Tag Archives: American Revolution

2017 Menokin Speaker Series – The Official Schedule

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MARCH 16

An American Silence: Walker Evans and Edward Hopper – documentation of common people their lives and places
4:00 – 6:00 | $10 | Speaker: Jeffrey Allison
Menokin Visitors Center | 4037 Menokin Road | Warsaw, VA

The photographer Walker Evans and painter Edward Hopper were part of the generation of American artists who tore themselves away from European ideals at the start of the 20th century. Join Jeffrey Allison as he explores these artists who celebrated America without filter focusing on common people in common lives and places. Within those scenes lie a powerful silence in which directness creates a visual anxiety as we wonder what has just happened and what will happen next.


APRIL 13

Geology of Menokin and the Formation of the Chesapeake Bay
Speaker: Christopher “Chuck” Bailey, College of William & Mary
4:00 – 6:00 | $10

Chuck Bailey
Chuck Bailey

Curiosity about the origins of the iron-infused sandstone of which Menokin is built has led Dr. Bailey on a deeper exploration of the geologic history of the Northern Neck and how it relates to the formation of the Chesapeake Bay.

 

 

 

 

 

 


MAY 18
Mapping the Indigenous Cultural Landscape
Speaker: Scott Strickland, St. Mary’s College, MD
4:00 – 6:00 | $10

Scott Strickland
Scott Strickland

The project was undertaken as an initiative of the National Park Service Chesapeake Bay office to identify and represent the Rappahannock Indigenous Cultural Landscape between Port Royal/Port Conway and Urbanna. It was administered by the Chesapeake Conservancy and the fieldwork undertaken and report prepared by St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

 

 

 

 


JUNE 8
The Archaeology of Menokin
Speaker: David Brown, Fairfield Foundation
4:00 – 6:00 | $10

David Brown
David Brown

Dr. David Brown and his colleague, Thane Harpole, have been the archaeologists of record at Menokin for over a decade. This session will incorporate an outdoor “Adventures in Preservation” program as well as an indepth look into the past, present and future archaeology at Menokin.

 

 

 

 

 


JULY 18

The American Revolution
Speaker: Julie Richter, College of William & Mary
11:45 – 1:45 | $25*

Julie Richter
Julie Richter

Julie Richter received her Ph.D. in American History from the College of William & Mary in 1992. She teaches courses on colonial and Revolutionary Williamsburg as well as the way in which gender, race, and power shaped life in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Virginia as part of the National Institute of American History and Democracy.

*This lecture will take place at Ingleside Winery in Westmoreland County. Lunch is available by reservation and is included in the cost of the ticket.

 

 


AUGUST 17

Trees Up Close: Discover the Extraordinary Secrets
of Everyday Trees*
Speaker: Nancy Ross Hugo
4:00 – 6:00 | $15

Nancy Ross Hugo
Nancy Ross Hugo

Nancy Ross Hugo describes the joy of discovering unfamiliar features of familiar trees and how carefully observing seeds, catkins, flowers, resting buds, emerging leaves, and other small phenomena of ordinary backyard and roadside trees can provide insight into tree biology and reveal a whole new universe of tree beauty. She also shares what decades planting and observing trees has taught her about which trees make the best landscape investments and the importance of planting long-lived, legacy trees.

*This lecture will take place off-site due to the Smithsonian WaterWays Exhibit in the Menokin Visitor’s Center. Location TBD. A tree walk at Menokin will take place at the conclusion of the lecture.


SEPTEMBER 23-24

Menokin Sleepover Conference
Speakers: Frank Vagnone (One Night Stand) and Joseph McGill (The Slave Dwelling Project)

These two innovative and well-known historians and speakers will converge at Menokin for an extraordinary weekend of historical reflection, discourse and lessons on new ways to explore and experience historic places and the people who inhabited them.

More details about related programming will be shared as plans are solidified.

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

BY CHRISTINA MARKISH,
MENOKIN DEVELOPMENT COORDINATOR

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.

The New “Descendants” of Francis Lightfoot Lee

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Menokin, home of a Signer of the Declaration of Independence, served as a most fitting backdrop for this large gathering of the Sons of the American Revolution.
Francis Lightfoot Lee and his wife, Rebecca Tayloe Lee died without children of their own.  However, the newly chartered Rappahannock Chapter of the Virginia Society | Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) has changed all of that, claiming Frank as its honorary ancestor.

The Rappahannock Chapter is the first SAR chapter to be formed in

Michael Rawlings
Michael Rawlings
Virginia in 20 years. The intention of its organizer, Michael Rawlings of Tappahannock, VA, was to fill a void in this region where the closest practicing chapters are quite a distance away.

Over one hundred people attended the ceremony, with SAR leaders from both the state and the national level on hand to participate. There were also several members of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and the Children of the American Revolution (CAR) present.

Menokin is pleased and honored to have been the host of this momentous occasion.

