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: Civil War (1861-1865) | Pick a different topic


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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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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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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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Boston Abolitionists, 1831-1865, features important manuscripts, photographs, and artifacts from the Massachusetts Historical Society's collections that convey how Boston became a center of the national antislavery movement.
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Full title: Boston Abolitionists, 1831-1865

The Massachusetts Historical Society holds many important manuscripts, photographs and artifacts that relate to the abolitionist movement in Boston. This website includes a range of materials from the first antislavery tract published in America, The Selling of Joseph by Samuel Sewall, (printed in New England in 1700) to a broadsheet with William Nell's tribute in December 1865 to last issue of The Liberator (the country's leading abolitionist newspaper).

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

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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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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