The newly elected governor of Virginia, Thomas Jefferson, meets with his counselor, James Madison. Hear them discuss their hopes for America’s future and their thoughts on the abolition of slavery, public education, and an enlightened agrarian public. Then join in a conversation with the two scholars who portray these men about how the world around them influenced the America we know today.
As a lifelong teacher in Colonial Virginia, Ann Wager’s experiences shed light on how religion, education, and slavery are interwoven in the 18th century. As the only teacher to ever participate in the first official Virginia school for African Americans, uncover how running the Bray School changes - or doesn’t change - Ann’s understanding of faith living in a slave society.
Try your hand at weaving in this class for all levels of experience. You will learn the history behind weaving in Williamsburg at the time of the Revolution to spark your patriotic homespun spirit. This class is taught on pre-warped modern looms, on which you will be able to pass the shuttle back-and-forth to build up a cotton hand towel to take home. All necessary supplies will be provided in this workshop, including care instructions for your hand-woven towel.Learn More
Participants in this one-hour mini workshop will be guided through an exploration of leather craft techniques by the staff of the Public Leather Works Program. Each participant will produce for themselves a beautiful and useful high quality steer hide waist belt. All materials, hardware, and supplies are included in the ticket price. As this class requires the use of sharp tools, it is restricted to accompanied teens and adults and is not recommended for children. Classes will meet at 9:30 a.m. in the Armoury yard, weather permitting.Learn More
The relationship between George Washington and Sally Cary Fairfax has intrigued historians for generations based on the few letters that survive between the two. How must Washington's new bride, Martha, have felt upon meeting the woman who seemingly held her husband's heart before her? What exactly was the nature of the relationship between them? Watch as these two women meet for the first time and discover how their relationship will be defined by their affections for the same man.
Join us and have some fun with our musical family, The Watermans, as they play some of their favorite tunes. It will be a foot stomping, hand clapping, grand old time as they teach and sing some of their favorite songs from the early American south to any and all who will lift up a noise! Music filled the taverns and homes of our history and this family band of musicians from the rural west of Virginia creates a musical experience that was such an important part of the culture in 18th century Williamsburg. Come on by and don’t be shy!
After Lord Dunmore flees Williamsburg, the enslaved servants at the Palace are to be auctioned off to raise money for the war effort. Not knowing what will happen to them, this tightly-knit group is thrown into chaos. As they strive to unite in their last moments together, past hurts and broken promises threaten to pull them apart.
Fall is time to fire the bricks! Stop by and see how up to 20,000 hand-molded bricks are fired at over 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. Chat with the brickmakers as they work round the clock for five days to keep the kiln fires burning.Learn More
Nation Builders at Colonial Williamsburg are extraordinary historical interpreters who portray real people of the past that contributed to our American story in a significant and remarkable way. Join one of them as they lead you to several places in town, and experience the 18th-century community of Williamsburg through the eyes of the historical figure they portray, as well as its echoes through time from the perspective of the 21st century interpreter. Using innovative interpretive styles, these charismatic performers and scholars will delight you and challenge you to think about our shared history in new ways.Learn More
It’s the night before the wedding and the groom will forfeit his bride’s dowry if he doesn’t learn to dance. Give the happy—and nervous—couple some moral support, pick up some real 18th-century moves, and learn how colonial Virginians really danced in this fast-paced, interactive comedy in the historic Raleigh Tavern.
Treat the animal lover in your life to this one-hour walking tour of Colonial Williamsburg’s modern stables and Rare Breeds Program. You’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at our facilities, learn more about our carriages, and get up close and personal with some of our animals.
You’ve heard classical music, but have you heard it played on real 18th-century instruments? Join The Governor’s Musick, our resident ensemble, as they bring authentic pieces from the Colonial Williamsburg antique instrument collection to life. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to hear these stunning “voices” created centuries ago!
"Navajo Weavings: Tradition and Trade," in the McCarl Gallery features over twenty rare, colorful and pictorial Navajo weavings created by anonymous Navajo women working on hand looms in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The exhibition showcases a variety of pictorial designs, materials, and symbolic imagery. The earliest object is a man's traditional wearing blanket from about 1860. Later weavings from the early 20th century began to depict the influence of the Anglo world including the incorporation of trains, American flags, and livestock.Learn More
When most people look at furniture, they admire the craftsmanship of the cabinetmaker. But the look and function of seating furniture often hinged on the talent of another trade – that of the upholsterer.Learn more