Gerald Holland

1775 Virginia—The Collapse of Royal Government, the Seizure of a Press, and the Lexington of the South

This session will examine the collapse of the Royal government in Virginia beginning with the Gunpowder Incident in April 1775 and the fleeing of Governor Dunmore from Williamsburg in June 1775. Moving through the summer of 1775, the actions of Dunmore and the British navy raiding Tidewater plantations will be discussed. At the end of August a hurricane brings destruction to Tidewater Virginia and leads to a newspaper war between a British navy captain and the town of Hampton and a Norfolk printer funded in part by the Sons of Liberty. This newspaper war will lead to the seizure of the Norfolk Intelligencer and the first battle in Virginia, the Battle of Hampton, considered by some the Lexington of the South.

The professional recording of this session was funded by a Preserving America grant from Americana Corner.

[Recorded on 12 August 2023]

Gerald Holland is a PhD candidate at Liberty University where he is presently working on his dissertation which will examine the life of James Otis. In 2014, he founded the Williamsburg-Yorktown American Revolution Round Table. Publications include contributions to the Journal of the American Revolution and the London based Trafalgar Chronicle. Recently, he was named a 2023-2024 Benjamin F. Stevens Fellow through the Massachusetts Historical Society. After a 20 year career in the United States Coast Guard, he retired in 2022 and now works as a high school history teacher.

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