Westmoreland Hall

Exterior of Westmoreland Hall

Namesake 

Westmoreland County is significant because it is was the birthplace of Robert E. Lee, James Monroe, and George Washington as well as many other influential lineages in Revolutionary Virginia. The county’s state park is home to George Washington’s boyhood home and James Monroe’s house. Also, in 1766 Richard Henry Lee of Stratford Hall wrote the Leedstown Resolves.[1. “County History,” Westmoreland County, VA, http://www.westmoreland-county.org/index.php?p=visiting&c=countyHistory (accessed February 28, 2012).] The Leedstown Resolves are considered the precursor to the Declaration of Independence and were signed by “six Lees, five Washingtons and Spence Monroe, father of President James Monroe.”[2. “County History,” Westmoreland County, VA, http://www.westmoreland-county.org/index.php?p=visiting&c=countyHistory (accessed February 28, 2012).]  This document is noted as the first time a resistance to Britain was organized.[3.  “County History,” Westmoreland County, VA, http://www.westmoreland-county.org/index.php?p=visiting&c=countyHistory (accessed February 28, 2012).] Westmoreland County is also home to the first museum in the Northern Neck which was established to create a home for the portrait by Charles Willson Peale of William Pitt, who was the British Parliamentarian behind the repeal of the Stamp Act.[4. “County History,” Westmoreland County, VA, http://www.westmoreland-county.org/index.php?p=visiting&c=countyHistory (accessed February 28, 2012).] During the Civil War, Westmoreland County was a theoretical dividing line between the North and the South.[5.  “County History,” Westmoreland County, VA, http://www.westmoreland-county.org/index.php?p=visiting&c=countyHistory (accessed February 28, 2012).]

Westmoreland Hall, March 2012

Building History

Westmoreland Hall finsihed construction in 1939 and is named after Westmoreland County, Virginia.[5. William B. Crawley, Jr., University of Mary Washington: A Centennial History,1908-2008 (Fredericksburg, VA: University of Mary Washington Foundation, 2008), 43.] Westmoreland Hall became a co-ed dorm in 1975.[6. Crawley, 239.] Since then, it has been re-purposed as a residence hall for co-ed upperclassmen and houses 111 students.[7. “Westmoreland Hall.” University of Mary Washington Residence Life. http://students.umw.edu/residencelife/housing-and-operations/first-year-residence-halls/westmoreland-hall/ (accessed April 29, 2012).] In 1977, the Westmoreland Four incident where four residents were accused of disruptive acts led to the creation of a students’ bill of rights.[8. Crawley, 256-257.]

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