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Introduction || Timelines || Primary Sources || Featured Organizations || Featured Teachers || Sample Lessons || Research Questions and Biographical Notes || Curriculum Resources || Website Links || Curriculum Frameworks



Aptheker, Herbert. A Documentary History of the Negro People in the United States. New York: Citadel Press, (1969).

______One Continual Cry: David Walker's Appeal, 1829 to 1839. New York: Humanities Press, (1965).

Brewer, William M. John Russwurm. Journal of Negro History, Vol. XIII, (1928).

Chickering, Jesse. A Statistical View of the Population of Massachusetts from 1765 to 1840. Rare Book: available in the Library of Congress (LOC). Microfilm 46702 HA.

Davis, Gerald Nelson. Massachusetts Blacks and the Quest for Education: 1638 to 1860. Unpublished: Dissertation thesis from University of Massachusetts, (June 1977).

Douglass, Frederick. The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, Written by Himself. (ed. by Genevieve S. Gary). New York: Gosset and Dunlap, (1970).

______My Bondage and My Freedom. New York: Dover Press, (1969).

Farr, Francine and Lee Rand Burns. A Diary of the Visits of Frederick Douglass on Nantucket Island in the Years 1841, 1842, 1843, 1850, and 1885. Boston: The Museum of Afro-American History and the Nantucket Athenaeum, (1991).

Greene, Lorenzo. The Negro in Colonial New England. Port Washington: Kennikat Press, (1942).

Mason, Julian D. (ed.) The poems of Phillis Wheatley. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, (1989).

Moore, George. Notes on the History of Slavery in Massachusetts. New York: D. Appleton, (1866). Rare Book.

Nell, William Cooper. The Colored Patriots of the American Revolution. (reprint of 1855 edition). New York: Arno Press, (1968).

US Bureau of the Census. A Century of Population Growth in the United States: 1790 to 1900. Washington, DC: Census Bureau, (1909), pp.158-161.


Boston Primary School Committee. Report to the Primary School Committee, June 15, 1846, on the petition of sundry colored persons, for the abolition of the schools for colored children. With the city solicitor's opinion. Boston: J.H. Eastburn, city printer, (1846).

______Report of a Special committee of the Grammar school board, presented August 29, 1849, on the petition of sundry colored persons, praying for the abolition of the Smith school; with an appendix. Boston: J.H. Eastburn, (1849).

______Report of the minority of the Committee upon the petitions of John T. Hilton and others, colored citizens of Boston, praying for the abolition of the Smith School, and that colored children may be permitted to attend the other schools of the city. Submitted by Charles Theo. Russell, at a meeting of the School Committee of Boston, holden August 29th, 1849. Printed by order of the School Committee. Boston: E.J. Eastburn, (1849).

Brown, Lois (ed.) Memoir of James Jackson: The Attentive and Obedient Scholar, Who Died in Boston, October 31, 1833, Aged Six Years and Eleven Months, By his Teacher, Miss Susan Paul. Harvard University Press: Cambridge, (2000).

Colored Citizens of Boston. Triumph of equal school rights in Boston : proceedings of the presentation meeting held in Boston, Dec. 17, 1855 : including addresses by John T. Hilton, Wm. C. Nell, Charles W. Slack, Wendell Phillips, Wm. Lloyd Garrison, Charles Lennox Remond. Boston : R.F. Wallcut, (1856).

Daniels, John. In Freedom's Birthplace. New York: Arno Press, (1969).

Dargo, George. "The Sarah Roberts Case in Historical Perspective," The Long Road to Justice. Justice George Lewis Ruffin Society: Boston (2000).

Hayden, Robert. The African Meeting House in Boston: A Celebration of History. Boston:Museum of Afro-American History, (1987).

Handlin, Oscar. Boston's Immigrants: A Study in Acculturation. Cambridge: Belknap Press, (1979).

Levy, Leonard W. and Douglas Lee Jones (eds.). Jim Crow in Boston; the origin of the separate but equal doctrine. New York: Da Capo Press, (1974).

