Dumfries Charter Day

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Barry Schwoerer, Parson Weems (Tom Costa, re-enactor), and Leamon Duncan

The Town of Dumfries and the Weems-Botts Museum sponsored Dumfries Charter Day on May 12, commemorating the establishment of Dumfries as the first of seven townships in Prince William County. Dumfries received its charter on May 11, 1749, making it the oldest continuously chartered town in Virginia.

Dumfries produced many Patriots of the American Revolution, and one of the most recognized is Colonel William Grayson. He established a law office in Dumfries before the Revolution, commanded a company of militia and was selected by George Washington as Aide de Camp. Grayson wintered with Washington at Valley Forge, fought in several battles and was one of the first elected senators after the ratification of the Constitution. The bandstand at Dumfries Merchant Park carries Colonel Grayson’s name.

Paul Chase

The Colonel William Grayson (CWG) chapter Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) participated in the Living History venue. Members of Children of the American Revolution and Daughters of the American Revolution also attended, many in Revolutionary War-era costumes or uniforms.

Children of the American Revolution demonstrated Colonial children’s games, and one member used toy muskets to recruit and train visitors in the operation of a Revolutionary War musket. Paul Chase, Compatriot with CWG Chapter, was stationed in a second-floor garret (Attic) of the Weems-Botts museum, set up as the office of the Commander of the Third Virginia Regiment, Continental Line. Other members of the CWG Chapter, in militia uniform, displayed the equipment carried by a typical militia soldier, including a replica Charleville musket.

To become a member of SAR, an applicant must prove ancestry to a Patriot and prove that the suspected Patriot performed qualifying Patriotic Service. Additional information about SAR is located on the chapter website at colonelwilliamgrayson.virginia-sar.org.

By Prince William Living

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