Monday, October 31, 2011

Autumn Gardens

In the last couple of weeks autumn quickly descended upon Virginia. Then to our surprise, winter gusted in a couple of days ago with wind, rain, sleet and snow. Thankfully it didn't kill any of the autumnal splendor, though it wiped out some of my potted plants.

A couple of weeks before the storm I had taken these pictures. Sadly I didn't realize how far away the mums look. These are my Texas size mums (those huge balls of fuschia) the floral delivery lady were astonished with. Most mum bushes around here are Rhode Island sized.

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Close up of my dwarf blue plumbago that I purchased at Monticello last summer.

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Here are some blooms on the rose bush I also purchased at Monticello.
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Azaleas from the side of the house.

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and berries...

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Indoors this bouquet had started to fizzle out.

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After picking out the dead pieces, I cleaned the vase and put in fresh water and sugar. Then I cut the ends of the stems of the florals that were still alive. Then I created a new bouquet. Here is one new bouquet viewed from different angles.

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Napoleon in Person!


I have been waiting for years to meet Napoleon. We spent 9 weeks studying about him and his times a few years ago. Due to the nature of his being quite the conqueror, numerous questions piled up. Wouldn't it be something if we could actually meet him to ask these challenging questions? As I sat at my teacher desk at my home (then) in Texas, in September 2008, I knew I had to find a more realistic means to try to make Napoleon exciting so that my kids would be willing to learn about him. My son, especially, was quite adamant about some challenging questions that were beyond my capacity to answer. Why couldn't there be a hotline, 1-800-ask-NAPOLEON? Hence became my search for Napoleon...or at least answers. I knew I'd never actually meet him.

During the course of my research, we moved to Virignia where amazing things happen. Guess who made a secret visit to Colonial Williamsburg last Friday? Obviously the secret of his arrival leaked, because I had advance notice so that my kids and I could travel down to meet none other than the notorious Emporer himself! In the meantime I had been planning my questions, because I knew this was likely a once in a lifetime opportunity. I wanted to make the most of it! Also by this time, after all of my research, the kids and I have come to learn that there are many fallacies and misconceptions floating around concerning Napoleon. Those history texts are extremely biased. I was thrilled to learn that this undisclosed visit was all about balancing the bias with facts.
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On October 21, 1805, Admiral Nelson defeated Napoleon's navy, which opened British dominance on the seas for the next hundred years. We arrived to meet Napoleon on Trafalgar Day, 2011. Napoleon angrily stomped onto the stage, shouting about the British and false media reports about him. Even in America, in Northern Virginia, there was a joiner by the name of John Shearer who was imprinting propoganda about him on furniture! The Emperor had made a secret trip to America to tell us the true story of who he was, then he'd answer any questions so as to dispel rumor and myth.

After calming down a bit he introduced himself as "Emperor of France, King of Italy, ______________ Confederation of the Rhine, etc, etc, etc." We were all laughing. He is an incredible gattling gun of information (Can you tell? I was furiously writing notes and missed what title he held regarding the Rhine.) We were all in awe and thoroughly enjoying every little detail he explained. We also enjoyed the humor he put into his presentation. Napoleon had definitely captured our hearts and imagination to at least consider his point of view in his "influence on Europe."

The history texts and books that we read in school were extremely biased, only discussing Napoleon's influence as that of conquering the surrounding nations. After rattling off an impeccable list of some of his battles, Napoleon shared with us things that we might consider more positive.

Practically speaking he codified the law to make administration of different parts of the land more efficient...known today as Code Napoleon. We studied that a few years ago and it has an amazing list of freedoms for the people.

He ended the French Revolution. He restored order. He provided opportunities to the people that had never been available before. Freedom for religion...even for Jews and Huguenots (protestants). He promoted education. And many other things. My pen was not able to keep pace with his resume of freedoms he gave to the people. Right now we are studying the Middle Ages and the beginning of feudalism. There was the upper class (upper crust), and then there were the serfs. The serfs performed the labor for the lords. They had no education. They had no opportunity to rise in social class. France became a nation of one religion. Whereas other nations became more progressive, France did not...until Napoleon came into power.

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Napoleon even saw his coming into power a good thing. As the government changed, to bring control from the out of control French Revolution, there was talk of a type of triumvirate, which reminds me of Ancient Rome. Napoleon knew that three would always argue. He proposed one leader. They could start in alphabetical order...Bonaparte. (We were all laughing!)