Sumner, Charles. Argument of Charles Sumner against the constitutionality of separate schools, in the case of Sarah C. Roberts vs. the city of Boston, before the Supreme Court of Massachusetts, December 4, 1849. Boston: Benjamin Roberts (pub. 1850).

Schultz, Stanley K. The Culture Factory: Boston Public Schools, 1789-1860. New York: Oxford University Press, (1973).


Byers, Edward. The Nation of Nantucket: Society and Politics in an Early American Commercial Center1600-1820. Boston: Northeastern University Press, (1987).

Foster, Stephen S. An Original Stereotyped Edition of The Brotherhood of Thieves; or a True Picture of the American Church and Clergy (A Letter to Nathaniel Barney of Nantucket).

Boston: Anti-Slavery Office (1844). Rare Book available at the Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS) or the Nantucket Historical Association (NHA).

Johnson, Robert (ed.). African-Americans and Cape Verdeans on Nantucket: An Anthology on Race, Politics, and Community. Unpublished: Compilation of Ames Papers. Date of Publication: TBA.

Kaldenbach-Montemayor, Isabel. Absalom Boston and the Development of Nantucket's African-American Community. Unpublished: Ames Paper.

Leach, Robert and Peter Gow. Quaker Nantucket: The Religious Community Behind the Whaling Community. Nantucket: Mill Hill Press, (1997).

Pierce, Cyrus. An Address to the Inhabitants of Nantucket on Education and Free Schools. Providence: Knowles, Vose & Co. (1838). Rare book located in the Massachusetts Historical Society.

Saillant, John. Before Douglass: Racism and Nationalism in Nantucket's Newspapers in the Early Republic. Unpublished: Ames Paper.

White, Barbara Linebaugh. The African School and the Integration of Nantucket Public Schools: 1825-1847. African American Studies Center: Boston University (1978, 1997).

Juvenile Literature
[age appropriate supplemental literature for students K - 12]

Blacks in American History; Volume 1, Through 1877. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Globe Book Co., (1989) [Grades 7 -12].

Frederick Douglass: Fighter for Freedom. Peterborough, NH: Cobblestone, (1989).

Bond, Carol Taylor. A Book of famous Black Americans: Complete units for teachers of children ages 4 -8. Mt. Rainer, MD: Gryphon House, (1989). [Grades K - 3].

Bullard, Pamela and Judith Stoia. The Hardest Lesson: Personal accounts of a school desegregation crisis. Boston: Little, Brown, (1980). [account of 1970s - for comparison to 1840s].

Halliburton, Warren J. Historic Speeches of African Americans. New York: F. Watts, (1993).

Jensen, Marilyn. Phillis Wheatley: Negro Slave of Mr. John Wheatley of Boston. Scarsdale, NY: Lion Books, (1987).

Johnston, Johanna. Harriet and the Runaway Book: The Story of Harriet Beecher Stowe and Uncle Tom's Cabin. New York: Harper & Row, (1977).

Lyons, Mary E. Letters from a Slave Girl: The Story of Harriet Jacobs. New York: Scribner, (1992). [FICTION]

McCurdy, Michael (ed.) Escape From Slavery: The Boyhood of Frederick Douglass in His Own Words. New York: Knopf, (1994). [Revised, edited (shortened), and illustrated version of Frederick Douglass' 1845 narrative].

Meltzer, Milton. All Times, All Peoples: A World History of Slavery. New York: Harper & Row, (1980).

Myers, Walter Dean. Now is Your Time! The African-American Struggle for Freedom. New York: HarperCollins, (1991).

Palmer, Colin A. The First Passage: Blacks in the Americas, 1520 - 1617. New York: Oxford University Press, (1995). [helpful when linking Massachusetts to the Caribbean].

Pederson, Jay P. and Kenneth Edtell (eds.). African American Almanac {Vol. 1- History; Vol. 2 - Society; Vol. 3 - Culture}. Detroit: U X L, (1994).

