The original engraving plate for Paul Revere's


Imagining the Boston Massacre

Imagining the Boston Massacre is the latest lesson in our lesson plan series Imagining the Revolution, which challenge students to go beyond obvious questions about the literal accuracy of images to consider them as valuable sources for understanding how artists and their audiences understood the events depicted.

This lesson, written for middle and high school, asks students to interpret depictions of the deadly confrontation between Bostonians and British troops on the evening of March 5, 1770, by examining engravings by Henry Pelham and Paul Revere of Boston and Jonathan Mulliken of Newburyport, Massachusetts, as well as later versions of the same image. The goals of the lesson are for students to understand the importance contemporaries attached to the event and how the event reflected and shaped colonial resistance to British authority. Seen here is the original engraving plate for Revere’s The Bloody Massacre perpetrated in King-Street Boston, on display in the Commonwealth Museum in Boston.


Imagining the Boston Massacre



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Diamond Eagle of the Society of the Cincinnati

The most important piece of historic American jewelry is the Diamond Eagle, the badge of the president general of the Society of the Cincinnati. Made in Paris in 1784, the Diamond Eagle was presented by French naval officers to George Washington, the Society’s first president general. Read about its history and symbolism in a new article in the Masterpieces in Detail section.

Pepper-Pot by Krimmel is a graphic image in the American Revolution Institute exhibition America's First Veterans.


America's First Veterans

Over a quarter of a million Americans served in the armed forces that won our independence. Those who survived became America’s first veterans—the world’s first veterans of an army of free men. You can explore this theme and the art, artifacts, books and manuscripts in the exhibition in our new companion book, America’s First Veterans.


El General Washington

What did George Washington look like? We know, or think we know, because we have seen dozens of portraits of him. We carry his image in our pockets, on our dollar bills and our loose change. And though the most familiar portraits by Gilbert Stuart […]