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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

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John Adams Explains Why Women Should Not Be Able to Vote

James Sullivan, a state court judge in Massachusetts and colleague of John Adams, was often sympathetic to those who thought women and non-elite men should have a voice in the new nation’s government. Adams disagreed, explaining to Sullivan [...]

Virginians Petition to Prevent the Emancipation of Slaves

The spirit of the American Revolution inspired some slaveholders to manumit, or free, their slaves. In 1782, Virginia passed a law that allowed slaveholders to set slaves free in their wills, where before manumission required a special act of the [...]

Slaves Petition the Massachusetts Legislature (short version)

Throughout the revolutionary era, scores of slaves signed petitions that linked their demands for freedom with the cause of American independence. Below is the text of one such petition presented to the Massachusetts legislature.

Colonial Women Spin for Liberty

During the colonial period, colonists imported most of their manufactured goods. In 1767, the British government passed laws that required American colonists to pay taxes on imported goods from England. Many colonists responded by forming [...]

A Revolutionary Veteran Describes His Experience

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 [...]

Colonial Women Spin for Liberty (with text supports)

During the colonial period, colonists imported most of their manufactured goods. In 1767, the British government passed laws that required American colonists to pay taxes on imported goods from England. Many colonists responded by forming [...]

Liberty For All Voices worksheets

These worksheets help students complete the activity "Liberty for All: Voices from the Revolution." The worksheets feature shorter edits of the documents listed in the materials for the activity, pictures for each document, and space for students to [...]

Mission-US

Mission US is a multimedia project featuring free interactive adventure games set in different eras of U.S. history. The first game, Mission 1: "For Crown or Colony?," puts the player in the shoes of Nat Wheeler, a 14-year-old printer's apprentice [...]

Sarah Osborn Recalls Her Experiences in the Revolutionary War

Women participated actively in a variety of ways during the War for Independence; some even traveled with the Patriot army. Sarah Osborn was a servant in a blacksmith's household when she met and married Aaron Osborn, a Revolutionary war veteran, in [...]