We made it safely to Williamsburg and I have begun my search for the Philip Vickers Fithian re-enactor. After some additional research I have learned that there is a possibility that Philip only shows up during the Christmas season. I am not, however, giving up hope.
I spent the morning in Heathsville, VA doing a book talk to a packed house at the annual meeting of the Northumberland County Historical Society
. Almost all of them had actually “heard” of Philip Vickers Fithian and about half of them had read his Virginia diary. It was a very knowledgeable crowd. Thanks to Nancy and Wiatt of the Historical Society for inviting me to speak and to all who helped with the book sale and signing.
I spent most of the afternoon with a park ranger at Yorktown
. We got an informative introduction to the battle and did some of our own touring of the battlefield. We spent a lot of time wandering around redoubts 9 and 10
–the British earthen fortifications that were captured by the Continental Army and French troops, thus turning the tide of the battle in favor of the Americans.
We spent the evening watching eighteenth-century dancers in the Governor’s Palace at Williamsburg. I wish I had seen this performance before I wrote chapter five of The Way of Improvement Leads Home. The dancers brought to life for me the scenes at Nomini Hall when Philip the wallflower refused to dance.
We will be back in Williamsburg tomorrow and I will continue my attempts to track Fithian down. Stay tuned.