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August 26, 2005

September programs at Colonial Williamsburg's DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum bring out the patriot in everyone

Before the Declaration of Independence was signed in Independence Hall in Philadelphia, the cries for freedom were heard in 18th-century Williamsburg. Colonial Williamsburg’s DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum focuses its September programming on how British subjects transformed to Americans and how the culture they created is uniquely American. Programs are included in museum admission.

Programs will be held in the Hennage Auditorium and include:

  • Saving the National Treasures – 2 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday (except Sept. 16, 18 and 30). This videotaped NOVA program not only gives viewers a fascinating glimpse of cutting-edge preservation technology, but explores the background and meaning of America's priceless charter of freedom-- theDeclaration of Independence --whose significance changed over time from a simple catalog of grievances against the English king to a stirring proclamation of the rights of all people. Presented in conjunction with the exhibition “Principles of Freedom: The Declaration of Independence and the American Revolution.”
  • Whoop and Holler – 3 p.m. Tuesdays (Sept 6, 13, 20 and 27). This program replicates the sounds of the banjo that early Virginians would have heard. Musician and author Carson Hudson performs historical 19th-century minstrel banjo music from the years before the Civil War, demonstrating the instrument's changing usage from African-American slaves to the early circus, minstrel stage and parlor.
  • Created Equal, but Treated Differently – 4 p.m. Wednesdays (Sept. 14 and 28). Meet domestic slave Lydia Broadnax as she works as a cook in the home of distinguished Virginian George Wythe during the years when the household was filled with revolutionary talk. Find out how she felt about being freed in 1787 by Wythe, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.
  • Spirit of Liberty – 4 p.m. Thursdays (Sept. 8, 15, 22 and 29). Meet former slave Pastor Gowan Pamphlet in 1793 when he was granted his freedom. Gowan Pamphlet was a slave belonging to Jane Vobe, the operator of the King's Arms Tavern, and was one of the founders of the African-American Congregation in Williamsburg, today known as the First Baptist Church of Williamsburg. He offers his perspective on slavery, religion and freedom as he recalls events of the year 1776.

    The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s award winning DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, supported by the DeWitt Wallace Fund for Colonial Williamsburg, displays the Foundation’s exceptional collection of British and American decorative arts. Entered through the reconstructed Public Hospital of 1773, the museum is on Francis Street near Merchants Square and is open daily 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission is included in any multi-day Colonial Williamsburg admission ticket or separate museums ticket. For program information call (757) 220-7724.

    Media Contact:
    Penna Rogers
    (757) 220-7121

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