Part One Chapter I
2. From the northwest limits of the town to Read Street, the compass bearing was Southeast; from Read Street to the southeastern limit, it was South 380 East. See the plan at the end of this study: "Yorktown and Its Additions," (with street names and lot numbers).
3. In the case of the Read Street vale, it was noted in 1924 that, earlier, when the improved highway was put along Main Street, the road level here was raised some 2-1/2 feet above the first floor level of the old Thomas Pate House. In the absence of a sewer, this created some problems in the restoration of the house that followed. Charles E. Hatch, Jr., The Thomas Pate House and Lot 42 in Yorktown (Division of History, Office of Archeology and Historic Preservation, N.P.S., October, 1969), p. 34, hereafter cited as Hatch, The Thomas Pate House.
6. William Wailer Hening, The Statutes at Large Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia from the First Session of the Legislature, in the Year 1619, 7 (Richmond, New York or Philadelphia, 1809-1923), pp. 138-39, hereafter cited as Hening, The Statutes at Large of Virginia; Judgements and Orders, No. 3 (1759-1763/1772-1774), pp. 5, 189.
8. At the time of the Revolution, Barron von Closen did mention that in Williamsburg "Not all the streets are paved, but there are some sidewalks (kept in good repair) along the main ones." Jane Carson, We Were There: Descriptions of Williamsburg 1699-1859 (Williamsburg, Va., c. 1965), p. 49.
9. In later years, this extension which skirted the edge of the town along Lots 72-75 became known, after the construction of the Yorktown Monument to the Alliance and Victory, as "Monument Avenue." Now it is considered an extension of Main Street.
15. Such is the import of a 1784 deed description evidently for town Lot 51 which was described as being against a lot of Thomas Nelson, Jr. (Lot 50), against one of William Cary (Lot 55), "a cross street leading to the river side" (Read Street), and "a back street." Deed Book, No. 6, p. 200.
Water Street along the shore paralleling the York River, although it obviously existed informally from the beginning, was not delineated or named until the Common was surveyed in 1778. Even its width fluctuated with the washing shoreline until it was fixed at 40 feet by court action in 1927. Cases Decided by the Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia, (March-June Terms, 1926, and January-March Terms, 1927), 147, 736-37.
21. Thomas M. Ladd, "A Survey of lands in a disputed ownership case between William Nelson and Robert Anderson as ordered by the Circuit Superior Court of Law and Chancery," July 20, 1848. Copy traced for the Investment Corporation by the American Cement and Engineering Company (No. 161-B) on November 29, 1909, in files of Colonial NHP, hereafter cited as Ladd, "A Survey of Lands." See also park photograph No. 16,741.
He did not specify which of these related to specific streets. They all represent names of Union officers prominent in the Civil War battle events around Yorktown in 1862.
Though the name Keyes replaced that of Pearl, noted in 1848, it would be replaced by Pearl again later in the century, at the same time that the Ballard House was known for an as yet unestablished reason as "Pearl Cottage." Charles E. Hatch, Jr., The Ballard House and Family (Division of History, Office of Archeology and Historic Preservation, N.P.S., September, 1969), p. 21.
Part One Chapter II
2. There is a good discussion of the mechanics and economy of milling and windmills in Horace J. Sheely, "Windmills and Milling in the Eighteenth Century," a Colonial Williamsburg Foundation typewritten research report datelined Williamsburg, 1956, hereafter cited as Sheely, "Windmills and Milling."
Deeds and Bonds, No. 2, p. 374.
6. As Sheely noted in his discussion of the post mill, "Another variation was the smock mill used by Dutch engineers for land drainage in the seventeenth century. This was a tapering tower mill, usually octagonal in cross section, whose sails were suspended from a movable cap turned by means of the tail pole. Its resemblance to a waggoner's smock gave it its name. "Windmills and Milling," pp. 7-8.
This was noted in a deed which conveyed "four Lotts of Land in the town of York being the square of Lots on which the old Tower Windmill stands." Eliza Richardson of Richmond purchased this property from William Duval of Gloucester County for £10, a very modest price.
15. This windmill lasted a good deal longer than some others. The one at Gloucester Point across the river, for example, was "blown down" by the hurricane of 1769. Virginia Gazette (Purdie and Dixon), September 14, 1769.
Part One Chapter III
2. Marquis de Chastellux Travels in North-America in the Years 1780, 1781, and 1782 (London. 1787, second edition as reprinted by Arno Press in 1968), 2, 25-26, hereafter cited as Chastellux Travels in North-America. See also Appendix B, "Chastellux on Secretary Nelson."
7. "Scotch Tom" Nelson had bought this property from Dr. John Dixon in the fall of 1744 and transferred it to his son prior to his death on October 7, 1745. York County Records, Deeds, No. 5, p. 337; William and Mary Quarterly, 1st ser., 6 (1898), p. 327; Charles E. Hatch, Jr., Grace Church: General Study (Office of History and Historic Architecture, Eastern Service Center, N.P.S., Washington, D.C., May, 1970), p. 81.
9. These dimensions were given when the matter of capping the brick foundations was being studied in 1928. "Minutes Book" (February 18, 1921 December 19, 1934) of the Yorktown Branch, Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, minutes of meeting for February 23, 1928. See also Appendix C.
