Colonial Comics, New England: 1750 - 1775

Edited by Jason Rodriguez


A massacre in Boston. A tea party. A shot heard around the world. But who was the first casualty of the massacre? How did the tea get to Boston Harbor? What was the Battle of Concord like for a Minute Man? Colonial Comics: New England, 1750–1775 expands the frame of this important period of American history. Unconventional characters come to life, including gravedigging medical students, counterfeiters, female playwrights, instigators of civil disobedience, newspaper editors, college students, rum traders, freemen, and slaves. 

Reader Activities 

Swaying the Public 

Throughout history, broadcast images and videos have been used to sway public opinion. In the Colonial time period, many people used newspaper articles and pamphlets for the same reason. Choose a comic in Colonial Comics and create a pamphlet to sway public opinion. 

Choose a movement happening today and create a comic or pamphlet. Some movements include Arab Spring Movement, the Women’s March, Black Lives Matter, Civil Rights.  Helpful hint: Choose a person in the movement, an actual event, or specific conflict that happened to help get you started.

Here is an example of webcomics to help you and resources on just some of the social movements happening in 2018.  

Your History 

Every State has organizations, societies, and programs dedicated to historic and culture resource preservation.  Use this link to find your state archive and/or historical society.  

Take some time to explore the site.  Where is the historical society in your state?  What did you first notice about the website and how it is organized?

Choose an event from the early stages of your Statehood, ranging from 1776 - 1850. Using your state’s historical society, write a summary about the event. The summary should include answers to the following questions: (1) What is the conflict? (2) Who are the opposing sides and what are their motives in the conflict? (3) What is the outcome? (4) Are there any lasting results that affect the people today in your state?

A Stamp for Today 

Throughout Colonial Comics, stamps are provided to show how people of the time demonstrated dissent and protest (refer to 192 for more detail). Today, there are many movements to affect change in the United States and abroad. From Black Lives Matter, The Women’s March, Civil Rights, to the Arab Spring Movement, people are joining together to make social change and demonstrate their own dissent.

Choose a movement or think specifically about a change you would like to see in your own community. Create a stamp to symbolize your position and write a short summary of how your stamp represents that position. Show your stamp to classmates or friends, do they see what you are trying to express? And if so, how? Read the summary after and see what aligns and what does not. 

Supplemental Videos and Materials 

Born out of a social media post, the Black Lives Matter movement has sparked discussion about race and inequality across the world. In this spirited conversation with Mia Birdsong, the movement's three founders share what they've learned about leadership and what provides them with hope and inspiration in the face of painful realities.
 Click    HERE    to learn more about how "Flowers are a Powerful Symbol of Resistance"

Click HERE to learn more about how "Flowers are a Powerful Symbol of Resistance"