Social History for Every Classroom

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Social History for Every Classroom

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A Northern Teacher Finds Eager Students and Threatening Neighbors

Edmonia Highgate, the daughter of freed slaves, grew up and was educated in New York. She was part of a wave of northern reformers who traveled south as the Civil War was still ongoing to set up schools for freedpeople, both adults and children. In [...]

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 [...]

Freedmen Defend Their School Against a Mob

The majority of schools for freedmen were established and run by freedmen, not by Northern reformers. Despite great logistical challenges—a scattered population, few resources to draw upon—Freedmen’s Bureau agents reported that emancipated [...]

Federal Agents Offer Solutions for "Solving the Sioux Problem"

Native American warriors in the 19th century attacked the various people and institutions that threatened their way of life on the Great Plains. As these reports from various federal agents, including the Commissioner of Indian Affairs and General [...]

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
John Adams Explains Why Women Should Not Be Able to Vote (with text supports)

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 why [...]

John Adams Explains Why Men Without Property Should Not Be Able to Vote (with text supports)

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 why [...]

A 49er Writes Home from the Gold Rush

Many miners wrote letters home to family and friends describing their experiences in California. In this letter, Robert Pitkin describes the tensions between American-born and Chinese immigrant miners.

A 49er Writes Home from the Gold Rush (with text supports)

Many miners wrote letters home to family and friends describing their experiences in California. In this letter, Robert Pitkin describes the tensions between American-born and Chinese immigrant miners.

A Boardinghouse Keeper Describes “Toil and Fatigue” in the California Gold Rush

Mary Ballou and her husband ran a boarding house in a California gold mining town. Ballou’s letter to her son, written in 1852, evokes the rough housing, violence, and high prices (from which the Ballous profited) in California during the gold [...]

Tags: Gold Rush
Item Type: Diary/Letter

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