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A White Californian Argues for Indian Indenture (with text supports)
White Californians complained that the new American government, which took over California after the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo in May 1848, was not doing enough to control and regulate Indian labor. In the chaos of the Mexican War, many Indian [...]
A Mill Girl Explains Why She Is Leaving Factory Life (with text supports)
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 [...]
Lessons in Looking: The Lowell Offering Worksheet
This worksheet helps students to analyze and interpret the meaning of an image that appeared on the cover of The Lowell Offering in 1845. The Lowell Offering was a monthly magazine written by the young women who worked in the Lowell textile mills [...]
A Mill Girl Tells Her Story of Work (with text supports)
Lucy Larcom worked in the mills of Lowell as a young woman. Forty years later, she described her experiences in her book An Idyl of Work. She dedicated the book "to working women."
"Song of the Spinners" (with text supports)
The Lowell Offering was a magazine written by the young women who worked in the Lowell textile mills. It was published from 1840 to 1845. The magazine was supported by the city’s textile companies, and it promoted morality and hard work among [...]
Lowell Strikers Sing (with text supports)
Starting in the 1820s, a group of business owners built textile mills in New England, where for the first time, people could use machines to weave cotton into cloth. The first factories recruited women from rural New England as their labor force. [...]
Latin American and French Miners Protest the Foreign Miner’s Tax (with text supports)
French- and Spanish-speaking miners posted this notice around Sonora County, California in May, 1850. The month before, the California legislature had passed a Foreign Miners’ Tax that required immigrant miners to pay $20 every month for the [...]
Daughters of Free Men Script Excerpts (with text supports)
The following excerpts are taken from the script for Daughters of Free Men, which was written by the American Social History Project.
A Former Lowell Girl Remembers Working in the Mills (with text supports)
Lucy Larcom worked in the mills at Lowell as a young woman. In her memoir, written more than forty years later, she remembered how she and other young female mill workers felt about their jobs.
Regulations of the Middlesex Company and Its Boarding Houses (with text supports)
The Lowell textile factories, and the boarding houses where they required their female workers to live, had strict rules. The women accepted these rules and even helped enforce them.