Issue 2 | July/August 2021
ew words describe how overwhelmed we were to receive so many wonderful notes and calls praising our new INSIDE JYF magazine!
This magazine issue is devoted to the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown and all the summer activities planned and a look inside its collection. Since its grand opening in 2017, our Yorktown museum has served as a beacon to those interested in the place where liberty was won and the promises of democracy protected. However, our museum is more than that. It is a place where guests explore the diverse people that made this democratic nation possible. Now more than ever, we are called to remember what unites us as Americans and democracy-loving peoples the world over. When we open ourselves to shared history, conversation and exploration, we become a better-informed and intentional citizenry. Through JYF special programs, exhibits, tours and events, we reflect on where we triumphed, survived or have fallen short. Making all this possible are great people interacting with guests and many others working behind the scenes. Engaged board members give their time and expertise to propel us. Committed donors and volunteers support us in a myriad of ways. Throughout these and future pages of INSIDE JYF, you will meet some of them and be inspired. If what you read inspires you, I encourage you to make a gift to the Annual Fund. Your gifts help us share stories of America’s past as we envision the future of our museums. As always, we look forward to seeing you at one or both of our JYF Museums soon! Warm Regards,
Christy S. Coleman Executive Director
CLAUDIA KESSEL TRACY PERKINS Editors JOAN HEIKENS JANET KANE Production Management HOLLAND WINSLOW Designer STAFF CONTRIBUTORS Erin Koch Cindy Daniel Cathy Fox Rawlins Constance Graham Abigail Schumann Elizabeth Halstead Meghan van Joosten Jamie Helmick Heather Hower STAFF WRITERS/PHOTOGRAPHERS Felicia Abrams, Anne Marie Baker, Cindy Daniel, Katherine Egner Gruber, Heather Hower, Janet Kane, Homer Lanier, Sarah Meschutt, T.J. Savage, Steven Prokopchak, Abigail Schumann Enjoy INSIDE JYF? Support future publications by donating to the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, Inc. If you no longer wish to receive INSIDE JYF in print or would like to convert to digital, email email@example.com or call (757) 253-4139.
INSIDE JYF Volume 1, No. 2 – printed June 2021 The Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, an educational institution of the Commonwealth of Virginia accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, fosters through its museums – Jamestown Settlement and American Revolution Museum at Yorktown – an awareness and understanding of the early history, settlement, and development of the United States through the convergence of American Indian, European, and African cultures and the enduring legacies bequeathed to the nation.
JAMESTOWN-YORKTOWN FOUNDATION P.O. Box 1607, Williamsburg, VA 23187 (757) 253-4838
table of CONTENTS About the Cover
JYF Photographer Steven Prokopchak captured this image of the July 1776 Broadside of the Declaration of Independence on display at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, overlaying the famous message proclaiming independence from Great Britain. Soon after this historic document was adopted by the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, Pa., on July 4, 1776, the Broadside in the JYF collection was printed in Boston, Mass., to spread the word through the American colonies, and nearly a month before the handwritten, parchment copy was signed by members of Congress.
