Examining Related Evidence: A Seventeenth-Century Valuables Cabinet
This internet activity is based on the Examining the Evidence feature found on page 61 of The American Pageant
, Thirteenth Edition. Or you can view the feature here
Many of the most enduring artifacts we have of colonial America are different examples of material culture. Even without knowing the full provenance of a particular piece, historians can learn a lot about the daily life of the people who owned the artifact. To investigate further, go to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston's website to examine an 18th century chest.
Examine this chest
closely and answer the following questions:
- Use you historical imagination and your skills at observation to speculate about the person for whom the chest was made. List three observations or educated guesses and explain your reasoning.
- What does this piece of furniture tell you about life in colonial Boston on the eve of the Revolution?