Primary Source Documents
bullet Abigail Smith Adams
bullet The Adams Family Papers: An Electronic Archive (MA Historical Society)
bullet Alexander Hamilton (The American Experience, PBS)
bullet Alexander Hamilton and the Federalist Papers
bullet The American Revolution (PBS)
bullet The Apotheosis of George Washington
bullet A Biography of America:  A New System of Government (1776-1826) - Annenberg/CPB
bullet The Bill of Rights
bullet The Bill of Rights Institute
bullet The Birth of the Nation:  The First Federal Congress, 1789-1791
bullet "A Brief History of Central Banking in the United States" - Edward Flaherty (essay)
bullet A Century of Lawmaking for a Nation: U. S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774-1875 (LOC)
bullet Chronology on the History of Slavery and Racism:  1619-1789
bullet Colonial to 1800 -- American Literature
bullet The Continental Congress and and the Constitutional Convention:  1774-1789 (LOC)
bullet Continental Congress Broadside Collection
bullet Constitutional Convention Broadside Collection
bullet Constitutional Law Sources
bullet Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention (LOC)
bullet The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution
bullet Delegates to the Constitution Convention
bullet Documents from the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention:  1774-1789
bullet The Federalist Era 1789-1801 (outline notes)
bullet The Founders' Almanac (Heritage Foundation)
bullet "George Mason and the Bill of Rights" - Gary Williams (essay)
bullet George Washington:  A National Treasure (Smithsonian)
bullet George Washington - POTUS site
bullet George Washington - Miller Institute, University of Virginia
bullet George Washington's Mount Vernon
bullet George Washington's Papers
bullet George Washington's Papers at the Library of Congress:  1741-1799
bullet George Washington Picture Gallery (The History Place)
bullet Historical Census Browser - 1790
bullet The James Madison Papers (American Memory from the Library of Congress)
bullet John & Abigail Adams (The American Experience, PBS)
bullet John Adams : The Letters Behind the HBO Miniseries (MA Historical Society)
bullet John Adams - POTUS site
bullet John Adams - Miller Institute, University of Virginia
bullet John Jay Papers - Columbia University Libraries
bullet Journals of the Continental Congress (34 volumes)
bullet Journals of Lewis and Clark
bullet Judith Sargent Murray Archive
bullet Liberty Library of Constitutional Classics
bullet Letters of Thomas Jefferson
bullet Madison's Treasures
bullet Map-->"The Vote to Ratify the Constitution" (animated)
bullet Martha Ballard's Diary:  1785-1812
bullet Martha Dandridge (Custis) Washington
bullet Mt. Vernon--Washington's Estate and Gardens (Official Site)
bullet National Constitution Center
bullet The Papers of Benjamin Franklin (Packard Humanities Institute)
bullet The Papers of George Washington
bullet The Papers of President George Washington (Avalon Project)
bullet The Papers of President John Adams (Avalon Project)
bullet The Papers of President Thomas Jefferson (Avalon Project)
bullet Philip Freneau, Poet
bullet The President's House in Philadelphia
bullet Presidential Election Results (map & stats) -- 1789    1792    1796
bullet The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787
bullet Religion and the Founding of the American Nation (LOC)
bullet Report of the Research Committee on Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings
bullet The Rise and Fall of Alexander Hamilton
bullet Shays' Rebellion - Springfield Technical Community College
bullet Shays' Rebellion (1786-87) and the Constitution
bullet Temple of Liberty:  Building the Capitol for a New Nation
bullet Thomas Jefferson (1) - PBS Series on the American Presidency Search Engine to peruse the documents of the Early Republic
bullet Thomas Jefferson Papers - Library of Congress
bullet Thomas Paine - biography and links
bullet To Form a More Perfect Union:  The Work of the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention
bullet The Unwritten Constitution
bullet Virtual Tour of Historic Philadelphia
bullet "Was the American Revolution a Revolution?" - Sofya Medvedev (essay)
bullet The Whiskey Flags
bullet The Whiskey Insurrection

                                           Web Links
How to read a primary source document
                                   Why Study History Through Primary Sources
bullet late 18cPhillis Wheatley, African-American poet, to the students of the University of Cambridge in New England (Harvard)
