Whether they were transforming domestic hobbies into successful careers, pounding smoldering metal in blacksmith shops, or shaping the course of the nation, women played important—and unexpected roles—in Colonial Williamsburg. Join us throughout March for special programming as we celebrate and examine the lives and relationships of these women during Women's History Month.
As you are guided through the opulent home of Peyton and Elizabeth Randolph, a heart-wrenching narrative unfolds exploring the complicated relationships between gentry women and their enslaved maidservants.
Uncover the stories of women who engaged with the highest levels of colonial law and government as not only victims but active participants - even criminals. See how their cases as abandoned wives and convicted felons shaped 18th-century law and shed light on women's roles in Virginia society.
The relationship between George Washington and Sally Cary Fairfax has intrigued historians for generations based on the few letters that survive between the two. How must Washington's new bride, Martha, have felt upon meeting the woman who seemingly held her husband's heart before her? What exactly was the nature of the relationship between them? Watch as these two women meet for the first time and discover how their relationship will be defined by their affections for the same man.
After making a free life for herself as an adopted Shawnee Indian, Methotaskee is brought back into slavery. Her compelling story unfolds as her mistress prepares her to reenter Williamsburg society as Elizabeth.
In celebration of Women’s History Month, The Chownings’ Jug Broke Theatre Company explores the adventures of Hannah Snell. A clever 18th-century adventurer and soldier, Hannah successfully masqueraded as a man and joined the King’s Navy. During her years of service, she fought side-by-side with her male counterparts. Her true identity remained a well-guarded secret until she left the military and revealed her true gender. Hannah has the distinction of being the first female to receive a commission by the King for military service.
Celebrate Women’s History Month with the Chowning’s Jug Broke Theatre Company! Caroline Herschel was the first woman astronomer to be paid for her work by the king. This whimsical play dramatizes the night that changed her life. The Chownings family perform their theatrical antics on a stage located where the first theatre in British North America was built in 1716. The building is no longer there, but the spirit of theatre still lives on!
Celebrate Women’s History Month with the Chowning’s Jug Broke Theatre Company! Susanna Rowson was the first bestselling American author. Find out how her fictional character, Charlotte Temple, reached unimaginable heights of fame. The Chownings family perform their theatrical antics on a stage located where the first theatre in British North America was built in 1716. The building is no longer there, but the spirit of theatre still lives on!
While amateur music making was encouraged for women in the 18th century, professional female musicians were uncommon. Colonial Americans often learned of musicians such as Maddalena Sirmen and Marianne Davies from newspaper accounts of London performances. Others, such as Ann Ford or Maria Cosway, were known because of their published music. Discover the varied roles of music in women’s lives as you enjoy the compositions of the talented European women who took up music as a profession.Learn More
While the Governor of Virginia is elected by the people, his wife is not. Some wives come to this position willingly, others are duty bound by their husband’s choices. However, each wife brings her own unique personality to shape the role of the Governor’s lady. Experience the Governor’s Palace through the eyes of three Governor’s ladies — Mrs. Dorothea Henry, Mrs. Martha Jefferson, and Mrs. Elizabeth Randolph — as they navigate duty versus desire.Learn More
For the first time, the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum will feature an exhibition on the art of hooking and sewing rugs, featuring about twenty hooked and sewn rugs.Learn More
"Navajo Weavings: Tradition and Trade," in the McCarl Gallery features over twenty rare, colorful and pictorial Navajo weavings created by anonymous Navajo women working on hand looms in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The exhibition showcases a variety of pictorial designs, materials, and symbolic imagery. The earliest object is a man's traditional wearing blanket from about 1860. Later weavings from the early 20th century began to depict the influence of the Anglo world including the incorporation of trains, American flags, and livestock.Learn More