Online Resources What is this? Our online resources are sets of digitized items which have been organized either around a common topic, such as the American Revolution, or to highlight a specific collection, such as the papers of Thomas Jefferson.

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Full title: Looking at the Civil War: Massachusetts Finds Her Voice

As part of the Massachusetts Historical Society's commemoration of the Civil War sesquicentennial, each month a different item from the collection will be selected to share voices of the people of Massachusetts as they experienced the war 150 years before. When the project concludes in April 2015, fifty-two items from our collection will tell the story of Massachusetts' role in the Civil War in an online exhibition.

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View a selection of documents, photographs, broadsides, and maps featured in the exhibition, The Purchase by Blood: Massachusetts in the Civil War.
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Full title: Massachusetts in the Civil War, 1861-1862

This website presents letters, photographs, and broadsides related to the first two years of Massachusetts's involvement in the Civil War. In addition to essays on the four key engagements, Ball's Bluff, the Peninsula Campaign, Cedar Mountain, and Antietam, each web page illustrates the sacrifices made by Massachusetts's sons, particularly those of William Lowell Putnam, James Jackson Lowell, Wilder Dwight, and their families.

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Read the diary entries (unverified transcriptions) of Charles Francis Adams (the son of John Quincy Adams, and grandson of John Adams) a key US diplomat in Great Britain during the US Civil War.
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Full title: Charles Francis Adams, Sr.: The Civil War Diaries

This website presents searchable electronic transcriptions of diary entries written by Charles Francis Adams, Sr. between 1861-1865. On the eve of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln appointed Charles Francis Adams, Sr. minister to the Court of St. James's. He arrived in London on the very day Great Britain recognized the Confederacy as a belligerent. In 1863 Adams convinced the British government to prevent Confederate ironclad ships, built in Liverpool, from leaving port, thereby maintaining British neutrality. Charles Francis Adams, Sr., like his father (John Quincy Adams) and grandfather (John Adams) kept a sequence of detailed diaries. The transcription of Charles Francis Adams's diary entries from 1861-1865 has not been verified against the original manuscript, nor has any annotation been provided. The MHS makes this content available as a valuable research source but with the caveat that it is not yet an edition as established by modern documentary editing standards.

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54th Regiment

Online Feature  54th Regiment
Visual materials from the MHS relating to the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment.
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Full title: The Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment from the Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society

The Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment was the first military unit consisting of black soliders to be raised in the North during the Civil War. Browse online presentations of photographs and broadsides relating to a notable Civil War army regiment.

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MHS Commemorates the Civil War

List of Web Resources  MHS Commemorates the Civil War
Overview to online presentations, events, and activities sponsored by the MHS relating to the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.
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Full title: The Massachusetts Historical Society Commemorates the Civil War

The Massachusetts Historical Society is recognizing the 150th anniversary of the Civil War with online presentations of manuscripts selected from its collections, lectures by noted Civil War scholars, and exhibitions in our second floor gallery space.

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The Case for Ending Slavery

Online Feature  The Case for Ending Slavery
Primary sources and lesson plans arranged around five topics relating to slavery, the end of slavery, and the Civil War.
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Full title: Massachusetts Historical Society: The Case for Ending Slavery

This website features more than 50 primary sources from the collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society and the Library of Congress that reveal how slavery, and debates about slavery, contributed to the formation of the United States. Using letters, diaries, broadsides, artifacts, songs, legal notebooks, and photographs representing a variety of viewpoints, this site highlights the complex nature of ideas about slavery and freedom that circulated in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Available are lesson plans, study questions, and resources for educators.

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Web displays of manuscripts, artifacts, portraits, and sculpture relating to Abraham Lincoln drawn from the MHS collections.
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Full title: Celebrating Lincoln

In recognition and celebration of the bicentennial of the birth of Abraham Lincoln in 2009 the Massachusetts Historical Society is hosting a public exhibition about Lincoln and Massachusetts, as well as online displays of manuscripts, artifacts, portraits, and sculpture drawn from the MHS collections.

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