Children of the American Revolution A Gift Brings the Revolutionary War to Life A patriotic youth group leaves a legacy for history
Hot in That. Interpreters Weather the Summer Heat An insider’s perspective on historical clothing
Behind the Scenes at JYF A photography project by Michael Taylor Portraits of JYF staff on display at Jamestown Settlement
BOOM! Behind the Roar of Yorktown’s Artillery
A new howitzer joins the artillery in the Continental Army encampment 4-5
History Leaps Off the Page Summer Teacher Institute and Fall Education Programs Exploring educational opportunities
Featured Artifacts 18th-Century Books Shed Light on Revolutionary Era Curators celebrate the addition of two volumes to JYF collection
Museum Happenings Hoops, Flutes & Fancy Dance Programs complement “FOCUSED: A Century of Virginia Indian Resilience”
BEHIND THE ROAR OF YORKTOWN’S ARTILLERY
t the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, historical interpreters at the Continental Army encampment have delighted and educated countless visitors with demonstrations of its light 6-pounder battalion gun. Whether wormer, rammer, sponger or runner, visitors can actually play the role of an artillery crew during a dry run before our historical interpretive team fires the gun. During the pandemic, the artillery crew has demonstrated the steps for the public. This role-play and live firing action began in 1994, and in 2006, the crew added a 4.5-inch Coehorn mortar to its repertoire. In March of this year, a third type of artillery piece joined the ranks: a howitzer – allowing us to teach about and fire all three types of artillery used in the 18th century. A gift from the National Society Children of the American Revolution fully funded the new howitzer. (See page 7.) Our new artillery piece is known as a Royal, which means it has a 5.5-inch bore (the name comes from the same sized mortar, likely from the French “mortiers royals”). Its 2-foot, 2-inch barrel allows an elevation of 15 degrees; this means it could lob a 14- to 16-pound explosive shell over 1,000 yards into enemy fortifications, or leveled, could slam its bombs directly into earthworks. If a crew’s position was attacked, the leveled barrel could also fire a defensive canister round of small shot 200 yards or better. During the siege of Yorktown, artillerists on both sides used 5.5-inch and 8-inch howitzers. American General Henry Knox wanted even more of these useful pieces on the firing line, so he mounted several 8-inch mortars on special truck carriages, creating what in Europe were called “hobits.” Before our team could demonstrate the new piece, we had some work to do, preparing equipment and learning a different drill. By early May, we fired our Royal for the first time. I don’t know who enjoyed it more, the audience or the crew. Regardless, I think everyone present that day would agree that this thing ROCKS! - T.J. Savage, Continental Army encampment Assistant Supervisor
INSIDE JYF The 245th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence is a time to reflect on our freedoms today and the challenges that faced our nation’s founders, including those who signed the historic document, as well as those for whom the new nation’s rights of freedom and liberty did not yet apply. Read about African Americans’ fight for freedom and equality after the Revolution at bit.ly/fightforfreedomblog. Detail of the Declaration of Independence Broadside, printed on or about July 18, 1776. Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation collection. Gift of The Gladys & Franklin Clark Foundation.
AMERICAN REVOLUTION MUSEUM AT YORKTOWN
WAYS TO MARK LIBERTY
1 DECLARATION OF
3 SACRIFICES OF THE
2 LIBERTY FEVER
4 SPINNING FOR A CAUSE
INDEPENDENCE See a real Broadside dating to July 1776, printed 245 years ago and proclaimed to people in the 13 colonies and the world. Seize the spirit of the Revolution in an award-winning film shown every 20 minutes that recounts the war through personal stories of ordinary people.
CONTINENTAL ARMY See living quarters of Continental Army soldiers, from 6-man tents and haversacks to regimental cooking for troops on the move.
A practical and patriotic symbol of the time unfolds at the farm where fibers are processed into fabric in protest of British tariffs on imported goods.
5 ROUND IT OUT WITH RED, WHITE AND BOOM! Cover your ears and feel the rumble of artillery in salute of our nation’s birthday. Flintlock muskets fire too.
from the Children of the American Revolution Brings the Revolutionary War to Life with a BLAST!
In October 2016, Connor joined a group of fellow CAR members to visit the newly constructed Yorktown museum and present its generous donation. The gift supported the artillery firing station as part of the museum’s re-created Continental Army encampment. The CAR’s and other private gifts to the museum’s Campaign for Support continue to benefit the museum today.
Members of the National Society Children of the American Revolution, including former president Connor Jackson, visited the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown in October 2016 to present their $50,000 donation.
At 19, Connor Jackson was not your typical college student. In his spare time—when not studying U.S. history and political science at Syracuse University— he led a nationwide patriotic youth organization to successfully raise $50,000 for the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. As past president of the National Society Children of the American Revolution (CAR), Connor spearheaded the yearlong effort across the society’s chapters in close to 50 states to fundraise for the new Yorktown museum. By soliciting direct donations and selling merchandise, hundreds of children across the country pitched in the effort.
In 2021, after years of research and a long acquisition process, a new howitzer joined other artillery pieces in the Yorktown museum’s encampment. (See page 5.) The howitzer and its supplementary equipment were entirely funded by the Children of the American Revolution’s gift.
Thanks to Connor’s leadership and CAR’s generous donation, visitors are learning about 18th-century military tactics and weaponry used during Connor Jackson, who now studies law at Tulane University, The society, founded in 1895, is the oldest patriotic served as National Society Children of the American the Revolutionary War Revolution president in 2016-2017. Pictured with youth organization in the country, encouraging youth Peter Armstrong, former JYF Senior Director of Museum through hands-on Operations and Education and Joanne Zumbrun, former to develop good citizenship, service, patriotism artillery demonstrations. Senior National President, National Society CAR. and leadership skills. Members include children The hard work and and young adults up to 22 years old with an ancestor who dedication of these young people has truly left a legacy served for the cause of American independence. for history.
