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Historic Williamsburg: The Brafferton

Historic Williamsburg 

The Brafferton, one of the three buildings that comprise the “Ancient Campus” of the College of William and Mary, was built to educate Virginia Indians during the early 18th century. Funded by a bequest from Robert Boyle, the English scientist who discovered the circulation of blood, the Indian School was operated intermittently during the 18th century, without much success.

One Indian chief is reputed to have complained of the education the boys received: “When they came back to us, they were bad runners, ignorant of every means of living in the wood, unable to bear either cold or hunger. They were neither fit for hunters, warriors, nor councilors: they were totally good for nothing.” Today the Brafferton houses the office of the President of the College.