George’s Gentlemanly Days: Williamsburg & Refinement

As George launched his military career, he was enjoying a modish life in Williamsburg and in the parlors of elegant plantation homes along the Potomac and James Rivers. By the 1750s, nearby Williamsburg was fully immersed in the Augustan Age of literature, which witnessed an explosion of satire, fiction, and both high- and low-brow drama marked by scathing satires, often with ironic twists aimed at highlighting or pillorying societal norms. George’s personal development ran parallel to this vibrant age of wit and wisdom.

Williamsburg carriages.


In Williamsburg, when the House of Burgesses was in session, George and fellow Virginians paraded in carriages and on foot up and down Duke of Gloucester Street.

George Washington in the flesh at Williamsburg in the form of California actor, Ron Carnegie.

Dieu et Mon Droit the mandate to rule used by British monarchs and their charges, including the governors of the Old Dominion, Virginia. (This is above the entrance to the main hall at Williamsburg’s Governor’s Mansion.)


Just another day in Williamsburg, Virginia, where resident actors relish a chance to live in the 18th Century.

Williamsburg tavern meals, which included squirrel, rabbit and sturgeon, among other delicacies. Archeologists know the standard fare based upon their spade work.

Williamsburg Farce: Little Miss in her Teens. George was exposed to the Augustan Age of Drama and Literature. He acquired a taste for plays laced with double entendre and mockery, charging his future Revolutionary spirit.

Martha before her marriage. (On display in Williamsburg today.) The artist did not provide justice to her beauty, I was told. However, Martha would become a constant companion to George, particularly in Williamsburg, where they would wine, dine, and attend balls in their honor as well as in the honor of wealthy friends, including the British governors and their wives. 

Williamsburg Bowling Green. On any given day, you might run into George Washington and have a bowl and a serious interview if you are lucky enough. I did.


George Washington might have laughed at this 1950s sorority float on which the women in slips and mini-skirts contend that “George Washington slipped” (not slept) here

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