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Weapons of War: Military Arms in Revolutionary America

October 11-13, 2019

When Virginia’s colonial capitol moved from Jamestown to Williamsburg in 1699, it brought an inventory of various military arms along with it. The building of the Powder Magazine and the creation of the arms display at the Governor’s Palace shortly thereafter distinguished Williamsburg as the repository for muskets, pistols, swords and bayonets for not just the colony, but the Southeast region too. With the Revolution looming, Virginia’s proactive efforts saw the military-industrial machine spring to life in a unique fashion, foretelling of the Industrial Revolution.

Weapons of War offers arms students, military historians and antique collectors the chance to learn about the various arms types which came to Virginia, and America at large, during this formative period. From the archaeologically recovered fragments which tell us what was really used during the Revolutionary period to the conservation of surviving artifacts, we will explore a diverse array of weapons and ways of looking at them through modern eyes.