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Religion and Social Movements

The Boston Slave Riot of 1854

The Boston slave riot of 1854 was a contest for the soul of Boston in which slavery supporters won the battle but lost the war. An angry mob of abolitionists tried to free a captured slave and failed, but the ...

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The Great New England Earthquake of 1663

The Great New England Earthquake of 1663 collapsed walls and frightened colonists from Quebec City to New York, but Puritan ministers and Jesuit priests saw a silver lining: People flocked to church in the immediate aftermath. No one had much ...

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Abby Kelley Shakes Up Seneca Falls

Abby Kelley came to Seneca Falls, N.Y., in 1843 and turned the town upside down. Day after day she delivered passionate speeches against slavery and for women’s rights. She wasn’t allowed to speak in the churches, so she spoke in ...

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Elizabeth Peabody, Always a Bridesmaid…

In 1832, a young widower named Horace Mann moved into a Boston boardinghouse where he met two intellectual schoolteachers from Salem, Mary and Elizabeth Peabody. They were sisters. Mary fell in love with Horace Mann at first sight. But Mary ...

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The Nantucket Childhood of Lucretia Mott

Lucretia Mott was considered by many of her contemporaries to be the greatest woman of the 19th century. A Quaker minister shaped by her Nantucket upbringing, she was one of the earliest advocates of women’s rights and an uncompromising abolitionist. ...

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