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: Early National period (circa 1784-1820) | Pick a different topic
Full title: Massachusetts Considers Ratifying the U. S. Constitution
The following web presentations of selections from the collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS) relate to the debate about the ratification of the U. S. Constitution in Massachusetts (including the District of Maine). These materials have been assembled for a workshop, Ratification! The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788.
Full title: The War of 1812: Items from the Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society
The Massachusetts Historical Society has a rich collection of materials relating to the War of 1812, as it was the first major military conflict that the United States was involved in after the Society's founding in 1791. In recognition of the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, the Society presents a selection of broadsides, letters, and artifacts.
Full title: Thomas Jefferson Papers: An Electronic Archive
Featuring selections from the Coolidge Collection of Thomas Jefferson Manuscripts at the Massachusetts Historical Society, this digital collection (entitled, Thomas Jefferson Papers: An Electronic Archive) includes Jefferson's manuscript copy of the Declaration of Independence, Farm Book, Garden Book, book catalogs, and architectural drawings.
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.
Full title: Adams Family Papers: An Electronic Archive
This searchable digital collection (entitled, Adams Family Papers: An Electronic Archive) presents images of manuscripts and digital transcriptions from the Adams Family Papers including the complete correspondence between John and Abigail Adams, the diary of John Adams, and the autobiography of John Adams.
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.
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.
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).
Full title: John Quincy Adams: About the Diary Entries from the 1809 Trip to Russia
On 27 June 1809, President James Madison appointed John Quincy Adams (JQA) minister plenipotentiary to Russia. On 5 August 1809, JQA set sail for St. Petersburg. In addition to writing long entries in one of his diary volumes, JQA also summarized each day of his trip in his line-a-day diary volume. Since 5 August 2009, the Massachusetts Historical Society has been posting John Quincy Adams's line-a-day diary entries on Twitter, exactly 200 years after his journey across the Atlantic. This web page contains many links to online resources about the diary and the Twitter project.
Full title: The Diaries of John Quincy Adams: A Digital Collection
This digital collection presents images of the 51 volumes of John Quincy Adams' diary in the Adams Family Papers. Adams began keeping his diary in 1779 at the age of twelve and continued until shortly before his death in 1848. There are over 14,000 pages within these diaries and a date search tool is available.
Full title: Correspondence of Mercy Otis Warren and Hannah Winthrop
The letters exchanged between Mercy Otis Warren (1728-1814) and Hannah Winthrop (baptized 1727-1790) provide a remarkable window into the daily lives of families living through the challenges of revolution and nation building. Explore history through the eyes and pens of those who participated in the extraordinary events of the period! These intimate letters (57 different letters written between 1752 and 1789) offer readers an opportunity to connect with the past by imagining themselves in the narrative. The correspondence between Warren and Winthrop reveals the important roles that women played in the revolutionary era.
Full title: Frontier Life: Borderlands, Settlement & Colonial Encounters
This digital resource containing collections from the Massachusetts Historical Society as well as content from other repositories explores the frontier regions of North America, Europe, Africa, and Australasia through documents revealing the lives of settlers and indigenous peoples in these areas. Published by Adam Matthew, this resource is available to researchers who visit the MHS library in person. It is also available at many college and university libraries.