10. This is a composite based on the Berthier drawing (see Illustration No. 1) and on various siege plans (British, French, and American) and their variants in the Colonial NHP collection. More than 40 items depict the house in some form, making it one of the best documented sites in the battlefield. More than a half dozen of these sources label it "Head Quarters" or "British Hd Qrs." Most plans denote it simply with a building symbol or two; some provide more details which have all been incorporated in the diagrammatic sketch above. A study of the maps indicates quite cleanly that the details of the British works in this area were designed to afford some protection for the site and to give ready access to the main line. But it proved to be too little and too late.
12. Isaac Weld, Jr., Travels Through the States of North America and the Provinces of Upper and Lower Canada, During the Years 1795, 1796 and 1797 (London, 1807), 1, 164-65, hereafter cited as Weld, Travels Through the States.
14. Francois Alexandre Frederic La Rochefoucauld-Liancount, Travels Through the United States of North America, the Country of the Iroquois, and Upper Canada, in the Years 1795, 1796, and 1797; With an Authentic Account of Lower Canada (London, 1799), as quoted in Coleman and Hemphill, "View at Little York in Virginia," p. 46.
16. David H. Strother, "'Porte Crayon' [Strother] in the Tidewater," edited by Cecil D. Eby, Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, 67 (1959), 443, hereafter cited as "'Porte Crayon' in the Tidewater."
Part One Chapter IV
Lots 3 and 6:
Lot 6 seems to have been assigned initially to one John Sedgwick in June 1692. In a matter of a few days, however, John transferred his interest in the lot to Isaac Sedgwick. There seems to be no further reference to a Sedgwick in connection with the lot. Perhaps Isaac failed to develop it and forfeited the half acre which was then picked up by Buckner. No record of this conveyance has been noted. Deeds, Orders, Wills, No. 9, pp. 408-09; Deeds, No. 7 (1763-1769), p. 391.
It was a general transfer in which William simply stated that "I give unto my Loving brother John Buckner all ye estate I die possessed of real and personal and I do appoint my said Loving brother my whole and sole exr of this my last will and testament."
Griffin Stith also received a "parcel of Land in the County of York," negroes in town and county, as well as livestock. John Buckner did, however, reserve "all my Books in my house in Yorktown" for John Stith, another nephew, who also was willed the Buckner holdings in Stafford County.
2. Lightfoot sold this 40-foot square to William Anthony in 1719. In 1730 Anthony died intestate and without heirs, so his plot reverted to the trustees. Three years later (May 1734) the trustees disposed of it by sale to Richard Pate. A month later Pate sold it to Irwin Jones. There seems to be no record of Jones' disposition of it; a later record, however, deals with the conveyance of the whole of the lot. Deeds, No. 4 (1729-1740), p. 300.
It is not clear how the Gibbses acquired the lot. Armistead Lightfoot left no will and there is no known list of his heirs. The year before, John Gibbs, also of Gloucester, had sold Lot 8, adjacent to Lot 7 on the southwest, to the same Charles Harris. Deed Book, No. 7, p. 480.
5. An early park master plan sheet does show a house, or building, though there is no precise reference supporting it. It is placed in the north corner of the lot and is dated 1734. "Map of the Structural Development of the Town of York 1691-1800: From Documentary Evidence on Lots 1 to 85 (the original town) as collected to August 1940," in the Master Plan, Colonial National Historical Park, September 1940 (Plan NHP Col. 2160).
In March 1741 "the Lott whereon he dwelt was assign'd his wido now the wife of Mr. Matthew Hubard."
2. Deeds and Bonds, No. 3, p. 505; Emory Evans, The Nelsons: A Biographical Study of a Virginia Family, a 1957 University of Virginia Dissertation, a facsimile produced by microfilm, xerography by University Microfilms, a Xerox Company (Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1969), p. 27, hereafter cited as Evans, The Nelsons.
3. Such differentiation was clearly necessary as in the case of a court entry in September 1743. Quash, a negro slave belonging to "Wm Nelson, Senr" had been accused under a warrant "under the hand of Wm Nelson junr Gent" of "taking away money out of the shop of Doctr John Payras." Incidentally, Quash was found not guilty. Wills and Inventories, No. 19, p. 217.
Perhaps private arrangements between Griffin and the Burwells existed prior to the Griffin purchase. In any case, as is clear, Griffin did not sell at this time.
Evidently most of the development was confined to Lot 18. At least some of Lot 12 seemingly functioned as a garden. "Map of the Structural Development of the Town of York" (Plan NHP Col. 2160).
14. When a "Medical Shop" was reconstructed on Lot 30 in 1936 it was initially thought that it would represent Corbin Griffin's medical shop. This would now seem to be in error, since Griffin's major activities centered instead on Lots 12 and 18. There was a "medicinal shop" here in 1773 when he acquired the property and there may have been one here prior to 1755 when Dr. George Riddell had the use of the property. Griffin had no interest in Lot 30 prior to 1790 when he bought a small part of it.
15. There is one other insurance policy (No. 184 referenced back to this No. 97 policy) covering this property. It was drawn up for Lawrence Gibbons, the owner, in 1808. It lists the "Wooden dwelling house" as two stories high, measuring 60 by 28 feet, and valued at $2,400. There are also listings for a "Wooden Kitchen" (39 by 21 feet) and the "Wooden Medical Shop" (21 by 27 feet), each a one-story building valued at $200 and $100 respectively. The total policy evaluation was $2,700. There was no mention of the smokehouse or quarters in this policy. It should be noted that the plot plan on this policy is very sketchily drawn and the difference in measurements seems not to be significant since the distances were paced rather than measured.
