After the Revolution: Everyday Life in America, 1780-1800

November 18, 1985 – March 3, 2002

National Museum of American History
14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC

2nd Floor, East Wing Floor Plan

Through some 1,100 objects, this exhibition illuminates the communities and the lives of several well-documented families in the 1780s and 1790s -- the first generation of people to live in the newly created United States of America. The exhibition begins with a multimedia program that introduces the diversity of American life in the late 18th century and how 3 major cultural groups adapted to new ways of life -- Native Americans; Europeans; and Africans, both slave and free.

The following 3 cultural groups are used to explore the struggle of maintaining old traditions while adapting to new ways of life:

  • African Americans in the Chesapeake region
  • the Seneca nation of the Iroquois Confederacy
  • Citizens of Philadelphia, including craftspeople, and free blacks and their foundation of the A.M.E. Church.