bullet 1780s:  “Is It Not Enough that We Are Torn From Our Country and Friends" - Olaudah  Equiano Describes the Horrors of the Middle Passage
bullet 1783:  Jefferson Suggests Transcontinental Expedition to George Rogers Clark
bullet 1784:  "An act to preserve the freedom and independence of this State, and for other purposes  therein mentioned" - New York, passed May 12th - broadside
bullet 1784:  Reason: The Only Oracle Of Man - Ethan Allen
bullet 1784:  Resolutions Concerning Foreign Commerce - Articles of Confederation Congress (4/30)
bullet 1784:  Samuel Adams letter to Noah Webster (4/30)
bullet 1785:  Disposing of Lands in the Western Territories - Articles of Confederation Congress
bullet 1785:  Letter from John Adams to Thomas Jefferson describing the cordial greeting he received from King George III as the first American minister to Great Britain (6/3)
bullet 1785:  "Memorial and Remonstrance" - James Madison
bullet 1785:  Treaty with the Cherokee
bullet 1785:  Short Observations on Slavery by Anthony Benezet
bullet 1785-1812:  Diary of Martha Ballard
bullet 1786:  Annapolis Convention
bullet 1786-1836:  The Barbary Treaties
bullet 1786:  The Grand Committee on the Subject of the Western Territory
bullet 1786:  Instructions to Superintendents of Indian Affairs - Articles of Confederation Congress (8/7)
bullet 1786:  The Instructor, or American Young Man's Best Companion Containing Spelling, Reading, Writing, and Arithmetick - George Fisher
bullet 1786:  A Petition by Rachel Lovell Wells - the text of the petition of a Bordentown sculptor and widow to the Continental Congress for relief after the Revolutionary War (5/18)
bullet 1786:  A Plan for the General Arrangement of the Militia of the United States: Introduction - Henry Knox
bullet 1786:  Poems of Phyllis Wheatley
bullet 1786:  Thomas Jefferson Letter to Jean Nicolas Demeunier (6/26)
bullet 1786:  Travels in North America - Marquis de Chastellux
bullet 1786:  Virginia Statute for Establishing Religious Freedom
bullet 1787:  The Address and reasons of dissent of the minority of the convention, of the state of Pennsylvania, to their constituents (12/12)
bullet 1787:  The Anti-Federalist Papers
bullet 1787:  The Boston Plan
bullet 1787:  "The Contrast" -- A Comedy in Five Acts written by a Citizen of the United States, Royall Tyler
bullet 1787:  "Dangers of a Salaried Bureaucracy" - Benjamin Franklin
bullet 1787:  "Disapproving and Accepting the Constitution" - Benjamin Franklin
bullet 1787:  Drafts of the Constitution of the United States (8/6)
bullet 1787:  Elbridge Gerry's Reasons for Not Signing the Federal Constitution
bullet 1787:  The Federalist Papers (in its entirety)
bullet 1787:  Federalist Papers #10 - James Madison
bullet 1787:  Federalist Papers #21- Hamilton on the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation
bullet 1787:  "Am I Not a Man and a Brother?" - Quaker-created seal
bullet 1787:  Letter from Henry Knox to George Washington
bullet 1787:  Letter from James Madison to General Washington
bullet 1787:  Letter from Thomas Jefferson to James Madison
bullet 1787:  Letters from the Federal Farmer - Richard Henry Lee
bullet 1787:  Madison's Notes on the Debates at the Federal Convention
bullet 1787:  New Jersey and Virginia Plans
bullet 1787:  Northwest Ordinance
bullet 1787:  Notes of Alexander Hamilton in the Federal Convention of 1787
bullet 1787:  On the Constitution - Ben Franklin
bullet 1787:  Ordinance for Settling Accounts Between the U. S. and Individual States - U. S. Congress (5/7)
bullet 1787:  Plan of Charles Pinckney (SC) Presented to the Federal Convention
bullet 1787:  Report of the Committee of Style (9/12)
bullet 1787:  Speech at the Pennsylvania Ratifying Convention, December 3 (Slavery and representation, importation of slaves) - James Wilson
bullet 1787:  State House Yard Speech on the Constitution - James Wilson (10/6)
bullet 1787:  Thomas Jefferson's drawing of a macaroni machine and instructions for making pasta
bullet 1787:  Thoughts on Female Education - Benjamin Rush
bullet 1787:  The U. S. Constitution and Amendments
bullet 1787:  The Virginia Plan (5/29)
bullet 1787-88:  The Antifederalist Papers
bullet 1787-1820:  "The Signing of the Declaration of Independence" - painting by John Trumbull
bullet 1787-88:  Mrs. Mary Dewees' Journal from Philadelphia to Kentucky
bullet 1788:  Address to the People of the State of New York - John Jay
bullet 1788:  Against the Federal Constitution - Patrick Henry (6/5)
bullet 1788:  Alexander Hamilton on the Adoption of the Constitution
bullet 1788:  “All Men Are Born Free and Equal” - Massachusetts Yeomen Oppose the “Aristocratickal” Constitution (Jan.)
