Colonial Williamsburg – Storming the Palace

written March 17, 2017, by Amanda Adamson

Governors Palace at Colonial Williamsburg

The Storming of the Governors Palace:

On your next class trip enter the world’s largest living history museum and step back in time to a vibrant 18th century city that is teeming with life and engaging activities depicting Williamsburg’s time as Virginia’s colonial capital.

Our morning starts with an early arrival at the Williamsburg Visitors Center where we will walk the half mile trek across the bridge to the Palace Green which lies before of the Governor’s Palace. We will be arriving a bit early to witness the Storming of the Palace from the best vantage point possible, up close and personal.  While we are waiting for it to begin look around the immediate vicinity and take in the amazing history surrounding you. Don’t forget to check in with your GO Leader about taking pictures in front of the Palace.

Williamsburg was founded in 1632 as a fortified settlement between the James and York rivers. The city served as the capital of the Colony of Virginia between 1699-1780, and was the political center of Virginia leading up to the American Revolution.

The Storming of the Governor’s Palace (a.k.a. The Gunpowder Incident or The Gunpowder Affair) was an early conflict in the American Revolutionary War. On April 20, 1775 Royal Governor Lord Dunmore of the Colony of Virginia ordered the removal of gunpowder from the magazine in Williamsburg to the Royal Navy ship HMS Magdalen. The local townsfolk and militia, lead by Patrick Henry, discovered the act and sounded an alarm. The militia and an assembling crowd rallied on the Palace Green and was only calmed when the Speaker of the House of Burgesses, Peyton Randolph, prevented the crowd from storming the Palace through talks with Lord Dunmore.

In the aftermath of the second crowd gathering, due to unrest over the gunpowder seizure, Lord Dunmore and his family, in the dead of night, fled the city to the HMS Fowey stationed in the York River. After crippling defeats of British Forces at Great Bridge in December 1775, Lord Dunmore continued to attempt to regain control of the colony through raiding operations but by August 1776 he abandoned the colony for good.

So if you are looking to plan a group trip to Washington D.C. consider a day in Colonial Williamsburg for the rich history and culture of the 17th century and witness the Storming of the Palace first hand!

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