Category Archives: Academic Team

Gunsmith Visit

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Post by Nick – 4th Grade

Today we learned a lot of things in Williamsburg.  One particular thing I want to talk about is the Gunsmith.  First when we went in, I saw a lot of stuff, but I learned quickly they didn’t just make guns.  They made guns, cutlery and  foundry.

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GUNS:

To make a rifle, it would take up to a year!  The rifles made here were for hunters and not for war.  I found out there are differences between rifles and shotguns.   Rifles are grooved on the inside and shotguns are smooth.

CUTLERY:

My favorite part of the visit was the swords.  She called this a form of cutlery.  Other cutlery objects are knives, scissors and axes.

FOUNDRY:

They made molds for spoons and belt buckles for horses.   To make the molds, they would heat the metal and then pour it into the molds.    When they are finished, they freeze it for it to set.   Then they would heat it again to make the form.

They didn’t just make things, they also repaired things like guns and swords.

Fighting For a New Country

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Tonight’s blog is coming from Mama Watson. Our troops are exhausted. We have drilled and been disciplined by Continental Sergeants as new subjects in the continental army. We have given our oath of allegiance and have agreed to serve for 3 years or the duration of the war. We were given $10 to enlist and we have learned that as individuals we are nothing but together we can be as strong as a brick wall. Our platoon had difficulty learning how to stay together so we had to drill and stand at attention. The sergeant showed us absolutely no mercy because our lives depended on us being one cohesive unit.

We don’t know how long this war will last, but we are committed to preserving posterity (our future). The sergeant dismissed us and it was none too soon. It was so nice to enter the 21st Century and board our bus to come back to the comforts of our hotel room.

PS. Things are much more relaxed in the 21st Century. There are very few places where we are expected to be absolutely silent, without wiggling, without moving, needing permission to scratch our heads or nose, and having to give up our individual rights and freedoms. I’m thankful for those who did give up their lives so we can enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

PSS. No photographs will accompany this post. We were trained under the cover of darkness so we did not tip off the British Army as to our location.

Medicine in the 1800’s

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Blog post by Madison – 4th grade

Tonight, we went to presentation about medicine in the 1800’s. Our presenter starting talking about all the injections that keep us from getting sick. Then she talked about trauma, especially in the battlefield.

In the beginning, our presenter described the living conditions of the 1800’s. They had horrid sanitation which would cause a lot of disease. For example, people didn’t have bathrooms. They used chamber pots and they were kept under the parent’s bed. When the pot filled up, they just tossed it out the window. To make it worse, chickens would peck at the waste. Then the people ate the chickens!

When I first walked in, I noticed a table full of rusted metal tools. I wondered what they were for. The presenter set off on a tale about how medicine is different today then it was in the 1800’s.

For example, she pulled up a volunteer and re-enacted a branch falling on someone’s head and caused subdural hematoma. She showed the tools that you would use to fix this. It was scary because it looked like sprinkler with a needle on the bottom.

Another example is when someone had small pox. The apothecary would take a quill and poke the person’s arm with the small pox. Then they put the quill in the arm that a person that was well and this would keep them from getting smallpox. This was the first type of vaccination.

The grossest part of the program when she re-enacted a bullet in her gut and the kids were the apothecaries and had to take the bullet out.

I thought the presentation was pretty gross, but we laughed and had a great time!

Jamestown Settlement

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Blog post by Brice – 4th Grade

Today we visited Jamestown Settlement and a museum full of artifacts. Here are some of the highlights and observations that I thought you might enjoy…

The first people to arrive to this area were the Powhatan Indians, the second were the English who sailed from England and the third group were from Africa, who were brought to be slaves.

The Indians used natural resources and corn was their main crop. They had five seasons. The leader’s name was Powhatan and he led 30 tribes. Copper was favored by the Indians and showed wealth and power. The name of their houses were Yehakins. They were made of tanned skin. The Powhatan lived all along the four main rivers in this area. The English settled by the James River.

The English came along a route that followed the currents. They knew to go South until the “butter melted”. They traveled on 3 ships. The Susan Constant, The Discovery and the Godspeed. It was not a straight path. It took them 4 months to travel here. When they arrived, they were looking for flat farmlands. The Virginia Company was established by charters. These were grants. John Smith was not liked by everyone, but he helped the people to survive and to keep the colony going. Later, the first group of women arrived. At the time, Sir Thomas Smythe was expecting to be a wealthy man by discovering gold, but it was all fool’s gold. We watched a demonstration of a musket firing. The shot was loud and smoky. Jenna, Corey (preacher) and Lindy (lay person) all participated in a church and election service. Jenna was the governor and made a law.

The Africans had simple designs of houses. They were excellent metal workers.

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