The principal structure, the dwelling, also shows on two of the British siege plans. See Illustrations Nos. 15 and 16.
Adjacent Lot 20 which went to Henrietta Ballard, John's second daughter, evidently was also developed in 1741. It was described then as "in the Occupation of Elizabeth Williamson" and rented for "£6 p. Ann."
Lot 24: The Courthouse Lot
6. There are three summaries or studies of the lot, each with an increasing degree of completeness. They are not fully duplicative of each other. They are: (1) William D. Meade, "Memorandum to Mr. (Malcolm) Gardner, Subject: The Court House Lot" dated June 13, 1935, a part of the library files of Colonial NHP, hereafter cited as Meade, "The Courthouse Lot"; (2) Edward M. Riley, "The Colonial Courthouses of York County, Virginia," April 21, 1941, a National Park Service report, hereafter cited as Riley, "The Colonial Courthouses"; (3) Conrad B. Bentzen and Edward M. Riley, "Lot 24, Yorktown, Virginia (The Courthouse Lot). Historical Data and Report of Archeological Excavations in 1941," a National Park Service report dated 1941, hereafter cited as Bentzen and Riley, "Lot 24, Yorktown (The Courthouse Lot)." All are in typewritten form, the latter with ample illustrations.
This report also carries a "ground plan of the second courthouse as it probably appeared during the eighteenth century" (p. 631, and a "sketch showing the location of principal historic structures found on the Courthouse Lot" (p. 59).
Bentzen and Riley in "Lot 24, Yorktown (The Courthouse Lot)," p. 5, speculated: "This new plan [the T] followed the example of a number of the county courthouses of Tidewater Virginia built at about the same period. It presumably employed the classical lines so popular in England and the colonies at the time."
32. There is a view of the fourth courthouse (after the fire) in Colonial NHP photograph No. 8757. There is also a view that shows the courthouse, clerk's office, and jail entrance in an earlier time (photo No. 2350).
Shortly after the first courthouse was in use there was an order to provide a prison "Adjacent to ye Said Cort house and such other ye instruments of Justice as will then [be] found necessary." Deeds, Orders, Wills, No. 10, p. 480.
35. There is a helpful detailed description of the jail in 1830 giving information on rooms, accommodations, etc., quoted in Meade, "The Court House Lot," p. 9, citing the York County Loose Paper Files.
3. Charles E. Hatch, Jr., Ringfield Plantation: Special Report (Office of History and Historic Architecture, Eastern Service Center, N.P.S., Washington, September, 1970), pp. 39, 44; Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, 31, 60.
5. Charles E. Hatch, Jr., "Final Historical Reports on Developed Sites in the Town of Yorktown: I Swan Tavern Group Lot #25; II Corbin Griffin Medical Shop Lot # 30; III Reynolds House-Museum Unit Lot #31," a typewritten Colonial NHP report, dated February 21, 1939, pp. 7-9, hereafter cited as Hatch, "Historical Reports on Developed Sites. . . ."
7. Quoted from the Librarian of the Grand Lodge of England in Albert W. Banton, Jr., A Primer of Freemasonry in York Town, Virginia 1755-1955 (Yorktown Lodge No. 353, A.F.&A.M., Yorktown, Virginia, August 1, 1955), pp. 4-5.
One of its early acts (December 1780) was to donate $500 to the Grand Lodge's "general fund for charitable purposes," the money being transmitted by Thomas Wyld, Sr., the "Right Worshipful Master" of the Yorktown Lodge.
9. Property deeds often have interesting detail. It was recited, for example, in a deed of December 26, 1817, when Scervant Jones sold the Swan to Matthew Wills, that the property included that "One certain House and Lott lying and being in the Town and County of York called and known by the name of the Swan Tavern, it being the said House and Lott in which and upon which Lawrence Gibbons decd late of York Town resided and in which he kept a public House." Deed Book, No. 8, p. 439.
"Harwood, Col. Edward
The account also indicated that Anderson was "a wealthy old gentleman well known throughout lower Virginia."
For a view of Bent's Tavern see Illustration No. 8.
17. J. Luther Kibler, "The Story of the Swan Tavern Told at the December Meeting of the Comte de Grasse Chapter, D.A.R., Yorktown, Virginia, by Dr. Clarence Porter Jones, of Newport News, December 6, 1929," a typewritten paper in files of Colonial NHP.
18. Virginia Sutton Harrington, "Final Archeological Reports on Developed Units in the Town of Yorktown: I Swan Tavern Group Lot #25; II Reynolds House-Museum Unit Lot #31; III Corbin Griffin Medical Shop Lot #30," a typewritten Colonial NHP report, dated March 14, 1939, pp. 6-7, hereafter cited as Harrington, "Final Archeological Reports on Developed Units. . . ."
19. An interesting detail noted in the excavation was that the tavern's "front foundation wall was 'bent' several inches" by the blast in 1863 which destroyed the courthouse across the street and the original Swan itself.
1. In a deed for this property in 1710, Main Street was again described as Broad Street. Its bounds were given as "on the broad Street Southerly & abutting on the East upon the Land of Edward Powers West upon the courthouse Lott." Deeds and Bonds No. 2, p. 362. Also, in a deed of November 1691 it was noted as "Broad Street." Deeds, Orders, Wills, No. 8, p. 363 and Deeds and Bonds, No. 2, p. 174.
Powers' inventory is quite detailed and tells something of his home. It mentions "the new house up Stairs," "below Stairs New house," "Rooms up Stairs Over the Hall," and "Below Stairs."
