Inside the Vault

Thursday, June 17 at 7:00 p.m. ET

James Forten, "Letters from a Man of Colour," Philadelphia: circa 1813. (The Gilder Lehrman Institute, GLC06046)

Prince Hall and James Forten protested the treatment of Black Americans during the Founding Era. In 1788 in Boston, Hall wrote a petition demanding the Massachusetts government protect Black sailors from being kidnapped and sold into slavery. He also wanted the state to ban slave-trading ships from entering the harbor. In 1813 in Philadelphia, Forten wrote a pamphlet denouncing a proposed bill that curtailed the rights of Black people and prohibited the immigration of people of color into the state.

Join us on June 17, 2021, from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. ET (4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. PT) as we examine the writings of these two men who fought for the rights of Black lives in the Founding Era.


Everyone who registers will be sent a Zoom meeting link and instructions in the confirmation email.

PD certificates will be sent to all who attend the entirety of the program.

For more information, please contact us at

Inside the Vault: Highlights from the Gilder Lehrman Collection is an online program that highlights unique primary sources from the Gilder Lehrman Collection. From iconic historical treasures, such as the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Emancipation Proclamation, to personal letters that reveal the contributions of ordinary American citizens, each session will investigate primary sources and discuss their background, impact, and potential use in the classroom.

This event is for teachers, students, families, and everyone with an interest in American history.

Upcoming Programs

July 1 Declaration of Independence

Join us on July 1 as we learn the history behind the William J. Stone printing of the Declaration of Independence and discover how the news of the Declaration was received. Documents being discussed include

  • William J. Stone’s printing of the Declaration of Independence
  • William Whipple’s description of the reception of the Declaration in New York
  • A German print with a fictitious view of pulling down King George’s statue
  • A British pamphlet entitled An Answer to the Declaration of the American Congress (printed in London)

Join us on July 1, 2021, from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. ET (4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. PT) as we examine these rare documents.

View full archive of past sessions