The Lees and Independence

It’s early for me to be posting something about an event in June, but I want to make sure you all mark your calendars! On Saturday, June 5, 2010, we will be presenting our annual Lees and Independence event at Stratford Hall. This free event commemorates the day when Richard Henry Lee made the motion for independence from England, which is arguably as important as the Fourth of July.

This year’s Lees and Independence event will take place in the late afternoon, beginning at 3pm. This event is free and will be fun for all ages! Our activities include:

– A Revolutionary War encampment and firing demonstrations by the 2nd Virginia Regiment

– Fun children’s activities, including signing the Declaration of Independence with a quill pen; getting a photo taken in colonial costume; and colonial games with the Rappahannock Colonial Heritage Society
– A 5:30pm talk and book signing by Albert Tillson, author of Accommodating Revolutions: Virginia’s Northern Neck in an Era of Transformations, 1760-1810. Tillson’s talk will be entitled “The Abduction of the Atwell: A Northern Neck Incident of the Revolutionary War.” His lecture is based upon a small set of documents he found after completing his book. These documents deal with two deserters from the British army who made their way into Westmoreland County in September 1779 and met two local loyalists who urged them to kidnap the commander of the Westmoreland militia and steal a sizable quantity of money from Richard “Squire” Lee, then join with a group of John Tayloe’s slaves, seize Robert Carter’s ship, the Atwell, and sail off to rejoin the British forces. Although ultimately unsuccessful, they did in fact implement much of the plan.

The Lees and Independence event culminates in a concert by the 380th Army Band out of Richmond, VA. This concert will be at 7:00pm. Bring your lawn chairs or blankets to sit in front of the Great House and enjoy the music of the 380th Army Band, which served as an integral part of the 80th Division (Institutional Training) as the 80th Division Band for many years. The band was initially constituted on August 2, 1943 as the 80th Infantry Division Band and activated on August 12, 1943 at Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The band received the Meritorious Unit Citation for service in the European Theater during World War II with Campaign Participation credit in Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, and Central Europe. The Band was relieved from assignment to the 80th Division, reorganized, and re-designated October 16, 2008 as the 380th Army Band.

(Please note: If it rains, the concert will be held in the Council House, and admission will be on a first-come, first-serve basis.)

Come and join us for a fun time!