Evidently the six Gibbons male heirs had sold the Lot 30 property to Cabarrus Brothers and Company of Yorktown. Apparently the company failed to meet their mortgage and the Gibbons heirs repossessed. Deed Book, No. 6, p. 289.
10. This reconstruction seemed appropriate since Corbin Griffin had served the needs of his community as a physician (having studied at the University of Edinburgh) for several decades, and had also become a man of influence and political inclination. He was a justice of York County for a number of years, from 1775-1776 was a member of the York County Committee of Safety, and later was a member of the State Senate. His life span carried him through the Revolution and the early National period to the year 1813. During the Revolutionary War, Griffin was a surgeon in the Virginia Line, and was taken into custody by the British at Yorktown. On September 25, 1781, General Nelson, disturbed by the situation, wrote Cornwallis requesting that he inform him "of the Reason for Doctor Griffin's Confinement on Board of one of your Prison Ships." Hatch, "Historical Reports on Developed Sites . . . Lot #30," p. 72.
The Harrington report is as thoroughly illustrated as possible, objectively analyzes the archeological reports and drawings, and includes a number of pertinent and related documents.
James Belvin bought "the Brick house in the said Town of York adjoining the Swan Tavern" in 1829 and retained ownership until 1850 when he sold it to Jesse M. Warden who immediately sold it to Robert Anderson. Deed Book, No. 11 (1828-1834), p. 140; No. 15, pp. 129, 130.
"If the two types of evidence [historical and archeological] are considered equally, there can be little question but that the western foundation, #31A, was originally used as a storehouse, and was the Reynolds brick storehouse referred to in the records. It was later used as a residence from time to time, and occupied until 1863. Of the other half of the lot, less is known, but it could well have been erected by MacCormack and later used as a store and warehouse."
It would appear that Elizabeth was born Elizabeth Spencer and had at least one sister, Margaret, who married Thomas May. Deeds and Bonds, No. 3, p. 218.
At this time Lot 36 was described as bounded "on the northeast by the Church [yard] Walls, on the Southeast by a lot  of Cole Digges [at this time Dudley Digges], on the Southwest by the Main Street and on the Northwest by a cross [Church] street."
In 1918 during World War I, an artilleryman in the area, Charles H. Runyun, noted that "ye Olde Yorktown Inn," as the structure was then called, was "doing a flourishing business due to the influx of Sailors from the Atlantic Fleet anchored in the York River (in sight of Yorktown)." 
18. Harry R. Houston, The Peninsula of Virginia (1934); Mrs. Sydney Smith, Old Yorktown and Its History (Yorktown, Va., 1920), p. 18, hereafter cited as Smith, Old Yorktown. Colonial NHP photographs Nos. 16,287 and 16,288.
Both the Somerwell House and the adjacent frame structure appear in Centennial graphic material such as Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, issues of November 1, 1879 and October 1, 1881.
Runyun also added a new note on "Cornwallis's Cave": "At the foot of the Bluff below Yorktown was a small Cave which was boarded up with rough lumber, for a Dime a Lady at a nearby House would unlock the Door and let one peer inside to see where Gen. Cornwallis slept, according to legend."
23. The only dependency restoration that has been undertaken was that of a period type stable to house the then Yorktown telephone exchange. This was located off-site to avoid blocking the view of Grace Church. The archeological and historical data indicated that the stable was in the extreme north corner of Lot 36.
This case involved a judgement for indebtedness against Joseph Mountfort and an award of some of Capt. Thomas Mountfort's lands to John and Rebecca Dozwell to satisfy her "endowment."
12. Writing on April 15, 1940, Albert H. Good in his "Architectural Report on the Old Town of Yorktown: Being an Exploration of Its Potentialities for Historical-Architectural Restoration-Reconstruction-Clearance" had this to say about "The Spinning Wheel Antique Shop" on Lot 37 in Yorktown:
Lot 43: The "Old Customhouse" Lot
1. Sarah C. Armistead; "DAR Devotion and a Unique Chapter House," a typewritten manuscript dated July 17, 1951 in the Colonial NHP library, pp. 8-9, hereafter cited as Armistead, "A Unique Chapter House," quoting a letter of Arthur Pierce Middleton.
Lots 46 and 47:
In this deed Cox was named as a "Planter."
4. From a number of photographs of the Cox House, made over several decades before its disappearance, it has been possible to sketch the exterior of the house (its Main Street front and southeast end). From these and other data sources a painting of the house was done by Sidney E. King, and is now exhibited at the site.
5. For a more detailed, but brief, account of "President Nelson" see Charles E. Hatch, Jr., The Nelson House and the Nelsons: General Study (Office of History and Historic Architecture, Eastern Service Center, N.P.S., U.S.D.I., Washington, D.C., August, 1969), pp. 11ff. and 68ff., hereafter cited as Hatch, The Nelson House and the Nelsons.
12. Since the Cox House stood until about 1910, a number of existing photographs show it. One of these is a Mathew Brady and another, which shows the rear of the house, appeared in Harold Ebelein, The Architecture of Colonial America. (See Colonial NHP photographs Nos. 3,567 and 10,641.)
15. There has been some limited amateur pothunting here and there on these lots, though hopefully it has not been too destructive. In spite of this activity, what must be a corner section of the William Nelson House foundation has been encountered. Toward the rear of the two-acre tract and near the center of the line that joins Lots 84 and 85 some sort of oven, likely of a military nature, and a cache of cannon balls were found in 1969. In the park files are some color snapshots of these taken when Anthony Blow of Yorktown was exploring. He was one of the owners of the property from whom the Blow Estate was purchased.
