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April 29, 2005

Harvard History Professor David Armitage to speak on the Declaration of Independence

David Armitage, Professor of History at Harvard University, will speak on “The Declaration of Independence in World History” at Colonial Williamsburg’s DeWitt Wallace Decorative Art Museum at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, May 19. The lecture is in conjunction with the “Principles of Freedom” exhibition currently on display at the Wallace Museum, which features a rare 1823 “Stone” copy of the Declaration. In 1820, Secretary of State John Quincy Adams commissioned Washington, D.C., engraver William J. Stone (1798-1865) to make official facsimiles of the historic document, which had become extremely fragile over the years from repeated rolling and unrolling. Stone painstakingly engraved the text onto a copper plate and produced 201 parchment copies, 31 of which still exist. Admission to the program is included in museum admission, but reservations are required and are available at any Colonial Williamsburg ticket location, including the Museums Shop, or by calling (757) 220-7693 between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Prof. Armitage, who currently is completing a global history of the Declaration of Independence, as well as an edition of John Locke’s colonial writings and a study of the foundations of modern international thought, has authored a number of important history texts including “Greater Britain, 1516-1776: Essays in Atlantic History” (2004) and “The Ideological Origins of the British Empire” (2000), winner of the Longman History Today Book of the Year. Armitage also is editor or co-editor of five other books, including “Theories of Empire, 1450-1800” (1998) and “The British Atlantic World, 1500-1800” (2002).

For program information call (757) 220-7724.

Media Contact:
Sophia Hart
(757) 220-7272