Image courtesy of Colonial National Historical Park, Yorktown.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Yorktown Victory Center to Examine George Washington's Life and Legacy

George Washington, his life and legacy, will be the theme of a series of evening public lectures this fall at the Yorktown Victory Center, with authors of recent books speaking at 7 p.m. on September 24, October 20, October 27 and November 10.

The series begins on Thursday, September 24, with “George Washington’s Second Revolution,” presented by Edward J. Larson, author of “The Return of George Washington, 1783-1789.”  Larson, recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for History, holds the Hugh & Hazel Darling Chair in Law at Pepperdine University and is a Fulbright Senior Scholar.  His lecture will take the audience from Washington’s spectacular victory at Yorktown to his inauguration as the first United States president eight years later and show the retired general’s critical role in uniting the states and forging a more perfect federal government under the Constitution. 

Historian and archaeologist Philip Levy will speak Tuesday, October 20, on “George Washington and the Cherry Tree: A New Look at a Story You Thought You Knew.”  Levy is the author of “Where the Cherry Tree Grew: The Story of Ferry Farm, George Washington’s Boyhood Home” and the forthcoming “George Washington Written Upon the Land: Nature, Memory, Myth, and Landscape.”  He co-leads the excavation of Ferry Farm and is a professor of history at the University of South Florida.

On Tuesday, October 27, Jonathan Horn will present “Robert E. Lee: The Man Who Would Not Be Washington,” about the brilliant soldier bound by marriage to George Washington’s family but turned by war against Washington’s crowning achievement, the Union.  Horn, a former White House speechwriter, is author of “The Man Who Would Not Be Washington: Robert E. Lee’s Civil War and His Decision That Changed American History.”

In “George Washington’s Journey” on Tuesday, November 10, T.H. Breen will recount how during the first months of his presidency George Washington boldly transformed American political culture by organizing a journey to all 13 original states, a demanding tour designed to secure the strength and prosperity of a fragile new republic.  Breen is author of the forthcoming book, “George Washington’s Journey: The President Forges a New Nation.”  He is the James Marsh Professor at Large at the University of Vermont and a Visiting Research Fellow at the Thomas Jefferson International Center at Monticello in Charlottesville.
Admission to the lectures is free, with advance reservations recommended by calling (757) 253-4572 or emailing

About the Yorktown Victory Center 

The Yorktown Victory Center, located at Route 1020 and the Colonial Parkway (200 Water Street), chronicles the American Revolution, from colonial unrest to the formation of the new nation, through indoor exhibits and historical interpretation at outdoor re-creations of a Continental Army encampment and Revolution-period farm.  Under the administration of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, a Virginia state agency, the museum is undergoing a transformation with a new facility and expanded exhibits and will be renamed American Revolution Museum at Yorktown when the project is complete in late 2016.  The Yorktown Victory Center remains open to visitors daily.  For more information, visit or call (888) 593-4682 toll-free or (757) 253-4838. 

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