Today (6/21/11), I had intended to spend the day in the library since it was supposed to rain (which incidentally, it has been supposed to rain EVERY day I’ve been here and has managed thus far to avoid hitting me.), but as it was a gorgeous day, I decided to head around Williamsburg instead. I have yet to hear from my contacts in Colonial Williamsburg, so I decided to take pictures around town. I went first to the House of Burgesses, knowing that Bolling had been a member there. Next, I got a few picture of the actors in a show, which I thought might serve my purposes. By then, it was hot and time to move my car from short term parking, so I headed over to the library.

Bolling signed his own newspaper


The John D. Rockefeller library has some of the most helpful staff of anywhere I have been. Not only did they pull files from their amazing file capacity, they also have an unbelievable special collections department. Most of the items I initially found were things I had already seen, though it was fun to see a copy of Bolling’s original edition of his account of his courtship with Anne Miller (a book which I purchased before coming.) I also came across the book binder’s ledger which included a few entries of purchases made by Robert Bolling.


But, the real gold mine was an original—for lack of better word—scrapbook of Bolling’s, in which were clippings of the Virginia Gazette containing his articles and poems and a number of songs he apparently wrote. I can’t believe I didn’t have to wear gloves to touch it! It contained his treatise on the freedom of the press, in addition to a long poem about Winter which I had been unable to locate up to this point. The kind man who helped me assures me I can bring my laptop in and transcribe the articles and the poem, so that’s a job for another rainy day.


The main librarian also found the location of the Draper house, where Robert Bolling spent 18 months studying law (Documented in his Memoirs). I went by there on my way home, and the current owners were nice enough to let me take pictures around the grounds. All in all, another good Bolling day. Tomorrow (6/22/11), I’m off to Washington D.C., where I’ll visit an old friend.