Thirteen men were inducted with a total of 17 initial charter members – and more than 40 additional men, many of whom were in attendance yesterday  are working on their research and applications.

New inductees to the Rappahannock SAR Chapter include: Back row:
New inductees to the Rappahannock SAR Chapter include:
Back row: Carl Strock, Clem Rawlings, Nathan Parker IV, Nathan Parker III, Mathew Parker | Front Row:  John Garrett, Luther Derby, William Croxton, Gregory Burkett, Wright Andrews

 

A Family Squabble on a Revolutionary Scale

Leedstown Resolutions Sowed Seed of Revolution
by Frank Delano

A spirited sibling squabble will highlight The Northern Neck of Virginia Historical Society’s annual commemoration of the 1766 Leedstown Resolutions on Saturday, Feb. 21, at 10 a.m. at historic Yeocomico Church near Kinsale in Westmoreland County.

The famous resolutions were the first protest of “taxation without representation” and were directed to the British monarchy.  The document was a forerunner of the Declaration of Independence ten years later.

This year’s observance will feature interpreters portraying the disparate brothers Philip Ludwell Lee and Richard Henry Lee and their outspoken sister Hannah Lee Corbin — all of whom would have attended Yeocomico Church.

Richard Henry Lee
Richard Henry Lee

Richard Henry (1732-1794) was the author of the Leedstown Resolutions.  Prior to their signing, he burned effigies of British tax officials at the Westmoreland courthouse.  Ten years later, he introduced the bill that became the Declaration of Independence.

Philip Ludwell Lee
Philip Ludwell Lee

Richard Henry’s oldest brother Philip (1727-1775) was no fan of insurrection. He was more interested in the profits from his thousands of acres, his race horses and entertaining his friends at Stratford Hall, which he beautifully renovated and expanded.

Hannah Corbin Lee
Hannah Corbin Lee

The Lee brothers’ sister Hannah (1728-1782) was known as an informed and outspoken activist.  After her first husband’s death, she lived happily unmarried to another man to avoid losing property left by her first husband. She was a staunch supporter of the Revolution.

There is no known record of a spirited conversation between these three strong-willed Lees, but it could have occurred after a service at Yeocomico Church or at Hannah’s nearby home.  (Their peace-making brother, Francis Lightfoot Lee, would probably have been trying to mediate his hot-tempered siblings!)

Come hear what they might have said about the embers that led to a new country forged in the fire of Revolution.

Yeocomico Church
Yeocomico Church (click image for link to Google Maps)

Yeocomico Church is located at 1283 Old Yeocomico Rd. Kinsale, VA 22488. To reach Yeocomico Church from Cople Highway (Rt. 202) at Carmel Church, take Sandy Point Road (Rt. 604) about two miles north. Turn left on Old Yeocomico Road (Rt. 606) and go a mile to the church. For additional information, contact Steve Walker at 804-472-3291 or yeocomshan@yahoo.com.

Francis Lightfoot Lee – Forgotten Founding Father?

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This man’s life-work was so inconspicuous, that his name would now be wholly forgotten, but for one thing- he signed the Declaration of Independence. Yet his life was a most useful and worthy one. It was a good and profitable voyage, though it left no phosphorescent splendors in its wake.– Mark Twain on Francis Lightfoot Lee, 1877

Excerpted from introduction to Francis Lightfoot Lee: Forgotten Revolutionary by Sarah L. Jones, Yale University (Class of 2006), 2004.

Francis Lightfoot Lee is what one might call a “forgotten revolutionary.” Described by his niece as the “sweetest of all the Lee race” and as possessing a temper
“as soft as the dove’s,” Lee was far from being the inconspicuous man that Twain claimed he was. Lee, his memory now nearly hidden beneath the rubble of his Virginia mansion, had a life that was “most useful and worthy,” the life of a patriot of the American Revolution.

Mark Twain on Francis Lightfoot Lee
Mark Twain on Francis Lightfoot Lee

Over one hundred years after Twain wrote his sketch of Francis Lightfoot Lee, Lee has nearly become “wholly forgotten,” and, as Twain was correct to note, Lee is solely remembered for his signature on the Declaration of Independence. Yet Lee has not been granted his proper place in history, for his involvement with the founding of the country lays not only in his signature on a document, but with thirty years of an active political life, a life in which he opposed British measures, sought independence, and served the nation through a number of committees as a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses, the Second Continental Congress, and the Virginia State Senate.

Lee was certainly not an “inconspicuous” man, nor was he merely “soft as a dove.” Rather, Lee was a true patriot, not only according to standards held by his contemporaries, but also to his own.

Francis Lightfoot Lee was born in 1734 to Thomas and Hannah Ludwell Lee in Westmoreland County on the Northern Neck of Virginia. Lee was reared at Stratford Hall Plantation, and like most male children of the Virginia planter class, he was educated by a private tutor at Stratford Hall and was well read in Classical literature, history and law.

