American Revolution

A recently discovered portrait believed to be of Jane Strachey, English School, c.1788

What an Englishwoman's Letters Reveal About Life in Britain During the American Revolution

A new book highlights the writings of Jane Strachey, a middle-class woman whose husband worked for the famed Howe family

The sign states, “The use of enslaved labor to build the home of the President of the United States—often seen as a symbol of democracy—illuminates our country’s conflicted relationship with the institution of slavery and the ideals of freedom and equality promised in America’s founding documents.”

New Plaque Tells Story of Enslaved People Who Helped Build the White House

A marker in Lafayette Square is the first public work to acknowledge these individuals' roles in constructing the presidential mansion

Users play as Kendra Turner, an intern who uncovers the dark past—and present—of the fictional Blackhaven Hall Historical Society.

Innovation for Good

New Video Game Confronts Slavery's Legacy Through a Historical Mystery

"Blackhaven" finds a fictional intern working to uncover a colonial estate's hidden history while facing present-day racism

Map of Nova Scotia made in 1755 by provincial chief surveyor Charles Morris

Unraveling the Colonialist Myths of Nova Scotia

Planners saw the region as a blank space ripe for transformation: the perfect canvas for imperial fantasies

To mark its 35th birthday, American Girl rereleased its original six characters (L to R): Felicity Merriman, Kirsten Larson, Samantha Parkington, Addy Walker, Josefina Montoya and Molly McIntire.

The Enduring Nostalgia of American Girl Dolls

The beloved line of fictional characters taught children about American history and encouraged them to realize their potential

Established 200 years ago, on May 17, 1821, the Tangier American Legation is a rambling mansion that spans two sides of the Rue d’Amerique in the southern corner of Tangier's old walled city.

Why a 200-Year-Building in Morocco Is the Only National Historic Landmark Outside the U.S.

The structure in the port city of Tangier has served as a diplomatic residence, consulate, espionage headquarters, museum and library

This month's book picks include African Europeans, X Troop and Chasing the Thrill.

Books of the Month

African Europeans, Jewish Commandos of WWII and Other New Books to Read

These May releases elevate overlooked stories and offer insights on oft-discussed topics

This recreated wooden building resembles one that may have housed enslaved people on John Dickinson's Dover, Delaware, plantation.

Graves of Enslaved People Discovered on Founding Father's Delaware Plantation

A signee of the U.S. Constitution, John Dickinson enslaved as many as 59 men, women and children at one time

Illustration of Mary Ludwig Hays McCauley, the likely inspiration for Molly Pitcher, stoking a cannon for the U.S. Pennsylvania artillery during the Battle of Monmouth

Women Who Shaped History

Molly Pitcher, the Most Famous American Hero Who Never Existed

Americans don't need to rely on legends to tell the stories of women in the Revolution

A dedication marker outside of the damaged Prince Hall Masonic Lodge.

Black Soldiers Played an Undeniable but Largely Unheralded Role in Founding the United States

Veterans like Prince Hall fought for independence and then abolition in the earliest days of the nation

A woman reaches for a copy of Life on a New York City newsstand in 1936.

How Magazines Helped Shape American History

Explore 300 years of the periodical in an encyclopedic exhibition opening at the Grolier Club in New York City

An illustration of the British burning Washington in 1814

History of Now

The History of Violent Attacks on the U.S. Capitol

While the building has seen politically motivated mayhem in the past, never before has a mob of insurrectionists tried to overturn a presidential election

Mills (left) and Buck (right) use painstakingly gathered documents to spread knowledge of local black history.

Meet the 'Detectives' Documenting New Jersey's Overlooked Black History

Beverly Mills and Elaine Buck have spent more than a decade exploring neglected local stories

Halahtookit, a Nez Perce man, widely believed to be the son of William Clark.

Ask Smithsonian

Are There Native Descendants of the Lewis and Clark Expedition? And More Questions From Our Readers

You've got questions. We've got experts

“The postal service is one of the oldest federal agencies,” says Daniel Piazza, a curator of philately at the Smithsonian's National Postal Museum. “Maybe for that reason, we tend to take it for granted. But we have always relied on it, whether for news from home, prescription medications or e-commerce.”

A Brief History of the United States Postal Service

To forge a nation, the founders needed an efficient communications network

Archaeologists with the South Carolina Battlefield Preservation Trust found Tar Bluff battlefield with the help of a British officer's hand-drawn map.

Archaeologists Locate the South Carolina Battlefield Where Patriot John Laurens Died

The Revolutionary War officer was notoriously reckless and fought alongside George Washington and Marquis de Lafayette

Nancy Baker Cahill's Liberty Bell, as seen over the National Mall

This AR Artwork Reimagines Historical Spaces Across the U.S.

Nancy Baker Cahill's red, white and blue "Liberty Bell" rings over sites in six major cities

The Stenton House, circa 1865 to 1914

Philadelphia Will Memorialize Dinah, an Enslaved Woman Who Saved the City's Historic Stenton House in 1777

Currently in the works, the new monument will honor her contributions and legacy with a contemplative space

This engraving by Paul Revere offered a specific argument about what happened that day in Boston.

A Fresh Look at the Boston Massacre, 250 Years After the Event That Jumpstarted the Revolution

The five deaths may have shook the colonies, but a new book examines the personal relationships forever changed by them too

This detail of a map, one of many in the collection of cartographic enthusiast George III, shows the Saint Lawrence River and Quebec during the French and Indian War in 1759, the year before George became King of England (and its American colonies).

These Newly Digitized Military Maps Explore the World of George III

The last British monarch to reign over the American colonies had a collection of more than 55,000 maps, each with their own story to tell

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