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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

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A Black American Asks FDR to End Racial Inequalities in Federal Relief

Although Franklin D. Roosevelt never endorsed anti-lynching legislation and condoned discrimination against blacks in federally funded relief programs, he still won the hearts and the votes of many African Americans. Yet this support and even [...]

An American GI Opposes the War in Vietnam

In this letter to a close friend back in the United States, Douglas McCormac, a sergeant in the Special Forces, describes the economic corruption spreading through war-torn Vietnam.

Item Type: Diary/Letter
Abigail Adams Reminds John Adams to "Remember the ladies"

In this famous letter, Abigail Adams shares wartime news and opinions with her husband. Already planning for the war's successful conclusion, she admonishes him to consider the rights of women when developing laws for a newly independent nation.

John Adams Argues for Limited Suffrage

Writing to his friend, James Sullivan, who was a member of the Massachusetts General Court, Adams sets forth his arguments against giving women, children, and property-less men the right to vote.

Alexander Hamilton Endorses Arming Slaves for the Revolutionary Cause

In 1778, General George Washington was approached with an interesting proposal from Lt. Col. John Laurens of South Carolina. The war in the southern colonies was going badly, in part because of a shortage of troops. Laurens's solution was to raise a [...]

A South Carolina Planter Endorses Plans for a Black Regiment

South Carolina planter and merchant, Henry Laurens was one of the richest men in colonial America. He amassed a fortune through buying and selling African slaves. Before the American Revolution, over 40% of Africans who survived transport to the [...]

John Adams Answers Abigail's Plea to "Remember the Ladies"

In this letter, John Adams offers his wife Abigail information and opinions about the ongoing war, commentary on class divisions in the southern colonies, and a flirtatious dismissal of her earlier plea that the new nation provide suffrage for women.

A Planter Proposes A Slave Regiment in the Continental Army

In this letter, John Laurens asks his father, South Carolina slaveowner Henry Laurens, to give him several slaves in lieu of his inheritance, so that he can arm them to fight in the Continental army.

A Boston Woman Describes Life on the Revolutionary Homefront

Wartime conditions thrust new responsibilities upon American women. With many husbands absent, women assumed heightened responsibilities for managing family finances and operating family farms and shops. The correspondence between Lucy Knox and her [...]

A Colonial Governor Reports to Sir Walter Raleigh on the Natives of Virginia

In 1584, Queen Elizabeth I granted the rights to settle the Roanoke colony to Sir Walter Raleigh. Raleigh sent a fleet to investigate the area called Virginia that year. A group of colonists, led by Sir Richard Grenville, established a settlement in [...]

Item Type: Diary/Letter

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