When Napoleon opened the floor for questions, I shot my hand up and he picked me first! =) I had carefully crafted my question. Should I ask it safely or boldly? Debating which approach to take, I decided to be bold (mainly to tease and for effect)! I had a feeling that Napoleon would know that it was a friendly bold! =)

My question was, "Charlemagne was famous for allowing the pope to crown him. However you did not. Would you justify that?" Napoleon asked the audience, "Did you hear *how* she said that? I think she's one of those who don't trust me!" =)

Although by now I knew the short answer to this question, I wanted the longer answer which I had every confidence Napoleon would fully provide. I also wanted everyone else to hear it too because I believe it is important and pivotal to who Napoleon is. I have no idea if Napoleon would agree with me or not, but he definitely gave us incredible details to this query...with great fanfare, which is exactly what I was hoping for, because it's so much fun! =)

Napoleon admitted to breaking a long standing tradition of the pope crowning the king by crowning himself. He had prearranged this with the pope. Napoleon felt there should be separation of church and state. He also wanted to restore religion to the people, who had lost their connection to their Catholic faith during the French Revolution. However Napoleon wanted freedom FOR religion for all people, like the Jews and Huguenots (Protestants). Isn't it amazing how this sounds like Thomas Jefferson? Napoleon dramatically and angrily said he had found the crown in the gutter, picked it up and crowned himself Emporer! Afterwards my son asked him if his comment about picking up the crown from the gutter was a use of imagery and Napoleon said it was.

When someone addressed Napoleon as "Mr. Bonaparte," the Emperor was in a state of disbelief. The questioner said that Thomas Jefferson allows us to call him "Mr. Jefferson." Napoleon said in Europe all royalty should be treated with proper protocall. Um...like what? Napoleon quietly said that most people call him, "Sire." That got our attention. As we tried to comprehend that, he listed many acceptable high and mighty names, all of which my pen could not keep up with. Finally Napoleon decided to compromise with the Americans, settling for "General Bonaparte" and even "Napoleon."

Someone asked him something about what he thought the greatest victory was. He said that the greatest victory is knowledge over ignorance. Well, I wouldn't quite choose the latter word, but I always become instantly fascinated by any individual who puts such importance on education. I got my college degree in education and educating others it is what drives me in all I do. My family and extended family will all tell you! I can't believe I'm saying this, but there are aspects of Napoleon that make him my kind of guy.

Afterwards I had the privilege to press him with more questions. I was a bit concerned about the time I was taking from him but he encouraged me to ask all I wanted! I wanted to know what made him tick. Why did he do all that conquering? That could be a dangerous question but he assured me there are no dangerous questions. He is truly a pleasant person to chat with. Not at all the way the history texts make him out to be. He was inspired, like many others of his day, by Enlightenment thinkers like Montisquieu, Voltaire, and Rousseau. He wanted to ensure "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity" to the people of France and to all nations that he assumed power over. He wanted all people to have basic rights. Freedom FOR religion. Education for all. He wanted them to be able to move up in society. He was called the Soldier's Soldier. If they merited higher rank based on achievement, he would promote them. Thus people of lower classes would have opportunity to move up in the world...something that did not happen in fuedal societies.
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Napoleon kindly posed for a "painting" with my children. Four years ago my kids would never have posed with Napoleon. But look how happy they are! Napoleon is indeed a fierce conqueror. He was driven by a fierce compulsion to make the ideas of the Enlightenment thinkers a reality to the lower classes of Europe. Well, now that we have all that established, I have more questions! I wonder when Napoleon will make another secret trip to America?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Marfan's Syndrome-Part VI

The result of the genetic bloodtest...hmmm...technically speaking, I'm not sure what all the doctoral verbage specifically said.  But bottom line, if I understand, they can't prove without a doubt that my son doesn't have Marfan Syndrome, nor can they prove that he does have it either. The doctor isn't in the least bit worried about my son, and suggested monitoring him every three years. While I'm glad, I have to admit I do feel as though I've been tugged in so many directions these last few years of monitoring for Marfan Syndrome. I hope the doctor is right and that my son is in the all clear!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

How to Teach Writing-Writer's Club Cafe


My kids and I not only enjoy discussing literature over lunch (or snack time), we also discuss our own writing. Literary Club Cafe and Writer's Club Cafe has been a successful way to make the school setting a bit fun and different. While working on my bachelors of science degree in elementary education, I focused any research reports on learning disabilities. After graduating, I've pursued further research on learning styles and brain development studies. I believe they all go hand in hand with teaching anyone since we all have strengths and weaknesses!

