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Prince Hall (1738-1807), known as the father of Black Freemasonry in the United States, worked as a minister, abolitionist, civil rights activist, and proponent of education for black children.  Details on Hall’s birth and early life are vague; the first record of Hall reveals he was a servant to William Hall of Boston.  Legally a [...]

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In 1785, Jean Jacques Audubon was born in Haiti, the illigitimate son of a French naval officer and his mistress.  Audubon immigrated to the United States at age 18 (anglicizing his name to John James Audubon), and almost immediately began to study its ornithology, hoping to illustrate the birds he observed in a more realistic [...]

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Wild flowers

In 1846, while living at Brook Farm (the Transcendentalist utopian experiment in communal living) in West Roxbury, Massachusetts, artist Marianne Dwight (later Orvis) compiled this album of watercolor flower portraits.  Dwight (1816-1901) made a living creating lampshades and paintings, and her detailed punchwork designs can be seen on the cover of the album (click the [...]

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