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Yorktown in York County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

William Nelson House Site

Historic Yorktown

— Colonial National Historical Park —

 
 
William Nelson House Site Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), February 26, 2021
1. William Nelson House Site Marker
Inscription.  
"Virginia November 15th 1770

My Lord
Since the Death of Lord Botetourt…the Government of this Colony hath devolved upon me."
William Nelson to British Secretary of State for the Colonies, William Hill, Earl of Hillsborough


William Nelson, born 1711 in Yorktown, was the oldest child of English immigrant and prosperous local merchant. Thomas Nelson and his wife, Margaret Read. Educated in England, William later successfully operated the family business in Virginia.

William also became involved in colonial politics, serving first as an elected representative to the House of Burgesses. In 1745, King George II approved his appointment to "His Majesty's Council of State," a council that worked directly under the royal governor. In 1770, when the royal governor died, William, president of the council, became acting governor.

During his latter years on the council and as acting governor, William faced some of the issues that ultimately helped fuel the American Revolution and also affected his own merchant business. In December 1770 he wrote to the Earl of Hillsborough concerning the

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colonies' attempts to organize resistance against paying recent taxes imposed by the British home government: "The Spirit of Association which hath prevailed in this Colony for some time past, seems to me, from the defection of some of the Northern Provinces, to be cooling every day."

In September 1771, John Murray, Earl of Dunmore arrived to assume the position of royal governor. In November 1772, William Nelson died and was buried in Yorktown. The Virginia Gazette, in reporting his death, noted: "We cannot help condoling with the Publick for the loss of so benevolent a Member of the Society, so firm a Patriot and so upright a Judge."
 
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Colonial EraGovernment & PoliticsWar, US Revolutionary. A significant historical month for this entry is September 1771.
 
Location. 37° 14.074′ N, 76° 30.426′ W. Marker is in Yorktown, Virginia, in York County. Marker is on Main Street just west of Nelson Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 507 Main St, Yorktown VA 23690, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Nelson House, circa 1730 (a few steps from this marker); The Great Valley (within shouting distance of this

William Nelson House Site Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), February 26, 2021
2. William Nelson House Site Marker
marker); Charles Cox House (within shouting distance of this marker); Sessions-Pope-Sheild Property (within shouting distance of this marker); William Rogers' (the "poor potter") Pottery Ruins (within shouting distance of this marker); Comte de Grasse (within shouting distance of this marker); Early Colonial Custom House (within shouting distance of this marker); Custom House, circa 1720 (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Yorktown.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 1, 2021. It was originally submitted on March 1, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 283 times since then and 42 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on March 1, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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Apr. 22, 2024