One thing I've learned about the brain is that doing the same thing, the same way, in the same place dulls the neural receptors. Even the brain likes a little change of pace once in a while. That is what I hope to achieve through Literary Club Cafe I, Literary Club Cafe II (post forthcoming) and Writer's Club Cafe.

What is Writer's Club Cafe? Today exemplifies a tangible example. I have recently assigned a new writing model for flashback paragraphs that was recently posted at the IEW yahoo group. This morning I edited my kids' flashback paragraphs that I assigned in conjunction with the recent Colonial Williamsburg Electronic Field Trip, "A More Perfect Union." (Stay tuned! That is why I haven't posted yet about the EFT, because I want to include my kids' flashbacks!)

Because these are my kids' first attempts at flashback writing, there were a few weak points. As I edited them, I marked only the high points. Neither paragraph had a cohesive clincher, so I was left wondering what the point was. The one paper had confusing imagery (dress-up) choices. Now that my kids are in high school, I am more picky about the facts and imagery. Both have to drive home a point or argument. That was all I marked. I was also sure to mark the aspects of the papers that I liked! I tend to put lots of happy faces, check marks and exclamation marks. We don't want to tear down. We want to build up.

During lunch I read their papers out loud and went over the key strengths and weaknesses. Because the key issue was the clincher, or in other words their argument or final point they wanted to make, we focused on that. I asked them, "What were you trying to tell me? What was your goal?" After talking that out, I jotted those key words in capital letters at the top of their paper next to their opening sentence. Now that we had the goal of the paper established, I read the sample paragraphs out loud.

Since the major problem was the clincher on both paragraphs, I told them to listen while I read the sample flashbacks that I had printed out from the yahoo IEW e-mail. (This will later be filed in my writing notebook under "Flashback." In fact, I should type it into Word and print out copies for my kids to file in their own notebooks.)

As I read, I told them to listen for the clincher and to tell me how it differed from theirs. This comparative teaching is key. How do kids know how to improve unless they have good models to follow? Although they had read all this on their own a few weeks ago, a review was in order. A little hand holding during the writing process is okay! Kids thrive on independence, so once they get it, they will let you know and proceed independently with confidence. In the meantime, it is okay to hold their hand during writing
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After I finished reading each paragraph, I asked them what the difference was. Suddenly it was crystal clear to them. My son knew immediately how to refine his paragraph. With the addition of three words in his final sentence, cohesiveness was achieved. Because my kids are in high school, merely writing about a topic is not enough. Now they have to write to prove a point and all dress-ups must be effectively used to that end. My daughter's paper needed a little more work. First we helped her establish her goal for the paper. We did not tell her what to write. We only helped her understand cause and effect. She was confused about different emotions that would relate to different goals. For example, her chosen character was James Madison who was happily content that ratification of the Constitiution was to begin. We explained that he would be happily content after ratification, but before he'd be concerned. She had also wanted to talk about the Great Experiment and I explained that we are still under the Great Experiment today. We are concerned. Will our government work? We did not tell her what to write, but helped her streamline her thoughts. I told her she had a choice. She could have Madison reflect on the past work on the Constituion in one of three ways (based on her various goals): 1. on the dawn of either the beginning of the ratification process (which would have worrisome or concerned feelings, would the Constitution be ratified) or 2. after the ratification process (elated or content because the Constitution is now law of the land), or 3. the Great Experiment (worried or concerned because would this new idea of government succeed?) Ohhhhh. She needed that spelled out for her. She has some learning delays and spelling things out like this helps her tremendously. Yet she still had to think for herself and that is important. It gets the brain nuerons to explode, allowing brain function to improve. That is the benefit of higher level thinking skills. She only needed her thinking to be guided, not done for her.

