>
Colonial Williamsburg®

History.org: The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation's Official History and Citizenship Website

CW Foundation navigation

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Page content
Reset text sizeResize text larger

    History

    Featured Book

  • The Idea of America: How Values Shaped Our Republic and Hold the Key to Our Future

    The Idea of America: How Values Shaped Our Republic and Hold the Key to Our Future


    At the heart of America is a great debate. And at the heart of that debate are our shared values: law and ethics, freedom and equality, diversity and unity, common wealth and private wealth. The Idea of America: How Values Shaped Our Republic and Hold the Key to Our Future describes these values and shows how the tensions between them have shaped and continue to shape our history. Read more.

    Paperback,
    7" x 10",
    176 pages,
    92 illustrations,
    color throughout,
    $18.95 paperback, $9.95 e-book (April 2013)

    Buy now



  • George Washington's Rules To Live By

    George Washington's Rules To Live By

    When the father of our country was a boy, he copied by hand a list of rules on how to become a proper gentleman (or lady) by exhibiting good manners. The rules also covered hygiene, integrity, citizenship and more; and they shaped the way Washington thought and acted as a boy and a man.

    Buy now

    Learn more

    K.M. Kostyal

    Here are 50 of those rules, along with fun "translations" and cartoons for
    kids today.

    The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and George Washington's Mount Vernon served as research partners on the book.

    Illustrated by Fred Harper,
    50 color illustrations,
    128 pages,
    3" X 9.1",
    Hardcover,
    $14.99


  • America: The Pocket Guide

    America: The Pocket Guide

    This tiny guide introduces you to a very big idea: The Idea of America.

    Buy now

    Learn more



    This tiny guide introduces you to a very big idea: The Idea of America.

    No matter who you are, where you come from, or what you believe, you are American if you believe in the idea of America.

    At the heart of America is a great debate. At the heart of that debate are our shared, democratic values: law and ethics, freedom and equality, diversity and unity, common wealth and private wealth.

    America: The Pocket Guide
    describes these values and shows how the tensions between them have shaped and continue to shape our history. It is essential reading for every citizen.

    Paperback,
    4" x 6-1/4",
    40 pages,
    4-color throughout,
    $1.95


  • James Wilson: An Introduction to His Life and Work

    James Wilson: An Introduction to His Life and Work

    James Wilson is one of the lesser known founders, undeservedly so.

    Buy now

    Learn more

    Introduced and Selected by Maynard Garrison

    James Wilson is one of the lesser known founders, undeservedly so. He was one of only six persons to sign both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Even more importantly, his ideas helped shape both documents and stressed the duty of citizens to participate responsibly in the process of government.

    This book provides an introduction to Wilson's life and work, with excerpts from his 1774 Considerations on the Nature and Extent of the Legislative Authority of the British Parliament and the full texts of his 1787 State House Yard speech and 1788 oration delivered on the Fourth of July.

    Paperback
    6" x 9" "
    64 pages
    4 color illustrations

    ISBN: 978-0-87935-247-9
    $8.95


  • Death By Petticoat

    Death By Petticoat

    In Death by Petticoat, Mary Theobald debunks 63 myths of American history.

    Buy now

    Learn more

    Mary Miley Theobald

    Each day, at museums and historic sites across America, stories are told that stick in our memory. Some are true; the phrase "mad as a hatter," for example, came about because hatmakers were driven mad (or more accurately, poisoned) by mercury they used.

    But a great many of these stories—for example, that many colonial women died from burns when their long petticoats caught fire and that this was the second most common cause of death, after childbirth—are myths. In Death by Petticoat, Mary Theobald debunks 63 myths of American history. Theobald's true stories are every bit as entertaining as the myths themselves.

    Paperback
    5-1/2 " x8-1/2"
    144 pages
    50 color illustrations, 13 black and white illustrations

    ISBN: 978-1-4494-1853-3
    $12.99


  • America's Beginnings

    America's Beginnings

    From the Lost Colony to the Bill of Rights, here are fifty dramatic events that shaped our nation's character.

