The Continental Navy was disbanded in 1784 but it was soon clear that a federal navy was needed to protect the country’s mercantile interests. Ten years later Congress passed legislation establishing a national navy. While a replacement for two earlier ships named Boston was not funded by this… Read More→
With over 800 images and 300 mini-essays, this site offers a unique and comprehensive view of the broadsides that Isaiah Thomas (1749-1831) collected in early nineteenth-century Boston. Each broadside includes a brief explanation of its content by Kate Van Winkle Keller. To learn more about the history of this project and its contributors, please see the about page.
Over 30 ballads performed by David and Ginger Hildebrand can be played from the broadsides' pages.
Over 25 ballads (and counting!) have been transcribed with TEI-encoded XML available for download.
Please also visit the essays section for more of Keller's work on the network of printers and engravers who created these ballads, and for additional essays by Dianne Dugaw and Marcus McCorison.
To browse the over 300 broadsides included, please go to ballads. To browse by the subjects contained in the ballads and woodcuts, please go to subjects. The search bar above (with advanced search features) can be used to find specific broadsides.