After she made her choice of which point she wanted to make, she had to decide on the appropriate emotion to match. Then she went through her paper and made appropriate changes. My son helped her through that process, again because of her developmental delays. One of my reading professors always said to "make the comprehension process public." Comprehension in reading or writing is not learned by sitting alone with a blank paper and pen in hand or at a page in a book with a confusing morass of words. My son helping her gave me time to clean the kitchen and provided him a chance to solidify his own skills, thinking in a different way about things he is already good at. Saving Mom/teacher time and building teamwork is a win/win situation!

That was today's Writer's Club Cafe! My kids are now proud of their papers and will put in their changes in their Word documents later this afternoon to e-mail to me in corrected manner. But another brain tip is that too much of a good thing is too much. Because we spent about an hour on this, it is time to set it aside and move to other tasks. We have just completed grammar (IEW Fix It's "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" week 16). Now my daughter will do some of her weekly history reading while my son does some of his weekly literature reading. In about an hour they will trade off, since they have to share books. Again, this will be good to shift those brain gears and keep things fresh. Then after about an hour of that they can tweak their papers.

We always try to keep moving, keep things fresh, while we keep working to hone our skills.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Furniture with Political Statements at Colonial Williamsburg



Before we attended the Napoleon program last Friday, we took a furniture tour at the museum at Colonial Williamsburg. I confess I couldn't imagine an interesting furniture tour, since some I've taken have ranged from ho-hum to zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Although I'm honestly up to the challenge of enduring a furniture tour, I wasn't so sure about taking the kids with me. After all, I'm trying to inspire them into the idea that history is actually interesting...not bore them. I finally decided that the kids and I would attend the tour because this exhibit was the purpose of the Napoleon program. Napoleon and furniture?

I am pleased to announce that this was a 5 star tour, ranking right at the top with a few other favorite tours I've been on. We learned a lot! It was interesting and utterly fascinating! In fact, the Napoleon connection was not at all what I had expected. The surprise to the connection added to the element of the uniqueness of this tour and this exhibit. Huzzah to guest curator, Elizabeth Davison, who not only cleverly put the display together around a unique element but led the tour in a most interesting manner! Even my kids enjoyed it!

"Huzzah for Admiral Nelson" was the aptly named tour with guest curator, Elizabeth Davison, who has intensely studied these fascinating pieces of furniture. Have you ever purchased an intriguing antique? If I were to buy an antique, I would want it to look great on the outside. But what if I found secret compartments, hidden papers, or something intriguing and off the beaten path. How incredible would that be? That is precisely the nature of "A True North Britain": The Furniture of John Shearer, 1790-1820, which the curator organized first for the Daughters of the American Revolution Museum in Washington DC, and now is on display at the Colonial Williamsburg DeWitt Wallace Museum.

Now for the fun part! The mysterious John Shearer left little evidence to his past. He was a joiner (did finishing work in recently built houses) in the late 18th and early 19th century. On the side he made furniture. At first sight this furniture is beautiful! My favorite details were the cutwork, like filigree, in the wood. Ah, but what about the hidden details?

The curator said that for all we knew, "he was never born, he never died, he never married..." because John Shearer did not leave a paper trail of correspondence, diaries, or ledgers. She could tell us that he was a joiner in Northern Virginia in postwar America, during the presidencies of George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and James Monroe. What else was going on during that time? The Napoleonic Wars in Europe.

The furniture was arranged in chronological order of his workmanship, so that the surprise element could be developed for the tour. Are you ready for the big surprise? John Shearer had inscribed political statements on every piece of furniture he made! Can you imagine finding political statements in modern furniture you purchase today? From them we learned that Shearer was a loyalist!

In the first few pieces of furniture the political statements were hidden, so it is possible that the owners of the furniture never knew about them. The display showcases each of these political statements and we learned how the curator knew what these symbols meant and how to read them ourselves. Some inscriptions were of a lion, the symbol of Great Britain. Another inscription says, "God save the king." Eventually he daringly putting his symbols on the front of his work for all to see. In fact, the symbols became more bold and not all were political. One statement was a personal statement of love for his lady fair. The funniest statement was "I work for the meanest scoundrel in Loudon County!"

Some of the political symbols were statements against Napoleon. During this time the Napoleonic Wars were raging across Europe. The Battle of Trafalgar had been on October 21, 1805 when Admiral Nelson destroyed Napoleon's navy, ensuring British dominance on the seas for another hundred years. The political symbol we were looking at was cheering the victory of Admiral Nelson!

