“This is an age of radical and rabid iconoclasm…”

The Crispus Attucks Statue on Boston Common

The Crispus Attucks Statue on Boston Common

iconMob or Martyrs? Crispus Attucks and the Boston Massacre” was originally published in The Bostonian in March 1896.  The author, Franklin Moses, reflects on the constantly changing views of Crispus Attucks, and some of the reasons why the account of what happened changed over the first hundred years of the United States.  In Moses’ view, having a statue to Crispus Attucks on Boston Common was an ill-conceived idea.

In 1851, William C. Nell successfully petitioned the Massachusetts State Legislature to appropriate $1,500 to erect a statue to Crispus Attucks on Boston Common.  The petition presents a completely different view from the one in Moses’ article.

This is a fascinating thread through our local and national history.  It is an interesting inquiry for students too.

How has our view of Crispus Attucks changed over time? What does Moses’ article say about his own time? What do you think?

The “What Ever Happened to…” Project

We’re excited to announce a new venture aimed at integrating the efforts of high schools, historical societies and anyone interested in local history. A collaboration of these institutions and interested people in Essex County will help curate documentary evidence and pictures pertaining to a range of topics.  We’re starting with Essex County simply because it is closest to us geographically.  Phase one of our search begins with two areas that we have already made a great deal of progress on: Slave Gravestones, and Child Apprentices in the Colonial Era.  (Later we will be looking at One Room School Houses, “Ten-Footer” Shoe Shops, and Poorhouses & Workhouses). Are you interested in being a part of this digital document collaboration?  Click on the projects below, and join us.

Children "Bound Out"
Children “Bound Out”: 
The social mobility of apprenticed, bound-out children in their respective Essex County communities
Slave Gravestones & Epitaphs
Slave Gravestones & Epitaphs
: The stories of these people during and after their lives as slaves

Boston Overseers of the Poor

Eighteenth-Century Records of the Boston Overseers of the Poor Called “the documentary record of the most comprehensive public approach to the relief of poverty in colonial and revolutionary America”, The Eighteenth Century Records of the Boston Overseers of the Poor, edited by Eric G. Nellis and Anne Decker Cecere, is the basis for this online, interactive exhibit.

Social History of Postcards

Students at Beverly High School investigated the many uses of postcards over time, dividing them into categories of landscapes, houses, businesses, churches, and civic depictions. Also, stop by our Historical Beverly Postcards and Images collection, … [Continue reading]

Newton High School in 1973

In the spring of 1973, a group of photography students at Newton High School took pictures around the campus of the school. This was during the last few months of Newton High School before it was demolished to make way for Newton North High School, … [Continue reading]