The petition stands as one of the most vital institutions and expressive patterns of American culture and democracy. Historical records suggest that petitioning was a common practice in everyday life for millions of Americans, a practice that welcomed the energies of African-Americans, Native Americans and women whose liberties in voting, property-owning, mobility and other forms of expression were severely circumscribed for most of American history. We present three collections of petitions. Some collections have been digitized, and the scans are available as digitized scans in a searchable repository in the Harvard Dataverse. The various collections can be explored with map visualizations on this website.

Anti-Slavery and Anti-Segregation Petitions of Massachusetts

Digitized anti-slavery and anti-segregation petitions from the Massachusetts Archives of the Commonwealth.

Anti-Slavery and Anti-Segregation Petitions to Congress

Anti-slavery petitions sent to Congress.

Bank War Petitions

Petitions supporting or against the Bank War in the 1800's.