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July 12, 2011

Jefferson Recollects Writing the Declaration of Independence

Everyone knows Thomas Jefferson was the author of the Declaration of American Independence, but now guests can learn how he determined what to write in the nation’s founding document at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. “Jefferson Discusses the Declaration,” a 60-minute interactive program, begins at 1:45 p.m. Saturdays through Sept. 3 (except July 23).

Guests have the opportunity to meet the president, portrayed by Colonial Williamsburg character interpreter Bill Barker, as he recollects writing the Declaration of Independence and ask him questions about this important historical document. Visitors will be able to get an inside look at the truth behind how the Declaration of Independence came into being.

The program is held in conjunction with the exhibition “Declarations of Independence.” This exhibition features five copies of the famous document that were printed in anticipation of the 50th anniversary of the signing. In 1823, an official version was created by William Stone and presented to the few remaining signers of the original declaration as well as many government officials. Today only about 30 of the original 200 copies survive. The exhibition was made possible by gifts from the Pat and Jerry B. Epstein American History Document Collection, Valerie and Barry Boone and family, the Herbert and Ann Lucas Library Endowment Fund, the Barbara and Steven Rockefeller Library Acquisitions Fund, Mike and Pat Aldredge of Bellville, Texas, and William D. Barker of Williamsburg, Va.

A free reservation is required and can be made by calling 1-800-HISTORY. A Colonial Williamsburg admissions ticket, museum pass or Good Neighbor card provides access to these tours.

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 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