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July 21, 2009

Emory University professor examines the Trans-Atlantic slave trade during August lecture at CW's Kimball Theatre

David Eltis, the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of History at Emory University in Atlanta, will present the lecture, Voyages: The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, at 7 p.m. Aug. 21 at Colonial Williamsburg’s Kimball Theatre.

He is the co-compiler of the revised edition of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database,, which contains information on almost 35,000 slave voyages and estimates of the overall size and direction of the trade. The presentation will use the new Web site to provide an overview of the slave trade in the Atlantic World, to demonstrate U.S. involvement in that trade and to examine the rise, decline and African origins of the traffic to the Chesapeake, as well as the experiences of those who found themselves enslave and carried across the ocean.

More than 12 million Africans were forcibly embarked for transport to the Americas between the 16th and 19th centuries in what was perhaps the largest long distance forced movement of peoples in world history.

Eltis also is the author of “The Rise of African Slavery in the Americas” (Cambridge, 2000), co-author of “Atlas of Transatlantic Slavery,” and co-editor of and contributor to “Extending the Frontiers: Essays on the New Transatlantic Slave Trade Database,” both forthcoming from Yale University Press.

This lecture is co-sponsored by The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and Preservation Virginia. It is the first in a series of programs building up to the commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first Africans in Virginia in 1619.

Preservation Virginia, a private non-profit organization and statewide historic preservation leader founded in 1889, is dedicated to perpetuating and revitalizing Virginia's cultural, architectural and historic heritage thereby ensuring that historic places are integral parts of the lives of present and future generations. To learn more visit

All seats are $12. For more information, contact the Kimball Theatre box office at (757) 565-8588 or visit

The Kimball Theatre, located in downtown Williamsburg’s Merchants Square, is owned and operated by The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, the not-for-profit educational institution that operates the restored 18th-century capital of Virginia. The Kimball Theatre box office is open 3:30-7:15 p.m.

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