Privilege of Sailing
Colonial Williamsburg teaches history in many ways, sometimes with subtle nuance that carries tremendous impact.
Mimi and John Williams of suburban St. Louis toured Rev City for two days and found it fascinating. While sailing on the York River, Mimi related the debate they watched between the firebrand Patrick Henry and the law professor George Wythe.
“They were debating education, whether to educate everyone or just certain children. There were complications about three different kinds of schools for specific age groups. At the end, the audience got to vote whether to have narrow education for some or general education for all. We were all asked to stand to vote. So we stood up. The narrator asked that women sit down. Then he asked for those who didn’t own land to sit down, and those who were indentured, and so on. The point was that very few men made decisions back then for the populace. Before long, there was only one man standing, and based on a question he asked earlier I think he was a plant. It was an extraordinary teaching moment.”