Dick was Wilson's "boy" whom he gave "his absolute freedom free from all slavery, bondage or subordination whatsoever." He also left him "an indubitable right to the room that he sleeps in and in the priviledge of the Kitchen as he had in my Life time." He also wanted £500 to go out at interest and Dick to receive interest from it twice a year. It was in July 1817, a quarter century later, that the executor of Wilson's estate sold "A certain House and Lot" in Yorktown to Joseph Nothingham giving bounds that satisfy Lot 57. Wills and Inventories, No. 23, p. 382; Deed Book, No. 8, p. 462.
10. "Chain of Title to Lot #56 (from Mrs. Conway H. Sheild)," dated April 8, 1940, a list of owner names and dates (but without documentation) in Colonial NHP historical files, hereafter cited as "Claim of Title to Lot 56"; Deeds, No. 6, p. 512; Wills and Inventories, No. 23, p. 263.
Parties to the sale were Thomas Nelson; George W. Nelson; C. Berkeley and his wife, Frances; William Meade Bishop); and Thomasia Nelson, his wife.
The house has some fine interior woodwork. "Tradition says that an English woodworker was brought over to do the woodwork and that he was responsible for the mantle side of the house. Brick, woodwork, doors and windows are original." Ibid.
Gibbons also disposed of several other Yorktown properties including "my Ordinary."
These entries carry the lot as No. 65 rather than 68, but the original bounds clearly show it to have been 68. It was stated to be on Main Street and to be abutted by Lots 64 and 69.
3. The story of Dudley Digges and his home on Lot 77 is told in some detail in Charles E. Hatch, Jr., Dependencies (Outbuildings) of the Dudley Digges House in Yorktown (Division of History, Office of Archeology and Historic Preservation, N.P.S., April 1969), and in Lee H. Nelson, "Dudley Digges House: Historic Structures Report, Parts I and II" (National Park Service), typewritten reports dated December 1959 and May 1960.
9. When Benson J. Lossing visited Yorktown in the summer of 1866, he had this to say about the house: "The town appeared desolate indeed, the only house in it that seems not to have felt the ravages of war being that of Mrs. [Robert] Anderson, of Williamsburg, in which McClellan and all the Union commanders at Yorktown had their quarters. It was still used for the same purpose [in 1866], there being a small military force there." Pictorial Field Book of the Civil War, 440.
There was, however, comment on associated structures: "Also a warehouse & Dwelling House adjoining thereto and a Pump Pumphouse and Shop at the River side." Having sold Lot 79 to Digges, some three years later Pride disposed of the remainder of his purchase from Booth by sale to Edmund Tabb, a merchant. It included "All that one Dwelling House and Pump House at the River side." Deeds, No. 6, p. 146.
Lots 81 and 82:
Part Two Chapter I
The Revolutionary Journal of Baron Von Closen 1780-1783, translated and edited by Evelyn M. Acomb (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1958), pp. 140-41, hereafter cited as Journal of Baron Von Closen.
4. See Illustration No. 15: "A Plan of York Town and Gloucester in the Province of Virginia, Shewing the Works constructed for the Defense of those Posts by the British Army . . . from an actual Survey in the Possession of Jno Hills late Lieut in the 23d Regt & Asst Engr," London, 1785.
5. See Illustration No. 16: "A Plan of the Posts of York and Gloucester in the Province of Virginia, Established by His Majesty's Army under the Command of Lieut General Earl Cornwallis, together with the Attacks and Operations of the American & French Forces . . . Which Terminated in the Surrender of the said Posts and Army on the 19th of October 1781. Surveyed by Capt Fage of the Royal Artillery. Published according to Act of Parliament the 4th June 1782." London, 1782.
6. Hayman was "Lieut" in the British "17th Infy" and dated his untitled plan June 12, 1782, though obviously he had earlier survey data. Though his treatment is obviously exaggerated (perhaps to some degree for effect) it makes a good many pertinent points. There is a good deal of similarity between the Hayman plan and one done by the French, "Plan du Siege D'York par l'Armee Combinee Commandee par les Generaux Washington et Cte. de Rochambeau." A photostatic copy of each of these plans is in the Colonial NHP library.
10. Conrad Doehla, a German mercenary, wrote on August 31: "I was on unloading duty. All the munitions and provisions were unloaded from the ships riding in the harbour, the lower tiers of guns from the warships and frigates were brought into the earthworks and all the ships completely emptied." "The Doehla Journal," translated and edited by Robert J. Tilden, William and Mary Quarterly, 2nd ser., 22 (1942), 244.
On the same day another German, Stephen Popp, made a similar comment: "Our ships landed all their stores, their guns put on our lines." Popp's Journal 1777-1783, translated and edited by Joseph G. Rosengarten, reprint Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography (Philadelphia, 1902), p. 17, hereafter cited as Popp's Journal. Also the deployment of the "Seamen" is shown on Lt. Alexander Sutherland's, "Sketch of the Posts of York Town and Gloucester Point shewing the french and rebel attacks upon the former in October, 1781," a manuscript map, photostat in the Colonial NHP library.
The Gouvion plan generally agreed with this; however, another American plan, that by Sebastian Bauman, seemed to disagree although the Bauman topography was faulty here. See Illustrations Nos. 18-21 for French interpretations.
