Newsletter Vol 1 No 4


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Friends of Green Spring Newsletter

Dedicated to the Opening of a new National Park

Vol. 1, No. 4, Fall 2003

Friends working hard for operating money and basic archaeology

Raising money for operations and exploratory archaeology is occupying the Friends
of Green Spring now that the open house is history. Both are difficult assignments
in a community and country overrun with efforts to raise private money for good
causes. Fortunately, supporters of opening Green Spring are responding. Contributions
are very welcome. Checks may be made out to “Friends of Green Spring”
and mailed to P.O. Box 779, Williamsburg, VA 23187. Contributions may be designated
for either operating expenses or archaeology.

Professional assistance is needed to raise money for archaeology and everyday
expenses. If the Friends can raise $30,000 for Green Spring archaeology, the
Colonial National Historic Park will match it and continue exploring before
the park is opened. The Friends gave CNHP $30,000 previously to fund archaeology
field schools of William and Mary students directed by Dr. Andrew Veech.

Most important is the cause of opening a new national park with benefits to
our area and nation in perpetuity.

Green Spring Park Watch to pick and picnic October 11

Recruits welcome to join

Green Spring has returned to nature after being manicured for the June open
house. Whether Green Spring is mowed or not, there will be a Centerville Road
cleanup and fall picnic in the park. Members of the Green Spring Park Watch will
meet beginning at 10 A.M. Saturday, October 11 behind the
Prudential-McCardle Real Estate office at Route 5 and Greensprings
Road. The event will be over by noon. There is a William and Mary football game
that afternoon.

Volunteer recruits are welcome to both the road cleanup and picnic, if they
will notify Park Watch coordinator Cliff Williams, 253-7867, who will be buying
the food and drinks. Newcomers can qualify later as permanent Park Watchers
when there is a training session. Being a Park Watcher qualifies the person
to visit Green Spring any time. Friends of Green Spring pay for the annual fall
picnic.

Park Watch Patrol members, who have been trained in their mission by federal
rangers, will assemble behind the Prudential office first to put on orange safety
vests and gloves, use anti-bug spray and pick up nail sticks before marching
off to attack trash on Centerville Road. Outdoor clothing and shoes are a “must.”
The portion of Centerville Road through Green Spring was adopted by the Friends
of Green Spring in September 1998.

Modern Archaeology Takes a New Look

As those who have visited Green Spring know, exploratory archaeology has been underway
for the last couple of years under the direction of Dr. Andrew Veech. Following is the
FIRST INSTALLMENT of a report written by Dr. Veech, CNHP archaeologist. Subsequent
installments will appear in the next issues of the Friends of Green Spring newsletter.

Since Fall 2000, a mixed team of volunteers and college students working under
the direction of National Park Service archaeologist Dr. Andrew Veech has been
conducting intermittent archaeological investigations at Green Spring Plantation
in James City County, Virginia. These are not the first excavations ever conducted
at Green Spring. Previous excavations were conducted at the estate in 1928-29
by local antiquarian Jesse Dimmick and in 1954-55 by National Park Service archaeologist
Louis Caywood. But the focus of Veech’s study – which thus far has
principally been directed on the plantation’s early- to mid-eighteenth-century
formal garden and its associated outbuildings – differs from the foci
of those earlier excavations. What is more, Veech and his team are documenting
the brick architecture which they are uncovering in far greater detail than
was done by either Dimmick or Caywood. Consequently, a far more comprehensive
image of Green Spring’s landscape is emerging now, for a new generation
of scholars to scrutinize and interpret.

The Orangery

The 45×15-foot structure which local tradition long has reputed to be “Berkeley’s
Orangery” quite possibly is an orangery (or greenhouse). It’s just
not Berkeley’s orangery. Rather, it’s one built by one of Green
Spring’s later occupants – likely, Philip Ludwell III, who resided
at the estate from the 1720s through the 1750s. In 2001, a thick, undisturbed
layer of household trash was uncovered along with the north face of the orangery
at a level even with the original, colonial-era living surface. This trash deposit
contained artifacts dating as late as 1740, suggesting that the orangery itself
had probably been built only a few years earlier – likely in the 1720s
or 1730s.

However, further excavations revealed that the bottom-most course of the orangery
wall had been built on top of and on axis with an earlier split-log fenceline,
one that almost certainly had been erected during the tenure of Sir William
Berkeley. Thus, it seems that at least some 18th-century, Ludwell-era landscape
features at the estate sit atop earlier Berkeley-era landscape features. No
doubt, other examples of this superpositioning of architecture and landscape
design will be found elsewhere as excavations continue.

by Dr. Andrew Veech

Historic Green Spring pins will be ready this fall for park supporters

“Historic Green Spring” pins will be available this fall for donors and other supporters
of Green Spring. Measuring 11/4 inches in length, the pins are a 4-color representation
of the Berkeley mansion as it appeared in 1796 to English architect Benjamin
Latrobe. Arrangements for the pin were made by Gayle Randol, a member of the
Friends board of directors.

“These pins will be a handsome way to thank those who help meet our
objective of opening Green Spring to the public,” said Daniel Lovelace,
president of the Friends of Green Spring, “and we hope they will be widely
seen and admired in the community.”

