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March 3, 2011

First History of Pennsylvania’s Founding in More Than 40 Years Examines Creole Culture in One of the Original

Historian, John Smolenski discusses his new book, “Friends and Strangers: The Making of a Creole Culture in Colonial Pennsylvania,” at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 16 at Colonial Williamsburg’s DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum’s Hennage Auditorium.

The first history of Pennsylvania’s founding in more than 40 years, this book offers a provocative new look at the transfer of English culture to North America. Smolenski’s account of the Quaker colony’s origins reveals the vital role this process played in creating early American society.

Smolenski is associate professor of history at the University of California at Davis and Colonial Williamsburg’s Gilder Lehrman Fellow. A noted scholar of early American political culture whose innovative approach crosses disciplines, he also is co-editor of “New World Orders: Violence, Sanction, and Authority in the Colonial Americas” and the author of a number of articles.

“Friends and Strangers: The Making of a Creole Culture in Colonial Pennsylvania” can be purchased in the Museum Store. A book signing follows the program.

A Colonial Williamsburg admissions ticket, museum pass or Good Neighbor Card provides access to this lecture.

Programs and exhibitions at The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum are supported by the DeWitt Wallace Endowment Fund.

The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg include the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum and the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum is home to the nation’s premier collection of American folk art, with more than 5,000 folk art objects made during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. The DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum exhibits the best in British and American decorative arts from 1670–1830.

The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg are located at the intersection of Francis and South Henry Streets in Williamsburg, Va., and are entered through the Public Hospital of 1773. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday through March 13. On March 14, museum hours will be 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. For museum program information, telephone (757) 220-7724.

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational and cultural organization 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. 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 website at

Media Contact:
Penna Rogers
(757) 220-7121