Sebastian Bauman on his plan noted 81 pieces in the works including 16 at Gloucester Point.
14. Banastre Tarleton wrote that "After some consideration, the [fortifications] plan was approved of, and the troops, after levelling some houses, proceeded to construct the fortifications." Campaigns of 1780 and 1781, pp. 372-75.
On the 16th Doehla recorded: "This afternoon I went where they were cutting trees, carried and also helped load some on wagons. Palisades made of these strong trees which are placed in the entrenchments of our line around our whole camp."
The buildings were one 12 feet square and "shingled," one 16 by 12 feet with an eight foot shed, one 22 by 14 feet with a 10 foot shed, one 6 by 4 feet, one 24 by 16 feet with a 10 foot shed, and another 16 by 12 feet.
29. These plans seemingly had a common origin and are (1) "Plan du Siege d'York en Virginie par l'Armee Alliee d'Amerique et de France sous les Ordres des Genaux. Washington et Cte. de Rochambeau contre l'Armee Angloise Commandee par le Lord Cornwallis en octobre 1781"; and (2) "Plan du Siege d'York, en Virginie par l'Armee alliee d'Amerique et de France sous les Ordres des Gaux. Washington et Cte. de Rochambeau, contre l'Armee Anglaise Commandee par Lord Cornwallis en Octobre 1781." Photostats of these plans are in the Colonial NHP library. See also Colonial photographs Nos. 7,312 and 8,153 and Illustration No. 25.
Part Two Chapter II
3. This is according to Abbé Robin, a chaplain with the forces, who noted: "On the twenty fourth the troops began to go into winter quarters." Alfred J. Morrison, Travels in Virginia in Revolutionary Times (Lynchburg, Va., 1922), p. 37.
This is essentially as given in more general terms by Abbé Robin. "The regiments of Bourbonnais and Royal Deux-Ponts are at Williamsburg, where our head Quarters are fixed. The regiments of Soissonnois, and the grenadier companies, and Chasseurs of Saintonge are at York. The rest of the regiment of Saintonge is billetted about in the county betwixt York and Hampton; and the latter place, situated on James River, is occupied by the Legion of Lauzun." Morrison, Travels in Virginia in Revolutionary Times, p. 37.
7. The Americans were engaged in the same work in their areas of the First and Second Siege Lines. Lt. William Feltman noted in his journal for October 29, for example, "This morning 9 o'clock our brigade went on fatigue to demolish the works we had the trouble to throw up when his lordship had possession of the town." "The Journal of Lieut. William Feltman," Pennsylvania Historical Society Collections, 1, No. 5 (May, 1853), 324-35.
There are numerous other references to this work, one in particular being that of Samuel Talmadge who wrote from his "Camp Near York on Saturday Octr. 27th" "the American and french troops are constantly Imployed in Demolishing our works thrown up in the time of the siege." Orderly Books of the Fourth New York Regiment, 1778-1780, The Second New York Regiment, 1780-1783, by Samuel Tallmadge and Others and Diaries of Samuel Tallmadge, 1780-1782 and John Barr, 1779-1782 (Albany, N.Y., 1932), pp. 764-65.
He further commented: "These 48 pieces of different calibers are the Americans. They transported to the North all the other pieces captured from Cornwallis except for those that he had collected in Virginia."
He continued, obviously writing a few days prior to Von Closen's description: "The traveling artillery is partly at Williamsburg and partly at York and the heavy cannon at West Point (called Delaware on the maps), a place situated between the two rivers that form that of York."
10. When Benjamin Latrobe sketched the Secretary's house in ruins during his visit to Yorktown in 1796, he put in the background substantial earthworks which evidently were the standing remains from this French shortened line. This is published in color in Coleman and Hemphill, "View at Little York in Virginia," pp. 44-47.
It can be noted that this plan seems to indicate that the French advanced the line across Smith Street a bit inland, thereby straightening it out and eliminating the dip toward the river in this sector a strategy that the Civil War engineers also followed. (Compare Illustration No. 22 with Nos. 15 and 21.) The French plan also shows the new battery at Gloucester Point.
Part Two Chapter III
He also noted: "It was intended also to have 6 floating batteries (a kind of armed ship) constructed for the defense of the bay, which could sail where needed, but that was not carried out because of lack of workmen."
10. These chimneys, four of them, are probably those structures shown on a French siege plan overlooking Yorktown Creek from the end of a finger of land projecting toward the creek on a line extended from Read Street. See Illustration No. 20.
14. The Legion was still here on May 1 of that year, for on that date payment in the amount of £1.18.6 was approved for "Doctor Nicolson for attending the sick at York Garrison it appearing from the Certificate of the Commandant that there was no Surgeon in the Garrison at that time." Journals of the Council of State of Virginia, (1776-1786), 3, edited by H. R. McIlwaine et al., p. 252, hereafter cited as Journals of the Council.
15. "'. . . to level the works at York . . .': A Letter of David Jameson," edited by Donald O. Dewey, Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, 71 (1963), 150-53, hereafter cited as "A Letter of David Jameson."
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The governor continued in his letter to Dabney: "It will be advisable to have the fort enclosed with a strong palisade to secure you against a sudden Attack as we are all young at such business I beg you to consult Colo Lovelette [sic] and the French Engineers in what manner it may be most effectually done."
