When we first came into Yorktown we saw 13 flags in a circle representing the 13 original colonies. We met with our guide to talk about the Sugar Act and Tea Act. The Sugar Act is the Act that put a tax on all paper goods, like this deck of cards. The tea act taxed all the tea. The colonists didn’t like the tax.
Next we went to see how Continental soldiers lived during the war. Six men would live in one small tent. Six volunteers from our group tried it out and they said it was very uncomfortable because of the space and the dirt floors.
We also got to see and hear a real cannon fire. The reenactors told us the process of loading and firing a cannon and then told us to cover our ears.
Next we went to explore the lives of a middle class farmer. We saw their house that had all the rooms that were in a normal house with the exception of the kitchen. It was very small! All the rooms were in one room. The kitchen isn’t in the main house because smoke from the kitchen doesn’t smell good. There was also the chance of setting the house on fire. To solve that problem, the kitchen is outside of the main living area.
We also visited the tobacco barn outside. Tobacco was hanging from the ceilings to dry. Tobacco was a cash crop in Virginia. Middle class farmers would have 1-2 slaves, who would sleep in this building. We learned about how they sold the tobacco. They would get tobacco tickets when trading their tobacco in. They would take this ticket to a local merchant for trade to get household items they needed. The merchant would then give the tickets to the ship captains as a trade, and then the captain, when arriving in England, would turn the tickets in for other items or money. This was a true bartering system.