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.
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.