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The independent city of Williamsburg, Virginia started out in 1632 as a fortified settlement called Middle Plantation, which was situated between the York and James Rivers. It was the center of the events which led up to the American Revolutionary War and the capital of the Colony of Virginia from 1699 until 1780, after the the original capital, Jamestown, was burned down during Bacon’s Rebellion. The College of William & Mary, one of the two oldest colleges in the country, was founded in 1693 and still stands as a functioning college. William & Mary boasts a huge list of famous alumni which includes Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and John Tyler, all of whom became Presidents, and Henry Clay, John Marshall, and comedian Jon Stewart. The Gunpowder Incident took place in Williamsburg mere days after the Shot Heard Round the World in Massachusetts, and was a major event leading up to the American Revolution.

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