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

What’s New

The death of a loved one is a deeply personal experience, yet the needs that arise are universal: a coffin, conveyance, and a cemetery plot. Early America faced these necessities without much of a plan, but as the decades passed, a fascinating trade takes root. Morticians, embalmers, attendants and a whole host of specialized … Continue Reading »

By Claire Gould

“Everyone here is white and over 50! Where are our young people? Where are our young black students? This isn’t dead, ancient history—it really wasn’t that long ago!”

There we were, sitting in a classroom at Virginia Commonwealth University, a diverse institution in a diverse city, and this speaker at the Virginia Forum was right. … Continue Reading »

By Bill Sullivan

A dashing young soldier comes to town, flush with victory in battle.

A young woman succumbs to his charms. He leaves. She has his child.

It’s a plot that seems to be borrowed from a romance novel, but it happened in Williamsburg in the months after the Yorktown victory that signaled the end of … Continue Reading »


What do we expect from our public officials? What should we expect?

In this imagined conversation, Thomas Jefferson and Martha Washington discuss their beliefs about integrity and leading by example.

Are we living up to theirs?

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If you visited Williamsburg’s Market House in the late eighteenth century, you would see customers making their purchases in a variety of ways. In some instances, customers might barter goods or services for their purchases. Merchants could offer credit at their stores, and those short of cash could turn to “country pay,” using foodstuffs … Continue Reading »


This week distinguished former Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O’Connor turned 85. In addition to being the first woman appointed to the court, Justice O’Connor became a crucial swing vote during her 25-year tenure.

A 2007 visit to Williamsburg.

But not to be overlooked is the significant contribution she has made to our civic life in … Continue Reading »