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May 8, 2009

Illustrated lecture expands on life of 18th-century resident Philip Vickers Fithian

John Fea, professor of American history at Messiah College, Grantham, Pa., will discuss the fascinating life of Philip Vickers Fithian during this illustrated lecture based on the book, “The Way of Improvement Leads Home: Philip Vickers Fithian and the Rural Enlightenment in Early America,” at 5:30 p.m. May 22 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.

Fithian is best known for the diary he wrote in 1773-74 while working as a tutor on the Virginia plantation of Robert Carter. This lecture also will delve into his inner life, experiences in the early American backcountry and his role as a Revolutionary chaplain.

A book signing will be held at 4:30 p.m. at the Museum Store.

A Colonial Williamsburg admissions ticket or Good Neighbor Card provides access to this lecture.

This lecture is part of the Distinguished Scholar Lecture Series sponsored by the Horatio Hall Whitridge & Gracia Grieb Whitrdge Lecture Fund.

Programs and exhibitions at The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum are supported by the DeWitt Wallace Endowment Fund.
Entrance to Colonial Williamsburg Art Museums is through the Public Hospital of 1773 at 326 W. Francis St. For information call (757) 220-7724.

Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women. Within the restored and reconstructed buildings, historic interpreters, attired as colonial men and women from slaves to shopkeepers to soldiers, relate stories of colonial Virginia society and culture – stories of our journey to become Americans – while historic trades people research, demonstrate and preserve the 18th-century world of work and industry. As Colonial Williamsburg interprets life in the time of the American Revolution guests interact with history through “Revolutionary City®” – a dramatic live street theater presentation.

Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s Web site at

Media Contact:
Penna Rogers
(757) 220-7121