9. It was reported in the Journals of the Continental Congress that "on July 31, was read a resolution of the Virginia Assembly, dated June 17, 1783, authorizing an application to Congress for a sum not exceeding £750, to level the works at York and Gloucester." It was then referred to committee. Journals of the Continental Congress 1774-1789, 24 (Washington, D.C., 1922), p. 483.
12. It can be assumed, it seems safe to say, that individual property owners and residents would have leveled parts of some entrenchments, especially where they constituted a critical blockage in their particular location.
14. Robert Hunter, Jr., Quebec to Carolina in 1785-1786: Being the Travel Diary and Observations of Robert Hunter, Jr., a Young Merchant of London, edited by Louis B. Wright and Marion Tinling (San Marino, Calif., 1943), pp. 231-32.
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"In the town the houses bear evident marks of the siege; and the inhabitants will not, on any account, suffer the holes perforated by the cannon balls to be repaired on the outside."
He commented further that: "Till within a year or two the broken shells themselves remained; but the New England men that traded to York finding they would sell well as old iron, dug them up, and carried them away in their ships."
When the Rev. Francis Ashbury commented on a visit to York on April 14, 1800, he mentioned neither the old works nor the Secretary Nelson House. He did have a curious comment on the surrender site: "I saw the grave where was buried the effigy of General Washington, at the probable place where Lord Cornwallis delivered up his sword to him," The Journal of the Rev. Francis Ashbury, Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, From August 7, 1771, to December 7, 1815 (New York, 1821), 2, 374.
4. Quoted in Lafayette: Guest of the Nation: A Contemporary Account of the "Triumphal Tour" of General Lafayette, 3, compiled and edited by Edgar Ewing Brandon (Oxford, O.), pp. 56-57, hereafter cited as Brandon, Lafayette: Guest of the Nation.
The banquet took place under canvas in the then as now open space across Main Street from the Governor Thomas Nelson home.
There is interesting continuation:
15. Strother continued: "On a green plateau overlooking the York River was the surgeon's headquarters where are still quantities of bones and skulls, and iron bullets. Lafayette revisiting this country in 1824 landed at this spot received by Watkins Leigh and it was proposed to erect a monument commemorative of the surrender but like all such things in Virginia, it ended in talk." It is difficult, however, to determine a specific location from this information. Lafayette, it is known, landed in Yorktown on the beach at the point which projects into the river just below the southeast limits of the town (where the present beach picnic area is located). He lodged in the "Governor Nelson House," and most of the battlefield festivities took place in the area near the site of British Redoubt No. 10. Hatch, The Nelson House and the Nelsons, pp. 97-104.
It could be wished that Historian Charles Campbell in notes that he made about Yorktown in 1837 could have been more descriptive regarding the earthworks. Instead he dismissed them with the single comment: "I picked up a fragment of a bombshell within the British entrenchments." "Notes (by an itinerant)," p. 138.
17. "It [the cave] is almost directly beneath the termination of the trench and breastworks of the British fortification, which are yet prominent on the bank above." Lossing, Pictorial Field Book of the Revolution, 3, 302.
Part Two Chapter VI
1. Actually Yorktown was the York River anchor to the Confederate line that extended across the peninsula from the York to the James rivers. To the southwest of Yorktown a line supported by two heavy positions (the Red and White Redoubts) continued to the headwaters of the Warwick River and then along the river. The Warwick flowed toward the James River and constituted a considerable natural obstacle. Two dams along the river, one at Wynne's Mill three miles from Yorktown, and another at Lee's Mill another two and a half miles downstream, deepened the waters and made a crossing even more difficult. In addition, the Confederates built three other dams to intensify this natural situation. Each dam (particularly that at Lee's Mill) was covered by earthworks and artillery.
2. The others were No. 3 and No. 1 (on the southeast side of Ballard, southwest from Main Street) and No. 2 (on the northwest side of Nelson Street southwest from the Ballard House). No. 2 would prove to be rather close to the pottery works which were found and identified in 1969. Excavation is continuing now.
3. As tersely reported in the Colonial NHP Superintendent's monthly report for November 1956 (page 5), the sewer line findings included: "parts of an old ship (probably 18th century), a bar of pig iron, fragments from a large grindstone, a foundation at the foot of Read Street, and a brick wall on Monument Avenue, additional evidences of pottery manufacture in Yorktown, and a rich collection of artifacts in front of the Sessions House."
3. It was reported at the February meeting that Ferris estimated it would take 14 yards of concrete at $20 per yard and that the excavation would cost another $50. The dimensions were given as 56 by 48 feet.
It should be noted that the coping still in place actually deals with only a part of the foundation, some of which is said now to be under the roadway, or street, which passes near it.
6. To get the plot in shape, the Branch expended $284.40. "This was for excavating, placing a coping of cement on top of the foundation to safeguard it, and for a stone for the mounting of the tablet." 1930 Annual Report.
9. This date obviously is in error, since the Nelsons did not own this property adjacent to the southeastern boundary of Yorktown prior to 1744. Presumably this land, a tract consisting of 15 acres or less, was purchased by "Scotch Tom" Nelson on September 27, 1744, from John Dixon who had bought it six years earlier from Robert Read. "Scotch Tom," before his death in 1745, transferred it to his son, Thomas. His will devised the sum of £4,000 sterling to Thomas, stating "and this is all I intend my said son Thomas, having already given him the estate in King William county, which I purchased of Colo Thomas Jones; and the houses, Lots, and plantations bought for him of Doctor John Dixon." William and Mary Quarterly, 1st ser., 6 (1898), p. 144; Deeds, No. 4, p. 524, and No. 5, p. 327.
