YORKTOWN, Va., May 31, 2017 – The Revolutionary War victory at Yorktown in 1781 was just the beginning for the ranks of soldiers and citizens who fought for America’s independence. Follow their stories after the war in the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown’s inaugural special exhibition, “AfterWARd: The Revolutionary Veterans Who Built America.”
Opening June 10 through November 27, the special exhibition will chronicle the post-war lives of veterans of the Siege of Yorktown, including Henry Knox, Alexander Hamilton, James Lafayette, the Marquis de Lafayette, George Washington and Charles Cornwallis, as well as lesser-known veterans.
“AfterWARd,” will explore these historical figures as veterans, allowing visitors to make connections with the lives of soldiers and veterans, past and present. The special exhibition is sponsored in part by Altria Group, with additional support from the Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution, James D. and Pamela J. Penny and Harry and Judy Wason.
The exhibition will feature more than 60 artifacts on loan from American and British museums and institutions selected to illustrate Revolutionary War veterans’ ongoing contribution and influence throughout history. Among the featured items are a carriage used by the Marquis de Lafayette from the Studebaker National Museum in South Bend, Indiana; a gun seized in India by Cornwallis from the Royal Armouries in Leeds, England; and a lap desk belonging to Alexander Hamilton from Hamilton College in Clinton, New York.
Using artifacts, illustrations, short films and interactives, the special exhibition will examine Charles Cornwallis’ post-Revolution campaigns in India and George Washington’s vision for a new nation. Visitors will discover Henry Knox’s work as a key founder of the Society of the Cincinnati, the nation’s first veteran organization, and learn about Alexander Hamilton’s post-war life as an influential statesman who championed the still ongoing debate about the role of government in everyday life.
Visitors will experience the celebrity of the Marquis de Lafayette, a Frenchman who returned to the United States in 1824-1825 for an American “Farewell Tour” after helping General George Washington’s Continental Army defeat the British during the American Revolution. Discover the untold story of James Lafayette, an enslaved African American from New Kent County who successfully spied on the British for the American forces, and then spent much of his life after the war seeking his own liberty from slavery.
An interactive “Legacy Wall” multimedia display will highlight stories and images of veterans from all eras of American history, from Colin Powell and Johnny Cash to Neil Armstrong and Julia Child. Visitors are encouraged to add their own stories to the wall and find personal connections to the veterans of Yorktown.
Free Mobile App Expands on Special Exhibition
A free mobile app, available for Android and iPhone, features videos and interviews with scholars on a variety of topics and expands stories revealed in the “AfterWARd” special exhibition. Visitors can download the app from home or at the museum on Google Play or the Apple App Store.
Public Programs Related to Special Exhibition
More than a dozen programs, public lectures and presentations, made possible in part by Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation, will be presented in conjunction with the special exhibition from June through November. Learn more at https://jyfmuseums.org/yorktown-victory-center/afterward/.
About the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown
Stories of citizens and soldiers unfold at the new American Revolution Museum at Yorktown (formerly the Yorktown Victory Center), which tells anew the story of the nation’s founding, from the twilight of the colonial period to the dawn of the Constitution and beyond. Immersive indoor exhibits and films and interactive outdoor living-history experiences capture the transformational nature and epic scale of the Revolution and its relevance today.
Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (until 6 p.m. June 15-August 15), the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown is located at 200 Water Street, in Yorktown, Virginia, near Yorktown Battlefield. The special exhibition is included with museum admission: $12.00 for adults, $7.00 for ages 6-12, and free for children under age 6.
Members of the military can purchase in advance discounted admission tickets to the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown at most military bases’ MWR/recreation offices.
For more information, call (888) 593-4682 toll-free or (757) 253-4838 or visit https://jyfmuseums.org/yorktown-victory-center/afterward/.