As Patrick Henry prepares to leave the office of governor of Virginia, he talks about his friendships and political relations with some key revolutionary leaders. Hear what he thinks of his successor, Thomas Jefferson, and discover what he has to say about General Washington, commander in chief of the Continental Army.Learn More
Join Governor’s Musick of Colonial Williamsburg for selections representing the musical landscape of our first four presidents. Hear songs that were written in direct tribute to a president or his first lady, music known to be heard and enjoyed by particular presidents, and music that represents the changing musical tastes during America’s first four administrations. Hear how composers and musical styles evolved from the late 18th century to the early 19th century. Join Governor’s Musick as they share music for a new nation.
Join us for a celebration of the presidency with our founding fathers, military program staff, and the Fifes and Drums. This celebration will recognize those citizens who have served in office over the centuries as well as the states most closely associated with each president.
Meet with President Washington as he looks back over his long career in public service. How did his years in the House of Burgesses prepare him for later roles? Learn what it was like to serve as commander in chief of the American forces during the War for Independence. Listen as he reflects on his part in drafting the Federal Constitution, which led to his election as the first President of the United States.
Meet with President Jefferson as he looks back over his long career in public service. He will reflect on the American Revolution, drafting the Declaration of Independence, and his tenure as governor of Virginia during the war. Additionally, listen to his personal insight on what he thinks of his roles in the new government, as ambassador to France, first secretary of state, and third president of the United States.
Join President James Madison as he discusses present affairs and the state of the union, and reflects on the invention of the executive branch of the United States. Hear the philosophy and history that inspired the United States Constitution, and how the small city of Williamsburg played a pivotal role in developing the earliest ideas of liberty and republican government in this young country. Has America realized the principles established in her earliest writings? What will the future hold for this American Experiment?
In the United States today, the first 365 days of a new Presidential Administration represents the opportunity to set the tone of their agendas. Join presidents Washington, Jefferson, and Madison in a discussion on the importance of their first 365 days in office.Learn More
Meet a few of the great men in Williamsburg--George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison—and learn how they were all shaped by their experiences here. General Washington, in 1775, talks about his tenure as a Burgess from 1759 to 1774. Governor Jefferson, in 1780, speaks about his early experiences as a lawyer in the General Court and about his efforts as governor to rewrite the laws of Virginia. James Madison, in 1790, talks about his role in drafting the Virginia Declaration of Rights and successfully promoting the adoption of Jefferson's Statute for Religious Freedom.Learn More