Champlain Exploring the Canadian Wilderness

Credit: Library of Congress Media type: engraving Museum Number: LC-USZ62-3019 Annotation: This print shows Samuel de Champlain and two companions looking at a river as Indians carry the canoes to the shore. Born in the small Atlantic port of Brouage around 1580 to a Protestant family (although he became a Catholic), Samuel de Champlain fought in Henri IV’s army…

Pocahontas (Reproduction of 1616 Original)

Credit: Library of Congress Media type: engraving Museum Number: LC-D416-18753 Annotation: This image is taken from a painting made of the Native American woman popularly known as Pocahontas, from a painting by William Sheppard. The portrait is dated 1616, coinciding with her only voyage to England in June of that year. The image is one of two strikingly similar…

A Noblewoman of Pomeiock

Credit: Library of Congress Rare Book and Special Collections Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA Media type: engraving Description: English: Native woman of Pomeiock carrying a clay vessel, and her daughter holding a doll and a rattle. Museum Number: LC-USZ62-76084 Year: 1590

Exercises of the Youths

Credit: Library of Congress Media type: engraving Museum Number: LC-USZ62-37992 Annotation: This engraving shows native youths shooting arrows, throwing balls at target placed atop tall pole, and running races. Year: 1591

The First Americans

Epistola . . . de Insulis Indie nuper inventis (Letter Concerning the Islands Recently Discovered. . . .); wrtitten by Christopher Columbus, 1492

Credit: Library of Congress Media type: print Museum Number: Annotation: After his first transatlantic voyage, Christopher Columbus sent an account of his encounters in the Americas to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain. Several copies of his manuscript were made for court officials, and a transcription was published in April 1493. This Latin translation by Leandro de…

Gravestone of William Dickson

Credit: University of New Hampshire Media type: gravestone Museum Number: Annotation: William Dickson gravestone Year: 1692

Frontispiece, Saducismus Triumphatus: Or Full and Plain Evidence Concerning Witches and Apparitions

Credit: Library of Congress Media type: engraving Museum Number: 11015941 Annotation: Fearing that a decline in the belief of malevolent spirits and witches which were believed to plague humanity would lead to the ultimate demise of Christianity, English clergyman and philosopher Joseph Glanville wrote the Saducismus Triumphatus as an attempt to prove the existence of the supernatural by scientific…

Landing of Columbus

Credit: Architect of the Capitol Media type: painting Museum Number: Annotation: Vanderlyn, Landing of Columbus Year: 1847

Portrait of Christopher Columbus

Credit: Library of Congress Media type: photograph Museum Number: Annotation: Black and white portrait of Christopher Columbus.

Colonial Era

The Eliakim Hayden Stone

Credit: Wesleyan University Press Media type: gravestone Museum Number: Annotation: Eliakam Hayden grave in Essex, CT, 1797 Year: 1797

Liberty (in the Form of the Goddess of Youth; Giving Support To the Bald Eagle)

Credit: Library of Congress Media type: engraving Museum Number: LC-USZ62-15369 Annotation: This image depicts an allegory of American liberty. Liberty is represented by a young woman in a windblown diaphanous dress and garlanded with flowers in the form of the goddess Hebe, who is offering a cup to a swooping eagle, symbol of the proud new nation, descending from…

The Statue of Freedom

Credit: Architect of the Capitol Media type: statue Museum Number: Annotation: The bronze Statue of Freedom by Thomas Crawford is the crowning feature of the dome of the United States Capitol. The statue is a classical female figure of Freedom wearing flowing draperies. Her right hand rests upon the hilt of a sheathed sword; her left holds a…

Early National Period

Mississippi cotton gin at Dahomey

Credit: Library of Congress Media type: photograph Museum Number: LC-USZC4-6134 Annotation: This is a picture of workers in a cotton gin. A cotton gin is a machine that separates the cotton from the seeds. The cotton gin was invented by Eli Whitney in 1793. Year: 1898

Frontispiece Image from The Death of Clotel

Credit: Clotel: The President’s Daughter: A Narrative of Slave Life in the United States. by William Wells Brown Media type: engraving Museum Number: Annotation: The novel opens with the auction of Currer, the supposed mistress of Thomas Jefferson, and their two daughters, Clotel and Althesa, and highlights the horrifying injustices to mixed-race individuals under slavery. Horatio Green, the son…

The Lackawanna Valley

Credit: National Gallery of Art Media type: painting Museum Number: Annotation: Innes, Lackawanna Valley Year: 1855

John Brown

Credit: Library of Congress Media type: photograph Museum Number: LC-USZ62-2472 Year: 1859

Pre-Civil War

$150 Reward For Runaway

Credit: Library of Congress Media type: advertisement Museum Number: Portfolio 22, Folder 12b Annotation: Advertisement run in Kentucky newspaper ofering up to a $150 reward for the return of a runaway slave named Henry May. Even with the passage of fugitive slave legislature in the mid 19th century and the persistant use of “slave catchers”, advertisements offering rewards for…

Plantation Economy in the Old South

Credit: The Warner Collection of Gulf States Paper Corporation, Tuscaloosa, Alabama Media type: painting Museum Number: Annotation: Plantation Life Year: 1876


Credit: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles Media type: photograph Museum Number: Year: 1862

The Negro Woman’s Appeal to Her White Sisters

Credit: Library of Congress Media type: broadside Museum Number: Portfolio 65, Folder 8 Annotation: Antislavery broadside created and published in London, 1850. With the increasing size of the abolotionist movement came the use of handbills and broadsides appealing directly to women of all races. Invoking powerful imagery, such as the supplicating figure shown in this broadside, were intended to…

Slavery in America


Credit: Architect of the Capitol Media type: fresco Museum Number: Annotation: Capitol fresco Year: 1865


Credit: Architect of the Capitol Media type: fresco Museum Number: Annotation: Capitol fresco Year: 1865

Emancipation Proclamation

Credit: Media type: miscellaneous-image Museum Number: NWCTB-11-PRDOCPI159E23-PROC95 Annotation: This is an image of the first page of the Emancipation Proclamation, the executive order issued by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863, declaring the freedom of all slaves held in areas of the United States still controlled by the Confederacy that had not yet been returned to union control and…

American Civil War