June 23, 2011

Richmond, VA

Photos by Greg

Back to U.S. History!

Our last stop was Richmond, which was the capital of the Confederacy during the Civil War. Booth was headed there thinking that he would find that everyone loved him and revered him as a hero, but alas. He was shot in a barn instead.

We stopped by the state capital building, which is just gorgeous. It's on a very big hill and back in the day it looked over the James River, but now there are lots of ugly office buildings in the way. It's really unfortunate.

Dress: Alexandra Grecco
Cardigan: J.Crew
Necklace: My Gammy's
Belt: Stolen from my mom
Sunglasses: Dalaga
Shoes: Vinatge

The highlight of our visit in Richmond was definitely the tour of Jefferson Davis' house. One of the best things Sarah Vowell says in her book, "Assasination Vacation," is that historical tours aren't ever really about the important events that happened during the time people lived in the building, but rather the "thingyness of things". For example: how having wall paper that looked like marble was actually better than having the actual rock because it was a display of someone's wealth. Wall paper was really expensive back then and when someone had wall paper in their front hallway you knew that they were loaded. Those are the tid bits you learn on historical tours. Not that Jefferson Davis was sitting in this exact chair when he received the news that Lee surrendered to Grant.

Regardless, our tour guide was very sweet, funny and knowledgeable so he made the whole thing very interesting. Plus it seemed like he had practiced and memorized some kind of script or guideline, which our tour guide at Dr. Mudd's house definitely did not do.

We drove down Monument Ave before heading back up to D.C. Monument Ave. is exactly what you think it is - a street with lots of monuments on it. Literally every block had another Civil War statue. Stonewall Jackson, Jeff Davis, J.E.B. Stuart, P.T. Beauregard, George Pickett... I could go on. The best one though, is of Lee. It probably has the most grass around it and it's in the middle of a traffic rotary. It should also be noted that it's HUGE.

Richmond is so pretty and I can kind of see myself living here. I have no idea what I would do, but it definitely feels simpler down there, which was really refreshing.

This ends our history lesson! Well, for now :)


Emily Rose said...

yay for us history! im on a huge american history kick right now, it makes me wish i paid attention in high school! have you seen america: the story of us? its on netflix instant now! its a mini series type thing. its good up until the beginning of the 20th century, then it getts to new and corny hah. but yea, its good. i love your sunglasses by the way! great shape and color and goes so well with your outfit.

Rhiannon said...

That's so true about tour guides always telling you about furnishings and where things came from and what they cost and never really telling you enough about the people who lived in the homes and the events that happened in them. I need to read that book!

Your outfit is just lovely. I've been to Richmond once but never got to go to any historical homes . . . now it's a must.

Liz said...

emily, i think ken burns civil war is also on netflix watch instant. that's also a must, but i will have to investigate the one you mentioned. greg is always down for historical movie watching. we just finished that kennedys mini series actually. time for something new!

btw, my sunglasses were only $20! i got them from a boutique in brooklyn, but you can buy them online too: dalaganyc.com

rhiannon, her writing is so wonderful and funny. she is definitely a history nerd and knows it, but has a really great, sarcastic humor about it. its definitely a quick read!

arnique said...

I LOVE your blog, especially because of the history lessons. May I suggest the sci-fi history novel Lincoln's Dreams by Connie Willis?

Arianne from A + B in the Sea

Kathryn said...

I go to school in Richmond, and I agree that it's sad that a lot of historical buildings have been obscured by office buildings. While you were there did you happen to make it to Carytown? It's not super historical but it has lots of shops and restaurants; it's definitely my favorite part of the city.

islabell said...

love this cute wee look and your sun glasses are just darling