The day of the tour was Trafalgar Day, October 21, 2011. Later we were to meet with Napoleon himself. Oooo, Napoleon on Trafalgar Day, anniversary of his naval defeat. Stay tuned for that post!

John Shearer's furniture will be on display at Colonial Williamsburg's DeWitt Wallace Musum until March 2012. The display itself is well laid out with great information displayed on the walls that tell fascinating stories and showing the symbols. The curator even has a book about the display on sale in the museum bookstore.

Hmmm, I have a couple of antiques at home. I think it's time to pull out drawers and investigate for hidden symbols.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Studying Gases in Chemistry I

My son's tenth grade science lab involved the effect of temperature on the solubility of a gas.

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The beaker is full of near boiling water and the test tube is full of soda pop, which is now releasing its carbonate.

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The graduated cylinder is full of ice water causing the soda pop to stop losing its carbonate.

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Here he's repeating the process.

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Friday, October 21, 2011

Temperature's Affect on Dissolving Solids

My son's tenth grade lab involving boiling water, freezing water and salt to learn how temperature affects how solids dissolve.
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Here he is pouring a mixture of boiling water and dissolved salt into a filter lined funnel...

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resulting in a salt mixture that was 100% dissolved. Then he chilled it in the freezer to observe what would happen to the salt.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Prelude to Victory Colonial Williamsburg 2011

Cornwallis...Yorktown...Lafayette...Comte de Grasse...Battle of the Capes...Washington...Rochambeau...espionage...timing...Providence...all came together to a Prelude to Victory. Colonial Williamsburg allows guests a behind the scenes look at the strategy that fell into place for one of the very few American victories in the American Revolution, that figuratively and literally "Turned the World Upside Down." (Note: An apt title, even though we don't know if the British actually played this tune or not at the surrender ceremony at Yorktown on October 19, 1781.)

The normally quiet streets of the sleepy town of Williamsburg came alive with action with the arrival of General George Washington, commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, who has just arrived with his troops from New York.

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Lafayette has been in Virginia for several months with his men, sending regular reports of British movements to General Washington in New York. Who knew the big battle would come to Virginia? Cornwallis and his men were cornered 13 miles away in Yorktown. The entire Continental Army, along with French trooops led by General Rochambeau, have recently arrived from New York.
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General Washington addresses the townspeople, assuring them that his troops' encampment in their town of Williamsburg will be brief and civil, quite unlike that of the British earlier in the year.
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As the troops march in, the generals leave for the George Wythe house to plan strategy.

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We were invited to visit the generals at the Wythe house. When we arrived, we found some of the troops in drilling formation on the Palace Green.
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Troops were diligently keeping guard at the Wythe house, since the generals were using it for headquarters. The troops gave me a very real sense of the urgency, importance and heightened need for security.
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We were first taken to the back gardens, where many of the generals were planning in their tents. To our surprise some Indians from the Iroquois league in Canada (I think, I was a bit confused on this) had arrived. Here they were talking to Lafayette.
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After watching their meeting, we went to Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman's tent, and some of the Indians joined us. They were curious about many things, asking many strategic questions.
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There was a crowd around Lafayette's tent, so I did some investigating. I had noticed some smoke rising from beyond the fence behind Lafayette's tent. I walked to the edge of the fence and saw the private encampment of the troop responsible for guarding the Wythe house. One soldier was lying near the smoking fire and another was doing some camp duty. These soldiers truly made me feel as though I had entered Washington's Headquarters in 1781.

Then I went to Lafayette's tent, where we also got to meet Lt. Col. John Laurens!
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Wow! The kids and I have studied about him before and we had a few questions for him but never had a chance to ask. It was quite a busy time with many guests asking great questions.
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This was wonderful! I could have stood there all day and just listened.
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Even if I never got a chance to ask a question myself, I'd content myself in listening, because there is not a dull moment, especially when Lafayette is around!
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Lafayette is reknown for his sanguine exuberance and is full of information. The setting was quite realistic too, and Lafayette used it all to tell the story of the current events of 1781. Lafayette pulled various notes from his desk (above) and even answered questions with his maps.

