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

Page content
Reset text sizeResize text larger

March 19, 2009

Cherokee leader, 400-year-old artifacts, Daniel Boone and a slave ship among virtual experiences in CW's 15th Electronic Field Trip season

Colonial Williamsburg’s 2009 – 2010 series of Electronic Field Trips launches Oct. 15 with “Emissaries of Peace,” the story of how the Cherokee people struggled to preserve their independence during the French and Indian War. Students will follow Cherokee leader Ostenaco and Virginian Henry Timberlake as they travel from the capital of the Cherokee nation to Williamsburg and London in search of a lasting peace.

First broadcast in 2007, “Emissaries of Peace” received a regional Emmy award for audio post production in 2008. 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 exhibit “Emissaries of Peace” produced by the Museum of the Cherokee Indian. The story depicts the Cherokees’ diplomatic efforts to preserve their culture in the mid-18th century despite 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 the Cherokee leader Ostenaco. In 1762, Timberlake carried a message of peace into Cherokee territory prompting Ostenaco to travel to Williamsburg. There, Ostenaco persuaded the governor of Virginia that the Cherokee delegation should meet with King George III in London.

When the program premiered in 2007, Ken Blankenship, executive director of the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, said, “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.”

Produced by Colonial Williamsburg’s division of productions, publications and learning ventures, “Emissaries of Peace” is the first of seven Electronic Field Trips broadcast one Thursday each month from October through April at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Eastern time on participating PBS stations and cable channels across the country. Targeted to grades 4 – 8, the distance learning programs span a broad range of historical subjects about people, issues and events from colonial times to the present day.

Each Electronic Field Trip is supported with lesson plans, interactive student resources, program scripts and other materials to help teachers make history exciting and relevant for their students. All materials have been developed by teachers, historians and museum educators and meet state standards for history, technology, art and literacy. Selected programs also correlate to additional state standards related to the program’s subject.

Students in participating schools may submit pre-recorded video questions or phone in questions to costumed interpreters and historians during the live televised broadcast. Registered users also may view Electronic Field Trips and use teacher and student resources via the Internet on demand any time during the school year.

The remaining 2009 – 2010 Electronic Field Trips are as follows:

  • A More Perfect Union – (premiere) Witness the conflict and compromise that accompanied the ratification of the U.S. Constitution. Join young 18th-century observers, unseen by convention delegates, as they travel from state to state tallying the vote. Learn about the ratification process and American’s growing interest in their fledgling nation’s new government. (Nov. 19, 2009)
  • Jamestown Unearthed – Take a look at how history is written and reevaluated as new methods of study are introduced. Using the example of Jamestown in 1607, explore the myths and misconceptions of that era: visit the documents, artifacts and other evidence through archaeology. Learn how every generation sees the evidence in new ways and how this affects our understanding of the past. (Dec. 10, 2009)
  • Westward! – (premiere) Explore the story of the early days of American westward expansion. Daniel Boone recounts the exciting experiences and unexpected consequences associated with moving west. Learn about the risks and grueling personal hardships of creating new settlements. (Jan. 14, 2010)
  • The Slave Trade – Beginning with the American Revolution, this program explores the U.S. law of 1807 that abolished the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Meet the people who were involved in or influenced by this pivotal legislation: the slaves, plantation owners, slave ship captains, common seamen, government officials, naval officers and anti-slavery activists. (Feb. 11, 2010)
  • The Rights of Youth – (premiere) Imprisonment, whipping, forced transportation –and even death – were some of the punishments to which courts sentenced children in the 18th century. Witness how justice was administered at a time when criminal laws and sentencing guidelines made few or no exceptions for children. (March 11, 2010)
  • Treasure Keepers – You have seen their work in every museum, but what do conservators really do? Learn how conservators prevent or slow the damage caused by “agents of destruction.” Explore how and why preserving history is important for future generations. (April 22, 2010)

    As the nation’s leading educational resource for early American history, Colonial Williamsburg uses the Internet and live interactive television broadcasts to bring American history to life for more than one million students and four million other viewers each year. For more information and pricing, or to subscribe to the Electronic Field Trip series, visit, call 1-800-761-8331 or e-mail

    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 guests interact with history through “Revolutionary City®” – a dramatic live street theater presentation.

    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:
    Barbara Brown
    (757) 220-7280

  • Footer