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October 28, 2008

Brothers-In-Arms explores the role of African Americans during the American Revolution

During Veterans Day weekend Nov. 8-9, Colonial Williamsburg’s 12th annual Brothers-in-Arms—Answering the Call: African American Soldiers in the Revolutionary War recognizes the challenges, triumphs and contributions of free and enslaved African Americans as soldiers and camp followers of the American Revolution.

Programs highlight the contributions, sacrifices and decisions of 18th-century African Americans in securing their liberty, either with the British or American cause and include:

Nov. 8

  • Freedom’s Paradox, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Peyton Randolph House. Discover how Mrs. Randolph and 27 enslaved people responded to the death of Peyton Randolph and the offer of freedom to slaves in Dunmore’s Proclamation.

    Nov. 8-9

  • “Life-Altering” Choices, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Governor’s Palace. Learn about Lord Dunmore, the last British governor of Virginia and his proclamation that offered freedom to enslaved Virginians.
  • Determined to Persevere, 10 a.m.-1:45 p.m., Magazine Yard. Discover daily camp life and work of the African American soldiers and camp followers on the move with the Army. Consider enlisting as a soldier.
  • To Arm the Slaves! 10, 10:15, 10:30, 10:45, 11, 11:15, 11:30, 11:45 and noon, Raleigh Tavern. Gentlemen of the town debate the idea of enlisting African American soldiers to serve in the army.

    A Colonial Williamsburg admission ticket or Good Neighbor Pass provides access to these programs.

    A generous grant from Norfolk Southern Corp. helps fund Colonial Williamsburg’s African American programming.

    As part of the salute to veterans, Colonial Williamsburg offers special complimentary admission passes to active duty military, reservists, retirees, veterans and their families from Nov. 7-11, 2008. The Honoring Service to America pass includes admission to Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area and museums, including the Capitol, Governor’s Palace and Bassett Hall, the Williamsburg home of Foundation benefactor John D. Rockefeller Jr. and his wife, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller. The pass also includes an Orientation Walk, a walking tour that provides an overview of Colonial Williamsburg and its Restoration, free shuttle bus service to and from the Visitor Center, a viewing of the movie, “Williamsburg, The Story of a Patriot,” and free parking at the Visitor Center.

    The service member need not be present, and free passes will be provided to immediate family members of currently deployed troops, with appropriate identification. Military veterans who separated before retirement can bring a copy of their honorable discharge paperwork, DD Form 214, as identification of service. These tickets are available only at Colonial Williamsburg on-site ticket sales windows.

    In addition to providing complimentary admission tickets to these honored guests, Colonial Williamsburg offers special rates to military personnel and their families at any of its five on site hotels, the closest lodging to Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area, museums, dining, shopping, golf, children’s activities and more.

    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

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