William Preston's Smithfield tells the story of American history in a way that no other site can. It sits at the intersection of Colonial America, westward expansion, African slavery, and conflicts between indigenous peoples and European settlers.
Smithfield connects George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Lewis & Clark, the American Revolution, secession, emancipation, and the Civil War. It is the birthplace of universities, including Virginia Tech. It represents the hope, promise and tragedy of American democracy and provides a unique opportunity to gain perspective from the past, insight for the present, and inspiration for the future.