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John Adams Argues for Limited Suffrage
Writing to his friend, James Sullivan, who was a member of the Massachusetts General Court, Adams sets forth his arguments against giving women, children, and property-less men the right to vote.
Martin Luther King Speaks Out Against Injustice
These two letters from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., composed four years apart, provide insight into the evolution of King's struggle against injustice. In the excerpt from "Letter from Birmingham Jail," written following King's arrest at a peaceful [...]
African-American Women Threaten a Bus Boycott in Montgomery
This letter from the Women's Political Council to the Mayor of Montgomery, Alabama, threatens a bus boycott by the city's African Americans if demands for fair treatment are not met.
A Grassroots Civil Rights Activist Wants to "Wake Our People Up"
Though civil rights workers in Mississippi have often been characterized as young college students, both black and white, from out-of-state, the hard work of bringing potential voters to polls was usually done by local black Mississippians of all [...]
John Adams Explains Why People Without Property 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 [...]
Bayard Rustin Explains Car Pools in the Montgomery Bus Boycott
African-American civil rights activist Bayard Rustin advised Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., on the Montgomery bus boycott. In this excerpt from his diary, Rustin describes how the city's black residents found ways to get to and from work without [...]
African-American Women Threaten a Bus Boycott in Montgomery (with text supports)
In May 1954, the Women's Political Council of Montgomery, Alabama wrote a letter to the Mayor of Montgomery asking for changes that would make the city’s public bus system treat African-American riders with more fairness. The Women’s [...]
A Committee of Freedmen on Edisto Island Reveal Their Expectations
This letter was written by a group of freedmen to the Commissioner of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Land (known as the Freedmen’s Bureau). The freedmen were from Edisto Island, South Carolina, an area that came under Union [...]
Angelina Grimke Argues for Women's Political Rights
In this letter Angelina Grimke, abolitionist and women's rights advocate, argues for the right of propertied women to participate in government through petitions despite their lack of enfranchisement. This letter was a part of a series of essays [...]
Alexander Hamilton and John Laurens
During the Revolutionary War, Alexander Hamilton was a lieutenant colonel and George Washington's Aide-de-camp. He served with fellow soldier John Laurens directly alongside Washington. In 1779, two years into the war, Hamilton and Laurens parted [...]