OT Hin that. “Aren’t you hot in that?” a visitor asks. “I think so!” often quips Brian Beckley, assistant site
supervisor for James Fort at Jamestown Settlement, striking a pose.
All joking aside, it is a common question for our interpreters during the summer months, as visitors boggle at the layers of historical clothing they are wearing in the sweltering Virginia heat. Beckley is used to it—the questions, the clothing and the heat. “Part of that may just be my level of familiarity with historic clothing at this point, but part of it is the fact that these fabrics don’t just cling uncomfortably,” he said. “They breathe; they hang. They don’t feel like they’re suffocating you even when you’re drenched with sweat.” Revolution-era farm interpreter Sarah Raiford agrees. “It’s linen for us, and linen is cooler and dries faster than cotton. No matter what you’re wearing, when you wear several layers of it, it’s going to be warm. But it’s not as bad as you might think because the natural fibers are moisture-wicking.” Both agree that the sweaty layers are worth it, because of what it allows them to do on site. “I use my clothing as a way of pointing out the differences in day-to-day life between today and the past,” Raiford explained. “For example, there was no sunscreen then, so you cover up with a kerchief, you wear a hat. Usually when you point that out, it really helps our visitors put themselves in the position of the people whose stories we are telling. When you can open that up to a personal level, it really starts to click with them.” Beckley noted, too, that just being in historical clothing and wearing it naturally and confidently while going about your work adds a layer of perceived authority and authenticity to the experience for the visitor, even if it is just a subconscious feeling. “Honestly, the fact that we can just show people, exemplify for people, and not just talk about, what these guys are doing 400 years ago, but actually do it for them, essentially, I think is the coolest part of costumed interpretation.” He’s right: that is cool. – Cindy Daniel, Interpretive Program Manager
Who Wore it Best?
The Mantle of Authority
Clothing can help signify rank and authority in subtle, and sometimes not-so-subtle ways. The copper, delicate shells and intricately woven feather mantle worn by the werowansqua, or female chief, of a Virginia Indian town are no less extravagant than the rich silks of a nobleman in James Fort. By contrast, the epaulette, ribband (sash) and gorget of a captain on campaign during the American Revolution are a model of decorative restraint. How do they rank? The werowansquas that the English met in the early 17th century clearly made an impression: they were referred to as queens.
Every coat tells a story In 1781, Jean-Baptiste Antoine DeVerger, who was present at the Battle of Yorktown, left historians an extraordinary gift: a little watercolor of four American soldiers who fought in that decisive victory. One of those soldiers was with the 1st Rhode Island Regiment, known as the first black battalion in American history. That image allowed our historical clothing department to duplicate a Rhode Island Regimental coat for our Continental Army encampment. That coat, along with its distinctive hat, has created greater opportunities for our interpreters to teach about the important contributions of minorities during the Revolutionary War.
Online Videos: See how people dressed in the 17th and 18th centuries at bit.ly/jyfhistoricalclothing.
Behind the Scenes
Michael Taylor’s idea for the “Behind the Scenes” photography project at JYF Museums sprung from a deep appreciation for the people who work on the other side of the exhibits and programs so familiar to JYF’s visitors. In these portraits, curators, historians, exhibitions staff, AV technicians and others step into the light alongside public-facing staff. Their dedication, research and craftsmanship contribute to the visitor experience in untold ways. A professional photographer since graduating from Brooks Institute of Professional Photography in 1981, Michael is a past president of both the Professional Photographers of America and the American Society of Photographers. He and his wife and business partner, Monica Sigmon, own a boutique studio in Williamsburg, Va., specializing in family wall portraiture and commercial photography. He has generously donated the photos in this project to the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation. – Abigail Schumann, Exhibition Programs Manager
Eric Speth Maritime Program Manager
A new exhibit opening August 20 Elmon and Pam Gray Presentation Hall at Jamestown Settlement
Alphonso Danell Walker Vehicle Equipment Technician
Samantha Bullat Tailor
on this date in
July 4, 1984: An American Patriot Dedicates USS Yorktown
The late Mary Mathews, Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation benefactor known fondly as “Miss Mary,” took part in the commissioning ceremonies of the USS Yorktown (CG-48) aircraft carrier at the Naval Weapons Station in Yorktown. A native of Greece who emigrated to the United States, Miss Mary was the only naturalized citizen to sponsor a U.S. Navy ship. When the ship would return to Yorktown following deployments, the crew would play “God Bless America” over the sound system and salute Miss Mary as she stood on the Yorktown shoreline waving an American flag.