    Buy now

    Learn more

    By Tony Williams

    From the Lost Colony to the Bill of Rights, here are fifty dramatic events that shaped our nation's character.
    "Tony Williams has produced a succinct, entertaining, and informative book . . . Easily accessible to young readers as well as experts, Williams bolsters his narrative with spicy quotations and important facts, never losing the big picture that America was . . . and is . . . exceptional."
    - Larry Schweikart
    Coauthor of A Patriot's History of the United States
    Hardcover
    5-3/4" x 8-3/4"
    210 pages
    ISBN: 978-1-4422-0487-4
    $16.95


  • The Old Plantation: The Artist Revealed

    The Old Plantation: The Artist Revealed

    A centerpiece of Colonial Williamsburg's folk art collection since the 1930's, The Old Plantation has long intrigued art enthusiasts, historians, and the general public.

    Buy now

    Learn more

    By Susan P. Shames

    A centerpiece of Colonial Williamsburg's folk art collection since the 1930's, The Old Plantation has long intrigued art enthusiasts, historians, and the general public. This eighteenth-century watercolor, which has been widely reproduced in textbooks and scholarly publications, has been a valuable tool for those studying slave life, music, dance, and society, as well as those interested in the genesis of folk art in America. Though extensively analyzed and interpreted, The Old Plantation has remained a mystery.

    Until Now...
    This fascinating publication unlocks one of the great mysteries of American decorative arts, revealing not only the career of the painter, but the lives of the unnamed slaves in the images as well.

    Unravels the mystery of who painted The Old Plantation
    11" x 8 1/2"
    80 pages
    Hardcover with color photos
    $24.95


  • Salt-Glazed Stoneware in Early America

    Salt-Glazed Stoneware in Early America

    In the first comprehensive book on the topic, Colonial Williamsburg curators Janine E. Skerry and Suzanne Findlen Hood chronicle the traditions of stoneware imported from England and Germany as well as the work of American potters.

    Buy now

    Learn more

    By Janine E. Skerry and Suzanne Findlen Hood

    "A must-have volume for all ceramic enthusiasts, Salt-glazed Stoneware in Early America is a long-overdue tribute to the often-neglected but indispensable role that stoneware played in the American context." - Robert Hunter, editor, Ceramics in America

    Stoneware was ubiquitous in colonial and early American homes. In the first comprehensive book on the topic, Colonial Williamsburg curators Janine E. Skerry and Suzanne Findlen Hood chronicle the traditions of stoneware imported from England and Germany as well as the work of American potters.

    Drawing on archaeological and documentary sources and featuring objects from Colonial Williamsburg's holdings as well as public and private collections, the book provides an invaluable overview of the goods found in early America. It is an essential reference for archaeologists, curators, and collectors.

    Hardcover with jacket, 288 pages
    9" x 11-1/4"
    303 color images
    ISBN: 978-1-58465-820-7
    $75.00


  • M. De Garsault's 1767 Art of The Shoemaker

    M. De Garsault's 1767 Art of The Shoemaker

    D.A. Saguto, master boot- and shoemaker for Colonial Williamsburg, presents an English translation the key text from the period: M. De Garsault's Art du cordonnier.

    Buy now

    Learn more

    An Annotated Translation by D.A. Saguto

    "No work about shoemaking and footwear is more significant than Art of the Shoemaker: An Annotated Translation. . . . This book is a fascinating look into the lives and production of eighteenth-century shoemakers and their trade's prominent place in western civilization." - Edward Maeder, Curator of Textiles, Historic Deerfield

    Despite the universal importance of shoes to mankind, there has been surprisingly little scholarship on eighteenth-century shoemaking. Now D.A. Saguto, master boot- and shoemaker for The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and the nation's leading researcher on early shoes and shoemaking, presents an English translation the key text from the period: M. De Garsault's Art du cordonnier.

