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Type of Item
A Summary View of the Rights of British America: Set Forth in Some Resolutions Intended for the Inspection of the Present Delegates of the People of Virginia, Now in Convention / by a Native, and Member of the House of Burgesses
This pamphlet is Thomas Jefferson’s personal copy of A Summary View of the Rights of British America, which he originally drafted in July 1774 as a set of instructions for the Virginia delegates to the first Continental Congress. Jefferson argued that the British Parliament had no rights to govern the colonies, which he claimed had been independent since their founding. He also described the usurpations of power and deviations from law committed by King George III and Parliament. Jefferson was not present in the Virginia House when his draft ...
Suffrage Parade, New York City, May 6, 1912
The suffrage parade was a new development in the fight for women’s suffrage in the United States. It was a bold tactic, adopted by suffragists and the more militant suffragettes shortly after the turn of the century. Although some women chose to quit the movement rather than march in public, others embraced the parade as a way of publicizing their cause and combating the idea that women should be relegated to the home. Parades often united women of different social and economic backgrounds. Because they were carried out in ...
Interposition Resolution by the Florida Legislature in Response to Brown v. Board of Education, 1957, with Handwritten Note by Florida Governor LeRoy Collins
In 1957, the Florida State Legislature passed a resolution in opposition to the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education, the Topeka, Kansas, case that ended legal segregation in public education. Racial segregation was originally found to be constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in the landmark Plessy v. Ferguson case in 1896. The decision laid the foundation for what became known as Jim Crow laws by declaring segregation legal if the facilities were “separate but equal.” The Brown decision removed that foundation, and many ...
Bill of Rights
During the debates on the adoption of the U.S. Constitution, its opponents charged that the Constitution as drafted would open the way to tyranny by the central government. Fresh in their minds was the memory of the British violation of civil rights before and during the Revolutionary War, so they demanded a "bill of rights" that would spell out the immunities of individual citizens. Several state conventions, in their formal ratification of the Constitution, asked for such amendments. Others ratified the Constitution with the understanding that the amendments would ...
Certificate of Ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution, Accompanied by Resolution and Transcript of the Journals of the Two Houses of the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee
The Nineteenth Amendment guarantees all American women the right to vote. The amendment was first introduced in Congress in 1878. Over the years, champions of voting rights pursued different strategies for achieving their goal. Some worked to pass suffrage acts in each state, and by 1912 nine western states had adopted woman suffrage legislation. Others challenged male-only voting laws in the courts. Suffragists also used tactics such as parades, silent vigils, and hunger strikes. Often supporters met fierce resistance as opponents heckled, jailed, and sometimes physically abused them. By 1916 ...
Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C.: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and Mathew Ahmann, Executive Director of the National Catholic Conference for Interracial Justice, in a Crowd
The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom took place in August 1963 and was the setting for the celebrated “I Have a Dream” speech by the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. A. Philip Randolph, a labor leader and founder of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, proposed a large march on the capital as a way of prodding Congress and the administration of President John F. Kennedy to act on civil rights. Others involved in its planning included King himself, National ...
Declaration of Intention of Maria von Trapp
Maria von Trapp became a household name in the United States when her story was turned into the 1959 Broadway musical The Sound of Music. She and her family previously had immigrated to the United States from their native Austria following the takeover of the country by Nazi Germany. This Declaration of Intention to become a U.S. citizen, submitted to the U.S. District Court in Burlington, Vermont, on January 21, 1944, sheds light on the real Maria von Trapp.
Treaty Between the Ottawa, Chippewa, Wyandot, and Potawatomi Indians
This document, also known as the Treaty of Detroit, was signed on November 17, 1807, by William Hull, governor of the territory of Michigan, and the chiefs, sachems, and warriors of four Indian tribes, the Ottawa, Chippewa, Wyandot, and Potawatomi. Under its terms, the tribes ceded to the United States a tract of land comprising roughly the southeast quarter of the lower peninsula of Michigan and a small section of Ohio north of the Maumee River. The tribes retained small tracts of land within this territory. Until Congress abolished the ...
