east by the Capitol. Halfway between was Market Square, the town common of its day, where the Magazine and Court House are now. Near the center of town, the reminders of the crown’s dominion stood – the royal Governor’s Palace and Bruton Parish, local home of the official Anglican church.

The 1710-11 General Assembly passed an act “to prevent hogs rooting within the City of Williamsburg and certain places adjacent.”

After the city incorporated in 1722, a local observer wrote that Williamsburg is “a market town… and is with rich stores, all sorts of goods, and well furnished with the best provisions and liquors.”

With the college and the Capitol, Williamsburg attracted the best of Virginia’s philosophers and politicians, and Virginia, the largest, most populous, most successful colony, had them.

Unlike the settlement at Jamestown or the siege at Yorktown, what occurred in Williamsburg during this period was not an event, but a mental and political evolution, an idea of freedom. That the idea grew while Africans were enslaved is an inexplicable irony.

Almost nothing that King George III or his parliament did in the latter half of the 18th century found favor in the American colonies, especially not with the intellectuals who were concentrated in Virginia, principally at Williamsburg.

People such as George Mason, George Wythe, George Washington, Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison were all in Williamsburg at one time or another. Other men whose names are, rightly or wrongly, less well known drove the revolution forward; Peyton Randolph, who the Williamsburg Militia called “the Father of His Country,” and Richard Henry Lee, who moved in Congress that the colonies “were, and of right ought to be, free and independent states.”

It wasn’t only their words, it was their personalities, their work, their wealth, and most of all, their ideas.

That is not to say that other people in other places did not contribute – Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia, John Adams in Massachusetts, Alexander Hamilton in New York – but they did not contribute in such numbers.

Thomas Jefferson in the Summary View of the Rights of British America questions the King’s right to control land and Parliament’s right to control anything in the American colonies.

Only Common Sense, the 46-page pamphlet written by Thomas Paine, is better known than the writings of Virginians. George Mason’s Declaration of Rights was copied by eight of the 13 colonies and, in part, by the U.S. Bill of Rights. He called for freedom of speech, and of the press, and of religion. James Madison helped to write the U.S. Constitution, the Federalist Papers, and the Virginia Resolutions. And, of course, Jefferson wrote the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom and the Declaration of Independence.

When the war threatened Virginia in 1780, Jefferson, then governor, favored moving the capital to Richmond, a greater distance inland. And there it remains today.

The battles of the Revolutionary War are better remembered, but it was the words of the patriots that led to the war. In the end, it was their ideas of individual rights and responsibilities that were the Revolution.