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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

  • Historical Eras > Antebellum America (1816-1860) (x)

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Regulations of the Middlesex Company and Its Boarding Houses

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.

Tags: Lowell
Regulations of the Middlesex Company and Its Boarding Houses (with text supports)

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.

A Former Mill Girl Remembers the Lowell Strike of 1836

Harriet Hanson Robinson began work in Lowell at the age of ten, later becoming an author and advocate of women's suffrage. In 1834 and 1836, the mill owners reduced wages, increased the pace of work, and raised the rent for the boardinghouses. The [...]

A Former Mill Girl Remembers the Lowell Strike of 1836 (with text supports)

Harriet Hanson Robinson began work in Lowell at the age of ten, later becoming an author and advocate of women's suffrage. In 1834 and 1836, the mill owners reduced wages, increased the pace of work, and raised the rent for the boardinghouses. The [...]

Young Women Ask Permission to Work in Lowell

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. [...]

Tags: Lowell
Item Type: Diary/Letter
Young Women Ask Permission to Work in Lowell (with text supports)

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. [...]

To Strike or Not to Strike worksheets

These worksheets help students plan their characters for the role play "To Strike or Not to Strikein 1830s Lowell." Also included is a rubric that students and teachers can use to evaluate the role play as it is performed.

Tags: Lowell
Item Type: Worksheet
Understanding the 1855 Census Database

This activity helps students navigate and make sense of the information available in the Five Points census database. In the activity, students use the database to test hypotheses about life and residents in the Five Points. For this activity, [...]

Slavery: Acts of Resistance

In this activity students compare an excerpt of a WPA interview with an ex-slave with a more famous statement by Frederick Douglass to arrive at their own interpretations of slave resistance. This lesson is designed to work with the film Doing As [...]

Running for Freedom: The Fugitive Slave Law and the Coming of the Civil War

This activity compares a runaway slave ad and an abolitionist poster to explore the causes and effects of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law. The law changed how many northerners viewed slavery and intensified conflicts that brought the nation closer to [...]

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