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March 11, 2011

Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg Program Focuses on Accomplishments of Early American Women

During the program, “Petticoat Politics: Women and Politics in the Early American Republic” at 6 p.m. on March 26, Rosemarie Zagarri reveals that long before the 20th century, women were crucial players in the American political process. The lecture is offered at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum in the Hennage Auditorium.

From 1776 to 1807, the state of New Jersey engaged in an audacious experiment in woman’s suffrage. During this brief period, women could vote on the same terms as men, for both state and federal representatives. Taking this episode as her starting point, Rosemarie Zagarri examines the effects of the American Revolution on women, the development of the language of women’s rights, informal involvement in partisan politics and the events leading up to the Seneca Falls Convention of 1848.

Zagarri specializes in early American history and received her doctorate from Yale University. The author of four books, her most recent is “Revolutionary Backlash: Women and Politics in the Early American Republic.” Her articles have appeared in scholarly journals including the American Quarterly, The Journal of American History, The William and Mary Quarterly and Journal of the Early Republic, as well as numerous edited collections.

A signing of “Revolutionary Backlash: Women and Politics in the Early American Republic” follows the lecture.

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

This program is offered in conjunction with Colonial Williamsburg’s Women History Month programs throughout March in the Historic Area and the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg. The L. Kay Wilkinson Endowment for Women’s Studies helps underwrite Colonial Williamsburg programs such as Women’s History Month.

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