Free Soil Party Reunion Papers, 1877-1921


This collection details the events leading up to and following the reunion of the Free Soil Party in Hingham, Massachusetts. The Free Soil Party existed between 1848 and 1852 with the purpose of ensuring that new lands acquired by the United States did not allow slavery. The reunion was organized by Samuel Downer of Hingham and several other Free Soilers for August 9, 1877. It was meant to bring together dedicated party members in order to celebrate their accomplishments and reminisce about the past. It took place at Downer Landing in Hingham. The collection primarily consists of letters to and from Samuel Downer regarding the reunion. There are also several invitations to the reunion and related pamphlets and images.

This project is made possible thanks to a grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Library Services and Technology Act administered by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.

Collection Items

Photograph of the camera obscura exhibit building at Melville Garden
This photograph shows several men standing and sitting on the steps to the Camera Obscura (Camera = Room, Obscura = Dark). They are all wearing formal clothing. The building sits on top of a steep hill with trees and rocks on it. There is a…

Photograph of the Café and Music Hall at Melville Garden
This photograph shows the Café and Music Hall which were located on Otis Street at Melville Garden. Several male guests can be seen siting and standing outside near the buildings. There are multiple outdoor decorations, including a fountain, and…

Photograph of a building at Melville Garden
This photograph shows a group of men, wearing formal clothing, standing around a two-story building at Melville Garden. The upper story is only partially enclosed by a roof. The ground floor is completely enclosed, and appears to be a some sort of…
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