    In addition to the translation of Garsault's text, the book includes Saguto's extensive notes, comments from eighteenth-century sources, a facsimile of the French text, and translations of other eighteenth-century writings about shoemaking.

    Hardcover with jacket, 304 pages
    9" x 11-1/4"
    83 color and 8 black and white photos, 325 line drawings
    ISBN: 978-0-89672-650-5
    $65.00


  • We Hold These Truths . . . And Other Words That Made America

    We Hold These Truths . . . And Other Words That Made America

    "An entertaining and educational romp through Revolutionary history."

    Buy now

    Learn more

    By Paul Aron

    An entertaining and educational romp through Revolutionary history. Paul Aron uses words and phrases as starting points for the telling of dozens of interesting and delightful stories, and in the process he creates a colorful tapestry of life in the Founding era of America. Gordon Wood, author of Revolutionary Characters and The American Revolution

    In We Hold These Truths . . ., you'll discover:
    Why Patrick Henry may never have said "If this be treason, make the most of it" and Paul Revere never said "the British are coming"
    Where Benjamin Franklin found his "Poor Richard" proverbs and Thomas Jefferson his "self-evident" truths
    Who changed the Preamble of the Constitution from "We the States" to "We the People"
    How James Otis's declaration that "taxation without representation is tyranny" led to his going insane
    How George Washington's "I can't tell a lie" spread throughout the land


    Hardcover with jacket, 256 pages
    ISBN-13: 978-0-7425-6272-1
    ISBN-10: 0-7425-6272-7
    $18.95

    Co-published by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and Rowman and Littlefield Publishers


  • Witches and Ghosts, Pirates and Thieves, Murder and Mayhem

    Witches and Ghosts, Pirates and Thieves, Murder and Mayhem

    Based on Colonial Williamsburg's popular evening programs, "Cry Witch" and "Legends, Myths, Mysteries, and Ghosts," here are scary stories from the 18th century.

    Buy now

    Learn more

    Based on Colonial Williamsburg's popular evening programs, "Cry Witch" and "Legends, Myths, Mysteries, and Ghosts," here are scary stories from the 18th century.

    Here are the stories of a farmer whose hitchhiker turns out to be a deadly spirit; of a young woman buried alive; of a finger detached from its body but still able to point to that person's murderer; of a man and woman whose love outlasted their lives, of a groom whose brides never survived the wedding night; of a ship and its crew forever frozen in an icy hell.

    Here are the stories that amused and frightened Virginians more than two hundred years ago. Read them - if you dare!

    5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches. 160 pages. Paperback. $9.95. ISBN-13: 978-0-87935-236-3


  • 1607 Jamestown and the New World

    1607 Jamestown and the New World

    1607: Jamestown and the New World, tells the stories of the Indians who lived here before the English arrived, of the settlers who crossed the ocean, and of what happened when Old and New Worlds met.

    Buy now

    Learn more

    Compiled by Dennis Montgomery
    Foreword by Paul C. Nagel

    The first permanent English settlement in North America was established at Jamestown, Virginia - thirteen years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. 1607: Jamestown and the New World, tells the stories of the Indians who lived here before the English arrived, of the settlers who crossed the ocean, and of what happened when Old and New Worlds met.

    Drawn from the pages of the popular history magazine Colonial Williamsburg and gathered to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the settlement, the stories in 1607: Jamestown and the New World are written by prominent historians and journalists and lavishly illustrated with period illustrations and dramatically reconstructed scenes.


  • The Revolution in Virginia: 1775-1783

    The Revolution in Virginia: 1775-1783

    Guests excited about their Revolutionary City experience can delve further into the subject. Originally published in 1988, John E. Selby's The Revolution in Viriginia is now offered in paperback.

