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September 8, 2011

Colonial Williamsburg Introduces George Washington Lecture Series

Colonial Williamsburg presents the George Washington Lecture Series on Wednesdays, Sept. 14 and Oct. 5 at 5:30 p.m. at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, 326 W. Francis St., Williamsburg. Peter R. Henriques, professor emeritus of history, from George Mason University, examines the various factors which combined to produce America’s greatest leader, George Washington.

The first presentation, “Realistic Visionary – The Evolving Leadership of George Washington,” takes place at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 14. Washington emerges as a surprisingly interesting and fascinating figure, quite different from the cold, aloof and unapproachable Washington of tradition.

The second lecture in the George Washington Lecture Series, “The Man in the Middle – George Washington’s Relationship with Lafayette and Gouverneur Morris,” will be held at 5:30 p .m. on Wednesday, Oct. 5 at the Wallace Museum. Henriques examines Washington’s relationships with the Marquis de Lafayette, who had a strong strain of liberal idealism, and Gouverneur Morris, a brilliant and sharp-tongued conservative. While Lafayette and Morris were often at odds in the aftermath of the French Revolution, they were united in their unquestioned admiration and affection for Washington. The relationships not only reveal Washington’s remarkable political skills, but also shine interesting and surprising light on his personality.

These are the first of five lectures. Future lectures will be offered in February, March and April 2012.

Henriques received his doctoral degree in history from the University of Virginia in 1971. He taught American and Virginia history with a special emphasis on Virginia and the American Revolution and the Virginia Founding Fathers.

A member of both the editorial board for the George Washington Papers and of the Mount Vernon committee of George Washington Scholars, he regularly conducts leadership institutes at Mount Vernon for various government and private groups and is involved in various teacher seminars conducted by Mount Vernon and other educational institutions.

“Realistic Visionary: A Portrait of George Washington” was published by the University Press of Virginia and came out in paperback in 2008. His other books include “The Death of George Washington: He Died as He Lived” and a brief biography of George Washington written for the National Park Service.

A Colonial Williamsburg admissions ticket, museum pass or Good Neighbor pass provides access to these programs.

These lectures are funded by a Distinguished Scholar Lecture funded by the Horatio Hall Whitridge and Gracia Grieb Whitridge Lecture Series Endowment.

The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg include the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum and the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum is home to the nation’s premier collection of American folk art, with more than 5,000 folk art objects made during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. The DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum exhibits the best in British and American decorative arts from 1670–1830.

The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg are located at the intersection of Francis and South Henry Streets in Williamsburg, Va., and are entered through the Public Hospital of 1773. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. For museum program information, telephone (757) 220-7724.

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational and cultural organization 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. 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 website at

Media Contact:
Penna Rogers
(757) 220-7121