Colonial Williamsburg® The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation's Official History and Citizenship Website

Page content
Reset text sizeResize text larger

April 4, 2008

CW's Revolutionary City® features new "Meet a Nation Builder" programs

Colonial Williamsburg’s “Building a Nation,” part of the dynamic Revolutionary City® daily presentations, features two new programs for the spring 2008 season. Guests of the Historic Area can meet Anne Wager, mistress of the Bray School for Negro Children in 18th-century Williamsburg, and Alexander Purdie, colonial printer and outspoken champion of the “Cause of America.” These two Nation Builders share their experiences in candid and interactive discussions as they live through the Revolutionary events of the 18th century.

On selected Mondays from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in the Mary Stith Shop, Anne Wager speaks about the challenges she faces as headmistress of the Bray School for Negro Children. Funded by the Bray Society in England, the school was a rare opportunity for enslaved children of 18th-century Williamsburg to receive a basic, formal education. However, not all of the slave-owning population greeted the prospect of education for African Americans enthusiastically. Ms. Wager shares her hopes and aspirations for her students’ academic achievement.

From 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. guests can join Alexander Purdie behind the Print Shop as he discusses the momentous events surrounding his publication of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Purdie, a Scottish immigrant and vocal patriot who rose to prominence as a newspaper printer in colonial Virginia, was the first to publish many important documents that championed the “Cause of America.” One of Purdie’s biggest moments came in 1776 when he introduced the citizens of Williamsburg to the recently authored Declaration of Independence. After revealing the circumstances surrounding the publication of the document, Purdie offers his thoughts on the impact it will have on the future of America.

As part of Revolutionary City’s “Building a Nation” programming, “Meet a Nation Builder” presents guests of Colonial Williamsburg with a more all-inclusive portrait of life in the 18th-century capital of Virginia. Showcased are the men and women of different social statuses, races and talents who made essential contributions to the American Revolution and the development of the new republic.

A Colonial Williamsburg admission ticket or Good Neighbor Card provides access to all Revolutionary City programs. Schedules are subject to change without notice.

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 tradespeople 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. “Revolutionary City®” – a daily dramatic live street theater presentation – is a 2008 Rand McNally Best-of-the-Road™ Editor’s Pick. 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