February 27, 2016 Marked 250th Anniversary of the Leedstown Resolves


Saturday February 27, 2016 was the 250th anniversary of the Leedstown Resolves. Our own, Francis Lightfoot Lee, signed this historic document along with his brothers: Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Ludwell Lee, and William Lee.

 What were these Resolves? They were one of the first public acts against the crown, paving the road to revolution. These Resolves, penned by Frank’s brother, Richard, were in response to the Stamp Act of 1765 and taxation without representation by Parliament.

“As we know it to be the Birthright privilege of every British subject (and of the people of Virginia as being such)… that he cannot be taxed, but by consent of Parliament, in which he is represented by persons chosen by the people, and who themselves pay a part of the tax they impose on others. If, therefore, any person or persons shall attempt, by any action, or proceeding, to deprive this Colony of these fundamental rights, we will immediately regard him or them, as the most dangerous enemy of the community…”

To commemorate the anniversary of these Resolves, the Northern Neck of Virginia Historical Society co-sponsored an event with Stratford Hall (Frank’s boyhood home) at their Council House. Former Board of Trustee and current chair of the President’s Council for the Menokin Foundation, Steve Walker, spoke eloquently on the history of the Leedstown Resolves and the people who signed this historic document. Frank, who was living in Loudon at the time, was the only representative of his county to sign the Resolves.

 The event also featured guest speakers, descendants of the original Signers, living history interpreters, and more. Friends from around the community came together to commemorate the anniversary of this monumental event that took place in Virginia’s Northern Neck and sparked a revolution.

Stamp Act Spoon, 1766

Excellent story. Would love to see those spoons in person.


Silver serving spoon, back 18th C. Stamp Act spoon made for Landon Carter (1710–1778). Needing spoons for his home, Sabine Hall in Richmond County, Carter ordered a set from London, stipulating that if the Stamp Act was repealed they be of silver; if not, of lowly horn or bone. The act was repealed and Carter's agent had the silver spoons engraved with Carter's initials, the date 1766, and the triumphant inscription "Repeal of the American Stamp Act."
Silver serving spoon, back
18th C.
Stamp Act spoon made for Landon Carter (1710–1778). Needing spoons for his home, Sabine Hall in Richmond County, Carter ordered a set from London, stipulating that if the Stamp Act was repealed they be of silver; if not, of lowly horn or bone. The act was repealed and Carter’s agent had the silver spoons engraved with Carter’s initials, the date 1766, and the triumphant inscription “Repeal of the American Stamp Act.”

Virginia Museum of History & Culture's Blog

One in 8.5 Million

250 years ago today, the British Parliament repealed the controversial Stamp Act of 1765.

In order to help fund the expense of defending its American colonies, Great Britain instituted a tax on printed paper used by the colonists. Many in America opposed the Stamp Act, not because the tax was high, but because without representation in Parliament they had no voice in the decision. In the Virginia House of Burgesses, Patrick Henry introduced the “Virginia Resolves,” which argued that Virginia was subject to taxation only by a parliament to which the colony itself elected representatives. Eight other colonies followed Virginia’s lead and passed similar resolves by the end of 1765.

Among those opposed to the act was Landon Carter (1710–1778) of Richmond County. His form of protest was more personal. When he directed his agent in London to purchase several tablespoons for his home, he ordered that if the Stamp…

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What are Cultural Landscapes?

Tobacco rolling road at Menokin

Menokin sits in the center of  vast cultural landscape. But what does that mean exactly? The Cultural Landscape Foundation provides this definition, and why it is important to preserve and interpret them. 

Cultural Landscapes
Provide a sense of place and identity; they map our relationship with the land over time; and they are part of our national heritage and each of our lives.

They are
…sites associated with a significant event, activity, person or group of people.

They range in size
… from thousands of acres of rural land to historic homesteads.

They can be
… grand estates, farmlands, public gardens and parks, college campuses, cemeteries, scenic highways, and industrial sites.

They are
… works of art, narratives of cultures, and expressions of regional identity.

There are Four Types of cultural landscapes and a site can fall under several categories.

Designed Landscape

A landscape that was consciously designed or laid out by a landscape architect, master gardener, architect or horticulturist according to design principles or an amateur gardener working in a recognized style or

Vernacular Landscape

A landscape that evolved through use by the people whose activities or occupancy shaped that landscape. Through social or cultural attitudes of an individual, family or a community, the landscape reflects the physical, biological, and cultural character of those everyday lives.

Historic Site

A landscape significant for its association with a historic event, activity or person.

Ethnographic Landscape

A landscape containing a variety of natural and cultural resources that the associated people define as heritage resources.

Why are cultural landscapes important?

Cultural landscapes are a legacy for everyone. These special sites reveal aspects of our country’s origins and development as well as our evolving relationships with the natural world. They provide scenic, economic, ecological, social, recreational, and educational opportunities helping communities to better understand themselves.

Why is it important to protect cultural landscapes?

Neglect and inappropriate development put our irreplaceable landscape legacy increasingly at risk. Too often today’s short-sighted decisions threaten the survival and continuity of our shared heritage. It is everyone’s responsibility to safeguard our nation’s cultural landscapes. The ongoing care and interpretation of these sites improves our quality of life and deepens a sense of place and identity for future generations.

The Power Of Fragments

“What I am thinking about is the power of a fragment, and how these dis-embodied artifacts represent a certain drive within the field of preservation to honor the materiality of form and recreate rather than re-think.”

Twisted Preservation

I grew up hearing the same story – From what I can remember, the little glass tube, attached to a thin gold chain, contained a very tiny piece of wood.  My relative always wore it around her neck.   She never tired of telling those around her that the fragment was originally a part of the cross on which Christ was crucified.  I also remember thinking how special it must be for an accountant living in Columbus, Ohio to own a fragment of such a rare and important artifact.  When I inquired further, my relative told the details of how she purchased it at the Vatican in Rome.  It was blessed by the Pope.  This story continues to, as it did when I was a small boy, feed my imagination.

I am not commenting on the veracity of my relative’s beliefs, or the authenticity of the wood splinter – it certainty…

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