At the time, the lot (No. 20) was bounded on the north by the lot of William Dudley and his wife, Jane (the oldest Ballard daughter), on the west by the lot of Nicholas Dickson and his wife, Charlotte (another Ballard daughter), on the south by the lot (No. 21) of James Mills, and on the east by a cross street.
It specified "The Dwelling House," 2 "Stable" lots, and 5 other lots, the last being valued at $8 each, obviously indicating that these lots were undeveloped.
The purchase included all the Gunther lots and the home, It read: "the dwelling house in which the said Martha resided in her life time, situated on the main street in the Town of York, together with the lot called the stable lot which has thereon a Cow house and a stable, with two Lots thereto adjoining and five vacant or unimproved Lots."
1. Yorktown never was a port or town of first rank. Even in 1765 when Adam Gordon was visiting in Tidewater he noted that "Norfolk is the Port of most traffick in Virginia, it contains above four hundred houses, has depth of Water for a Forty Gun Ship, or more, and conveniencies of every kind for healing down, and fitting out large Vessels, also a very fine Rope-Walk." Even so, he admired the Yorktown location. He noted: "the pleasantest Situation [on] one of them [the Virginia rivers] I ever saw [was] York on the beautiful River of that name, which commands a full view of the River down towards the Bay of Chesapeak, and a pretty land view across to Glocester Town and County, which contains some of the best lowlands in the Province." Gordon did not discuss size and accommodations, though some five years earlier, in 1759, the Reverend Andrew Burnaby had seen York as "a small inconsiderable town." At the same time he dismissed Williamsburg as town of some 200 houses and not above "one thousand souls, whites and negroes; and is far from being a place of any consequence." "Journal of an Officer's [Lord Adam Gordon's] Travels in America and the West Indies, 1764-1765," in Travels in the American Colonies, edited by Newton D. Mereness (New York, 1916), p. 406; Andrew Burnaby, Travels Through the Middle Settlements in North America, in the Years 1759 and 1760: With Observations Upon the State of the Colonies, 3rd edition (London, 1798), pp. 5-6.
When the waterfront was subdivided into lots in 1788, it yielded some 64 separate parcels of varying sizes, mostly business properties.
3. Baron Von Closen noted on September 30, 1781: "The city of York is built on the summit and slopes of a plateau, intersected by ravines which terminate precipitately at the river's edge. This plateau is bounded on the right [British right] by a deep and marshy ravine through which runs a creek [Yorktown Creek] which empties into the York River above the city."
8. During and just after the siege the fixed resident population dropped to a very low level. Even in 1783 Alexander Macaulay noted, on arrival in Yorktown from Louisa by way of Williamsburg: "the good folks here are very kind & the few inhabitants left in ruined York, are extremely attentive. We are more in Company than we wish," "Journal, February, 1783," William and Mary Quarterly, 1st ser., 9 (1902-1903), p. 190.
9. A tithable (used as a basis of taxation in Virginia over a long period) was any male 16 years of age, or older, or any negro, mulatto, or Indian woman who was 16, or older. The age limit for male tithables was raised to 18; however in 1790, as will be seen, the age 16 dividing line was again in use. Also, by 1769 free negro, mulatto, and Indian women were, like white women always were, exempted as tithables. Tylers Quarterly Historical and Genealogical Magazine, 7, 179-80; Percy Scott Flippin, The Royal Government in Virginia, 1624-1775 (New York, 1919), pp. 243-44.
At this date there were 45,266 tithables in the 28 Virginia counties. Gloucester led with 3,421 and the lowest was Warwick with 701.
His was a bleak picture of conditions and prospects, though he thought the York a beautiful river "I had never before seen so large a river, I had also the satisfaction of seeing a vessel under sail, This was a new and charming sight." However, he now took a pessimistic note:
Doehla's estimate of the size of York may have been on the high side, "This Yorktown, or 'Little-York,' is a small city of approximately 300 houses."
1. Edward B. Jelks, "Archeological Study of British and Confederate Earthworks on the Southeast Side of Yorktown: Final Report: Park Research Project No. 200," a Colonial NHP typewritten report dated July 18, 1955.
4. In other context: "Artifacts were found in significant quantity in the pre-1861 features, and all are of types in common usage in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Several artifacts from Test H [that on or near British Redoubt No. 8] were identified specifically with the British Army, some bearing the broad arrow mark denoting British army Ordnance," A particularly interesting find here was a buried British budge barrel containing black powder and lead musket balls. Though much was lost on exposure, the remains constitute a Yorktown Visitor Center exhibit. (See also Park photographs Nos, 11,710 and 11,715.)
5. He also described Digges as a "Gentlemen" who had "served in several of the highest offices of Government, and discharged them with great Abilities & Integrity. And I beg leave to recommend him to your Attention," Ibid., p. 105.
8. Perhaps a typical entry was that for "William Digges his Plantation (York)." This covered 75 barrels of corn, 90 feet of tops, "19 in:" bundles of fodder, 75 barrels of "Shocks" and 150 bushels of Barley. A total of £88 5s. was "allowed for Corn, fodder, tops and Barley."
10. There was another matter, too, that was troubling Reynolds: "There is I suppose upwards of a hundred Negroes in this Town & York, they are really a great nuisance I wish something could be done with them. It would be useless for me to have them taken up, as we have no prison to confine them in, nor no guard to escort them elsewhere."
Last Updated: 22-Jan-2010