Richmond, Merle A. Phillis Wheatley. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, (1987).

Curriculum Materials

Amistad America, Inc., Learn 2000, Connecticut Historical Society, Voices of Freedom: Amistad Curriculum. ,Guide contains valuable lessons K-12. Sailing school vessel and school programs on Amistad, maritime history through Mystic Seaport, PO Box 6000, Mystic, CT 06355. Tel 860-536-6003. Whaling vessel Charles Morgan also available for school programs.

Discovery Enterprise, Ltd. Carlisle, MA 01741: plays about Phillis Wheatley, Frederick Douglass, and nderground Railroad; Perspectives on History Series, primary sources on Underground Railroad.

Five College Public School Partnership, 97 Spring St., Amherst, MA 01002. Witness to Freedom Project. October 1999. Primary Sources on Abolition, guide for teachers.

Jackdaw No A30.on Slavery in the United States. Jackdaw Publications, PO Box 503, Amawalk, NY 10501. Includes primary sources, reproducible masters and teaching guide, originally 1975, reprint 2000.

Kendall Whaling Museum, Sharon MA 02067. Exhibits, research library, school programs, including blacks and whaling. Two educational guides by Mary Malloy, African Americans in the Maritime Trades: A Guide to Resources in New England (1990); and From Boston We Set Sail, African Americans in the Maritime Trades (1993), Reproductions of images, documents in handsome collection of portraits of ships, sailors, letters, songs, connected with African Americans, with teacher notes.

Museum of Afro American History: Sourcebook on the African Meeting House by Margaret Drew (out of print ñavailable at libraries) Information on Meeting House as center for religious, educational and political activities; transcriptions of primary sources, biographical sketches included.

National Council for the Social Studies, Washington, DC 20016 in conjunction with WGBH series, produced a special section in Social Education, "Africans in America: Re-Exploring Early American History", which contains articles by noted historians and exemplary teachers, including teaching ideas and sample lesson plan using primary sources.

Primary Source, Watertown, MA 02172; This non-profit center for multicultural and global education offers professional development and curriculum development resources to teachers and school communities. They have produced Making Freedom: five history sourcebooks on Teacher Institute projects and papers on African American history, including Massachusetts topics.

The Justice George Louis Ruffin Society, Long Road to Justice: The African American Experience in the Massachusetts Courts. Developed by Primary Source, 2000. This Teachers Guide is a companion to the traveling exhibit, Long Road to Justice, which contains copies of the primary sources in the exhibit, with background readings, pre and post-visit activities and Bibliography.

Tradition and Reform: Four Centuries of Education in Massachusetts. (1993) by Barbara D. Robinson. An interdisciplinary guide for educators, this resource will provide teachers and students with a broad understanding of the progression of education in Massachusetts, from its inception to more current developments. Available through the Commonwealth Museum, 220 Morrissey Blvd. Boston, MA 02125.

WGBH series on Africans in America produced for public television in 1999:

The Africans in America Teacher Guide is available from WGBH at Educational Print and Outreach, Boston, MA 02134. Excellent web site at

Also contact Educational Print and Outreach for WGBH Video on Nantucket School story, "Rock of Changes":


Guy Peartree, Stories are Tellin, Jamaica Plain, Boston, MA 02130. 617-522-0032

  • "Frederick Douglass, 1817-1895". William Craft 1827-1890s. Presentations at schools and Old Sturbridge Village.
  • Merrill Kohlhofer, 44 Beaver St., Salem, MA 019970, 978-745-6505;

  • "North to Freedom: The Story of Levi Coffin" (Underground railroad, slavery). School and library visits. 
  • Davis, Ossie. Escape to Freedom: A Play about young Frederick Douglass. New York: Viking Press, (1978).

    Kamerman, Sylvia E. (ed.) Plays of Black Americans: Episodes from the Black experience in America, dramatized for young people. Boston: Plays, Inc., (1987).


    © Massachusetts Studies Project 1997 - 2002