Together with her late husband, Nick, the Mathews operated Nick’s Seafood Pavilion, a Yorktown landmark that earned national renown. The couple donated land overlooking the York River for what would become the Yorktown Victory Center, and later, the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. Upon her death, Mary bequeathed nearly their entire estate to JYF, so that others would know “…the blessings of freedom and democracy that commenced in my native Greece and later here in [Yorktown]…” Today, visitors and students from across the country benefit from their patriotism and philanthropy. Commissioning Commander Captain Carl Anderson and crew of the USS Yorktown, which protected America until 2004, returned in 2019 to Yorktown to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the ship’s commissioning, and held a wreath-laying ceremony at Miss Mary’s gravesite at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. Named in honor of the late Nick and Mary Mathews, The Mathews Legacy Society honors those who include the JYF, Inc. in their estate plans. Learn more at jyfinclegacy.org.
Sa ra h Osborn Benja min Coming Face to Face With a Woman of the Revolution
long the grand corridor at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, visitors may notice an exhibit “I Was There,” which features photographs of veterans of the Revolutionary era who lived long enough into the 19th century to have their images recorded for posterity. One of them is a woman named Sarah Osborn Benjamin. She followed her soldier-husband’s service with the Continental Army and spoke to George Washington at the Siege of Yorktown. We learn this from her 1837 pension deposition, and we imagine the moment as the scene unfolds in our 4D Siege Theater film. “Are you not afraid of the cannonballs?” Washington asks. “No,” she replied, “the bullets will not cheat the gallows. It will not do for the men to fight and starve too.” The same eyes that witnessed the surrender at Yorktown stare back at you from a 19th-century photograph. Sarah died perhaps not long after she sat for her photograph. The Lewisburg Chronicle recorded her death in an article published on May 14, 1858, noting her tenacity during the uncertain and often violent Revolutionary era: “her temperament was such that she could not be an idle spectator of events.” Sarah apparently relished opportunities to share her own stories of her Revolutionary experiences, and Sarah Osborn Benjamin would “relate the events of her early days with all the Wayne County Historical Society, Honesdale, Pa., photo archives. vivacity of youth.” True to her form, the article also reveals that she once stood in her husband’s place as a Twice Washington stared into the eyes of Sarah Osborn sentinel at Kingsbridge, New York. Sarah was dressed in her husband’s heavy overcoat and wielding his gun when Benjamin and marveled at her unflappable grit and sense of duty and adventure. Washington came by. “Who placed you here?” he asked. “Them who had a right to, Sir,” she replied. – Katherine Egner Gruber, Special Exhibition Curator Adapted from a JYF blog post on March 17, 2021 Read more and view a video at bit.ly/womenoftherevolutionblog.
PLAN A MUSEUM PICNIC
GRAB-AND-GO OR BYO LUNCH Picnic for two on the Mall at Jamestown Settlement
Handled “Napa” Basket from Olive and Oak $35
Make a day of it. Plan to enjoy a picnic on the spacious Mall at Jamestown Settlement or lunch at the family-friendly Picnic Area at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown.
With many Boxed Lunch Options available to purchase from the museums’ cafés, visitors have an easy and delicious way to dine al fresco. Or you can B.Y.O. - Build Your Own - picnic basket with ingredients found in our shops at both museum locations. You will find abundant Picnic Provisions: gourmet snacks, condiments, sweets and wines, as well as insulated totes, baskets, blankets, reusable drinkware and picnic-ready printed napkins and straws! Currently, alcohol is not permitted on museum grounds, except at private events.
The Summer Table Cookbook by Lisa Lemke $27.95
Delicious Virginia Peanuts from Whitley’s $6.99
Summery Black Bean and Corn Salsa from Shawnee Canning $6.99
AR’s Bourbon-barrel aged Hot Southern Honey $21.99
Bountiful bonus: because all of the delicious selections featured here are Made in Virginia, your purchase supports the farms and small businesses of the Commonwealth.
