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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Williamsburg in James City County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Statehouse Foundations

 
 
Statehouse Foundations Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Bill Coughlin, August 14, 2008
1. Statehouse Foundations Marker
Inscription. The Virginia General Assembly is the oldest representative legislature in the Western Hemisphere. Meeting for the first time in July 1619, it gathered in the “most convenient place we could finde to sitt in … the Quire of the churche.” Thereafter the assembly and their meeting house both continued to grow until the Statehouse Complex burned in 1698.

In 1643, the assembly divided into two bodies, the Council of State, appointed by the King, and the House of Burgesses, with members elected by voters from Jamestown and counties across the colony. This bicameral form of government grew to its zenith by the 1660s and 1670s. Following Bacon’s Rebellion in 1676, the assembly lost much of its independence. By then, however, generations of colonists had gained valuable experience in self-government.

Hamestown’s church served as the first informal statehouse into the 1630s, easily accommodating the small number of representatives. From the 1630s until the 1660s, government met in the private homes of several governors.

Finally, the assembly commissioned “at the public charge … [to support] a public house to be built where [the royal governor-general] and the council may sitt for dispatching of public affairs and hearing causes.” In 1665, the General Assemble convened in the first building specifically
Marker in Historic Jamestown Photo, Click for full size
By Bill Coughlin, August 14, 2008
2. Marker in Historic Jamestown
for the growing government. The foundations of that statehouse rest here below the Archaearium.

"The most convenient place … " – John Pory, 1619
 
Erected by Colonial National Historic Park.
 
Location. 37° 12.629′ N, 76° 46.835′ W. Marker is near Williamsburg, Virginia, in James City County. Marker can be reached from Colonial Parkway, on the right when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is in the "Old Towne" section of the Historic Jamestown unit of Colonial National Historic Park. Marker is in this post office area: Williamsburg VA 23185, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Statehouse (here, next to this marker); The English Inns of Court (here, next to this marker); These Foundations (a few steps from this marker); The Archaearium (a few steps from this marker); In Memory of Early Settlers (within shouting distance of this marker); Sealing of the Magna Carta (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Site of the First Landing (about 300 feet away); Robert Hunt (about 500 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Williamsburg.
 
More about this marker. The right side of the marker contains a diagram of the foundations with the location
Marker with Foundations Photo, Click for full size
By Bill Coughlin, August 14, 2008
3. Marker with Foundations
The Statehouse Foundations can be seen on the near side of marker. The James River is visible in the background.
of the marker indicated. Above this is a picture of what the statehouse looked like.
 
Also see . . .
1. Historic Jamestowne. Colonial National Historic Park from National Park Service website. (Submitted on March 15, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 

2. Historic Jamestowne. Historic Jamestowne is the site of the first permanent English settlement in America. The site is jointly administered by APVA Preservation Virginia and the National Park Service. (Submitted on March 15, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 
 
Categories. Colonial EraNotable Buildings
 
Jamestown Markers Photo, Click for full size
By Bill Coughlin, August 14, 2008
4. Jamestown Markers
Several markers are found at this location. The Statehouse Foundations marker is the one on the left.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 483 times since then and 32 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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