At a Glance


Investigate racial issues during and after the Civil War through letters, illustrations, and official documents.

American Antiquarian Society and Professor Lucia Knoles

Northern Visions of Race, Region, and Reform in the Press

This website brings together more than 200 letters, articles, official documents, and illustrations focused on issues of race and reform during and after the Civil War, including unpublished letters written by Northern women who taught freedmen in the South and letters written by their students. Many of the texts are presented in original (handwritten) format and transcription. The website is a combination exhibit, with introductory and explanatory text, and primary source archive.

Materials are available through two paths-through the "Primary Resource Index" or through three topics: "The Freedmen," "Freedmen's Education," and "At War's End" (not yet complete). Within each topic, there are four to seven subtopics, such as "The Emancipation Proclamation" and "Visions of Freedmen in Letters of Freedmen" and at least one subtopic has further subcategories. Each subtopic begins with introductory text, often several paragraphs in length, that provides background information as well as links to relevant documents. The site cautions that "some of the materials on this site are racially offensive." A search is available at the bottom of document pages, but the dedicated search page is not currently working. There are links to more than 100 additional online primary and secondary sources.