    Buy now

    Learn more

    John E. Selby

    Guests excited about their Revolutionary City experience can delve further into the subject. Originally published in 1988, John E. Selby's The Revolution in Viriginia is now offered in paperback.

    The hardcover edition of the book received superb reviews both from scholarly journals and popular newspapers. William and Mary Quarterly wrote, "The Revolution in Virginia . . . merits the careful attention of all students of the American Revolution." The Richmond Times-Dispatch wrote that "Selby is a historian and scholar, but he finds the humanity in the story."

    Selby was William E. Pullen Professor of History at the College of William and Mary. He died in 2001.

    The paperback edition includes a new foreword by Donald Higginbotham, Dowd Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Higginbotham writes, "This well-researched, readable volume should attract a new generation of both historians and general readers."

    456 pages, ISBN-13: 978-0-87935-233-2, ISBB-10: 0-87935-233-8 $19.95 paperback


  • Virginians at Home: Family Life in the Eighteenth Century

    Virginians at Home: Family Life in the Eighteenth Century

    A look at the complex society of eighteenth-century Virginia from the planters of the Tidewater to the Scotch-Irish and German farmers in the Shenandoah Valley.

    Buy now

    Learn more

    By Edmund S. Morgan

    Morgan sketches the day-to-day life of colonial Virginians. From the planters of the Tidewater to the Scotch-Irish and German farmers in the Shenandoah Valley, he explores such matters as childhood, marriage, servants and slaves, homes, and holidays in the complex society of eighteenth-century Virginia. 101 pp., 20 black-and-white illustrations, 5 1/4 x 8 1952; 12th printing 2002 CW No. 2808 Hardbound ISBN 0-910412-52-9 $14.95


  • Quest for a Cure: The Public Hospital in Williamsburg, Virginia, 1773 - 1885

    Quest for a Cure: The Public Hospital in Williamsburg, Virginia, 1773 - 1885

    This highly readable account gives an overview of the attitudes toward and the methods of treating mental illness in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

    Buy now

    Learn more

    By Shomer S. Zwelling

    Erected in 1773, burned in 1885, and now reconstructed, the Public Hospital was the first public facility in colonial America built for the treatment of the mentally ill. This highly readable account gives an overview of the attitudes toward and the methods of treating mental illness in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. 64 pp., 55 duotones, 7 1/4 x 10 1985; 8th printing 2001 CW No. 2105 Softbound ISBN 0-87935-110-1 $9.00


  • The Rise and Fall of the Powhatan Empire: Indians in Seventeenth-Century Virginia

    The Rise and Fall of the Powhatan Empire: Indians in Seventeenth-Century Virginia

    This book describes how the English vied with the Powhatan Indians to dominate the lands and resources in Tidewater Virginia.

    Buy now

    Learn more

    By James Axtell

    This book describes how the English vied with the Powhatan Indians to dominate the lands and resources in Tidewater Virginia. The author depicts the native inhabitants and the newcomers as equal actors in a drama whose outcome was not a foregone conclusion. Softbound $24.95


  • Becoming Americans: Our Struggle to Be Both Free and Equal A Plan of Thematic Interpretation

    Becoming Americans: Our Struggle to Be Both Free and Equal A Plan of Thematic Interpretation

    Becoming Americans explains how diverse peoples, holding different and sometimes conflicting personal ambitions, evolved into a society that values both liberty and equality.

    Buy now

    Learn more

    Edited by Cary Carson

    Becoming Americans explains how diverse peoples, holding different and sometimes conflicting personal ambitions, evolved into a society that values both liberty and equality. "Taking Possession," "Enslaving Virginia," "Buying Respectability," "Redefining Family," "Choosing Revolution," and "Freeing Religion" explore the history behind the challenges that divide American society and the forces that unite it. 206 pp., 78 color illustrations, 38 black-and-white illustrations, 8 x 10 1/2 1998; 3rd printing 2002 CW No. 517516 Softbound ISBN 0-87935-167-5 $24.95





Footer