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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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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Web displays of manuscripts and early printed works about the lives of African Americans in Massachusetts from the late 17th century through the abolition of slavery in the state in 1780.
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Full title: African Americans and the End of Slavery in Massachusetts

This website features 117 items from the collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, including historical manuscripts and early printed works that offer a window into the lives of African Americans in Massachusetts from the late 17th century through the abolition of slavery under the Massachusetts Constitution in the 1780s.

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Antislavery Images

Digital Collection  Antislavery Images
Online displays of photographs, paintings, and other visual materials illustrating the role of Massachusetts in the national debate over slavery.
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Full title: Images of the Antislavery Movement in Massachusetts

This website presents digital images of 840 visual materials from the collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society that illustrate the role of Massachusetts in the national debate over slavery. Included are photographs, paintings, sculptures, engravings, artifacts, banners, and broadsides that were central to the debate and the formation of the antislavery movement.

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Poems and letters written by Phillis Wheatley, a one-time slave who lived in Boston and authored the first published book of poetry by an African American.
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Full title: African Americans and the End of Slavery: Phillis Wheatley

Phillis Wheatley was the author of the first book of poetry by an African American, published in London in 1773. This web display provides access to poems, letters, and a view of her writing desk, all within the collections of the MHS.

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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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Long Road to Justice

Online Exhibition  Long Road to Justice
Web version of a traveling exhibition about the African American experience in the Massachusetts courts. PLEASE NOTE: this exhibition features items and images that aren't part of the collections of the MHS.
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Full title: Long Road to Justice

Web exhibition by the Ruffin Society (website currently hosted at MHS) relating to a traveling exhibition about the African American experience in the Massachusetts courts. PLEASE NOTE: this exhibition features items and images that aren't part of the collections of the MHS.

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