Boxed Lunch from our museum café $15 Barrel-Aged Virginia Claret from Williamsburg Winery $21.99
Virginia Tonight Mead from Silver Hand Meadery $20.99
Don't forget: Donors who give $100 or more to our Annual Fund receive a 20% discount in our museum shops and online at shopjyf.com!
F O U N D A T I O N
V O I C E S
T H E R I G H T H I S TO R I C A L CO N COC T I O N
ehind the volumes of history books and manuscripts in the Yorktown museum library, historian Ed Ayres relishes the stories of the American Revolution. Card catalogues list inventories of books that outline past events and accounts of ordinary and extraordinary people who served as witness to this world-changing event.
In retrospect, Ed entered college with dreams of being a chemist, but at the end of his freshman year his chemistry professor said, “I’m going to do you a favor, Ed. I’m going to flunk you.” Acknowledging that this may be the “best-worst” thing that had happened to him, Ed switched his major. And, as the adage goes, the rest was history.
Initially piqued by Civil War history while working as a park historian at Sailor’s Creek State Park in Amelia County, Va., Ed later took a University of Virginia graduate school course on the American Revolution that threw his historian aspirations back to another century, and set the course for his life’s work. After serving as a historian on colonial and Revolution-era projects at Colonial Williamsburg, William & Mary and Flowerdew Hundred Plantation, Ed was hired as historian in 1988 for what was then the Yorktown Victory Center. The museum, which opened in 1976 as a Virginia visitor center for the Bicentennial, was about to undergo its first major renovation. Ed was part of a small team, along with a curator and the exhibit director, responsible for researching and writing all of the didactic label copy for the new exhibits, and many of the graphic labels as well. These were not just words on text panels, these were personal stories of American Indians, enslaved and free blacks, women and children, Patriots and Loyalists, some conveyed in their own words. His work, in collaboration with other historians and colleagues, spilled over into the outdoor interpretive plan of an expanded military encampment and the research for a re-created 18th-century farm. The Yorktown Victory Center’s renovated galleries debuted in 1995, and more than 20 years later, Ed’s expertise helped reimagine the museum a second time. After a decade of planning and construction, the museum transformed into the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown in October 2016 with a Grand Opening and dedication in 2017. For Ed, his interest in the American Revolution never grows old. “My biggest disappointment,” he said, “is that I can’t keep up with all the new stuff I want to dive into.” It turns out the chemistry between Ed and JYF is just right. – Abigail Schumann, Exhibition Programs Manager
Honor our history by ensuring it lives into the future Give the gift of history
Commemorate the birth of America’s independence this summer by helping to tell the stories of our nation’s past. Your gift makes you a valued partner in illuminating our shared history at Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. On July 4, 1776, America began its ongoing journey toward achieving the ideals set out in the Declaration of Independence. Our path to attaining “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” for all Americans continues today. Until we understand the American Revolution and the creation of the republic, we cannot fully comprehend our liberties, our duties as citizens and our place in the world.
You can help JYF Museums safeguard stories of our
country’s founding while reawakening the meaning of those stories, as our nation grapples with new challenges.
How does your gift to the Annual Fund help tell America’s stories?
By meeting our museums’ greatest needs, your donation– H Teaches children American history in Virginia classrooms and on museum field trips. H Reaches students across the United States with virtual programs. H Allows the maritime crew to sail the Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery, using them as floating classrooms. H Clothes a historical interpreter and gives them tools to engage families in hands-on history. H Purchases artifacts and loans for display in museum galleries. H Supports artifact conservation and collections care. H Presents special exhibitions. H Enriches visitors with an annual series of public events, lectures and programs. H Sustains and grows our volunteer network.
With your gift, you join the ranks of those who believe that museums should help us remember the past, shape the future and inspire enthusiasm for history.
Visit jyfmuseums.org/donate to make your Annual Fund gift today.
History Leaps Off the Page INTO YOUNG MINDS
Through award-winning education programs, JYF teaches students colonial American history, provides memorable hands-on experiences for students and gives teachers professional development opportunities to support history instruction. Whether at our museums, in classrooms or online, programs inspire children and bring history to life before their eyes.
