Thursday, March 23, 2006

Colonial Government

Capitol Building, Colonial Williamsburg Posted by Picasa
"It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself." ~ Thomas Jefferson
American statesman (3rd US President: 1801-09)
The oldest representative assembly in the country first met in Jamestown, Virginia in 1619. After the Jamestown Statehouse was destroyed by fire for the third time in 1698, the government was moved to Williamsburg. It met in the Wren Building, now on the campus of the College of William and Mary, until this Capitol Building was finished in 1705. This was the first governmental building to which the label "capitol" was given. In this building Patrick Henry delivered his Caesar-Brutus speech against the Stamp Act on May 29, 1765. The building was last used as a capitol on December 24, 1779, when the General Assembly adjourned to reconvene May 1 at the new capital, Richmond. It was used as a hospital, a court and as a variety of schools. It burned and bricks were sold after demolition. The Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities deeded the grounds to Colonial Williamsburg in 1928, and Colonial Williamsburg reconstructed the Capitol of 1705-1747. The current building was dedicated in 1934 and the representatives still meet here one day of the term, every other year. Once a year, a naturalization ceremony is held at the Capitol, during which a new group of immigrants becomes Americans, continuing a process begun in the building nearly 300 years earlier.

Submission for Lens Day topic "government". (end of post)

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