"Enslaved Girl" by Mary Anna Randolph Custis, 1830. The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.
Depictions of enslaved African Americans are rare, particularly images that lack the distortions of caricature and stereotyping. This portrait by Mary Anna Randolph Custis, the daughter of George Washington's adopted son, is unusually empathetic and closely-observed.
The Next Electronic Field Trip
is A More Perfect Union
October 13, 2011
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Downloadable American History
Lesson Plans from
and Colonial Williamsburg
Library of Congress Primary Source Sets
Have you seen the primary source sets assembled by the Library of Congress? They are a great resource for engaging students with a variety of primary sources on a wide range of historical topics, from Westward Expansion to Children's Lives in the Twentieth Century to Political Cartoons. Each set comes with a Teacher's Guide and analysis tools for the classroom, and the sets are correlated to state and national standards.
04/04: Beer and Whiskey in the Colonies
(podcast and vodcast)
04/11: Williamsburg's Publick Gaol
04/18: Accidental Feminists
04/25: What Makes a Good President?
The Idea of America
A digital American history program that inspires and prepares high school students for active citizenship, developed by Colonial Williamsburg and distributed by Pearson Education.
Colonial Williamsburg for Teachers
20112012 Electronic Field Trip Scholarships
Enslaved people in North America in the eighteenth century had different jobs, lived in different locations, and had different kinds of masters. They wore different things, and that diversity will be reflected in primary sources. In this lesson, students will use portraits, runaway ads, and an interactive web activity to learn what the clothing of the enslaved can reveal about their lives.
Colonial Williamsburg offers a variety of quality
materials to assist you in teaching eighteenth-century life, including:
- A Day in the Life Series (DVD, CD-ROM)
- What Clothes Reveal (Hardcover Book)
- Eighteenth-Century Clothing at Williamsburg (Hardcover Book)
Don't forget: Women's History Month promotions continue until April 30!
Games, activities, and resources about life in colonial America.
21st Century Award
for Best Practices in Distance Learning, preK–12
United States Distance Learning Association, 2010
Quotation of the Month
"Also NED, a fire-man, a black fellow, remarkably well made for strength, about 5 feet 7 or 8 inches high, generally laughs when he speaks, has a large mouth, which is seldom shut, Virginia born, inclinable to be fat, has a sluggish walk, and broad shoulders... I can give no particular description of their clothes; I do not know of their carrying any more than their suits of cotton and osnabrugs."
—Runaway advertisement from the Virginia Gazette (Purdie), Williamsburg, March 7, 1766.