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A city and county seat of James City county, Va., 3 miles from the James River and 50 miles southeast of Richmond. The city was first settled in 1632; was the seat of the royal government prior to the Revolutionary War; and afterwards was the State capital till 1780, when the government was transferred to Richmond. The capitol was completed in 1704, burned, rebuilt in 1752, and again burned about 1831. Williamsburg is the seat of William and Mary College (q. v.), of the Eastern Lunatic Asylum of Virginia, opened in 1773, and the oldest institution of its kind in the United States; and of an Episcopal church dating from 1678. The city was the scene of a noted battle in the Civil War. See Williamsburg, battle of.

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