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French- and Spanish-speaking miners posted this notice around Sonora County, California in May, 1850. The month before, the California legislature had passed a Foreign Miners’ Tax that required immigrant miners to pay $20 every month for the privilege of mining in the state. In reality, the tax was only collected from non-white miners, while…

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Item Type: Pamphlet/Petition
Date: Circa 1850

Within months of statehood, the California legislature passed the Foreign Miner’s Tax, which required immigrant miners to pay $20 a month for the privilege of mining in the state. The unbearably high tax drove many Latin American miners back to their home countries. Immigrant miners who stayed organized protests in Sonora County. Business…

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Item Type: Newspaper/Magazine
Date: Circa 1850

In 1848 a group of 300 women and men, organized by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, met in Seneca Falls, New York to outline a list of demands for women’s equality. The Declaration of Sentiments, modeled on the U.S. Declaration of Independence, included a list of grievances directed at the male-led government. It was signed by…

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Item Type: Pamphlet/Petition
Date: 1848

The Lowell textile factories, and the boarding houses where they required their female workers to live, had strict rules. The women accepted these rules and even helped enforce them.

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Item Type: Pamphlet/Petition
Date: 1846

Born on a Vermont farm, Sarah Rice left home at age 17 to make it on her own. Eventually she journeyed to Masonville, Connecticut to work in textile mills much like those of Lowell. Rice's first letter was written after she had been weaving in the factory for about four weeks. Her second letter was written after about nine months of mill life.

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Item Type: Diary/Letter
Date: 1845

In 1841, English author Charles Dickens toured the United States. Dickens was known for his sympathetic depictions of the poor and working-class residents of English cities. However, American Notes, which he wrote about his time in the U.S. attacked nearly every aspect of American life.

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Item Type: Book (excerpt)
Date: 1842

The Lowell Offering was a magazine written by the young women who worked in the Lowell textile mills. It was published from 1840 to 1845. The magazine was supported by the city’s textile companies, and it promoted morality and hard work among the young female workers. This song appeared in the Lowell Offering.

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Item Type: Music/Song
Date: 1841

Starting in the 1820s, a group of business owners built textile mills in New England, where for the first time, people could use machines to weave cotton into cloth. The first factories recruited women from rural New England as their labor force. These young women, far from home, lived in boardinghouses next to the mills. In 1834 and 1836, the mill…

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Item Type: Music/Song
Date: Circa 1836

Starting in the 1820s, a group of business owners built textile mills in New England, where for the first time, people could use machines to weave cotton into cloth. The first factories recruited women from rural New England as their labor force. Most of these young women viewed mill work as a temporary stage in live, a way to escape the limits of…

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Item Type: Diary/Letter
Date: Circa 1830

Massachusetts shoemaker Sylvanus Wood served the Patriot cause in the American Revolution in a variety of ways. He fought as a Minuteman at the battle of Lexington and Concord, served three tours of duty in the Continental army, and made shoes for Continental soldiers. After the Revolution Wood became a farmer, and in 1830 he submitted an…

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Item Type: Government Document
Date: 1830