BUHA’s Virginia Trip 2012

Hello fellow Gaiters!

I am a 3rd year honours history student, who is unfortunately graduating next semester. I am the History Association’s Secretary (of Defence), and as such it seems fitting for me to issue an official statement about our fantastic trip to Virginia.

 

On October 11th, at 7:00 Thursday evening, forty one students and one professor left from the campus’ arches aboard a coach bus heading for Jamestown. Needless to say that there was little sleep during that 14 hour ride! Upon arrival, I could barely hide my excitement and sunken eyes to the guide. She took us around the various reconstitutions of the original settlement (Powhatan Indian Village, three replicas of the caravels Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery, as well as an English Fort), before showing us the museum.

Some very entertaining moments.

 

Our next stop was Colonial Williamsburg, where we were guided through the town and various historical buildings by two knowledgeable guides. The boys particularly enjoyed the Governor’s Palace, as its walls were covered in weapons of all sorts. They were also taught good 18th century manners—particularly how to bow in front of gentle ladies—before we were all brought to an unfair trial in at the General Courtroom. That night we had an excellent group dinner (where one of us got married), followed by a visit of William and Mary College, given by our very own Dr. Barker.

 

We Bishop’s students are very polite.

 

The next day, we visited the Museum of the Confederacy along with the Confederate “White House” in Richmond. There we saw both fascinating and strange Civil War artefacts (many made of hair… I’ll spare you the details) and we learned that Jefferson Davis had lived in Lennoxville during part of his exile (“Cool stuff folks!”). The afternoon was spent at the Virginia State Capitol, designed by Thomas Jefferson. Spielberg’s new movie Lincoln was primarily filmed here; President Lincoln, one of the buildings’ many famous visitors, toured it only a week before his assassination.

  BUHA’s executive team being all official.

 

That evening we let ourselves be spooked out in one of Williamsburg’s ghost tours, after which some students probably wished they had brought their night lights (your secrets are safe with me—though not with the rest of the execs team!).

Dr. Barker is serious about slavery.

Dr. Barker showed us his acting skills early Sunday morning, when he lectured us about the Slave Trail we were about to wander in a very realistic way. While most students were given slave status, “chained” to one another by our arms, others became overseers meant to terrify us—I mean, make us march forward, single file. We then paid our respects at the Burial Ground and Lumpkin’s Slave Jail, where unsold slaves were held and rebellious ones tortured. The rest of the day was spent at the John Marshall House, home to Dr. Barker’s favourite Chief Justice—and I understand why; the man was adorable! (“My Dearest Polly,” I forgot to bring a “pair of breeches…”)

 Plastic muskets are the most terrifying weapons of all.

On our way back to Bishop’s, we visited two amazing attractions: Monticello and Gettysburg. The former was Thomas Jefferson’s house, for which he was also the architect, where the innumerable objects having belonged to him made his legacy even more tangible. Gettysburg, the American Civil War’s most well-known battlefield, is a necessary stop for any history student. The museum’s interactive exposition pleased everyone, although it would take any Civil War enthusiast more than a day to go through it properly!

 

A picture of Monticello and three photo-maniacs

(two of which wouldn’t have many pictures were it not for the third)

 We arrived on campus early Tuesday morning, before any of the facilities were open, exhausted but happy. I think everyone in the group had the time of their lives—although that may be an understatement. Feel free to ask anyone who came, either Dr. Barker, BUHA executives and members, or any student you have recognized from these pictures, and I am sure the stories you will hear—or just their smile as they tell them—will convince you that us history folks know how to organize trips.

Best of luck for essay season!

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Jess

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