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

Page content
Reset text sizeResize text larger

November 8, 2011

Electronic Field Trip “Harsh World, This World” Debuts Nov. 17

A new electronic field trip from Colonial Williamsburg examines the complex relationships between enslaved people and their masters. “Harsh World, This World,” premiering Nov. 17, introduces students to stories based on primary sources – stories of kindness, betrayal, trust, cruelty and the emotions that govern complex human relationships.

In one story, a distraught President Thomas Jefferson deals with the illness and eventual death of Jupiter, the enslaved servant who has been by Jefferson’s side since he was a boy. In another, a slave-owning father tries to explain to his two young sons why they may not be friends with an enslaved boy, even though the lads admire him and enjoy his company. Two other stories demonstrate the cruel betrayals of enslaved servants who learn they cannot trust their masters.

Colonial Williamsburg’s Electronic Field Trips are meticulously researched, non-partisan programs that tell the stories of our country’s founding and span a broad range of historical subjects from colonial times to the present day. These distance learning programs, targeted to grades 4–8, are broadcast one Thursday each month from October through April at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Eastern time on participating public television stations and cable channels across the country.

Each electronic field trip is supported with multi-disciplinary lesson plans, interactive student resources, program scripts and other materials to help teachers make history exciting and relevant for students. These Web-based resources have been developed by teachers, historians and museum educators and address national standards for civics education and 21st-century skills as well as state standards for social studies, technology and language arts. Selected programs also correlate to additional state standards.

Students in participating schools may submit pre-recorded video questions, or email or phone in questions to costumed interpreters and historians during the live 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. Participating schools have continuing access to technical support and teacher tutorials.

For more information about electronic field trips, visit or call 1-800-761-8331, or e-mail Colonial Williamsburg’s Electronic Field Trip series is supported in part by the William and Gretchen Kimball Young Patriots Fund.

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational and cultural institution dedicated to the preservation, interpretation and presentation of the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia. Colonial Williamsburg is committed to expanding its thought-provoking programming through education outreach on site and online. Purchase of Colonial Williamsburg products and services supports the preservation, research and educational programs of the Foundation. Philanthropic support by individuals, corporations, and foundations benefits the educational mission of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

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. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s website at

Media Contact:
Barbara Brown
(757) 220-7280