Voices of Green Spring

The Green Spring Conspiracy of 1650 – 1652

The Surrender of Jamestown

Many bizarre events–from political hijinks to public hangings–took place
at Historic Green Spring during the twenty-seven years of Sir William Berkeley’s
tenure as Governor of Colonial Virginia. Perhaps the strangest of these was
the conspiracy by Berkeley and some of his Royalist cronies to prevent Oliver Cromwell
and his Commonwealth government from gaining control of the Colony of Virginia.
This effort lasted more than two years and involved dozens of recentlyarrived
“Cavalier” refugees from England’s Civil War. One of the principal
conspirators was Governor Berkeley’s friend, Colonel Francis Lovelace, a Royalist officer
secretly dispatched by young King Charles II from his Government-in-exile in
France. Only the belated arrival of three heavily-armed Commonwealth ships at
Jamestown in March of 1652 prevented Berkeley’s colonial “mutiny”
from succeeding.

By the summer of 1650, the English civil war had been a major factor in
the internal politics of the Virginia Colony for nearly a decade. From the outset,
Virginia’s gentry had largely sided with the Royalists and thus supported
Governor Berkeley’s policies. According to historian Steven D. Crow,
“…Governor Berkeley apparently got the Burgesses to reaffirm their
support of the Stuarts whenever he wanted. At his bidding the colony periodically rejected
friendly overtures from Parliament, it proclaimed Charles II King in 1649, and
it refused to recognize the Commonwealth.” Berkeley’s generosity
to newly-arrived Royalists was well-known, and his mansion at Green Spring became the
colony’s principal social hub and refuge for supporters of the Stuart
dynasty.

During the late 1640s Governor Berkeley’s pro-Royalist efforts had been
strengthened by Parliament’s clumsy attempts to regulate the trade of
Virginia’s planters, who were selling tobacco to the Dutch and preferred to ignore
directives from London designed to maintain English monopoly control of their
business. By 1650 the frustrated Commonwealth, having failed to wean the
Virginia traders from the Dutch, had resorted to economic coercion by
outlawing English trade with Virginia. Combined with shock over the beheading
of Charles I in 1649 and doubts about the staying power of the Commonwealth
government, these economic pressures enhanced Governor Berkeley’s efforts
to preserve the colony for the Stuarts by strengthening the Virginia elite’s
determination to resist Parliamentary control. Their political viewpoint is
reflected in the following toast, which was popular in Virginia during that
period:

Though for a time we see Whitehall
With cobwebs deck’d around the wall
Yet Heaven shall make amends for all
When the King enjoys his own again!

However, in the long run Governor Berkeley failed to keep Virginia in
the Royalist camp. As Steven Crow has described it, “Few Virginians were
ideologists and fewer still carried such deep-seated affection for the Stuarts
that they would risk life and estate for Charles I or his son. When Cromwell’s
Commissioners arrived with a fleet in March of 1652, Virginia’s gentry
ignored their Governor and grudgingly signed the Northumberland Oath, which forced
them to swear allegiance to the Parliament of England without the King or the
House of Lords. Thus, at the end of his visit to North America, Colonel Francis
Lovelace returned to France with news that no doubt pleased both of the parties
contending for future political control of England: although Virginia’s
leaders remained sympathetic to the cause of the Stuart dynasty, they had no interest
in openly resisting the Commonwealth’s assertion of control over their colony.

See: Daniel Lovelace, Governor, Diplomat, Soldier, Spy: The Colorful Career of Colonel Francis Lovelace of Kent,
(1622-1675), Published by the Lovelace family genealogical website LOVELACE-L@Rootsweb.com, March 2002, pp. 14-17.

News Briefs

Green Spring Board adds new members

The Friends of Green Spring organization is adding members to its board of directors.
Robert Taylor became a member at the July quarterly board meeting. Taylor was
vice president of human resources for Reebok before retiring.

Awaiting nomination at the next meeting in October will be John Hamant, who
portrayed Governor Berkeley at the June open house, and Roger Guernsey, principal
with Guernsey Tingle Architects. Hamant is a long-time employee of Colonial
Williamsburg as archaeologist and interpreter. Guernsey moved his architectural
practice from Vermont to Williamsburg in 1977. The firm is well known for its
residential and commercial designs.

County will spend $1 million on Freedom Park

James City County will spend $1 million for an interpretive center and other
improvements at the newly dedicated Freedom Park at Centerville and Longhill
Roads, according to Supervisor Michael Brown, one of the speakers at the August
16 ceremony. The 500-acre heavily wooded park is located in the Powhatan District
represented by Brown.

Retired Lieutenant Colonel Lafayette Jones of the Forest Glen Neighborhood Association
and a descendant of slaves given land by William Ludwell Lee in 1803, spoke enthusiastically
of where homes and farms were once located. Between 50 and 75 county officials,
community leaders and other supporters attended the ceremony.

The Friends of Green Spring published Martha W. McCartney’s report, “The
Free Black Community at Centerville,” in 2000 after receiving a matching
grant from the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. The Friends made a wide distribution of the book to libraries, universities and local schools.

Board of Directors:

OFFICERS

Daniel D. Lovelace

President

Randy Smith

Vice President

Donald S. Buckless

Treasurer

Robert W. Hershberger

Secretary

Clifford R. Williams

Advisory Council Chairman

BOARD MEMBERS

Professor Warren M. Billings

Winnie Bryant

M/G Archie S. Cannon, Jr. (Ret.)

Rol Collins

Loretta J. Hannum

Nicholas M. Luccketti

Trist B. McConnell

Samuel G. Poole

Gayle K. Randol

Marc B. Sharp

Randy Smith

Richard G. Smith

Carol D. Tyrer

Jane Yerkes

Friends of the National Park Service for Green Spring, Inc.

P.O. Box 779

Williamsburg VA 23187

Phone: (757) 221-0800

Email: greenspring2@aol.com

Daniel Lovelace

Clifford R. Williams

Co-Editors

 

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