Mary McLeod Bethune with a Line of Girls from the School
Mary McLeod Bethune was a pioneering American educator and civil rights leader. Born Mary Jane McLeod on July 10, 1875, in Mayesville, South Carolina, the daughter of former slaves, Bethune won scholarships to attend Scotia Seminary in Concord, North Carolina (now Barber-Scotia College), and the Institute for Home and Foreign Missions in Chicago (now the Moody Bible Institute). In 1904, she moved to Daytona Beach, Florida, to found her own school. Her one-room school house became the Daytona Normal and Industrial School for Negro Girls before merging with Cookman Institute ...
Confrontation Between Black Demonstrators and Segregationists at a "White Only" Beach
This photograph documents one episode in the struggle over civil rights that raged throughout the American South in the early 1960s. In the summer of 1964, national civil rights leaders hoped to push for integration of public areas in St. Augustine, Florida, including its bathing beaches. An especially violent confrontation over public access occurred on June 25, when white men attacked blacks on Butler Beach in defiance of the police, who were trying to keep the groups apart. The confrontation drew the attention of national civil rights leaders such as ...
Haitian Refugee Boat on the Beach at the Naval Station Key West
This image, taken by Key West photographer Cory McDonald in the 1970s, shows one of countless vessels abandoned by “boat people” from Haiti after they completed the perilous journey to the United States. An accompanying note indicates that the boat had had 52 people on it, and that the photograph was taken at sunrise after a nighttime arrival. Since the beginning of the François Duvalier (“Papa Doc”) regime in 1964, political and economic pressures drove many Haitians out of their country and to the United States. The United States Immigration ...
Cuban Refugee Breaks Down Upon his Arrival at Key West, Florida from Mariel, Cuba During the Mariel Boatlift
The Mariel Boatlift was a mass exodus of Cubans from Mariel Port on the island of Cuba to Florida between April and November 1980. Departure by boat was permitted by the Castro government after several years of improving relations between Cuba and the United States under President Jimmy Carter, a period that coincided with a severe downturn in the Cuban economy. Perhaps as many as 125,000 Cubans made the journey to Florida on overcrowded craft of varying size and seaworthiness. Political opinion in the United States began to turn ...
Articles about the Transfer of New Netherland on the 27th of August, Old Style, Anno 1664
On August 27, 1664, a fleet of four British warships under the command of Colonel Richard Nicolls sailed into the harbor of New Amsterdam (present-day New York City) and demanded that Peter Stuyvesant, the director-general of the Dutch colony of New Netherland, surrender the colony to the British. The out-gunned Stuyvesant had no choice but to comply, and under English rule Nicolls became the first governor of the renamed Province of New York. This document lists the articles of capitulation by which the colony was surrendered and that established the ...
Freedoms, as Given by the Council of the Nineteen of the Chartered West India Company to All those who Want to Establish a Colony in New Netherland
The Lords Nineteen, the governing body of the Dutch West India Company, established the patroon system as a way to encourage the settlement of New Netherland, the Dutch colony in North America that covered parts of present-day New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Delaware. Patroons were wealthy Dutchmen who were given extensive tracts of land, powers of local government, and some participation in the fur trade in exchange for settling colonists in New Netherland. In June 1629, the West India Company issued the Charter of Liberties and Exemptions, which declared ...
The Book of the City of Ladies
Christine de Pisan (circa 1364–1430) was born in Italy and came to France at the age of four with her father. Arguably the first woman in Europe to earn a living as an author, she is widely regarded as an early feminist who spoke out for the rights of women and espoused female achievement. She wrote poems and prose texts that were often allegorical and philosophical and that reflected her own original and engaged personality. She prepared the books with the aid of copyists and illuminators and offered them ...
Poster from the First Postwar General Election
The first general election in Japan after World War II was held on April 10, 1946, in Showa 21 (Showa years number the regnal years of Emperor Hirohito, starting in 1926). This was also the first election to be carried out after the electoral law reforms of December 17, 1945 (Showa 20), which granted all men and women aged 20 years and above the right to vote. This election poster includes text by the female author Ikuta Hanayo (1888–1970) and calls upon women to cast their votes. The voters ...