Mary Burt attended Mrs Saunders and Miss Beach’s Academy in Dorchester, Massachusetts, where young ladies learned needlework, especially samplers. Try your hand at creating an old-school, 21st-century sampler online.
Deciphering old handwriting
If you are involved in a history project, or would like to be, there are excellent resources at the National Archives site, including the all-important Tips for Reading Historic Documents, part of the Citizen Activist program.
Slavery in New England
From the Massachusetts Historical Society, Timeline of Events Relating to the End of Slavery
traces the origins of “the peculiar institution” in New England, from 1630’s Fugitive Slave Law to the 1861 battle at Fort Sumter. The MHS has plentiful other resources, such as the original bill of sale for the purchase of “a negro boy” by Joseph Warren, John Collins Warren’s uncle, for £30 in 1770.