Permanent Exhibit

The Massachusetts Experiment in Democracy: 1620–Today

The exhibit traces the Massachusetts experience through the colonial, revolutionary, federal, and nineteenth century reform periods. The sub-theme, “Tracing our Roots,” tells the story of four representative Massachusetts families of Native American, English, African-American and Irish heritage.



Massachusetts est. 1630

Many of the people who settled in the New World came to escape religious persecution. In both Virginia and Massachusetts, the colonists flourished with some assistance from Native Americans.

John Winthrop

portrait of John Winthrop


Declaration of Independance

The American Revolution was a colonial revolt that took place between 1765 and 1783. The American Patriots in the Thirteen Colonies won independence from Great Britain, becoming the United States of America.

George Washington

portrait of George Washington


US Constitution

During this era, the Federalist Party and its predecessors were dominant in American politics. The era saw the creation of a new, stronger federal government under the United States Constitution.

William Apess

portrait of William Apess
19th Century Reform


Civil Rights

The main objectives of the this movement were eliminating problems caused by industrialization, urbanization, immigration, and corruption in government.

Dorothea Dix

portrait of Dorothea Dix