The good old days, an expression used by many of us as we age, but were the old days any “gooder?” I think not.
In this first picture one can see the view from the back of the courthouse in Colonial Williamsburg. This is a small room by today’s standards, but finished in magnificent detail. As in any situation, it depends on which seat one sits in as to ones perspective. During the pre-Revolutionary War era, someone appointed by the British Government would preside over the trial, but amazingly the person on trial might have been awarded many of the rights we all have come to expect – trial by jury, the right to confront our accuser, the right to an attorney. Trials only took place every 90 days, this courthouse, in the Capitol of VA at the time was only for felony crimes, and the conviction rate was 54%.
This was a fun way for me to spend the spring break with my children, the first part of the trip was enlightening, in my opinion, Case Western Reserve University is truly an incredible university, but unfortunately the city of Cleveland has not pulled itself out of what appeared to my to be a deep depression decades ago. The re-growth appears painfully slow, I needed to see that for myself. My son will probably go to Boston University, or if accepted to Johns Hopkins. The second part, Colonial Williamsburg was very educational for my son and I, but, it was torture for my daughter. I was very unsettled, but enlightened by the horrors of slavery. The public talks with Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry were awesome, I am just sorry we did not catch the public audience with George Washington.
In the jail
This is where those awaiting trial stayed, the jail, not a pretty place, but a jail is/was not meant to be a comfortable place. Life in this era was harsh, inside the legal system, as a free person especially so as a slave. Even though the conviction rate was 54%, many convicts got pardons. A pardoned convict got branded on the left hand, very painful, but most convicts got hanged. It was almost guaranteed that a branded, pardoned convicted that was tried again for a felony was hanged – two strikes and you are out.
We heard an actor playing Thomas Jefferson speak the first day, today we heard an actor playing Patrick Henry speak, as I mentioned above, I quite enjoyed the first presentation.
I love traveling, learning and spending time with my children, but I am looking forward to going back to real life being a Palm Harbor Dentist!