SUMMER TEACHER INSTITUTE
Twenty Virginia schoolteachers get a chance to delve into 17th-century colonial America this summer, as JYF hosts its 13th Summer Teacher Institute on July 12-15 at Jamestown Settlement. This in-depth experience involves a precursory online curriculum and four days of intensive study and interactive learning at the museum. This fall, teachers will share how they incorporated what they learned at the museums into their own classrooms. The 2021 institute is provided to participating teachers at no cost, thanks to the support of the Charles S. & Millicent P. Brown Family Foundation and Mr. and Mrs. Charles A. Banks III.
JYF museum educators are excited to see school groups returning to the museums on field trips this year. Come fall, five hands-on programs will return October 1 – re-envisioned, along with guided tours. Education programs expose students to many facets of early American history and offer opportunities to make connections between the past and present through study of reproduction objects and interactions with educators and historical interpreters.
TEACHER PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
JYF’s next Youth Service Summit on November 11-14 at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown brings Virginia teachers and high school students together for a special program that blends lessons of the American Revolution with a team service-learning project to benefit their communities. Generously sponsored by the Camp family foundations, the Carter Cabell Chinnis Charitable Trust, and the Carter C. Chinnis and Beverly B. Chinnis Irrevocable Living Annuity Trust Agreement, participants receive a project grant and share achievements with JYF. Applications open in July.
JYF museum educators not only enliven history lessons for children, they help teachers deepen their knowledge and learn techniques to bring history to life in the classroom. A virtual teacher workshop series launched last fall served more than 135 teachers from across the country. From virtual classrooms at JYF, education staff and guest speakers shared history and methodology topics including Africans in early Virginia, combining science and history in the classroom, and strategies to bring the story of American Indians into the present day. This year, they can choose from six virtual sessions, each designed to expand teachers’ understanding of the complexities of the colonial era and help them learn strategies to make these topics engaging and interactive for their students. JYF teacher professional development efforts are supported by a donation from the Charles S. & Millicent P. Brown Family Foundation.
BE THE CHANGE: A YOUTH SERVICE SUMMIT
to Distance Learning Inspires Children Across America “Education is the key that unlocks the world for children. It is a great privilege both personally and through our family foundation to “pay it forward” and to assist the Jamestown-Yorktown museums in providing such outstanding programs.” – Keith Dubois
rs. Keith Dubois’s connection to Jamestown started with her grandfather, the late Virginia State Senator Lloyd C. Bird. In 1957, as part of a welcoming delegation, he dined with Queen Elizabeth II when she toured Jamestown for its 350th commemoration. As a dedicated JYF, Inc. board member since 2013, Keith builds awareness for JYF Museums. Keith and her family members, through the Charles S. & Millicent P. Brown Family Foundation, have generously supported JYF’s education programs for the past decade, including its Summer Teacher Institute. Keith and her husband Chuck Dubois also give as loyal members of The 1607 Society.
In 2020, the Brown Foundation made major gifts to fund JYF’s fledgling distance learning initiative. Little did we know how much this gift would be needed last school year. Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, museum educators were forced to quickly change course, pivoting from in-person programs to delivering history lessons through distance learning. The Brown Foundation’s gift covered the cost of virtual program fees for students from high-poverty schools, as well as professional development for teachers. Thanks to their generosity, thousands of children are now experiencing history virtually, with more than 27,000 students served this past school year. Their gift continues to inspire and educate children not only from Virginia, but from across the nation. Interested in supporting education programs at JYF? Visit jyfmuseums.org/donate, call (757) 253-4139, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chuck and Keith Dubois at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown in 2017.
18th-Century Books Shed Light on Revolutionary Era Curators celebrated the addition of two 18th-century volumes to JYF’s permanent artifact collection this past year. These recent acquisitions deepen our understanding of the broader international context of the Revolutionary War and the daily lives of American colonists.