bullet 1788:  "Answering Patrick Henry" - Francis Corbin's speech given at the Virginia Convention considering the ratification of the proposed U.S. Constitution (7/7)
bullet 1788:  Extract from an Address to the people of the state of New-York, on the subject of the federal Constitution
bullet 1788:  "Federal Superstructure" - Anonymous political cartoon in the Massachusetts Centinel (1/30)
bullet 1788:  "An ode for the 4th of July 1788" - [Philadelphia] Printed by M. Carey
bullet 1788:  Order of Procession In Honor of the Establishment of the Constitution of the United States
bullet 1788:  Patrick Henry's Speeches
bullet 1788:  Ratification of the Constitution by the State of New York
bullet 1788:  Slave Trade and the Middle Passage - Alexander Falconbridge
bullet 1788:  Treaty with the Cherokee (11/28)
bullet 1789:  "An act to establish the seat of government of the United States" - broadside
bullet 1789:  Address of the Senate to George Washington (5/18)
bullet 1789:  President Washington's First Inaugural Speech
bullet 1789:  The Bill of Rights
bullet 1789:  First Twelve Articles of Amendment (6/8)
bullet 1789:  The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa the African
bullet 1789:  Judiciary Act of 1789
bullet 1789:  "Procession. Boston. Oct. 19, 1789. As this town is shortly to be honoured with a visit from the President of the United States: in order that we may pay our respects to him, in a manner whereby every inhabitant may see so illustrious and amiable a character ... [Boston, 1789]" - broadside
bullet 1789:  Proposed Constitutional Amendments on Freedom of Religion
bullet 1789:  Thanksgiving Proclamation - George Washington
bullet 1789:  Treaty with the Six Nations
bullet 1789:  Washington's First Inaugural Address
bullet 1789:  Washington Letter to John Langdon. Mount Vernon (4/14)
bullet 1790s:  Excerpts from the Journal of William Maclay
bullet 1790:  Actual Page from The Massachusetts Sentinel (4/24/1790)
bullet 1790:  Acts of the Fifteenth General Assembly of New Jersey - this document refers to voters as both "he" and "she"
bullet 1790:  American State Papers Military Affairs No. 2 - Organization of the Militia Communicated to the Senate (1/21) - a quarter of the way down the page
bullet 1790:  Census Data
bullet 1790:  "Congress of the United States. In Senate, July the12 th, 1790. The committee appointed July the 2d, 1790, reported as follows" -  [Philadelphia] Printed by John Fenno - broadside
bullet 1790:  First State Annual Message of George Washington
bullet 1790:  “I Wove To-day” - Elizabeth Fuller Grows Up in Rural Massachusetts
bullet 1790:  Letter from George Washington to the Senate on Cherokee Affairs (8/11)
bullet 1790:  Letter to the Hebrew Congregation at Newport, RI - George Washington
bullet 1790:  "On the Equality of the Sexes" - Judith Sargent Murray
bullet 1790:  Opinion on the Constitutionality of the Residency Bill - Thomas Jefferson
bullet 1790:  Report on a National Bank - Alexander Hamilton
bullet 1790:  Report on Public Credit - Alexander Hamilton (1/15)
bullet 1790:  Second Annual Message of George Washington
bullet 1790:  [William Maclay], "For the Independent Gazetteer"
bullet 1790-91:  “An Iron Furnace of Affliction” - Abigail Abbot Bailey Endures the Abuse of her Husband, New Hampshire
bullet 1790-1791:  "Of the Natural Rights of Individuals" - James Wilson
bullet 1790-1791:  "Of the Study of Law in the United States" - James Wilson
bullet 1790-1791:  "On the General Principle of Law and Obligation" - James Wilson
bullet 1791:  The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (full text)
bullet 1791:  Benjamin Banneker to Thomas Jefferson, "We are all of the Same Family"
bullet 1791:  Bill of Rights
bullet 1791:  Hamilton's Opinion as to the Constitutionality of the Bank of the United States
bullet 1791:  An Introductory Lecture To a Course of Law Lectures - James Wilson
bullet 1791:  "From the Daily advertiser. Thoughts on coinage, and the establishment of a mint, submitted to the consideration of those statesmen only, who dare to quit the beaten path" - leaflet
bullet 1791:  Jefferson Argues against the Constitutionality of a National Bank
bullet 1791:  Letter from Thomas Jefferson to Benjamin Banneker expressing his belief that blacks possess talents equal to those of "other colours of men"  (9/30)
bullet 1791:  Report on Manufactures - Alexander Hamilton (12/5)
bullet 1791:  Third Annual Message of George Washington
bullet 1792:  Fourth Annual Message of George Washington
bullet 1792:  Letter from Alexander Hamilton to George Washington
bullet 1792:  Militia Acts
bullet 1792:  The Rights of Man - Thomas Paine
bullet 1792-93:  “Much Blood May be Shed Ere Liberty be Firmly Established” - Benjamin Franklin Bache Defends the French Revolution
bullet 1793:  Chisolm v. Georgia
bullet 1793:  Coinage Act
bullet 1793:  Fifth Annual Message of George Washington
bullet 1793:  Fugitive Slave Law of 1793
bullet 1793:  Letter from George Hammond to Thomas Jefferson - re: Jay Treaty
bullet 1793:  Letter of Thomas Jefferson to George Hammond (1) - re: Jay Treaty
bullet 1793:  Opinion on Renouncing Treaties with France (4/28)
bullet 1793:  Proclamation of Neutrality
bullet 1793:  Second Inaugural Address - George Washington
bullet 1794:  An Act to Prohibit the Carrying on the Slave Trade from the United States to any Foreign Place or Country (3/22)
bullet 1794:  Cases adjudged in the Supreme Court of New-Jersey; relative to the manumission of Negroes and others holden in bondage.
