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January 29, 2008

CW presents "No Master Over Me" Electronic Field Trip during Black History Month

Colonial Williamsburg presents an encore of the Electronic Field Trip “No Master Over Me,” Feb. 7 as part of the continuing commitment to Black History Month. The program tells the inspiring story of Matthew Ashby, a black man born in York, Va., in 1727 to an enslaved father and an indentured white mother. Through determination and diligence, Ashby earned the money to purchase his own wife and children and then petitioned the governor’s council for their manumission, declaring them forever free from the bonds of slavery.

Electronic Field Trips are 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. Students in participating schools may phone in questions to costumed interpreters and historians during the broadcast on live television.

Registered users also may view Electronic Field Trips via the Internet. The programs consist of a one-hour live broadcast which includes a story on subjects from the colonial period through the early life of the United States. The productions are supported with comprehensive lesson plans, glossaries, timelines, Internet activities and online connectivity to Colonial Williamsburg historians.

Colonial Williamsburg Productions earned a regional Emmy® in the Interactivity category from the National Capital Chesapeake Bay Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in June 2006 for “No Master Over Me.” The program was written by Bill White, Colonial Williamsburg’s executive producer and director of educational program development. The Ashby Guesthouse – which opened in June 2005 as part of the renovation and expansion of the Williamsburg Lodge – was named for the descendants of the Ashby family.

As the nation’s leading educational resource for early American history, Colonial Williamsburg uses the Internet and interactive television technology to bring the 18th century to life for more than one million students throughout the United States each year. For more information or to register for the Electronic Field Trip series, visit or contact the EFT registrar at 1-800-761-8331 or by e-mail at

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 for its guests, it also invites them to interact with history. “Revolutionary City®,” a daily dramatic live street theatre presentation is a 2008 Rand McNally Best-of-the-Road™ Editor’s Pick. 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