Sprengel Almanac Reveals the American Revolution to His Fellow Germans In 1784, a small, illustrated almanac by publisher Matthias Sprengel was released in Berlin — printed in his native German — a year after American envoys negotiated the 1783 Peace of Paris settlement, recognizing American independence from British control. In this little history of the American Revolution, Germans learned about the military power of George Washington’s Continental Army and the significance of the French alliance in the colonies’ struggle for independence. Sprengel recognized a chronology in the American Revolutionary story that seems familiar to us today, but which to German people in 1784 represented a phenomenal, dramatic change in the established order. It described the confluence of circumstance, resolve, and military might that over the course of their struggle gave the American people deliverance from their ties to a
crowned head of state, George III. His book illustrates, possibly for the first time in a printed history, the colors of the official American flag and pennant, which would now represent the new nation in foreign affairs. Engraved pictures depict the major battles and the uniforms of George Washington’s officers and bodyguards, including his Pennsylvania infantrymen and riflemen. Within the palm-sized volume, a fold-out map displays the extent of the lands under U.S. government control, now that it was an independent sovereign state. German interest in the American Revolutionary War stemmed from their involvement as allies of the Duke of Hanover, also known as the British monarch, George III. Several German princely nation states supplied regiments of infantry and some Jaeger rifle brigades to augment British armies over the course of the war. German soldiers faced French forces and American Continental troops at the Siege of Yorktown. French imperial ambitions not only threatened northern European states, but threatened all the British colonial possessions in the Mediterranean and transatlantic world.
Top: Sprengel Almanac. Illustration. Matthias C. Sprengel, Historisch Genealogischer Calender oder Jahrbuch der Merkwürdigsten Neuen Weltbegebenheiten für 1784. (Berlin, 1783.) Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation collection.
These included the 13 English colonies, as well Britain’s island territories in the West Indies and Caribbean. King George’s colonial patrimony was so extensive in 1763 that it had become the envy of the French War ministry. Now Britain’s colonial empire in America was forever diminished.
Two Revolutionary Tunesmiths Get America Singing In Revolutionary-era America, trained singers performed tunes at social gatherings and sang choral settings of the psalms and hymns during church services. William Billings (1746-1800) and Andrew Law (1749-1821) were notable music teachers in New England at the time. The works of these American composers and singing masters have joined JYF’s artifact collection, both bound together in a pocket-sized volume. The Billings publication, Music in Miniature, is a rare first edition, published in Boston in 1779. It compiles 39 musical themes, scored for four voice parts, to accompany the psalms. It was intended for use by a singing master, who would lead choirs and teach singers their parts by ear. Billings had previously published The Singing Master’s Assistant, which summarized elements of musical notation.
Billings’ and Law’s tunes in towns and cities across the young nation. Both books, which require professional conservation work due to their heavy circulation in the late 18th century, are bound for future display at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. Gifts to the Annual Fund support artifact acquisitions, loans and conservation. – Sarah Meschutt, Ph.D. Senior Curator, American Revolution Museum at Yorktown
Andrew Law’s tunebook, A Select number of Plain Tunes, was adapted for congregational William Billings, “Music in Miniature,” Boston, 1779. worship, published in Jamestown-Yorktown Connecticut in 1781. On each Foundation collection. page were printed four tunes, each scored for four voices, often with the tenor voice singing the melodic line. Some musical themes were set as fugues. In 1786, the use of movable music type at the press of printer Isaiah Thomas in Worcester, Mass., greatly reduced the cost and labor of publishing these musical compositions. The singing school tradition grew popular during the 18th century and provided amateurs with the chance to share musical entertainment in the home and enliven congregational services. Within a decade of the first printings of these volumes, you could hear Americans humming
Andrew Law, “A Select number of Plain Tunes,” Chesire, Connecticut, 1781. Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation collection.
MILITARY HISTORIAN PATRICK O’DONNELL PRESENTS OUTDOOR ‘TALKING HISTORY’ LECTURE
In the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown’s artillery amphitheater on May 20, Patrick K. O’Donnell, bestselling author, critically acclaimed military historian and expert on elite units, delivered the first public presentation of his new book, The Indispensables: Marblehead’s Diverse Soldier Mariners Who Shaped the Country, Formed the Navy, and Rowed Washington Across the Delaware. As part of the “Talking History” lecture series, the event featured pre-signed book sales, performances by the Fifes & Drums of York Town and multiple artillery salutes. View the lecture at jyfmuseums.org/lectures.
Credit: Mike Keeling
JUNETEENTH MARKED AT JAMESTOWN SETTLEMENT
On June 19, Christy S. Coleman, Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation Executive Director, led Juneteenth programs at Jamestown Settlement with an afternoon of reflection, performance, music and dance, marking the end of slavery in the United States. Visitors encountered stories African Americans from three centuries who fought against those laws until freedom came through first-person portrayals, and performances of “Our Hearts Beat Freedom” by Claves Unidos of Richmond, Va., with interludes of song by Lisa Reid-Williamson and All 4 Christ. Although Juneteenth springs from events that happened in Galveston, Texas, in 1865, the event celebrates liberation from a system of slavery with origins in Jamestown, Va., as the place where the first recorded Africans in 1619 were brought after landing at Old Point Comfort and where the first slave laws enacted in the mid-17th century impacted the lives and status of Africans and their descendants. Special programs supported in part by the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, Inc. Annual Fund.