In 1758, he took his seat as representative of Loudoun County to the Virginia House of Burgesses, having moved there to maintain his lands inherited from his father. During his time as a Burgess, Lee remained attentive to the political scene of not only Virginia, but also of the colonies. He became an opponent to taxation without representation and other British offenses, which he protested not only through personal letters, but also in signing his support to important documents, including the Westmoreland Resolves of 1766.

As a member of a committee appointed to protest British policies toward the colonies in 1768, Lee maintained an active role in opposition to the British. In 1769, Lee was married to Rebecca Tayloe, daughter of planter John Tayloe II, and moved to Richmond County to the Menokin Plantation. Having settled at Menokin, Lee was elected representative of Richmond County to the House of Burgesses. Lee continued to serve as a Burgess from Richmond County until elected as a Virginia delegate to the Second Continental Congress in August 1775.

 

continental-congress-hero-HLee fully supported American Independence throughout most of his political career, signing the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Lee remained a member of Congress until 1779, serving on a variety of committees including the Board of War, Committee of Secret Correspondence, and other ad-hoc committees.

In 1779, Francis Lightfoot Lee retired from the Second Continental Congress due to the three-year limit that had since been imposed by the Revolutionary Government. In 1780, Lee again entered Virginia politics, having been elected to serve as a member of the Virginia Senate, until 1782 when he retired from politics. He did, however, remain interested in the political scene, and is purported to have supported the ratification of the Constitution.

In a letter to James Madison, George Washington wrote:

Francis L. Lee on whose judgement the family place much reliance, is decidely[sic] in favor of the new form [the Constitution] under a conviction that it is the best that can be obtained, and because it promises energy, stability, and tht [sic] security which is, or ought to be, the wish of every good citizen of the Union.

Menokin, the Color Guard and the Founders of the American Revolution

Yesterday was the 248th anniversary of the signing of the Leedstown Resolves. This courageous protestation of the Stamp Act eventually led to the drafting of the Declaration of Independence and the American Revolution.

leedstown mapSometime before 1678, Edward Bray had built a brick church, an ordinary, ferry, and wharf at the present Leedstown. Up to this date the site was known as Rappahannock. After 1678, it was known as Bray’s Wharf or Bray’s Church. By 1742, it was known as Leeds. Later it was known as Leedstown. Leedstown was created a town by an act of the Virginia House of Burgesses in 1742.[1]

In colonial days, Leedstown was not only a place for commerce. General George Washington often visited Leedstown. There was a ferry across the river Laytons, on the south side of the river in Essex County (it operated until about 1927 when the Downings Bridge to Tappahannock opened). Following the Revolutionary War shipping at Leedstown began to decline as many planters moved west into the Kentucky and Ohio territories.

Late in the 19th century, Leedstown had a slight revival steaming from visits of the Rappahannock River Steamboat Line.

Both Francis Lightfoot Lee (of Menokin) and Richard Henry Lee signed the Leedstown Resolves. The Northern Neck of Virginia Historical Society hosts an annual event commemorating this important day in American History. For the second year in a row, this event was held at the visitor’s center of The Menokin Foundation. A standing-room-only crowd of over 60 people gathered to listen to the history of the event. They were also treated to a Color Guard presentation by local Colonial reenactors.

We thank the NNVHS for including Menokin in this celebration.

Commemoration of The Leedstown Resolves – February 27, 2014

The Leedstown Resolves, or Westmoreland Resolves, a courageous protest against the Stamp Act, was executed on 27 February 1766 and signed over the next several weeks by 115 citizens of the Virginia colony from twelve counties whose names are listed at the end of the document.

On Thursday February 27, 2014, The Northern Neck of Virginia Historical Society and The Menokin Foundation will commemorate the signing of the Leedstown Resolves at the Martin Kirwan King Visitors Center at Menokin.

Speaker Bill Horn, will lecture on the significance of the character of the Lee brothers in forming our nation. Among other related points, Mr. Horn will discuss Thomas Lee and the traits he passed on to his sons, Richard Henry and Francis Lightfoot Lee, who were the only two signers of both the Leedstown Resolves and the Declaration of Independence.

Bill Horn’s long and colorful life features a 4-year military service in the Korean War. This experience inspired him to study American history and pursue the field of education. His 28-year career teaching high school American and World History in New York culminated in a post-retirement job as a coach for handicapped adults.

Since moving to the Northern Neck in 1997, he has spoken about Living Museums at an American Legion Hall and again about the Lees. He has lectured at various sites in the Tidewater region about the American Revolution and our founding fathers. He was also a regular substitute teacher at Woodland Academy until it closed.

This annual commemoration starts at 10:00 am and will conclude no later than 11:00 am. No reservation is needed. Menokin is located at 4037 Menokin Road in Warsaw, VA. Call 804-333-1776 with questions.

This copy of the Leedstown Resolves is at the Westmoreland County Museum. The text of the resolves is included for your enjoyment.
This copy of the Leedstown Resolves is at the Westmoreland County Museum. The text of the resolves is included for your enjoyment.