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Colonial Williamsburg History Podcasts - Image Enhanced

American History Podcasts from Colonial Williamsburg

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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The best episodes ranked using user listens.

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The Black Petticoat Society Talks Colonial Williamsburg

The Black Petticoat Society, a TURN: Washington’s Spies fan group, interviewed Past and Present host Rachel West for their TURN-related podcast. The group discussed Colonial Williamsburg’s role as Philadelphia on the hit AMC show as well as other initiatives across the Foundation. For more information on the Black Petticoat Society and TURN: Washington’s Spies, click here.


28 Apr 2016

Rank #1

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Declaration of Independence

Hear the Declaration of Independence read in its entirety by renowned Thomas Jefferson interpreter Bill Barker.


22 Jun 2015

Rank #2

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Colonial Williamsburg is embarking on its first-ever Halloween experience. The infamous pirate, Blackbeard, has returned to seek revenge after members of his crew were tried and executed in Williamsburg.


14 Oct 2015

Rank #3

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Every Home a Distillery

What do you use to wash the baby, clean the house, color your hair or serve for breakfast? If it’s the 18th century, the answer is alcohol. Professor Sarah Meacham describes her research for the book “Every Home a Distillery.”


13 Apr 2015

Rank #4

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Cancer: That Painful and Lingering Disorder

Options for cancer detection and treatment were few in the 18th century. Medical Historian Sharon Cotner lays out some of the common practices in this week’s show.


27 Apr 2015

Rank #5

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The Business of Death

The funeral industry arises from a combination of necessity, sentimentality, and vanity. Dr. Kelly Brennan Arehart describes the path of America’s death business, and the early vestiges still with us today.


30 Mar 2015

Rank #6

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Sweet Tea & Barley

Sweet Tea & Barley is Colonial Williamsburg’s newest restaurant located in the Williamsburg Lodge. Chefs Anthony Frank and Sean Gonzalez chat about what went into creating a new southern-inspired restaurant and some of the dishes they put on the menu.


28 Dec 2015

Rank #7

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What if the British had Won?

In 1776, England had every expectation of winning a war with her upstart American colonies, and rightly so. And what if the war had gone their way? This is the premise of a class of fiction called “alternate history,” and Director of Publications Paul Aron has found some food for thought in its reimagined histories.


17 Mar 2014

Rank #8

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The Madness of King George III

King George is remembered as “The Mad King,” and “The King Who Lost America.” Was he insane, or did his doctors mistreat a medical condition? Author Ed Crews examines the evidence in his article “The Poisoning of King George” in the journal Colonial Williamsburg.


10 Jun 2013

Rank #9

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George Washington’s Wallet

What was in George Washington’s wallet? Long before the establishment of a standard American currency, there was trade, barter and credit. How were these financial activities handled with the myriad coins and metals in circulation?


19 Jan 2015

Rank #10

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The Bloody Battlefield

More gruesome than the injuries of battle were the means of mending them: field medicine offered no anesthesia, no modern antiseptics, and no antibiotics. David Podolfino interprets the life and duties of the military surgeon.


23 Jun 2014

Rank #11

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Cannibalism at Jamestown

A gruesome relic informs a desperate history. Historic Jamestowne’s Senior Archaeological Curator Bly Straube describes the find that let scientists and historians confirm the tales of cannibalism in America’s fledgling years.


6 Jan 2014

Rank #12

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Wartime Deprivations

Shortages of sugar, rum, gunpowder, textiles, tea and china were among the inconveniences suffered by colonial Americans during the Revolution. Historian Lou Powers describes the deprivations and the substitutions.


14 Oct 2013

Rank #13

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Spies in the Library

Research Librarian Allison Heinbaugh stalked the stacks of the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library looking for evidence of spies and spycraft in the 18th century. The bibliography she compiled tells its own story of loyalty, secrecy, and stealth.


4 Aug 2014

Rank #14

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Importance of Portraying African American History

Stephen Seals joins to discuss some of the powerful African American programming available during Black History Month and beyond in 2016. Hear some of his favorites and why it’s so important to tell the stories of half of the population of Williamsburg in the 18th century.


17 Feb 2016

Rank #15

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George Washington Sneezed Here

The common cold was a nuisance our forbears suffered in much the same way we do today. But what remedies were uniquely colonial? Eighteenth-century apothecarist Robin Kipps shares the causes and eases for the cold.


9 Jun 2014

Rank #16

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The Mystery of the Gravestones

Two gravestones are unearthed during a construction project. Historians and curators work to solve the mysteries below. Emily Williams tells their story.

3 Oct 2011

Rank #17

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An Apprentice at the Millinery Shop

Draping, cutting, sewing, and trim: these are the hallmarks of the milliner and mantua-maker’s craft. Apprentice Sarah Woodyard is near completion of her apprenticeship, and at the threshold of attaining journeywoman status.


2 Jun 2014

Rank #18

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The Education of Thomas Jefferson

The third president completed studies at William and Mary 250 years ago, and went on to create a college of his own. Professor Susan Kern describes what he learned and what he later built.


25 Jun 2012

Rank #19

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A Talking Kitchen: History Speaks at the Wythe House

Listen closely in this kitchen. In it, objects speak of their owners and of their makers. Tools speak of technology and ability. Small personal items speak of meager comforts in a hard life. Curator Amanda Keller worked to outfit the Wythe Kitchen and imbue it with a richly layered history.


28 Apr 2014

Rank #20