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Then we went indoors and was surprised to find General Washington and General Knox in one of the rooms!
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There was such a flurry of activity that Washington was urgently called out. We listened to Knox explain how he was in charge of artillery and how everything in his field is an exact and precise science. Working the cannons and figuring trajectory comprises skills of logic. He's definitely one of these, "Just the facts please," type of guys, as we were to see later. (Insert thunder.) As we were leaving, we suddenly had to make way for Lafayette and the Indians! I compelled my family to stay.
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One of the Indians could act as interpreter so Lafayette left and the Indians talked to Knox for a little bit both in English and in their own native tongue. During this time the room was quite crowded and one of the Indians seemed to be motioning to some of us to come behind the generals. I felt a bit awkward to do that but realized there was a window seat back there and I love window seats! What a fun perspective to watch the events!

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After they left we were all alone with General Knox. Because of something he said, I felt as though I had finally found someone whom I could ask about the Indians because I was quite confused as to why they were here. They were allies (some Indians sided with the British) and the army was quite happy to do what they needed to do to keep the relationship positive.

As we left the house I saw this horseman, whom I had seen earlier at the Courthouse. I was thrilled to pieces because I had never met him before! I exclaimed, "I know you! You're Billy Lee!" He got a big smile on his face and said he certainly was. Billy Lee, or William Lee as he told someone else (gulp, the audacity of my familiarity with such an important person), was the famed man servant to General George Washington. William Lee talked to me like we've known each other for years!

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Behind him were the dragoons waiting under the trees, until General Washington needed them. They called us over to talk to them. While talking to them, General Washington came out, mounted his horse and they all left in a Grand Procession down the street.

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Later that afternoon, Washington and Lafayette addressed the crowd. Washington patiently answered questions from the concerned citizens.
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Then we watched a special program, where Lafayette displayed his horsemanship and explained the duty of the dragoons.

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Then we watched as one of Washington's junior officers prepared papers for an extremely important report.
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General Knox arrived to
question him about that very paperwork and a spy named James Armistead.
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After receiving a brief explanation, he PROMISED to be a fly on the wall.

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Before long Knox had to
micromanage, nearly destroying a top secret opportunity.

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Between you and me, James Armistead was actually a spy for Lafayette. Armistead was instrumental in gathering information from the British, while letting them think he was spying for them. Shhh, don't tell the British this.

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Knox didn't like this espionage business. To him battle is about hard core facts and figures, trajectories and projectiles found in working ammunition. He CLEARLY let it be known at this time and I had to laugh, because he CLEARLY let us know that earlier in the morning when we met with him at the Wythe house. Eventually he began to respect the situation and wanted to protect Armistead, but that would be too dangerous. It was quite an emotional scene, seeing how dangerous such exploits were and how far reaching the consequences could be if captured. (Later, Armistead receives his freedom with the help of Lafayette.)

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General Washington and William Lee preparing to go to the Courthouse.

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Review of the troops at the Courthouse...

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The next morning we watched the troops come in, led by the fife and drum corps...
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...who left their drums to form a pulpit for the preacher for the drumhead church service...
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...attended by the generals.

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Then we watched a planning session with the generals inside the Courthouse.

Afterwards we walked through the camps.

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That afternoon we watched this man, who owned the open air market across from the Courthouse, smoothly persuade the guests into their absolute need to purchase his wares. I have met many salesmen push their wares, but none with the finesse of this man!
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After a bit of peddling, he took a bit of leisure to read the paper.
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Suddenly a couple of other men approached and they entered an excited conversation about Loyalists who might still be in town. The patriot on the left put enough "evidence" in the other two patriot's minds to find the suspected Loyalist.
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Hmmmm, these "Patriots" look guilty to me.
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They cheerfully "support" the Patriotic troops as they march by.

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Dragoon time once a gain, always a favorite!
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Great equestrian skills showcased here in the tight formation.

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Gowan Pamphlet encouraging a soldier...and us.

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Preparing to recruit more troops from the local citizenry...

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Final review of the troops before heading to Yorktown...

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General Washington reviewing the troops...

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Leaving for Yorktown...

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What a great weekend, what a great event, and what a great way to teach my kids (and me) history! Thanks to everyone (they comprise millions and are worth millions) who made this possible!

Disclaimer: My apologies for the ads which HSB put on my blog. I don't mind the ones for Williamsburg though.
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