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Apr
21

Council of War in Winchester VA

By
When:
April 21, 2018 all-day
2018-04-21T00:00:00-04:00
2018-04-22T00:00:00-04:00

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Compiled in 2015 by Jim Moyer, updated 4/21/2019, 2/2/2020

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Relic Hunter Series.

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What value is a Relic ?

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A cannonball sitting in someone’s attic?

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Instead we have 2 versions of a famous illustration of Winchester appealing to Washington.

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Watercolor of Washington Irving’s encounter with George Washington, painted in 1854 by George Bernard Butler Jr

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Washington Irving wrote a book

about George Washington

and finished all 5 volumes

February 1859. 

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The earlier volumes

were published nearer to 1855 or 1856.

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Irving hung a painting of his namesake visiting him when he was little.

 

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COUNCIL OF WAR IN WINCHESTER VA

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April 21, 1756

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The Captains of the Council of War agreed to stay in Winchester rather than go to Fort Cumberland.

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 “…The most judicious of the Inhabitants solicited our continuation here in the most earnest manner; and represented in the strongest light, the impossibility of their making a stand, should any accident happen to the small party we proposed marching with…”

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See letters Washington writes on the same day of this Council of War in Winchester VA.

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appeal to gw from winchester

Click or Touch to Enlarge.

What made this moment that caused this Council of War in Winchester VA famous?

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An illustration captioned “The People of Winchester Appealing to Washington” in Washington Irving’s  Life of Washington (Volume 1 of 4) 1856 made this moment famous.

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Felix Darley drew it.

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This picture above, is a copy and not Darley’s original.

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Washington Irving (1783-1859) , the author who gave you the Legend of Sleepy Hollow wrote a popular biography of George Washington. It was reprinted in magazines with the illustration above.

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See the illustration on Page 236 .

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This is found in Volume 1 of 5

of Life of George Washington,

By Washington Irving,

published by G P Putnam & Co, 1857.

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1857 version here is text only view.

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This 1856 version is text only. Got to Page 215.

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Read the story Washington Irving, tells  the story on Page 215, of the people of Winchester VA beseeching Colonel George Washington to stay in town and not leave for the more outer forts.

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Empire Theatre. Click or Touch to Enlarge.

Look at the ceiling.

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A painting based on Darley’s drawing appeared

on the ceiling of the Empire Theatre

on northwest corner

of Rouss and Cameron streets

Winchester VA.

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1913 to 1927 The Empire Theatre

The Empire Theater was opened on December 25, 1913. The name was changed to Capitol Theater in 1927. This theater closed around 1964.

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The closed Feltner Museum information sheet states this painting “was first viewed by the patrons during the Grand Opening of the Empire Theatre Christmas Eve 1913.

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Old F&M Bank.

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We talked to Jill Feltner in August 2016.

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She said the 1913 painting was rolled up and never  displayed in the old F&M Bank Building.

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That old F&M Bank building is the Yellow brick building with the clock on the corner on the North side of Rouss across from the 1840 Courthouse, now the Civil War Museum.

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The Winchester Star  (2019) and the 10th District Congress, Jenifer Wexton (2018) have offices in there now.

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Click or Touch to Enlarge.

After the Empire Theatre/ Capitol Theatre 

was torn down,

Farmers and Merchants Bank

acquired the property

and recovered the painting

and after restoring it,

kept it in storage in the  the yellow brick build of what was the F&M bank.

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See Handley Library Archives photos of Empire Theatre.

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The red brick building on the right is the Old Feltner Museum. Now occupied by Shenandoah University. The whole row was Frederick Co government offices for a long time. The columned building on the left is the 1840 Courthouse. It is now the Civil War Museum. In 1758 George Washington won his first election on this site. Click or Touch to Enlarge

10 August 2016 is around the date of  Feltner Museum is closing.

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Shenandoah University uses that building now (as of 2017-2020).

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That building in the 1970s was the Frederick County government offices.

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They still have that picture they saved from the Empire Theatre mentioned above.

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Click or Touch to Enlarge. Photos taken by Jim Moyer.

We were allowed a private showing.

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We visited the room in August 2016. Here is how the picture looks in that room.

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We’re wondering

what the status

of this picture

in the old Feltner building will be,

since the closing

of the Feltner Museum

might mean this copy will be moved or sold?

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Click or Touch to Enlarge. Photos taken by Jim Moyer.

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See Winchester Star

(10 August 2016) article

on Feltner Museum closing (link was broken when the Winchester Star changed its online format).

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winchester appeal to people

Click or Touch to Enlarge.

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In 1932 the bicentennial of Washington’s Birthday, another version was created.

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The Winchester Frederick County Historical Society commissioned the artist, Burtis Baker.

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The picture here shows a metal engraving used to help Burtis Baker paint his copy.

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See link at Handley Library Archives.

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The final product

by Burtis Baker’s version

of Darley’s drawing,

still exists

in the west wall

latest pictures and movies 001

Click or Touch to Enlarge. Photo by Jim Moyer December 2015.

reading room of Handley Library.

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This is the picture shown here on the right, taken December 2015.

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Notes for further research


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Jim Moyer wix story

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http://jimmoyer1.wixsite.com/fortloudounva/single-post/2016/08/11/Winchester-Appeals-to-Washington

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Non-illustrated biography of George Washington by Washington Irving

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https://archive.org/stream/lifegeorgewashi30irvigoog#page/n9/mode/2up

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2 days after Council of War April 21, 1756 there was another Council of War held on deciding to abandon forts and garrisons at Enoch, Horners and reduce garrison at Fort Edwards

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https://founders.archives.gov/?q=Date%3A1756-04-23&s=1111311111&r=3

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