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September 26, 2008

Author of "The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family" speaks at CW's Wallace Museum

Annette Gordon-Reed, professor of law at New York Law School and professor of history at Rutgers University, discusses her new book “The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family” at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 15.

This epic work tells the story of the Hemingses, whose close blood ties to Thomas Jefferson, our third president, had been systematically expunged from American history until very recently. Gordon-Reed traces the Hemings family from its origins in Virginia in the 1700s to the family's dispersal after Jefferson's death in 1826. It brings to life not only Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson but also their children and Hemings' siblings.

“The Hemingses of Monticello” sets the family's compelling saga against the backdrop of Revolutionary America, Paris on the eve of its own revolution, 1790s Philadelphia and plantation life at Monticello. Much anticipated, this book promises to be the most important history of an American slave family ever written.

Gordon-Reed is also the author of the groundbreaking “Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy” and is recognized as one of our country’s most distinguished presidential scholars.

A book signing and reception follow the lecture.

This program is co-sponsored by The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture. Programs and exhibitions at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum are supported by the DeWitt Wallace Endowment Fund.

Reservations are required and can be made at any Colonial Williamsburg ticket outlet. A Colonial Williamsburg admission ticket, museums admission ticket or Good Neighbor Card provides entrance to the lecture and book signing.

Entrance to the museums is through the Public Hospital of 1773 at 326 W. Francis St. Operating hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. For information and reservations call (757) 220-7724.

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. “Revolutionary City®” -- a 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