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Sample Primary Sources

Sample Primary Source for A Revolution in Dorchester
Colonel Samuel Pierce kept a journal detailing daily life on his farm as well as important events in the Revolutionary War.
Sample Primary Source for Classic Times: Pompeii through Today
The interior of the Otis House Museum in Boston, Mass. reflects the neoclassical fervor that dominated style and design in Federal era Boston. These classically inspired plaster ornaments can be found on the dining room mantel.
Sample Primary Source for Colonial Trades: Making Community Work
In these pages from his account book, Colonel Samuel Pierce of Dorchester keeps track of the goods and services he traded with his brother, Edward Pierce between the years 1774-1776. (Historic New England Library & Archives)
Sample Primary Source for Deck the Walls
This notice for Ebenezer Clough's wallpaper manufactory on Cambridge Street in Boston, appeared in Samuel Bullard's Universal Almanack, in 1807 (Historic New England Library & Archives). In the advertisement, Clough promotes a new wallpaper design made to memorialize the recently deceased President Washington, and seeks new paperstainer's apprentices.
Sample Primary Source for Dirt Detectives
Historic maps, like this 1812 plan of The Farm, helped archaeologists determine the best places to begin their excavations.
Sample Primary Source for Family Ties at Quincy House
Inventory of The Josiah Quincy House, as recorded by Eliza Susan Quincy, 1879. Massachusetts Historical Society.
Sample Primary Source for Family Ties at Pierce House
Like many families, the Pierces saved documents that were important to members of their family, young and old. Antoinette Pierce received this diploma upon her graduation from the Harris Grammar School in Boston, in 1878.
Sample Primary Source for Fun & Games
A relative of the Littles having fun on the farm, circa 1910.
Sample Primary Source for Growing Up Little
Students examine objects like those owned by Frances Eliza Little (1890 - 1917) to learn about her life one-hundred years ago.
Sample Primary Source for Hats Off
A nineteenth-century hatmaker's shop.
Sample Primary Source for Hearthstones & Gravestones
The enormous hearth at the 1678 Coffin House was a hallmark of seventeenth-century homes.
Sample Primary Source for Hidden Treasures
This box of toys and games was owned by Ellen Brown Fayerweather during the mid-nineteenth century. (Historic New England Collection)
Sample Primary Source for In Search of a Story
Architectural changes to the Spencer-Peirce-Little house in the seventeenh, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries.
Sample Primary Source for Life in 1800
The interior of the Otis House Museum in Boston, Mass. reflects the neoclassical fervor that dominated style and design in Federal era Boston. These classically inspired plaster ornaments can be found on the dining room mantel.
Sample Primary Source for Life in 1800
The interior of the Otis House Museum in Boston, Mass. reflects the neoclassical fervor that dominated style and design in Federal era Boston. These classically inspired plaster ornaments can be found on the dining room mantel.
Sample Primary Source for Otis House Student Tour
Well-known artist Gilbert Stuart painted this portrait of Harrison Gray Otis in 1809. The painting now hangs on the wall of the Otis House dining room, and shows Mr. Otis holding a book while seated at a desk with papers and a quill pen. These objects indicated his high level of education and reflect work he would have done in his position at the time as President of the Massachusetts State Senate.
Sample Primary Source for Portraits!
Harrison Gray Otis may have kept this tiny portrait of his wife Sally with him as he travelled in his work has a politician. This portrait miniature was painted on ivory by the well known portraitist Edward Malbone in 1804. For those who could afford them, portrait miniatures served much the same purpose that snapshot photographs do today.
Sample Primary Source for Shipboard Life
Examples of Whalemen Scrimshaws, engravings on whale teeth and whalebone.
Sample Primary Source for The Case of the Empty House
The Codman family and visitors on the porch of Codman House. c. 1890. Photograph by Dorothy or Tom Codman. (Historic New England, Codman Family Photograph Collection)
Sample Primary Source for Unknown Hands: Everyday Life of Bostonians in 1800
This illustration of an oyster vendor reflects the type of tradespeople who lived in Boston's Beacon Hill neighborhood around the year 1800.
Sample Primary Sources