Starting July 4, journey back to the Revolutionary War, a time of cavalry, militia drills, metalsmiths, and spies! A Museum-wide celebration running through September 15, Revolutionary Summer showcases something new each weekend, when our outdoor courtyard becomes a Continental Army encampment. Visit a replica of George Washington’s Headquarters Tent, enjoy rousing fife and drum music, and meet fascinating Living Historians portraying early Americans from all walks of life.
GEORGE WASHINGTON'S HEADQUARTERS TENT
The centerpiece of Revolutionary Summer, a replica of Washington's Headquarters Tent, is on display in our outdoor courtyard on select weekends this summer. Often called the "first Oval Office," it was where Washington and his most trusted staff plotted the strategy that ultimately won the Revolutionary War. On loan from the Museum of the American Revolution (MoAR), the painstakingly detailed, hand-sewn replica was created in a collaboration between MoAR and Colonial Williamsburg. The Tent is staffed by MoAR educators, who lead visitors on an immersive tour through history, and will be on view to the public on the following weekends:
ON VIEW IN THE MUSEUM
Explore amazing art and artifacts from the Revolutionary era throughout the Museum during the week and on weekends during Revolutionary Summer! Among the highlights: a recently discovered watercolor painting of the 1782 Continental Army encampment at Verplanck’s Point, New York; a stunning diorama of the Continental Army; an iconic Gilbert Stuart portrait of Washington; a gilded horse's tail ripped from a statue of King George III by jubilant crowds in New York City in 1776; and a pipe tomahawk gifted by Washington to Seneca Chief Sagoyewatha.
Also on view are precious documents from the Gilder Lehrman collection, including an original 1823 William J. Stone facsimile of the Declaration of Independence; a broadside from King George III officially ending the war; a letter by Martha Washington detailing life in the aftermath of the Revolution; and much more!
LIVING HISTORY WEEKENDS
Independence Day: George Washington’s Encampment and More!
Join us for our opening day celebration exploring George Washington’s encampment! Enter the Headquarters tent, meet the man himself, and experience daily life in the Continental Army with staff from the Museum of the American Revolution. Also on tap: singalongs with the Hudson River Ramblers, fife and drum corps music, and Living Historians, including John Adams, who will read the Declaration of Independence.
Spies, Bodyguards, and Agents
July 6 & 7
Your top-secret mission: Meet George Washington and his spies and decode your own message. (Washington's Headquarters Tent will be on view.)
Join the Continental Army
July 13 & 14 | August 31 & September 1 | September 7 & 8
The Continental Army wants you! Explore the encampment tents and display of 18-century weaponry and participate in drills.
Everyday Life in Camp
July 20 & 21
Experience the daily life of soldiers and their families with the 3rd New Jersey Regiment, and meet the women who helped them in the encampment.
Field Music on the March
July 27 & 28
March along to Revolutionary War field music performed by the drum and fife musicians of Heart of Oak and the New Jersey Field Music Group. (George Washington's Headquarters Tent will be on view.)
Deborah Sampson, Fighting Woman
August 3 & 4
Meet Deborah Sampson—the woman who disguised her gender to enlist in the Continental Army—and members of her regiment, the 7th Massachusetts.
Fighting on Horseback
August 10 & 11
Saddle up! Meet the 2nd Continental Light Dragoons and the 4 Legion and take a close look at the equipment used by cavalry in the Continental Army.
George Washington’s Encampment
August 17 & 18 | August 24 & 25
Enter George Washington’s encampment and experience what life was like during the war—from meals to down time to battle preparations. (Washington's Headquarters Tent will be on view.)
Metalsmithing in George Washington’s Encampment
September 14 & 15
Learn all about the crucial craft of metalsmithing and even take a turn yourself! (George Washington's Headquarters Tent will be on view.)
PROGRAMS AND EVENTS
Revolutionary Trivia Night
July 12 | August 23
Do you know what Washington’s favorite breakfast beverage was? If you do (and even if you don’t), bring your friends for a fun night of trivia by the fact fanatics at Trivia, AD!
Revolutionary Drag Tea Party
Dress to impress in your best period-inspired drag, enjoy snack and cocktails, and compete in categories like Most Revolutionary Outfit.
Trans Identity and the Incredible Story of Deborah Sampson, Revolutionary War Hero
Delve into the fascinating, true story of Revolutionary War hero Deborah Sampson with author Alex Myers as he discusses his novel Revolutionary.
Writopia Historical Fiction Workshop
Calling all teens! Experience Revolutionary Summer, then participate in a Writopia-led writing workshop focused on themes of war and revolution.
Nerdy Thursdays: Revolution Night
Swing by the Museum for this signature event from the Black Gotham Experience that brings together a DJ, gallery talks, cocktails, and a brilliant group of nerdy people.
Watson Adventures: Scavenger Hunt
Explore the Museum's Revolutionary Summer artifacts and solve a series of puzzles involving objects on display, led by Watson Adventures.