bullet 1794:  "A Display of the United States" - line engraving by Amos Doolittle
bullet 1794:  Extract from an Oration on Eloquence, Pronounced at Harvard University on Commencement Day
bullet 1794:  Jay Treaty (and ancillary documents)
bullet 1794:  Letter from Thomas Jefferson to James Madison on the Whiskey Rebellion
bullet 1794:  Patent for the Cotton Gin
bullet 1794:  Sixth Annual Message of George Washington
bullet 1794:  Thomas Jefferson's design for a plow
bullet 1794:  Treaty with the Six Nations
bullet 1794:  The Whiskey Rebellion - Proclamation by President Washington
bullet 1795:  11th. Amendment to the U. S. Constitution
bullet 1795:  Age of Reason - Thomas Paine  (Part I)    (Part II)
bullet 1795:  Farmer's Almanack Pages
bullet 1795:  Greenville Treaty with Several Indian Tribes
bullet 1795:  "Horatius" to the People of the United States
bullet 1795:  Plan of the City of Washington
bullet 1795:  Seventh Annual Message of George Washington
bullet 1798:  "The Sorrows of Yamba or The Negro Woman's Lamentation" - poem by Hannah More (attributed)
bullet 1795:  Treaty of Greenville (8/3)
bullet 1795:  Treaty of Tripoli
bullet 1796:  Eighth Annual Message of George Washington
bullet 1796:  "To the Citizens of the Southern States" - Southern Planter (broadside)
bullet 1797:  First Annual Message of John Adams
bullet 1797:  Inaugural Address of John Adams
bullet 1797:  Letters Concerning The Age of Reason - Thomas Paine
bullet 1797:  "Refusing the Paris Monster" - political cartoon
bullet 1797:  Speech on the XYZ Affair - President John Adams
bullet 1797:  "To Be Sold" - newspaper advertisement for a slave woman
bullet 1797:  White Slaveowners Fear that the Haitian Revolution Has Arrived in Charleston, SC
bullet 1798:  11th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution
bullet 1798:  Alien Act
bullet 1798:  Alien Enemies Act
bullet 1798:  "Brief account of the Society for propagating the gospel among the Indians and others in North-America" - pamphlet
bullet 1798:  Letter to John Adams from George Washington
bullet 1798:  Letter from Thomas Jefferson to John Taylor
bullet 1798:  Mr. Gordon's Speech on the Alien Bill
bullet 1798:  Second Annual Message of John Adams
bullet 1798:  Sedition Act
bullet 1798:  “The Sentiments of a Labourer” - William Manning Inquires in the Key of Liberty
bullet 1798:  Speech to British Government Concerning Indian Land Claims, Niagara - Joseph Brant (3/25)
bullet 1798:  Speech to Assembled Iroquois Chiefs - Wabanip (4/30)
bullet 1798:  Virginia Resolution
bullet 1798:  Washington's Farewell Address
bullet 1799:  Kentucky Resolution
bullet 1799:  Law Will and Testament of George Washington
bullet 1799:  "A New Display of the United States" - engraving by Amos Doolittle
bullet 1799:  The Petition of the People of Colour, Freemen within the City, and Suburbs of Philadelphia
bullet 1799:  Third Annual Message of John Adams
bullet 1799:  William Manning, “A Laborer,” Explains Shays Rebellion in Massachusetts - “In as Plain a Manner as I Am Capable”
bullet 1800:  The Beginnings of the City of Washington, DC - Abigail Adams
bullet 1800:  John Adams' Letter to Abigail Adams - prayer for the new executive mansion
bullet 1800:  Various Documents Pertaining the the Convention of France - Hunter Miller's Notes
bullet 1801:  Message to the Senate - John Adams
bullet 1865:  A Colored Man's Reminiscences of James Madison - 1865 memoir of Paul Jennings, a former slave

Ten Commandments of Good Historical Writing