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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

  • Historical Eras > Revolution and New Nation (1751-1815) (x)

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Anne Green (circa 1720-1775)

Anne Green, one of a small number of women in the colonial printing trade, became publisher of the Maryland Gazette after the death of her husband in 1767. She was later appointed the official printer of documents for the colony of Maryland. This [...]

Item Type: Painting
Joseph Brandt

In 1786, while Gilbert Stuart was in London, the Duke of Northumberland commissioned him to paint this portrait of Joseph Brandt, a Mohawk military leader decorated by the British whose given name was Thayendanegea. As depicted by Stuart, Brandt [...]

18th-Century Runaway Slave Advertisements

These newspaper advertisements seeking runaway slaves offer interesting details about the individual lives of eighteenth-century slaves and their masters.

Runaway Slave Advertisement from Revolutionary Virginia

After Virginia's royal governor, Lord Dunmore, promised freedom to indentured servants and slaves who would escape and serve in the British forces, newspapers printed numerous advertisements for runaways whose owners suspected them of responding to [...]

Massachusetts Anti-Federalists Oppose the Three-Fifths Compromise

The ratification of the United States Constitution was the subject of intense debate between 1787 and 1789. One particularly controversial issue was the Three Fifths Compromise, which settled how enslaved people would be counted for purposes of [...]

An English Philosopher Explains Why Slavery Intensifies Southerners' Desire for Liberty

In this essay excerpt, British political philosopher and member of Parliament Edmund Burke explains that the existence of slavery in the southern colonies helps to intensify the "fierce spirit of liberty" among white residents who recognize [...]

"Am I Not a Man and a Brother?"

This medallion was created by Josiah Wedgwood, a British ceramics maker and abolitionist, around 1787. The image of the kneeling slave in chains asking "Am I Not a Man and a Brother?" became an international symbol of the abolitionist movement. The [...]

An Scottish Explorer Discovers a Northwest Passage

Alexander Mackenzie was an English explorer in North America who discovered a Northwest Passage through Canada to the Pacific in 1793. Although praised for his efforts, the route he mapped out was too difficult to sustain real trade or further [...]

A British Print Satirizes "A Society of Patriotic Ladies"

During the revolutionary era, cheap prints depicting current events were in demand in both England and the colonies. This 1775 British print presented a scene in Edenton, North Carolina, where fifty-one women had signed a declaration in support of [...]

Tags: Boycotts
Item Type: Cartoon
A Fight Breaks Out Among Early Congressmen

The early Congress was an occasionally volatile experiment in Democracy, as this somewhat crude 1798 cartoon demonstrates. On February 15 of that year, an insult uttered by Rep. Roger Griswold of Connecticut directed to Rep. Matthew Lyon of Vermont [...]