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.

Era: Colonial period (circa 1620-1763) | Pick a different topic


Web presentations of original newspapers from the collections of the MHS featuring the earliest published prose by Benjamin Franklin writing as Silence Dogood.
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Full title: Silence Dogood: Benjamin Franklin in The New-England Courant

This website presents includes images and transcriptions of fourteen newspaper essays by Benjamin Franklin, written in 1722 under the pseudonym Silence Dogood. Concise explanatory essays provide information about the setting in which Franklin composed what became his first published prose--his apprenticeship to his brother James, the printer of the Boston newspaper, The New-England Courant. Web presentations of the full issues of the 14 newspapers also are available allowing web users to examine the context in which the Silence Dogood essays appeared.

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Online displays of maps depicting North America around the time of the French and Indian War, 1754 to 1763.
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Full title: Maps of the French and Indian War

Online displays of maps depicting North America around the time of the French and Indian War, 1754 to 1763. The maps in this web exhibition are drawn from the collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society and provide valuable information about the planning and conduct of the war; commanders on both sides relied on maps as they made their decisions about troop and fleet movements, where to engage the enemy, and what territory to try to hold.

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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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Web presentations of 185 items selected from the extensive Saltonstall Family Collections at the Massachusetts Historical Society.
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Full title: Highlights from the Saltonstall Family Collections at the Massachusetts Historical Society

The papers, photographs, art, and artifacts of the Saltonstall family, one of the founding families of Massachusetts, chronicle five centuries of family history and involvement in public life, from before the European settlement of America through the 20th century. Saltonstall family collections at the Massachusetts Historical Society include papers of Leverett Saltonstall (1783-1845), mayor and U.S. representative from Salem, Massachusetts; Eleanor "Nora" Saltonstall's letters home to her family while serving as a volunteer in France during World War I; and the personal and political papers and photographs of U.S. Senator Leverett Saltonstall (1892-1979).

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Digital edition of the content of the previously printed documentary editions of The Adams Papers; includes full annotations, index, and a search tool.
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Full title: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses

With a fast and comprehensive search tool new in summer 2010, this is the digital edition of the content of the previously printed editions of the Revolutionary-era Adams Papers, a long-standing documentary edition prepared at the Massachusetts Historical Society. This digital edition includes all text of the historical documents, all editorial text, and a single index with consolidated entries for the 16 printed Adams Papers indexes. Another forthcoming digital edition will present the Winthrop Papers, a documentary edition created at the MHS.

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Massachusetts Maps

Digital Collection  Massachusetts Maps
Web displays of over 100 manuscript and printed maps of Boston and other Massachusetts towns and counties.
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Full title: Massachusetts Maps

This website presents manuscript maps of local towns and counties dating from 1637-1809, iconic printed maps of Massachusetts and Boston, and meticulously drawn manuscript maps by Samuel Chester Clough (1873-1949) presenting a wealth of information about property owners in Boston during the 17th and late 18th centuries.

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A selection of historical objects from the collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society that provide the foundation on which its collections have been built and inform us today about how our ancestors lived.
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Full title: The Object of History: 18th-Century Treasures

This companion website is divided into three parts according to John Adams’s scheme: "Politicks and War," "Mathematicks and Philosophy," and "Painting, Poetry ... and Porcelaine." It consists of artifacts, manuscripts, medals, paintings, engravings, furniture, clothing, and early publications. These historical objects form a solid foundation on which the collections of the MHS have been built and inform us today about how our ancestors lived.

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Chronology of key events in the lives of members of the Adams family from 1735 until 1889.