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Herb - social history for every classroom

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Daughters of Free Men Viewer's Guide

This booklet is curriculum support for the American Social History Project's 30-minute documentary Daughters of Free Men. The viewer's guide contains background information on issues raised by the documentary as well as additional primary source [...]

Tags: Lowell
Item Type: Viewer's Guide
Telling the Whole Story Worksheets

These worksheets help students gather evidence from the Five Points census database. Students then compare their data with prevailing 19th century stereotypes of Irish immigrants and conclude whether or not they were accurate. These worksheets are [...]

Item Type: Worksheet
Graph of U.S. Unemployment Rate, 1930-1945

The unemployment rate rose sharply during the Great Depression and reached its peak at the moment Franklin D. Roosevelt took office. As New Deal programs were enacted, the unemployment rate gradually lowered. Virtually full employment was achieved [...]

Table of Black and White Tenant Farmer Unemployment Rates, 1931-1932

The hard times of the Great Depression were even harder for African Americans, who were often the “last hired and first fired.” Particularly hard hit were black domestic workers (mostly female) and black tenant farmers (mostly male), [...]

Rosie the Riveter Leaves the Industrial Workplace

While government planners and factory owners assumed that women’s industrial work during World War II would last only as long as the war lasted, many of the women had other ideas. After the war ended, despite their new skills, they found [...]

A South Carolina Landowner Attempts to Indenture a Free Child

When slavery ended, southern landowners attempted to establish a labor system that would pay freedpeople low wages and keep them under strict control. One method of accomplishing this was through indenture contracts for African-American children who [...]

A Southern Planter Argues that "the Negro Will Not Work"

After the Civil War Confederate leaders and planters argued that their lands, taken (confiscated) by the Union army or abandoned during the war, should be returned to them. Those who wanted freedmen to take over and farm the lands pointed to the [...]

A Mill Girl Explains Why She Is Leaving Factory Life

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 [...]

Item Type: Diary/Letter
A Spanish-Language Newspaper Calls for an End of "Disagreeable Migration" to the U.S.

Lands and mines cannot produce wealth without labor. Anglo-American mine owners, plantation managers and ranchers recruited Mexican and Mexican-American workers as a cheap source of labor. The western economy depended on the constant northward flow [...]

An Apprentice's Indenture Contract (with text supports)

Many English settlers arrived in the colonies as indentured servants. Because poor men and women could not afford the cost of travel to North America, they bound themselves for four to seven years’ labor in return for passage across the [...]

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