Verse on Williamsburg’s Founding

Curator’s Comment: During the 1920s and 30s it seemed to many that Colonial Williamsburg took over the town, razing over 720 post-1790s buildings and displacing local residents in order to preserve history for everyone. In honor of the Restoration John Arthur Hundley published the poem below in the Virginia Gazette on September 6th, 1935.

DUke of Gloucester Street Before the Restoration. Source.

Duke of Gloucester Street Before the Restoration. Source.

 

My God! They’ve sold the town,
The streets will all come up,
The poles will all come down.
They’ve sold the Church, the vestry too,
The Sexton and the steeple;
They’ve sold the Court House and the Greens,
They’ve even sold the people.
And you will hear from miles around
From people poor and of renown
My God! They’ve sold the town.

Quoted in Creating Colonial Williamsburg, Anders Greenspan, 22.

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About T.H. Gray

T.H. Gray is the self-appointed court jester and Dr. Demento for the history museum field. A lifelong museum professional and reenactor, he is a graduate of the prestigious Peale-Barnum Public History Museum Studies Program. Until 2011, when the AHS hired him away, he was on staff at the Benjamin Dover Memorial Museum & Swimming Pool ("Our History is All Wet!"). He remembers when museums were still about history, science, and art. BTW, all of these posts say they are by T.H. Gray because he can't turn off the byline. Credit, when due, is given. View all posts by T.H. Gray

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