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Yorktown Victory Center Offers August 15 Tools of the American Revolution Seminar

YORKTOWN, Va., July 29, 2015 — The Yorktown Victory Center, a museum of the American Revolution, will offer a Tools of the American Revolution Seminar on Saturday, August 15, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Five sessions, covering historical topics from period cloth production to building construction, will be held in the museum’s education center classrooms. The seminar is $35, and advance registration is required and limited to 50 participants. The registration fee includes seminar sessions, lunch and museum admission.

Seminar speakers and topics are:

• Elizabeth Cook, College of William and Mary doctoral candidate, will explore occupational structures in “‘Art, Mystery, and Occupation’: A History of Virginia’s Building Trades.” Session runs from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.

• Sarah Thomas, College of William and Mary doctoral candidate, will present “Working with Wood and Iron: Shenandoah County’s Material Culture,” with a focus on chests and stove plates, tools used to make them, and how their design changed in the late 18th century. Session runs from 11 a.m. to 12 noon.

• Martha Katz-Hyman, Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation curator, will discuss “Turner for Thomas Jefferson: William and John Fitz/Fitch of Albemarle County, Virginia.” Her lecture explores connections between the craftsmen who made utilitarian products and those who employed them, and how personal relationships, as well as skill and reputation, influenced both those who purchased the products and those who made them. Session runs from 12:45 to 1:45 p.m.

• Johanna Miller Lewis, University of Arkansas at Little Rock professor of history, will discuss “‘Advantageously Situated in Point of Land, Trade, and Manufacture’: Germanic Artisans in the North Carolina Backcountry.” Session runs from 2:15 to 3:15 p.m.

• Sarah Meacham, Virginia Commonwealth University director of graduate studies and associate professor of colonial American history, will examine the importance of alcohol in early America, as well as the causes and consequences of George Washington’s decision to change Continental Army soldiers’ daily rations from a quart of beer or cider to a gill (about 3 shots) of rum. Session runs from 3:45 to 4:45 p.m.

The Yorktown Victory Center is undergoing a transformation into the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, to open late 2016. Inside a new museum building, three Revolution-theme films are shown on a rotating basis, and an illustrated timeline transports visitors from the 1750s to the 1790s. Visitors can try on reproductions of a French regimental coat and uniforms of other nationalities present at the 1781 Siege of Yorktown. Outdoors, visitors can witness artillery and interpretive demonstrations and engage with historical interpreters at the re-created Continental Army encampment and Revolution-era farm.

On Saturday, August 15, visitors and seminar participants also will have the opportunity to see tools of an 18th-century surveyor from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and take part in periodic surveying demonstrations to learn the process of topography during the Revolutionary War era. Throughout the day, learn about the implements used by a wheelwright and see the construction of a wheel for a Revolution-period farm wheelbarrow.

The Yorktown Victory Center, open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through August 15, is located on Route 1020 in Yorktown. General admission is $9.75 for adults, $5.50 for ages 6-12, and free for children under 6. The museum is administered by the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, an agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.
To register for the seminar online, visit https://jyfemail.jyf.virginia.gov/eStore/ and select “Tools of the American Revolution Seminar” from the “All Products” drop-down menu.
For more information about the Tools of the American Revolution Seminar and how to register, call (757) 253-4838 or toll-free (888) 593-4682, or visit hif.ciniva.net.