AfterWARd: The Revolutionary Veterans Who Built America
2017 Inaugural Special Exhibition
The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown will debut in 2017 its inaugural special exhibition, “AfterWARd: The Revolutionary Veterans Who Built America.” Opening in June, the special exhibition will explore the post-war lives of veterans of the Siege of Yorktown, including George Washington and Charles Cornwallis, Henry Knox, Alexander Hamilton, James Lafayette, and the Marquis de Lafayette, as well as lesser-known veterans of the siege that secured American independence in 1781.
Presented in a 5,000-square-foot exhibition gallery, “AfterWARd” will explore these historical figures as veterans, allowing visitors to make connections with the lives of soldiers and veterans, past and present.
Using artifacts, illustrations, short films and interactives, the special exhibition will explore Charles Cornwallis’ post-Revolution campaigns in India and George Washington’s visions for a new nation. Visitors will discover Henry Knox’s work as a key founder of the Society of the Cincinnati, the nation’s first veteran organization, and learn about Alexander Hamilton’s post-war life as an influential statesman who championed the still on-going debate about the role of government in everyday life. The exhibition also will examine James Lafayette’s fight for his own liberty from slavery after risking his life for the liberty of his country, and the Marquis de Lafayette’s undying role as the hero of two worlds and two generations, which culminated in his 1824-1825 “Farewell Tour” of the United States of America. The exhibition also will feature artifacts selected to illustrate Revolutionary War veterans’ continued influence today, such as objects related to the Lafayette Escadrille active during World War I.
The special exhibition will conclude with an interactive “Legacy Wall,” a multimedia display featuring stories and images of veterans from all eras of American history. Visitors will be invited to add their own personal stories to the wall, leaving their own personal connection to the veterans at Yorktown.
‘AfterWARd’ Special Programs
In addition, a variety of special programs and public lectures will be presented in conjunction with the special exhibition:
June 10: AfterWARd with James Lafayette, 7 p.m. – James Lafayette’s success as a spy for American forces was instrumental in setting up the siege at Yorktown. Actor Jamar Jones presents Slave Spy, a one-man show depicting this overlooked story. Slave Spy was written by Abigail Schumann and produced by the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation.
September 17: AfterWARd with Alexander Hamilton, 7 p.m. – Rand Scholet, president of the Alexander Hamilton Awareness Society, offers a retrospective of the founding father on Constitution Day.
September 29-30: The American Soldier, 1774-2015, 8 p.m. – Broadway actor Douglas Taurel reveals the struggles American soldiers face at war and challenges to come back home. Separate admission.
November 11: AfterWARd Evening of Poetry and Comedy Performed by Veterans, 8 p.m. – In partnership with the College of William and Mary. Separate admission.
November 15: AfterWARd with General Henry Knox, 7 p.m. – Matthew Hansbury, curator of the Knox Museum, discusses the many contributions made by Washington’s chief of artillery in his post-war years as the nation’s first Secretary of War. A special artillery demonstration will precede the talk.
The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, which replaces the Yorktown Victory Center, tells anew the story of the nation’s founding, from the twilight of the colonial period to the dawn of the Constitution and beyond. Comprehensive indoor exhibits and outdoor living history capture the transformational nature and epic scale of the Revolution and its relevance today. A Grand Opening Celebration will take place March 23-April 4, 2017.
Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (until 6 p.m. June 15-August 15), the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown is located at 200 Water Street, in Yorktown, Virginia. 2017 admission is $12.00 for adults, $7.00 for ages 6 through 12, and free for children under 6.