North Carolina History Center at Tryon Palace

  • Edward Rothstein, who has been writing reviews of museums and exihibitions for The New York Times for several years, looks at the $60 million North Carolina History Center at Tryon Palace (See NY Times 6-Aug-2011). Under review is not only the Center, which Rothstein considers to be quite well done, but the changing fashion of recreated history in the last 20 years. As historical homes such as Tryon Palace drew fewer and fewer visitors, visitor centers were built becoming not just the gateways to the major historical homes, but, at times, their rivals, offering new expositions and elaborate genuflections to contemporary tastes.
JDN | 6-Aug-2011

George Washington ordered his overseers to begin the 1767 wheat harvest on June 24, a hot, cloudy Saturday at the end of a dry week. Thus began twenty days of unrelenting exertion for Mount Vernon’s slaves and no little anxiety for their master, who for the first time had given over his holding almost entirely to the cultivation of grain. Much depended on the success of this experiment, which was a crucial element in Washington’s scheme to free himself of the debts he had accumulated over the years of failing to produce tobacco that would sell on London’s finicky market. Rich as he was in land, he feared that, like so many of his fellow planters, he too would become permanently dependent on his English merchant creditors. It was a fate he dreaded above all, for to suffer it meant that he would lose the essence of a gentleman’s character, independence, and with it the capacity to behave in a truly virtuous way.

Fred Anderson
Crucible of War: The Seven Years’ War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754 - 1766 (2000)