The Birth of the American Colonies Exhibit on Display at Karpeles Manuscript Museum

DULUTH, Minn — A new exhibit recently arrived at Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum near downtown Duluth. The collection is called “The Birth of the American Colonies” and features 19 documents and letters from European royalty dictating the charters or authority of the new world.

Most of the documents featured in the museum are photographs of the originals accompanied by a replica because the originals are too delicate to travel or are too valuable.

“A particularly interesting one that the, it was King James III granted the freedom of religion to the colony of Rhode Island. And so, some of the things that would eventually leak through a couple hundred years later into the constitution that we would therefore keep,” said museum director Matthew Sjelin.

Typically it is students who visit the museum for the educational aspect of the exhibits, but the average Northlander could find a personal connection to some of the documents. That was true for the director of the museum.

“My mother’s family is from Massachusetts, from Longmeadow, a suburb of Boston. And so being able to see the document creating that, or establishing that territory as a colony, like an official boundaried area was very fascinating for me personally. I imagine that for those of us in the area who have family in some of these New England colonies, that that particular document is going to be everybody’s favorite,” said Sjelin.

The exhibit will be on display until the end of April before it is rotated out.  The museum is free and open to the public, and you can visit them Tuesday through Sunday until 4 pm.

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