Credit: Tracy Y. Roberts
HOOPS, FLUTES & FANCY DANCE
In step with the ongoing “FOCUSED: A Century of Virginia Indian Resilience” exhibition, May programs at Jamestown Settlement featured an Indigenous Art Day on May 8, with American Indian hoop dancer Meredith Schramm of the Omaha Nation (above), flutist Nathan Elliott of the Nottoway (right), as well as Red Crooked Sky American Indian Dance Troupe and Stoney Creek Singers. Photographer Tracy Y. Roberts of the Occoneechee of Virginia captured these images in advance of her May 13 lecture that explored Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) and children.
U.S. POET LAUREATE JOY HARJO SPEAKS ON RESILIENCE
Joy Harjo, the 23rd United States Poet Laureate and the first American Indian to hold the position, spoke to a full audience on June 5 at Jamestown Settlement. Harjo, an internationally known award-winning poet, author, performer and saxophone player of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation in Oklahoma, spoke on the theme of resilience in conjunction with the “FOCUSED: A Century of Virginia Indian Resilience” special exhibition. Harjo toured the exhibition and signed books for guests following the presentation. Credit: Shawn Miller
calendar of EVENTS
FOCUSED: A Century of Virginia Indian Resilience
ON DISPLAY THROUGH MARCH 25, 2022, AT JAMESTOWN SETTLEMENT, this yearlong exhibition spotlights 100 years of Virginia Indian resilience with personal and professional photography collections charting a century of change, from the passage and repeal of the Racial Integrity Act of 1924 to state and federal recognition today.
A Conversation with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
SEPTEMBER 14 AT THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION MUSEUM AT YORKTOWN, Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, cultural critic & journalist, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. will speak and join in a conversation with Christy S. Coleman about the intersections of his work, memory and contested history. His book, Stony the Road: Reconstruction, White Supremacy, and the Rise of Jim Crow, will be available for purchase and signing. This free public lecture begins at 7 p.m. Limited capacity with advance online registration required.
Homeschool Program Days
SEPTEMBER 4-19 AT JAMESTOWN SETTLEMENT & AMERICAN REVOLUTION MUSEUM AT YORKTOWN, families can fall into history and extend student learning to enjoy unlimited admission exploring early American history with interactive learning experiences, special education stations and an educator-led guided tour. A seasonal ticketed program.
AS THE SUN GOES DOWN OCTOBER 22 & 23 AT JAMESTOWN SETTLEMENT, outdoor areas transform into a sci-fi and and fantastical Halloween-themed museum for the eighth year of scary good family fun. Lanterns, smoke and sound effects create a spooky setting for a night of trick-or-treating, ghostly games, creepy crafts, haunted houses and spooky ships. An evening ticketed event. 6-7:30 p.m. and 8-9:30 p.m.
Yorktown Victory Celebration
OCTOBER 16 AT THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION MUSEUM AT YORKTOWN, re-enactors and artillery firings salute the 240th anniversary of America’s victory at Yorktown. Learn about this historic moment with films, gallery exhibits and outdoor living-history experiences. Yorktown Trolley offers free transportation to weekend commemorative events at Historic Yorktown and Yorktown Battlefield in advance of the October 19 anniversary.
Rock the Dock
OCTOBER 1 AT JAMESTOWN SETTLEMENT’S RIVERFRONT SHIPS PIER, rock out to ’80s showband “The Deloreans” for the return of our annual night of good music, food, fun and fundraising benefiting museum education programs of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation. An evening ticketed event.
MORE 2021 EVENTS & PROGRAMS Foods & Feasts of Colonial Virginia • November 26-27 | Christmastide in Virginia • December 18-31 Museums open year-round 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed on Christmas and New Year’s Day. Tours and ticket information: jyfmuseums.org/visit or call (757) 253-4838. Check out the complete calendar at jyfmuseums.org/events.
The Gerdelman Family Mezzanine overlooking the York River at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown