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August 21, 2007

CW partners with Museum of Cherokee Indian to produce Electronic Field Trip

Williamsburg’s award-winning Electronic Field Trip series premieres “Emissaries of Peace” Thursday, Nov. 8. Produced by Colonial Williamsburg’s division of productions, publications and learning ventures, the program examines how Cherokee and British societies viewed each other in the turbulent era of the French and Indian War.

Produced in partnership with the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, “Emissaries of Peace” was filmed on location in Williamsburg and in Cherokee, N. C., with the assistance of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Nation. The program’s content and related Web activities draw from the major “Emissaries of Peace” exhibit produced by the Museum of the Cherokee Indian.

The Electronic Field Trip depicts the Cherokees’ diplomatic efforts to preserve their culture despite the expanding colonial settlement. Central characters are Henry Timberlake, a British lieutenant whose memoirs provide one of the most complete records of 18th-century Cherokee life, and Cherokee leader Ostenaco. In 1762, Timberlake carried a message of peace into Cherokee territory prompting Ostenaco to travel to Williamsburg. There, he persuaded the Governor of Virginia that the Cherokee delegation should meet with King George III in London.

“Colonial Williamsburg’s Electronic Field Trip, ‘Emissaries of Peace,’ presents the most accurate depiction of Cherokee material culture and language of any production to date,” said Ken Blankenship, executive director of the Museum of the Cherokee Indian.

“Our museum provided accurate reproduction Cherokee clothing, language, baskets, pottery and props from the 1760s,” said Blankenship (Eastern Cherokee). “Even Ostenaco’s speech to George III is delivered in the Cherokee language, just as it was in 1762. The program illustrates a time in history when the Cherokee were a world power, making treaties with European nations and with American colonies – a time about which most people know very little. We appreciate the efforts of Colonial Williamsburg’s production team to make “Emissaries of Peace” an accurate, informative and beautiful program.”

Internet activities for “Emissaries of Peace” extend students’ understanding of how two diverse cultures used trade and diplomacy as important tools of communication. The program’s Web site includes comprehensive lesson plans, a glossary, timeline, suggested Web links and bibliography. Interactive Web activities guide students through four historic treaty processes and provide an illustrated timeline of Cherokee history from prehistoric times to the present.

As the nation’s leading educational resource for early American history, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation uses the Internet and interactive television technology to bring the 18th century to life for more than one million students throughout the United States each year. For more information or to register for the Electronic Field Trip Series visit or contact the Electronic Field Trip registrar at 1-800-761-8331 or by e-mail at

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 for its guests, it also invites them to interact with history. Williamsburg is located 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information or reservations, call toll-free 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg on the Internet at or

Media Contact:
Barbara Brown
(757) 220-7280